No Hike in Passenger Fare , PPP Mode - Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 by Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu



No Hike in Passenger Fare 
65,000 Additional Berths and 17,000 Bio Toilets to be Installed

Operations Audit to Improve Punctuality of trains Proposed

Wi Fi Facilities in 400 more Stations

Stations to be Developed Under PPP Mode

Award of Civil Contracts for Dedicated Freight Corridor to be  Over by the end of this Financial Year

Capacity of E-Ticketing System to be Enhanced

Increased Quota of Lower Berth for Senior Citizens and Women
820 Robs / Rubs constructed

 Operating  Ratio to Increase from 90% to 92% Proposed

Nargol- Hazira Port Connectivity to be taken up under PPP Mode
 

There is no hike in passenger fare in this year’s Railway Budget.  Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17  in the Parliament today Railway Minister Shri Suresh  Prabhakar Prabhu said   the budget seeks to fulfil the  long-felt desires of the common man such as   reserved accommodation on trains available on demand, time tabled freight trains, high end technology to improve safety record, elimination of all unmanned level crossings, improved punctuality, higher average speed of freight trains, semi high speed trains running along the golden quadrilateral, zero direct discharge of human waste by the year 2020. He said  Cabinet approval has been received for re-development of stations under PPP mode.


Shri Suresh Prabhu said the Indian Railways budget  proposes to   overcome challenges by Reorganizing Restructuring and Rejuvenating Indian Railways  with the Slogan “Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen”.  The strategy  for this will have  three pillars  i.e. Nav Arjan – New revenues, Nav Manak – New norms, and Nav Sanrachna – New Structures.

In order to make travel on Indian Railways more comfortable, the Indian Railways proposes to give more facilities to the passengers . 65,000 additional berths will be provided in the trains and 2500 water vending machines  will be installed .  The railways have developed world’s first Bio-Vaccum toilet and 17,000 Bio-toilets will be provided in the trains.  With the purpose of improving  punctuality of trains  operations audit  from Ghaziabad to Mughalsarai section will be introduced.   The Indian Railways  proposes  to introduce  1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines all over the country with  mobile apps and  GoIndia smartcard for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets. The  capacity of  e-ticketing system will be enhanced  from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute to support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against  40,000 earlier.  400 more stations will be provided  with Wi Fi facilities.

As a part of social initiatives, online booking of wheelchairs and Braille enabled new coaches will be introduced for theDivyang. Increased quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women and reserving  middle bays for women in reserved  coaches has been proposed.   Passengers security will be enhanced through more helplines and CCTVs.

To reduce accidents at level crossings, the budget proposes to eliminate 1000 unmanned level crossings and closures of 350 manned level crossings.  820 Rail Over Bridges (ROB)/ Rail Under Bridges (RUB) will be completed during the current financial year and work is going on in additional 1350 of them. 

Referring to the progress of  Dedicated Freight Corridor Project the Railway Minister said that almost all contracts for civil engineering works will be awarded by the end of this financial year.  He said Rs.24,000 crore worth contracts  were awarded since November 2014 as against Rs. 13,000 crore contracts awarded during the last six years.   Shri Prabhu said Railways proposes to take up  North-South, East-West and East Coast freight corridors through innovative financing including PPP.

Underlining the importance of Jammu and Kashmir and North East the Minister said work on Katra-Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project  is progressing satisfactorily and 35 kms of tunnelling out of total of 95  kms has been completed.  He said decongestion work on Jalandhar - Jammu section is in full swing and doubling of two bridges will be over  by next month, while the other two bridges will be completed by 2016-17.  In North East ,  Mizoram and Manipur will  shortly come on BG map of the country with commissioning of the Kathakal-Bhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge conversion projects.

Giving the progress card of port connectivity projects the Minister informed that  Tuna Port  connectivity project has been commissioned and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas and Paradip are  under implementation.  He said implementation of rail connectivity for the ports of Nargol and Hazira  will be taken up under PPP in 2016-17.

Referring to the financial performance the Minister said during  2015-16  a saving of Rs.8720 crore could be achieved  neutralizing the most of the revenue  shortfall with operating ratio of 90%.  He said the budget proposes operating ratio of 92%, restricting  growth of ordinary working expenses by 11.6% after building in immediate impact of 7th PC, reduction in  diesel and electricity consumption and Revenue generation  of Rs. 1,84,820 crore for 2016-17.  He said during 2015-16 investment would be close to double of average of  previous five years.

Shri Suresh  Prabhu said  Railways would be able to achieve annualized  savings of  Rs.3000 crore in the energy sector during the next financial year itself, a year earlier than announced.  He said this could be achieved by procuring  power directly at competitive rates.

The Railway Minister said social media will be used  as a tool to bring in transparency. All procurement including procurement of works  will be moved  to e-platform.  He said  the trial of awarding tender electronically  was successful and it will be rolled out  on Pan India basis  in 2016-17.

Giving an outline of the way ahead, the Minister informed Parliament that his  Ministry proposes to take various measures to improve quality of travel which will include introduction of unreserved superfast Antyodaya Express Trains, introduction of Tezastrain with the speed of 130 Km. and above  with onboard entertainment and Wi Fi  etc., unreserved Deen Dayalu coaches  with portable water and higher number of mobile charging points and introduction of AC and non AC double decker trains on busy routes with the potential to  increase carrying capacity by almost 40%.  Sale of tickets through hand held terminals; e- ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards; bar coded tickets,   expansion of Vikalp – train on demand to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers. E-booking of tickets facility on the concessional passes available to journalists;      facility of cancellation through the 139 helpline post verification using ‘One Time Password’ sent on registered phone number,  CCTV cameras on tatkal windows  and periodic audit of PRS website will also be introduced.

Shri Suresh Prabhu said it is proposed to convert all operational halts into commercial halts for the benefit of common man.  The Minister said  Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway will be expanding  to help the old and disabled passenger. The existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop, and wheel chair services will be strengthened. All stations under redevelopment  will be accessible for Divyang. There will be at least one Divyang friendly toilet at each platform in A1 class stations during the next financial year and  availability of wheelchairs in sufficient numbers at these stations will be ensured.  Children’s menu items, baby foods, hot milk and hot water would be made available under Janani Sewa.

SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches  will be introduced to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens, LED lit boards for advertising, PA system.   It is also proposed to  integrate all facilities into two mobile apps dealing with ticketing issues and for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions.  With a view to improve customer interface   information boards in trains enumerating the on-board services and  GPS based digital displays will be installed  inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts. Work  is underway  for the  installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations for enabling real time flow of information to passengers and also to unlock huge advertising potential. All A1 class stations will be manned with duly empowered Station Directors supported by cross functional teams, to make one person accountable for all facilities on trains.

