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India Railways Budget 2009: Full Report with Highlights

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Mamata Banerjee announced a populist railway budget yesterday. Lalu Prasad Yadav did an excellent job with turning around India railways in last couple of years and Mamata seems to have taken the cue.

Indian Railways Budget 2009

The new Railway budget 2009 has addressed some of the most important amenities that are needed for your rail travel. A common man should be quite happy with it. For one, the railways budget has not increased the fare at any level, which is actually a good news.

One thing that glaringly though comes out of the Railways budget is Mamata Banerjee has given West Bengal, her own state, a lot of weight-age. Probably Maharashtra and few other states should feel a bit sidelined – and I agree with that completely

Here are some of the Highlights of the Railway budget that should make you smile:

Highlights of Railway Budget 2009:

(I have marked ones that are important & positive in Green and once that I personally don’t like in red)

  • No increase in freight rates
  • No increase in passenger fares
  • Tatkal charges go down to Rs 100, booking time reduced from 5 days to 2 days
  • Unreserved ticketing systems to be expanded from 5,000 to 8,000 terminals
  • Junta khana (peoples’ food) to be provided in railway stations
  •  Develop 50 stations with world class amenities : The problem with these kind of announcements is that you never know when and how well these will be executed. Having said that atleast half should see the light of the day which is a good news
  •  12 new non-stop Turant point to point trains introduced : This will really affect negatively the already sagging Indian airline sector.
  •  ATMs on 200 mid and small sized stations
  • Aim for 1300 km gauge conversion by 2010
  •  AC double decker trains for inter-city travel
  • Railway Finance Corp to borrow Rs 9000 crore in FY 2010 : I don’t like Railways borrowing from the government, instead raise money either through IPO (I am sure if it happens it will one of the biggest IPO’s in the world), or let private equity come into picture, what say guys?)
  •  Madrasa students included in concession scheme
  • To set-up North Eastern development funds
  • Ladies special trains to be introduced in Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi
  • Kolkata Metro to be expanded
  • Increased Budgetary support by Rs 5000 crores
  • AC ‘Yuva’ trains at Rs 299 and Rs 399 to be introduced : Excellent, excellent move, one of my favourites of this budget
  • Press correspondents to get 50% concession
  • To launch 57 new trains
  • Non-stop AC ‘Turant’ trains to connect major metros
  • Rs 25 ticket for those with monthly salary under Rs 1000 under the ‘Izzat scheme’ : Another big hit !
  • Ladies special trains during peak hours
  • To use Railway Land Bank for industrial development
  • To set up a new coach factory in Kanchrapara
  • Computerised tickets from post offices
  • 3000 more unreserved ticketing terminals
  • At least one doctor on long distance train
  • Railways to set up cold storage cargoes
  • Mega logistics hubs in Eastern and Western corridor
  • Launch of premium faster parcel services in three routes
  • Aim to fulfill SC/ST backlog in jobs
  • 18,000 wagons to be acquired by FY 2010
  • Railway hospitals to be upgraded
  • Commando battalion to be raised for security purposes
  • Integrated security schemes for 130 vulnerable stations
  • Railway recruitment board to be reviewed shortly
  • 7 nursing colleges to be set up on railway land
  • Environmental friendly toilets on trains
  • 49 stations of religious importance to be upgraded
  • Automatic vending machines to be set up at stations
  • Women commandos to employed for the security of women passengers
  • High-capacity double decker AC coaches on the cards
  • Automatic vending vans to be set up to make ticketing easy
  • Computerised ticketing from post offices
  • SMS update on waitlisted tickets
  • Tickets can be bought from Post Offices
  • Automatic train information systems on major cities
  • Specially designed coaches, escalators and elevators for the physically challenged
  • Depute doctors on long distance trains
  • Book stores, PCOs to be set up across stations
  • Infotainment services on Rajhandi and Shatabdi trains
  • To take the Private-Public partnership route to develop stations : An extremely important announcement, if it could be implemented properly
  • Priority for food and water on trains
  • Developing multi-functional complexes at stations
  • Priority to passenger amenities
  • To set up panel for financing unavailable rail projects
  • Improvement of trains amenities
  • More Garib Rath trains to be introduced
  • Measures to improve catering and on-board decoration
  • Special announcement for security on railways

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What do you have to say on this years Railway Budget? Do you think this Railway budget has done enough to improve overall train journey?

Let us know in your comments how do you rate this rail budget on a scale of 10.

My rating for this Railway Budget 2009 is 7.5/10

  1. […] Railways budgets before this one in her career in politics, this being fourth one. This is her second straight Railway Budget for the UPA in the Parliament today […]

  2. NARENDRA SHARMA says

    what is the status of new railway line survy report for bhiwani – loharu railway line.

  3. Easwar Raghunathan says

    For the Lakhs of Passengers travelling between Mumbai and Chennai there are no improvements. No new trains introduced in this section. For a distance of 1200 KM one has to spend 24 Hours. Rampant Beggar Menace, Frequent Thefts, Poor quality of Food, inadequate capacity in Airconditioned Cars are few other notable problems. A decent human being is forced to travel by Air on account of all these problems. Who will own the responsibility for this debacle? When will Railways bring succour to sufferings?.

  4. SANJAY says

    EXCELENT BUDGET RAJKOT VIAMGAM DOUBLE TRACK MUST BE DONE OON

  5. Mandar Vaze says

    What is the definition of “Yuva” for AC Yuva trains ? “Young at Heart” ? :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      hahaha Mandar, good question…guess we will find out, but if it is for people young at heart, probably whole India will start having young hearts to take advantage of that :)

  6. Sumedh says

    By the way, do they review what was actually done from last year’s budget? It will be great to know how many of 2008’s announcements were executed…

    Otherwise it’s just a bunch of announcements for cheap publicity…

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