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INDIAN RAILWAYS
generates a cash surplus before Dividend of Rs. 20,000 crore in fiscal* 2006-07 signifying an impressive Rs. 5300 crore in a year from Rs. 14,700 cr. in the previous fiscal.

"The freight impact on industry is in the right direction and the general approach of the budget is to improve efficiency and output. The minister is taking innovative measures and if this tempo continues Railways will be one of the pillars of our growth in the coming years."  J. P. Choudhary, Chairman, CII-Railways Equipment Division

"The Railways are now working like a private sector corporation. We wish other public services, especially in the social sector, like education and health would follow suit," Habil Khorakiwala, President, FICCI

"The Budget proposal would give enough encouragement for huge capacity building of steel, cement and coal sectors." - Venugopal N Dhoot, President, ASSOCHAM

“The budget truly heralds a modern approach to managing the largest public service through use of technology and innovation.” - R.Seshasayee, President, CII

*India's fiscal year begins on April 1

RAILWAY ZONES

Central
Eastern
Northern
Northeast Eastern
North Frontier
Southern
South Central
South Eastern  
Western Railway
East Central
North Western
East Coast
South Western
North Central
West Central
South East Central
Metro Railway

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Dynamic Commercial Policy

SUCCESSFUL implementation of dynamic pricing policy for freight loading which has yielded the expected results prompted the railways to make its commercial policy too as a dynamic one.

Dynamic Wharfage Rate

At present the wharfage rates and free time are the same at all terminals whether small or big, busy or unused. We have decided to increase free time allowed for loading and unloading and to reduce wharfage rates at under utilized small terminals.

Dynamic Demurrage Rate

Currently demurrage rates are uniform throughout the year though utilization of wagons is more during the peak season and less during non-peak season. We have, therefore, decided that during non-peak period on an experimental basis, at a few terminals, one hour extra free time will be given depending on the state of usage of the terminals.

Tariff Policy based on Traffic Route

More than half of the Railways traffic runs on high-density routes. Due to lack of traffic, two-thirds of Railways network is being utilized at far less than its capacity. It has now been decided that goods traffic originating and terminating on these underutilized routes will be given a discount on normal freight rates.

Liberalization of Wagon Investment Scheme

At present customers subscribing to wagon investment scheme and container train licensees have to buy their own wagons. It is proposed to allow any person to avail the benefit of these schemes by procuring or leasing wagons or containers. Currently wagon investment scheme is limited to open and covered wagons. In order to expand the scope of the scheme, we have decided to extend the benefits of the wagon investment scheme for all types of general-purpose wagon as well as special purpose wagons suitable for specific commodities. Proposals of charging of freight, on the basis of per train kilometre instead of per tonne kilometre, for wagons meant for lighter commodities like motor vehicles will also be considered.


HIGHLIGHTS OF RAILWAY BUDGET 2007-08

Roads ahead

 
(1)   Initiatives taken for improvement in Freight Business
(2)   Target for freight loading kept at 785 Million Tonnes (MT) in 2007-08
(3)   Mission 200 MT - Railways’ target higher share in transportation of Cement and Steel - 200 MT each by 2011-12
(4)   Mission 100 MT - container traffic target of 100 MT by 2011-12
(5)   Planning for Triple-stack container trains on diesel route and double-stack container trains on electrified route
(6)   Railways offer to run Merry-go-round systems of power plants
(7)   Upgradation of Freight terminals handling more than 15 rakes per month.
(8)   22.9 tonnes and 25 tonnes axle-load freight trains to run on more routes
(9)   Production of wagons of higher axle-load and payload to commence.
(10)  
Wagon manufacturers to be encouraged to design wagons with higher payload and new technology.
(11)   Majority of air-brake trains to be examined in accordance with premium CC or premium end-to-end examination system.
(12)   Implementation of Unit Exchange Maintenance for rolling stock to improve productivity.
(13)   Zonal Railway to engage independent marketing agencies for exploring further possibilities in freight business.
(14)   Initiatives in passenger business
(15)   800 more coaches to be attached in popular trains
(16)   Plan to provide cushioned seats in unreserved second class coaches
(17)   Increase in unreserved second class coaches from four to six in every new train
(18)  
Efforts will be made to increase unreserved second class coaches in existing trains also.
(19)  
Facility for reservation of lower berths for senior citizens and women above 45 years traveling alone
(20)  
Increase in provision of special coaches (SLRD & SRD) for Physically challenged passengers
(21)  
Vendor coaches for sections frequented by milk and vegetable vendors and other retail sellers
(22)  
More convenient, comfortable and high capacity new design passenger coaches will be manufactured
(23)   Concession of 50 percent  in second class for candidates appearing for main written examination conducted by SSC and UPSC
(24)   Facilitating travel by passengers
(25)   Countrywide Train Enquiry call centres – Common Tel. No. 139
(26)   Pilot project for providing hand held terminals to TTEs in reserved coaches to update PRS with onboard vacancies for giving reservation to passengers at ensuing stations without delay
(27)   Expansion of reserved ticketing facilities
(28)   PRS counters to be opened at premises of Post-offices and Defence organizations to be operated by them
(29)   e-ticketing services through State Government’s e-services, Petrol pumps, Bank’s ATMs etc.
(30)   Expansion of Unreserved Ticketing facilities
(31)   UTS counters to be increased to 8000 in the next 2 years
(32)  
6000 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines to be installed and linked to UTS in metropolitan cities in the next 2 years
(33)  
Coupon system for ticket distribution to be extended to Kolkata and Chennai
(34)  
Pilot project on Central Railway for issuing suburban tickets through multi-purpose smart cards
(35)   Passenger Amenities at Stations
(36)   300 more stations to be developed as modern stations.
(37)   Year 2007 declared ‘Cleanliness Year’ - Special campaign to ensure cleanliness in station complexes, passenger trains, railway lines, waiting rooms etc.

