The Union Railway Budget 2016-17

Date: February 25, 2016

FM radio Varanasi Puri Railways

The Union Railway Budget 2016-17 focused on capacity creation in the rail sector, with an increased outlay of about Rs. 1.21 lakh crore, and on completion of the ongoing projects rather than announcing new ones. Extending 2015's measure, passenger fares remain the same.

Major announcements:- 

Tejas Express – premium superfast with many onboard facilities such as entertainment, better aesthetics, vending machies, ushers

Launch of Humsafar Express – Full 3AC, fast train with optional food services

Launch of Rail Mitra Sewa – Comprehensive concierge services including battery operated cars, porter services, wheel chairs, etc

Target to commission 1000 MW of solar power

Will evolve models to determine revenue potential of at least 20 stations in next 3 months

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Aim to generate 10-20% of Revenues from non-tariff sources over next 5 years by monetising assets

E-catering services will be increased from 40 stations now to over 400 stations

Rs. 50 crore earmarked for innovation grants to start ups

 Will lease out huge tracts of land available adjacent to our rail network to promote horticulture and tree plantation

Will evolve models to determine the revenue potential of at least 20 stations in the next three months. In all, we target to increase the advertising revenues by more than four times the current revenue.

 Will partner with Gujarat, Telangana and Tamil Nadu for developing suburban systems in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chennai by innovative financing mechanism

Appeal to all state governments to stagger office timings to ease peak traffic load on suburban train services

Will partner with state govts for comprehensive suburban system in the technology hub of Bengaluru. Similar structures and financing mechanisms will be created for Thiruvananthapuram

Overnight double-decker “Uday” Express to be introduced on busiest routes

Coolies will now be called sahayaks, says Suresh Prabhu. Read our story here.

We propose to invite FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems

To help mothers, baby foods, hot milk and hot water will be made available on stations

 We will introduce separate toilets for divyaang/handicapped people

We intend to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres including Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni, Varanasai and Vasco

Work underway on the installation of a high-tech centralised network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations know as rail display network to enable time flow of information to passengers

North-West, East-West and East Coast to get dedicated freight corridor

 We will reimagine design and layout of coaches for increased passenger comfort

 E-booking of tickets facility on concessional basis to be made available for journalists

 Clean My Coach service through SMS will now be on Pan-India basis.

Ranking of A1 and A stations based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback

 Major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance * IRTC will begin to manage catering in a phased manner, local cuisine of choice will be made available

 We will add two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains for unreserved travel with facility for potable drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points

We will introduce Antyodaya Express, a long distance fully unreserved, superfast train servce for the common man to be operated on dense routes

 We have identified the national academy of Indian railways at Vadodara as the first institution which will be upgraded to a full-fledged rail university

 In 2105-16 we have closed 350 manned level crossings and eliminated 1000 unmanned level crossings. 820 ROB/RUB have been completed in the current year and work is going on in 1350 of them

Walls of many stations have been converted to murals, also contributing to social awareness

 Social media is being used as a tool for transparency; all procurement by Railways will be on e-platform