Highlights of Railway Budget 2016-17 in Questions and Answers Format (Q & A Format)

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Rail Budget 2016-17

What is the theme of this Budget?
To Reorganise, Restructure and Rejuvenate Indian Railways.


A new approach, a new way of working – “चलो, मिलकर कुछ नया करें”.


to improve customer service,
regain the lost modal share, and
to introduce a new way of working by relooking the processes and structures.


THREE pillars of the strategy :


Nav Arjan or New revenues (focus on new sources of revenue),

Nav Manak or New norms (optimising outgo on each activity), and

Nav Sanrachna or New Structures (revisiting all processes, rules, and structures).


Q Is this budget reform oriented?


Yes, the Budget 2016-17 focusses on consolidation of the vision set out in the Budget 2015-16.

Draft Bill on regulator to be finalized

Restructuring Railway Board on business lines

Forming cross-sectoral directorates

Setting up Railway Planning and Investment Organisation

Setting up a holding company for Railway PSUs

Creating a separate organization Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & HolisticAdvancement (SRESTHA) for R&D

Creating an organization Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (SUTRA) for data analytics

Setting up duly empowered missions to take forward 7 activities with time bound targets – missions are for switching over to 25 tonne axle load, increasing speeds, accounting reforms, commissioning 100 sidings/PFTs in 2016-17, preparing a blueprint of utilizing the network once DFC is commissioned, zero accident for safety and for procurement and consumption efficiency.


Q How is capacity augmentation planned?


Plan Budget is pegged at Rs. 1.21 lakh crore, 21% higher than the expected Plan expenditure in 2015-16.

2015-16 will surpass target of commissioning 2,500 km Broad Gauge lines.

2016-17 commissioning of 2,800 kms of Broad Gauge track.

90 new projects involving a total investment of Rs. 1,26,172 crore covering about 8,432 kms covering new line, doubling, gauge conversion and Metropolitan Transport Project (MTP) included in the Budget.

In 2016-17, Broad Gauge lines at the rate of over 7 km per day against an average of about 4.3 Km per day in the last 6 years. This pace will increase to about 13 kms per day in 2017-18 and 19 kms per day in 2018-19

Railway Electrification – 1,600 kms to be commissioned in 2015-16; in 2016-17 propose to electrify 2,000 kms.

High speed passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai; SPV to be registered; will bring in modern technology for the country.

DFC – three new freight corridors: North-South connecting Delhi to Chennai, East-West connecting Kharagpur to Mumbai & East Coast connecting Kharagpur to Vijayawada through innovative financing mechanisms including PPP

Port connectivity: Tuna Port commissioned in 2015-16 and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas and Paradip under implementation. For 2016-17, to take up connectivity for the ports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP.

Q What is there for the Common Man?


Introduction of Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, to be operated on dense routes

Addition of two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains for unreserved travel with facility for potable drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points

Sale of tickets through hand held terminals

Sale of platform tickets through ticket vending machines both cash and card compatible

E-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs

Facility of cancellation through the 139 helpline using ‘One Time Password’

Bar coded tickets, scanners and access control on a pilot basis

Progressive CCTV coverage at tatkaal counters

‘Vikalp’ (Alternative Train Accommodation System) scheme to be expanded to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.

IRCTC to manage catering services in a phased manner.

Extending e-catering services from 45 stations to all 408 ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class stations.

Explore making mandatory catering services optional in trains.

Introducing a new policy where each stall at station can provide multiple products including milk products and OTC medicines

Option to our customers for drinking tea in kulhad

To convert all operational halts into commercial halts.

Information boards in trains to list on-board services and also GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide information regarding halts.

A1 class stations to be manned with duly empowered Station Directors supported by cross functional teams.

Passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres including Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni, Varanasi and Vasco.

Aastha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres.

Porters to have new uniforms and train them in soft skills, to be henceforth called sahayak.


Q What is there for Cleanliness?


‘Clean my Coach’ service through SMS.

Ranking of A1 and A stations based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback.

Waste segregation and recycling centres.

‘Awareness campaigns’ for cleanliness.

Additional 30,000 bio-toilets.

Providing portable structures with bio-toilets at all platforms of select stations for senior citizens, Divyang and women travellers.

Q What is there for farmers?


