Indian Railways. It functions as a consultant in technical matters. It also provides consultancy to
      other organizations connected with railway manufacture and design. RDSO has developed a new
      design of wider and heavier pre-stressed concrete sleeper RT-8527 for 25 Taxle load to achieve
      higher frame resistance against bucking, higher rubber pad life, and feasibility of reducing de-
      stressing temperature with likely reduction in rail/weld failures.
      Railway Finance
            Though a part of the overall financial figures of the Government of India, the Railway
      Budget was being presented separately to Parliament since 1924-25 owing to the Separation
      Convention of 1924. The Railways had its own 16 demands for grants, which also used to be
      considered and passed by the Parliament separately. The main reason behind the Separation
      Convention was to secure stability for civil estimates as the Railway finance used to be a sizeable
      part of the general finances. The Government decided to merge the Railway Budget with the
      general Budget from the 2017-18. The unified budget will bring the affairs of the Railways to
      centre stage and present a holistic picture of the financial position of the government. This
      merger would facilitate multimodal transport planning between highways, railways and
      waterways.
            Railways would continue to maintain its distinct entity as a departmentally run commercial
      undertaking and retain its functional autonomy, delegation of financial powers etc. as per the
      existing guidelines. Instead of the erstwhile scheme of sixteen demands for grants, the Ministry
      of Finance introduced one demand for grant for the Ministry of Railways.
      Freight Traffic
            Rapid progress in industrial and agricultural sectors has generated a higher level of demand
      for rail transport, particularly in core sectors like coal, iron and steel ores, petroleum products
      and essential commodities such as food grains, fertilizers, cement, sugar, salt, edible oils etc.
      Revenue from freight traffic increased from 73.2 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 1106.15 million
      tonnes in 2016-17. In the same period , IR loaded 1110.95 million tonnes of which 1106.15
      million tonnes was revenue-earning and 4.80 million tomes non-revenue-earning, and achieved
      total net tonne kilometres (NTKMs) of 621 billion as against 656 billion in 2015-16.
      Passenger Business
            Passenger earnings in 2016-17 were ₹ 46,280.46 crore. This was ₹ 1,997.70 crore (4.51per
      cent) higher than the earnings in 2015-16. Suburban traffic contributed 5.81 per cent to the total
      earnings. The remaining 94.19 per cent came from non-suburban passengers. Earnings from
      Second and sleeper class mail/express passengers comprised 50.20 per cent of the total passenger
      earnings.
            Indian Railways is a commonly used mode of public transportation. During 2016-17, it
      carried 8,116 million passengers.
      Roads
            Road transport is a critical infrastructure for economic development of a country. It
      influences the pace, structure and pattern of development. The Ministry of Road Transport and
      Highways is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws
      relating to road transport and transport research. It encompasses construction and maintenance of