Rail budget 2016 – some key highlights

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2016 in Lok Sabha with no changes in passenger fares and freight rates.

GN Bureau | February 25, 2016


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Union minister for railways, Suresh Prabhu, and minister of state for railways, Manoj Sinha, leaving Rail Bhawan for Parliament House to present the Railway Budget 2016-17.
Union minister for railways, Suresh Prabhu, and minister of state for railways, Manoj Sinha, leaving Rail Bhawan for Parliament House to present the Railway Budget 2016-17.

 Railway minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2016 in Lok Sabha. This was his second rail budget since he took charge of the ministry. There were no changes in passenger fares and freight rates. Following are some key highlights of the

  • Construction of dedicated freight corridors from north-south connecting Delhi and Chennai, east-west connecting Kharagpur to Mumbai and east coast connecting Kharagpur to Vijayawada to be given priority.
  • Introduction of smart coaches with automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, improved aesthetics and vending machines.
  • To improve quality of travel, introduction of unreserved superfast Antyodaya Express Trains and Tezas train with the speed of 130 km.
  • AC and non AC double decker trains to ply on busy routes with the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%. 
  • Operations audit to improve punctuality of trains proposed.
  • Rail connectivity to important ports to be taken up under PPP mode in 2016-17.
  • Expansion of train on demand facility to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.
  • 65,000 additional berths and 2,500 water vending machines will be installed. 
  • 17,000 bio-toilets will be incorporated in trains.
  • Plans to introduce 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines all over the country along with mobile apps and smartcard for cashless purchase of tickets.
  • The capacity of e-ticketing system to be enhanced from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute. 
  • Commission of Wi-Fi services at 100 stations this year and at 400 more stations in the next two years in partnership with Google.
  • Increased quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women.  
  • Security to be enhanced through more passenger helplines and CCTVs.
  • To reduce accidents at level crossings, 1,000 unmanned level crossings will be eliminated and 350 manned level crossings will be closed. 
  • All procurement including procurement of works will be moved to e-platform. 
  • Coaches to be equipped with potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
  • All stations under redevelopment to be made disabled friendly.

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