  • Encouraging development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals. Local farmers and fishermen would be given preferential usage of the facility. A policy in this regard would be issued in the next 3 months.
  • Allowing floriculture/horticulture along tracks.


Q What is there for Industry?


  • Expanding the freight basket by looking beyond core commodities
  • Starting a time-tabled freight container, parcel and special commodity trains on a pilot basis
  • Container sector to be opened to all traffic barring coal and specified mineral ores and part-loads during the non-peak season.


  • Existing terminals/sheds to grant access to container traffic, where feasible
  • Review of tariff policy to evolve a competitive rate structure vis a vis other modes, permit multi-point loading/unloading and apply differentiated tariffs to increase utilization of alternate routes
  • Signing long term tariff contracts with key freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principles
  • To develop Rail side logistic parks and warehousing in PPP mode
  • 10 goods sheds to be developed by Transport Logistics Company of India (TRANSLOC) in 2016-17.
  • Inaugurating soon India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai to capture automobile traffic.
  • Exploring feasibility of opening up leasing of general purpose wagons.
  • Appointing Key Customer Managers to liaison with our major freight stakeholders.


What are the measures for environment and energy conservation?


  • To reduce energy consumption in non-traction area by 10% to 15%; all new light provisions will be LED luminaire only
  • More than 2,000 locations provided with Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) facility; RWH systems will be provided in a phased manner in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square metres
  • Environmentally friendly composite sleepers made up of recycled plastic waste will be used over all girder bridges
  • Tender documents for 50 MW solar plants at rooftop issued and facility for another 100 MW being set up
  • To commission 132.5 MW of windmill power plants in 2016-17
  • Automatic coach washing plants to be commissioned in major coaching depots with a holding of more than 500 coaches
  • To convert all production units as well as at least one workshop in each Zonal Railway as green industrial unit


Are there any measures in the budget for Staff Welfare?


  • To tie up with the Ministry of Health for ensuring an exchange between Railways hospitals and Government hospitals.
  • Introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway hospitals.
  • All gang men to be provided devices called ‘Rakshak’ which will intimate them about approaching trains.
  • to reduce weight of the tools carried by gangmen while patrolling
  • Provide toilets and air-conditioning in cabs for loco pilots.
  • one C T Venugopal chair on Strategic Finance, research and policy development
  • One Kalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatial technology for IR.
  • Rail University at Vadodara
  • Skill development on IR premises with Ministry of Skill Development
  • Railway Workshops and Production Units to develop ‘Centres of Excellence for Skill Development’, focussing on one/two specialized activities for the general public
  • Join hands with prominent NGOs to provide skilling to people in remote areas including wards of Railways employees.


Are there any passenger friendly initiatives to cater to special needs, including Senior Citizens, Divyang (differently-abled) etc?


  • Expansion of Sarathi Seva to help old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at stations.
  • Strengthen existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, pick up and drop, and wheel chair services – Rail Mitra Sewa.
  • Ensuring all stations under redevelopment are accessible by Divyang
  • At least one Divyang friendly toilet at each platform in A1 class stations in 2016-17.


Q Are there any measures for the business traveller?


  • For passengers transiting railway network for freshening up before moving on with their business for the day, hourly booking of retiring rooms to be allowed instead of the existing minimum of 12 hours.
  • Retiring rooms to be handed over to IRCTC for management.


Q What is there for Suburban systems?


  • Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) III to be taken forward.
  • Financial closure and an early award of tenders for two elevated suburban corridors between Churchgate-Virar and CSTM-Panvel
  • Raise all low level platforms in Mumbai suburban stations in 2016-17


  • Issues related to East West Corridor of Kolkata Metro resolved and Phase I will be completed by June 2018; working on the possibility of extending the East West Corridor by 5 km.
  • Reviving the Ring Railway system in Delhi in partnership with the State Government.
  • Major programme to build an integrated suburban ecosystem of IR by launching a new investment framework with sharing of equity contribution with the State Governments and ensuring cost neutrality on operations; detailed policy in 4 months.
  • Partnership with State Governments of Gujarat, Telengana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for developing suburban sections in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai, respectively by deploying innovative financing mechanisms.


Q Are there any measures for Women?


  • To make available of children’s menu items on trains.
  • Baby foods, hot milk and hot water to be made available on stations
  • Changing boards for babies would be provided in train toilets.
  • CCTV cameras would continue to be installed in coaches
  • Sub-quota in allotment of stalls
  • Encouragement to self-help groups to supply food on trains


Are there any measures for youth?


