Indian Railway minister Mr Suresh Prabhu recently announced the Rail budget 2016-2017 in the parliament and as always it was both praised and criticized. Why India has a separate rail budget unlike any other country in the world is a different discussion? But does this 2016 Rail budget by Mr Prabhu is people friendly or not is the question of the hour? Look at the salient points of the budget below and decide for yourself .
- Passenger fees remains the same, i.e no hike.
- Out of all the last rail budget announcements, actions have been initiated on 139 announcements which is a positive point but people need outcomes and just not actions.
- Till 2020, all unmanned level crossings will be eliminated.
- 17000 biotoilets under Swacch Bharat scheme, a bold move.
- Senior citizens and women will have more quota in seat reservations.
- Till the end of this year 100 stations will have WiFi road connections.
- e-ticketing capacity will be increased from 2000 tickets per minute to 7200 tickets per minute.
- CCTV surveillance at all major stations.
- IRCTC will improve the cuisine and local food choices will be provided.
- Children menu and baby food to be made available for traveling mothers.
- GPS display in coaches so that people may know which is the next station coming.
- New Double Decker trains on business routes.
- 1600 km of electrification is planned for this year.
- North East India to be connected to broad gauge soon.
The above are some of the salient points of the rail budget which will convince you that this budget is somewhat people friendly. But my question is that how the budget deficit Indian Railway plans to fund their ambitious projects with no passenger fare hike? This budget will either make India railway bankrupt or a successful venture of Indian Government, only Time will tell but Will Mr Prabhu be able to bring a turn around in Indian Railways operations or it is just a marketing stunt for coming elections in the future, is a curiosity that will remain.