On February 25 2016, the Railway Minister of India, Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget for the year 2016-17. During the presentation, there were several surprises as well as expected outcomes which has made the scenario interesting. Here are the top 15 things that you must be aware of in the Railway Budget 2016-17!
#1- Passenger Fares stays stagnant
One of the most soothing announcement made during the railway budget is that the passenger fare will stay the same. No form of increase or addition was made to the existing fare chart. The common man can continue to travel at the same cost.
#2- Follow up of 139 announcements made last year
Who remembers the 139 announcement made in the Railway Budget during 2015-16 session? The answer is- Suresh Prabhu! A confirmation was given that all the announcements were initiated during the year and are in application.
#3 – Eradicating unmanned crossing by 2020
India has been haunted by unmanned crossing ever since the independence. This year’s budget took the initiative of addressing the same problem and creating a deadline to eradicate the same. This will reduce the number of accident which takes place at railway crossing.
#4- 17000 bio-toilets and additional toilets in 475 stations
An interesting part of the railway budget was that it had a proposal to build 17000 bio-toilets for the common man along with expanding the sanitation facility across 475 railway stations by the end of this financial year.
#5- Quote for Senior Citizens and women to increase
The quota for travellers who belong to the category of Senior Citizens and Women has also increased.
#6- Wifi at Railway Stations
A declaration was made in respect of offering free Wifi service across 100 stations by the end of the current year. The figure will rise to 400 stations by the end of the next year.
#7- Strengthening the E-Ticketing system
The introduction of e-Ticketing system has saved a lot of time and effort of the Railway Department. The same would continue to enhance as the current potential of 2000 tickets per minute would be upgraded to 7000 tickets per minute. Additionally, the portal will now be able to support 1, 20, 000 concurrent users at the same time, which previously was 40,000 only.
#8- Introduction to CCTV cameras
A major objective of this Railway Budget was to digitalize the railway system. Use of CCTV camera at all major railway stations will help the administration to control crimes and track records during the operating hours.
#9- Introduction to Deen Dayal Rails
Deen Dayal coach is an initiative to facilitate passengers who travel long distance with an unreserved ticket. The coaches would have improved facility of water and mobile charging points. This will ensure that the passengers are able to access the basic requirement while travelling longer distance.
#10- Improved IRCTC catering service
The IRCTC would now be looking after its catering service in a phased manner. The local dish of the area from where the train would be commencing its journey would be available to the passengers.
#11- SMS-based service
Passengers can now avail basic services such as toilet cleaning with the help of a single SMS. All that they need to do is request for the service through an SMS and the same would be available within a matter of minutes.
#12- Child Care facility available in Railways
Facilities such as arrangement of baby food, etc., will also be available in railways. Mothers can request the same by contacting the respective authority.
#13- Electronic display
The trains would come with an electronic display which will be aided with GPS system to show the details of the current station as well as the upcoming station. This will help the passengers to make necessary arrangements before getting down at their destination.
#14- Ticket cancellation service over the phone
Passengers can now cancel their tickets by calling 139. The facility will offer an open solution to passengers who wish to make last minute cancellation of their ticket.
#15- Barcode on tickets
Ticket may soon come with barcodes. This will allow the ticket checkers to catch people who travel without ticket or use a ticket whose value is less than the actual.
Thus, these were the 15 must-know railway budget facts for you! Hope these proposals make your journey with the Indian Railways better in future.