Lallo ka Rail Budget 2008

Nita has done a lot of hard work on her post which is a must read, and railways being one of my fav areas of criticism as i started writing a comment it stretched so long that i decided its makes sense to convert it into a post instead. First the Proposals

Budget estimates 2008-09

  • Freight loading target: 850 million tones.
  • Revenues in Freight earnings to be Rs.52,700 cr; Passenger earnings to be Rs.21,681 cr.
  • Gross Traffic Receipts to be Rs.81,901 cr – an increase of 12.6 per cent over RE.
  • Cash surplus before Dividend to be Rs.24,783 cr after making an ad-hoc provision of nearly Rs.5000 cr for anticipated recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission.

Annual Plan 2008-09

  • The Annual Plan of Rs.37,500 cr is the largest ever Annual Plan so far.
  • New Lines – Rs.1,730 cr, Gauge conversion – Rs.2,489 cr, Electrification – Rs.626 cr, Metropolitan Transport Projects – Rs.650 cr.
  • Track renewal – Rs.3,600 cr, Bridges – Rs. 600 cr, Signal & Telecommunication works -Rs.1,520 cr, Road over/under bridges – Rs. 700 cr and manning of unmanned level crossings – Rs.600 cr.
  • Passenger amenities – Rs. 852 cr, the highest so far.
  • Targets : New Lines – 350 kms, Gauge conversion – 2,150 kms, Doubling – 1000 kms.


  • 10 new Garib Raths to be introduced.
  • 53 pairs of new trains.
  • Extension of trains : 16 pairs.
  • Increase in frequency : 11 pairs.
  • 300 additional services in Mumbai suburban.
  • read the article- Highlights of Railway Budget 2008-09 in Rediff

    My take -More stress on the Rails – Higher depreciation of the rails due to overloading of Freight traffic – Higher cost in Future not provided for – as nita rightly pointed out.

    So many new trains, facilities n services ….So will he play the renaming game?

    Wow wonderful Dreams nonetheless – Show me the money for all that

    It took 8+ yrs to introduce 2 new test trains under MRVC inc. on July 12, 1999, with an equity capital of Rs 25 crores to implement the rail component of an integrated rail-cum-road urban transport project, called Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP). Plus Mutp II is almost self funded and the centre contributes a pittiance , as most of the moolah will come from State govt and sale of Rail land at Bandra-Kurla and a sizable part of it will go towards resettlement costs for illegal /legalised squatters.

    pic of new trains from the wiki

    Nitish k had outlayed a lot for safety and track overhaling – there is nothin ive seen in this budget except Track renewal – Rs.3,600 cr…that puts hard cash into Safety – Just lots of announcements. On passanger safety read this.

    Making announcements is great – implementing is the difficult bit plus there is the little genie called inflation and Pay commission, that eats away resources.. Another issue is resettlement of project affected persons – which can be prohibitively expensive at least in Mumbai.

    If the rail mantris Secretary says we will leverage our assets and cash surplus of 25000 crores  – who will lend to a loss making revenue model remember even the best implemented project The konkan rail runs at loss – the Delhi metro accumulates a rail subsidy of Rs 35,000 per passenger per year and kolkata underground is no better-1. RMohan 2. rediff
    Well the Japanese, the rebate wagon of sec 80c and sovereign guarantee might aid him.

    On First Class fare cuts and off peak discounts – That is a necessity if railways want to compete with the discount airlines which are expecting a cut in ATF duty.

    Improvements in ticketing

    • Termination of queues at ticket counters targeted in two years
    • Increase in Unreserved Ticketing Systems counters to 15,000
    • E-ticket for wait listed passengers.

    Whats new here – the ticket counters are never open when they are supposed to as written on each counter – anything goes and there are never more than 2 out of 5 counters open and this is in Mumbai other places it should be far worse

      The indian rail site is great, the online ticketing system is as old as the konkan rail…

      E-ticket is old (book online and take an instant print) (RS10/20+)-

      Iticket (booked ticket is delivered by courier) is older and more expensive (RS40/60+)- and just allowing E-ticket for waitlisted passengers means more revenue for rail mantralaya.

      But first let the iritc site work right , and it needs to be more reliable and also needs more simplification. Cancellations are to be done online

      Read Hide and seek and Transaction limit

      If ur brave enough u can use the mobile booking facility too which is nothing but a new name for iticket via gprs.

      On Mumbai:

      300 additional services in Mumbai suburban. ?????? nothing clarified.

      *ATVMs to 6000. It is 3 mths old lets see how long before they are vandalised.
      *CST to be upgraded to world class station
      *Proposal for CST to have multi-level car parking, lifts, escalators

      Lets see if it is done until metro adlabs (which has a car ramp) celebrates is 5 yrs in existance post renovation, cst being a heritage bldg constructing and resettlement would pose problems

      *Mumbai-Amravati Express to be introduced
      *Mumbai-Bhubaneshwar Express to be introduced
      *Mumbai-Jabalpur Garib Rath to be introduced

      how will this affect decongesting mumbai suburban?

      *Go Mumbai Card to be sold across BEST depots
      is it a dig at Thackarey?? i havent seen any plastic cards around..

      All in all i agree with Nita – its a Shining budger – but all that glitters aint gold and im not alone Even a porter, who has dealt with the railways for a long time thinks so, when he says

      “Ministers make many promises, but keep very few. This is a purely populist measure aimed at earning votes,” said an elderly porter, Ahmed Rahim Chaudhary. He pointed to a scheme of providing Rs 1 lakh to a dead porter’s family, which apparently never took off.


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