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.