Jharkhand Rail passengers laud Fund for Safety

RANCHI/JAMSHEDPUR: This year’s Union Budget, which also saw the merger of the Railway Budget, drew mixed reactions from passengers in the state capital.

The Jharkhand Passengers’ Association (JPA) called the components announced for the railways a “good move.” The Centre has announced to create a dedicated Rs 1 lakh crore corpus fund for accident relief.

Sandip Nagpal, general secretary of the JPA said the budget’s focus on improvement of passenger amenities and cleanliness was commendable. “The decision to set up multi-modal transport hubs will come as a help to the traders and farmers of Jharkhand,” he said.

Passengers, however, said they felt a sense of emptiness with the merger of the Railway Budget. “Earlier, there used to be a certain sense of anticipation around the budget specially for the new trains or stoppages. Those things were missing this year,” Akash Agarwal, a passenger said in Ranchi station after the budget was announced.

The railway commuters of the Kolhan have also given mixed reaction to the 2017-18 annual railway budget. “If we go by the available details the announcement to scrap service tax for e tickets booked through IRCTC is significant,” said ex member, Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, Chakradharpur, Vijay Anand Moonka. He said the proposal to scrap the service tax levied at railways’ website for online booking of tickets shall encourage more number of commuters to go digital.

The Chotanagpur Passengers’ Association member, U K Srivastava said: “Special corpus fund of Rs 1 lakh crore for railway safety is a big announcement as far as addressing the safety aspect of the passengers is concerned.”

Likewise, the convenor of Tatanagar Rail Yatri Sangh, S N Pahtak said, “Although it is clear that all the pending demands related to Tatanagar haven’t found place in the budget but the decision of the railways to focus on passenger safety and cleanliness is laudable.”

“Railway has announced to commission the work for laying new line of 3,500km in 2017-18. Hopefully the proposed track laying work of Chakradharpur division is part of the 3,500km project works,” said Pathak.

“Due to the merged budget the information related to the railway budget is limited. Hopefully few more details could come to light gradually,” said tax consultant, Vijay Goel,