Capital cheers faster trains, free Wi-Fi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Capital cheers faster trains, free Wi-Fi

Smitasya Pandey (30), who teaches linguistics and travels frequently between Delhi and Lucknow, was all smiles as details of the rail budget began trickling in on Thursday afternoon.

delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2015 08:48 IST
Darpan Singh
Passengers-waiting-for-their-trains-at-New-Delhi-Railway-Station-HT-Photo-Sonu-Mehta
Passengers-waiting-for-their-trains-at-New-Delhi-Railway-Station-HT-Photo-Sonu-Mehta

Smitasya Pandey (30), who teaches linguistics and travels frequently between Delhi and Lucknow, was all smiles as details of the rail budget began trickling in on Thursday afternoon.

“Every time I travel alone, my family keeps worrying about my safety. If implemented, the plans for CCTV cameras in women’s coaches and a security helpline will be a big relief for passengers like me,” she said.

No hike in passenger fares, introduction of faster trains, and free wi-fi were received well by the Capital. Compared to the last budget, Delhi’s share for passenger amenities has gone up from Rs 84 crore to Rs 159 crore. The minister has increased the allocation for traffic facilities from Rs 32 crore to Rs 84 crore. Delhi will get more money for mechanical projects and railway tracks.

The Delhi division of Northern Railway is crucial for the ministry as the daily footfall at New Delhi and other stations in the Capital is 15 lakh. These stations together deal with around 1,000 trains every day.

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The New Delhi station connects major tourist destinations such as Jaipur and Agra and handles 300 trains and 5 lakh passengers across 16 platforms every day. But the four major railway stations and a 100-km track network in Delhi are a major source of littering, despite a 700-strong unit raised to ensure cleanliness.

The budget also includes a a mobile application to redress railway-related complaints. The railways intend to start the facility on a pilot project basis on Northern Railway from March 1, to be extended soon thereafter.

Delhi also has a perishable cargo centre coming up for the benefit of farmers at Azadpur Mandi. The speed of nine railway corridors will be increased from 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph, respectively, so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight.

Meghalaya has been brought on the railway map and direct connectivity to Delhi has been provided to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Delhi division is taking up a project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on license fee basis. Depending on the response, the facility will be extended on all Shatabdi trains.