Full TEXT – Indian Railway Budget Speech 2016-17

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Madam Speaker,

  1. I rise to present before this August House the Statement of Estimated Receipts and Expenditure for 2016-17 for Indian Railways.
  2. Let me begin with a couple of personal experiences. As the Railway Minister of India, I visit a number of places and meet a large number of people from all walks of life. On one visit to Mumbai Central station, I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of women engaged in cleaning. The station looked very clean. On seeing me, a lady came and thanked me for allowing her NGO to adopt the station. For the last five months she had been volunteering a day every month at the station. She said that she felt very happy to be contributing her little bit to this national cause.
  3. In another incident, Alok Tiwari, an inspector in the Railway Protection Force, recently deputed to the social media cell of the Railway Board, shared his sentiments. He is responsible for taking action on passengers’ requests for help on social media. He said that for the first time in his professional career, he has realised how his little actions were making a huge difference in passengers’ lives. He felt enthused and proud to be part of Indian Railways.
  4. Madam Speaker, it is people like these who are the soul of India and Indian Railways, and that is why this is not my Budget alone. This is a Budget which reflects the aspirations of each and every member of the Railway family; a Budget that reflects the aspirations of the common citizens of India who have not only been writing to me, interacting with me on social media but also meeting me in large numbers to share their thoughts. This is a Budget that has been fashioned by a creative partnership: with ideas from my colleagues in Parliament, industry associations, commuter associations, media and practically all sections of the society. I would like to thank each one of you. But above all, this Budget owes its inspiration to the vision and leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. He had once said, “My vision is to make railways the backbone of India’s progress and economic development.”

We are making all out efforts to translate his vision into reality. Our core objective is to improve the quality of customer experience at the individual level, become an engine of employment generation and economic growth at the national level and convert India’s largest institution into a template for

“यात्री की गरिमा, रेल की गति राष्ट्र की प्रगति”!

This budget will document a journey of transformation, the journey of our nation, by touching millions of human lives daily.

Overcoming the challenges – our strategy

  1. These are challenging times, may be one of the toughest. We are faced with two headwinds, entirely beyond our control; tepid growth of our economy’s core sectors due to international slowdown and the looming impact of the 7th Pay Commission and increased productivity bonus payouts. Further, historically declining modal share of Indian Railways, which dropped from 62% in 1980 to 36% in 2012, is continuing to exert pressure on the institution. At this moment, I am reminded of our former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s few lines:

विपदाएं आती हैं आएं, हम न रुकेंगे, हम न रुकेंगे।
आघातों की क्या चिंता है, हम न झुकेंगे, हम न झुकेंगे।

  1. IR as an organization has stood the test of time due to the sheer grit and commitment of its employees. However, these challenging times require overhaul of our work culture and ethos cemented over years. Last year, I had unveiled a medium term vision for the Railways which set us on this transformational journey for which we now we need to Reorganise, Restructure and Rejuvenate this institution. We need to bring in a new approach, a new way of working – चलो, मिलकर कुछ नया करें।
  2. the three pillars of the strategy that i am laying out today reflect
    this new thought process.
  3. A) Nav Arjan – New revenues: IR typically has focused on increasing revenues through tariff hikes. We want to change that and challenge our conventional thinking on freight policies to win back our share in the transportation sector. We will exploit new sources of revenue so that every asset, tangible or non-tangible, gets optimally monetized.
  4. B) Nav Manak – New norms. Each rupee that gets expensed will be re-examined to ensure optimal productivity. We will take a ‘zerobased budgeting’ approach to the financials of the ensuing year. We will improve our efficiency yardsticks and procurement practices to bring them in line with international best practices. We will continue to innovate and optimise our outgo on each activity.
  5. C) Nav Sanrachna – New Structures: We need to Re-imagine the conventional ways of solving issues. Co-operation, Collaboration, Creativity and Communication should be the hallmark of our decision-making and actions. We will revisit all processes, rules, and structures to enable this transformation of IR. We will draw upon our inherent strengths, diverse talents and rich experience to emerge stronger.

नव उमंग
नव तरंग
जीवन का नव प्रसंग
नवल चाह
नवल राह
जीवन का नव प्रवाह

श्री हरिवंश राय बच्चन

Financial Performance

  1. For the year 2016-17, we expect an Operating Ratio of 92%, after including the immediate impact of the 7th Pay Commission, as against 90% likely to be achieved in the current year. It is pertinent to note that the Ordinary Working Expenses grew by 32.5% in 2008-09 due to the impact of the 6th Pay Commission while we are targeting to restrict the growth of Ordinary Working Expenses by 11.6% for 2016-17. This has been largely possible due to extensive cost optimization and revenue enhancement through innovative means planned next year. We have already made humble beginnings in this direction, as a result of which a saving of Rs. 8,720 crore from the budget estimates would be effected this year, neutralizing most of the revenue shortfall. We significantly reduced the cost of power procured for traction by signing long term agreements, brought down inventory carrying costs and launched austerity drives. In the next year, we are increasing the rigour on cost optimisation multi-fold. For the first time in IR absolute reductions, as compared to the previous year, have been planned in categories like diesel and electricity through concrete and rigorous planning. Further, with an optimistic outlook for the economy and various measures outlined later, we hope to generate revenues of the order of Rs. 1,84,820 crore next year, 10.1 % higher than the revised target for the current year. The statement of financial performance for 2015-16 and budget estimates for receipts and expenditure for 2016-17 is at Annex I.

Investments and Resources


  1. We have ramped up capital expenditure to remove the huge backlog of the past as well as to provide for the current and future needs of the organisation. We have overhauled age old process bottlenecks and delegated powers effectively to the functional levels. As a result, the rate of capital expenditure has increased substantially in the later quarters of the year and should now grow exponentially. We will continue to employ this ‘new approach’ to our capital expenditure. We have managed to break away from the average capital expenditure of Rs. 48,100 crore over the period 2009-14, and an average growth of only 8% per annum, to achieve a quantum jump. This year, our investment would be close to double of the average of previous years – a feat never achieved earlier. For the year 2016-17, the capital plan has been pegged at Rs. 1.21 lakh crore.

10.This magnitude of investment calls for abandoning the businessas-usual approach and continually innovating to find new ways of sourcing funds and executing projects. Be it by forming joint ventures with states, developing new frameworks for PPP, scouting international markets for Rupee bonds or engaging with multilateral and bilateral agencies, IR will be at the forefront of infrastructure growth in the country. We have for the first time incorporated a statement in the ‘Pink Book’ of sanctioned works a list of partnership projects being undertaken with State Government and other agencies. Every rupee of investment in Railways has the capacity to increase economy-wide output by Rs. 5. The impact that this increased investment in Railways will have on the economic growth of the country is unprecedented. It would also lead to realizing the vision of a modern and efficient railway system.


