New Delhi : Unveiling his ‘Vision 2020’ during his second budget speech, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday set new benchmarks for project execution.
He said Vision 2020 included reserved accommodation on trains being available on demand; time-tabled freight trains with credible service commitments; high-end technology significantly improve safety record; elimination of all unmanned-level crossings.
Besides these, it also stressed on increased punctuality to almost 95 percent; increased average speed of freight trains to 50 kmph and mail/express trains to 80 kmph; semi high-speed trains running along the golden quadrilateral; and zero direct discharge of human waste.
Maintaining that the railways is making an unique attempt to combine cleanliness with creativity, the minister informed the House that the walls of many stations had been converted to murals, which have been converted to murals, and have not only improved the aesthetics but also spread awareness on socially relevant themes.
Unveiling the ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat’ programme of the railways, Prabhu said, “As many as 17,000 bio-toilets in trains and additional toilets at 475 stations will be provided before the close of this financial year.”
He informed the House that the world’s first bio-vacuum toilet was developed by Indian railways and is being used in Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express.
“A total of 74 more trains hav3e been added under on-board housekeeping service and another 4000are to be covered soon, leading to a total number of almost 1,000 trains under the scheme,” he added.
Taking about the catering services, Prabhu said, “We are extending E-Catering services from existing 45 large stations to all 408 ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class stations. Besides, the railways is adding 10 more IRCTC-operated, mechanised sophisticated base kitchens to ensure fresh and hygienic supply of food on trains. (ANI)