- [Act 1] Railways: GK & Static Theory
- [Act 2] Railways: Current / Contemporary topics
- [Act 3] Railways: Clean energy- sanitation measures
- [Act 4] Rail Budget 2014
- [Act 5] Economic Survey Fodder
- Appendix: Stupid statistics
Economic Survey Ch11. Energy, Infrastructure and Communications. Total three subparts
- Infrastructure: highways, shipping, aviation
- Railways infrastructure (you’re here, first two parts coming soon).
|1854||Calcutta to Raniganj|
|1856||Madras to Arkonam|
|1924-25||Rail budget separated from general budget (Acworth). Acworth gave report in 1921. But they separated in 1924.|
|2010||Kolkata metro declared the 17th Rail zone|
|2013||fuel linked tariff policy|
- 1924-25: The British started separate rail budget on Acworth Committee recommendations
- Indian constitution does not provide for separate railway budget or budget in parts.
- But Parliament rules of procedure of Parliament permit it.
- Although rail budget’s receipt and expenditure are also shown in General budget. Observe following:
|receipt (incoming)||Expenditure (outgoing)|
|dividend from railways counted here.||Grants given to railways counted here|
|receipt (incoming money)||Expenditure (outgoing)|
||loans given to railways|
Parliamentary convention committee reviews the railways’ contribution to general budget.
|Meter||1,000 mm (~3ft3″)|
|Narrow||762 mm; 610mm (lift gauge)|
- Ranking track length in India: broad > meter > narrow
- Project uni-gauge: to convert selected routes into broad gauge.
|Express Trains||speed ~160 kmph|
|Garib-rath||AC trains for poor people- at cheaper cost. But seat space narrow, no food/bedding given.|
|Premium Trains/Jai Hind express||
|Rajdhani||Connects Delhi with state capitals. Started in ‘69|
|Red ribbon||to spread AIDS awareness|
|Qazigund Banihal section||Pir Panjal|
|IRCON ltd built it||Hindustan Construction company|
|~18km long rail section||
|Joins Qazigund (Kashmir) with Banihal (Jammu)||Pir Panjal: is name of the tunnel on that section. (Technical name T-80 tunnel)|
|next project: connecting Udhampur Banihal (2017)||
Before moving to Rail Tarrif authority, we need to learn two definitions:
- To keep rail travel cheap for the poor people, Railways keeps the passenger tickets lower than its input cost. = obviously loss making. (23 paise per passenger per kilometer in 2013. In 2001, it was 10 paise.)
- To compensate this loss, Railway keeps freight (goods transport) prices higher. This is called “Cross subsidization”.
- Railway’s Operating Ratio is 94%.
- Meaning they spend 94 paise out of every rupee earned. Only 6 paisa left in surplus. (This is Rail minister’s explanation in his budget speech 2014)
- Fuel (diesel and electricity)= ~17% of the Railways’ total operation cost.
- So, if railways wants to improve its “operating ratio”, it must keep changing fares depending on fuel cost.
- Therefore, (UPA-II) Rail budget 2013 announced “Fuel adjustment component” (FAC)
|High Speed Diesel (HSD)||7.3%|
- FAC is Dynamic in nature- fares can be reduced if fuel becomes cheaper.
- To be Revised every 6 months.
- Last time fares revised in October 2013.
- So next revision should have been done in April/May 2014. But Congress Government didn’t do it (for vote bank / model code of conduct).
- June 2014: (Modi) Government raised passenger ticket price by ~14%, and freight charges by 6.5%. Because of the same Fuel-linked pricing policy.
- This will improve railways’ income by 8000 crore Rs. But even this much money insufficient to finish past projects. (we need 50,000 crores every year for next ten years.)
- Railway makes 23 paisa loss per passenger, per kilometre. Therefore, need to raise prices.
- 2014: interim budget announced setting up the Rail Tariff Authority (RTA).
- Chairman + 4 members.
- To advise the government on prices for both passenger trains and good trains.
- Depending on input cost and volatile market conditions.
- Will improve fare : freight ratio
- Will reduce the cross subsidization between freight and passenger train operations.
- But, under the Railway Act, only the Railway Board can decide on the prices of rail services.
- So, RTA has been established through an executive order. Just like UIDAI.
- However, Modi’s rail budget is silent on this issue.
four topics: Biodiesel, Biotoilets, Green curtain, Clean energy company.
- Biodiesel is a fuel manufactured from animal or vegetable fats
- It has physical properties very similar to the diesel obtained from crude oil
- (Animal or plant) fat + Alcohol (Methanol or Ethanol) + Catalyst + high temp + high pressure=> Glycerin + Biodiesel.
- Chemically, Biodiesel is Methyl Ester (if methanol used) OR Ethyl Ester (if Ethanol used)
- Glycerin is separated and used in soap-cosmetic industry. If Glycerin is not removed from biodiesel, then it’ll block the fuel filters.
- Simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, rich in oxygen.
- Free of sulfur and aromatics. Thus reduces GHG emission, air pollution and public health risk.
- Biodiesel can be blended at any level with (real) diesel.
- Thus biodiesel will reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuel => less current account deficit.
- Railways need ~2 billion litres of diesel every year. We can manufacture ~500 tonnes of biodiesel from Jatropha and Karanjia alone. These plants are non-edible and can be grow on wasteland.
- offers new energy-related markets to farmers.
- 2002: 5% blended Biodiesel used on a Shatabdi engine. Trial was successful.