11.We, in the Railways, must provide to the citizens of this country a rail system that they can be proud of – a system free from capacity constraints, a system that is efficient and predictable, a system that is sparkling and pristine, where the people of my country feel at ease, where there is plenty of choice in every sphere of activity, and the ease of doing business pervades the entire railway ecosystem. In short, a system that is capable of taking care of its own needs financially and otherwise.

12.By 2020, we look forward to meeting the long-felt desires of the common man:

Reserved accommodation on trains being available on demand.
Time tabled freight trains with credible service commitments.
High end technology to significantly improve safety record.
Elimination of all unmanned level crossings.
Punctuality increased to almost 95%.
Increased average speed of freight trains to 50 kmph and Mail/Express trains to 80 kmph.
Semi high speed trains running along the golden quadrilateral.

Zero direct discharge of human waste.

13.I am thankful to the various committees, including the committee chaired by Dr. Debroy, whose recommendations have informed our vision. Many of the recommendations, being already a part of my last year’s budget speech, have seen expedited implementation, while there is steady progress on several others.


The year that was

14.Our Prime Minister demands the conversion of vision into specific reality with speed, efficiency and total transparency. As I stand to deliver my second Budget, I am conscious that this is not only a moment for the evolution of new ideas but also an examination of last year’s momentum. Accountability is an ongoing principle of public life.

15.I am happy to announce that action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year. For the first time, an implementation report is included as Annex 2 to this Speech. Madam Speaker, let me take a few minutes to dwell on the progress of some of the key initiatives taken during this year.

Project execution

16.With great pleasure I wish to inform the House that bankable railway projects are now assured of funding and should be completed within the next 3-4 years. We have introduced a new way of funding our projects through institutional financing. LIC has agreed to invest Rs. 1.5 lakh crore over five years on extremely favourable terms. We are also looking forward to setting up a Fund with multilateral assistance for financing railway projects.

17.During the current financial year, we have been able to set new benchmarks in project execution. We will be surpassing the ambitious target of commissioning 2,500 km Broad Gauge lines. This will be almost 30% higher than last year. In the next year, we plan to commission 2,800 kms of track.

18.This year we changed the metric from completion to commissioning. ‘Completion’ can be a misleading term, a paper reality. Nothing has started functioning until it has been commissioned. It is with pride that I inform this august House that we are poised to commission 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 and will generate employment of about 9 crore man days in 2017-18 and 14 crore man days in 2018-19.


19.It has been established that electrical traction is more economical besides being environment friendly. In a business-as-usual approach, it may take us 10 to 15 years to complete the required electrification which we are targeting to complete in the next few years. We will accelerate the process and increase the pace multifold through innovative approaches of financing and project management including partnering with Ministry of Power. We will formulate a framework where the net savings from electrification will be able to finance the capital expenditure to minimise the strain on government exchequer. This year we intend commissioning 1,600 kms, which is the highest ever. In the next financial year, we have increased the outlay for railway electrification by almost 50% and propose to electrify 2,000 kms.

Dedicated Freight Corridor

20.The Dedicated Freight Corridor project, the largest infrastructure project in the country, is gaining momentum. I am happy to inform the House, that before this financial year closes, almost all the contracts for civil engineering works would have been awarded. Since I assumed office, contracts worth Rs. 24,000 crore have been awarded against Rs 13,000 crore worth of contracts in the last 6 years.

21.Given the emphasis on rapid expansion of freight business, it is essential to build more dedicated freight corridors for increased traffic with consequent benefits for the economy and environment. It is proposed to take up the following freight corridors: North-South connecting Delhi to Chennai, East-West connecting Kharagpur to Mumbai & East Coast connecting Kharagpur to Vijayawada. It is proposed to put these three projects on high priority to ensure structuring, award and implementation in a time-bound manner through innovative financing mechanisms including PPP.

Port Connectivity

22.Port connectivity is an important element to ensure seamless logistics to boost country’s imports and exports. Last year, we had launched a coastal connectivity program. I am happy to inform that the Tuna Port was commissioned this year and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas and Paradip are under implementation. For the year 2016-17, we propose to undertake implementation of rail connectivity for the ports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP. Considering the urgent need to provide connectivity to our ports on the 7,517 km coastline, we will positively consider to undertake any offer of partnership.

North East

23.Better connectivity to the North Eastern States is of utmost priority for our government. We have opened the long-awaited Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, thus connecting Barak Valley with rest of the country. We also brought Agartala, the capital of Tripura on to the Broad Gauge network. The States of Mizoram and Manipur are also set to come on the Broad Gauge map of the country soon with commissioning of the KathakalBhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.

Jammu and Kashmir

24.In J&K, despite difficult terrain and uncertain geology, work on Katra-Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project is progressing satisfactorily and 35 Kilometers of tunneling, out of total of 95 Kilometers has been completed successfully. The 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.

Make in India

25.In keeping with our Prime Minister’s emphasis on Make in India, IR was able to finalise the bids for setting up two loco factories with an order book of about Rs. 40,000 crore. These factories will create an ecosystem of many flourishing small and medium ancillary units which will get connected to the global supply chain. They will boost employment potential of the entire Eastern region. We ran a bidding process that was absolutely transparent and the rates received were extremely competitive.

26.We have since initiated a similar bid process for manufacture, supply and maintenance of train sets to be used for Rajdhani and Shatabdi services. It is proposed to increase the current procurement by 30%.

Capacity Building for the future

27.In the last one year we have taken several measures to build the capacity of the organization to ensure readiness for the accelerated growth envisioned for IR. The outcome of this exercise has resulted in increased absorption of capital expenditure and reduced project sanction cycle.


28.Transparency is an important tenet of our Government. IR’s mission is to ensure 100% transparency in all its operations. We have initiated the process of conducting recruitments online in 2015-16 and the process is now being replicated for all positions. Social media is also being used as a tool to bring in transparency in our day to day working. All procurement including procurement of works has moved to the e-platform. We intend to usher into a new era by switching over to paperless contract management system where not only the bids are invited online, but the entire process leading to award of a tender is also done electronically. We have completed the trial run for the above and intend to roll it out on a Pan-India basis in next financial year.


29.With a view to ensuring empowerment at functional level, I had delegated to the Zonal Railways all tender and estimate related powers. However, my task is not yet complete and this process will go on. As a result of the above decision, we were able to ensure that the projects get sanctioned within a period of 6-8 months, a process, which earlier, used to take more than 2 years. With more delegation comes greater accountability and to establish this new culture, key result areas (KRAs) have been defined for General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers. These areas clearly articulate the metrics on which the officials would be evaluated, ensuring objectivity in assessment of performance and mid-term course corrections.

