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Rail Budget to unveil common man's Rajdhani

Last updated on: January 30, 2004 09:04 IST

Introduction of new trains including a Jan Sadharan Express -- the common man's version of Rajdhani Express -- and announcement of fresh gauge conversion projects are expected in the interim Rail Budget to be presented in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The Jan Sadharan Express will be a non-stop superfast train between two stations.

This will be in line with Rajdhanis, Shatabdis, Jan-Shatabdis, Rail Bhavan sources said, adding that the new trains will have cent per cent second class coaches.

On an experimental basis such a train was introduced between Patna and New Delhi earlier this month.

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Nine new proposals, including six new lines and three gauge conversion projects worth Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) as approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last week, would also be included in the budget.

There were three projects relating to gauge conversion and laying of new lines and electrification approved by the CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and were likely to be included in the interim-Budget proposals.

The projects would cover states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, official sources said.

The minister is also expected to announce part reversal of the rationalisation of the freight rate in the current Budget.

The minister's effort would be to enhance the revenue through freight rate and loading, the sources said.

In the current year, according to the Railway Board appraisal, the shortfall in revenue from freight earnings is expected to be around Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion), whereas savings is expected to be in the order of Rs 1,440 crore (Rs 14.40 billion).
"This means the Railways, as in the past, will end up with surplus and not in deficit, he said and added that there won't be any hike in passenger and freight fares.

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