Shri Suresh Prabhu said it is proposed  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, Varanasi and Vasco. Aastha circuit trains will be introduced  to connect important pilgrim centres.

 He said  optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking  and clean my coach through sms will also be introduced in due course.  High speed passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai  will be developed  with the financial assistance from Government of Japan.  FM Radio Stations will be invited to provide train borne entertainment,  Rail Bandhu Mazagine  will be provided in all reserved coaches in all regional languages.

Referring to the financial performance of 2015-16  the Railway Minister said Stringent economy and austerity measures adopted to contain the Ordinary Working Expenses (O.W.E.) due to which budgeted OWE  of Rs 1,19,410 crore decreased in the Revised Estimates 2015-16 to Rs. 1,10,690 crore i.e. by Rs 8,720 crore. BE provided for an appropriation of Rs. 34,900 crore to the Pension Fund. However, based on trend, the pension outgo moderately decreased to Rs. 34,500 crore in RE. Internal resource generation diminished and appropriation to DRF moderated to Rs. 5,500 crore in RE from the BE 2015-16 provisioning of Rs. 7,900 crore.  Excess of receipts over expenditure in RE 2015-16 stands at Rs. 11,402.40 crore.  Plan size for 2015-16 is currently estimated at 1,00,000 crore i.e. the BE level.

Regarding Budget Estimates 2016-17 the Minister informed that the Gross Traffic Receipts are  kept at Rs 1,84,820 crore . Passenger earnings growth has been pegged at 12.4 % and earnings target budgeted at Rs. 51,012 crore. The freight traffic is pegged at incremental traffic of 50 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy. Goods earnings is accordingly proposed at Rs. 1, 17,933 crore. Other coaching and sundries projected at Rs. 6,185 crore and Rs. 9,590.3 crore respectively. OWE provides for the implementation of the 7th CPC.Pension outgo budgeted at Rs 45,500 crore in 2016-17.  Higher staff cost and pension liability impacts the internal resource position of the Railways. Accordingly, appropriation to DRF from revenue placed at Rs 3,200 crore and that from Production Units at Rs 200 crore. A withdrawal of Rs 3,160 crore from DRF on net basis proposed though the gross expenditure to be met from DRF in the Annual Plan estimated at Rs 7,160 crore. Rs 5,750 crore proposed to be appropriated to the Capital fund. With a draw-down of Rs 1,250 crore from previous balances in the fund, plan requirement of Rs 7,000 crore for repayment of principal component of lease charges to IRFC have been met.  Railways are preparing a Plan size of Rs. 1,21,000 crore in 2016-17, the Minister added.

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Gross Traffic Receipts have been Kept at Rs 1,84,820 Crore 
Passenger Earnings Growth has been Pegged at 12.4%

Freight Traffic is Pegged at Incremental Traffic of 50 Million Tonnes

Goods Earnings Proposed at Rs 1,17,933 Crore

Rs 1,23,560 Crore is Proposed for Ordinary Working Expenses in be 2016-17

Pension Outgo has been Budgeted at Rs 45,500 Crore in 2016-17

Plan Size of Rs 1,21,000 Crore in 2016-17 Proposed


The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today placed the Budget estimates for 2016-17. Railway Minister said that the intention in 2016-17 is to improve revenues and ensure appropriate investments which can continue the road-map of decongestion and enhance line-capacity enhancement as detailed in 2015-16. The focus is on enhanced CAPEX with a mix of various sources of funding in order to ensure that the projects are given assured funding.

The Railway Minister said that the Gross Traffic Receipts have been kept at                    Rs 1,84,820 crore. Passenger earnings growth has been pegged at 12.4% and earnings target has accordingly been budgeted at Rs. 51,012 crore. The freight traffic is pegged at incremental traffic of 50 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy. Goods earnings is accordingly proposed at Rs 1,17,933 crore. Other coaching and sundries are projected at Rs 6,185 crore and Rs 9,590 crore respectively. Under Ordinary Working Expenses (OWE), apart from providing for normal growth, provisions required for the implementation of the        7th CPC has been made. Rs 1,23,560 crore is proposed for OWE in BE 2016-17 from the current revenues, which includes Rs 3,000 crore as credit amount to be met through withdrawal from the Railway Debt Service Fund (DSF). Taking note of likely impact of 7th CPC, the pension outgo has been budgeted at Rs 45,500 crore in 2016-17 Higher staff cost and pensions liability impacts the internal resource position of the Railways. Accordingly, appropriation to DRF from revenue has been placed at Rs 3,200 crore and that from Production Units at Rs 200 crore. A withdrawal of Rs 3,160 crore form DRF on net basis has basis has been proposed though the gross expenditure to be met6 from DRF in the Annual Plan is estimated at Rs 7,160 crore.                  Rs 5,750 crore is proposed to be appropriated to the Capital fund. With a draw-down of                  Rs 1,250 crore from previous balances in the fund, the plan requirement of Rs 7,000 crore for repayment of the principal component of lease charges to IRFC is proposed .

Shri Suresh Prabhu proposed a Plan size of Rs 1,21,000 crore in 2016-17.

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Time Tabled Freight Container /Parcel Train to be Started this Year 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed three solution sets for reversing the trend of declining modal share of freight trains – expanding the freight basket of Indian Railways, rationalising the tariff structure and building terminal capacity.

The freight basket of Indian Railways is dominated by 10 bulk commodities which enjoy a share of around 88%. Indian Railways should look beyond these to expand revenue base. A full-fledged market study is being undertaken and detailed supply and demand scenarios, service level and infrastructure requirements will be assessed so that an action plan to re-capture that traffic through either containerization or new delivery models e.g., Roll-on Roll-off, will be developed and implemented.

Network capacity limitations do not allow for running of time-tabled freight trains but from this year a time-tabled freight container, parcel and special commodity trains will be started on a pilot basis.

He also said that the Container sector would be opened to all traffic barring coal and specified mineral ores and part-loads would be permitted during the non-peak season. All existing terminals/sheds would be granted access to container traffic, where considered feasible.

He said that the current tariff structure of Indian Railways has led to out-pricing of freight services. A review of tariff policy will be undertaken to evolve a competitive rate structure vis a vis other modes, permit multi-point loading/unloading and apply differentiated tariffs to increase utilization of alternate routes. The possibility of signing long term tariff contracts with our key freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principles will be explored which would provide predictability of revenues to Indian Railways and of costs to customers. 