30.We have signed MoUs with some Zonal Railways, where quantifiable targets on performance parameters were clearly laid out. This ensured resounding commitment from these Railways in meeting their targets. We shall do it for all zones next year.

Internal audit

31.We have also revamped our internal audit systems with a view to bringing in efficiency in our working practices. Specialized teams have been mandated to screen Railway operations in specific areas, to detect inefficiencies and prevent wastages. All Zonal Railways have been asked to prepare two such reports in the current year. Specialized training courses on IT-based internal audit mechanism have also been initiated to give professional teeth to the internal audit teams.


32.The Cabinet, in a historic decision, has allowed for the creation of Joint Ventures with State Governments for undertaking rail based projects. This decision will open up new vistas for sharing the ownership of Railways, enhance management bandwidth for project execution, strengthen the spirit of cooperative federalism and enable States to jointly decide their priorities for development of backward regions. We have received in principle approvals from 17 states, out of which 6 MOUs have already been signed. This year we have indicated 44 new partnership works covering about 5,300 kms and valuing about Rs. 92,714 crore in the Budget documents.

33.We have also forged partnerships with Ministry of Coal, SAIL and NTPC to expedite the pace of project execution through innovative financing.

Customer Interface

34.The common people have always been the focus of all our initiatives. It has been an unprecedented year for customer oriented works.

Interaction and Feedback

35.IR’s responsiveness to customer needs reached new heights when we turned social media into a feedback and complaint redressal mechanism. In addition, we set up a dedicated IVRS system to seek direct feedback from passengers. More than 1 lakh telephone calls are made every day to seek inputs from passengers. With all these measures, we were able to give ‘Voice’ to the customer that was not only heard but also acted upon. These channels were used not only to seek feedback but to provide medical care, safety of passengers especially women and other aspects of human care and also helped us to monitor the cleanliness of stations and trains. Today, there is no barrier between the common passenger and the Railways.

Making travel comfortable

36.We have taken a series of measures to significantly improve the quality of train services. In this effort, we have received assistance through funds from MPLAD and CSR. I am happy to inform that 124 MPs have given their commitment to contribute for passenger amenities. I thank everyone for their help and hope to have the benefit of their assistance in the next year also. We have:

Generated over 65,000 additional berths by augmenting 884 coaches on patronized routes on permanent basis

Installed 2,500 water vending machines at stations, provided mobile charging points in general class coaches, placed dustbins in all new non-AC coaches, enabled online booking of retiring rooms.

Set up mechanized laundries to provide clean and hygienic bed rolls. Disposable bed rolls are now available at select stations to all classes of passengers.

Introduced a new train between Varanasi and Delhi, ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern refurbished coaches.


37.In pursuance of our mission Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat, I am happy to inform the House that:

17,000 bio-toilets in trains and additional toilets at 475 stations will be provided before the close of this financial year.

World’s first Bio-Vacuum toilet was developed by IR and is being used in Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express.

74 more trains have been added under On-board Housekeeping Service and another 400 are to be covered soon, leading to a total number of almost 1000 trains under the scheme.

Improving punctuality

38.The punctuality performance of passenger trains has been a matter of concern for several decades. We have a porous network which leads to rampant infiltration by humans and animals. Problems are compounded by congestion in tracks, terminal capacity constraints and asset failures. The worst affected is the busy Ghaziabad to Mughalsarai section through Allahabad and Kanpur which spreads across three Zonal Railways thereby impacting the overall punctuality of the entire network. We initiated the audit of operations on this section to improve our performance. Some improvement is already visible and capacity augmentation in the medium term will further reduce the delays.

39.Besides internal reasons, there are also external reasons such as agitations on railway tracks, which lead to punctuality losses. I appeal to my fellow citizens to desist from this as it causes loss, not only to the nation but also to them as passengers.


40.Last year I had announced ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to enable passengers to purchase tickets without spending long hours in queues. In this context we:

Introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines and 225 cash-coin & smart card operated ticket vending machines.

Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and to support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier.

Introduced mobile based apps for purchasing unreserved and platform tickets and GoIndia smart card scheme for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets.

Social obligations

41.For the Divyang, we introduced:

One-time registration for availing concessions while booking
tickets online.

Online booking of wheelchairs.

Braille enabled new coaches.

42.For our senior citizens and women travellers, we:

Increased quota of lower berths. In the coming financial year, we are increasing the senior citizen quota per coach by 50%, resulting in almost 120 lower berths per train for senior citizens.

Added more escalators and lifts.
Reserved middle bays in coaches for women security.

43.We introduced Wi-Fi services at stations especially for our youth and business travellers. The process has begun. We intend to commission Wi-Fi services at 100 stations this year and at 400 more stations in the next 2 years. We are partnering with Google in this endeavour. I take this opportunity to invite all other service providers and entrepreneurs to partner with us in this initiative.


44.The passenger experience is significantly governed by the efficiency and quality of services on a railway station. Besides improvement in service, a redeveloped railway station would also provide opportunities for generating significant non-tariff revenues. We are redeveloping our stations using different models. Based on one of these models, the contract for redevelopment of Habibganj station in Bhopal for which the financial bid has been received, while 4 other stations are in advanced stage of bidding.

45.In a landmark decision, Cabinet has approved redevelopment of 400 stations through PPP. This is expected to be the largest transit oriented development in the world and, hence, involves complex decision making. On the basis of a bankable structure for private participation, it is proposed to undertake a bidding process for a few large and medium stations during the course of the next financial year. Apart from taking up stations through the PPP mode, we are also exploring the possibility of availing multilateral financial investments for the development of certain other stations and partnering with State Governments.

46.We are making a unique attempt to combine cleanliness with creativity. I had appealed to numerous social organisations to come forward to beautify our stations. I am happy to inform the House that walls of many stations have been converted to murals which have not only improved the aesthetics but also spread awareness on socially relevant themes. One such theme that deserves special mention is Wild life conservation illustrated through the paintings done at Sawai Madhopur Station. Hazaribagh, Borivali, Khar, Udaipur, Bikaner are some of the other stations which showcase local art and talent. I thank them all and request similar support next year for aesthetic up-gradation of our stations. We will make special efforts to showcase tribal art.


47.To provide better security to our passengers especially women travellers, following major initiatives were undertaken:

All India, 24/7 helpline number 182.
CCTV surveillance provided at 311 stations. All major stations will be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.


