Thursday, February 25, 2010

For Press Release.

Comment on Railway Budget -2010

Railway Minister Hon. Mamata Banerjee has submitted her Railway Budget in Parliament on 24.02.10.

The budget clearly indicates that her eyes are targeted to the Chief Minister Post of West Bengal. It is a Popularity based Budget. But Railway required a proper vision for future development like more kilometer of New track, Gauge Conversion, Doubling, Electrification
And filling up of existing vacancies.

In this budget Minister announced
10 Durantos
101 Suburban Trains for Mumbai,
54 New trains.

But where is the infrastructure and staff?

At present track capacity is saturated in different sections, and hence the punctuality of trains is very badly affected. So present double line sections to change to automatic signaling and Quadruple (4lines, like Chennai-Arakkonam) modernization of signaling and replacing aged bridges and tracks also important. The major thing is alarming vacancy position in general and safety category in particular. As per the knowledge 1, 72,749 vacancies are available in Railways out of that around 12,000 posts of Loco Pilots and Assistant Loco Pilots are existing. Last month Mumbai Motorman agitated demanding filling up of vacancies and pay hike and trains service were paralised.

In Bangalore Division also so many old proposals are kept in cold storage.
Bangalore –Mysore Doubling and Electrification,
Bangarpet –Marikuppam electrification,
Tumkur- Arsikere Doubling,
Bangalore- Guntakkal doubling and electrification,
Chick banavar – Sravanabelegola line
etc are to be given top priority.

The tourist trains presently running in Karnataka(Golden Chariot) is in huge loss, again operating such service will not be viable.
So before announcing any more trains the infrastructure to be developed and staff to be recruited.

Up to 2002 there were only 9 railway zones. But later due to different political and Administrative reasons new zones and divisions formed and as on date there are 16 Railway Zones. In 2000 total number of Officers in Indian Railways was around 6000; and the other Employees was around 17, 00,000. But as on 01.04.2009 the number of Officers is tripled (17680-White Paper) and other Staff reduced to 13, 72,003(white Paper).
In South Western Railway 565 posts of Loco Pilots assistant Loco Pilots are vacant.
Mamata expects more investment through PPP, which is handing over Public Property to the Private.

C. Sunish,
General Secretary,
AILRSA, SWR.

THE HINDU
Thursday, February 25, 2010, Bangalore
‘Where is the infrastructure for new trains?’
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: Even as Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa termed the Railway Budget 2010-11 as encouraging, many pending projects and proposals from the State have not been given due consideration in the budget.
Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee’s gesture in announcing 54 new trains has come under severe criticism from within the Railway fraternity on the grounds of inadequate infrastructure and manpower.
General Secretary of All India Loco Running Staff Association, South Western Railway, C. Sunish, said many old proposals in Bangalore division, including Bangalore–Mysore line doubling and electrification; Bangarpet–Marikuppam electrification; Tumkur-Arsikere line doubling; Bangalore- Guntakkal line doubling and electrification, and Chikkabanavar–Shravanabelegola new line have been kept in cold storage.
Mr. Sunish said, at present, track capacity was saturated in different sections as a result of which punctuality of trains had severely been affected. Ms. Banerjee should also have focussed on filling up over 1.7 lakh vacancies, of which nearly 12,000 are that of loco pilots. He said the Railways has utterly failed in manpower management. The numbers had dwindled from 17 lakh employees as against 6,000 officers in the year 2000 to 13.7 lakh employees and 17,680 officers in 2009. Kannada Development Authority Chairperson Mukhyamantri Chandru hailed Ms. Banerjee’s decision to conduct recruitment tests simultaneously across the country and in regional languages. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Working President D.K. Shivakumar lauded the efforts of Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa in getting many projects for the State. Bangalore South Lok Sabha member Ananth Kumar said Karnataka is the only State which has continuously contributed and committed a major portion of funds for new rail projects.

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