The much awaited Indian Rail budget has been announced by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on February 26, 2015. The new Rail budget has spared the passengers from any hike but no new trains have been introduced on the ground. Certain changes have been introduced in freight rates so as to bring in more money and escape privatization.
Prabhu while talking about privatization said that the Railways will remain to be a precious national asset and will be owned by the people of India always. The first full-fledged Rail budget introduced adjustments in freight charges and exempted salt. carriage on cement, coal, coke iron or steel will be hiked along with petroleum products.
No figures were revealed by the minister but added that the new fares will be effective from April 1, 2015. Taking forward Narendra Modi’s cleanliness drive, a new department for keeping cleanliness would be announced. 24/7 railway helpline will be available on real time basis and time taken to dispense tickets will be cut down to 5 minutes.
It was also announced that the advance booking period will be increased from 60 days to 120 days and this is likely to benefit several passengers. The speed of the trains connecting the major metro cities will be increased up to 200 kms /h so as to reduce the travel time.
Photo Credits: wsj