48.A single accident or loss of a single life causes me great sorrow and anguish. It also demonstrates that we still have a long way to go in realizing our objective of a zero accident regime. Although our safety record is better at 20% lower accidents compared to the previous year, there is much more that is required to be done. I truly believe that the way forward to eliminate accidents from IR is through adoption and assimilation of latest technology. We have entered into a R&D partnership with leading Railway institutions of the world, Railway Technical Research Institute, Japan and Korean Rail Research Institute. They will work with IR to improve operations on existing network and, hence, provide a roadmap for ‘zero accident’ railway system in India. In the interim, we have examined the recommendations of the Committee headed by Dr. Kakodkar and are working on their implementation. We are also working on anti-falling measures for overcrowded trains mainly in the suburban sections. In 2015-16, we have closed 350 manned level crossings and eliminated 1000 unmanned level crossings. 820 ROB/RUB have been completed in the current year and work is going on in 1350 of them.

Other major achievements


49.In my Budget Speech last year, I had promised annualized savings of Rs. 3,000 crore to be achieved by the third year. It is about 30% of the total traction supply cost. I am happy to announce that the target will be achieved in the next financial year itself, a year earlier than envisaged. For the first time, IR has leveraged provisions of the Electricity Act to procure power directly at competitive rates, using its status as Deemed Distribution Licensee. Power Procurement Contracts already signed and implemented will mean an annualized saving of Rs. 1,300 crore. Further actions to source power, already initiated, will deliver annualized savings of Rs. 1,700 crore during the coming year, taking the total to Rs. 3,000 crore. In addition, the saving of Rs. 300 crore is being targeted through demand side management and energy efficiency measures.

50.Locomotives with auxiliary load are now being manufactured by IR. Use of these locos will enable elimination of power cars, thereby replacing them with passenger coaches which will enhance the carrying capacity of trains and significantly reduce travel time, noise level, fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Four such locos have been turned out in the current year and another 39 are expected to be manufactured in 2016-17.

Rail University

51.Rail University is an important enabler to build sustained flow of skilled manpower, a prime requisite for any world class railway system. We have identified the National Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara as the first institution which would be upgraded to a full-fledged university. Preparations are in full swing to establish the university during the next financial year.

Digital India

52.IR as an organization cannot progress on the path of prosperity unless that path is ‘digitally’ illuminated. This year, an application of Track Management System (TMS) was launched. With this, activities of track inspection, monitoring and maintenance have thus been switched over to an IT platform, and automatic alerts in the form of SMS and e-mails are being generated. Inventory Management module of TMS has resulted in inventory reduction by 27,000 MT resulting in saving of Rs.64 crore and scrap identification of 22,000 MT equivalent to Rs.53 crore. During 2016- 17, this system will be implemented on entire IR.

53.IR has developed an application for maintaining centralized land data, and records of all land holdings over IR have been digitized.

The Way Ahead

54.As I move on to illustrate the new initiatives, let me take a step back. One of the thrust areas of last year’s budget was giving passengers better services and making railway journeys enjoyable. We will continue to build on this momentum and strive hard to ensure satisfaction of each of the 7 billion passengers that ride IR’s network annually.

Improving quality of travel

55.Ours is a common man’s government working tirelessly for the benefit of all, especially farmers, workers, women, disabled and the impoverished. Sabka saath, sabka vikas is not just a slogan for us, it pervades all our thoughts and actions. Every customer is our brand ambassador, the very reason of our existence. Therefore, each time that he or she travels, the satisfaction quotient must go up. In pursuance of making each of our customers happy, I propose to take the following measures.

For the unreserved passenger – Antyodaya Express and Deen Dayalu coaches

56.This government truly believes that the fate of India would not change unless the lives of the common man or woman improve. Not only is he or she the center point of our policy making, but is ubiquitous in our public discourse and in our ideology. We propose to introduce the Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes.

57.We will also add two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance our carrying capacity for the masses. These coaches will also have facility for potable drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points.

For the reserved passenger – Humsafar, Tejas and UDAY

58.I am announcing three select train services, Humsafar, Tejas and UDAY. Humsafar and Tejas will ensure cost recovery by way of tariff and non-tariff measures. Humsafar would be fully airconditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals.

59.Tejas, on the other hand will showcase the future of train travel in India. Operating at speeds of 130 kmph and above, it will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, etc. through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved customer satisfaction.

60.We will also introduce overnight double-decker, Utkrisht DoubleDecker Air-conditioned Yatri (UDAY) Express on the busiest routes, which has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%.


61.To continue the effort on minimising waiting time for passengers at booking windows, we intend to commence sale of tickets through hand held terminals for the benefit of the suburban and short distance travellers. This would enable us to deploy multiple ‘Points of Sale’ with minimal infrastructure requirement. We also intend initiating sale of platform tickets through ticket vending machines which would be made compatible with not only cash but also credit/debit cards.

62.In the next 3 months, we will open the e-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs.

63.For our journalist friends, we will provide e-booking of tickets on the concessional passes available to them. This has been a long pending request and it is my privilege to provide them with this service.

64.Cancellation of PRS tickets requires a passenger to travel to a booking window to avail the refund, within a prescribed time. This is a source of great discomfort. We will now open the facility of cancellation through the 139 helpline post verification using ‘One Time Password’ sent on registered phone number.

65.We will introduce bar coded tickets, scanners and access control on a pilot basis on major stations to tackle the menace of ticketless travel and ensure hassle free travel for passengers.

66.We have taken a number of measures to improve services during the morning tatkaal hours yet there are complaints of rightful passengers being denied train tickets. We, therefore, intend to progressively ensure CCTV coverage at tatkaal counters. We plan to institutionalise a system of third party periodic audits and certification of security features of the PRS website.

Vikalp – train on demand

67.The ‘Vikalp’ (Alternative Train Accommodation System) scheme introduced in October 2015 will be expanded to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.


68.Taking forward the momentum on ‘Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat’, we intend taking a string of measures to improve the cleanliness on stations and trains.

  1. Introducing ‘Clean my Coach’ service on Pan-India basis, where a passenger can request cleaning of his/her coach/toilets on demand through SMS.
  2. Ranking of A1 and A classes of stations based on a regular periodic third party audit and feedback from passengers.

iii. Setting up waste segregation and recycling centres at A1 category stations in a phased manner; 5 centres to be commissioned in the next financial year.

  1. Undertaking ‘Awareness campaigns’ to improve cleanliness at select stations, station approach roads and adjacent colonies.
  2. Installing additional 30,000 bio-toilets in the next financial year.
  3. Providing portable structures with bio-toilets at all platforms of select stations to meet the demand of senior citizens, Divyang and women travellers. I also plan to explore innovative means of providing and maintaining toilets such as advertisement rights, CSR sponsorship, voluntary support from social organisations etc.

Catering and stalls at stations

69.Catering has been an important parameter for customer satisfaction. In pursuit of our objective to provide quality food to our customers, the following measures related to catering services are proposed.