  • Open up IR to 100 students across Engineering and MBA schools for 2-6 months’ internships each year.
  • Wi-Fi at 400 stations in next two years
  • Rs. 50 crore earmarked for Innovation Fund for encouraging innovations and start-ups.


Are there any measures for journalists?

  • E-booking of tickets on the concessional passes available to them


Q What is there for the North East & J&K?


  • States of Mizoram and Manipur will come on the Broad Gauge map of the country with commissioning of the Kathakal-Bhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.
  • Decongestion work on the Jalandhar- Jammu line, an important link to the valley, is going on in full swing. Doubling of two bridges will be commissioned by March 2016, while the other two bridges will be completed by 2016-17.


Q What are the provisions for Technology?


  • Integrating various facilities into two mobile apps – one dealing with all ticketing issues and the other for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions.
  • Physical progress on DFC to be monitored in 2016-17 using latest drone and Geo Spatial based satellite technology
  • Initiated system wide integration of IT programs/systems, both horizontal and vertical, akin to an ERP through innovative partnership models.
  • Process leading to award of tenders electronically to be rolled out on a Pan-India basis in 2016-17.


Q Is there anything related to innovation and startups?


  • Setting aside a sum of Rs. 50 crore for innovation grants to employees, startups and growth oriented small businesses
  • Innovation labs to be set up in workshops and production units to support creative innovation by locals and staff.
  • Annual innovation challenge
  • To develop a Test Track for testing prototypes.


Q What is there for State Governments?


  • Creation of Joint Ventures with State Governments for undertaking rail based projects. Received in principle approval from 17 states, out of which 6 MOUs have already been signed.
  • 44 new line, gauge conversion and doubling projects proposed in partnership mode


Q How are resources proposed to be mobilized?


  • LIC has agreed to invest Rs. 1.5 lakh crore over five years on extremely favourable terms.
  • Looking forward to setting up a Fund with multilateral assistance for financing railway projects.


Non fare revenues

  • Station redevelopment will help monetize land and buildings through commercial exploitation of vacant land and space rights over station buildings.
  • Monetizing land along tracks
  • Monetizing soft assets such as data, software and some of the free services such as PNR enquiry, e-commerce activities on IRCTC website.
  • Target to increase the advertising revenues by more than 4 times the current revenues.
  • To liberalize the current parcel policies including opening the sector to container train operators
  • Expanding our service offerings specially to growing sectors such as e-commerce.
  • Pilot project for online booking of parcels.
  • Revenues from manufacturing activity of production units and workshops for domestic and international market; revenue targeted at Rs. 4,000 crore by 2020.


Q Make in India


  • After agreement for setting up two loco factories in India with an order book of about Rs. 40,000 crore, a similar bid process started for train sets for Rajdhani and Shatabdi services; current procurement to be increased by 30%.
  • Production units and workshops to aim at generating annualised revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore by 2020 through manufacturing products for domestic and international markets.


Q Is there anything special for the passenger services?


For the unreserved passenger

  • Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, to be operated on dense routes.
  • Addition of two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains with facility for potable drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points.


For the reserved passenger

  • Humsafar would be fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals.
  • Tejas will showcase the future of train travel in India. Operating at speeds of 130 kmph and above, it will offer onboard entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Overnight double-decker, Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri (UDAY) Express on the busiest routes.


  • Modern coaches
  • Designing coaches to ensure higher carrying capacity and automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens, LED lit boards for advertising, PA system.


Q Have any social initiatives been announced?


  • IRCTC has begun the process of empanelling Self-help groups for providing catering/cooking services.
  • Partnering with NABARD to provide support and access to our IRCTC website to ensure extensive e- marketing for products produced by the Self-help groups.
  • Partnered with Khadi and Village Industries Commission to support creation of employment and self-reliance in rural India resulting in the generation of 17 lakh man days; will continue to partner with them
  • Will encourage sourcing of products from SC/ST entrepreneurs.


Q Are there any measures related to tourism?


  • Partner with the State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains and explore the possibility of a revenue sharing model.
  • Recently upgraded our National Rail Museum; promotion of tourism through Railway museums and UNESCO world heritage Railways
  • To spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, we will offer complete packages including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh.

(PIB Release ID :137241)



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