Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday smartly avoided controversy while presenting the rail budget by not increasing the passenger fares. “There will be no hike in railway passenger fares. We will focus on improving passenger amenities including cleanliness,” Railway Minister Prabhu said.
Here are some of the important features of the budget:
# Now you can book your train tickets 120 days in advance.
# After increasing fares to over 14% last year, Prabhu doesn’t tinker with rail fares.
# Introducing ‘Operation 5-minute’ to ensure ticketless passenger get regular ticket within five minute of entering station.
# SMS alert service to be introduced on train arrival/ departure.
# More general coaches will be added to benefit the aam aadmi.
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# Suresh Prabhu said the Railways would provide WIFI facilities at 400 stations.
# CCTVs in select trains and suburban trains to ensure women safety.
# On-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains.
# Rail-cum-road ticket to be extended to many stations; more trains to be added under scheme for ordering food while booking tickets.
# Railways to go through transformation in five years; to increase track capacity by 10 per cent to 1.38 lakh km
# Prabhu said Railways goal is to give increase connectivity in Northeast and J&K.
# The minister said Railways will remove over 3,000 unmanned railway crossings.
# Prabhu asked MPs to contribute money from their MPLAD funds to improve passenger amenities across India.
# Train collision detection system will be introduced in select routes.
# Feasibility report of high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad expected by mid-2015.
# Four dedicated freight corridors to be completed this year; 6608 kms of track to be electrified.
# Projects worth Rs 96,182 crore to expand capacity of 9,420 km rail lines
# Railways total earnings fall short of target this year by Rs 917 crore.
# Railways projects 15% higher earnings in 2015-16 compared with revised estimates for 2014-15.