NEW DELHI: The focus of the 2016-17 Rail Budget is on women's safety: more CCTV cameras in coaches, 33 per cent reservation for women in reserved categories in catering units and milk and baby food facilities for young mothers have been proposed by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in his Budget speech.
To ensure the security of passengers, especially women, an All India 24/7 helpline number (182) has been launched and CCTV surveillance will be started in 311 stations. “All major stations will be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner,” he said. He also announced enforcing reservation in catering units for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Women and persons with disabilities among others.
“We will also introduce a sub-quota of 33 per cent for women in each of the reserved categories. Further, to build local ownership and empowerment, a process of giving weightage to district domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations will be initiated,” he said. Other measures include providing portable structures with bio-toilets at all platforms of select stations.
“I also plan to explore innovative means of providing and maintaining toilets such as advertisement rights, CSR sponsorship, voluntary support from social organisations,” he said.
To mitigate the difficulties that mothers face while travelling with infants, Prabhu announced to pilot availability of baby food, hot milk and hot water and changing boards for babies.
Among the green measures announced include LED lighting, green industrial unit and installation of solar micro-grid at remotely located railway stations.
"In the context of India's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, we have undertaken energy audits which have revealed the possibility of reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by 10 to 15 per cent. To achieve this, we have decided that all new light provisions will be LED luminaire only and all railway stations will be covered with LED luminaire in next two to three years,” said Prabhu.