In his maiden railway budget for 2012-13 presented in the Parliament on Wednesday, Dinesh Trivedi, union minster for railways has proposed to set up a rail coach manufacturing factory at Kutch in Gujarat. The minster also announced several new trains, extension of some existing routes besides several new railway lines for the state to be taken up during the fiscal year 2012-13.
Among major announcements for Gujarat, Trivedi has proposed to undertake a survey of new line for high speed rail corridor (HSRC) and trains with a speed limit of 250 kilometers per hour between Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad during 2012-13. It may be mentioned here that the minister has also requested to come forward for sharing the cost of the respective projects and to provide land free of cost to facilitate early construction of projects.
In his budget speech, Trivedi announced to set up coach manufacturing units in the Kutch region of Gujarat as well as at Kolar in Karnataka.
"Keeping in view the increased requirement of passenger coaches, a rail coach factory at Palakkad with the support of Government of Kerala is proposed to be set up. Similarly, two additional new manufacturing units for coaches are also proposed to be established in the Kutch area in Gujarat and at Kolar in Karnataka, the latter with the active participation of the state government," the minister said in his budget speech.
With its design projects for Mumbai local train and Mumbai Monorail paying off for the National Institute of Design (NID), the railways minister has announced to set up a design centre for the Indian Railways at NID's Ahmedabad campus. An endowment fund of Rs 10 crore will be utilised for developing concepts in various areas such as station architecture, coach layouts, luggage storage in coaches, toilets, ticketing kiosks and online services, and freight service systems, among other things.
The minister has announced to make six railway stations of Gujarat as Adarsh stations, which includes Bechraji, Bhavnad, Kadi, Palanpur, Siddhpur and Unjha. While Bechraji is a religious town, Kadi is important cotton ginning centre. Palanpur and Siddhpur are important stations on Ahmedabad-Delhi route in north Gujarat and Unjha bears importance for being the largest market for cumin (jeera) and other agri commodities.
The railway budget has announced 14 new express trains for Gujarat on some of the major routes including Bandra (T)-Bhuj AC Express (Tri-Weekly); Coimbatore-Bikaner AC Express (Weekly) via,Roha,Vasai Road,Ahmedabad,Jodhpur; Ahmedabad-Ajmer Intercity Express (Daily); Okha-Jaipur Express (Weekly) via Palanpur,Ajmer; Valsad-Jodhpur Express (Weekly) via Palanpur,Marwar; Porbander-Secunderabad Express (Weekly) via Viramgam,Vasai Road; Bandra (T)-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express (Weekly) via Palanpur; Bikaner-Bandra (T) Express (Weekly) via Jodhpur,Marwar,Ahmedabad; Ahmedabad-Gorakhpur Express (Weekly) via Palanpur,Jaipur,Mathura,Farrukhabad, Kanpur; Gandhidham-Bandra (T) Express (Weekly) via Morbi; Dwarka-Somnath Express (Daily) among others.
The trains which were extended include Valsad-Sonpur Express to Muzaffarpur, Surat-Varanasi Express to Chhapra, Kolkata-Ajmer Express to Ahmedabad (via Abu Road), Ahmedabad - Asansol Express to Bhavnagar, Pratapnagar-Bodeli Passenger to Chota Udepur.
In addition to new express trains, two MEMU (Main line Electrical Multiple Unit) for Dahod-Anand and Anand-Gandhinagar routes have also been announced, while a DEMU (Diesel-electric Multiple Unit) between Pratapnagar and Chota Udepur (Daily) has also been announced.
The minster has also announced two gauge-conversion projects for Gujarat for Ahmedabad – Botad and Dhasa – Jetalsar routes, while gauge-conversion project for Himmatnagar-Khedbrahma with extension up to Abu road has been sent to planning commission for approval. This line is believed to connect Himmatnagar and Khedbrahma to main railway route of the country.