- 2003: Railways signed an MoU with Indian Oil Corporation ahd gave ~500 land for Jatropha cultivation. IOC in return promised to supply Biodisel for 15 years.
- 2014: Modi’s railway budget permitted 5% blending of biodiesel with (real) diesel.
- Originally from South America and Africa
- Family Euphorbiaceae.
- Greek: Jatros = Doctor, Jatropha = nutrition.
- Hindi: Bagh Eranda, Jangli Eranda, Safed Eranda
- Gujarati | Punjab = Jamal Gota.
- Purgative and toxic.No animals eat it.
- Can grow in wasteland, arid areas. Can withstand frost and drought.
- Jatropha seed=> oil => Plant fat =>Biodiesel.
- 1994: DRDO sets up first biotoilet in Ladakh. Later tied up with Indian railways.
- 2012: Rural Development ministry tied up with DRDO to install bio-toilets under Total sanitation mission /Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
- There is a bio-digester tank in every toilet, contains 4 type of anaerobic bacteria.
- They digest the human excreta, via four steps: hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis and methanogenesis.
- No bad smell, don’t need large space, no human excreta in toilets or tracks – hygiene and cleanliness
- converts human excreta in to water (irrigation) and methane gas (cooking)
- Railways will construct boundary wall round the station.
- Then watchmen will patrol the area.
- Anyone caught urinating/defecating/littering in this area, will be punished.
- Landscaping and plantation near the stations.
- Pilot project @Agra and Jaipur. If project success= then Railways implement it in all stations, and outsource this “chowkidaari” to private companies.
- Companies act 2013 mandates certain companies to spend 2% of their profit on CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities. This chowkidaari will be counted as one of the CSR activity.
- Modi budget: CCTV cameras to monitor cleanliness
- Railways has setup Railway Energy Management Company (REMC)
- This company sets up windmill plants, solar power plants on railway buildings. Gets 40% subsidy from Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
Combining all announcements from rail budget and general budget. MCQ worthiness low, but can serve as mains fodder here and there.
Announced in Modi railbudget 2014
- Paperless offices in Indian Railways in 5 years
- E-procurement mandatory for projects worth Rs.25 lakhs and above.
- Next Generation Ticket Reservation System
- Wi-fi Services in all selected stations and trains
- Mobile based Wakeup Call System, Destination Arrival Alerts for passengers.
- Computerized Station Navigation Information System;
- Computerized Parcel Management System
- Indian Railways carry only 31% of the total freight carried in the country by all modes. If more goods transported by railways- it’d reduce fuel consumption of Indian economy.
- Railway is expected to earn like a commercial enterprise and serve like a welfare organization. These two objectives never meet, because of poor operating ratio (94%).
- As a result, railways to compromise with efficiency, cleanliness and safety.
- In the name of social responsibility – past government setup lot of populist projects (like opening museums and hospitals). But they hardly bring any revenue to the Railways.
- Proliferation of “projects” in past decades. To finish them, all we need 50,000 crore every year for next ten years.
- Additionally, we need >9 Lakh crore to complete the Golden Quadrilateral Network and ~60,000 crore for introducing one bullet train alone.
- Indian Railways is a business that has a monopoly that has nearly 125 crore customer base that has 100% sale on advance payment; but still starved of funds.
- Too many rail stoppages = trains slowed down, long distance travel time increased. Most of our “express” trains have become slow like “passenger” trains. (Reform: Modi railbudget has set deadline- 30th September 2014. After that all such stoppages will be reviewed and closed down if unnecessary.)
- Rail ministry wants FDI in all sectors except Rail operations. Because they have hardly any surplus money to finance all the projects. Even PPP gathered ~3000 cr. in last two years. We need 50,000 crore investment every year.
- Survey suggestion: While FDI and privatization can be big ticket reforms for railways. BUT Rail privatization proposal should be examined carefully. Because it succeeded in Japan but failed in UK.
|Before Aug||After Aug 2014 cabinet clearance|
|FDI was permitted only in mass rapid transit system.||100% in following areas:
FDI prohibited in: Train operations and safety.
From Modi Rail budget 2014
- 100% FDI in railway infrastructure, high speed rail system and dedicated freight corridor (FDI under automatic route)
- Private investment permitted in station modernization, ware houses etc.
- PPP under BOT (build-operate transfer route).
- Will speed up construction of critical coal connectivity lines. This will help in faster movement of coal from mines to thermal power plants.
- Will connect ports to hinterland via PPP. (especially minor ports on Western coast)
- Indian railways entered the one billion tonne club, joining the Chinese, Russian, and United States railways.
- Braille stickers in coaches to facilitate visually impaired passengers.
- FinMin=>Nirbhaya Fund=> Railmin=> alert system in trains for women safety
- Varansi’s Diesel Locomotive Works developed world’s first prototype 5500 HP diesel locomotive (WDG5). It can achieve 100 kmph speed.
- Established Joint venture Railway Energy Management Company (REMC)- for green energy initiatives. Windmills, solarplants to reduce energy bill of Railways.
- Established subsidiary company High Speed Rail Corporation of India (HSRC) to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 km per hour. Studying Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor feasibility with help of Japan.
- Focused on environment-friendly and economically efficient transport movement.
- Jammu Kashmir connectivity: (see following table)
|1.16||Lakh kilometers of track length|
|23||Million passengers carried every day- same as moving entire Australia|
|7172||No. of railway stations|
|11563||Unmanned rail crossing|
|12617||No. of trains owned by Railways|
|30348||Total rail crossings|
|23||paisa loss per passenger per kilometer (2013)|