With Annual Budget for 2019 eagerly anticipated, the investment in the Railways sector is expected to witness a sharp increase in the fiscal year 2019-20. As per the latest reports, Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal may announce Rs 70,000-75,000 crore bonanza for the Indian Railways. Apart from announcing new high-speed trains in Interim Budget 2019, the Narendra Modi government will reportedly announce a slew of initiatives to make railways faster, safer and better.
Besides, Goyal in his Budget speech at 11:00 am in the Parliament may also highlight improved timeliness of Indian Railways with the success of Railway electrification and implementation of electronic train arrival/departure time recording system across many stations. He is expected to discuss the development of bio-toilets in trains in the recent years, and the measures government is going to take to make bio-toilets fully operational in Indian Railways in upcoming years.
Other important factors include, the high-speed rail corridors on the West and East coasts, over 4 lakh jobs under Indian Railways, elimination of unmanned railway crossings, safety of passengers, renovation and construction of old railway bridges among others.
For increasing safety in railways, the government may announce new steps to improve track slippers, fish plates and fittings as well as braking systems in trains. Furthermore, train protection warning system, GPS-enabled train track system, and track maintenance with advanced machinery among such measures are also going to get a mention in Budget 2019.
Talking about the new railway jobs, candidates belong to the economically weaker sections of higher classes will be granted 10 per cent reservation for the first time.
In a bid to make the railway stations more convenient for the customers, India Railways is going to be offered Wi-Fi facilities, elevators Divyang-friendly stations.
Under the government's Swarn Mission scheme, the Interim Budget 2019 is expected to focus to substitute old coaches with new modern ones, which will be more convenient and safer than the present ones.
Being touted as the backbone of our country, railways sector has always been a crucial factor in the Union Budget for the government. Till 2016, the government used to present a separate budget for the railways in the Parliament, However, from 2017 onwards, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has been presenting a combined budget, changing this year-old colonial practice.