  1. IRCTC would begin to manage catering services in a phased manner. IRCTC would unbundle catering services by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution.
  2. Extending e-catering services from existing 45 large stations to all 408 ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class stations.

iii. Explore the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional in trains. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.

  1. Adding 10 more IRCTC operated, mechanized, sophisticated base kitchens to ensure fresh and hygienic supply of food on trains.
  2. Mandating third party audit in order to ensure desired level of quality in catering services.
  3. Introducing a new policy of multi-purpose as against existing single purpose stalls at stations where each stall can provide multiple services required by passengers including milk products and OTC medicines.

vii. Enforcing reservation in catering units to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Women, Divyang, etc. We will also introduce a sub-quota of 33% for women in each of the reserved categories. Further, to build local ownership and empowerment, a process of giving weightage to district domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations would be initiated.

viii. Exploring the feasibility of providing an option to our customers for drinking tea in kulhad.


70.IR has historically made a distinction between operational and commercial halts. For the convenience of passengers, I propose to convert all operational halts into commercial halts. This will benefit passengers who were unable to earlier board or disembark certain trains from these halts.

Rail Mitra Sewa

71.We have introduced Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help the old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at stations. We will expand this service at many more stations. We will strengthen the existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop, and wheel chair services.

Measures for Divyang

72.In pursuance of the objectives of the Accessible India campaign, we will ensure that all stations under redevelopment are accessible by Divyang. We will make efforts to provide at least one Divyang friendly toilet at each platform in A1 class stations during the next financial year and also ensure availability of wheelchairs in sufficient numbers at these stations.

Travel Insurance to passengers

73.There is a continuous effort on our part to ensure safe and secure travel for our passengers, yet untoward incidents do occur. To minimize the financial loss to passengers from such events, we are working with insurance companies to offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking.

Hourly booking of retiring rooms

74.Passengers transiting our network would be happy to have a place on the station premises for freshening up before moving on with their business for the day. We propose to commence hourly booking of retiring rooms instead of the existing minimum of 12 hours to fulfil this unmet need of passengers. Further, the retiring rooms will be handed over to IRCTC to ensure that these can be managed in a professional manner.

Janani sewa

75.We would like to mitigate the hardships that mothers undergo while travelling with their infants and, for this purpose, we will pilot availability of children’s menu items on trains. Further baby foods, hot milk and hot water would be made available on stations and changing boards for babies would be provided in train toilets.

SMART Coaches

76.With a view to enhancing passenger comfort, we are planning to re-imagine the design and layout of our coaches to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including 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 and more. These new SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) coaches would cater to emerging needs of our customers and also ensure lower unit cost of operations due to higher carrying capacity.

Mobile Apps

77.Presently we have different digital solutions for ticketing, grievance redressal and other issues. We intend to integrate all such facilities into two mobile apps; one dealing with all ticketing issues and the other for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions related to all our services.

Improving customer interface

78.Bhartiya Rail is persistently innovating to ensure responsiveness to customer requirements in all our actions. Towards this end, we are making arrangements for skilling our front-end staff and those we employ through our service providers. Further, the uniforms of all customer facing roles will be refurbished to clearly distinguish them on our network.

79.We will install information boards in trains enumerating the onboard services and also GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts. These services would be provided through private sector engagement.

80.Work is underway on the installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations known as Rail Display Network. This will enable real time flow of information to passengers and also unlock huge advertising potential.

81.We intend to strengthen the organization at the stations with a view to ensuring better passenger amenities, vigilant and sensitive customer service, responsive grievance redressal and superior commercial sense. All A1 class stations will be manned with duly empowered Station Directors supported by cross functional teams who will run the stations as excellence centers for customers. We will also make one person accountable for all facilities on the train.

82.The great places of pilgrimage in India have a natural attraction for the Indian traveller. We intend taking up on priority the provision of 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. We also intend to run Aastha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres.

Satellite terminals

83.Last year I had announced development of satellite terminals at a few locations. To take this to the next level and to have several more, I appeal to all States to come forward and partner with us in setting up more satellite terminals through PPP mode. In the interim, we plan to carry out detailed operational research on a pilot basis to identify short term measures for improving rake turnaround to minimize delays at outer signals.

Porters, our sahayak

84.Porters play a key role in making our journeys comfortable. We intend providing them with new uniforms and train them in soft skills in line with the evolving image of IR, adopting modern technology yet traditional in its ethos of treating passengers with respect. We will also explore methods of offering them group insurance facility. Henceforth, we will be happy to call them as sahayak.

High Speed Rail

85.A high speed passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai is being undertaken with assistance from the Government of Japan. A special purpose vehicle for implementing high speed projects will be registered this month. The prime benefit of this project would be providing IR with technology advancements and new manufacturing capability which would be leveraged for other areas of the existing network.


86.We propose to invite FM Radio stations for providing train borne entertainment by installing PA systems in trains.

87.IR’s bi-lingual on-board magazine, ‘Rail Bandhu’ presently available in Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto trains would be extended to all reserved classes of travellers in all Mail/ Express trains. We will also initiate publishing ‘Rail Bandhu’ in all regional languages.

Passenger traffic – Suburban traffic

88.Mumbai is the financial capital of India and needs a robust transport system. However, the suburban railway system, the lifeline of the city is over stressed. In principle approval of MUTP III has been received from NITI Aayog to move forward. We are working towards achieving the financial closure and an early award of tenders for two elevated suburban corridors between Churchgate-Virar and CSTM-Panvel. The CSTM-Panvel corridor will be integrated with metro lines being planned by the State Government for connecting existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport. We intend to raise all low level platforms in Mumbai suburban stations in the ensuing financial year to address safety concerns on this account.

89.In Kolkata, we have ongoing Metro works of around 100 kms which when completed would quadruple the installed capacity. I have resolved all issues related to East West Corridor of Kolkata Metro and am happy to announce that Phase I of this project would be completed by June 2018. We are working on the possibility of extending the East West Corridor by 5 km.

90.Delhi, our national capital, is under severe stress from rising pollution levels and can be provided relief by reviving the Ring Railway system comprising 21 stations. We will partner with the State Government to develop this infrastructure.

91.We intend to undertake a major programme to build an integrated suburban ecosystem of IR by launching a new investment framework. IR would share equity contribution with the State Governments and ensure cost neutrality on operations. We will come out with a detailed policy in this regard in the next 4 months. We intend to partner with the State Governments of Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu for developing suburban sections in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chennai, respectively by deploying innovative financing mechanisms.

92.Bengaluru, the technology hub of the country, warrants a comprehensive suburban system. We will partner with State Government in this endeavour.

93.Similar structures and financing mechanisms will be created for Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of God’s own country, Kerala.