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Transformation of Indian Railways through Avataran - seven Mission mode activities 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Parliament today has proposed to transform Indian Railways through seven Mission activities – Avataran. These missions are:

1.      Mission 25 Tonne – It aims to increase revenue by augmenting carrying capacity. To achieve this 10-20% freight loading will be done through 25-tonne axle-load wagons in 2016-17 and target movement of 70% of freight traffic on high axle load wagons by FY19-20.

2.      Mission Zero Accident: It comprises of two sub missions
a.       Elimination of unmanned level crossings: The goal is eliminate all unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge in the next 3-4 years through innovative financing mechanisms. It will reduce deaths due to accidents and improve throughput of the network
b.      TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System): An indigenous technology has been developed to equip 100% of the High Density Network with TCAS in the next 3 years. This will prevent head on collisions and improve throughput by increasing average sectional speeds.

3.      Mission PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency): This mission aims to improve our procurement and consumption practices to improve the quality of goods and services. It will introduce a culture of optimum usage by adopting practices such as Vendor Managed Inventory, direct procurement of HSD, new procedures for identification and disposal of scrap. Comprehensive review of procurement and consumption of HSD will lead to saving more than Rs 1,500 crore in 2016-17.

4.      Mission Raftaar: It targets doubling of average speeds of freights trains and increasing the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 kmph in the next 5 years. Loco hauled passenger trains will be replaced by DEMU/MEMU over the next five years. It will complement Mission 25 Tonne to increase throughput of the railway system.

5.      Mission Hundred: This mission will commission at least a hundred sidings in the next 2 years. The current siding/ PFT policy would be revised to elicit greater private participation. An online portal will be operated for accepting and processing all new applications, alongwith decentralization of powers.

6.      Mission beyond book-keeping: It will establish an accounting system where outcomes can be tracked to inputs. This will transform IR as right accounting would determine right costing and hence right pricing and right outcomes.

7.      Mission Capacity UtilisationIt proposes to prepare a blueprint for making full use of the huge new capacity that will be created through two Dedicated Freight Corridors between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata scheduled to be commissioned by 2019.


Shri Prabhu said that each of the Missions will be headed by a Mission Director reporting directly to the Chairman, Railway Board for a timely targeted delivery. They will be supported by officers from each Zone/Production Unit/RDSO/Centralised Training Institutes. Each Mission will have annual outcome based performance targets.

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Railways to Partner with State Governments for Operation of Tourist Circuit Trains 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that Tourism holds great potential for economic development and job creation. Indian Raileays will be partnering with the State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains and explore the possibility of a revenue sharing model. Indian Railways have recently upgraded our National Rail Museum. Promotion of tourism through Railway museums and UNESCO world heritage Railways will be our special focus.

Railway Minister also added that India’s rich bio diversity and wildlife is one of the mainstays of Incredible India campaign. Last year, Indian Railways initiated a project to target reduction in elephant collisions, especially in North Eastern states. This year, to spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, Indian Railways will offer complete packages including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh. 
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Sarathi Seva to help old and Disabled Passengers to be Extended to More Stations

Hourly Booking of Retiring Rooms at Stations

Smart Coaches to be Introduced 
Presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu announced that all operational halts will be converted into commercial halts, for the convenience of passengers. He also said that, Sarathi Seva was introduced in Konkan Railway to help the old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at stations. this service will be expanded at many more stations. The existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop, and wheel chair services will be strengthened.
Indian Railways is working with insurance companies to offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking.
Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed to commence hourly booking of retiring rooms instead of the existing minimum of 12 hours to fulfil the unmet need of passengers. Further, the retiring rooms will be handed over to IRCTC to ensure that these can be managed in a professional manner.
Indian Railways will pilot availability of children’s menu items on trains. Further baby foods, hot milk and hot water would be made available on stations and changing boards for babies would be provided in train toilets.

With a view to enhancing passenger comfort, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed to re-imagine the design and layout of our coaches to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens, LED lit boards for advertising, PA system and more. These new SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) coaches would cater to emerging needs of our customers and also ensure lower unit cost of operations due to higher carrying capacity. 

He said that Indian Railways is making arrangements for skilling front-end staff and those employed through our service providers. Further, the uniforms of all customer facing roles will be refurbished to clearly distinguish them. Information boards will be installed in trains enumerating the on-board services and also GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts. These services would be provided through private sector engagement. Work is underway on the installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations known as Rail Display Network. This will enable real time flow of information to passengers and also unlock huge advertising potential.

He also said that Indian Railways intends 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, Varanasi and Vasco. He said that Indian Railways also intends to run Aastha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres.
Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu had appealed to all States to come forward and partner in setting up more satellite terminals through PPP mode.
He also proposed to provide porters with new uniforms and train them in soft skills in line with the evolving image of Indian Railways, adopting modern technology yet traditional in its ethos of treating passengers with respect.

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Bids Finalized for setting up two Loco Factories under ‘Make in India’ initiative 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that in keeping with Prime Minister’s emphasis on ‘Make in India’, the Indian Railways was able to finalise the bids for setting up two loco factories with an order book of about Rs. 40,000 crore. He said, the bidding process was absolutely transparent and the rates received were extremely competitive. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today, he said, these factories will create an ecosystem of many flourishing small and medium ancillary units which will get connected to the global supply chain.

The Railway Minister said, they will boost employment potential of the entire Eastern region. Shri Suresh Prabhu said Indian Railways have since initiated a similar bid process for manufacture, supply and maintenance of train sets to be used for Rajdhani and Shatabdi services. It is proposed to increase the current procurement by 30%. 
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All Stations to be made Disabiled Friendly 
The Minister of Railways Shri Prabhakar Suresh Prabhu while presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that in pursuance of the objectives of Accessible India Campaign Indian Railway will ensure that all stations under redevelopment are made disabled friendly. He also said that at least one disabled friendly toilet in all platform in A1 class stations will be built in the next financial year. He also announced one-time registration for the persons with disabilities for availing concessions while booking tickets online. Online booking of wheelchairs & Braille enabled new coaches were also introduced for the persons with disabilities. He also announced Increasing of quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women, middle bays reserved in coaches for women. 

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Better Rail connectivity to North East & Jammu and Kashmir 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that better connectivity to the North Eastern States is of utmost priority for the Indian Railways. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said, Indian Railways have opened the long-awaited Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, thus connecting Barak Valley with rest of the country. It also brought Agartala, the capital of Tripura on to the Broad Gauge network. He said, the States of Mizoram and Manipur are also set to come on the Broad Gauge map of the country soon with commissioning of the Kathakal-Bhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.

