The much awaited rail budget of the new government was presented by Mr. Suresh Prabhu in his maiden budget speech on 26th February. Rail budget is of much importance to many as almost 23 million people travel through Indian Railways on a daily basis which makes up the population of few countries like North Korea & Taiwan (Republic of China). And hence everyone was curious to know what Mr. Prabhu has in bag to offer.
PM’s Swachh Bharat campaign echoed in the Rail Budget too with announcement of 17,000 toilets being replaced with bio toilets & a creation of dedicated department for cleanliness. Moreover, there is no hike in passenger fares which sums up the railway budget for a common man here itself.
But if you move on to look at the budget then one thing that is very clear & evident from the Railway Ministers’ speech was – His efforts were in lines to make Railway a self-sustainable entity with lower dependence on government for its functioning. A new paradigm shift in the budget was visible as no new train was announced unlike each of his predecessors did & the budget had the audacity to talk more than just new trains, coaches & fares.
In order to promote self-employment, products made by self-help groups especially by women & youth will be promoted. New jobs will be created for the masses as the total predicted investment is of Rs. 850,000 Crore for over the next 5 years.
For the first time someone has stressed upon employee productivity & discussed about imparting Yoga training to the employees. Human resource is the strength of Indian Railways as over 1 million people are employed under it making it one of the largest employer in world.
In order to modernize travelling through trains & digitize railways, Wi-Fi at 400 stations & mobile phone charging facilities in all train compartments will be made available. In addition to this, surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women’s safety without compromising on privacy will be installed.
Services like train protection warning system and train collision avoiding system will be introduced in trains in wake of the recent train mishaps that took a tall on lives of many.
Facilities like online ticket booking before 120 days & online booking of wheelchair for senior citizen will be launched for a hassle free & user friendly approach. Also a new 24*7 helpline will be launched with effect from 1st March 2015 to deal with public grievances on train delays & train reservations. An all India toll free no. 182 for security purpose will also be started.
All in all it was a fair budget by the Railway Ministry, answering the long pending issues of common man’s daily problem of security & modernization. We wish them luck in achieving their desired goal.
Do you think the budget is lacking something? Or are you completely satisfied? Share with us.