Lalu Prasad Yadav unveils a shining Railway Budget 2008-09
Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Railway Minister of the reigning UPA government has done it again – with a Rs Rs 25,000 crore ($2.5 billion) cash surplus – he's made a success story of the Indian Railways . He's proved that low cost airlines are not a major threat to India's Railways.
Highlights of Lalu Prasad Yadav's 2008-09 Railway Budget:
- All long-distance trains to have public address systems
- All new coaches made of stainless steel by 09/10
- Multi-level parking to be built at 30 large stations
- Looking at enabling reservations through mobile phones
- To introduce environmentally friendly toilets in 36,000 coaches for Rs 40 bn
- Railways will be linked by Mar '09 to call centres
- Digital display (LED) boards at railway stations
- All long-distance trains to display estimated time of arrival at all times
- Multi-purpose smart Mumbai cards to be introduced
- Ticket reservation possible from anywhere
- Additional Rs 20 bn earned on freight services
- The freight traffic target of 785 million tonnes crossed to touch 790 million tonnes.
- Railways to invest Rs 75,000 crore to upgrade infrastructure over the next seven years.
- To set up 20,000 kilometres high density network.
- Revenue from passengers fare increased 14 per cent in 2007-08
- Overhead foot bridges at 195 stations and 50 big stations to get lifts and escalators
- New coaches in all Rajdhani Express trains from 2010
- 6000 auto-ticket sale machines by 2009
- 50% concession for AIDS patient
- Ten new Garib Raths and 53 new trains to be introduced.
- Thirty per cent discount to senior citizens for rail travel and 50 per cent discount for women in all classes
- Mother Child Health Express to be started.
- Clearance given for western freight corridor from Delhi to JNPT, Nhava Sheva, adjoining Mumbai.
- Close circuit TV and bomb detecting equipment to be installed at major stations.
- Professional agencies being involved on a pilot basis to ensure cleanliness in running trains.
- Railways show a surplus of rs 68,778 cr in last four years.
- Rs 49,250 crore invested into new railway projects.
- E-ticket booking is likely to rise to 300,000 from 100,000 in a year.
- 560 railway station platforms to be lengthened to take long trains.
For more information on the Indian Railway Budget 2008-09 goto: http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/budget-comments/rail-budget-08-vs-07-whats-new/14/05/327926