Presenting a populist budget, Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi today announced a marginal hike in passenger fares ranging from 2 paisa per kilometre to 30 paisa per kilometre in various categories of trains, noting that Railways was passing through a "difficult phase", a move much hailed by the PM in a tweet, but one that cost the minister his job.
over the hike in passenger fares in the Railway Budget, Trinamool
Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
to remove her party nominee Dinesh Trivedi from the post of Railway
"Yes, I have written to the Prime Minister seeking his replacement with Mukul Roy, another union minister," Banerjee told PTI.
in the day, Trinamool Congress today put Railway Minister Dinesh
Trivedi on notice that it may replace him if he does not roll back the
hike in passenger fares proposed by him in the railway budget.
The party would also move cut motion against the fare hike, Sudip Bandopadhyay said.
"We may propose another name for railway ministry," he said.
said the party was not not in a mood to compromise on the issue at all.
Trivedi, he said, represents Trinamool Congress in the government.
leader of the Parliamentary Party, Bandopadhyay said he has
communicated to Trivedi that the hike should be rolled back and reminded
him that he was in that position because of the party.Trinamool Demands Roll Back
team of Trinamool Congress MPs met Dinesh Trivedi soon after he presented the Railway Budget.
Minister of State for Health Sudip Bandopadhyay said that the TMC MPs asked the Trivedi to roll-back the fare hike.
pointed out that Trivedi was a member of the Trinamool Congress, he
said the Railway Minister has performed his "constitutional duty" by
presenting the Budget.
"The Trinamool Congress never rolls back its demand," Bandopadhyay said.
The ball was set in motion soon after Trivedi announced the budget. "Railway
Budget...What was all that about increasing fares across the board?
Upper class...Maybe ok...But all? Sorry, cannot agree," Trinamool MP
Derek O'Brien tweeted.
Bandopadhyay said the Trinamool Congress would never support any fare hike."No Fare Hike in Last Eight Years"
In his budget, Trivedi had announced introduction of 75 express trains, 21 passenger trains
and extension of 39 trains besides increase in the frequency of 23
Platform tickets have also been raised from Rs 3 to Rs 5.
his first Railway Budget, Trivedi announced increase in passenger fares
by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary Second Class, 3 paise per
km for Mail/Express Second Class and 5 per paise per km for Sleeper
Class, 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC-3 Tier and First Class.
AC-2 Tier will cost more by 15 paise per km while AC-1 will be dearer by 30 paise per km.
In his over 100-minute speech, Trivedi said these were aimed at rationalising the fares to cause "minimal impact" on the common man and "to keep the burden within tolerance limits in general".
He said he had been counselled to go for steep increase in passenger fares as there had been no increase in last eight years but he desisted from doing so "guided by the overriding concern for aam aadmi (common man)".
The proposed adjustments, he said, do not even cover fully the impact of increase in fuel prices during the last eight years.
"I am keeping the valuable passengers of Indian Railways insulated from the burden of increasing staff cost," he said.
Regretting that the Budgetary support has not been at the levels required by the Railways, Trivedi said in the event of further increase in input costs it would not be possible for the railways to keep the passengers' cushion from the impact of such increases.
Contending that the Railways was "passing through a difficult phase", he said the Budgetary support has been pegged at a "modest" level of Rs 24,000 crore as against a projected requirement of Rs 45,000 crore.
In the current year, the Minister said although there were no arrears of the Pay Commission to be paid, the impact of allowances and several post-budgetary factors has been "very stressful" for the finances of the Railways.
Trivedi said there have been suggestions for creation of an independent Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority but since it requires serious debate, he had decided to set up a body of experts to examine this.
He said he was contemplating a system of segregating fuel component in the cost associated with passenger services and call it FAC (fuel adjustment component).
"The FAC will be dynamic in nature and will change in either direction with the change of fuel costs," he said.
The Minister said Indian Railways Stations Development Corporation will redevelop 100 stations and maintain them on pattern of airports.
There is a plan to modernise 19,000 km of railway tracks, which cater to 80 per cent of traffic, says Trivedi.
The annual plan for railways for 2012-13 was put at the highest ever Rs 60,100 crore.
Passenger amenities would be given Rs 1,112 crore in 2012-13 as against Rs 762 crore in current year.
All metre gauge, narrow gauge sections would be made broad gauge, except heritage lines, by end of 12th Five Year Plan.
Trivedi said 800 km of lines to be gauge converted at Rs 1,950 crore in 2012-13.
725 km of new lines would be completed in the current year and Rs 6,725 crore has been earmarked for new lines, he said.
Survey would be taken up on 14 new rail lines in 2012-13.
