Rail Budget 2013 Highlights: Free Wi-Fi, new ticketing system, protection and more

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 27 2013, 02:16am hrs
Railway wifiNo hike in basic passenger fares; reservation charges, tatkal fee raised. (Thinkstock)
Following are the highlights of the Rail Budget 2013 highlights:

*No hike in basic passenger fares; reservation charges, tatkal fee raised.

*Across the board hike in freight charges by an average of about 5.8 pc.

*Reservation fee for AC First and Executive classes raised to Rs 60 from Rs 35 and that of First Class and AC-2 doubled to Rs 50.

*Reservation fee for AC Chair Car, AC-3 Economy and AC-3 tier increased to Rs 40 from Rs 25.

*Supplementary charges for superfast trains raised between Rs 5 and Rs 25.

*Tatkal charges for sleeper class raised by Rs 15 to Rs 25 and for AC Chair car from Rs 25 to Rs 50.

*Tatkal charges in AC-3 tier increased by Rs 50; AC-2 tier and Executive class by Rs 100.

*Cancellation charges increased for all classes between Rs 5 and Rs 50.

* No increase in parcel and luggage rates.

*Internet ticketing from 0030 hrs to 2330 hrs and e-ticketing through mobile phones.

*Proposal for Next-Gen e-ticketing system; capable of handling 7,200 tickets per minute against 2,000 now and 1.2 lakh users simultaneously against 40,000 currently.

*Rail budget proposes introduction of first AC EMU rake on Mumbai suburban network in 2013-14.

*Introduction of 72 additional services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata.

*Rake length increased from 9 cars to 12 cars for 80 services in Kolkata and 30 ervices in Chennai.

*67 new Express trains proposed; 26 new passenger services, 8 DEMU and 5 MEMU services to be introduced.

*Run of 57 trains to be extended and frequency of 24 trains to be increased.

*Identification of 104 important stations for immediate attention to cleanliness aspects and upgrading 60 stations as Adarsh Stations in addition to 980 already selected.

*Progressive extension of bio-toilets on trains.

*Extension of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS), Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), Coin-operated Ticket Vending Machines (CO-TVMs) and scheme of Jan-Sadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks (JTBSs).

*Recruitment of RPF with 10 pc vacancies reserved for women.

*Setting up of six more Rail Neer bottling plants.

*Launching multi-modal travel package in cooperation with government of Jammu and Kashmir and issuing 'Yatra Parchis' to pilgrims travelling by rail to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.

*Aadhar to be used for various passenger and staff related services.

*Provision of announcement facility and electronic display boards in trains and free Wi-Fi facilities on several trains.

*Proposal for corporate safety plan for ten years (2014-2024).

*Freight rates to be linked to input fuel charges from April 1.

*Proposes elimination of 10,797 level crossing during 12th Plan and introduction of Train Protection Warning System on automatic signalling systems.

*Introduction of self-propelled accident relief trains and rehabilitation of 17 distressed bridges over next year.

*Provision of comprehensive fire and smoke detection systems and use of fire retardant furnishing materials in coaches.

*Centralised catering services monitoring cell set up with toll free number 1800-111-321.

*Steps to curb malpractices in reserved tickets including tatkal scheme.

*Project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservations status and covering larger number of trains under Real Time Information System.

*Highest ever plan outlay of Rs 63,363 crore in 2013-14.

Market borrowing pegged at Rs 15,103 crore.

*Freight loading target for 2013-14 at 1,047 MT, 40 MT more than 2012-13.

*Passenger growth estimated at 5.2 pc and gross traffic receipts estimated at Rs 1,43,742 crore in 2013-14 (up Rs 18,062 crore over revised estimates of 2012-13).

*Ordinary working expenses estimated at Rs 96,500 crore, operating ratio to be 87.8 pc and dividend at Rs 6,249 crore.

*Railway proposes 500 km new lines, doubling of 750 km and gauge conversion in 450 km of lines in 2013-14.

*Concessional travel for award winning sports persons.

*1.52 lakh vacancies to be filled this year.

*Proposal for setting up Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority formulated.