Maintaining that the core objective of Indian Railways is to become an engine of employment generation and economic growth at the national level, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said the railways would generate nine crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19.
Presenting his second budget, the minister announced three new freight corridors - Delhi-Chennai, Kharagpur-Mumbai and Kharagpur-Vijayawada.
Read more from our special coverage on "UNION RAIL BUDGET 2016-17"
Expressing his happiness over action initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year, he announced setting up a Rail University in Vadodara.
Besides, he announced to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres, including Ajmer, Dwarka, Gaya, Puri, Varanasi and Parasnath.
There is an increase in seat quota this year, including 50 percent up for senior citizens. The railways will increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens, besides safety record has become better. Also, 20 percent less accidents recorded this, but a lot needs to be done.
The railways will introduce Deen Dayal coaches for long-distance trains for unreserved passengers. In addition, fully unreserved superfast trains will be introduced on dense traffic routes.
In addition, the railways open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number, and journalists will get facility of e-booking of tickets on concessional passes.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will make available local cuisine of choice and hygienic food; cleaning of toilets through SMS requests; New policy of multi-purpose stalls at station to provide multiple services like milk and medicines.