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Railway Budget 2014 – a better and futuristic one – my thoughts!

It was nice listening to Shri. Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Railways, Government of India as he presented his Railway budget for 2014-15. It is great to see that due importance has given to Passenger amenities, safety and cleanliness. Some of the points I liked from this budget are:

  • Increasing qualities of passenger amenities including cleanliness of bed rolls
  • Introducing bullet trains, high speed trains (specially between Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai, Vijayawada-New Delhi etc.,
  • Next generation of e-ticketing including provision to purchase unreserved and platform tickets
  • Appointment of 17000 RPF personnel plus 4000 women RPF personnel
  • All ladies coaches will be escorted by women RPF
  • Upgrading of several railway stations to meet global standards
  • Introducing work stations and wi-fi internet on selected trains
  • Experimenting RO water in trains and at the railway stations
  • Battery operated carts at the railway stations to assist people with disabilities and senior citizens
  • Introducing several new trains including premium, express, passenger etc.,
  • Increasing staff welfare fund
  • Making railways a paperless office in five years

What I would have liked if included are:

  • Installing first-aid kits with a few common medicines on every coach
  • Provide online ticket booking facility with concession for people with disabilities
  • Making their IT infrastructure accessible

Of course every budget would have room for improvement, but I feel if excited well the plans by Shri. Gowda are a good start.

Srinivasu is an accessibility evangelist with 16+ years of experience. Currently works as Senior Accessibility Program Manager at Watermark. Previousely held several positions at companies like BarrierBreak, Yahoo, PayPal, Deque, HCL etc., He believes in the teachings of Shri. Adi Sankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda. He is also Founder of ServeOM Inclusion - a platform to pormote accessibility.

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