Union Budget 2017-18: Bio-toilets in Trains by 2019, 500 Stations to be made Disabled Friendly

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the 2017-18 Railway Budget on Wednesday. Until last year, the Railway budget was presented a couple of days before the tabling of the general Budget, but for the first time, the Modi government decided to club both the budgets together. The Railway Budget was read out with the general Budget.

Early in the day, the opposition parties were demanding adjournment of Parliament to pay obeisance to MP E.Ahamed, who had collapsed during President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech to the joint sitting of the Houses and later passed away at 2:15 am on February 1 at RML Hospital. The government went ahead despite the demand of the opposition.

Highlights:

  • Elimination of unmanned level crossings on the BG network by 2020.
  • A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for youth.
  • Railway lines of 3500 km will be laid down.
  • 7,000 stations will be provided with solar power.
  • Unmanned Railway crossings to end by 2020.
  • Focus on ‘Swachch Railways.
  • Expert International Assistance will be harnessed to improve safety preparedness and maintenance practices.
  • All coaches will be fitted with bio-toilets by 2019.
  • For 2017-18, the Plan size has been pegged by the Railways at Rs. 1,31,000 crore.
  • Coach Mitra facilities to be provided to address grievances of passengers
  • 500 more railway stations to be made disabled-friendly.
  • No service charge on railway e-tickets.
  • 1.31 lakh capital expenditure for railways.
  • Government to provide Rs 55,000 crore for Railways Capex plan.
  • Unified budget provides an opportunity for integrated transport solutions by synergising rail, road & waterways transportation investments
  • Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore to be created over a period of 5 years
  • Integration of all ticketing services on one app.
  • Launch of Tejas Express – New product offering for premium customers.
  • Multi-purpose stalls to be built on stations.
  • One divyang toilet per platform on A1 class stations.
  • Launch of new service – Antyodaya express : Unreserved, second class, superfast trains.
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