The Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley, presented Union General Budget-2017 which included the Railway budgetary component in Parliament today i.e., 1st February, 2017.
Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway held a Press Conference at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad today to brief the media on the highlights of the budget and related facts pertaining to South Central Railway. Shri A.K.Gupta, Additional General Manager and other Principal Heads of Departments of SCR were present on the occasion. Earlier, Shri M.Umashankar Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer, SCR welcomed the Media and made a introductory presentation on the budget, the first combined budget of Independent India that included the Railways too.
Details of the Budget
For 2017 – 18, the total capital and development expenditure for Railways has been fixed at Rs. 1, 31,000 Crores. This includes, Rs. 55,000 Crores provided by the Government from the Budget.
The Budget outlay granted for Telangana State, which is completely served by SCR for the ensuing financial year i.e., 2017-18 is Rs.1729 Crore against the last two years average of Rs.601 Crore.
The Budget outlay for the Andhra Pradesh State, which is mainly served by SCR for the ensuing financial year i.e., 2017-18, is Rs.3406 Crore against the last two years average of Rs. 2195.7 Crore.
The Railways plan to focus on four major areas-
1) Passenger Safety 2) Capital & Development works
3) Cleanliness 4) Financial Accounting Reforms
For passenger safety, Rail Sanraksha Kosh (Railway Safety Fund) will be created with a corpus of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore over a period of five years
As announced in the Budget, Unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.
On SCR, as on date there are 355 Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs). A total of 170 UMLCs will be eliminated in the current financial year and balance 185 UMLCs will be eliminated in the coming years.
As announced in the Budget, in the next three years through put is proposed to be enhanced by 10 %. This will be done through modernization and up gradation of identified corridors.
Over SCR, to enhance capacity, 3rd line works are in progress on the busy Balharshah-Kazipet and Vijayawada-Gudur sections.
It was announced in the Budget that over Indian Railways, 3,500 kms of new Railway Lines will be commissioned in 2017-18 as against 2,800 km in 2016-17.
During 2016-17, on SCR 267.25 kms of new track was laid which includes 230.55 kms of new line, 12.45 kms of double line and 24.3 kms of third line.
In the Budget, it was announced that steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for tourists and pilgrims.
SCR will continue to run dedicated/special trains for tourists and pilgrims.
In tune with Budget announcement, SCR has entered Joint Venture with Government of Andhra Pradesh and is in the process of signing the JV with Government of Telangana.
It was announced in the Budget that, a beginning has been made with regard to Station Re-development. 25 stations are being taken up in 2017-18 on Indian Railways
On SCR, 37 stations are envisaged for Station redevelopment. Secunderabad and Vijayawada are targeted for taking up during 2017-18
It is announced in the Budget that 500 stations will be made Differently-Abled friendly with lifts and escalators.
Over SCR 36 lifts are provided at 15 stations and further planned to provide 34 lifts at 20 stations. 39 escalators are provided at 14 stations with further plans to provide 16 escalators at 11 stations.
On Indian Railways, it is proposed to feed 7000 stations with Solar power in the medium term. A beginning has already been made in 300 stations over Indian Railways. It is proposed to take up work at 2000 Railway stations under 1000 Mega Watts Solar Mission.
Over SCR, during 2016-17, 645 kWp capacity of Solar panels have been installed at stations/service buildings/pumps/PRS/UTS/LC gates/street lights (cumulative 1961 kWp)
As Announced in the Budget, it is proposed to introduce a “Coach Mitra” facility, a single window interface to register all coach related complaints and requirements.
It was pronounced in the Budget that by 2019, all coaches of Indian railways will be fitted with Bio-Toilets.
Over SCR, 4,138 Bio-toilets have been fixed in 1,115 coaches during the current fiscal. About 3000 Bio-toilets are targeted for fitment in the balance coaches in 2017-18. With this all the coaches of SCR will be provided with this facility to ensure Swachh Bharat.
It was also proposed in the Budget that 5 more solid waste management plants are being taken up.
One such Plant is planned for set up near Secunderabad Railway Station in the Zone.
It was announced in the Budget that Service charges on e-ticket booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.
At present the charges payable for booking e-ticket for 2S accommodation is Rs.20 and all other classes is Rs.40 per one ticket. With this move, on SCR around 2.6 crore passengers per annum will stand benefited.
Once demand for grants is tabled on Parliament, details of the new projects and allocations for ongoing projects will be known.
Infrastructure Development on SCR in the last one year
125 Kms new line between Yerraguntla-Nandyal stations has been commissioned and passenger train services were introduced in that section.
55 Kms length of new line between Jagityal-Morthad stations of Karimnagar-Nizamabad section has been completed.
20 Kms length of new line between Mellacheruvu-Mathampalli stations of Jaggayapet-Vishnupuram section has been completed.
