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Railway Budget - 2012 -13 Speech

Railway Budget - 2012 -13 Speech

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Published by [A] [K] [I]
Speech by Rail Minister Sri, Dinesh Trivedi on Railway Budget 2012-13
Speech by Rail Minister Sri, Dinesh Trivedi on Railway Budget 2012-13

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Published by: [A] [K] [I] on Mar 17, 2012
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03/17/2012

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1
Budget 2012-2013Speech ofDinesh Trivedi
Minister of Railways 
March 14, 2012Madam Speaker,1.
 
I rise to present the Railway Budget for 2012-13.2.
 
I consider it a great privilege for me to head the strong andvibrant railway family and present my maiden Railway Budget which isalso the first year of the 12
th
 Five Year Plan. I am grateful to theHon'ble Prime Minister for his inspiring guidance and support informulating the Budget.3.
 
I am also grateful to the Hon’ble Finance Minister and the UPAChairperson, Smt. Sonia Gandhi for their support. It would not havebeen possible for me to present this budget had I not received thesupport and confidence of my party, All India Trinamool Congress, andits chairperson, Mamata Banerjee, to whom I shall always remaingrateful. Above all, I am grateful to
 
as it is only because oftheir blessings that I have been able to make it to this Parliament.
 ,.
4.
 
Madam Speaker, when I look at the list of illustrious leaders ofthis country who had donned the mantle of Indian Railways right fromSh. Asaf Ali to Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri, to Sh. Jagjivan Ram ji, to Sh.Gulzari Lal Nanda, Sh. Kamalapati Tripathi, Sh. Madhu Dandavate toMamata Banerjee, I find myself nowhere near their stature. But I havecertainly tried to take lessons from the pages of history and from theircontribution to this great institution. I am grateful to MamataBanerjee for giving vision to railways in her Vision 2020 document,which has guided me immensely in framing the roadmap for carryingforward the task.5.
 
I am grateful to each and every member of 14 lakh strong RailParivar which has not only given confidence to me but has also shownthe direction. It is through their dedication, hardwork, loyalty andsacrifice that the railways have scaled great heights. No other
 
2
organization can perhaps draw a parallel with Indian Railways. Rightfrom the Board Members to the gangman, it is only this unity whichhas overcome various challenges and has made the country proud.Therefore, I dedicate to them all the achievements of the railways sofar.
  ,, ,
6.
 
Madam, when I took oath on 12th July 2011 as Minister ofRailways, the railways had just been overtaken by an unfortunate railaccident at Fatehpur Malwa near Kanpur on 10th July, 2011. I hadrushed to the accident site instead of going to Rail Mantralaya. Theintensity of pain and misery experienced by the passengers and theirrelatives continues to haunt me and I have spent sleepless nights. Atthat very moment, I took a vow to eliminate recurrence of such painfulhappenings and decided that my entire emphasis is going to be onstrengthening Safety, Safety and Safety. The death on rail tracks justcan never be tolerated and it is not acceptable.
7.
 
I would like to reiterate my strong conviction and belief in thephrase, “Safety Never Sleeps” as emphasized by Mamata Banerjee allalong. I believe that safety on Indian Railways has to be benchmarkedagainst other modern railway systems in the world, be it in Europe orJapan. Safety standards have been remarkable in these systems, withno deaths due to rail accidents for decades together on high speedroutes.8.
 
Although I am not at all satisfied with the safety standards at thepresent moment, I must inform the august House that the entirerailway family is equally concerned and has been making concertedefforts in this direction. The commitment made in 2001 to reduceaccidents per million train km from 0.55 to 0.17 has been achieved.However, our target should be zero death.9.
 
I would like to inform the august House that more than 40% ofthe consequential train accidents, involving 60% to 70% of the totalcasualties occur at unmanned level crossings. However, funding is anissue which needs to be collectively addressed. To fast trackelimination of level crossings in the next five years, I have decided toset up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named Rail-Road GradeSeparation Corporation of India.
 
3
10.
 
In order to achieve even higher safety standards, I decided to setup a committee to examine the current standards of safety on IndianRailways and to suggest suitable benchmarks and safety protocols.Considering the zero tolerance approach in the areas of nuclearscience and aerospace, I felt that the best people to guide railways indetermining appropriate safety protocols should be from these twofields. My dear friend, Dr. Kasturi Rangan who himself is an eminentspace scientist, and to whom I am grateful, suggested the name of Dr.Anil Kakodkar to head this this ‘High Level Railway Safety Committee’.I am also grateful to Dr. Kakodkar and his team for readily acceptingmy request despite their extremely busy schedule. This gestureunderlines the fact that interests of people and the nation are close totheir hearts. The Committee has submitted its Report on 17thFebruary, 2012 and recommended far reaching measures and safetyprotocols.11.
 
Madam Speaker, I assure the august House that therecommendations of the Committee will receive focussed attention asrequired. By way of initiating a long term approach to safety and inline with recommendations of the Committee, I propose to set up anindependent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory regulatory body.The functions of the Authority would be worked out in greater detailsin line with international practices in the best interests of passengersafety. Since research and development activities are central to anytangible results in the area of safety enhancement, I also propose toset up a Railway Research and Development Council at the apex levelto spearhead such efforts. This would also be in line withrecommendations of Kakodkar Committee.12.
 
In today’s world, safety is driven by improved technology. Hencesafety standards cannot be achieved without modernization, as safetyand modernization are two sides of the same coin. At the same time,modernization cannot take place without financial resources andprofessionalization of manpower. Therefore, I had set up yet anotherExpert Group headed by Mr. Sam Pitroda on modernization andresource mobilization. The Group has submitted its report on 27thFebruary, 2012 and has provided a blueprint for the next five years formodernisation of Indian Railways. The recommendations of the Groupentail an estimated investment of
 ` 
5.60 lakh crore.

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