The Indian Railways can be called the lifeline of Indian's transport system, connecting villages, towns, and cities across the country in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Every year, the Union Budget is a highly anticipated event with all eyes set on the proposals for the railways in the latest budget. These will set the tone for new development projects to enhanced levels of safety and comfort for passengers.
Proposals for Railways in Union Budget 2021
These are the highlights of the proposals for the Indian Railways in the latest Union Budget:
- Rs.1.1 lakh crore was allocated to the Indian Railways out of which capital expenditure would account for Rs.1.07 lakh crore
- A National Rail Plan was submitted by the Indian Railways to the government as a framework to ensure that the railways match the country's evolving requirements and changing global standards
- Metro services will be offered in two variants – Metro Neo and Metro Lite, in tier II and tier III cities as well as peripheral areas for a more cost-effective experience while maintaining the same standards of safety and efficiency
- The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) would be commissioned in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by June 2022. This would include 274.3 km of the WDFC in the Gomoh-Dankuni section and 263 km of the EDFC in the Sonenagar-Gomoh section
- The Railways will start other dedicated freight corridor projects such as the East-West Corridor from Bhusawal to Kharagpur to Dankuni, the East Coast Corridor from Kharagpur to Vijaywada, and the North-South Corridor from Itarsi to Vijaywada
- Broad gauge route electrification will be completed in full by December 2023
- On the tourist routes, Vistadome Linke Hofmann Busch coaches will be introduced for enhanced aesthetic appeal and comfort
- Kochi Metro Railway's Phase 2 project will commence soon at a cost of Rs.1,957.05 crore for a total of 11.5 km
- There will be continued investment and development of the metro rail system in cities like Chennai, Kochi, Nagpur, and Nashik
- The Bangalore Suburban Railway network will be developed which will help resolve traffic challenges for the IT sector
Proposals for Railways in Budget 2020
For Indian Railways:
- Re-development project to be undertaken for the betterment of 4 stations through the PPP models.
- Development of solar capacity in Indian Railways.
- Plans to be executed for the development of more projects like Tejas for connecting various tourist locations across the country.
- Bengaluru Suburban Transportation project to be launched wherein the Government will be spending Rs.18,600 crore.
Major Expectations for Railways from the Union Budget 2020
- Safety: A surge in the number of rail accidents has definitely raised the concern for better and improved rail infrastructure in India. In the previous year, the total count of train accidents rose to an alarming number of 48. Therefore, owing to these reasons, the railways sector is expected to get the maximum attention amongst all sectors. The expectation mainly lies in the domains of increasing precautionary measures, an upgraded infrastructure at the railway stations as well as inside the trains, improved facilities provided by executives serving inside the trains, new and advanced technical systems to signal warning in case of emergencies. The Indian Railways has already established a GPS based navigation system to better track, delays and accidents caused by fog. Deployment of drones in the railway stations for an improved crowd management is also on the agenda list. If allocations in these spheres get their due approval, we are sure to witness the most technologically advanced modern Railway network.
- Comfort: Despite installations of bio-toilets and upgraded infrastructure, the condition of the trains remain poor and highly contaminated. In an age where more and more people are shifting towards travelling via flights, a clean and dirt-free train journey can go a long way in ensuring that people of the country stick to traveling via railways.
- Cost: With the gradual approach of the 2020 general elections, the Modi government might consider reducing the existing fees for reservation but a major concern lies in the fact that the dip in the generation of revenue might effectively hamper the Railways in the future.
- Convenience: The “golden quadrilateral” project aims to connect all the metro cities through a single unified railway network. The same is believed to receive a huge chunk in the funds allocation and is likely to commence this year itself.
- Technology: Railways automation signalling system is expected to receive a huge allocation in this year’s Budget.
Indian Railways is expected to make a major breakthrough this year with advanced technology and improved infrastructure.
- Agriculture in Union Budget
- Union Budget for Rural Sector
- Budget for Youth Employment
- Budget for Health Care Sector
- Union Budget for Energy Sector
- Union Budget for Financial Sector
- Union Budget for Defence Sector
- Union Budget Expenditure
- Union Budget Receipts
- Budget Appropriation Bill
- Finance Bill
- Union Budget Analysis
- Union Budget for Senior Citizen
- Union Budget for Logistics Sector
- Maternity Benefits from Union Budget