Railways will eliminate all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge lines by 2020 and expert international assistance will be harnessed to improve safety preparedness and maintenance practices as per the Budget 2017-18. Unmanned level crossings are a major reason for train accidents.
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Railways will implement end-to-end integrated transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership with logistics, who will provide both front and back-end connectivity. Rolling stock and practices are to be customized for perishable goods especially agricultural goods, as per the budget proposals.
As a part of accounting reform a pool-based financial system will be ruled out by March 2019. It will now be our continuous endeavour to improve the operating ratio of the railways. The tariff of the railways would be fixed taking into consideration cost quality of service, social obligation and competition from other forms of transport.
The budget envisages commissioning of 3500 km long rail lines in 2017-18 as against 2,800 km in 2016-17 while steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains of tourism and pilgrimage.
The budget for railways will focus on 4 major areas -passenger safety, capital and development work, cleanliness and financial and accounting reforms.
Highlighting the need for green energy, the budget has proposed to feed 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term.
A beginning has already been made in 300 stations and work will be taken up for 2,000 railway stations as the part of 1,000 megawatt solar mission.
Highlighting cleanliness, the budget has proposed to introduce a ‘Coach Mitra’ facility, a single window interface to register all coach-related complaints and requirements.
Private plants for environment friendly disposal of solid waste and conversion of biodegradable waste and energy are being set up at New Delhi and Jaipur railway stations. Five more such solid waste management plants are now being taken up in the next fiscal.
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