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Cash-strapped railways witnessed bumpy rides in 2013

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 - 10:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The extension of rail line from Qazigund in Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu as part of the Kashmir rail link project was another landmark event for Railways in 2013.

Cash-strapped Railways witnessed bumpy rides in 2013 with its minister resigning in the wake of the cash-for-job scam and the national transporter facing an over Rs 4000 crore revenue shortfall.

The year will also be remembered for the ministry taking a bold step of implementing fuel adjustment component (FAC) in the passenger and freight tariff in its bid to link fares with fuel cost.

The extension of rail line from Qazigund in Kashmir to Banihal in Jammu as part of the Kashmir rail link project was another landmark event for Railways in 2013.

While the growth in passenger traffic was projected by 16 per cent in the current fiscal, it could register only 12 per cent rise causing worry for the Railways.

The overall revenue shortfall is hovering around Rs 4300 crore for the year despite several measures initiated to firm up the finance.

In order to boost up revenue, Railways introduced dynamic fare system on the pattern of airlines on the Delhi-Mumbai route for the first time by launching special AC premier service in an experimental way.

While 2012 had witnessed four Railway ministers in quick succession, this year saw three ministers at Rail Bhavan.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had to resign in May after the arrest of his nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh as bribe for helping in the promotion of Railway Board Member Mahesh Kumar.

C P Joshi was made Railway Minister for three weeks before Karnataka strongman Mallikarjun Kharge took over in June.

The Bansal incident caused strong ripples at the decision-making process for appointments in senior posts and as a result there was considerable delay in filling up the vacant posts of Members at Railway Board and General Managers at various zones. In October, Arunendra Kumar was finally appointed Railway Board Chairman.


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