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