For the first time, the Railways Budget is part of the Union Budget, “ridding us of the colonial era practice of separate budgets”, as finance minister Arun Jaitley described it. The biggest announcement here, especially after the spate of train accidents recently, is the announcement of the setting up of a Rail Safety Fund. Here are the highlights of what Budget 2017 has in store for the Railways.
FM said that a Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over a period of 5 years. The other highlights of rail component of the budget is given below :
The service charge on rail tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.
As many as 500 rail stations will be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.
Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism
A new metro rail policy will be announced. This is expected to open up new jobs for the youth
At least 25 train stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18
By 2019, all coaches of the Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets
Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnerships.
Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020.
A 22% rise in the Railways Budget was announced.