Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dial 139 to Cancel Train ticket: SMS to Clean Railway Toilets and Coaches.

The Rail Budget 2016-17 was presented by the Railways minister Suresh Prabhu today ie on 25th of February, 2016. Even though there are not many declaration of massive projects, the rial budget 2016 is considered as a satisfactory one by the common train traveller. Though this budget is prepared keeping in mind the ensuing Assembly polls to five states it has some small but useful sops for the travellers. However the opposition and other economists and specialists may find many technical faults with the budget as usual, and may term it as a budget aimed solely to increase rail revenue, the common man feels and are some what happy as the minister has declared many simple but neglected steps for the betterment and convenience of the railway passengers. 

Advantages of the rail budget 2016-17 for the average rail user:

There is no hike in the passenger ticket fare. (This may be because of the cheapest cost of diesel / fuel compared to that in the previous years). This has given some immediate relief to the frequent passengers. After the BJP government came to power, the platform ticket price (which was Rs.5 for many years was made Rs.10 at a time), minimum passenger ticket cost (doubled to Rs.10 from Rs.5) and the reservation charges were increased steeply last year. As this announcement of fare hikes were made after the budgets, People have a feeling that the railways may announce increment in passenger ticket fares sometime after the Assembly elections to 5 states are conducted later this year.

Hereafter a Reserved train Ticket can be cancelled by calling Helpline Number 139. It is an innovative move and great advantage for the people who regularly lose a lot of money for not being able to cancel the  reserved tickets in the stipulated time at the stipulated railway stations.

Another passenger friendly offer is to get the services of cleaning personnels on SMS request. There will hardly be any passenger who would not have experienced the ugly conditions of the bathrooms and toilets in Indian Railway coaches and stations. But one should wait to see how far it can be implemented successfully..!

Another move being welcomed by passengers is the proposed increase of speed in the running of trains. There is a plan in this budget to increase the speed of express trains to 80 km/hour. If this is implemented, it will save a lot of time of the passengers.

The porters who are known as coolies are christened as 'sahayaks' and are to be provided 'soft skills' training to behave properly with the passengers. (People are asking whether there is any proposal to give training to the TTEs and other railway staff to demand bribes politely and to grant some concessions in exhorting bribes from the poor !)

Introduction of unreserved super-fast trains is another commendable announcement which may serve the common man greatly during unplanned emergency journeys.

Introduction of 'Antyodaya Express' (dusk to dawn express trains) and Deen dayalu coaches (for the sick and the aged) is also a welcome move.

Starting the Railway recruitment process through online means may bring more transparency and minimise corruption.

But improving the quality of food or any promises regarding the rail catering will remain in India as a mirage as long as the contract for these jobs are given to unscrupulous persons who shell out obscene amounts of bribes to several people and departments whether connected or not with the railways...!

Comments are welcome! Thanks in anticipation!

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.


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