With railways plagued by repeated derailments, the government on Monday proposed setting up of a special safety fund of Rs 1 lakh crore that will cover the upgradation of tracks and signalling besides the elimination of unmanned level crossings.
The Railway Budget, merged with General Budget 2017-18, also provides for commissioning of new railway lines of 3,500 km will against 2,800 kilometres in 2016-17.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the plan size for the next fiscal for the Railways at Rs 1,31,000 crore as against Rs 1.21 lakh crore last year.
He proposed the railway budget 2017 creation of ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ (National Rail Safety Fund) with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore.
Emphasising on safety, the Budget proposed the elimination of all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network by 2020.
Addressing concerns of the differently-abled persons, Jaitley announced that 500 stations would be made disabled friendly.
The Budget also promised to equip all coaches with bio-toilets and announced “Clean my coach’ App for passengers.
In order to encourage E-ticketing, Jaitley announced the withdrawal of service charges from tickets booked through IRCTC.
Railway PSUs IRCTC, IRFC and Concor are to be listed on various stock exchanges.