Railway minister Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday announced the Modi government's first rail budget. A look at the minister's maiden budget featuring a number of passenger-friendly announcements:
1) Internet and workstation facilities will be provided on select trains
2) Cooked, ready-to-eat meals of popular brands to be served and action will be taken against vendors for poor food quality. Orders can be placed by phone. Food courts to be introduced at major stations.
3) Future e-ticketing to support 7,200 tickets per minute and to allow 120,000 simultaneous users. Currently, the IRCTC's ticketing website handles around 2,000 tickets per minute. Internet-based platform and unreserved tickets can be booked.
4) Several tourist trains will connect pilgrim centres across the country. Devi Circuit, Jyotirling Circuit, Jain Circuit among others have been identified by railways for running pilgrim trains.
5) The rail budget promises cleaner trains. CCTVs will be used at stations to monitor cleanliness and third party inspections will be introduced. Separate housekeeping wing at 50 major stations.
6) Number of mechanised laundries to be increased for quality bedrolls in AC coaches. Onboard housekeeping to be extended to more trains and RO drinking water will be introduced on experimental basis.
7) Women RPF constables will escort coaches reserved for females; mobile phones to be provided for all RPF escort teams.
8) Mobile-based wakeup call system and arrival alerts to be put in place for passengers.
9) Summer internships to be initiated for undergraduates of engineering and management studies.
10) Setting up of a railway university for technical and non-technical subjects. Tie-up with technical institutions to be introduced.