Mamata Banerjee’s Rail Budget 2009 - Highlights or Lowlights

Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee presented the much awaited Railway Budget 2009-10 on July 3. Here are the highlights / lowlights of the Railway Budget which she says will have approach for 'inclusive growth' and expansion of rail network to take development to every corner of the country:

1. Passenger fare and freight tariff are not decreased (wonder why all the sites are being too positive by saying ‘not increased’)

2. 50 world-class stations (let’s see, by the way who’s defining ‘world-class’ here)

3. 57 new train services, extension of 27 trains (btw by when will these services start?)

4. Increase in frequency of 13 trains (only 13? Is this enough? Maybe…)

5. Proposal for 7 new railway lines, gauge conversion of 17 lines and doubling of 13 lines (no idea what this doubling bit means)

6. Proposals to be processed for 53 new railway lines, 3 gauge conversions and doubling of 12 lines (now what will happen to these proposals is a different thing)

7. Improvement in Tatkal scheme - advance booking period to be reduced from 5 days to 2 days, minimum charge to be reduced to Rs 100 from Rs 150 (this is good… amazing)

8. Improvement in quality of railway catering (I hope so… most of the people I meet prefer to pick up eatables sold at the stations where the trains halt instead of ordering food from pantry; some people I know would rather stay hungry; I however don’t have much issues with the pantry food available in the trains I travel by)

9. 12 non-stop and point-to-point long-distance ‘Duronto’ trains and air-conditioned double-decker coaches for inter-city travel (interesting!)

10. Ticket availability – tickets will be available at post offices and mobile ticketing vans (this is cool, why wasn’t it ever proposed earlier?)

11. Introduction of women RPF Squads (commandos)

12. Safety - modernization of signals, digital ultrasonic flaw detectors, track renewals (great as long as it works out)

13. Izzat – a travel with dignity scheme where people in unorganized sector with monthly income up to Rs 1,500 can get monthly season ticket of Rs 25 for travel up to 100 kilometers (this is good, I have no idea how much paperwork would this involve)

14. Student concession to be extended to students of Madrassas; Kolkata students to enjoy concessional monthly season tickets facilities for Kolkata Metro Rail (I think there should be dedicated student coaches at rush hours)

15. Ladies special EMU trains in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata during rush hours (mahila ka budget, mahilaayon ke liye!)

16. Yuva trains

17. Media / press to get concession of 50% instead of 30% (aish hai!)

Source: myPOPKORN, Indian Express , The Economic Times


Eknath Makne said...

I don't think if any of the previous 14 rail budgets presented materialized to half of what they being hopeful about this one will be hopeless...but Mamata's decision to review to railwat recruitment procedure should be a welcome gesture and great if at all things get "materialized"...

Akshay said...

Doubling happens in places which are connected by a single line. These are bi-directional in nature. In the case of single line territories, most stations have a loop line along with the main line. The loop line eventually joins the main line towards the end of the platform. A train would be put along the loop line in order to let the other train pass. Once doubling is done, it saves out time thereby accelerating the punctuality of a train and there can be smooth movement without having trains waiting for each other to cross. I hope this solves your query regarding doubling.