Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rail Budget 2012-13: Hike in All Classes Fares

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi presented his maiden Railway Budget for 2012-13 in the Parliament on March 14. The annual plan outlay for Indian Railways for 2012-13 has been pegged at Rs 60,100 crore which provides Rs. 6,872 crore for new railway lines and significant funds for passengers safety, security and amenities. Of the total budget, Rs 24,000 crore will be in the form of gross budgetary support, Rs 2000 crore from railway safety fund (RSF) and Rs 18050 crore would be through internal accruals.
The railway minister has focused on five important fields, which are: safety; consolidation; decongestion and capacity augmentation; modernization; and to bring down the operating ratio from 95 per cent to 84.9 per cent in 2012-13.
Passengers Charged
The increase would be 2 paise per km for suburban trains; 3 paise per km for mail trains. Express train fare was up by 5 paise per km, 10aise p per km for a/c chaircar, 10 paise per km for a/c 3-tier, 15 paise per km for a/c 2-tier and 30 paise per km for a/c 1st class. Platform tickets would now cost Rs 5.
According to the railway minister, the attempt was to round off fares to eliminate the need for change.
According to the minister, Indian Railways will invest Rs.7.35 lakh crore during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), against Rs.1.92 lakh crore in the current one. By then, it will double its contribution to India's gross domestic product to 2 percent.
The minister said the outlay of Rs.60,100 crore proposed for 2012-13 will be the highest ever and added that the network will require Rs.14 lakh crore over the next 10 years for modernization.
Coming to specific proposals, the railway minister said 85 new line projects would be taken up during the next fiscal year at a cost of Rs.6,870 crore, even as feasibility surveys would be conducted for another 114 lines.
Trivedi said an attempt will also be made to increase train speeds to 160 km per hour from around 90-100 km per hour. With that, he said, a journey from New Delhi to Kolkata will be brought down to 14 hours from 17 hours.
Budget At A Glance
* Passenger fares to be hiked by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class travel; 3 paise per km for mail/ express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC chair car/AC 3-tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2-tier and 30 paise per km for AC 1-tier.
* Minimum fare and platform tickets to cost Rs 5.
* Seventy-five mew Express trains to be introduced, along with 21 new passenger services, nine DEMU services and 8 MEMU services trains.
* Route of 39 trains to be extended and frequency of 23 trains to be increased.
* Railways to hire more than one lakh employees in 2012-13; 80,000 persons hired last year.
* Indian Railways Stations Development Corp to be set up to re-develop stations and maintain them like airports.
* To set up an independent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory body.
* The open discharge toilets on trains to be replaced with green (bio) toilets.
* All unmanned level crossings to be abolished in next five years; To target zero deaths due to rail accidents.

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