| News - India |
| Written by News Desk |
| Friday, 25 February 2011 09:49|
Today Railway Minister Mamta Banarjee popularly known as didi presented her fifth Railway Budget. Just like last year there are nine new non-stop Duronto trains are announced and three new Shatabdi express trains are also announced for the new year. Surprissing enough fo the third successive year, Mamta Banarjee spared the passengers of Indian Railways from any increase in ticket fares and hike in freight rates while she introduced 56 new trains for the various zones of Indian Railways.
Mamtra Banarjee said that to fulfill the vision of 2020 and to meet the demands of rail coaches, wagons, engines and other rail stock new railway related industries will be set up by the Railway Ministry. In a very important decision Railway minister also annouced that ministry will set up a new bridge factory in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Plan of the new factory is in view of the fact that the need of large number of bridges on railway projects in the state.
She also informed the parliament that 1,500 trains were cancelled and 3,500 re-scheduled last year due to protests in various states of India. She further added that Railway accident rate also declined from 0.29% last year to 0.17% this year making journey more safer on Indian Railways. She also announced that plan to introudce anti-collision device in more zones in the Indian Railways including South and South Central soon.
There are also good news for the tech savvy Indians as the booking charges for air-conditioned as well as non air-conditioned seats have been reduced by 50 per cent and online ticketing is going to be more cheaper from the next year. Senior citizens are also happy after the behanji's announcement of the lower age limit for female senior citizens reduced from 60 to 58 and concession for male senior citizen passengers has been increased by ten percent to forty percent.
More than 200 new routes are announced especially for the north eastern zone where railway network is still not as dense as it is in the other parts of India. In another good news for the passengers of western India new double-decker air-conditioned train service on the Jaipur-Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes are announced from the next year. Apart from that special trains like three new Shatabdi trains are announced on Pune-Secunderabad, Jaipur- Agra and Ludhiana-Delhi routes as well as new Duronto trains are announced on Allahabad-Mumbai, Pune-Ahmedabad, Sealdah-Puri, Madurai-Chennai, Chennai- Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai Central-New Delhi routes.
There are mix reactions for the budget from various political leaders and parties including ruling UPA alliance and opposition parties. Dr. Manmohan Singh reacted to the budget stating that it is common man's budget with no hike in fares. He further added that no hike in freight freight charges will weaken inflationary pressure on economy.
Main opposition party in parliament BJP has said that the budget is Railway Minister's election sop to West Bengal. Mr. Anant Kumar of BJP said the Railway Budget has been prepared for upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal. Opposition parties believed that other parts of India are neglected apart from West Bengal because of the upcoming assembly elections there. Few politicians in Delhi believed that there is nothing special about the budget and it is not realistic in nature.