Patna, Feb. 25: Taking a jibe at the BJP-led NDA Government following the presentation of Railway Budget for 2016-17 in the Parliament, former railway minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Thursday accused the ruling dispensation of derailing the railway sector, which acted as a lifeline for all.”This Railway Budget contains nothing. The Indian Railways, which was made a ‘Jersey cow’, has seen a rise in the expenditure and fall in the income. The railway was only sector, which acted as a lifeline for all and the Modi Government has derailed railway,” Lalu told the media.(Also Read: Lalu Prasad Yadav writes to Narendra Modi on Railway) Also Read - 8-9 Children Jibe: Tejashwi Yadav Condemns Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s Statement
Maintaining that the core objective of Indian Railways is to become an engine of employment generation and economic growth at the national level, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said the railways would generate nine crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19.Presenting his second budget, the minister announced three new freight corridors – Delhi-Chennai, Kharagpur-Mumbai and Kharagpur-Vijayawada.Expressing his happiness over action initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year, he announced setting up a Rail University in Vadodara. Also Read - Phone Call Row: Lalu Prasad Shifted From Hospital Director's Bungalow to Paying Ward
Besides, he announced to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres, including Ajmer, Dwarka, Gaya, Puri, Varanasi and Parasnath.There is an increase in seat quota this year, including 50 percent up for senior citizens. The railways will increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens, besides safety record has become better. Also, 20 percent less accidents recorded this, but a lot needs to be done. Also Read - Phone Call From Jail Row: Bihar BJP MLA Lalan Paswan Lodges FIR Against Lalu Prasad
The railways will introduce Deen Dayal coaches for long-distance trains for unreserved passengers. In addition, fully unreserved superfast trains will be introduced on dense traffic routes.In addition, the railways open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number, and journalists will get facility of e-booking of tickets on concessional passes.Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will make available local cuisine of choice and hygienic food; cleaning of toilets through SMS requests; new policy of multi-purpose stalls at station to provide multiple services like milk and medicines.