New Delhi, Feb 26: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday presented his maiden Rail Budget in Lok Sabha.
Suresh Prabhu's maiden Railway Budget presentation, peppered with personal references and quotes, turned out to be a smooth affair even as possibly for the first time, no new trains were announced.
In a reflection of the challenging tasks before him, the Minister remarked, "Hey Prabhu, ye kaise hoga? (Oh God, how can this be done?)," while spelling out his long term vision for transforming the railways. Without leaving any room for doubt, the Minister was quick to complete his remarks saying that large resources and strong political will ensure "re-birth of the railways", evoking peals of laughter across the House. In yet another achievement of sorts, Prabhu did not encounter any major disruption from opposition during his speech
Here are few important points which you should know about the Rail Budget.
- No increase in passenger fares
- Wi Fi facilities at 400 railway stations
- 'Operation 5-minute': With the help of this, passengers travelling without tickets can purchase the same within 5 minutes.
- SMS alert service about the train arrival/ departure.
- Mobile application to address complaints of people.
- Railway helpline number 138 to be operational 24x7
- E-catering to be introduced in 108 trains
- CCTV cameras in select trains, and ladies compartments for their safety.
- Replacement of 17,000 more toilets with bio-toilets
- Travel between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata to be an overnight journey
- Facility of online booking of wheelchair.
- Disposable linen on payment will be available at all stations.
- More general coaches in identified trains
- More AC EMU services for Mumbai suburban section.
- All India 24 X 7 helpline 138 from March 1; Toll free No.182 - for security complaints
- Cleanliness in railways on top priority under 'Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat