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Highlights Part I(a)


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Budget 1998-99
Budget 1997-98
Budget 1996-97

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RAILWAY BUDGET 1999-2000 HIGHLIGHTS - Part I(a)

Introduction

Challenges before the Indian Railways -- brought out in "Status Paper"  and "White Paper" Despite constraint in resources -- most of the announcements made regarding trains in 1998-99 fulfilled

440 additional coaches attached in more than 100 trains
Generated additional capacity of 29,000 passengers per day
124 new trains introduced, 32 trains extended, frequency of 32 trains increased

"1999-2000 Passenger Year"

1999-2000 declared as "Passenger Year" One model station with upgraded terminal facilities to be set up on each Division Improved passenger amenities to be provided on 30 Mail/Express trains apart from Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains Efforts to make Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai free of touts

Passenger Amenities

Customer Care Institute to be opened shortly in Delhi for training of   front line staff
PRS Centres of Delhi, Secunderabad, Calcutta and Mumbai already networked - Chennai to be linked by 31.03.99
Computerised monitoring of passenger complaints started on 150 stations
"Interactive Voice Response System" extended to 44 stations
"National Train Enquiry System" to be established for real time information about train running Pilot Project for Tele-Booking launched
Indian Railways "Web Page" launched
"Tatkal" Scheme extended to hundred trains
Pantry cars to be introduced on eight more trains in 1999-2000
Rail Yatri magazine to be started

Safety

Sitting Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court, Justice G.C. Garg to head one-man Commission to enquire into Khanna accident
Walkie-Talkie sets for emergency contacts between driver and guard provided on all passenger trains running on 'A' & 'B' routes -- to be provided in goods trains in second phase in 1999-2000
Track Circuiting from "Fouling Mark" to "Fouling Mark" to be completed on all stations of A, B and C routes by 31.03.99
Pilot project of Radio Based Automatic Train Control system to be taken up in Delhi - Mathura section
Rail testing to be intensified. Self Propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing (SPURT) cars being procured
Stress on manufacture of quality rails
Two chairs set up at Roorkee University for advanced studies in engineering aspects relating to safety
"Railway Safety Review Committee" set up to go into all facets of safety

Accidents at Level Crossings

Rs. 2,200 cr needed to convert 24,359 unmanned level crossings into manned gates

Separate Fund proposed for funding construction of ROBs/RUBs and converting unmanned level crossings

A New Plan Head being created to focus attention on safety at level crossings

Assistance sought from Members of Parliament to recommend manning of level crossings through "MPs Local Area Development Scheme". Railways to match with equal number from their own resources

Railway Recruitment Board (RRBs)

Functioning of Railway Recruitment Boards streamlined -- recruitment process made more transparent for Group 'C' staff
Interviews after written examinations to be done away with in order to eliminate favouritism and corrupt practices

Group 'D' Recruitment

Group 'D' recruitment procedure to be tightened and made more transparent
Selection through objective written test of appropriate standard with physical fitness -- no interviews
Separate Unit under a senior official to be set up in RRBs for the purpose
Upgradation of technology 6,000 HP state-of-art electric loco manufactured at CLW -- unprecedented achievement by any developing country

Contribution to improvement in Environment

Ban on sale of cigarettes and bidis on railway platforms and trains from 5th June, 1999 -- the "Environment Day"
Afforestation drive to be intensified -- in future, requirement of wooden sleepers to be met inhouse

Commercial utilisation of land

Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation to mobilise resources through commercial utilisation of land/air space

Operating and Financial Performance in 1997-98

Railways moved 429.30 million tonnes, almost achieving the target of 430 million tonnes
17.6% growth in Gross Traffic Receipts
Total Working Expenses increased due to implementation of Fifth Pay Commission's recommendations
Dividend of Rs. 1,489 cr paid to General Revenues

Revised Estimates 1998-99

424 mt of loading estimated against Budget target of 450 MT -- due to shortfall in demand from core sector -- reduced earnings of Rs. 1,056 cr projected
Pensionary payment likely to increase by Rs.1530 cr due to impact of Fifth Central Pay Commission's recommendations
Rs. 345 cr saving in non-Plan expenditure -- Plan outlay reassessed at Rs. 8,755 cr from BE outlay of Rs. 9,500 cr
Rs. 1,313 cr to be withdrawn from Railway Fund balances -- market borrowings to go up by Rs. 180 cr

Steps taken by Railways to increase revenues

Reduction in classification of some commodities and Volume Discount Scheme to enhance competitiveness
Facility of two-point rake loading provided
Special package for steel sector to attract traffic
Reduced transit time from 95 hours to 48 hours between Delhi and JNPT with new CONCOR wagons -- 40 CONTRACK trains to provide guaranteed transit service for expensive goods
Full powers to General Managers to quote station-to-station rates
Front brakevan of all passenger trains to be leased
Production of parcel vans to recommence
Special parcel trains to be run
Two packet system to be introduced for awarding catering contracts of pantry cars and refreshment rooms -- minimum licence fee to be more than double -- security deposit to be sufficiently increased
Minimum penalty for ticketless travel increased to Rs.250
Rates for commercial advertisements to be increased
Efforts to provide single-window interface to major freight customers
Passenger Services in 1999-2000

New trains to be introduced :-

Chennai - Tirupati Shatabdi Express
Shalimar - Haldia Intercity Express
Secunderabad - Machhilipatnam Express
Mumbai - Sawantwadi - Madgaon Intercity Express
Kurla - Patna Superfast Express (Biweekly)
Amritsar - Dharbanga Express via Narkatiaganj (Biweekly)
Jaipur - Bangalore Express via Secunderabad (Biweekly)
Guwahati - Chennai Express (Biweekly)
Delhi - Gandhidham Express (Biweekly)
Delhi - Coimbatore Express (Weekly)
Pune - Ernakulam Express (Weekly)
Raichur - Gulbarga Intercity Service
Kamakhya - New Bongaigaon Passenger
Patna - Mughalsarai Passenger via Gaya

Frequency of following trains to be increased :-

8017/8018 Howrah - Purulia Express from 6 days a week to daily
8463/8464 Bangalore - Visakhapatnam Express from 2 days a week to 4 days a week
1095/1096 Pune - Ahmedabad Ahimsa Express from 3 days a week to 4 days a week
2101/2102 Kurla - Howrah Super Deluxe Express from weekly to 3 days a week

Run of the following trains to be extended :-

4047/4048 Delhi - Gorakhpur Express to Raxaul via Narkatiaganj
5207/5208 Amritsar - Barauni Express to Katihar
4737/4738 Bikaner - Jaipur Express to Ajmer (M.G.)
5741/5742 Alipurduar - Siliguri Intercity Express to New Jalpaiguri (M.G.)
471/472 Vijayawada - Vizianagaram passenger to Rayagada
1555/1556 Guna - Khajuri service to Gwalior
1143/1144 Gwalior - Chhapra Mail to Barauni
8301/8302 Sambalpur - Nizamuddin Hirakud Triweekly Express to Bhubaneswar via Talcher Road
2407/2408 Nizamuddin - Nagpur Gondwana Express on 2 days a week to Bhusaval
6343/6344 Ernakulam - Nizamuddin Swarnajayanti weekly Express to Tiruvananthapuram
2307/2308 Jodhpur-Howrah Express (daily) running via Grand Chord will run via Main Line one day in a week

BG services to be provided on gauge conversion :-

Four pairs of passenger services on Narkatiaganj-Gorakhpur section
Three pairs of passenger services on Indara - Phephna section
Three pairs of passenger services on Lalkuan - Kashipur section

MEMU Services

Jhajha - Kiul section
Vijayawada - Kakinada section
Kakinada - Visakhapatnam section
Durg - Raipur- Bilaspur section

DMU Services

Anand - Khambat (B.G)
Vijayawada - Bhimavaram - Narsapur (B.G.)
Delhi - Shamli (B.G.)
Mehasana - Tarangahill (M.G.)

Rail Bus Services

Bangarapet - Kolar (B.G.)
Tiruturaipundi - Agastiampalli (M.G.)
Banmankhi - Bihariganj (M.G.)

Security

Efforts made to improve coordination between GRP and RPF
Action initiated to give more investigative powers to RPF
Two battalions of Railway Protection Special Force to be set up - another two planned
Long standing demand of recognition to the Association of Railway Protection Force fulfilled

Annual Plan 1999-2000

Plan outlay proposed at Rs.9,700 cr; to be financed through internal resources : Rs 4,160 cr, Capital from General Exchequer : Rs 2,540 cr and market borrowings of Rs 3,000 cr
Capital from General Exchequer meets 26% of the Plan resources
Rs. 1,000 cr to be withdrawn from Railways' Fund balances
Thrust on safety, Doubling, Traffic Facilities, Track Renewals, Signal & Telecommunications and Passenger Amenities
 

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