Suresh Prabhu calls combined union budget ‘visionary’

Centre’s allocation of Rs 55,000 crore will be spent on rail automation and technology

vishwas

Vishwas Dass | February 2, 2017 | New Delhi


#ministry of railways   #rail budget   #union budget 2017   #Suresh Prabhu  


Railway minister Suresh Prabhu lauded the government for presenting a ‘visionary’ combined union budget, saying the provision for Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh would help railways step-up safety works.
 
While addressing media at Rail Bhawan on Wednesday, Prabhu said that the timing of union budget was crucial as the country witnessed two major events — demonetisation and GST. 
 
Prabhu highlighted that the centre’s allocation of Rs 55,000 to the railways would largely be used for automation and technology.
 
Furthermore, safety and rail modernisation are the biggest priorities. He called improvement of rail infrastructure as a matter of global concern.
 
“The recent spate of derailment mishaps was quite unfortunate and the railways laid strong emphasis on the need of having dedicated funds to carry out safety works. The government has decided to create Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh to allocate Rs 1 lakh crore in a period of five years to strengthen safety works including maintenance of tracks, renovation of bridges and replace old tracks. We would minimise the casualties and eliminate all the unmanned level crossings in the next four years,” Prabhu said.
 
The minister said that there is need of ramping up production of coaches with German technology LHB which are safer than conventional coaches. The new technology coaches do not topple in the event of derailment. “All 45,000 coaches cannot be replaced overnight with the LHB ones but the existing conventional coaches are being retrofited with centre buffer couple (CBC) to make them similar to those LHB carriages,” he said.
 
Finance minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the budget said that the railways will have to raise the remaining funds from its own resources to strengthen safety works. On this, Prabhu said that the railways would do it in consultation with the railway board.
 
Notably, the centre would allocate Rs 20,000 crore every year for safety works of the Indian Railways which would also be used to impart training to safety, signal and telecom department.  
 
On the progress of bullet trains, the minister said that a lot of things have been materialised like completion of geo-technical study, finalisation of general consultant and loan agreement would be done in the next six months. A new team selection procedure is on, he added.
 
Chairman, railway board, AK Mital said that the railways has been given seven years to introduce bullet trains and this dream can’t be achieved in a year or two. “We have already introduced a semi-high speed train on the Delhi-Agra route and finalised another two routes: Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata. The completion of a dedicated freight corridor (DFC) would facilitate faster movement of trains on the saturated routes,” Mital said.
 
Prabhu added that in order to encourage digital transactions, railways has waived service charge levied on e-tickets for which railways would have to bear the burden of Rs 500 crore. The online booking of tickets through IRCTC website has increased to 68 percent at present.
 
A holding would be formed by the government for listing railways’ PSUs, an official said.
 
After being asked about surge pricing or flexi fare system, Mital said that the decision is not affecting the poor as the system is meant for only a handful of premium class of certain VIP trains. “Flexi fare does not exceed 50 percent of the basic fare,” he added.
 

Comments

 

Other News

How much time do you spend talking on phone?

How much time do Indians spend talking on phone? It is on average 761 minutes per month, according to a new report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator released its report, titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators: July-Septemb

“Developing public health infrastructure key to sustainable healthcare for all”

Renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda has said that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of existing healthcare systems and it is wrong to draw comparisons with Korea, a country with the population equal to that of a single Indian state. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Gove

SC-appointed panel on farm laws holds first meet

The committee of experts appointed by the supreme court to deliberate with the stakeholders on the new farm laws held its first meeting here Tuesday, with one of its members saying that all stakeholders, including individual farmers, will be heard. Hearing a petition on the farm laws enacted

India’s glitch-free vaccination gathers pace

The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v

Maharashtra to spend Rs 2,500 crore to augment, develop power infrastructure

The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL).   Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore

Launched: Largest vaccination drive in history

India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro

Masterminds: Masterclass on World Affair with Sreeram Chaulia





Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter