In his maiden budget presented on Tuesday, new Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda attempted to provide a well rounded, commuter-centric proposal to upgrade the Indian Railways.
Even though many of Gowda's ideas were a reflection of Narendra Modi's key designs, the rail minister did defy the Home Ministry's red flag and proposed to introduce Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the railways.
While the fate of these proposals remain to be seen, here are some of key user friendly ideas that might excite the every day commuters:
1. Wi-Fi in A-1 and A category stations and in select trains
2. Bullet train on Mumbai-Ahmedabad route to be introduced. Efforts will be made to increase speed of trains to 160-200/km on selected sectors
3. Outsourced cleaning of 50 major railway stations and use of CCTVs to monitor the cleaning
4. Automatic closing doors as pilot project at some places
5. Food courts at some major stations for more variety, including regional cuisines
6. Use of battery-operated vehicle to ferry differently abled and senior citizens at railway stations
7. Bio-toilets in trains to be increased to mitigate direct discharge of human waste on tracks and platform
8. Ladies' coaches to be escorted by women RPF constables; additional care for women travelling alone
9. Mobiles for security staff to attend to passengers in distress
10. Ticket bookings through post offices and mobile phones, as well as coin-operated ticket machines