Glimpses from the Railway Budget 2k15

Written by Sriram Venkatachalam

After the Narendra Modi led NDA government acquired the PM office, the first railway budget was presented by the Union Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu yesterday. This article features the major points in the announced railway budget 2015:

1. As going with expectation, there is no increase in Railway passenger fares or Freight fares. It comes as a relief to the masses across the nation.

2. No new trains have been introduced. According to the minister, focus will be more on improving the services that are available currently rather than introducing new services.

3. Tickets can be booked up to 120 days in advance.

4. Bio-toilets to be implemented in all coaches.

5. Surveillance camera in Ladies compartments to ensure the safety of women, without compromising their privacy.

6. Railway research centres to be started in four universities.

7. Wi-Fi facility in stations.

8. More over-bridges and under-bridges.

9. Speed of trains to be increased up to 200 kmph in 9 railway corridors.

10. Training for railway employees in Yoga, Mediation etc.

11. Feasibility study for high speed corridor between Mumbai & Ahmadabad.

12. Newly manufactured coaches will be passenger friendly such as having Braille signs, wider entrances etc.

13. Railway connectivity for North eastern states and Jammu & Kashmir to be studied.

My View:

                More focus needs to be given to cleanliness. The words of former UPA Minister Mr.Jairam Ramesh “Indian Railways make the country’s greatest open toilet” is very much true. Modi’s dream “Swacch Bharath” will only be a reality if more focus is given on cleanliness in compartments and stations. Extending the advance booking period to 120 days will have harder impact on those people who travel to their hometowns during festival time. Though some plans are devised for Telengana & AP, the rest of the southern parts of India especially Tamilnadu have been neglected. The introduction of CCTV cameras for women safety is a promising note. Indian Railway should focus more on Modernising with some private partnerships or with the help from other countries.

Bottom-line: An average budget with no boon or bane.

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Written by Sriram Venkatachalam

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