NEW DELHI: High-speed trains, specialised Agri-Rail networks for perishable agricultural products, better passenger facilities like disposable linen, automatic doors and bio-toilets are likely to be the focus of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda’s maiden Rail Budget on July 8.
Gowda has made it clear to Railway officials that the NDA government’s first Rail Budget should be service-oriented with thrust on safety, security, speed and services. After a bitter pill of passenger fare hike in June, the railway minister is likely to announce populist measures to woo the passengers.
To ensure cleanliness on trains, the Railways has decided to start a pilot project of providing disposable linen of non-woven polyester fabric in the Bangalore Rajdhani Express and if successful it will be replicated on other routes. There is also a plan to extend the facility of bio-toilets to other trains after successful trials in Shatabdi trains.
Passenger safety being the prime importance of the Railways, the ministry is also proposing to equip suburban and Shatabdi trains with automatic closing doors as used in several other countries.
Keeping in mind the requirements of the freight sector, the Railways is expected to announce a network of freight corridors with specialised Agri-Rail networks for perishable agrarian products. Besides, announcements of manufacturing high-capacity milk wagons, increasing capacity of wagons to transport steel coils and other metallic items and light wagons for transportation of salt are also expected. One of the key focus areas would be dedicated high-speed train corridors.