Railway Budget 2016 was announced by the Central Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday. The tech-savvy minister known for his reformist attitude, has brought together a number of changes for the betterment of the services.
With a wide range of new schemes and proposed facilities; the trains and the railway stations are getting a major revamp. Ranging from e-catering services to easier online procedures to having Braille-enabled coaches for differently-abled passengers; there’s a lot for the public in the Railway Budget 2016. Here’s taking a look at a few highlights.
Highlights of Railway Budget 2016:
1. No hike in passenger fares.
2. Action has been initiated on 140 budget announcements made last year.
4. 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets to be built under the Swachch Bharat scheme in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.
5. Senior citizens and women can rejoice as there is an increase in the respective quotas.
6. Stay connected with Wifi at 500 stations by next year.
7. IRCTC website will no longer misbehave as the capacity is being increased from 2000 tickets/minute to 7000 tickets/minute.
8. Feel safer with high-tech CCTV surveillance at all stations.
9. Unreserved passengers will have drinking water and a high number of mobile charging points in Deen Dayal coaches.
10. IRCTC to manage catering service in phased manner; with local cuisine being made available.
11. You no longer have to hold your breath while you tinkle as toilet cleaning facilities can be availed through sms.
12. Travelling with children is easier now; with a child menu, baby food and baby boards that are on the cards this year.
13. GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations; so no more straining your neck trying to see the window.
14. The railway helpline number 139 will also have cancellation facility.
15. Introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.
16. Porters to not be called ‘coolies’ but ‘sahayaks’ now; will be trained in soft skills. So no more haggling!
17. Long train journeys won’t be boring now; with a proposal to invite FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via Public Announcement systems.
18. Social Media will now be used as a tool to ensure 100% transparency.
19. Purchasing tickets is now easier, with 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines, mobile apps, GoIndia smart cards.
20. 2,500 water vending machines at railway stations have been provided.
21. Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
22. Remote parts of North-East India like Barak Valley in Assam, places in Mizoram and Manipur to be connected through broad gauge soon.
23. Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed corridor registered this month.
24. Humsafar express, a fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals will be introduced this year.
25. The Utkrisht double-decker Express with increased capacity of almost 40% has been introduced.