Tuesday, July 07, 2009

the Indian Rail budget 2009-10 ( Mamta Didi )

It has always been a state's story to dominate the Railway ministry and now its Bengal who is in the seat to drive the Indian Railways. Presenting the Rail budget on 3rd july 09, the newly sworn in Railway Minister Miss Mamta Banerjee unveiled an exclusive package to the eastern state of West Bengal. This is considered to be the most in terms of contribution to the bengali speaking state ever. Time has witnessed a considerable part of the budget has been bagged by the state every minster belongs to. So the railway ministry has become a lucrative one among the ministries. There are cases when minsters who denied key departments like Finance & commerce to Home affairs and have opted for the railways. What makes the railways so lucrative . Lets have a look.
Indian Railways has one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting over 18 million passengers and more than 2 million tonnes of freight daily. It is the world's largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.4 million employees. The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country, covering 6,909 stations over a total route length of more than 63,327 kilometres (39,350 mi). IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives. With 16 Railway zones and with lakhs of Employees with a huge turnover in the railways, makes IR the most sought Ministries in the cabinet. Ministers see huge Investment options in the concerned state. As its the main mean to transport for the urban & sub-urban people the popularity of the railways have always been the charm for every minister.
The trinmool Congress chief was just looking for the right move in the government & as expected she bagged the department in the newly formed UPA govt. Presenting the interim Rail budget on 3rd july 09 in the parliament miss Mamata Banerjee ( popularly known as didi) announced a bengol Oriented rail budget depriving the former Railway state of Bihar. Here are the silent features of the Railway budget.
  • No change in Passenger Fares.
  • Freight Rates untouched.
  • One Doctor to be available on long distance trains to attend to passenger/staff medical emergencies.
  • Ticket booking services to open in 800 new locations.
  • 5000 Post Offices pan India to provide Railway ticket booking facility.
  • 'Turant AC' sleeper trains to be introduced between major metros.
    Rs 1750 crore to be spent on Gauge conversion.
  • Students to receive a 60% concession on train tickets.
  • Non-stop trains to be operational soon on select routes.
  • 50 Railway Stations to be built at par with international standards.
  • Extension of 'Ladies Special' trains to major metros like Delhi, Kolkata Chennai.
  • 50% concession for Scribes.
  • Rs 81685 crore to be the estimated working expenditure.
  • Kachrapara, Bengal to get new coach factory.
  • Scholarship schemes for Girl child of Group B Railway employees.
  • Women commandos to be increased in key routes.
  • Physically challenged passengers to be accommodated in specially designed coaches.
  • Increase in utility stores such as PCO/STD/ISD booths and book stores.
  • Increased emphasis on security (platform and train).
  • Catering facilities to be upgraded in order to address growing number of passenger complaints/feedback.
  • SMS updates for waiting list status.
  • Tatkal booking scheme reduced from 5 days to 2 days.
  • Tatkal charges reduced from Rs150 to Rs100.
  • Setting up of ATMs on 200 stations identified.
  • High capacity double decker AC trains to be introduced on select routes.
  • Railwas will no longer be guided by economic viability but social commitment said Mamta Banerjee.
  • Cold storage facilities to be developed for farmers storing vegetables and fruits.
  • New Hospitals to be Opened up for Hospital Staff.
  • Indian Railways to lease out land for commercial purposes to increase revenue.
  • 57 new trains to be introduced.
  • 12 non-stop trains to be introduced
  • 18,000 wagons to be acquired during the current year.
  • Accredited journalists to get 50% rebate; also once a year with spouse.
  • 1,000 MW power plant proposed in tribal area Adra.
  • 'Izzat' monthly tickets of Rs25 (for up to 100 km travel) for people from the unorganised sector with an income of less than Rs1,500 per month

Out of the Newly introduced trains the number of trains only one has been given to Bihar, the former railway minister's state. Where the general public has welcomed the budget the Bihari's have condemned it saying it a bengol dominated budget where they have been discriminated. Anyway whenever its not affecting the general public in terms of the fare and number of trains its not an issue. Now ministers have knew that the general public being the customers for the IR the budgets are being dedicated to better catering to the general public and the budget are being called as " the aam admi budget". Till the time it is favouring the general public and the public is happy with the services provided by IR, its absolutely no matter whether its which minster who holds the Office.its Aam admi budget and that is enough for us....

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