The Minister said, in J&K, despite difficult terrain and uncertain geology, work on Katra-Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project is progressing satisfactorily and 35 Kilometers of tunneling, out of total of 95 Kilometers has been completed successfully. He said, the decongestion work on the Jalandhar- Jammu line, an important link to the valley, is going on in full swing. Doubling of two bridges will be commissioned by March 2016, while the other two bridges will be completed by 2016-17, Shri Suresh Prabhu added. 
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Indian Railway for Reorganization of Railway Board 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today announced the Structural Interventions in Railways. Railway Minister said that a departmental orientation, absence of cross-functional collaboration and lack of business focus have held back Bhartiya Rail from realizing the commanding heights that it is capable of achieving. The solution to this lies in reorienting the working of the organization towards a common corporate objective. For this purpose, Railway Minister proposed to reorganize the Railway Board along business lines and suitably empower Chairman, Railway Board to lead the organization effectively.

Minister added that as a first step, cross functional directorates will be set up within the Railway Board to focus on areas like non-fare revenues, speed enhancement, motive power and information technology. Indian Railway will explore the possibility of unifying cadres for fresh recruitment of officers. Indian Railway will also strengthen the PPP cell to improve ease of doing business with Indian Railway. 
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E-Catering Services to be Extended to 408 A1 and A Class Stations

Local Cuisine of Choice will be made available to Passengers 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that IRCTC will manage catering services in a phased manner. He also said that catering services will be unbundled by IRCTC by categorizing into food preparation and food distribution. He said that his Indian Railway will explore the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional in the trains. He also said that local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that e-catering services will be extended to 408 A1 and A class stations. He also said that 10 more IRCTC operated, mechanized, sophisticated base kitchens will be added to ensure fresh and hygienic supply of food on trains. He said that a new policy of multi purpose stalls as against existing single purpose stalls to be introduced in all stations.

The Railway Minister said that it is proposed to ensure reservation in catering units to SC, ST, OBC, Women, persons with disabilities. To build local ownership and empowerment Shri Suresh Prabhu proposed a process of giving weightage to district domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations. He also said that Indian Railways is exploring the feasibility of providing an option to our customers for drinking tea in kulhad. 

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Railway Proposes to Set Up ‘SRESTHA’- A R&D Organization Bringing Most of IR Companies Under an Umbrella of a Holding Company 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today announced to set up a R&D organization, a Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement, ‘SRESTHA.’ RDSO will now focus only on day to day issues while SRESTHA would drive long term research. SRESTHA would be headed by an eminent scientist reporting directly to Chairman, Railway Board and would be staffed with scientists and a limited number of Railway experts. RDSO functioning will be made totally transparent with time bound results.

The Railway Minister also proposed the Aekikaran – Consolidation of Holding Companies of Railways. Shri Prabhu said that the companies owned by Indian Railway are its assets with immense future potential. We propose to examine the feasibility of bringing most of these companies under an umbrella of a holding company which would provide the necessary strength for leveraging the combined resources as also in providing the much needed flexibility in utilizing the strength of each of the subsidiaries

The Railway Minister added that for ensuring delivery of quality services to its customers, IR needs to be equipped with modern and cutting edge technology. Priority areas of IR, like High Speed Rail, heavy haul, rolling stock and signalling require us to collaborate with the best in the world. In the short term, we have partnered with some of the best railways to develop indigenous capability in these areas. To institutionalise and take forward such cooperation in key technology areas, the Government is working on a Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme (FRTCS). 
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Facilities for Divyang, Senior Citizens and Women Travelers 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the Indian Railways is fulfilling its social obligations towards Divyang, senior citizens and women travelers. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said, for the Divyang, the Railways has introduced one-time registration for availing concessions while booking tickets online, online booking of wheelchairs and Braille enabled new coaches.

He said for senior citizens and women travelers, increased quota of lower berths has been provided. In the coming financial year, the Railways is increasing the senior citizen quota per coach by 50%, resulting in almost 120 lower berths per train for senior citizens. It has added more escalators and lifts and reserved middle bays in coaches for women security. 
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Introduction of 30,000 Bio-Toilets in Trains by the Next Financial Year 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today introduced a string of measures to improve the cleanliness on stations and trains. Clean my Coach service on Pan India basis is introduced, where a passenger can request cleaning of his/her coach/toilets on demand through SMS. A1 and A classes of stations are ranked based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback. He proposed setting up of waste segregation and recycling centers at A1 stations in a phased manner. He has set a target of 30000 bio-toilets in the next financial year.

The Railway Minister has proposed to undertake awareness campaigns to improve cleanliness at select stations, station approach roads and adjacent colonies. He also said that portable bio toilets will be provided at all platforms of select stations to cater to the demand of senior citizens, persons with disabilities and women passengers. Innovative means of providing and maintaining toilets through advertisement rights, CSR sponsorship, etc to be explored. 

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Railways to increase revenue through non-fare sources 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that Indian Railways will increase the revenue through non-fare sources. While introducing the Railway Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament today, the Railway Minister said that the current revenue through non-fare sources is less than 5% and it will be increased to world average of 10% by next five years.

The Railway Minister said that following initiatives will be taken to attain this:

1. Station redevelopment: A major programme of station redevelopment has been initiated to monetize land and buildings through commercial exploitation of vacant land and space rights over station buildings.

2. Monetizing land along tracks: Railways will lease out the land available adjacent to tracks to promote horticulture and tree plantation. This will generate employment to underprivileged sections, augment food security and also prevent encroachment. Possibility of using these tracks for generating solar energy will also be exploited.

3. Monetizing soft assets: Railways to monetize the data collected on passenger preferences, ticketing, commodity, train running on various services and operations. IRCTC also offers opportunities of taking of e-commerce activities on large number of hits that it receives.

4. Advertising: Railways to use its vast physical infrastructure for commercial exploitation through advertisement. Special focus will be given to exploit extra potential of stations, trains and land adjacent to tracks.

5. Overhaul of Parcel business: Railways to liberalize its current parcel policies to increase the non-fare revenue. It will expand its service offerings especially to growing sectors such as e-commerce.

6. Revenues from manufacturing activity: Railways to put focus to increase productivity and better manufacturing practices to become a meaningful player in the domestic and international markets. It is aimed to generate annualized revenues of about Rs.4,000 crore by 2020. 
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Dedicated Freight Corridor project to be Given high priority 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that the Dedicated Freight Corridor project, the largest infrastructure project in the country, is gaining momentum. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today, he said it is proposed to take up the following freight corridors: North-South connecting Delhi to Chennai, East-West connecting Kharagpur to Mumbai & East Coast connecting Kharagpur to Vijayawada. He said, it is proposed to put these three projects on high priority to ensure structuring, award and implementation in a time-bound manner through innovative financing mechanisms including PPP. He said that before this financial year closes, almost all the contracts for civil engineering works would have been awarded. He said, since he assumed office, contracts worth Rs. 24,000 crore have been awarded against Rs 13,000 crore worth of contracts in the last 6 years.

