Union Budget 2017-18: 12 Pushes for Indian Railways in Budget 2017

NEW DELHI: For financial year 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways has been pegged at Rs. 1,31,000 crore. This includes Rs. 55,000 crore provided by the government. Budget 2017 proposes several measures to imporve services, infrastructure and amenities.

Below are 12 measures for the railways in Budget 2017:

1. For passenger safety, a Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh will be created with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore over a period of five years.

2. Unmanned level crossings on broad gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.

3. In the next three years, the throughput is proposed to be enhanced by 10%. This will be done through modernisation and upgradation of identified corridors.

4. Railway lines of 3,500 kms will be commissioned in 2017-18. During 2017-18, at least 25 stations are expected to be awarded for station redevelopment.

5. 500 stations will be made differently-abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.

6. It is proposed to feed about 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term.

7. SMS-based Clean My Coach Service has been started.

8. ‘Coach Mitra’, a single-window interface to register all coach-related complaints and requirements, will be launched.

9. By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.

10. Tariffs of railways would be fixed, taking into consideration costs, quality of service and competition from other forms of transport.

11. A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardisation and indigenisation of hardware and software.

12. A new Metro Rail Act will be enacted by rationalising the existing laws. This will facilitate greater private participation and investment in construction and operation.