Chairman Railway Board Addresses the National Editors’ Conference

Chairman Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal informed that the Pir Panjal railway tunnel the longest tunnel of India and second largest in Asia on Banihal-Qazigund section of J&K Railway line is now ready and trial runs of train operations are continuing on this section which will be opened shortly for regular train operations in about two months time from now. With the commencement of this Section, the Kashmir valley will be linked with the Jammu region by train. Shri Mittal said that Railways proposes to launch a multi – model travel package with cooperation of State Government of Jammu & Kashmir enabling passengers to travel from Jammu through Udhampur, Quzigund to Srinagar and Baramulla on a common rail-bus ticket. Chairman Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal along with Financial Commissioner, Railways, Smt. Vijaya Kanth was addressing the National Editors’ Conference organised by Press Information Bureau here today.

Terming railway safety to be the top priority, Shri Mittal informed that the allocation for the safety related works has been increased in the Railway Budget 2013-14 by about 13% as compared to last year. Similarly, there is sufficiently increase in the passenger amenity segment also. Shri Mittal said that over the years there has been a significant reduction in the incidence of rail accidents as the number of consequential train accidents per million train kilometre has decreased from 0.41 in 2003-04 to 0.13 at the end of 2011-12, we will however strive to work towards a zero accident regime.

Shri Mittal informed that Indian Railways is now slated to enter one billion tonne Select Club in freight movement, joining Chinese, Russian and US Railways.

Chairman Railway Board said that Indian Railways has formulated a very ambitious 12th Five Year Plan for its expansion and growth. He said that the plan size would be to the tune of 5.19 lakh crore. The funding pattern would be: Government budgetary support Rs. 1.9 lakh crore, internal resource generation – Rs. 1.05 lakh crore, market borrowings – Rs. 1.2 lakh crore and PPP – Rs. one lakh crore. He said that there is target to create fund balance of Rs. 30,000 crore in the terminal year of the 12th Plan.

Chairman Railway Board informed that Indian Railways is making good progress on its most ambitious project Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC). There has been progress on both the corridors namely 1499 km long Western DFC from Jawahar Lal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai to Dadri/Tughlakabad (Near Delhi) and 1839 km long Eastern DFC from Ludhiana (Punjab) to Dankuni (Near Kolkata). Land acquisition is progressing well and 75% land has been acquired. Initial funding agreements for Western DFC through JICA and part of Eastern DFC (Ludhiana-Khurja-Kanpur-Mughalsarai) through World Bank have already been formalized while remaining Dankuni-Sonnagar section of Eastern DFC is proposed to be implemented through PPP and Mughalsarai-Sonnagar section of Eastern DFC is being implemented through own resources of the Ministry of Railways. He said that in case of Eastern DFC, tender for Civil Works for Khurja-Kanpur section has been awarded. 66 Km Durgawati-Karwandia section of this corridor is targeted for commissioning in December 2013. Construction work of formation, bridges and laying of track is in progress. Shri Mittal said in case of Western DFC, Construction work of 54 major and important bridges in Vaiterna-Bharuch section of this corridor is in progress and 12 major bridges have been completed.

Talking about the Railway Budget 2013-14, the Chairman Railway Board said that thrust of the budget are Safety, Consolidation, Passenger Amenities and Fiscal Discipline. He said that target of Rs.1000 crore each has been fixed for Rail Land Development Authority and IR Station Development Corporation to be raised through PPP in 2013-14. He said that New fund – Debt Service Fund – is being set up to meet committed liabilities of debt servicing for WB and JICA loans for DFC and other future liabilities. Shri Mittal said making a Corporate Safety Plan for a ten year period (2014-2024), elimination of 10797 level crossing during the 12th Plan and no addition of new LCs to the IR system henceforth; Introduction of 160/200 kmph Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains; Induction of crash worthy LHB coaches with anti-climb feature; Provision of comprehensive fire and smoke detection systems; four companies of women RPF personnel, progressive extension of bio-toilets on trains; provision of concrete aprons on platforms with mechanized cleaning facilities; Extension of On Board Housekeeping Scheme and Clean Train Stations to more stations and trains; Extension of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS), Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), Coin-operated Ticket Vending Machines (Co-TVMs) and scheme of Jan-Sadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks (JTBSs), Centralised Catering Services Monitoring Cell with a toll free number, 1800 111 321, several IT initiatives like SMS alerts, Wi Fi in trains, next generation e-ticketing system etc, introduction of an educational tourist train with concessional fares – ‘Azadi Express’ – to connect places associated with freedom movement and introduction of executive lounge at seven more stations, namely, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Nagpur, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru are some of the highlights of the Railway Budget 2013-14.

On being asked about Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) linked revision of tariff the Chairman, Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal said that it is proposed to be reviewed twice in a year as announced in the budget and the next review is scheduled in October 2013.

Reservation Fee and Supplementary Charge for Superfast Trains and Withdrawal of Enhanced Reservation Fee to be Effective from 1st April 2013

            It has been announced in Railway Budget 2013-14 for revision of Reservation Fee, Supplementary charge for Superfast Trains & withdrawal of Enhanced Reservation Fee. The revision will come into effect on tickets issued on and after 01.04. 2013 The details of these reservations are as under:-

           

        (i) Reservation Fee:-

 

Class

Revision Fee (in Rs.)

 

Existing

Revised

Second

15

15 (No change)

Sleeper

20

20 (No Change)

AC Chair Car

25

40

AC-3 Economy

25

40

AC-3 Tier

25

40

First Class

25

50

AC-2 Tier

25

50

AC First

35

60

Executive

35

60

 

(i) Supplementary Charge for Superfast Trains:-

 

Class

Supplementary Charge for Superfast Trains

(in Rs.)

 

Existing

Revised

Second

10

15

Sleeper

20

30

AC Chair Car

30

45

AC-3 Economy

30

45

AC-3 Tier

30

45

First Class

30

45

AC-2 Tier

30

45

AC First

50

75

Executive

50

75

 

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