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Highlights of Railway Budget 2016

The Railway Budget for 2016-17 today spared passengers and goods movement from any increase in tariffs while it announced introduction of three new super fast trains and creation of dedicated north-south, east-west and east coast freight corridors by 2019. Presenting his second Budget in the Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu promised rationalizing of the tariff structure by undertaking a review to evolve competitive rates vis-a-vis other modes of transport and to expand the freight basket as a means of additional revenue mobilization.

Highlights of New Railway Budget 2016-17
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    • 01.No hike in passenger fares Action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.
    • 02.Eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2020.
    • 03.Swacch Bharat: 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.
    • 04.Increased quota for senior citizens and women travellers this year.
    • 05.Wifi at 100 stations this year and 400 stations next year.
    • 06.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.
    • 07.All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.
    • 08.Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers. These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
    • 09.IRCTC to manage catering service in phased manner. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.
    • 10.Cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS.
    • 11.Children's menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.
    • 12.GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
    • 13.Will open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.
    • 14.Introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.

On new projects to be implemented this year:
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    • >>>Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
    • >>>1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year.
    • >>>Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.
    • >>>North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
    • >>>Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed corridor registered this month.
Keywords: Railway Budget highlights, Suresh Prabhu, Parliament, new trains, train fares

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