So it’s time from Special trains and certain regions we have eventually moved on to basic necessities in Railway Budget. A comprehensive budget which focusses on basic amenities and is more focused with industrialization was tables by Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu in parliament today. The budget focusses on improving the customer experience rather than focusing on crowding the railway networks. Lest have a look at the top points from the railway budget.
Reserved ticket window has been increased from 60 days to 120 days. Passengers can now book travel tickets 120 days in advance of their travel date which was earlier 60 days. Special initiatives for Differently abled people have been taken by the railway ministry. Differently abled people can now purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration.
Railway minister has spared the general public from any fare hike this time round as compared to their last budget where passenger and freight fares were hiked by 14.2% and 6.5% respectively. The fare hike dead lock was broken in 2012-2013 when TMC leader Mr. Trivedi and railway minister hiked the fares.
A blessing for all railway passengers. 138 a 24*7 railway helpline number where passenger problems will be taken care of on real-time basis. A Mobile application also to redress railway issues will also be functional on trial basis in Northern Railway starting March 2015. As security has been a matter of concern for travelers a special toll-free helpline number 182 for all security related problems of passengers.
In the era of smartphones, battery life is a concern of all the people. More Mobile phone charging points in sleeper coaches and charging points also to be made available in general coaches.
Cultural and lingual diversity has been the usp of India, with this budget railway minister wishes to being in food diversity to all railway passengers. Mr. Prabhu introduced e-catering where people can book local meals at the time of ticket booking. This has been introduced on experimental basis on 108 stations. Minister also focused on running base kitchens in divisions to serve quality food that a railway traveler deserves.
Clean Rail, Clean India
Modi government since coming in power has been focusing on Swatch Bharat Mission. Mr. Prabhu followed the legacy by focusing on integrated cleaning. Special agencies to be a part of the cleaning process and also training the staff to handle the cleaning process well will be undertaken by the railway ministry. Railway Minister also focused on harnessing energy from waste and also to dispose of the waste in a proper manner making the process environment friendly.
No Bullets, Faster Trains
Not much light was thrown on the bullet trains modi government promised in the last budget however Mr. Minister has focused on increasing the average train speeds so as to reduce the travel time. 9 Corridors will see trains running on faster speed on trial basis, success of which will be followed in other corridors.
Kejriwal government promised Delhi to have every nook and corner covered with cameras; Modi government did not stand back. Women safety has been an issue of major concern in India, Taking necessary steps Railway minster proposed to have cameras in coaches in mainline division and also in ladies coaches in sub-urban areas.
On-Board entertainment to be run on trial basis by railways Delhi division in selected shatabdi expresses on license fee basis.