Indian railway budget live — First price hike in ten years!

Minister Dinesh Trivedi is all set to present the Rail Budget 2012. The budget session is expected to start around 12:00 noon.

What is in store this time? A hike in the rates?

The wait is almost over. After being adjourned over shortage of coal in Bihar, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, will open for the budget session in the next few minutes.

  • Trivedi starts reading out his maiden budget.
  • “Safety concerns not satisfactory,” says Trivedi. Hope to hear some solutions too!
  • Anil Kakodkar committee’s recommendations on ‘rail safety’ might be put to practice.
  • Attention to be paid towards pending projects. There are 487 pending projects in all!!
  • Trivedi feels the need to get down the operating ratio which is 95%. Basically he means to say that the operating expenses are really high on a base of the revenues. So this means profit is not much. And that means some cess, taxes and price hikes for us!
  • Gross budgetary support of Rs7.35 L crore for railways.
  • All unmanned level crossings to be abolished in next five years.
  • Railway investment in the 12th Plan to be Rs7.35 lakh crore. It was Rs1.92 lakh crore in the 11th Plan.
  • Railway Safety Plan for 12th Plan will be Rs16,842 crore.
  • Require Rs14 lakh crore in next 10 years.
  • To modernise 19,000 kilometers of tracks.
  • Focus on Northeastern States and Jammu and Kashmir
  • Railways to increase manufacturing of safe coaches.
  • Will introduce wagons with high payloads.
  • Railways aims to contribute 2% to the GDP. Currently, it is 1%.
  • Indian Railways Stations Development Corp will redevelop stations and maintain them on pattern of airports. Only if our stations can look like airports!
  • Highest ever allocation of over Rs 2,000 crore over 2012-13 to modernise signalling and telecommunications.
  • Faster trains that will travel at 160 km/hr
  • 725 km of new line in this year.
  • Mumbai railways: Conversion of electrical system to be completed for suburban railways by 2012-13.
  • Anew train connecting Agartala with Bangladesh to improve bilateral ties and improve connectivity in North East. Is China listening? Well, we have not reached Arunachal, so all well!
  • Have a wait-listed ticket?  You could accommodation on alternate trains now!! 
  • Rs 1,100 crore to improve passenger amenities like escalators at stations, sms/ email for e-tickets, book-a-meal before train journey, railway meals and housekeeping. Hope so!
  • Dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni and Dadri to JN Port, with partial funding from World Bank.
  • Three disaster management training centres at Bangalore, Kharagpur and Lucknow
  • Catering through global tenders on a few premium trains! Whoa, so pizzas and pastas of the world on board? Or would it be an English breakfast this time?
  • Better toilets too. I was about to ask!
  • New passenger services- 75 new express trains, 21 passenger trains.  Lok Sabha television feed crashes.
  • And Trivedi returns to say that railways is not doing all that well! Yes, we know. And that means?
  • Sale of tickets through post offices. Why did they not think of this before?
  • Garib Raths to have disabled friendly coaches
  • 2100 specially designed coaches for disabled
  • Budgetary support not at required levels. Well, not enough to pocket?
  • Guru Parikrama special trains on Amritsar, Patna and Nanded routes. 75 new express , 21 new passenger trains in 2013.
  • NO STEEP HIKE says Trivedi, let us wait now what the hike is like (At 1:40 PM)
  • Extra 2 paise per km for suburban and second class, Mail and express train by 3 paise per km, airconditioned 3 tier by 10 paise per km, airconditioned 2-tier by 20 paise per km and airconditioned 3-tier by 30 paise per km. Now let us wait for the general budget and see what all price hikes would add up to the final ticket prices.
  • Some funny poetry to end his speech!

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