With added revenue, Rlys to focus on safety, cleanliness, better food

Union Minister Pawan Bansal Monday stated that the Railways was taking steps to ensure safety of women on trains. Steps would also be taken to improve the quality of food served on the trains.

Bansal said that a meeting was held recently with railways officials to discuss this aspect. He said that while it is not possible to have a woman constable in each of the 51000 coaches that ply everyday, steps have been taken to sensitize the male constabulary regarding this aspect and also to ensure that no male passenger boards the compartments reserved exclusively for ladies. He added that wherever possible, women constables will be deployed in the trains.

On the recent hike in the rail fare before the budget, Bansal said Railways will be able to mop up a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore in this financial year with the hike that comes into affect from January 21.

Bansal announced the hike in fares in all classes a few days back. He has maintained that in the Rail Budget that is likely to be presented on February 26, no fresh hike in the fares will be announced. Rail fares have increased after almost a decade. Bansal stated that if even a small percentage increase in the fares had been done every year, the fares would have been much higher than now. Bansal said a part of the revenue generated would be used for a special cleanliness drive for which 100 railway stations have been identified. Chandigarh would be one of these. The money would also be spent on upgradation of various areas including security, signaling, etc.

Bansal further stated that in order to ensure that better quality of food is provided on the trains tenders have been called. He said that the quality of food was being affected as the prices had not been increased in a long time. He added that the officers were checking each item to ensure that passengers get better quality of food. The proposal of charging the passengers for food along with the ticket only if they so desire had not been found to be feasible.

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