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Railway Budget 2015-16: Quality of Life in Journeys

Feb 26, 2015 18:39 IST

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented his maiden Rail Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. This was also the second rail budget of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

In the budget, Prabhu gave 11 thrust areas to improve quality of life in train journeys which also includes Swachh Rail - Swachh Bharat drive. The 11 thrust areas include

Cleanliness
•Swachh Rail - Swachh Bharat campaign
•New department for cleanliness
•Integrated cleaning by engaging professional agencies and training our staff
•Waste to energy conversion plants
•New toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations in 2014
•Bio-toilets to be fitted in the coaches

Bed linen
•National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi to design bed linen
•The facility of online booking of disposable bedrolls at select stations will be extended to all passengers through the IRCTC portal on payment basis

Help-line
•Start a 24X7 helpline number 138 and a toll-free number 182 for security related complaints

Ticketing
•Operation Five Minutes to ensure Speedy Purchase of Tickets for Unreserved Class Passengers.  
•Provision of modified hot-buttons, coin vending machines and single destination teller windows will be launched to reduce the transaction time.
•For the differently-abled travellers, a special initiative will be launched whereby they can purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration.
•Proposal to work towards developing a multi-lingual e-ticketing portal
•Some other facilities include introduction of integrated ticketing system on the lines of rail-cum-road tickets on Jammu – Srinagar route will be expanded.

Catering
•Integrate Best Food Chains for E-Catering
•Railway passengers to order their food through IRCTC website at the time of booking tickets

Leveraging technology
•Introduce hand-held terminals to Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) for verification of passengers and downloading charts.
•Extending facility of SMS on mobiles as a valid proof of travel for PRS tickets
•SMS Alert service to inform passengers in advance of the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations

Surveillance
•Surveillance cameras will be provided on a pilot basis in selected mainline coaches and ladies’ compartments of suburban coaches without intruding into privacy

Entertainment
•Project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on license fee basis
•Mobile phone charging facilities will be provided in general class coaches & its numbers will be increased in sleeper class coaches

Station facilities
•200 more stations to come under Adarsh Station scheme
•Wi-Fi will be provided at B category station
•Facility of self-operated lockers to be made available at stations
•Provision of concierge services will be introduced through IRCTC at major stations
•Online booking of wheel chair on payment basis for senior citizens, patients and the differently-abled passengers will be available through IRCTC on select stations

Train capacity
•Capacity in identified trains will be augmented to run with 26 coaches
•More General class coaches will be added in identified trains

Comfortable travel
•NID to design user friendly ladders for climbing to the upper berths
•Quota of lower berths for senior citizens will be increased
•Middle bay of coaches will be reserved for women and senior citizens
•NID will develop ergonomically designed seats
•Provision of 120 crore rupees for Lifts and escalator has been made
•The newly manufactured coaches will be Braille enabled
•Entrances will be widened to ease of differently-abled passengers
•Corporate houses & MPs requested to invest in improving passenger amenities at Railway stations through CSR & MPLAD funds

Is this article important for exams ? Yes107 People Agreed

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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