Chennai: With Rs 2,278 crore allocated to Tamil Nadu in the budget, the focus mostly would be on passenger safety, redevelopment of stations, cleanliness and making stations more accessible.
Some of the newer proposals include using of rolling stock to transport perishable and agricultural commodities like fruits, vegetables and milk.
“Railways will now tie up with logistics firms to provide end to end transport solutions for such commodities,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
Chennai, in Tamil Nadu, and Calicut, in Kerala, will be two among the 25 stations selected across the country for redevelopment.
According to Vashishta Johri, general manager, Southern Railway, “Joint ventures will be carried out with the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala for construction and development projects.”
He added that a new metro rail policy would be announced that would focus on increasing job opportunities. It would outline innovative models of implementation and financing, and standardisation and also, the indigenisation of hardware and software.
After Clean My Coach and Clean Our Coach initiatives based on a text message, Coach Mantri is being introduced as a new initiative, which is a single interface to all coach related complaints.
Incentivising cashless transactions, payments made online on IRCTC’s website for ticketing will not carry a service charge.
With a focus on passenger safety, the budget announced Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a safety fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of five years.
Rail passengers, however, demand a better involvement of the state government with the ministry of railways so that issues like land acquisition does not affect upcoming projects.
“MP, MLAs should increasingly participate in the zonal railway meetings so that they know what the passenger associations need. Also, more trains and newer projects can come up smoothly when the state and centre work in tandem,” said Soosai Raj, general secretary of TN Southern Districts Passenger Association.
“There were a lot of projects announced in the past that were not implemented. All the announcements made today are those are repeated from the past years,” said S. Mohanram, secretary, Rail Passengers Association, Pattabiram....