How Railway Budget 2016 Will Affect Travel & Tourism?

The budget for the year brings with it high hopes and much praise to the administration. Suresh Prabhu on Thursday morning during his speech talked about the fund modernization and also about the increasing facilities and better customer service. "We will exploit new sources of revenue beyond tariff revenue," Mr Prabhu. Announcing several customer oriented services, he also concentrated on some well thought out strategies that are going to help the customers. Services like Clean my coach through SMS, availability of hot water and milk at stations, a kids menu, baby-sitting facilities and a 33 percent reservation for Women were the highlight of his talk.

Image Source: Wikimedia Photo by Jaaron

The ministry will also aim at achieving an operating ratio of 92 percent. "These are challenging times due to global economic slowdown. We will exploit new sources of revenue. We will improve our efficiency. We expect 92 per cent operating ratio for FY 2016-17." said,Prabhu. The capital expenditure would come across Rupees 1.21 lakh crore and Rupees 8.8 lakh crore on infrastructure in the coming five years.  The use of social media has been very prominent in the past and thus it will remain as a good way for the people to be connected to the government and ensure that quality feedback can be attained. One more thing that will help out people is that retiring room booking can now be done online. The Railway minister also said,"By 2020 we intend to bring high-end technology to our commuters. The modernization of railways is expected to complete in the next 4 years. Our vision is to enhance the commutation of the common man”

Image Source: Photo by irctcinfo

The addition of an Indian made bio toilet has also been proposed. This will solve the problem of dirty coaches and tracks. Wifi facility has also been promised in more than 100 stations this year and about 400 stations till next year. The railway ministry also expects Rupees 40,000 crore from the government as budgetary support. It has also been said that the budget reflects the expectations of the entire nation "This is a Budget which is presented for the common man of India. This is the Budget which has incorporated the concerns shown by the people to me through various platforms including social media. This is the Budget which intends to fuel Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for India,” Suresh Prabhu Added.

Image Source: Hindustan Times Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui

Other facilities that the budget offers are of fully unreserved trains that will operate on high density corridors. Another help towards the safety and security of the passengers is the All India helpline for women that will be active 24 hours. Cultural promotions have also been taken care of in the new budget stating that the local art of the area would be highlighted at railway stations. Good news for senior citizens as the lower berth quota for them has been increased by 50 percent. Travelling is now much easier, explore the country with Triphobo’s trip planner.

Image Source: Hindustan Times Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui

One more interesting thing about the budget that made the common man happy is the "No hike in railway fares”. This year will also see a rise in new tracks and trains across the country. The UDAY Express will now have an increased carrying capacity of almost 40 percent. The Tejas Express would be customer centered and would have facilities like entertainment for the customers, Wifi and improved customer satisfaction. The Humsafar Express would be fully air-conditioned and would come with an optional service for meals. The Antyodaya Express is aimed at people from low-income background and would be superfast and fully unreserved. "Every customer is our brand ambassador, the very reason of our existence. Therefore, each time that he or she travels, the satisfaction quotient must go up”, said Prabhu. Book tours and activities with Triphobo’s tours.

Image Source: Hindustan Times Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui

The focus will also be to make freight corridors and no unmanned level crossing by 2020. The IRCTC is considering E-commerce because of the high number of hits that the site gets every day. There is a plan to increase the advertising revenue. Ajmer, Amritsar, Gaya, Mathura, Nanded, Nashik, Puri, Tirupati, Varanasi, Nagapattinam to be beautified. Taking one more step towards the advancement of the use of internet now you can easily have E-ticketing on foreign debit/credit cards. E-booking of tickets at concession passes for journalists is also introduced. Prabhu also highlighted the strategy towards the development and growth of the railways by saying, "My vision is to make railways backbone of India's progress and economic development. We need to reorganise and rejuvenate the Indian Railways. This Budget is a result of creative partnership of all stakeholders." The budget this year concentrated on many things and is adding value to the customer based approach that the railways want to adapt.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JAI RAWAT JAI RAWAT

Beyond the East the sunrise, beyond the West the sea, And East and West the wanderlust that will not let me be. A avid traveler, gamer, writer, a lover of music and a passion for finer things in life, well, i think that sums me up pretty well.

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