Railway Budget 2014-2015 with new trains
New Delhi ,July 9, 2014 (IANS) : In the railway budget presented to parliament Tuesday, Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda unveiled many new measures to make Indian Railways,
which runs about 20,000 trains and ferries 23 million passengers daily, a modern, efficient and commercially viable utility.
He presented proposals, subject to parliamentary approval, for introduction of 58 new trains, paperless office in five years, digital
reservation charts, wi-fi in select stations and trains, wake-up call for passengers, separate freight terminals, office-on-wheels for
business travellers, more money for cleanliness and safety, food courts at stations, expansion of rail tourism and better connectivity in hilly areas and northeastern states.
He also promised a diamond quadrilateral project of high-speed rail connectivity
between the four metros. He said some identified stations will be developed like modern airports.
Having already hiked passenger fares by 14.2 percent and the freight carriage charges by 6.5 percent, which is expected to fetch additional
resources of Rs.8,000 crore, Gowda focused on ways to earn revenues from other sources, such as allowing foreign equity in areas excluding operations, as also public-private partnerships.
He said Rs.500,000 crore ($83 billion) will be required over the next 10 years to fund the modernisation plans of the network, as against the
actual spend of Rs.18,400 crore in the past 10 years, but noted that freight and passenger fare hikes alone could not fetch such large requirements.