Delhi: Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi is likely to spell out a blue
print for upgrading signalling and telecommunication system to prevent
accidents in the Rail Budget despite financial constraints.
Besides, the Rail Budget will have proposals for state-of-the-art coach
manufacturing units in Karnataka and Gujarat. Railways which has sought Rs
50,000 crore from Finance Ministry as gross budgetary support (GBS), has
got only Rs 25,000 crore for the next fiscal from the central kitty.
The multi-crore action plan for upgradation of the system is slated to
cover the 19,000 km long major trunk route such as New Delhi-Mumbai and
New Delhi-Kolkata and New Delhi Delhi-Chennai corridors.
"The upgradation exercise is a long-term plan to be carried out in a
phased manner," said a source in the railways. In-cab signalling system,
similar to the technology followed in European countries and already
available with Delhi Metro, would be aggressively taken up by the
railways, a mention of which is expected in Trivedi's budget speech.
Keen on introducing high speed trains, Trivedi is also likely to announce
a new bullet train corridor for Rajasthan. The 591-km
Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur route is slated to be taken up for
pre-feasibility study for introducing bullet trains, which run at a speed
of 350 km per hour, and an announcement to this effect is likely to be
made on March 14.
Trivedi could also announce a proposal for induction of trains sets, which
run at 200 km per hour, on the Delhi-Mumbai route. A train set consists of
a high horse power electronic locomotive with about 10 modern coaches and
is estimated to cost Rs 200 crore. Green initiatives are also likely to
get a big boost this time as a proposal for manufacturing as many as 2,500
environmental-friendly toilets could be included in the budget. The Rail
Budget 2012-13 is also slated to have measures for improving passenger
amenities at stations and trains. Railway minister could announce plan for
manufacturing 25,00 green toilets in the next fiscal as green initiative.