Prabhu plans more railway revenue via non-fare sources

prabhuNew Delhi : (IANS) Leaving fares unchanged while railway finances are under strain, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday the Indian Railways would increase its revenue through non-fare sources.

Railway revenue through non-fare sources would be increased to the world average of 10 percent — from less than five percent that it currently is — over the next five years, said Prabhu, presenting the Rail Budget 2016-17 to parliament.

Some of the non-fare sources of income he outlined are station redevelopment programme to monetise land and buildings through commercial exploitation of vacant land, monetising land along tracks and soft assets like data collected on passenger preferences, ticketing and commodity, etc.

The Railways also plan to use its vast physical infrastructure for commercial exploitation through advertisement as well as liberalise its existing parcel policies to increase its non-fare revenues, the minister said.

The Indian Railways would also focus on increasing its productivity and better manufacturing practices, he added.

“It is aimed to generate annualised revenues of about Rs.4,000 crore by 2020,” Prabhu said.

Prabhu gives boost to unreserved travel

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has introduced a few new trains in his budget, giving a boost to unreserved travel, which is aimed at people with lower income.

“We propose to introduce the Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes,” the minister said while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 to parliament.

“Humsafar would be fully airconditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals. Tejas, on the other hand, will showcase the future of train travel in India. Operating at speeds of 130 kmph and above, it will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine and Wi-Fi through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved customer satisfaction,” he said.

“We will also introduce overnight double-decker, Utkrisht DoubleDecker Air-conditioned Yatri (UDAY) Express on the busiest routes, which has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40 percent,” Prabhu added.

He also introduced a new train between Varanasi and Delhi, ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern refurbished coaches.

“We will also add two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance our carrying capacity for the masses. These coaches will also have facility for potable drinking water and a higher number of mobile charging points.”

 


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