Rail Budget 2015: Modi terms it futuristic but Public disappointed over no new train announcements

New Delhi(WEB TEAM): Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced the much awaited Railway 2015 budget at 12 noon on Thursday February 26.

Prabhu did not increase passenger fares but stressed on raising money from the banks and pension funds to fund expansion plans of the Indian Railways. He did not announce any new trains in his budget speech but said that studies are on going and announcements regarding new trains will happen at a later stage in this budget session of the parliament.

15:36 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Modi says this Rail Budget will aid in railway reform.

is a watershed moment for Railways,marking a paradigm shift from discussing coaches & trains to comprehensive railway reform

Prabhu says Railways cannot support on budgetary support solely for its funding needs. The finance ministry has allocated Rs 40,000 crore this year for railway’s annual plan.

15:16 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Suresh Prabhu is now addressing a press conference. He says money that is going to be raised is largely coming from market resources. He says this is the process world-over.

15:12 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

The stock markets haven’t liked Prabhu’s Rail Budget. The BSE Sensex has fallen 228 points.

Also Read: Sensex plunges 303 points as Rail Budget fails to cheer markets

13:27 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Suresh Prabhu has ended his Rail Budget speech.

13:24 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review being done so that we can introduce new trains. It will be done in this budget session itself.

13:22 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

To promote self-employment, will promote products made by self-help groups especially women and youth.

13:20 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will spend Rs 2000 crore on Coastal Connectivity Program; Rs.2500 crore through BOT/Annuity route will be provided.

13:19 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

A detailed energy audit is being worked out to figure out energy savings. Procure power through open biddings. Rs 3000 crore savings expected from these initiatives.

13:18 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Training in yoga will be imparted to our employees. Human resources is our strength. Measures to be taken up to improve employee productivity.

13:17 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will monetise our resources than sell them.

13:16 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

To raise money, we may include long term debt from domestic and overseas sources. Incredible response for this idea. banks and pension funds are also keen on investing in the railways.

13:14 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Money has always been tight for the Railways. We are looking to moving away from debt, some projects can be equity driven.

13:12 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will have the train operations audited to improve productivity and bring in transparency.

13:10 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

For delivery of action plan, Railways will require reforms, transparency for quick decision making.

13:09 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

The suburban rail networks are lifeline of cities like Mumbai, Chennai. We propose to take up MUTP 3 for Mumbai.

13:08 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will revamp existing PPP cell to make it more result oriented. Will help augmenting capital for railways and create more jobs in the economy.

13:06 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Train protection warning system and train collision avoiding system to be introduced in trains.

13:03 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

In next financial year, 970 ROBs and RUBs and other safety related works to eliminate over 3000 railways crossings has been taken up.

13:02 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

High speed train feasibility study between Mumbai-Ahmedabad is underway. Transformation on railways present huge opportunity for ‘Make In India’ campaign.

12:58 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Private freight terminals reviewing under process. Automatic freight rebate system launched and to be expanded soon.

12:57 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thrust on rail electrifrication. An increase of 1330% over previous year.

12:55 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Happy to announce Meghalaya has been brought on Railways map.

12:53 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Intend to fast track 7000 km to add double, third, fourth line to expand network capacity.

12:52 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Wi-Fi on over 400 railway station under Digital India plan will be introduced.

12:50 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Newly manufactured coaches will be Braille enabled & have wider entrances for differently abled passengers.

12:49 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Train sets will be introduced. Similar to bullet trains, they will save 20% journey time and will run on existing tracks.

12:45 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will also provide facility to book wheelchairs online for senior citizens and differently-abled.

12:42 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

For safety of women, surveillance camera on pilot basis on selected coaches and suburban coaches without compromising privacy.

12:41 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Defence travel system has been developed to make travel for defence personnel easier.

12:39 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dedicated toll free number for receiving security related information. Nirbhaya funds will also be utilised for ensuring safety of women.

12:37 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

The condition of toilet facilities need major improvement. We will build new toilets. Bio-toilets are being fitted in coaches. This year alone we tend to replace 17,000 toilets. Vaccum toilets design is underway.

12:35 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

REJOICE! NO HIKE IN PASSENGER FARES.

12:33 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Multilateral banks and pensions funds have shown interest in investing in Railways. To get most of out additional resources, we need to improve standards of efficiency. Operating ratio at 88.5% as against trargeted of 93.6% in 2013-14.

12:32 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

We will partner to gain long term financinng and technologies from overseas. Also, partner with private sector. Rail will continue to be precious asset. People of India will always own the Railways.

12:27 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Got over 20,000 responses from people including from social media. Have prepared forward-looking agenda. Railways have to go for a transformation.

12:25 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Prabhu jokes that he asked ‘Prabhu’ how to make all this happen. He quotes a novel which has a fictional novel on building rails in India. Rail transport must be made reliable and safe, benchmarked to global standards.

12:24 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Priortity to improve capacity on high density network. Average speed will increase and trains schedule will increase.

12:23 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Investment in railways will have multiplier effect for the economy, Prabhu says.

12:21 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Railways is an organisation that touches the hearts of all Indians including Mahatma Gandhi. Unfortunatley, Railways facilities have not improved substantially in the past decades.

12:20 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Suresh Prabhhu begins his speech.

12:02 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

“We have to make Indian Railways a global benchmark organisation in safety, security and infrastructure,” says Rail Minister Prabhu.

11:54 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Suresh Prabhu says will keep the interest of Railways and the common man in mind and try to balance both.

11:42 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Suresh Prabhu has left for Parliament to present Rail Budget. Speech scheduled at 12 noon.

11:31 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lok Sabha adjourned for 15 minutes.

11:24 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Meanwhile, Suresh Prabhu reaches Rail Bhawan.

11:21 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Uproar in Parliament over Venkaiah Naidu’s remarks. Kharge demands apology. Naidu denies using unparliamentary language.

11:17 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Opposition party threatens to disrupt Prabhu’s budget speech.

11:15 IST Thursday, 26 February 2015

Prabhu promises that the Budget will be for the people.

As the Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu tabled the Railway Budget for fiscal 2015-16 in Parliament on Thursday; people across the nation said they were disappointed over no new trains being announced.

“It would have been better if they had increased fares and the number of trains. There has not been even a single time when the trains are empty or comfortable to commute,” said a daily commuter from Mumbai.

“They have already increased fare prices through tatkal and premium tatkal. The way it is told about cleanliness, it is not visible. Even the AC-3 tier stinks and no worker is to be seen,” said Mahesh Sharma.

Prabhu on Thursday said, “Have not increased the passenger fares. I am proposing to undertake the bringing of transparency in the day-to-day activities for the benefit of the common man. The functioning of railways must conform to highest standards of governance and transparency,” Prabhu said.

However, people from Bhopal and Ahmedabad appeared satisfied about the announcement of utilizing the Nirbhaya Fund for augmenting safer travel for women.

“The railway fare was already increased earlier, nothing surprising if they haven’t raised it this time. The good part is they have announced an increment in women’s safety,’ said a local in Bhopal.

“I am happy to learn so much is being done for women,” said another resident in Ahmedabad.