The Rail Budget is in line with PM Narendra Modi's initiatives - Swachch Bharat Mission, Make in India and Digital India. Suresh Parbhu's Rail Budget envisages an investment of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore in next five years. The money could be raised from multiple sources - from multilateral development banks to pension funds. The government could have partnership with the States, PSUs and multilateral and bi-lateral organizations for long-term financing. Also, it could get technology from overseas. The private sector could help with better last-mile connectivity, expand the rolling stock and the modernization of station infrastructure.
Here's a quick summary of the major proposals in the Rail Budget 2015-16 made by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
1. No increase in passsenger rail fares.
2 Rs.8.5 lakh crore to be invested in Railways in next 5 years.
3. 'Operation 5 mins', wherein the passengers travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.
4. Bio-toilets and airplane-type vaccum toilets in trains.
5. Surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women's safety without compromising on privacy.
6. Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance.
7. Speed on nine railway corridors to go up to be increased to 200 km/ hour.
8. Wi-Fi in more stations, mobile phone charging facilities in all train compartments.
9. Online booking of wheelchair for senior citizens.
10. Satellite railway terminals in major cities.
11. Centrally managed Rail Display Network to be introduced in over 2000 stations over the next 2 years.
12. All India 24/7 helpline - 138 from March 2015; Toll free No.182 for security.
13. 917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings @ Rs. 6,581 crore.
14. Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities.
15. Information on new trains and increased frequency to be given later.