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Rail budget: 120-day advance ticket booking, designer bed linen

The aam adami could soon be sleeping on 'designer' sheets while making a railway journey.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2015 01:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
rail budget 2015,new trains,fare hikes

The aam adami could soon be sleeping on 'designer' sheets while making a railway journey. This would happen courtesy the National Institute of Fashion Technology, NIFT, which has been roped in to design bed linen by union railway minister Suresh Prabhu and is one of the highlights of this year's Rail Budget.

Presenting his first railway budget, Mr Prabhu, brought a cheer to the common man by not announcing any increase in passenger fares. While there is an emphasis on improving facilities, for a change, no new trains have been announced in the Rail Budget for 2015.

Here are some of the major goodies from the minister's kitty for the aam adami:

• No increase in passenger fares

• Operation Five Minutes for issuing unreserved tickets

• Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance, as against present 60 days

• Mobile charging facilities to be provided in general coaches and increased in sleeper coaches

• Wifi facility to be introduced at over 400 stations

• National Institute of Fashion Technology to design bed linen, online booking of disposable bed rolls, National Institute of Design to work on user-friendly ladders for climbing upper berths

• SMS alert service to inform about the upgraded arrival and departure timings at starting or destination stations

• Railways to utilize Nirbhaya fund for augmenting safer travel for women

• Online booking of wheelchair on payment basis for senior citizens, patients and the differently-abled passengers through IRCTC on select stations

• Increasing quota of lower berths for senior citizens, middle berths to be reserved for women and senior citizen

• Surveillance cameras on a pilot basis in selected mainline coaches and ladies’compartments of suburban coaches

• All India 24X7 helpline -- 138 -- for customer complaints and toll-free -- 182 -- for security related complaints

• E-catering to select meals from an array of choices, ordering food through IRCTC website at the time of booking of tickets

• 17,000 more toilets to be replaced by bio-toilets this year alone

• Swaach Bharat Abhiyan to be implemented in railways

• Newly manufactured coaches to be Braille enabled and have wider entrances for differently abled passengers

• Speed of 9 railway corridors to be increased from existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkotta and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight

• Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System to be installed on select routes at the earliest

• Plan Budget up by 52% from Rs 65,798 crore to Rs 1,00,011 crore in 2015-16, setting up of a Financing Cell in the Railway Board

First Published: Feb 26, 2015 15:04 IST