The Minister said, given the emphasis on rapid expansion of freight business, it is essential to build more dedicated freight corridors for increased traffic with consequent benefits for the economy and environment. 
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Railway Planning & Investment Organisation to Be Set-up Indian Railway to Develop National Rail Plan-2030 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today announced the Sashaktikaran – Improving our planning practices. Shri Prabhu announced Railway Planning & Investment Organisation with funds available for developing and revitalizing the existing infrastructure, it is most pertinent that they are invested in the most efficient and transparent manner. Indian Railway intend to set up a Railway Planning & Investment Organisation for drafting our medium (5 years) and long (10 years) term corporate plans and based thereupon, identify projects which fulfill the corporate goal. The Organisation will independently conduct market intelligence and support preparation of feasibility studies or Detailed Project Reports based on standard methodology and assumptions. Further, the Organisation would propose innovative financing mechanisms for identified projects.

Railway Minister also announced the National Rail Plan in order to provide long-term perspective to planning for augmenting the railway network, Railway Minister said that Indian Railways have decided to develop ‘National Rail Plan’ (NRP-2030) in consultation with all the stakeholders including State Governments, public representatives and other relevant Central Ministries. NRP-2030 will endeavour to harmonise and integrate the rail network with other modes of transport and create synergy for achieving seamless multi-modal transportation network across the country. This will also achieve the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of integrated planning and cost optimization of the transportation network by laying the new railway lines and new highways together in tunnels and over mega-bridges. 
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Indian Railways for 100 per cent transparency in all its Operations 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the transparency is an important tenet of this Government. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said , Indian Railway’s mission is to ensure 100% transparency in all its operations. He said, Indian Railways has initiated the process of conducting recruitments online in 2015-16 and the process is now being replicated for all positions. Social media is also being used as a tool to bring in transparency in its day to day working. All procurement including procurement of works has moved to the e-platform. The Minister said, Indian Railways intend to usher into a new era by switching over to paperless contract management system where not only the bids are invited online, but the entire process leading to award of a tender is also done electronically. He said a trial run has been conducted for the above and the Railways intend to roll it out on a Pan-India basis in next financial year.

The Railway Minister said, with a view to ensuring empowerment at functional level, he had delegated to the Zonal Railways all tender and estimate related powers. As a result of the decision, Indian Railways were able to ensure that the projects get sanctioned within a period of 6-8 months, a process, which earlier, used to take more than 2 years. He said, with more delegation comes greater accountability and to establish this new culture, key result areas (KRAs) have been defined for General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers. These areas clearly articulate the metrics on which the officials would be evaluated, ensuring objectivity in assessment of performance and mid-term course corrections. The Minister said, MoUs have been signed with some Zonal Railways, where quantifiable targets on performance parameters were clearly laid out. This ensured resounding commitment from these Railways in meeting their targets. He said, it will be done for all zones next year.

The Minister said, the Railways has also revamped its internal audit systems with a view to bringing in efficiency in working practices. Specialized teams have been mandated to screen Railway operations in specific areas, to detect inefficiencies and prevent wastages. All Zonal Railways have been asked to prepare two such reports in the current year. Specialized training courses on IT-based internal audit mechanism have also been initiated to give professional teeth to the internal audit teams. 
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E-Booking of Tickets on the Concessional Passes for Journalists to be Introduced

Sale of Tickets through Helpline Terminals for Short Distance Travellers 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Indian Railways intends to commence sale of tickets through hand held terminals for the benefit of the suburban and short distance travelers. This would enable deployment of multiple ‘Points of Sale’ with minimal infrastructure requirement. He also said that Indian Railways intends initiating sale of platform tickets through ticket vending machines which would be made compatible with not only cash but also credit/debit cards.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also announced to open the e-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs in the next 3 months. He also announced that e-booking of tickets on the concessional passes for journalists to be introduced.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed a new process for Cancellation of PRS tickets through the 139 helpline post verification using ‘One Time Password’ sent on registered phone number. Bar coded tickets, scanners and access control to be introduced on a pilot basis on major stations to tackle the menace of ticketless travel and ensure hassle free travel for passengers.

CCTV coverage at tatkaal counters is being planned to improve services during morning Tatkaal hours. A system of third party periodic audits and certification of security features of the PRS website is being planned.

The ‘Vikalp’ (Alternative Train Accommodation System) scheme introduced in October 2015 will be expanded to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.

In pursuance of ‘Operation Five Minutes’ which was announced last year, Rail Minister introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines, Mobile apps and GoIndia smartcard. GoIndia smartcard will enable cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets. Mobile apps introduced for purchasing of unreserved and platform tickets. Capacity of e-ticketing system has been enhanced from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and will support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier. 

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Railways to implement EPC mode for undertaking works 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode will be implemented for allotting works to ensure participation of large professional players and minimizing cost and time overruns. While introducing the Railway Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament today, the Minister said that at least 20 projects in the next financial year will be taken up on this mode of contracting and all works above Rs.300 crore will be awarded on this mode.

The Minister said that Indian Railways will seek services of private parties in non-operational areas such as cleaning, facility management etc. He also said technological solutions for project management and monitoring will also be taken up. The latest Drone and Geo Spatial based satellite technology will be used to monitor physical progress across major projects and also the progress on Dedicated Freight Corridor, he added. 
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A Dedicated, Cross Functional Team – Sutra to Be Set Up Rs. 50 Crore to Support Internal and External Innovation Innovation Committee to be Headed by Shri Ratan Tata 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today announced that a dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (SUTRA) would be set up for carrying out detailed analytics leading to optimized investment decisions and operations. This team would comprise professional analysts and best-in-class decision support systems and optimization engines. Railway Minister said that data backed decision making is a hallmark of great institutions. Though Indian Railway, as an organisation, collects over 100 Terabytes of data every year, yet it is hardly analysed to gain business insights.

