Will the Indian ‘Railways Budget’ be “Pro-Poor”?

In the present “Budget Session” of the Indian Parliament, which commenced on 22nd February 2010, the ‘Railways Budget’ will be presented by the Union Railways Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee on 26th February 2010.As usual, the Railways Budget is expected to have some announcements of additional trains and innovative schemes to increase both passengers and goods traffic by trains.

The focus of the present ‘Railway Budget’ will be better amenities for passengers, improved safety and security and better quality food and drinking water.

  • For the seventh consecutive year the ‘Passenger Fares’ will remain unrevised to benefit the common Indian.
  • Ms.Banerjee has announced introducing ‘infotainment services “ in major long distance trains, proposed by the ex-Railways Minister Mr.Lalu Prasas Yadav.
  • There will be a doctor on board every long distance train to look after medical emergencies of the passengers.
  • 50 key railway stations across India will be turned into world class stations, by upgrading facilities and infrastructure at these stations.
  • Lending Libraries will be set up in trains.

The Government of India is trying to make the Indian Railways ‘pro-poor’ and for the common Indian by the announcements and schemes every year.

In the year 1975, the ‘III Class’ was abolished in Indian Railways and only the ‘I Class’ and the ”II Class’ are provided in the Indian trains. Also, in the Second Class Two Tier Sleeper Class was withdrawn.

In the Second Class Three Tier Sleeper Class Side Middle Berths were tried to accomodate more passengers with sleepers. However, in view of the practical difficulties, the Side Middle berths were removed.

In future a ‘classless’ Indian Railways may emerge which will be free of disparities in the passengers.

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