The Indian Railways is considered as the national mode of transport. It is a very large sector in terms of economy and employment. It is the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size which carries approximately 121,407 kilometers of total track over a 67,368-kilometre route.
In the same way, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Railway Ministry and the States of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for construction of the Indore-Manmad railway line, which is estimated to provide revenues of around 15,000 crores annually.
“The new project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central India locations by 171 kilometers, resulting in lower logistics costs,” the government said in its press release. This expansion of 171 kilometers railway track is the promise from the last Railway budget which was presented by The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, 2018.
According to the Finance Ministry, a huge amount of budget allocation was dedicated to capacity expansion and content creation from the total budget expenditure. Mr. Jaitley also acknowledged various initiatives including the introduction of modern train-sets, track doubling, electrifications of 36,000 km of railway tracks, redeveloping 600 railway stations and equipping these stations with proper Wi-Fi and CCTV camera.
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Let us presents few announcements by the Ministry of Railways in the Railway budget 2018:
- Rail Budget 2018 announced to provide the free Wifi services and CCTV in all trains.
- It was promised by the Government to provide the moving stairway at stations with 25,000-plus footfall.
- Rs 2,028 crore was announced for the compensation of operating losses on strategic lines and give back to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation for the serviceable cost of e-ticketing.
- The ministry had decided to waive the service charges on railway e-ticketing facilities to promote cashless transactions that were Rs40 for AC class and Rs20 for sleeper class.
- Rs73,000 crore for security which is historic.
- The ministry had planned to set up 160 km of rail network for Bengaluru with worth Rs 17,000 crore.
- The ministry projected to expand at cost of Rs10,000 crore for Mumbai’s suburban rail system.
- An additional suburban network with worth Rs40,000 crore was also being planned.
- Rail University to be set up at Vadodara.
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) came into existence with a very famous slogan that is “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikaas” similarily the Railway Budget came up with the motto of to transform Railways into a modern, safe, green, affordable and comfortable mode of transport.
The Railway budget 2018 might be good from some angles like security, development, and expansion but the association of employees union and All India Railwaymen’s Federation strongly criticized the Railway budget 2018. The Railway budget was more focused on the industry by ignoring the real issues regarding Railways and workers welfare and also repeats the same things for a long time.
The Government only leads to industrial turbulence. Right now we should have focused on issues of minimum wage and improvement, and should have a need to provide fixed pension schemes or family pension schemes for workers instead of the National Pension Scheme. The association of employees union and All India Railwaymen’s Federation strongly criticized the Railway budget 2018.
The Association of employees union was said on the next day from the released budget February 2, 2018 to the financial express that this budget is “anti-workers” because there is nothing for their workers welfare and All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) said that the budget came as “a dampener” for the entire sector.
The association also criticized the government’s move towards a scheme of fixed-term employment, by stating that “this policy would be used to easily fire workers and was against procedures and international labor norms. AIRF general secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said to Financial Express on February 2, 2018
“It is a very disappointing budget for the hardworking workers. There is nothing for their welfare in the budget and instead of relaxation in personal tax, they have increased education and health cess. The workers have been duped.”
Before coming into power, BJP has made numerous promises to the general public to improve the facilities of the Indian Railways. If we talk about the production of doubling and electrification of railway tracks, tenders were given to double 12700 km of railway tracks out of which only 2000 km in 2016-17 and 4000 km track in the year 2017-18 has been doubled. Considering this pace of constructing railway tracks when will be the government complete their announcements of constructing 12,700 km railway track before completing their tenure.
And When will the ministry fulfill the expectations of general peoples while China is constituting their projects from very fast pace like “one belt one road”, so still we are far away from China as well as other developed countries for surveying the better road and transportation.