Government’s New Railway Plan to Focus on Passenger Services

Government's New Railway Plan to Focus on Passenger Services

Government's New Railway Plan to Focus on Passenger Services

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The Indian Railways is rolling out new passenger-friendly initiatives.

In response to recent criticism, the government has launched a new 100-day railway plan aimed at improving passenger services. Key changes include a new 24-hour ticket refund system, replacing the current three-day process, and a single-window mega app for live service updates, ticketing, and refunds.

The plan also introduces more Amrit Bharat trains and Vande Bharat sleeper trains. These measures were discussed in a meeting led by top railway officials, including Railway Board Chairman Jaya Verma Sinha, in May 2024. According to Sinha, “Pressure on passenger services has increased recently. We need to focus on punctuality, water availability, catering, cleanliness, and reducing waiting lists”. She emphasized the need to prevent unauthorized passengers from boarding trains and to improve onboard services such as catering and cleaning.

Additional improvements will address issues like crowded foot overbridges and flooded subways. “Foot overbridge deficiencies should be fixed quickly, and subways prone to flooding must be examined and improved before the rainy season,” said Anil Kumar Khandelwal, a member of infrastructure.

Seema Kapoor, a member of operations and business development, highlighted the expected rise in passenger demand to 10 billion by 2030. She stressed the need for well-planned passenger terminals and digital advancements. “All stations should have facility maps, and we aim for 100% digital payments across all zones. Dark zones should be identified and addressed to improve digital connectivity,” said Kapoor.

During the meeting, the Indian Railways introduced their long-term vision, ‘Viksit Bharat 2047,’ which aims to improve train and station quality, enhance freight services, and implement green initiatives. They established targets for the next five years, one year, and the immediate 100 days to improve passenger comfort and safety.

This comprehensive plan underscores the government’s commitment to upgrading railway services and ensuring a better travel experience for passengers.