Highlights: Railway Budget 2008-09

Highlights: Railway Budget 2008-09
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First Published: Tue, Feb 26 2008. 03 42 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 26 2008. 03 42 PM IST
* Railway minister Lalu Prasad announced slashing of passenger fares of all classes of train travel in his budget speech. The AC-1 fare has been cut by the highest 7%, followed by 5% reduction in sleeper class fare. AC-2 and AC-3 fares have been cut by 3% and 4% respectively.
* Freight on diesel and petrol reduced by 5%
* 53 new trains will be run in the financial year 2008-09. Of these, 10 are Garib Raths, the fully A/C unresered trains catering to the lower income passengers.
* Women senior citizens will now get a discount of 50% on fares, instead of 30% which they were getting. 30% concession in fare for male senior citizens will continue.
* Railways working on plans to shorten queues at reservation counters. For this, ticket vending machines will be installed in residential neighbourhoods. Their number will also be increased to 6,000 in the next two years, up from 250 now. Those booking tickets through the internet can get waitlisted tickets as well. Option for booking tickets through mobiles will also be provided.
* Display boards will be provided in all rail coaches of mail/express trains on overnight routes. The purpose is to provide timely information to passengers about their destination station.
* TV, internet services to be made available on trains in the near future.
* Green toilets: Discharge-free toilets will be provided on all trains at a cost of Rs4,000 crore.
* Passenger comfort: Multi-level parking at 30 major stations planned. Also, 50 major stations to have lifts and escalators for the disabled.
* Cleaning and maintenance of running trains to be outsourced to private parties.
* Rs1,730 crore to be spent in FY 2008-09 on laying of new tracks.
* Free monthly season tickets in second class for girl students upto 12th standard and boys upto 10th standard will be extended for girls upto graduation and boys upto 12th standard.
* The freight loading target for the coming year has been fixed at 850 million tonnes over the revised target of 790 MT this year.
* The annual plan size for 2008-09 has been fixed at Rs37,500 crore, the largest ever outlay so far. A budgetary support of Rs7,874 crore has been estimated with internal resources generating Rs21,126 crore and extra-budgetary resources providing Rs8,500 crore.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 26 2008. 03 42 PM IST