Railway minister Suresh Prabhu present his first and Modi government’s second rail budget. The ministry of Railway received suggestions on social media during the formative phase of the Railway Budget 2015-16.
Railway received over 20,000 responses from people on social media and some of the suggestions are there in the budget, he said in his first budget speech in parliament, railways needed to go for a transformation and the quality of services was a priority for his government. The rail ministry launched its Facebook and Twitter pages in July last year.
No passenger fare hike this time but Freight rate for cement, coal, others hiked by up to 10%. Railway will focus on improving passenger amenities including cleanliness. Rail minister Suresh Prabhu presented a white paper on Indian Railways, which he said will form a trilogy of what plans he had in mind for one of the largest such networks in the world along with his budget for 2015-16 and a Vision 2013 document to be presented later in the year.
This is the first time in rail budget, no new trains were announced. Government’s proposal of not announcing new service, arguably the first time in decades, comes despite heightened demands from states as well as Members of Parliament for announcing new trains in the Budget. Railway will increase coaches from existing 24 coaches to 26 coaches. More general class coaches will be added in identified trains to benefit the common man.
Key features of Rail Budget – 2015
- No hike in passenger fares
- Integrated cleaning of Railways, new department for cleanliness, which will be outsourced
- New toilets in 650 stations
- 17500 toilets to be replaced with modern ones
- Mechanized laundry
- Order food online from fast food chain while booking ticket
- Mobile charging facility in second class coaches
- Unreserved ticked purchase made simpler
- Book lockers and waiting room online
- 120 day advance: Book tickets four months in advance
- New bullet trains to run on existing tracks