30.55 Kms of new line between Marikal-Makthal stations and Devarkadra-Pulimamidi stations of Munirabad-Mahbubnagar section has been completed.
24.3 Kms third line between Mandamarri-Manchiryal stations and Ramagundam-Peddampet stations of Raghavapuram-Mandamarri section has been completed.
12.4 Kms of doubling between Kosgi-Mantralayam Road stations of Guntakal-Raichur section has been completed.
21 TKM of electrification between Mellachuruvu-Mattampalli stations has been completed.
219 TKM of electrification between Wadi-Chiksugur stations has been completed.
Foundation stone was laid by Hon’ble PM in the presence of Hon’ble MR and Hon’ble CM of Telangana for construction of new railway line between Manoharabad – Kothapalli.
Foundation stone was laid by Hon’ble MR and Hon’ble CM of Andhra Pradesh for construction of new railway line between Nadikudi – Sri Kalahasthi and for Doubling between Guntakal - Kalluru stations.
On Safety and Security
SCR follows a No-compromise approach with Zero-tolerance on Safety matters.
600 RPF/GRP personnel have been deployed on escort duty in 446 identified express trains
32 major stations over the Zone brought under security cover by installing 431 CCTV cameras. In addition, 56 new stations were identified for provision of CCTV cameras.
On Passenger Amenities and Services
Introduced 08 new originating trains and 04 passing through Trains.
05 train services were extended & frequency of 01 train has been increased.
Braille signage on coaches was introduced for the convenience of blind passengers.
17 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) were provided at 17 stations (Totaling to 294 ATVMs at 155 stations).
42 Cash cum Card Operated Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs) have been provided at 37 stations (Totaling to 54 CoTVMs at 40 stations).
The mega event Krishna Pushkarams has been handled successfully. SCR carried 46 lakhs of pilgrims passengers, by running 700 special trains.
Jogulamba Halt station has been converted into full-fledged flag station to provide enhanced Amenities.
The state of the art Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) was commissioned at Vijayawada, at a cost of Rs. 40 crores during September 2016 in a record time. This challenge was imposing, since Vijayawada is one of the busiest stations on Indian Railways and it required the best of strategy to complete the Non-interlocking work in 3 days.
Initiatives towards Energy Conservation
South Central Railway has bagged Nine National energy conservation awards -2016 from Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) , Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.
30 day light pipes have been provided at service buildings and workshops
158 stations have been converted to 100% LED lit lighting.
Initiatives taken towards Digital India
Paperless Unreserved Ticketing mobile app (UTS App) has been launched for the convenience of MMTS commuters.
Wi-Fi facility is made available at 09 stations over the Zone.
To promote cash less transaction, 112 Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been installed for issue of reservation tickets at 108 locations and 32 Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been installed at the booking offices of 26 suburban stations to facilitate issue of season tickets on credit/ debit / rupay cards.
Implementation of pronouncements made during Railway Budget 2016
1) SCR has worked out the modalities for development of Passenger Amenities and beautification of Tirupati and Nanded Stations
2) SCR is intending to partner with Telangana State Government for developing Suburban Section under MMTS Phase II with extension up to Yadadri.
3) For the Unreserved Passenger, the following trains were announced for SCR
a) Hum Safar Train between Tirupati-Jammu Tawi-Tirupati Humsafar weekly Express (yet to be introduced).
b) Uday Express between Visakhapatnam – Vijayawada (yet to be introduced).
4) SCR introduced sale of tickets through hand held terminals on pilot basis to clear the rush during holy Krishna Pushkaram.
5) SCR introduced e-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards.
6) Vikalp – train on demand to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to waitlisted passengers has been introduced on SCR for 3 pairs of trains between Secunderabad–New Delhi. i.e. 1). T.No. 12723/24 Telangana Exp; 2). T.No. 12721/22 Dakshin Exp; 3) T.No. 12707/08 AP Sampark Kranthi Exp
7) SCR has increased the quota of lower berth per coach by 50% resulting in almost 120 lower berths per train for senior citizens.
8) SCR has implemented the concept of reserving middle bays in coaches for women, to ensure their secured travel.
9) SCR introduced ‘Clean my Coach’ service through SMS on 62 pairs of train having OBHS facility.
10) Optional Catering services has been introduced on pilot basis for Shatabdi express originating from SCR
11) SCR has provided stoppages for 26 pairs of M/Exp trains at 9 stations by coverting operational halt into commercial stoppage.
12) All the stations having catering units and trains with pantry cars over SCR is provided with Children’s menu items, baby foods, hot milk and hot water.
13) Information boards in trains enumerating the on-board services implemented on SCR.
14) GPS-based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts has been provided in MMTS coaches on SCR.