The Railway Minister added that a sum of Rs. 50 crore is set aside for providing innovation grants to employees, start-ups and growth oriented small businesses to support internal and external innovation. On an annual basis we will seek out solutions to Indian Railway’s most critical problems through an Innovation Challenge. The initiative would be administered by an Innovation Committee comprising reputed investors, representatives from National Academy of Indian Railways, Railway Board and ‘Kayakalp’ headed by Shri Ratan Tata. A program management structure will be put in place to manage this initiative. For this year, the areas for the annual challenge are:

• Accessibility to trains from low level platforms

• Increasing capacity of coaches

• Digital capabilities at stations

In addition, innovation labs will be set up in all our workshops and production units to support creative innovation by locals and staff.

Railway Minister added that there has been a long felt need for developing a Test Track for expeditious testing of prototypes under varying test conditions as against the prevalent practice of testing on the Railway network, which leads to traffic delays, besides inability to simulate all test conditions. Indian Railways will develop a Test Track which will go a long way in enhancing the R&D capability of Indian Railways. 
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Increased Outlay for Electrification of Railways 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament today said that electrical traction is more economical besides being environment friendly. In a business-as-usual approach, it may take us 10 to 15 years to complete the required electrification which government is targeting to complete in the next few years. He said the Indian Railways will accelerate the process and increase the pace multifold through innovative approaches of financing and project management including partnering with Ministry of Power. He said, the government will formulate a framework where the net savings from electrification will be able to finance the capital expenditure to minimise the strain on government exchequer. This year the Indian Railways intend to commission 1,600 kms, which is the highest ever. In the next financial year, the Railways have increased the outlay for railway electrification by almost 50% and propose to electrify 2,000 kms. 
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Two New Corridors Planned for Mumbai Suburban Train

Ring Railway System in Delhi to be Reviewed

Suburban Systems to be developed in Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that two new corridors for Mumbai suburban train viz. Churchgate- Virar and CSTM – Panvel has been planned. The two corridors will be elevated and will greatly help in reducing the congestion of the Suburban trains. The CSTM – Panvel corridor will be integrated with metro lines for connecting Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport. all low level platforms in Mumbai suburban stations in the ensuing financial year to address safety concerns.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also said that ongoing Metro works in Kolkata of around 100 kms which when completed would quadruple the installed capacity. He was happy to announce that Phase I of East West corridor of Kolkata Metro would be completed by June 2018.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed to review the Ring Railway system in Delhi, comprising 21 stations in partnership with the State Government. He suggested a new investment framework in which Indian Railways would share equity contribution with the State Governments to ensure cost neutrality on operations.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu proposed to develop suburban systems of Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chennai by deploying innovative financing mechanisms. He said that Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram warrants a comprehensive suburban system. He appealed to the State Governments to work towards staggering of office timings to reduce peak load on suburban traffic. 

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Railways to provide 17000 Bio-Toilets in Trains under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that in pursuance of our mission Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat, that Indian Railways will provide 17,000 bio-toilets in trains and additional toilets at 475 stations before the close of this financial year. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said, world’s first Bio-Vacuum toilet developed by the Indian Railways is being used in Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express. He said, 74 more trains have been added under On-board Housekeeping Service and another 400 are to be covered soon, leading to a total number of almost 1000 trains under the scheme.

Referring to punctuality performance of passenger trains, he said it has been a matter of concern for several decades. The Minister said, Indian Railways has a porous network which leads to rampant infiltration by humans and animals. Problems are compounded by congestion in tracks, terminal capacity constraints and asset failures. He said, the worst affected is the busy Ghaziabad to Mughalsarai section through Allahabad and Kanpur which spreads across three Zonal Railways thereby impacting the overall punctuality of the entire network. Shri Prabhu said, the Railways has initiated the audit of operations on this section to improve its performance. Some improvement is already visible and capacity augmentation in the medium term will further reduce the delays. He said, besides internal reasons, there are also external reasons such as agitations on railway tracks, which lead to punctuality losses. He appealed to fellow citizens to desist from this as it causes loss, not only to the nation but also to them as passengers.

On ticketing, the Minister said that last year he had announced ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to enable passengers to purchase tickets without spending long hours in queues. In this context the Railways has introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines and 225 cash-coin & smart card operated ticket vending machines. It has enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and to support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier and introduced mobile based apps for purchasing unreserved and platform tickets and GoIndia smart card scheme for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets. 
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Railways for Port Connectivity to Boost Country’s Imports and Exports 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that the Port connectivity is an important element to ensure seamless logistics to boost country’s imports and exports. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said, last year, Railways had launched a coastal connectivity programme and the Tuna Port was commissioned this year and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas and Paradip are under implementation. He said, for the year 2016-17,

Indian Railways proposes to undertake implementation of rail connectivity for the ports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP. The Railway Minister said, considering the urgent need to provide connectivity to our ports on the 7,517 km coastline, Railways will positively consider to undertake any offer of partnership. 
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Antyodaya Express and Deen Dayalu Coaches to be Introduced for the Unreserved Passenger

Humsafar, Tejas and Uday Train Services to be Introduced for the Reserved Passenger 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today proposed to introduce the Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes. He also said that two to four Deen Dayalu coaches will be added in some long distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance the carrying capacity. These coaches will also have facility for potable  water and a higher number of mobile charging points.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Humsafar and Tejas will ensure cost recovery by way of tariff and non-tariff measures.Humsafar would be fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals.  Tejas, on the other hand will showcase the future of train travel in India. Operating at speeds of 130 kmph and above, it will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, etc. through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved customer satisfaction. He said that overnight double-decker, Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri (UDAY) Express will be introduced on the busiest routes, which has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%.

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‘AYUSH’ Systems in 5 Railway Hospitals Introduced Gang Men will be Provided with Devices Called ‘Rakshak’ for Promoting Research in Key Policy Areas Two Chairs Set Up 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that he was proud to lead a work force that is sincere and dedicated. He added that it is his constant endeavour to improve their working conditions so that they continue to serve the organization with devotion. The Railway Minister said that Indian Railways will tie up with the Ministry of Health for ensuring an exchange between Railways hospitals and Government hospitals. Indian Railways will introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway hospitals.

Railway Minister announced that all our gang men will be provided with devices called ‘Rakshak’ which would be wireless enabled and will intimate them about approaching trains. Indian Railways will also reduce the weight of the tools carried by them while patrolling on foot through value engineering. Indian Railways will also provide toilets and air-conditioning in cabs for our loco pilots.

Shri Prabhu also announced setting up two chairs – one C T Venugopal chair on Strategic Finance, research and policy development and another Kalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatial technology for Indian Railways for promoting research in key policy areas.

Railway Minister announced that for youth bubbling with ideas and energy, Indian Railways will open up the organisation to 100 students across Engineering and MBA schools for 2-6 months’ internships each year.

