Rail Budget to be presented in Parliament today

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee will present the Rail Budget in the Parliament today.

Mamata is unlikely to propose any increase in passenger fares.

She is also likely to bring in a special Railway Security Fund as railways have often come in for criticism for not doing much to ensure safety to passengers.

The Budget may also see more Duronto trains being launched.

Freight rates of foodgrains and fertilisers are likely to stay the same as the Centre has been facing a lot of flak on the price rise issue.

She has already dedicated the budget to the "common man" and also perhaps to the Assembly polls in Bengal next year.

She is also likely to announce expediting project works of upcoming locomotive and coach manufacturing units in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal and expansion of Kolkata Metro network.

With frequent train accidents becoming a major issue for railways, she is likely to announce enhanced budgetary allocation to address the problem.

Some of the safety measures include the implementation of Anti-Collision Device (ACD) and Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) in certain congested routes.

Improving passenger amenities in stations and onboard trains, tightening security measures which include raising a special all-woman force would also find mention in the budget.

On Tuesday evening, she called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and took him into confidence about the budgetary proposals. The visit was described as a customary exercise.

Soon after the meeting, Banerjee held consultations with senior members of the Railway Board, apparently to work out last-minute revisions. (ANI)

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