94.I appeal to the State Governments to work towards staggering of office timings to reduce peak load on suburban traffic.

Winning back the lost modal share

Freight traffic

95.The modal share of IR has been consistently declining over a long period of time. This trend has had a negative impact not only on the Railways but on the entire economy. We are determined to reverse this slide. There are three solution sets for this issue – expanding the freight basket of IR, rationalising the tariff structure and building terminal capacity.

Expanding the freight basket

96.The freight basket of IR is dominated by 10 bulk commodities which enjoy a share of around 88%. We need to look beyond these to expand our revenue base. A full-fledged market study is being undertaken and detailed supply and demand scenarios, service level and infrastructure requirements will be assessed so that an action plan to re-capture that traffic through either containerization or new delivery models e.g., Roll-on Roll-off, will be developed and implemented.

97.Network capacity limitations do not allow us to run time-tabled freight trains but from this year we will start a time-tabled freight container, parcel and special commodity trains on a pilot basis.

Container traffic

98.Container sector would be opened to all traffic barring coal and specified mineral ores and part-loads would be permitted during the non-peak season. All existing terminals/sheds would be granted access to container traffic, where considered feasible.

Tariff rationalisation

99.The current tariff structure of IR has led to out-pricing of our services in the freight market. A review of tariff policy will be undertaken 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. The possibility of signing long term tariff contracts with our key freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principles will be explored which would provide predictability of revenues to IR and of costs to our customers.

Building terminal capacity

  1. Inadequacy of warehousing and transportation facilities is also one of the causes that that keep potential customers away from the Railways. In order to complete the chain of transportation, it is proposed to develop Rail side logistics parks and warehousing. These logistic parks and warehouses would be created in PPP mode to bring the required efficiency and investment but also help attract greater traffic to the Railways. With the coming in of TRANSLOC, the Transport Logistics Company of India, we will be witness to a paradigm shift in our role as a national logistics provider. The focus will be on providing last mile connectivity for freight business and significant reduction in logistic costs. At least 10 goods sheds will be developed by TRANSLOC in 2016-17. To capture the automobile traffic, we will soon inaugurate India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai.
  2. This push on rail side warehousing would also encourage development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals. Local farmers and fisherman would be given preferential usage of the facility. A policy in this regard would be issued in the next 3 months.

Nurturing customers

  1. We will appoint Key Customer Managers to liaison with our major freight stakeholders. They would serve as a single point of contact for all communication and redressal with these key customers. Each Zonal Railway will develop customer commitment charter indicating service level commitments of IR to passengers and freight customers.
  2. We will explore the feasibility of opening up leasing of general purpose wagons.

Non fare revenues

  1. Although we enjoy the highest captive eyeballs in a railway system internationally, we earn less than 5% of our revenues through non-tariff sources. Many of the world railway systems generate 10% to 20% of their revenues from non-tariff sources. Over a period of the next five years, we will strive to reach this world average by monetizing assets and undertaking other revenue yielding activities. We have already begun this exercise with fervour.
  2. Station redevelopment: A major programme of station redevelopment has been initiated which I have already spoken about earlier. This will help us to monetize our land and buildings through commercial exploitation of vacant land and space rights over station buildings.
  3. Monetizing land along tracks: IR has huge tracts of land available adjacent to its rail network. We will lease out this space to promote horticulture and tree plantation. This will encourage employment to underprivileged sections, SC, ST, OBC etc., augment our food security and also prevent encroachment of Railway land. Possibility of using this track for generating solar energy would also be explored.
  4. Monetizing soft assets: IR collects data pertaining to passenger preferences, ticketing patterns, commodity flows, train running and information on various services and operations. We are exploring the possibility of monetizing our data, software and some of the free services provided by IR such as PNR enquiry, currently being commercially exploited by other players but at the same time ensuring that no compromise to customer privacy is made. The IRCTC website also offers opportunities for exploiting e-commerce activities on account of the large number of hits that it receives.
  5. Advertising: IR has vast physical infrastructure which is ripe for commercial exploitation through advertising. We intend to give special focus to exploiting advertising potential of our stations, trains and land adjacent to tracks outside of big stations. We will make efforts to use our customer-interfacing assets in every manner possible for earning advertising revenues and partner with agencies to earn revenues from co-branding including for uniforms, etc. We will evolve models to determine the revenue potential of at least 20 stations in the next 3 months. In all, we target to increase the advertising revenues by more than 4 times the current revenues.
  6. Overhaul of Parcel business: We plan to liberalize the current parcel policies including opening the sector to container train operators to effect a quantum jump in IR’s share of the national CEP (Courier, Express and Parcel) market. Door to door connectivity is especially important for this market segment and we will take all steps necessary to expand our service offerings specially to growing sectors such as e-commerce. We will also initiate a pilot project for online booking of parcels.
  7. Revenues from manufacturing activity: Through increased productivity and better manufacturing practices in the production units and workshops, enough capacity can be unlocked for the Railways to become a meaningful player in the domestic and international markets. By 2020, we should aim at generating annualised revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore by providing these units with necessary empowerment and incentives to realize this target.

Process Improvements

EPC projects

  1. To ensure participation of large professional players in IR projects and minimizing cost and time overruns, I had announced moving to EPC based contracting last year. I am happy to announce that we have finalized the standard document for undertaking works through the EPC mode and will implement at least 20 projects through this mode in 2016-17. By 2017-18, we will endeavour to award all works valuing above Rs. 300 crore through EPC contracts.

Performance output parameters based contracts

  1. IR seeks services of private parties in non-operational areas through outsourcing contracts such as cleaning, facility management, etc. We intend to review these service contracts to integrate them and make them simpler and outcome focused with a view to improving our contract management and quality of service.

Leveraging technology for project management

  1. In line with international best practices, we will rely on technological solutions for project management and monitoring. It is intended to use the latest drone and Geo Spatial based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across major projects. In the next financial year, this would be operationalised for monitoring the progress on Dedicated Freight Corridor.

System-wide Information Technology integration

  1. Our policies have led to a piece-meal approach in IT. We have initiated system wide integration, both horizontal and vertical, akin to an Enterprise Resource System through innovative partnership models for which a preliminary report has been obtained.

Rail Development Authority – a big step forward

  1. It is pertinent to have an independent regulation mechanism to enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards. Hence, I had announced, creating a Rail Development Authority last year. We hope to have the draft bill ready after holding extensive stakeholder consultations. The independence of the institution is sought to be ensured by way of a transparent and streamlined selection process and keeping at arm’s length from the Ministry of Railways. I am sure that this single initiative will provide immense confidence to our stakeholders.

