The maiden Rail Budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government proposes to initiate a number of passenger-friendly measures, aimed at facilitating the commuters in the long-run and improving the overall experience of travellers.
The budget has mentioned 8 main common man-friendly measures. Let’s have a look:
High Speed rail network and Bullet trains:
- Bullet trains will be introduced in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector.
- Diamond Quadrilateral network of high speed rail linking major metros and growth centres is being worked out.
- Increasing train speeds between several cities to 160-200 km/hour. Railways will spend Rs 100 crore for high speed trains between metros. The government needs Rs 9 lakh crore for funding Diamond Quadrilateral.
Revamp of Ticket reservation system:
- Next generation e-Ticketing system, capable of supporting 7200 tickets per minute as against 2000 tickets per minute and allow 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time, will help in the revamp of railway reservation System.
- Ticket booking through mobile phones and through post Offices will be promoted. Steps will be taken to provide facility of purchasing platform tickets and unreserved tickets Online.
- Parking-cum-Platform Combo Tickets to facilitate the passengers and to save their time.
- Online booking facility of railway retiring room will be extended to all the stations during the course of the year.
Improve catering and food:
- Introduce pre-cooked (Ready-to-eat) meals of reputed brands in a phased manner with a view to improve the quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety.
- Quality Assurance Mechanism through Third Party Audit by NABCB certified agencies to ensure the quality and standard of catering services.
- A system of receiving feedback through IVRS mechanism, from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served. If the service does not meet the set standards, especially in hygiene and the taste, stern action would be taken against the vendors including cancellation of the contract.
- Food courts at major stations to offer the option of ordering regional food while onboard, through emails, SMS and smartphones, etc. The railways will soon to launch a pilot project between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections.
Global Standard Stations:
- Railway Ministry will develop 10 major stations in the country to global standards. It will provide Wi-Fi in A-1 and A category stations and in select trains.
- Large scale integrated computerization of Indian railway systems will be done. Stations will have digital reservation charts.
- Cleaning activities will be outsourced at 50 major stations. The allocated budget for cleaniness has been raised by 40%. The number of Bio-toilets will be increased on trains.
58 new trains, 11 existing trains extended:
- Five Jansadharan Trains, 5 Premium Trains, 6 AC express trains, 27 express trains, 8 passenger trains, 2 MEMU services and 5 DEMU will be introduced this year.
- Special trains to meet the holiday and festival rush would continue to operate.
- Indian Railways need around Rs 40,000 crore improving rail safety. Rs 1785 crore will be provided for road under bridges and over bridges.
- Ultra sonic devices to detect rail fractures and automatic closing of doors both in mainline & suburban coaches are being considered.
- 17,000 RPF constables will be available for trains.
- Ladies coaches will be escorted by women RPF. Special instructions are being issued in each class of travel for the safety of ladies travelling alone.
- Boundary walls will be constructed around stations through the PPP way.
Workstations on Wheels:
- With a view to provide better facilities to business travelers, Indian Railways will provide workstations in select trains on payment basis.
- To start with, railways will provide Mobile based Wakeup Call System for passengers, Mobile based Destination Arrival Alert, Station Navigation Information System, Extension of Computerized Parcel Management System.
Trains dedicated to Tourism:
- Promoting Eco-tourism and education tourism in North Eastern States.
- Special Pilgrim Circuits like Devi Circuit, Jyotirling Circuit, Jain Circuit, Christian Circuit, Muslim/Sufi Circuit, Sikh Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Famous Temple Circuit have been identified
- . For these circuits specially packaged trains will be introduced. Private participation in this sector will also be encouraged.