Railway minister Suresh Prabhu presented his first Rail Budget, he promised for better ticket booking facilities and more general coaches for the benefit of travellers. Also in line with expectations, no hike in rail fares was announced.
Here are some highlights of the Rail Budget 2015:
1. There will be no hike in railway passenger fares.
2. Talking about the need to work towards PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive, Prabhu in his budget speech said, “17,000 more toilets will be replaced by bio-toilets.”
3. An All India 24*7 helpline number will become operational. An all India 24*7 helpline 138 will be effective from 1/3/2015; Toll free No. 182 for security complaints
4. A mobile application to address complaints of people is also being developed.
5. “Operation 5 minutes” to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within 5 minutes
6. The facility of e-ticketing will help us to go paper less
7. SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains
8. Modern facilities will be provided to disabled citizens, senior citizens, patients through IRCTC
9. About 24 to 26 coaches in certain identified trains, more general class coaches, ladders to be replaced
10. In 400 stations wi-fi facility will be provided
11. Rs 8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years
12. Plans to building partnerships to gain long term financing and improve connectivity, modernise infrastructure
13. Introduction of integrated ticketing will be done, a Defence travel system has been developed to make travel easier.
14. Mobile application to address complaints of people is also being developed.
15. The speed passenger trains across nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km
16. Surveillance cameras on select mainline and ladies compartments
17. 67% more funds allotted for passenger amenities
18. Rs 1,000 Nirbhaya Fund, which was lying idle so far, will finally board a train to provide women’s safety.
19. Satellite railway terminals in 10 major cities.
20. Investment 84% higher, 77 new projects.