TrinamoolCongress leader and Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled apopulist Railway Budget for the fiscal year 2010-11. This was theSecond Railway Budget for the UPA Government.
She saidthat the Government will not privatise the Indian Railways, but wouldwelcome partnerships with the Indian industry to move ahead in future.
Railwayswill set up a Special Task Force to clear investment proposals in 100days, Banerjee said. Guidelines will be made investor friendly. "Thus,we will create wealth for all," the Railway Minister told the Lok Sabhatoday.
TheRailways has fulfilled its commitments made during the last RailwayBudget on July 2009, Banerjee said. Out of the 120 new trains declaredin the previous Railway Budget, 117 trains will be flagged off, theRailway Minister said.
The following are the main highlights of the Railway Budget for the year 2010-11.
- No increase in passenger fares and freight tariffs
- Service charges on e-tickets reduced
- E-ticket vans to be extended to Government Medical College Hospitals, Courts, Universities, IT hubs, IITs and IIMs
- SMS updates of reservation status and movement of wagons
- Ticket centres to be opened at district headquarters and village panchayats
- 100% concession for cancer patients along with an escort
- Modern luggage trolleys with uniformed attendants to assist senior citizens and women passengers
- Six clean bottling plants to provide cheaper, clean drinking water to passengers
- 12 companies of women RPF personnel, ‘Mahila Vahini’, for the security of women passengers
- No examination fee for women, minority and economically backward class candidates for Railway Recruitment Boards’ exams
- Question papers now will be made available in local state languages besides Hindi, Urdu and English
- Railway examinations will be held on the same day in all regions
- 117 new train projects to be flagged off by the end of March 2010
- 52 long distance express trains and 28 passenger trains to be introduced
- Frequency of 12 trains will be increased and 21 trains will be extended
- Special trains to mark Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, for ladies, for uniformed persons and for tourists
- Double-decker coaches to be introduced in two trains each from Delhi and Kolkata
- 94 stations to be upgraded as Adarsh Stations, 10 more stations to be upgraded as World Class Stations
- Automatic fire and smoke detection system to be introduced in 20 trains
- All the unmanned Level Crossings (LCs) to be manned within five years
- Rs.414.26bn outlay proposed, allocation for new lines increased to Rs28.48bn from Rs44.11bn
- More money to improve passenger amenities - Rs13.02bn in comparision to Rs9.23bn in 2009-10
- Railway revenue through branding/advertising to go up from Rs1.5bn to Rs10bn
- Special Task Force to clear investment proposals within 100 days
- Concession in freight charges for food-grains and domestic use kerosene
- Kisan Vision Project for manufacturing refrigerated containers
- Allotment of iron ore rakes would be accessible through the web. RFID technology to be introduced for tracking of wagons
- Multi-level parking complexes through PPP route
- 93 new multi-functional complexes to be developed
- National High Speed Rail Authority proposed to plan high speed rail corridor
- Houses for all rail employees in next 10 years
- 522 hospitals, 50 Kendriya Vidyalayas,10 residential schools, model degree colleges, technical and managementinstitutes for railway employees