New Delhi,  July 3, 2009

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Railway Budget - Details

57 new trains introduced

      New Delhi: Fifty-seven new trains service are proposed in the Railway Budget for 2009-10. This was announced by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in Parliament today. These are: 1. Vishakhapatnam - Secunderabad - Mumbai Superfast (Bi-weekly). 2. Sriganga Nagar - Delhi - Nanded Superfast (Weekly) 3. New Jalpaiguri - Sealdah Superfast (Tri-weekly) 4. Bangalore - Hubli - Solapur Superfast (Tri-weekly) 5. Howrah - Bangalore Superfast (weekly) 6. Pune - Daund-Solapur Superfast (Daily) 7. Ranchi-Howrah (3 days via Ghatshila-Kharagpur and 3 days via Asansol) Intercity (6 days a week) 8. Kamakhya-Puri Express (Weekly) 9. Jabalpur-Ambikapur Express (Tri-weekly) 10. Gandhidham-Howrah Superfast (Weekly) 11. Delhi-Sadulpur Express (Tri-weekly) 12. Ajmer-Bhopal Express (by intergration of 9655/56 Ajmer-Ratlam and 9303/04 Ratlam- Bhopal express trains) (Daily) 13. Bilaspur-Tirunelveli Jn. (Thiruvananthapuram) Superfast (Weekly) 14. Mumbai-Karwar Superfast (Tri-weekly) 15. Durg-Jaipur Express (Weekly) 16. Dibrugarh Town-Chandigarh Express (Weekly) 17. Delhi-Farakka Express (Bi-weekly) 18. Hazrat Nizmmudin-Bangalore Rajdhani Express (Tri-weekly) via Kacheguda 19. New Jalpaiguri-Delhi Express (Bi-weekly) via Barauni 20. Mumbai-Varanasi Superfast (Daily) 21. Mysore-Yesvantpur Express (Daily) 22. Koraput-Rourkela Express (Daily) via Rayagada 23. Agra-Ajmer Intercity Superfast (Daily) 24. Mumbai-Jodhpur-Bikaner Superfast (Bi-weekly) 25. Agra-Lucknow Junction Intercity (Daily) 26. Hapa-Tirunelveli Jn. Superfast (Bi-weekly) via Thiruananthapuram 27. Gwalior-Bhopal Intercity Express (5 days a week) via Guna 28. Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram Express (Tri-weekly) via Madurai 29. Howrah-Haridwar Superfast (5 days a week) 30. Varanasi-Jammu Tawi Superfast (Daily) 31. Gorakhpur-Mumbai Superfast (Daily) 32. New Delh-Guwahati Rajdhani Express (Weekly) via Muzaffarpur 33. Veraval-Mumbai Link Service (Daily) 34. Ranchi-Patna Jan Shatabadi Express (Daily) 35. Jhansi-Chhindwara Express (Bi-weekly) via Bina-Bhopal 36. Mumbai-Jodhpur Express (Weekly) 37. Jamalpur-Gaya Passenger (Daily) 38. Jhajha-Patna MEMU (Daily) 39. Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi Express (6 days a week) 40. Bhopal-Lucknow-Pratapgarh Superfast (Weekly) 41. Lucknow-Rae Bareli-Bangalore Superfast (Weekly) 42. Shimoga-Bangalore Intercity Express (Daily) 43. Mdurai-Chennai Express (Bi-weekly) 44. Guwahati-New Cooch Behar Express Intercity (Daily) 45. Balurghat-New Jalpaiguri Express (Daily) via Kishanganj 46. Alipurduar-New Delhi Jalpaiguri Express Intercity (Daily) via Siliguri 47. Dharmanagar-Agartala Fast Passenger (Daily) 48. Rewari-Phulera Passenger (Daily) via Ringus 49. Shoranur-Nilambur Road Passenger (Daily) 50. Coimbator-Shoranur Passenger (Daily) 51. Mathura-Kasganj Passenger (Daily) 52. Farakka-Katwa-Azimganj-Nawadwip Dham Express (Daily) 53. Bangalore-Kochuveli Superfast (Weekly) 54. Kolkata-Rampurhat Express (Daily) 55. New Jalpaiguri-Digha Express (Weekly) 56. Purulia-Howrah Express (Bi-weekly) 57. Kolkata-Bikaner Express (Weekly) via Nagore