Shri Suresh Prabhu said that in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development, Indian Railways will work on massive skill development on our premises. Railway Workshops and Production Units will develop ‘Centres of Excellence for Skill Development’, focusing on one/two specialized activities for the general public. Indian Railways will also join hands with prominent NGOs to provide skilling to people in remote areas including wards of Railways employees. 
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Railways to ensure independence of Rail Development Authority 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that Indian Railways will ensure the independence of Rail Development Authority which was proposed last year to enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards. He was introducing the Railway Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament today.

The Railway Minister said that the draft bill will be ready after holding extensive stakeholder consultations and a transparent and streamlined selection process will be taken up keeping Ministry of Railways at an arm’s length. He further said that this single initiative will provide immense confidence to the stakeholders. 
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Initiatives taken to improve Passenger Ammenities 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the common people have always been the focus of all initiatives by the Indian Railways. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today, he said, it has been an unprecedented year for customer oriented works and Indian Railway’s responsiveness to customer needs reached new heights as it turned social media into a feedback and complaint redressal mechanism. The Minister said, the Railways has set up a dedicated IVRS system to seek direct feedback from passengers. More than 1 lakh telephone calls are made every day to seek inputs from passengers. He said, with all these measures, Indian Railways was able to give ‘Voice’ to the customer that was not only heard but also acted upon. These channels were used not only to seek feedback but to provide medical care, safety of passengers especially women and other aspects of human care and also helped us to monitor the cleanliness of stations and trains. Shri Prabhu said, now there is no barrier between the common passenger and the Railways.

Referring to a series of measures to significantly improve the quality of train services, the Minister said the Railways has received assistance through funds from MPLAD and CSR. He said, 124 Members of Parliament have given their commitment to contribute for passenger amenities. The Railways has generated over 65,000 additional berths by augmenting 884 coaches on patronized routes on permanent basis, installed 2,500 water vending machines at stations, provided mobile charging points in general class coaches, placed dustbins in all new non-AC coaches, enabled online booking of retiring rooms, set up mechanized laundries to provide clean and hygienic bed rolls. Disposable bed rolls are now available at select stations to all classes of passengers and introduced a new train between Varanasi and Delhi, ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern refurbished coaches. 
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Railway Undertakes Energy Audits to Reduce Energy Consumption in Non-Traction Area by 10% to 15%

All Railway Stations will be Covered With ‘LED’ Luminaire in Next 2 to 3 Years

Commissioning of Installed Capacity of 1000 MW Solar Power in Next 5 Years 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that Environment in the context of India’s commitment to reduce its carbon foot print, Indian Railways have undertaken energy audits which have revealed the possibility of reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by 10% to 15%. To achieve this, Indian Railways have decided that all new light provisions will be LED luminaire only and all Railway stations will be covered with LED luminaire in next 2 to 3 years.

Railway Minister added that an action plan has been drawn up for environmental accreditation, water management and waste to energy conversion. So far, more than 2,000 locations have been provided with Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) facility and RWH systems will be provided in a phased manner in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square metres. This comes from a realization that out of total potential of recycling around 250 million litres of water per day, Indian Railways only recycle 20 million litres.

Shri Suresh Prabhu also said that Indian Railway uses steel sleepers on steel bridges which have limitations on maintenance and attaining higher speeds. Hence, environmentally friendly composite sleepers made up of recycled plastic waste have been developed which will be used over all girder bridges.

Railway Minister added that to take forward, our Prime Minister’s vision of promoting Solar Power, Indian Railways had targeted commissioning of installed capacity of 1000 MW in next 5 years. Policy guidelines and tender documents for 50MW solar plants at rooftop have been issued and facility for another 100 MW is being set up. We have commissioned a 25 MW wind mill power plant at Jaisalmer and Indian Railways are working towards commissioning 132.5 MW in the next year. Railway Minister proposed to utilize our infrastructure at remotely located railway stations for installation of solar micro-grid on pilot basis which will not only provide clean and reliable power supply to railway stations, but will also facilitate energy access to nearby quarters and surrounding rural households.

Shri Suresh Prabhu also announced that Automatic coach washing plants will be commissioned in major coaching depots with a holding of more than 500 coaches for improved cleaning with reduced water consumption. Further, 32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water recycling plants in the coming years.

Railway Minister also proposed to convert all production units as well as at least one workshop in each Zonal Railway as green industrial unit by obtaining relevant certification, good energy management, sourcing energy from renewables, water conservation, improved green cover and environment friendly management of waste.

Shri Suresh Prabhu also announced that in order to encourage active involvement by various Railway establishments towards environmental initiatives, Indian Railways have instituted a Shield on Environment for the best performing Zonal Railway or Production Unit. 
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Net reduction in Gross Traffic Receipts by rs 15,744 crore in R.E. 2015-16

Excess of receipts over expenditure in R.E. 2015-16 stands at Rs 11,402.40 crore

Financial Performance 2015-16
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Parliament today placed the Financial Performance data for 2015-16.

The Railway Minister said that there is a net reduction in Gross Traffic Receipts by Rs 15,744 crore in R.E. 2015-16 compared to the B.E. target of Rs 1,83,578 crore. Passenger earnings were budgeted to increase by 16.7% over R.E. 2014-15. However, the actual growth target for 2015-16 was 18.9% since passenger earnings in 2014-15 fell short of the R.E. target. This has been scaled down keeping in view the persistent negative growth trend since 2013-14 both in the sub-urban and non sub-urban non-PRS segments of travel. Similarly, in freight earnings, though B.E. 2015-16 was projected at Rs 1,21,423 crore with a loading target of 1186.25 million tonne (MT) and an average lead of 626 km, the growth has been impacted mainly on account of low demand from the core sector resulting in resetting the target in R.E. 2015-16 to Rs 1,11,853 crore.

Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the decline in traffic earnings vis-à-vis budgeted target from the trends witnessed from the first quarter of the fiscal had guarded us to adopt several measures to contain the Ordinary Working Expenses (O.W.E). The Minister said that Indian Railways initiated stringent economy and austerity measures particularly w.r.t. the controllable heads like inventory, variable costs and contingent expenditure, due to which the budgeted O.W.E. of Rs 1,19,410 crore decreased in the R.E. 2015-16 to Rs 1,10,690 crore i.e., by Rs 8,720 crore. Savings in working expenses helped us to appropriate to Railway Debt Service Fund to provide for the 7th Pay Commission. Thus O.W.E. in R.E. 2015-16 provides for a growth of only 4.4%. On Indian Railways, the total number of pensioners is 13.79 lakhs. B.E. provided for an appropriation of Rs 34,900 crore to the pension fund. However, based on trends, the pension outgo has been moderately decreased to Rs 34,500 crore in R.E.

