Rail Budget 2013: Passengers today were a divided house, but in their reactions, they were very vocal - good or bad. While a section welcomed the Budget as there was no fare hike, others expressed unhappiness over trains not being announced to their home towns.
R D Thakur, who frequents Delhi from his hometown Sitamarhi in Bihar, says there are no direct trains from there.
"I have to travel a long distance by bus to some other station each time when I have to visit Delhi for my work. I hope a train is introduced from there as well," Thakur said.
Commenting on the government's announcement to lay stress on cleanliness in the trains as well as platforms, Thakur hoped that this time the promises are met.
"I travel in sleeper-class and the condition there is far from good. The AC coaches are better. I hope the government keeps its promises regarding hygiene and cleanliness of the non-AC coaches also," he said.
Minjo Lama from Assam also complained regarding less number of trains available on Delhi-Assam route. Lama was of the view that there was no problem in fare hike if the delivery of services meets expectations.
Under development of stations was another area of concern among passengers.
Veena Gupta, a senior citizen, mentioned the problems she faced while reaching the platform in New Delhi railway station.
"The escalators are mostly not working and I have to climb the stairs each time with my luggage in hand," she said.
The Railway Ministry in its Budget today announced 400 lifts and 179 escalators in Category one stations.
Referring the government's decision to hike the Tatkal charges by Rs 15 on sleeper-class to Rs 100 on executive-class, Gupta said the low income group should have been spared from this hike.
Others passengers were satisfied with the announcement of the new e-ticketing system and most of them said that the present IRCTC website be made more user friendly.
Regarding security issues, H K Maheshwari, who has travelled in both sleeper and AC coaches, said no guards are deployed in the sleeper class whereas he could find them in the AC coaches.
Railway budget sets tone for austerity year
India reined in spending on its vast but decrepit rail network on Tuesday, setting the tone for what is expected to be the most austere federal budget in years in two days' time as the government struggles to tame its fiscal deficit.
Gross budgetary support for the railways will rise