First ever non-stop train service 'Duronto' introduced Top

     New Delhi: For the first time in the history, non-stop train service is being introduced in India. The non-stop train service 'Duronto' will have AC and non-AC sleepers and will run between select cities throughout the country. Duronto train services 1. New Delhi-Jammu Tawi Non stop (Tri-weekly) 2. Howrah-Mumbai (AC) Non stop (Bi-weekly) 3. Mumbai-Ahmedabad (AC) Non stop (Tri-weekly) 4. Chennai-Delhi Non Stop (Bi-weekly) 5. New Delhi-Lucknow Non Stop (Tri-weekly) 6. Delhi-Pune (AC) Non Stop (Bi-weekly) 7. Howarh-Delhi Non Stop (Bi-weekly) 8. New Delhi-Allahabad Non Stop (Tri-weekly) 9. Sealdah-New Delhi Non Stop (Bi-weekly) 10. Kolkata-Amritsar Non Stop (Bi-weekly) 11. Bhubaneswar-Delhi Non Stop (weekly) 12. Ernakulam-Delhi Non Stop (weekly)

Lalu says Mamata suffers from complex Top

     New Delhi: Accusing Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on doing nothing new in the rail budget, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad on Friday said that she had used his achievements in the ministry to build her case. "Is this a budget? She has just read out what I had announced during my stint...She suffers from a complex," he said. Former Railway Minister Prasad also accused Banerjee of neglecting Bihar in the budget. He said he was not bothered by the minister's declaration of coming out with a white paper on the organisational, operational and financial situation and performance of railways in the past five years when Prasad was at the helm. "This is not an embarrassment (that a white paper is coming out). Let her bring out white paper. I am not bothered," he told reporters after the rail budget was presented in the Lok Sabha.

Mamata promises better hygiene on trains Top

     New Delhi: The Indian Railways will introduce several new facilities on the trains to improve the cleanliness in trains and also to make the journey more comfortable for the passengers. Presenting the Railway Budget 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha today, the Union Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee said that the Indian Railways will expand 'On Board House Keeping Scheme' (OBHS) to cover 200 additional pairs of trains during the current financial year." "It will take up improved linen management to bring about a significantly improved quality of washing, through modern mechanized automated laundries," she added. The Minister also announced that the Railways will explore the possibility to depute at least one doctor in long distance trains. "Arrangements would be made to provide ambulance services for passengers at Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bhuvaneswar to start with," she said. She further said that initially a pilot project would be started at the metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram. "On its success, it would be extended to other cities," she added. The Railway Budget presented today also envisages the trials of vacuum toilets similar to those used in aircrafts on a few coaches. Field trials are also being conducted for introducing environment friendly green toilets. She mentioned the difficulties being faced by women, children and aged persons while commuting in DEMU and MEMU trains where the travel time is less than four hours as the toilets are not provided in such trains. She said that Railways are now planning to provide toilet facilities where journey is more than two hours. Besides, she also announced that on-board infotainment services would be introduced on Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and important long distance inter-city trains for a pleasurable travel experience.

Railway passenger reservation system to be expanded Top

     New Delhi: The Indian Railways plans to improve the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) in a big way. In the Railway Budget 2009-10 presented to the Lok Sabha today, Union Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee said that the initiative would cover 200 new towns and cities and further 800 new locations in cities and towns already having PRS facilities. The Minister invited the Members of Parliament to identify one PRS location of their choice for inclusion in the list of new locations. For unreserved tickets, the number of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) terminals would be expanded from 5000 to 8000 during the current financial year. Automatic Vending Machines would be installed at 200 large and medium sized stations. She announced the introduction of mobile ticketing vans 'Mushkil Aasaan' for issuing reserved and unreserved tickets in both urban and rural areas. She said that poor people who are unable to go to the stations can now purchase tickets in market places, mohallas and other busy places where these vans would be stationed. 50 such mobile vans would be introduced during the year. The Minister also announced the expansion of e-ticketing services and cancellation of confirmed e-tickets after preparation of charts would be further simplified. "Efforts are also on to provide SMS updates on waitlisted tickets and indicate berth numbers on confirmed tickets by the end of the financial year," she added.

Commando battalions and women RPF squads for passenger security Top

     New Delhi: The Indian Railways will raise Commando Battalions and will increase the number of women commandos. This has been envisaged in the Railway Budget 2009-10 presented in the Lok Sabha today. Presenting the Budget, Mamata Banerjee said that women RPF squads would be deployed for security of women passengers, particularly in sections where a large number of women travel alone regularly. She said that though law and order is a State subject, the Railways would work together with all the agencies concerned to ensure safe journey for the passengers. Regarding the safety related matters, she said that the present mechanism of cost sharing for the construction of road over bridges and road under bridges between the Railways and the State Governments needed to be reviewed as such bridges are extremely important from safety point of view. The Minister emphasised that a new approach in this regard would be developed with assured funding to ensure turnkey execution of these projects and sought Planning Commission's support in this regard. "Anti-Collision device will be put in place in 1700 km in two years. This device prevents train collision and is operational in 1736 track so far," she said.

