Union Minister Suresh Prabhu is presenting Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Parliament today. The minister has made some major announcements related to modernization of the Railway Services. Over 23 million people commute on the Indian Railway network of trains in the country every day. Also Read - IRCTC: How to change boarding point after booking train ticket onlineAlso Read - IRCTC Live Train Status on WhatsApp: How to check Train Running Status, PNR status
While presenting the budget, Prabhu pointed out how social media has become an important tool to address customer grievances. The minister has introduced Railway complaint number 182 for addressing grievances. The ministry will be updating the track management in line with Digital India. Also Read - IRCTC sending warning emails to users against fraud tourism website, files FIR
The ministry plans to implement card and mobile app modes for e-ticketing. Online booking of e-tickets capacity will be increased from 2,000 to 7,200 per minute. The ministry also has plans to bring mobile based apps for buying unreserved tickets.
The ministry will launch Clean My Coach service via SMS to help customers get cleanliness services. Two new applications for ticketing and complaints will be introduced.
The government plans to bring Wi-Fi services at 400 stations in the country in next two years. This year it will be launching the services at 100 stations this year.
The government will introduce 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines. About 20,000 screens across 2,000 stations will be deployed to provide real time information.
For entertainment, FM radio service will be available on trains. The government plans to deploy GPS in all coaches. For differently-abled passengers, the government will implement braille enabled train wagons.
Railways also plans to introduce barcoded tickets. It will sell tickets through handheld terminals, while e-ticket facility to be extended to foreign debit and credit cards.
Suresh Prabhu points out that others are monetizing PNR service. But now Railways will look to monetize the soft data but will not cause trouble to passengers. The ministry will provide e-booking of tickets on concessional passes for journalists.
Drones to be used to monitor work in remote areas and other operations. The ministry has allocated Rs 50 crore fun to support start ups by railway employees. Railways to tie up with start ups to improve services. Digital capability of stations to be improved.
For safety of gangmen, the government will provide wireless enabled ‘Rakshak’ devices to alert about approaching trains.
E-catering will be extended to 400 stations this year. Railways to also push Skill India initiative.
Railways will harness solar energy for self sufficiency.