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Railway Budget 2015-16: Major Initiatives

Feb 26, 2015 17:16 IST

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. The Budget plans to invest around 8 lakh crore rupees over the next 5 year to rejuvenate the Indian Railways.

In this regard, Railway Budget 2015 – 16 unveiled certain initiatives ranging from cleanliness drive to development of infrastructure to improving the overall quality of life in train journeys.

The major initiatives undertaken in the Railway Budget 2015-16

Station Redevelopment

  • Zonal and Divisional offices to be empowered for quicker decision making
  • Development of 10 Satellite Railway terminals in major cities with twin purpose of decongesting the city and providing service to suburban passengers

Network expansion

  • Fast-track sanctioned works on 7000 kms of double/third/fourth lines
  • Commission of 1200 km of network in 2015-16 at an investment of 8686 crore rupees

Expansion of freight handling capacity

  • Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TRANSLOC), to be set up for developing common user facilities to provide end-to-end logistics solution at select Railway terminals through Public Private Partnerships.
  • Policy for Private Freight Terminals (PFT) to be revised.
  • Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme for traffic to be expanded
  • Long haul freight operations to be used extensively and construction of long loop lines to be expedited.

Improving train speed

  • Speed of 9 railway corridors to be increased from existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively.
  • Average speed of freight trains in empty and loaded conditions will be enhanced to 100 kmph for empty freight trains and 75 kmph for loaded trains.

Bullet train

  • Feasibility study for High Speed Rail between Mumbai-Ahmadabad is in advanced stage.

Upgrading manufacturing capability

  • Creation of job opportunities by upgrading the manufacturing capability and review of functioning of Indian Railways Production Units.
  • Workshops for technological upgradation and enhancing productivity be undertaken to make them self-sustaining.

Safety

  • RDSO to develop a suitable device with reliable power supply system based on theft-proof panels/batteries in consultation with Indian Space Research Organization using geo-spatial technology.
  • Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System to be installed on selected routes at the earliest.  
  • Better welding techniques being promoted and digital type machines to replace analogue type machines.

Technology upgradation

  • Constitution of an innovation council called Kayakalp for business re-engineering.  
  • Technology portal being constituted to invite innovative technological solutions.
  • Research Centers to be set up in selected universities for fundamental research.

Partnerships for development

  • PPP cell to be revamped to make it result oriented. Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation scheme to be launched.
  • Joint ventures to be set up with States for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition and monitoring of critical rail projects.  

Improvements to Management Processes and Systems

  • Systems audit to be conducted for review of all processes and procedures.
  • Constitution of a working group to modify present system of accounting, to ensure tracking of• expenditure to desired outcomes and Train operations to be audited.
  • Paperless working in material management system to be expanded and Vendors to be integrated through Vendor Interface Management System.

Resource Mobilisation

  • Support from the Central Government for 41.6 percent of the Plan and Internal generation of 17.8  percent for setting up of a Financing Cell in the Railway Board.
  • Setting up an infrastructure fund, a holding company and a Joint Venture with an existing NBFC of a PSU with IRFC for raising long term debt from domestic as well as overseas sources.
  • Digitized mapping of land records and responsibility fixing for encroachments.
  • New strategy to tap latent advertising potential including offering stations and trains for corporate branding.  
  • Railways in partnership with ports will deliver rail connectivity to Nargol, Chharra, Dighi, Rewas and Tuna. Scrap disposal policy to be reviewed for speedier scrap disposal.

Human Resources

  • Human Resource Audit to be undertaken; Separate accounting head for HRD; ERP based Human Resource Management System.  
  • Setting up a full-fledged University during 2015-16 and  Improved delivery of health services to employees

Energy and sustainability

  • Environment Directorate to be constituted in Railway Board to give increased focus on environment management.
  • Initiative likely to save at least 3000 crore rupees in next few years will be taken up.  1000 MW solar plants will be set up by the developers on Railway/private land.
  • Water conservation mission will include water audit and expansion of water harvesting systems. 100 DEMUs to be enabled for dual fuel- CNG and diesel.
  • Noise levels of locos to be at par with international norms and concerns related to wildlife will be addressed.  

Transparency and Governance initiatives

  • System of on-line applications introduced for two categories of recruitment as a pilot project.  
  • All possible solutions be explored to address menace of corruption. E-procurement value chain to be expanded.

Social initiatives

  • Infrastructure like stations and training centers to be made available for skill development.
  • Promotion of products made by Self Help Groups, consisting mainly of women and youth on the model of Konkan Railway.

Tourism

  • Incredible Rail for Incredible India to be launched and Promotion of training of auto-rickshaw and taxi-operators as tourist-guides on the model of Konkan Railway.  
  • Coaches in selected trains connecting major tourist destinations to travel agencies may be offered on a revenue sharing model.  
  • IRCTC to work on promoting the Gandhi circuit to attract tourists to mark the occasion of 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa.
  • IRCTC will work on Kisan Yatra, a special travel scheme for farmers for farming & marketing technique centres.

Is this article important for exams ? Yes30 People Agreed
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