February 25th, 2016
Image Source: businesstoday
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today announced the 2nd Railway budget in his tenure. He announced a capital plan of Rs. 1,21,000 crore for 2016-17.
The important highlights of the budget are:
■ No hike in railway fares.
■ Introduction of Antyodaya Express which will only have unreserved tickets and will be a superfast service.
■ Introduction of Deen Dayulu coaches with unreserved coaches which will have drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points
■ 33% sub-quota for women under all reserved categories
■ Increase in the advertising revenue by more than four times this year.
■ To be able to cancel tickets booked by calling the 139 helpline and using an OTP that will be sent to your registered mobile number.
■ There will be Wi-Fi at 100 stations this year and 400 next year.
■ SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches will have automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens and a public announcement system.
■ To minimize the financial loss to passengers from untoward incidents, Railways is working with insurance companies to offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking.
■ All stations being redeveloped will be made accessible for differently abled and wheelchairs will be made available in sufficient numbers at all major stations.
■ IRCTC will be extending e-catering services from existing 45 large stations to all 408 ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class stations. It will also explore the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional in trains.
■ Information boards in trains that will state the on-board services in the train and also GPS-based digital displays inside coaches that will give real-time information on upcoming stations.