Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has sought to enhance the amenities for passengers in a bid to change the perception about the national transporter.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has sought to enhance the amenities for passengers in a bid to change the perception about the national transporter. To cut the loss of time for passengers while queuing up at counters, he proposed tickets can be cancelled by calling enquiry number 139. He also proposed installing CCTV cameras at the ticket booking counters, that is being seen a step towards cutting down the menace of touts engaged in the bulk booking of Tatkal tickets in particular.
Mr Prabhu also unveiled “Clean My Coach” services via SMS by passengers to improve sanitation within trains. He also unveiled measures to bring two mobile apps on ticketing issues, and redressal of grievances, complaints, and for offering suggestions. The Railways will soon unveil GPS-based digital displays inside coaches to give real-time information on coming halts. Mr Prabhu has also proposed unveiling “smart” coaches with automatic doors and entertainment screens for advertisements.
The minister plans to invite FM radio stations to offer their services on select trains. He also said passengers will have the option to buy travel insurance for rail journeys. There will also be a facility to book retiring rooms on an hourly basis.
Mr Prabhu proposed “Janani Sewa” in which baby food, hot milk and hot water will be made available for small children. He also said the Railways had got assistance through MPLAD and Corporate Social Responsibility funds. He said 124 Members of Parliament had given their commitment to contribute funds for passenger amenities.
“The Railways generated over 65,000 additional berths by augmenting 884 coaches on patronised routes on a permanent basis, installed 2,500 water vending machines at stations, provided mobile charging points in general class coaches, placed dustbins in all new non-AC coaches, enabled online booking of retiring rooms, set up mechanised laundries to provide clean and hygienic bed rolls,” he said.
Mr Prabhu said the Railways fulfilled its social obligations towards Divyang, senior citizens and women travellers. For the Divyang, he said the Railways has introduced one-time registration for availing concessions while booking tickets online, online booking of wheelchairs and Braille-enabled new coaches.
The minister said an increased quota of lower berths will be provided for senior citizens and women travellers. In the coming financial year, the Railways will increase the senior citizen quota per coach by 50 per cent, resulting in almost 120 lower berths more per train for senior citizens. The Railways has added more escalators and lifts and reserved middle bays in coaches for women’s security, Mr Prabhu added.