The Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, tabled a passenger-friendly budget in the parliament, on Thursday. He also gave due credit to the PM, Narendra Modi, for inspiration and vision. Here’s a report.
The minister, tabling his second budget in the parliament, said, “Every customer is our brand ambassador, the very reason for our existence. Each time he or she travels, the satisfaction quotient must go up.”
He announced several amenities for the passengers. He addressed the needs of the old and disabled passengers, by introducing Rail Mitra Sewa. The senior citizen quota shall be increased by half in each coach. Better facilities have been assured for mothers. Janani Sewa shall special provide menu for babies on trains. He did not lose sight of the needs of the bulk of the middle class that travel by rail. Prabhu has been sensitive to the needs of foreign tourists and non-resident Indians as well. The Railway ministry also proposes to introduce travel insurance to its passengers.
The passenger-centric facilities include allowing foreign debit and credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs for e-tickets and also facilitating e-ticketing to concessional passes for journalists.
For cleanliness, echoing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachch Bharat, Prabhu announced better cleanliness by installing 30,000 bio-toilets. ‘Clean my coach’ service through SMS shall also be introduced at the national level.
Long distance, unreserved superfast trains, Antyodaya Express, shall be introduced. The poor-friendly Deen Dayalu coaches shall be added to long distance trains to enhance cheap travel capacity for the masses.
For the middle class passengers opting for reserved travel, Humsafar, a third AC train with optional service for meals has been proposed. Meanwhile, Tejas, as the name suggests, shall be a high-speed train. It will have onboard services such as entertainment and WiFi. A double-decker train, Uday has also been introduced. The minister proposed 40% growth in carrying capacity by introducing AC Yatri Express on the busiest routes.
Prabhu introduced an alternative train accommodation system scheme aptly named Vikalp.
In his budget speech the minister said, “This budget owes its inspiration to the vision and leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.”
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