'Janata Khana' in Railway to have national and regional cuisines Top

     New Delhi: All the zones in Indian Railways have been instructed to ensure availability of 'Janata Khana'. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2009-10 in the Lok Sabha today, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said that national and regional cuisines would be introduced in the catering by the Railways. All railway zones have also been instructed to give priority to provision of good quality food, drinking water and toilet facilities and ensure cleanliness on trains and stations. A comprehensive policy including strict monitoring mechanisms would be developed soon for achieving these objectives. The Railways will also develop 375 'Adarsh Stations' with basic facilities such as drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms. These stations will also have dormitories especially for lady passengers, better signage and other basic facilities. The Indian Railways has already identified 309 stations to be developed across the country. In addition, the Railways will extend a helping hand to the persons with physical disabilities and old age people. Standard ramps, earmarked parking lots, specially designed coaches in each mail and express train, lifts and escalators would be provided in a phased manner.

50 railway stations to be of world standard Top

     New Delhi: Presenting the Railway Budget 2009-10, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that about 50 stations are to be developed into world class stations with international level facilities. Banerjee said that these stations would be developed through innovative financing and in Public Private Partnership mode. Some of these stations are: CST Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Howrah, Sealdah, Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Amritsar, Kanpur, Guwahati, Jaipur, Chennai Central, Tiruvananthapuram Central, Secunderabad, Tirupati, Bangalore City, Baiyapanahali (Bangalore), Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Habibganj, Gaya Jn., Agra Cantt., Mathura Jn., Chandigarh, Kolkata, New Jalpaiguri, Majerhat, Mangalore, Porbandar, Anand Vihar, Brijwasan, Ajmer and Puri. Banerjee also announced the construction of Multi-Functional Complexes (MFCs) in station premises for providing rail users facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants. The MFCs will also have book stalls, PCO/STD/ISD/Fax booths, medicine, budget hotels and underground parking. She said that during this year, 50 such railway stations would be developed in places of pilgrimage, industry and tourist interest. "The responsibility for development of Multi-functional Complexes would be entrusted to IRCON and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA)," she added. The 49 identified stations to be developed as MFCs are: Alipurduar, Allahabad, Anandpur Sahib, Banspani, Bikaner, Bilaspur, Cuttack, Darjeeling, Dehradun, Digha, Durg, Ernakulum, Gandhidham, Ganga Sagar, Ghatsila, Gwalior, Hajur Sahib, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jammu Tawi, Jasidih, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Kanyakumari, Kathgodam, Katra, Khajuraho, Madurai, Manmad, Mysore, Nanded, Nasik, Palakkad, Parasnath, Raebareily, Raipur, Rajgir, Rameshwaram, Ranchi, Shirdi, Silchar, Tarapith, Tiruchirapalli, Udaipur, Ujjain, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam.

Scheme for poor to travel with dignity Top

     New Delhi: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced a new scheme 'Izzat' in the Railway Budget for 2009-10. Under the scheme, a uniformally priced monthly season ticket of Rs. 25 would be available free of all surcharges for travel up to 100 km for members of the unorganized sector with monthly income not exceeding Rs. 1500/-. The scheme aims to provide an opportunity to the poorest of the poor to travel with dignity. In addition, Banerjee also announced 'Only Ladies' EMU train services in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata suburban on the pattern of Mumbai suburban. Announcing this, she said these services would run for the convenience of women passengers during office hours.

Railways plan outlay to be Rs.40745 crore Top

     New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has proposed an outlay of Rs.40,745 crore for 2009-2010, which is 2840 crore more than the allocation proposed in the interim budget. "Rs. 15, 675 crore will be deployed through internal resources and Rs.9, 170 crore from market borrowings. The Ministry will also go for issue of tax free bonds for resource generation," she said. She proposed increase in the allocation for new lines from Rs.1100 crore in the interim budget to Rs.2921 crore. "Similarly, provision for gauge conversion has been increased by 24 per cent over the interim budget by allocating Rs. 1750 crore," she added. The Minister also said passenger amenities will now have Rs. 1102 crore while the allocation in the interim budget was only Rs.502 cr. Thus, 119 per cent more money will be spent on passenger amenities. Declaring staff welfare as a priority area, she proposed 49 per cent increase for the construction of staff quarters by allocating Rs. 335 crore and 79 per cent increase for staff amenities by allocating Rs.424 crore. The Minister further said, "Additional funds to the tune of Rs.1949 crore have been sought from the Ministry of Finance for eleven railway projects spread over in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East."

