Mamata Banerjee tables Rail Budget 2010
New Delhi, Feb 24: Mamata Banerjee concluded her two-hour long presentation of Railway Budget 2010 by delivering a good news to the country that the Railways doesn't find it necessary to hike the passenger fares.
Highlights of the budget includes, the invitation for public-private partnership; special trains and services for sections of the society such as women, physically challenged, railway employees and even cancer patients, and many new train services.
The budget also set ambitious targets such as 1,000 km of railway line in a year, flagging off 117 trains in 7 months and addressed security issues by setting goals such as manning all unmanned bridges in five years.
Mamata's expected 'populist' budget also showed a Bengal-bias which invited the ire of the Opposition parties even as she presented the budget.
On the whole, the Railway Budget 2010 may not be received as well as the 2009 as Mamata's Bengal agenda has come under the scanner of the commoners as well.
- Minister Mamata Banerjee concludes presentation of her second railway budget
2: 00 PM
- Port Blair to Diglipur connection proposed
- Special benefits to help Cancer patients. Free tickets to AC3 and sleeper class
- No price hike in passenger fares
1: 58 PM
- India's religious, spiritual, pilgrimage hotspots to be connected with 'Bharat Teertha' trains
- Express train service between and Ahmedabad and Udhampur
- Tagore anniversary: Special train between India and Bangladesh
1: 51 PM
- Kolkata metro station to be revamped
- Special train in the name of Tagore to commemorate 150h birth anniversary (Himalaya to Kanyakumari, Madhuri to Patna routes among others)
- Western corridor pact with Japan by Mar 2010
- More 'Matribhumi' Ladies Special trains to be introduced
- Banerjee teases former Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav while announcing a new service in Bihar
1: 43 PM
- Rukus in the house as the minister continues announcements
- Speaker forced to intervene every few seconds
- Enraged Banerjee shouts " I can not satisfy all of you."
- New Train services focus on Sikkim, Manipur, Arunachal and other North Eastern neighboring regions
1: 33 PM
- Minister begins announcing the extensions of train services amid interruptions as she finds pronunciation of the station names difficult
- Austerity drive helped Railways save Rs 20,000 cr
- Budget estimates:
*Rs 113 crore for passenger amenity
*FY 11 Pension fund at Rs 14,500 crore
*Rs 6,490 cr net revenue revised estimate for FY10
*Revenue from non-crore business to go up from Rs 150 crore to Rs 1000 crore
*Rs 4,411 cr for new rail lines
1: 07 PM
- A dedicated passenger corridor proposed called the Golden Rail Corridor project
- A member of the family which loses land to railway projects will be given employment
- AC service charge cut to Rs 20
- Mumbai gets 101 new suburban trains
- Tourist trains on 16 routes
- 10 more Duronto trains announced
- Proposed diesel plant for West Bengal again invites ire of Opposition
12: 58 PM
- 22. 6 billion CFL lights distributed free of cost in a bid to take part in the green campaign to save 'Mother Earth' from climate change
- New coach factories specialised in making coaches with refrigeration facilities to carry agriculture produce
- Mamata raises voice and demands attention from the house.
- Kharagpur to get a Railway research center
- Railways examination centre in Bangalore
- 54 new trains in 2010-2011
- Security continues on top, Mamata promises to man all unmanning railway crossing in a span of five years
- Anti collision devises and better traffic control systems
12: 51 PM
- Women employees to benefit from special schemes proposed to 'take care' of their children
- 60 creches and 20 hostels for children of women railway employees
- Rabindra Museum at Howrah to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Rabindra Tagore
- Railways promises to set up five sports academies
- Special trains for Commonwealth Games 2010
- Speaks about Lata Mangeskar's song for those who laid their lives for India and invites applause from the house
- Ex-servicemen to be used for railway security
- Housing scheme for 14 lakh Rail employees
- Freight rates remain unchanged
12: 39 PM
- Security of passengers a challenge. Railway Protection Force (RPF) power limited and state governments should also take responsibility for law and order problems
- Ticket centres at district headquarters and village panchayats
- E-ticketing mobile vans at hospitals and educational universities
- Services and amenities for women, minorities and the physically challenged
12: 32 PM
- 117 new trains will be on the tracks within 7 months
- Proposal to set up 6 bottling plants in order to provide clean water to commuters
- Izzat scheme, concession schemes implemented
- Work on multi functional complexes underway
- Minister promises 1,000 km new railway line in one year
12: 25 PM
- Connectivity priority but funds are insufficient
- Invitation to business community to take part in Railway projects
- Establishment of special task force to look into project delays
- Need to develop new business model and bring in domestic investment through PPP (Public Private Partnership)
- No privatisation of the Railways but business module required to arm the revenue
- Private investment clearance in 100 days
12: 20 PM
- Railway Budget 2010 formulated on social responsibility
- The minister first speaks on the Vision 2010 document
12: 15 PM
- Banerjee begins Budget presentation by expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Opposition
12: 10 PM
- Mamata Banerjee reaches Parliament as price rise debate rocks Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
- The Railway Budget 2010 will be tabled at noon
11: 34 AM
- Mamata Banerjee leaves to Parliament carrying her jhola
- Opposition has promised to not disrupt the Railway Budget session
11: 13 AM
As the country eagerly awaits Mamata Banerjee's second Railway Budget, it is clear that the minister will stick to her 'janata' or populist way of doing things.
The Railway Budget 2010 is expected to address common man's woes and may not have that many reforms, say experts.
With the elections coming up, Bengal is going to be the first stop for Mamata Express. The election factor is also expected to force the minister to leave the passenger fares unchanged despite demands of hikes to increase the revenue.
Didi may also announce a number of super fast Duranto trains this year as these trains gained popularity among commuters over the last year.
As the ministry sources have revealed earlier, the minister will also be laying foundation for the big Vision 2020. The railways vision document consists of proposals for expansion of rail network, raising train speed and safety measures and commercial utilisation of railway land are expected to find mention in the rail budget.
The Vision Document 2020 was first unveiled in the 2009 Winter Session of Parliament.
Over the last year, the railways has seen a lot of accidents due to various factors, so the minister may also be addressing the issue of safety while presenting the Railway Budget 2010.
10: 39 AM