AP gets Rs. 3407 Cr, TS Rs. 1729 Cr for railways in Union Budget
The Central Government has increased the allocations for railways in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, during his budget speech on Wednesday, allocated Rs. 1,729 crore for Telangana, which is completely served by South Central Railway (SCR), for the financial year 2017-18 against the last two years average of Rs. 601 crore. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, which is mainly served by SCR, has been given Rs. 3,406 crore against the last two years average of Rs. 2,195.7 crore.
For the year 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.
Briefing the media persons at Rail Nilayam in Secunderabad on Wednesday evening, SCR General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav said that the Railways plan to focus on four major areas of Passenger Safety; Capital & Development works; Cleanliness and 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, informed the SCR General Manager.
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.
Vinod Kumar Yadav said that once demand for grants is tabled on Parliament, details of the new projects and allocations for ongoing projects would be known.
SCR Additional General Manager A.K.Gupta and other Principal Heads of Departments of SCR including CPRO M. Umashankar Kumar were present on the occasion.