The Railway Budget has evoked a mixed response from passengers and railway employees, alike. While the unchanged passenger fares look attractive to the common man, travellers still feel the budget has failed to address some important issues.
“We want better services inside the trains. What will we do with more frequent trains if facilities are not good otherwise?” asked Ranjan Sethia, a frequent train traveller on the New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express.
The budget has also brought in the concept of the “Go India Smart Card”, which will facilitate long-distance travel for passengers without hassles. “This is one of the best features. I travel by the Delhi Metro using a smart card and it’s very convenient. If it is introduced across all trains, it would save us a lot of trouble,” said Baldev Asnane, a Metro commuter.
The budget has given senior citizens reasons to rejoice by lowering the age limit for women from 60 to 58 and raising the concession rate for men from 30-40%. But some still feel that a more women-centric budget should have been this year’s focus. “Women should be given lower berths at the time of reservation. But the system is so rigid, we barely get those seats,” said Suman Arora, who was hoping to see changes in the ticket reservation system.
“The budget seems people-friendly. But the quality of food, sanitation and hygiene levels must be looked into,” said Mohammad Imran, who feels the menu must be changed.