On February 1, 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the budget for the annual year 2022-23 in parliament. She has passed a 39.45 lakh crore budget and allotted 1.40 lakh crore to the key engine of the Indian economy; the Railways network.
The Indian Railway is a significant means of transport, connecting all the parts of India, and many people are connected to it. However, the Rail Budget has lost its charm after discontinuing a separate Rail Budget in 2017. Earlier, the Rail Budget and the Union Budget were presented separately.
Suresh Prabhu presented the last Rail Budget in 2016. Although, changes in the railways continue to affect the people. The new train launch, development, and reconstruction of platforms or stations facilities of WiFi directly impact the lives of common people.
The Union Budget of 2022-23 contains the blueprint of the next 25 years. Let’s understand what kind of changes this budget will bring to the ‘lifeline of the nation.’
Highlights of Railway Budget 2022-23
Rs 1.40 Lakh Crore for Indian Railways
For the fiscal year 2022-23, the Railway Ministry received 1.40 Lakh Crore from the union budget. It is 20,311 crores more than the last fiscal year. The high budget allocation is done to support the Railway to overcome the loss it faced during COVID-19. It will also encourage the fast development of the rail network.
This fiscal year’s budget also contains big plans for the nation’s lifeline from launching a New, efficient Vande Bharat Train; world-class technology for the 2000km rail network to ensure the safety of railways and its passengers; development of One Station, One Product concept, integration of Postal and Railway network, etc. Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnav has welcomed the budget and thanked Finance Minister Nirmala Sithahraman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
400 Vande Bharat Trains to be Launched
Vande Bharat, also known as train 18, is a semi high-speed train with an airplane-style sitting arrangement. The speed of this train ranges from 110 km/h to 200km/h. The first Vande Bharat Train was launched on February 15, 2019. Currently, two Vande Bharat Trains are running from Delhi to Varanasi and Delhi to Vaishnodevi, Katra. The train is made under the initiative of ‘make in India.’
Addressing the budget in Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that in the following 3 years, 400 new generation Vande Bharat trains with better carrying capacity will be manufactured. It will offer a great passenger riding experience. The counterparts of Vande Bharat Train would be manufactured from light-weight aluminum instead of steel. It will reduce the weight of the train by 50 tonnes and ensure less energy consumption as compared to steel counterparts.
Besides, on August 15, 2021, PM Narendra Modi has announced that Railways is manufacturing 44 Vande Bharat trains, which will run on at least 75 routes by August 15, 2023.
Related Reading:Vande Bharat Trains To Be Upgraded With New Features by 2022
One Station, One Product
Indian Railways will help small farmers and small and medium enterprises by popularizing one product for each station. It will smooth the supply chain and encourage local businesses and products. The Railway station will become a promotional hub for the particular product or services with this system. It will present the local product in front of a wide audience; the travelers Passing through the station. This system will help the farmers and artists to boost their businesses.
The Mission: One Station, One Product theme is based on the scheme of One District, One Product. The Union Minister, Shri Pashupati Kumar Paras of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, and Shri Prahlad Singh, Minister of State commenced One District, One Product on January 5, 2022. Amrit Phal for Gurugram, Cori Gold for Kota, Kashmiri Mantra for Kulgam, Jammu Kashmir, Madhu Mantra for Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh are some of those examples of One District, One Product.
Integration of Postal and Railway Network
Integration of Railway and Postal Networks will be another huge achievement. It will assure the development of both networks together. The aim of this integration is to ensure the fast movement of parcels from one place to another. When these networks work together, the unnecessary uproar will automatically be reduced by saving lots of time, and expenses come on parcels to keep it safe for a longer time. It will also increase the trust level of people on Railway and postal services for parcels delivery.
100 PM Gatishakti Cargo Terminals In Next 3 Years
The budget of the Fiscal Year 2022-23 presents the vision of the upcoming 25 years. The budget states that 100 PM Gatishakti cargo terminals for multimodal facilities will be developed in the next 3 years. The development of Cargo terminals will assure a better mass urban transport system.
This master plan of multimodal connectivity was launched in October 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is a transformative step for economic growth and sustainable development. 100 PM Gatishakti Cargo Terminal pulls the 7 engines of the Indian economy, including Railways, Roadways, Airports, Ports, Mass Transport, Waterways, and Logistic Infrastructure.
Indigenous Technology Kavach to 2000 Km of Rail Network
Kavach is a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. It is designed to achieve the goal of zero train accidents. It is an anti-collision device(ACD) certified with SIL4, which means there is a probability of a single error in 10,000 years. The technology uses microprocessors, global positioning systems, and radio communication to detect errors. Kavach receives inputs from the satellite and sends back information through modems.
This Artificial intelligence and machine learning system will automatically stop the train movement when it notices another train on the same line or any manual error. The anti-collision device will be installed on the roof of trains. During presenting the 4th budget, Nirmala Sithahraman announced that Indian Railways would enhance the safety and capacity of the 2000km of the railway network with world-class indigenous AI-based technology Kavach.
What Are the Future Prospects of Rail Budget 2022-23?
This year’s Rail budget has a long-term plan, which is beneficial for this year and forthcoming years. It will ensure the sustainable development of national transport. With the help of this Rail Budget, the rail network will get the coverage of Artificial Intelligence technology, the speed of modernization of trains and stations will get faster, and electrification of broad gauge will be finished till 2023.
More stations will get the WiFi facilities. Railways will also become more capable of ensuring Zero accidents in railways. The Rail Mobile app like RailMitra will become more powerful in predicting accurate PNR status, providing e-catering services, getting the information of live train status and train schedules. This Rail Budget will promote more facilities for passengers, railway vendors, railways employees, and staff.
With this Railway budget, the Government aims to focus more on modernization, safety, and improving the quality of services.
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