The Railway Minister added that internal resource generation diminished and accordingly the appropriation to DRF has been moderated to Rs 5500 crore in R.E. from the B.E. 2015-16 provisioning of Rs 7,900 crore. Excess of receipts over expenditure in R.E. 2015-16 stands at Rs 11,402.40 crore. With the above estimates, the targeted operating ratio in R.E. is 90% against 91.3% in 2014-15 and 93.6% in 2013-14. Plan size for 2015-16 is currently estimated at Rs 1,00,000 crore i.e., the B.E. level. 

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Wi-Fi Services at 100 Stations to be Commissioned this Year and at 400 more Stations in the next 2 Years. 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said that the process has begun to introduce Wi-Fi services at stations especially for youth and business travellers. He proposed to commission Wi-Fi services at 100 stations this year and at 400 more stations in the next 2 years. He said that Indian Railways is partnering with Google in this endeavour.

This year, an application of Track Management System (TMS) was launched. With this, activities of track inspection, monitoring and maintenance have thus been switched over to an IT platform, and automatic alerts in the form of SMS and e-mails are being generated. Inventory Management module of TMS has resulted in inventory reduction by 27,000 MT resulting in saving of Rs.64 crore and scrap identification of 22,000 MT equivalent to Rs.53 crore. During 2016-17, this system will be implemented on entire Indian Railways. Indian Railways has developed an application for maintaining centralized land data, and records of all land holdings over Indian Railways have been digitized.

Facilities such as ticketing, grievance redressal, etc. will be integrated into two mobile apps; one dealing with all ticketing issues and the other for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions related to all our services. 

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IRCTC has Begun the Process of Empanelling Self-Help Groups for Providing Catering/Cooking Services

Indian Railways Encourage Sourcing of Products FROM SC/ST Entrepreneurs 
The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today said “Last year, I had appealed to various NGOs and Civil society to help Indian Railways on social issues such as sanitation and provision of basic amenities at stations. I am proud to state that a number of voluntary groups came forward and contributed to this national cause. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of them and hope for their continued association.”

Railway Minister said that Self-Help Groups not only provide employment to women but also respect and dignity. IRCTC has begun the process of empanelling Self-help groups for providing catering/cooking services. Indian Railways is partnering with NABARD to provide support and access to our IRCTC website to ensure extensive e- marketing for products produced by the Self-help groups which would lead to increase in rural incomes.

Shri Prabhu added that Indian Railways had partnered with Khadi and Village Industries Commission to support creation of employment and self-reliance in rural India resulting in the generation of 17 lakh man days. Indian Railways will continue to partner with them to develop products and services for passengers and also market them using Indian Railway’s vast resources and assets. Indian Railways will encourage sourcing of products from SC/ST entrepreneurs. 
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Railways Vision 2020 to meet Long Felt Desires of Common Man 
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that by 2020, Indian Railways look forward to meet the long-felt desires of the common man such as reserved accommodation on trains being available on demand, time tabled freight trains with credible service commitments, high end technology to significantly improve safety record, elimination of all unmanned level crossings, punctuality increased to almost 95 per cent, increased average speed of freight trains to 50 kmph and Mail/Express trains to 80 kmph, semi high speed trains running along the golden quadrilateral and zero direct discharge of human waste.

Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today spelling out his vision, the Minister said that the Railways must provide to the citizens of this country a rail system that they can be proud of – a system free from capacity constraints, a system that is efficient and predictable, a system that is sparkling and pristine, where the people of the country feel at ease, where there is plenty of choice in every sphere of activity, and the ease of doing business pervades the entire railway ecosystem. In short, a system that is capable of taking care of its own needs financially and otherwise. He said, he is thankful to the various committees, including the committee chaired by Dr. Debroy, whose recommendations have informed our vision. 
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Railway Exploring Multilateral Financial Investment Partnership with State Governments for Redevelopment of Stations

National Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara to be upgraded as Rail University 
Presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Redevelopment of stations using different models is being experimented. Based on one of these models, financial bid has been received for redevelopment of Habibganj station in Bhopal, while 4 other stations are in advanced stage of bidding. In a landmark decision, Cabinet has approved redevelopment of 400 stations through PPP. This is expected to be the largest transit oriented development in the world and, hence, involves complex decision making. Apart from taking up stations through the PPP mode, the possibility of availing multilateral financial investments and partnering with State Governments are also being explored.

In order to combine cleanliness with creativity, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu had appealed to numerous social organisations to come forward to beautify stations. Walls of many stations have been converted to murals which have not only improved the aesthetics but also spread awareness on socially relevant themes.

To provide better security to passengers especially women travellers, All India 24/7 helpline number 182 has been introduced and CCTV surveillance provided at 311 stations. All major stations will be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that safety record of Indian Railways is better at 20% lower accidents compared to the previous year, but still there is much more that is required to be done. He also said that the way forward to eliminate accidents from Indian Railways is through adoption and assimilation of latest technology. He said that Indian Railways has entered into a R&D partnership with leading Railway institutions of the world, Railway Technical Research Institute, Japan and Korean Rail Research Institute. They will work with Indian Railways to improve operations on existing network and, hence, provide a roadmap for ‘zero accident’ railway system in India. In the interim, Dr. Kakodkar Committee’s recommendations have been examined and working on their implementation. He said that Indian Railways is also working on anti-falling measures for overcrowded trains mainly in the suburban sections. In 2015-16, Indian Railways has 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.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prahu announced that the target of annualized savings of Rs. 3,000 crore on the total traction supply cost, will be achieved in the next financial year itself, a year earlier than envisaged. For the first time, Indian Railways has leveraged provisions of the Electricity Act to procure power directly at competitive rates, using its status as Deemed Distribution Licensee. Power Procurement Contracts already signed and implemented will mean an annualized saving of Rs. 1,300 crore. Further actions to source power, already initiated, will deliver annualized savings of Rs. 1,700 crore during the coming year, taking the total to Rs. 3,000 crore. In addition, the saving of Rs. 300 crore is being targeted through demand side management and energy efficiency measures.

Locomotives with auxiliary load are now being manufactured by Indian Railways. Use of these locos will enable elimination of power cars, thereby replacing them with passenger coaches which will enhance the carrying capacity of trains and significantly reduce travel time, noise level, fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Four such locos have been turned out in the current year and another 39 are expected to be manufactured in 2016-17.

National Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara has been identified as the first institution which would be upgraded to a full-fledged Rail University. Preparations are in full swing to establish the university during the next financial year. 

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