The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that he has not increased the passenger fares in the Railway Budget 2015-16. Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today he said, Government is directing its efforts to make travel on Indian Railways a happy experience. The Minister said, one of the biggest problems faced by the common man intending to travel in unreserved class is purchasing a ticket. He said, the Railways is introducing ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes. Provision of modified ‘hot-buttons’, coin vending machines and ‘single destination teller’ windows will drastically reduce the transaction time.
For the differently-abled travellers, a special initiative is being launched whereby they can purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration. The Minister said, it is also proposed to work towards developing a multi-lingual e-ticketing portal. He said, the Railways will move towards crediting all refunds through the banking system.
Shri Prabhu said, in Central Railway, Western Railway and Southern Railway suburban sections, a pilot project of issuing unreserved tickets on smart phones has already started. The Minister expressed hope that this facility will be extended progressively to all stations. Automatic ticket vending machines with smart cards and currency options have also been installed at many stations. It is proposed to proliferate this further and also to introduce debit card operated machines. Introduction of integrated ticketing system on the lines of rail-cum-road tickets on Jammu – Srinagar route will be expanded.
The Minister said, for the benefit of all our brave soldiers, a Defence Travel System has been developed for elimination of Warrants to make travel easier. This facility has been commissioned in 600 locations out of about 2,000 locations. This facility will be further expanded.