Navarambh – a new beginning

Navinikaran – Structural Interventions

  1. Organisational Restructuring: A departmental orientation, absence of cross-functional collaboration and lack of business focus have held back Bhartiya Rail from realizing the commanding heights that it is capable of achieving. The solution to this lies in reorienting the working of the organization towards a common corporate objective. For this purpose, I propose to reorganize the Railway Board along business lines and suitably empower Chairman, Railway Board to lead the organization effectively. As a first step, cross functional directorates will be set up within the Railway Board to focus on areas like non-fare revenues, speed enhancement, motive power and information technology. We will explore the possibility of unifying cadres for fresh recruitment of officers. We will also strengthen the PPP cell to improve ease of doing business with IR.

Sashaktikaran – Improving our planning practices

  1. Railway Planning & Investment Organisation: With funds available for developing and revitalizing the existing infrastructure, it is most pertinent that they are invested in the most efficient and transparent manner. To enable this, we intend to set up a Railway Planning & Investment Organisation for drafting our medium (5 years) and long (10 years) term corporate plans and based thereupon, identify projects which fulfill the corporate goal. The Organisation will independently conduct market intelligence and support preparation of feasibility studies or Detailed Project Reports based on standard methodology and assumptions. Further, the Organisation would propose innovative financing mechanisms for identified projects.
  2. National Rail Plan: In order to provide long-term perspective to planning for augmenting the railway network, we have decided to develop ‘National Rail Plan’ (NRP-2030) in consultation with all the stakeholders including State Governments, public representatives and other relevant Central Ministries. NRP-2030 will endeavour to harmonise and integrate the rail network with other modes of transport and create synergy for achieving seamless multi-modal transportation network across the country. This will also achieve the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of integrated planning and cost optimization of the transportation network by laying the new railway lines and new highways together in tunnels and over mega-bridges. Aekikaran – Consolidation
  3. Holding Company: The companies owned by IR are its assets with immense future potential. We propose to examine the feasibility of bringing most of these companies under an umbrella of a holding company which would provide the necessary strength for leveraging the combined resources as also in providing the much needed flexibility in utilizing the strength of each of the subsidiaries.

Shodh aur vikas – Investing in the future

  1. For ensuring delivery of quality services to its customers, IR needs to be equipped with modern and cutting edge technology. Priority areas of IR, like High Speed Rail, heavy haul, rolling stock and signalling require us to collaborate with the best in the world. In the short term, we have partnered with some of the best railways to develop indigenous capability in these areas. To institutionalise and take forward such cooperation in key technology areas, the Government is working on a Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme (FRTCS).
  2. I also propose to set up a R&D organization, a Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement, SRESTHA. RDSO will now focus only on day to day issues while SRESTHA would drive long term research. SRESTHA would be headed by an eminent scientist reporting directly to Chairman, Railway Board and would be staffed with scientists and a limited number of Railway experts. RDSO functioning will be made totally transparent with time bound results.

Vishleshan – Analyzing data

  1. Data backed decision making is a hallmark of great institutions. Though IR, as an organisation, collects over 100 Terabytes of data every year, yet it is hardly analysed to gain business insights. A dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (SUTRA) would be set up for carrying out detailed analytics leading to optimized investment decisions and operations. This team would comprise professional analysts and best in class decision support systems and optimization engines.

Navrachna – Innovation

  1. We are setting aside a sum of Rs. 50 crore for providing innovation grants to employees, startups and growth oriented small businesses to support internal and external innovation. On an annual basis we will seek out solutions to IR’s most critical problems through an Innovation Challenge. The initiative would be administered by an Innovation Committee comprising reputed investors, representatives from National Academy of Indian Railways, Railway Board and ‘Kayakalp’ headed by Shri Ratan Tata. A program management structure will be put in place to manage this initiative. For this year, the areas for the annual challenge are:
  2. Accessibility to trains from low level platforms
    b. Increasing capacity of coaches
    c. Digital capabilities at stations

In addition, innovation labs will be set up in all our workshops and production units to support creative innovation by locals and staff.

  1. Test Track: There has been a long felt need for developing a Test Track for expeditious testing of prototypes under varying test conditions as against the prevalent practice of testing on the Railway network, which leads to traffic delays, besides inability to simulate all test conditions. We will develop a Test Track which will go a long way in enhancing the R&D capability of IR.

Avataran – Seven Missions

  1. Transformation of IR would require its re-orientation with an entirely different level of effectiveness. Therefore, I propose to undertake seven activities through a ‘Mission’ mode.
  2. Each of the Missions will be headed by a Mission Director reporting directly to the Chairman, Railway Board and heading a cross functional team empowered to take all relevant decisions for a timely targeted delivery. Nominated officers from each Zone/Production Unit/RDSO/Centralised Training Institutes for a particular mission would support implementation at the field level. The annual outcome based performance targets for the Mission would be announced and all planning would be made in the light of the annual targets. The Missions will finalise the implementation plans for short, medium and long terms and proceed accordingly.
  3. We will undertake the following seven missions.
  4. Mission 25 Tonne – To realise our goal of revenue enhancement, we need to augment our carrying capacity. A critical step in that direction is making our infrastructure suitable to carry 25-tonne axle load. It is proposed to introduce 10-20% freight loading through 25-tonne axle-load wagons in 2016-17 and target movement of 70% of freight traffic on high axle load wagons by FY19-20.
  5. Mission Zero Accident: Two specific sub missions would form part of this overall mission.
  6. Elimination of unmanned level crossings: 40% of our accidents and 68% of deaths on IR takes place at level crossings. Besides, these crossings also lead to drop in speed and hence impact the throughput of the network. We intend to eliminate all unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge in the next 3-4 years for which innovative financing mechanisms are being developed.
  7. TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System): To prevent head on collisions, we have now developed an indigenous technology which also leads to increased throughput by increasing average sectional speeds. We intend to equip 100% of the High Density Network with TCAS in the next 3 years.
  8. Mission PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency): To capture significant savings and improvement in the quality of goods and services, we need to bring our procurement practices in line with international best practices. The process will involve challenging our consumption norms and assimilating a culture of optimum usage by adopting practices such as Vendor Managed Inventory, direct procurement of HSD, etc. We are carrying out a comprehensive review of procurement and consumption of HSD including arresting leakages and aim to save more than Rs 1,500 crore in 2016-17. We will also bring in new procedures for identification and disposal of scrap.
  9. Mission Raftaar: Throughput of the railway system is an outcome of tonnage and speed. Complementing Mission 25 tonne would be Mission Raftaar which will target doubling average speeds of freights trains and increasing the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 kmph in the next 5 years. Efforts will be made to replace loco hauled passenger trains will be replaced by DEMU/MEMU over the next five years.
  10. Mission Hundred: 85% of traffic on IR originates from private sidings and freight terminals. There are more than 400 proposals under various stages of approvals. In the next 2 years we will commission at least a hundred sidings. The current siding/ PFT policy would be revised to elicit greater private participation and an online portal will be operated for accepting and processing all new applications, alongwith decentralization of powers.
  11. Mission beyond book-keeping: Being a Government undertaking, IR does not follow practices in accounting which aid detailed assessment of unit costs. Though we are moving from single entry to double entry systems and from cash based to completely accrual based accounting, I do not consider them as great reforms. As a thriving commercial entity, we also want IR to go a step further and establish an accounting system where outcomes can be tracked to inputs. This is a structural change which forms the bedrock of our transformation, as right accounting would determine right costing and hence right pricing and right outcomes. We intend taking up its implementation over Railways in a mission mode and complete the entire roll out in next few years.
  12. Mission Capacity Utilisation: The two Dedicated Freight Corridors are scheduled to be commissioned by 2019. These would create huge capacity for carrying freight traffic between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata. Shifting of goods trains from existing tracks to the new corridors would also release a great deal of capacity which would help upscale the nature of passenger services on these trunk routes. It is proposed to prepare a blueprint for making full use of this huge new capacity no sooner than it is commissioned.

