So the much awaited rail budget was announced yesterday. Budget was a long one at that and has many people who are criticizing it and many who are praising it. Let’s review the budget and simplify it so it is easier to understand it for every common citizen of India. Let’s give ourselves a freedom to understand in short crisp points what the Railway Minister stated in the Rail Budget so we can make our own opinion on the Budget, rather than some expert telling us about it.
Before pointing out the main highlights of the railway budget, I will first point out at the vision of the budget, which I particularly liked.
Vision of the Budget
“By 2020, long-felt desires of the common man to be fulfilled i.e, reserved accommodation on trains available on demand, time tabled freight trains, high end technology to improve safety record, elimination of all unmanned level crossings, improved punctuality, higher average speed of freight trains, semi high speed trains running along the golden quadrilateral, zero direct discharge of human waste. “
The Vision Seems great and if the Railway minister is actually able to achieve it by 2020, or ever 80 percent of what is planned, it would not only change the condition and finances of the Railways for good, but be be a great help to the common man of India. Thumbs up for the vision.
1) There will be NO HIKE in the passenger fares for this year.
2) Railways to get a Rs 40,000 crore budgetary support from the government for this year.
3) Action on all 139 announcements made in previous years Budget has already started.
4) Giving a boost to Swacch Bharat, 17,000 bio-toilets and additional toilets will be installed in 475 stations before the end of current financial year.
5) 33% reservation to women in reserved quota in Railways will be soon introduced.
6) In partnership with Google, Wi-Fi will be installed in 100 stations this year and other 400 stations next year.
7) Senior citizen quota for Lower Births to be increased by 50 %
8) High-end technology for railway safety will be implemented.
9) More dedicated freight corridors to be introduced to take care of the increased demand in freight transport.
10) 1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km of electrification proposed for the next year.
11) All the unmanned level crossings to be eliminated by 2020.
All the major railway stations to come under CCTV surveillance.
12) Capacity of e-ticketing system to be enhanced from 2,000 tickets per min to 7,200 to min.
13) Cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS
14) Bar-coded tickets to be available as a pilot program to handle ticket-less travel.
15) Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers. These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
16) Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for traveling mothers.