Indian Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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IRCTC partners with Amazon.in for online shopping

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has partnered with e-commerce giant Amazon.in to provide convenient online shopping experience and sell various products.

With this tie-up, IRCTC is going to offer its customers (especially Indian railways passengers) with seamless online shopping opportunities in addition to booking travel tickets and hotel accommodations.

In this regard IRCTC is going to provide Amazon.In a link on the IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in).

Thus IRCTC customers and Indian railways passengers who access the IRCTC portal now can buy wide range of products from Amazon’s wide distribution network.

The products will be consumer electronics, apparel, bags to toys, exotic food products, books, shoes. It will also include pet supplies, musical instruments, personal hygiene products and many more products.

Highlights from Railway Budget 2015-16

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Parliament. Below are the highlights of this Budget:

Railway Fares

  • No new hike in passenger fares
  • While, the Freight fares have been raised incase of urea by 10%, iron and steel by 0.8%, kerosene and cooking gas by 0.8%, coal by 6.3% and cement by 2.7%.

Railway Finances

  • Plan Budget is gone up by 52 percent Rs. 100011 crore for financial year 2015-16 compared to Rs. 65789 crore in FY 2014-15.
  • For next five year envisaged investment for railways is Rs. 8.5 lakh crore rupees.
  • Funds for railways will be raised from pension, institutional and multilateral agencies.
  • In order to improve passenger amenities, MPs requested to use part of their MPLAD funds.
  • Railways to set up an infrastructure fund and holding company to raise long-term debt.

Passengers Amenities

  • 120 days in advance ticket booking facility for passengers instead of earlier 60 days.
  • Railways is aiming to move towards paperless ticketing.
  • Operation 5 minutes– Passengers can buy railway tickets within five minutes unde.
  • SMS updates to inform passengers about any change in schedule of trains.
  • Open wi-fi facility at 400 railway stations.
  • Mobile charging units will be installed.
  • For women safety CCTVs to be installed in selected trains and suburban trains.
  • Food ordering facility food while booking tickets through IRCTC website.
  • Water-vending machines to be set up at stations.
  • 138 will be a nationwide 24×7 helpline number for railway-related queries. While, 182 will be a toll-free number for security-related issues.
  • On-board entertainment in Shatabdi Express.

Infrastructure

  • Track capacity will be increased by 10% to 1.38 lakh km.
  • Speed of passenger trains on 9 corridors will increased to 160-200 km/h from 110-130 km/h.
  • Wagon-making scheme will be reviewed in order ease private investment
  • By inviting open bids, station redevelopment policy will be revamped.
  • 10 satellite railway terminals will be developed in major cities in 2015-15.
  • PPP cell of Indian Railways will be revamped.
  • Feasibility report of high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad expected by mid-2015.
  • Connectivity to North-East India will be improved. In J&K rail connectivity will be on focus.

Tourism

  • Railways will promote Gandhi circuit in order to mark centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa.
  • Special travel scheme Kisan Yatra for farmers for farming and marketing technique centres.
  • Under Incredible India, Incredible Rail will be launched.

Analysis: A Modest Railway Budget