Sustainability and Social Initiatives

Human Resources/ Skilling

  1. I am proud to state that I lead a workforce that is sincere and dedicated. It is my constant endeavour to improve their working conditions so that they continue to serve the organization with devotion. We will tie up with the Ministry of Health for ensuring an exchange between Railways hospitals and Government hospitals. We will introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway hospitals.
  2. All our gang men will be provided with devices called ‘Rakshak’ which would be wireless enabled and will intimate them about approaching trains. We will also reduce the weight of the tools carried by them while patrolling on foot through value engineering. We will also provide toilets and air-conditioning in cabs for our loco pilots.
  3. For promoting research in key policy areas, we intend setting up two chairs – one C T Venugopal chair on Strategic Finance, research and policy development and another Kalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatial technology for IR.
  4. For our youth bubbling with ideas and energy, we will open up our organisation to 100 students across Engineering and MBA schools for 2-6 months’ internships each year.
  5. In partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development, we will work on massive skill development on our premises. Railway Workshops and Production Units will develop ‘Centres of Excellence for Skill Development’, focusing on one/two specialized activities for the general public. We will also join hands with prominent NGOs to provide skilling to people in remote areas including wards of Railways employees.

Social initiatives

  1. Last year, I had appealed to various NGOs and Civil society to help IR on social issues such as sanitation and provision of basic amenities at stations. I am proud to state that a number of voluntary groups came forward and contributed to this national cause. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of them and hope for their continued association.
  2. Self-help groups not only provide employment to women but also respect and dignity. IRCTC has begun the process of empanelling Self-help groups for providing catering/cooking services. We are 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 which would lead to increase in rural incomes.
  3. We have 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. We will continue to partner with them to develop products and services for passengers and also market them using IR’s vast resources and assets. We will encourage sourcing of products from SC/ST entrepreneurs.


  1. In the context of India’s commitment to reduce its carbon foot print, we have undertaken energy audits which have revealed the possibility of reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by 10% to 15%. To achieve this, we have decided that all new light provisions will be LED luminaire only and all Railway stations will be covered with LED luminaire in next 2 to 3 years.
  2. An action plan has been drawn up for environmental accreditation, water management and waste to energy conversion. So far, more than 2,000 locations have been provided with Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) facility and RWH systems will be provided in a phased manner in all establishments having rooftop areas of more than 200 square metres. This comes from a realization that out of total potential of recycling around 250 million litres of water per day, we only recycle 20 million litres.
  3. IR uses steel sleepers on steel bridges which have limitations on maintenance and attaining higher speeds. Hence, environmentally friendly composite sleepers made up of recycled plastic waste have been developed which will be used over all girder bridges. 133. To take forward, our Prime Minister’s vision of promoting Solar Power, IR had targeted commissioning of installed capacity of 1000 MW in next 5 years. Policy guidelines and tender documents for 50MW solar plants at rooftop have been issued and facility for another 100 MW is being set up. We have commissioned a 25 MW wind mill power plant at Jaisalmer and we are working towards commissioning 132.5 MW in the next year. We propose to utilize our infrastructure at remotely located railway stations for installation of solar micro-grid on pilot basis which will not only provide clean and reliable power supply to railway stations, but will also facilitate energy access to nearby quarters and surrounding rural households.
  4. Automatic coach washing plants will be commissioned in major coaching depots with a holding of more than 500 coaches for improved cleaning with reduced water consumption. Further, 32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water recycling plants in the coming years. 135. Green Industrial Units: it is proposed to convert all production units as well as at least one workshop in each Zonal Railway as green industrial unit by obtaining relevant certification, good energy management, sourcing energy from renewables, water conservation, improved green cover and environment friendly management of waste.
  5. In order to encourage active involvement by various Railway establishments towards environmental initiatives, we have instituted a Shield on Environment for the best performing Zonal Railway or Production Unit.


  1. Tourism holds great potential for economic development and job creation. We will be partnering with the State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains and explore the possibility of a revenue sharing model. We have recently upgraded our National Rail Museum. Promotion of tourism through Railway museums and UNESCO world heritage Railways will be our special focus.
  2. India’s rich bio diversity and wildlife is one of the mainstays of Incredible India campaign. Last year, we initiated a project to target reduction in elephant collisions, especially in North Eastern states. This year, 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.


  1. Madam Speaker, the railway set up is a reflection of everything that is India. It imbibes the ethos, morals, values and ethics of our great country. It represents the tireless spirit, eternal hope, aspirations, perseverance, determination and the never – ending enthusiasm of our dynamic country. Whoever said that in India, Railways is a way of life, could not have been more appropriate.
  2. Madam Speaker, I began my speech by stating that we had set out on a journey last year, the journey of transforming Bhartiya Rail. We have achieved significant progress in all aspects of this transformation, from scale to speed, from cleanliness to efficiency to resource mobilisation. We still have a long way to go. But the important thing is that we have a strong intent and the will to achieve our objectives.

जब तक ध्येय न पूरा होगा, तब तक पग किबगति न रुकेगी।
आज कहे चाहे कुछ दुनिया कल को बिना झुके न रहेगी।
श्री अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी

  1. Even as our journey continues, I am reminded of Gautama Buddha who said that whenever one contemplates a journey, there are two mistakes one can make: not starting, and not going all the way. We have already started the journey and I intend to go all the way and we will not rest till we take Bhartiya Rail to a destination called samridhi or success. With these words, Madam Speaker, I commend the Railway Budget for 2016-17 to the august House.

HIGHLIGHTS of the Rail Budget 2016-17





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