New Delhi, Mar.14 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday, described Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi's maiden budget for fiscal 2012-13 as a forward looking one.
In a statement, Dr. Singh said that the Railway Budget had placed emphasis on safety and modernisation of Indian Railways.
" The Budget for 2012-13 has been formulated against the background of Railways' responsibilities in meeting the demands of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), he added.
The Prime Minister's statement came hours after Trivedi had presented his ministry's budget proposals for 2012-13 with a focus on ensuring greater safety in train journeys across the country.
The budget proposals also included an expected increase in passenger fares across all classes, the announcement of more than 100 new trains, enhanced frequency or routes for many others, and plans to hire more than one lakh employees.
Some of the other key proposals were:
Annual Plan for Railway for 2012-13 put at highest ever Rs 60,100 crore.
*Propose to set up Independent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory body.
*Special Purpose Vehicle - Rail Road Grade Separation Corporation of India - to be set up for abolishing level crossings.
Propose to bring down operating ratio from 95 to 84.9 pc in 2012-13 and lower it to 74 pc by terminal year of 12th plan.
Plan to modernise 19,000 km of railway tracks, which cater to 80 per cent of traffic.
Gross budgetary support for Railways for 2012-13 Plan fixed at Rs 24,000 crore.
All unmanned level crossings to be abolished in next five years.
*Railway investment in the 12th Plan to be Rs 7.35 lakh crore against Rs 1.92 lakh crore in the 11th Plan.
Indian Railways Stations Development Corp will redevelop stations and maintain them on pattern of airports.
*Logistics Corporation will be created for providing logistics solutions for rail users.
*Budgetary support pegged at Rs 25,000 crore for the coming year as against projected requirement of Rs 45,000 crore.
*14 new rail line survey to be taken up in 2012-13.
*725 km of new line completed in the current year, Rs 6,725 crore for new lines, says Trivedi.
*800 km of lines to be gauge converted at Rs 1,950 crore in 2012-13.
*31 projects of over 5,000 km being implemented with the support of state governments.
*Railways to take up linking of Agartala to Akura in Bangladesh.
*All meter gauge, narrow gauge sections to be made broad gauge, except heritage lines, by end of 12th Five Year Plan. (ANI)
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