Indian Railways' freight business to increase Top

     New Delhi: Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said that besides improving the loading of coal, iron ore, cement, fertilizers and foodgrain, measures are being taken to increase the share in new traffic streams like automobiles and fly ash. Banerjee said a premium service for container movement with assured transit time was under consideration for time sensitive cargo. She said that permission to access private sidings will be given to containers, which will help in attracting piecemeal traffic presently not being carried by Railways. "The Railway will also encourage private ownership of special purpose rolling stock for commodities and private operation of freight terminals," she added. The Minister later said, "A new policy would be unveiled to allow construction and operation of private freight terminals and multi-modal logistic parks." She further added that the Railways are in process of brining together state governments and major logistics players to set up logistics parks co-habited by multiple players through participative funding. "Mega logistics hubs are also being planned alongside the proposed Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors," she added.

Indian industry welcomes Mamata's `unique' Railway Budget Top

     New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Friday welcomed the Railway budget presented by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee. "This budget is unique in the way inclusivity and overall development has been the focus without losing focus on safety, technology adoption and commercialization while providing opportunities for industry though its capacity expansion programme and setting up infrastructure through PPP mode," said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. "The move to not increase fares and yet undertake developmental and capacity expansion plans with revenue coming from commercial use of railway property is an innovative approach," he added.

Mamata meets people's expectation with populist Railway Budget Top

     New Delhi: Presenting a promised 'pro-people' budget, the Railways Minister, Mamata Banerjee, said on Friday that economic viability is not the only index of development. Banerjee proposed no increase in passenger fares or freight tariff while announcing a slew of measures, including the launch of 12 non-stop point-to-point long-distance trains and air-conditioned double-decker coaches for inter-city travel. She also announced concessions for the unorganised sector by proposing monthly season ticket of Rs 25 for people with monthly income of up to Rs 1,500 for travel up to 100 kms. Her proposals included introduction of 57 new train services, extension of 27 new trains and increase in frequency of 13 trains and making 'Tatkal' scheme more user-friendly by reducing the advance booking period from five days to two days and minimum charge from Rs 150 to Rs 100. The sops also covered students of Madrassas to whom concessions will be extended. Concessional monthly season tickets to students in Kolkata will be applicable for travel in the Kolkata Metro Rail also. This year's Budget estimates for 2009-10 projects a freight loading target of 882 million tonnes, an increase of 49 million tonnes and a six per cent increase in the number of passengers. Gross traffic receipts have been estimated at Rs 88,419 crore, which is Rs 8,557 crore more than 2008-09. Mamata added that an expert committee will be set up to advise her on implementation of the so-called economically unviable but socially desired projects "People expect to get better rail and train facilities. Development should not be restricted to a only few people. People want better connectivity between stations in the nation. My priorities will include better passenger amenities, safety and security and provision of good quality food and drinking water," she added. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed Banerjee for doing a "competent job" at such short notice, saying the Railway Budget will make train travel an "enjoyable experience". "She (Mamata) has prepared a budget which does not impose burden by way of increase in freight charges or passenger charges," Dr Singh told reporters outside Parliament shortly after the Railway Budget 2009-10 was presented in Lok Sabha. "At the same time, she has, in keeping with our government's election promises, focussed her attention on passenger amenities like security and safety of rail travel, making it an enjoyable experience," he added. Dr. Singh said the Railway Minister has mentioned a large number of facilities by way of using innovative financial mechanisms like public-private partnership (PPP), "to improve railway production and to finance more investment". "I, therefore, compliment her for a competent job she has accomplished in shortest available time," he said BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi said only cosmetic changes had been made from the interim rail budget. He said these were only pronouncements. Regarding the utilization of postal department for buying tickets, he said it is good but it will remain unutilized. Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that an injustice had been done to Bihar. BJP leader Shah Nawaz Hussain also said Bihar had been completely ignored.

Mamata has done a competent job, says Manmohan Singh Top

     New Delhi: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has done a highly competent job by presenting a pro-poor Rail budget. Talking to reporters here, Dr Singh said, "No additional burden has been added by way of increase in freight or passenger fares." "She has outlined a program of modernising 50 railway stations to world class standards," he added. "A large number of amenties have been mentioned by way of using the innovative financing mechanism of public-private partnership," Dr. Singh said. "The Railway Minister has focused on improving safety and security for passengers, thus making railway travel an enjoyable experience, he added.

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