He said the budget will be a chain in the link and would seamlessly integrate with 12th Plan and Vision 2020 document of former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.Rail Budget Highlights:
- Passenger fares increased marginally. The increase will be by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class; 3 paise per km for mail/express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2 tier and 30 paise per km for AC I.
- Minimum fare and platform tickets to cost Rs. 5.
- 50% concession in fare in AC-2, AC-3, Chair Car & Sleeper classes to patients suffering from ‘Aplastic Anaemia’ and ‘Sickle Cell Anaemia’.
- Extending the facility of travel by Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains to Arjuna Awardees.
- Travel distance under ‘Izzat Scheme’ to increase from 100 kms to 150 kms.
- SMS on passenger mobile phone in case of e-ticket to be accepted as proof of valid reservation.
- Introduction of satellite based real time train information system (SIMRAN) to provide train running information to passengers through SMS, internet, etc.
- On board passenger displays indicating next halt station and expected arrival time to be introduced.
- Installation of 321 escalators at important stations of which 50 will be commissioned in 2012-13.
- Introduction of regional cuisine at affordable rates; launching of Book-a-meal scheme to provide multiple choice of meals through SMS or email.
- Introduction of coin/currency operated ticket vending machines.
- Upgradation of 929 stations as Adarsh Stations including 84 stations proposed in 2012-13; 490 stations have been completed so far.
- Specially designed coaches for differently-abled persons to be provided in each Mail/Express trains.
- Introduction of Rail Bandhu on-board magazines on Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Duronto trains.
- Setting up of AC Executive lounges at important stations
- 75 new Express trains to be introduced.
- 21 new passenger services, 9 DEMU services and 8 MEMU services to be introduced.
- Run of 39 trains to be extended.
- Frequency of 23 trains to be increased.
- 75 additional services to run in Mumbai suburban; 44 new suburban services to be introduced in Kolkata area, 50 new services to be introduced in Kolkata Metro; 18 additional services in Chennai area.
- 725 km new lines, 700 km doubling, 800 km gauge conversion and 1,100 km electrification targeted in 2012-13.
- Rs 6,872 cr provided for new lines, Rs 3,393 cr for doubling, Rs 1,950 cr for gauge conversation, Rs 828 cr for electrification
- Highest ever plan outlay of Rs. 60,100 cr
- Rae Bareli coach factory manufactured 10 coaches in 2011-12; phase-II of the factory would be commissioned in 2012-13.
- A wagon factory to be set up at Sitapali (Ganjam District of Odisha)
- A rail coach factory with the support of Government of Kerala to be set up at Palakkad; two additional new manufacturing units for coaches to be established in the Kutch area in Gujarat and at Kolar in Karnataka with active participation of the State Governments.
- Setting up of a factory at Shyamnagar in West Bengal to manufacture next generation technology propulsion system for use in high power electric locomotives.
- Creating Missions as recommended by Pitroda Committee to implement the modernization programme.
- Setting up of Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority to be considered.
- New Board Members for Safety/Research and PPP/Marketing to be inducted.
- Rail-Road Grade Separation Corporation to be set up to eliminate level crossings.
- Indian Railway Station Development Corporation to be set up to redevelop stations through PPP mode.
- Logistics Corporation to be set up for development & management of existing railway goods sheds and multi-modal logistics parks.
- National High Speed Rail Authority to be set-up.
- Pre-feasibility studies on six high speed corridors already completed; study on Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur to be taken up in 2012-13.
- Introduction of a ‘Green Train’ to run through the pristine forests of North Bengal.
- Setting up of 200 remote railway stations as ‘green energy stations’ powered entirely by solar energy.
- Providing solar lighting system at 1,000 manned level crossing gates.
- 2,500 coaches to be equipped with bio toilets.
- Setting up of 72 MW capacity windmill plants in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
- Installation of Integrated Security System at all 202 identified stations to be completed in 2012-13.
- Escorting of trains by RPF/GRP extended to 3,500 trains.
- Integration of RPF helpline with the All India Passenger Helpline.
- Setting up of a Railway Safety Authority as a statutory regulatory body as recommended by Kakodkar Committee
- . Three ‘Safety Villages’ to be set up at Bengaluru, Kharagpur and Lucknow for skill development for disaster management.
- Over one lakh persons to be recruited in 2012-13 – backlog of SC/ST/OBC and other categories to be wiped off.
- Introduction of a wellness programme for railway staff at their work places.
- Ensuring proper rest for skilled and technical staff including the running crew.
- Institution of ‘Rail Khel Ratna’ Award for 10 rail sports-persons every year.
- New coaching terminal at Naihati, the birth place of Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay commemorating him on 175th Birth Anniversary.
- .Project to connect Agartala with Akhaura in Bangladesh to be taken up in 2012-13.
- Freight loading of 1,025 MT targeted; 55 MT more than 2011-12
- Passenger growth targeted at 5.4 %.