11th Five-year Plan – Railways’ new profile

  • Target of 1,100 MT freight loading and 840 crore passengers in the terminal year of 11th Plan.

  • Focus would be on doubling transport capacity and reducing unit cost of transportation by increasing volumes. Short-term strategy- investing in low cost high return projects for eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring intensive asset utilization.

  • Mid and long-term strategy – twin pronged approach of  network expansion and modernization and technical upgradation.

  • Public-private partnerships projects will play an important role.

  • Construction of Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Ccorridors at a cost of Rs 30,000 cr will commence from 2007-08 for completion during the 11th plan.

  • Pre-feasibility surveys for East-West, East-South, North-South and South-South Corridors.

  • Most of the metre-gauge lines will be converted into broad-gauge by the end of this five-year plan.

  • High speed Passenger Corridors to be constructed to run trains at more than 300 km/hr speed.

  • Expansion of suburban services through completion of MUTP Phase-1 and initiating MUTP Phase-2 through joint funding.

  • Efforts to provide air-conditioned suburban trains in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai and escalators at important stations.

  • The production of rolling stock will be doubled compared with previous plan.
    Production of high-horse power and energy efficient locos to be increased.

  • Manifold increase in investment in IT to increase earnings, ensure effective utilization of human and physical resources and facilitate long-term policy decisions.

  • Commercial portal to be developed over next 3 years for better yield management.

  • Integrated time bound implementation of all FOIS modules by 2010.

  • ERP package for workshops, production units and select Zonal Railways.

    Railway Security

  • Number of trained dogs will be increased in the existing dog squads.

  • Door frame and hand held metal detectors to detect explosives being installed in many sensitive divisions and CCTV, smart video cameras etc for sensitive stations.

  • 8,000 vacancies will be filled in the RPF on all India basis.

  • Jagjivan Ram Railway Suraksha Bal Academy (Lucknow) has been recognised as Centralized Training Institute.

Passenger Services 

8 new Garib Raths to be introduced
New Trains : 32 pairs
Extension of Trains : 23 pairs
Increase in Frequency : 14 pairs

Railways emerging International image

  • Railways to impart training to railway personnel  of African countries

  • Chairman Railway Board elected as first chairman of Asian Railway Association and also as first non European President of  International Railway Union (UIC)

Always on high alert

Adequate funds are being made available for Passenger Amenities and machinery and Plant plan heads for procuring necessary equipments and other resources for Railway security works.

Besides increasing the number of trained dogs in the existing dog squads, arrangements are being made for installing explosive detection devices, door-frames and hand-held metal detectors in many sensitive divisions of the country. Equipments like CCTV and smart video cameras have already been installed at sensitive stations.

Rs. 5,500 crore has been allocated towards Depreciation Reserve Fund for the year 2007-08 as compared to Rs. 2,100 crore provided in 2001-02. The number of accidents is expected to be less than 200 in 2006-07, against 473 in the year 2001 despite the fact that the gross traffic volume has increased from 724 million train kilometres in 2001-02 to 825 million train kilometres in 2005-06.

Rs. 17,000 crore Special Railway Safety Fund, most of the works of renewal of overaged tracks, bridges track circuiting and rolling stock would be completed by the end of the this fiscal and all remaining works are scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

The production of better crash worthy coaches has commenced. The number of such coaches would be increased to ensure the safety of passengers, the minister said in his Budget speech.

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