Suresh Prabhu’s Rail budget evokes mixed response in MP

Railway budget 2016-17 presented in the parliament on Thursday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu evoked a mixed response from various sections of society in Madhya Pradesh.
The common man welcomed the railway minister’s decision not to hike passenger fare amid some criticism over lack of reduction in the fares, which would comfort passengers riddled by inflation.
The rail budget should have slashed train fares for the benefit of passengers with low income, construction worker Ratiram (57) said.
On the other hand, the provision of a 24×7 women helpline number 182, which aims to boost women safety, received welcome from Director of Women Studies Department at Barkatullah University Prof Asha Shukla.
“Railway menu would now offer children special cuisines and hot water which would benefit nursing mothers,” she said.
“Proposal of adding extra coaches and increasing train speeds would definitely make train journeys easier. 24×7 women helpline is need of the hour given the growing atrocities against women passengers in trains,” Jabalpur based senior private executive Pooja Rao stated.
Retired railways officer Chandrashekhar Sharma lauded the budget’s attempt to enhance revenue for the ministry.
Political thinker Girija Shankar appreciated the budget as one meant for the common man. He however maintained that the budget does not include details of the railway minister’s vision on completion of pending projects in the coming three years.
“The ministry must complete their schemes well before the next elections,” he said.
Railways expert and Pithampur Audyogik Sangthan president Gautam Kothari said that there is nothing much for the industry in the rail budget.
Kothari, however, lauded the provisions leading to boosting of transparency including online recruitments, adding that the Railway Ministry must be ridded of corruption.
“It would be interesting to see how the minister executes his populist announcements,” he said.
Former member of Bhopal Railways Consultative Committee Shahnawaz Khan rued that there is nothing much for Bhopal and MP in the rail budget.
“Selecting Habibganj as model railway station is not enough as it already features among stations that have to be converted into world class ones.”
Share market trader Anmol Biharia hailed the budget saying: “Increase in speed of goods and passengers trains, introduction of bio-toilets and ‘clean my coach’ facility along with CCTV cameras at 400 plus stations is welcome step.”
Gwalior based social activist Sudhir Sapra said that passenger safety and quality of food offered in the budget should be looked into on priority.