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Railway Budget 2016 - Key Highlights

... Ashish Bharati

Here are the highlights of the Railway Budget 2016 presented in the Parliament by Suresh Prabhu on 25th Feb: 

  • Budget’s 3 Rs are restructure, reorgranise, rejuvenate.
  • 8.5 lakh crore to be spent over 5 years for modernisation of railway infrastructure.
  • Govt expects revenue growth of over 10% this year. For year 2016-17 the operating ratio to be at 92%.
  • 1.21 lakh crores capital plan in Rail Budget2016. 1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year. increased electrification budget by 50%.
  • Indian Railways to surpass ambitious target of commissioning 2,500 kms of broad gauge lines, almost 30% higher than last year.
  • No hike in passenger fares.
  • Eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2020.
  • Swacch Bharat: 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.
  • Increased quota for senior citizens and women travellers this year.
  • Wifi at 100 stations this year and 400 stations next year.
  • Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets/min to 7,200/min. Supporting 1.2 lakh concurrent users now, as opposed to 40,000 earlier.
  • All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.
  • Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers. These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
  • Children's menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.
  • GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
  • To introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.
  • Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
  • North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
  • Tejas: Will showcase future of train travel in India with operating speed of 130 KMPH and above.
  • Will introduce sub-quota of 33% for women in each of the reserved categories in catering.
  • Prabhu introduces Utkrisht double-decker AC yatri (Uday) Express with increased capacity of almost 40%.
  • Will open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.
  • Porters to not be called ‘coolies’ but ‘sahayaks’ now; will be trained in soft skills.

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