There is a high possibility that the Indian government might announce a range of passenger-friendly measures during the Rail Budget 2013. The Rail budget will be unveiled on February 26, 2013, in Parliament.
Sources have revealed that there will not be any direct increase in passenger fares, but there will be a fuel adjustment charge and other surcharges which might be levied. Pawan Kumar Bansal, the Railway Minister, said that the increase in the prices of diesel has negated the additional revenue of Rs. 3,300 crore after the fare hike. This was an expense which the Railways was expected to clean up.
While talking about passenger demands, the officials said that they intend to provide better food quality, hygiene in toilets and most importantly, safety for women passengers. The new Rail Budget could look to facilitate at these conditions as well. As a part of the new budget, the Indian Railways will announce pay-and-use toilet services across 800 railway stations in the country as well.
The Railways are also planning to link train tickets with Aadhaar cards, so as to tackle the issue booking scams and other such illicit behaviour. The Railway Minister went on to say, “We are exploring the possibility of linking Aadhaar system with issuing of train tickets and if this happens, the tout menace will be effectively curbed in ticketing system”. The introduction of bar codes which will be linked to Adhaar cards will also be introduced.