The Railway Budget 2016 was presented by Union Minister Suresh Prabhu in Lok Sabha – his second Rail Budget since taking charge of the ministry.
Here are some of the announcements so far:
1.No changes in passenger fares and freight rates in Railway Budget for 2016-17.
2. World’s first Bio-vacuum toilet developed by Indian Railways is being used in Dibrugarh Rajdhani express
3. Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.
4. IRTC will begin to manage catering in a phased manner, local cuisine of choice will be made available.
5. Three direct services – fully air-conditioned Humsafar to travel at 130-km per hour.
6. North-South, East-West dedicated freight corridor proposed in Railway Budget for 2016-17.
7. Overnight double-decker train Uday Express to be introduced on busiest routes, carrying capacity to be 40 per cent more.
8. 400 stations to be re-developed through PPP.
9. 400 railway stations to be equipped with wifi, 100 this year.
10. Porters to not be called “coolies” but be called “sahayaks” now; will be trained in soft skills.
11. We intend to take up on priority provision of passenger amenities and beautification of stations at pilgrimage centres.
12. We will introduce separate toilets for “divyaang” people.
13. Propose to invite FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems.
14. Railways to increase lower berth quota for senior citizens by 50 per cent.
15. Children menu to be introduced on pilot basis on trains.
16. 33 pc reservation to women in reserved quota in Railways will be introduced.
17. Cleaning of coach on demand to be introduced; Disabled enabled toilet in 11 Class-A stations this year.
18. Ajmer, Amritsar, Gaya, Mathura, Nanded, Nashik, Puri, Tirupati, Varanasi, Nagapattinam and other pilgrim stations to be beautified.
19. Two elevated suburban railway corridors – Churchgate-Virar and CST-Panvel to be constructed in Mumbai; Ring railway covering 21 stations to be revived with state participation.
20. Station development and re-development, monetisation of land to raise rail revenue from non-freight sources.
21. India’s first railway auto hub in Chennai to be inaugurated soon.
22. Logistics and warehouse parks to be created on PPP mode.
23. We intend to give special focus on exploring advertisement potential.
24. Railways to monetise land on tracks by leasing out for horticulture and tea plantation.
25. Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on busiest rail routes.
26. Holding company to be explored for monetising assets of Railway companies.
27. Railway Board to be re-organised.
28. E-booking of tickets on concessional passes for journalists introduced.
29. Bar-coded tickets to be introduced at select stations on pilot basis.
30. Railway safety record is better this year than previous years but much more needs to be done.
31. Indian Railways will generate employment for 9 crore man days in 2017-18 and 14 crore in 2018-19
17 states agree to form JVs with Indian Railways for construction of rail-over-bridges.
32. Direct procurement of diesel to help save Rs 1,500 crore in 2016-17.
33. Time-table freight container train to be run on pilot basis.
34. Railways to borrow Rs 18,580 crore in 2016-17 fiscal.
35. The minister said 17000 bio toilets and additional toilets at 475 stations will be provided before the close of this year.