An increase in passenger fares across all classes, more than 100 new trains, enhanced frequency or routes for many others, and plans to hire more than one lakh employees were some of the key Rail Budget proposals made on Wednesday.

Presenting the annual Rail Budget for the financial year 2012-13 in Parliament on Wednesday, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi made following key proposals:

*Passenger fares to be hiked by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class travel; 3 paise per km for mail/ express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC chair car/AC 3-tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2-tier and 30 paise per km for AC 1-tier.

*Minimum fare and platform tickets to cost Rs 5.

*75 new Express trains to be introduced, along with 21 new passenger services, nine DEMU services and 8 MEMU services trains.

*Route of 39 trains to be extended and frequency of 23 trains to be increased.

*Railways to hire more than one lakh employees in 2012-13; 80,000 persons hired last year.

*Indian Railways Stations Development Corp to be set up to re-develop stations and maintain them like airports.

*To set up an independent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory body.

* The open discharge toilets on trains to be replaced with green (bio) toilets.

*All unmanned level crossings to be abolished in next five years; To target zero deaths due to rail accidents.

*To provide rail connectivity to neighbouring countries, a new line from Agartala to Akura in Bangladesh to be set up.

*Double-decker container trains to be introduced.

*Steps to improve cleanliness and hygiene on trains and stations within six months. A special house keeping body to be set up to take care of both stations and trains.

*New passenger services include escalators at major stations, alternative train accommodation for wait-listed passengers, laundry services, AC lounges, coin/currency operated ticket vending machines.

*Two new members, one for marketing, and other for safety, to be inducted into Railway Board.

*On board passenger displays indicating next halt station and expected arrival time to be introduced.

*Introduction of regional cuisine; Book-a-meal scheme to provide meals through SMS or email.

*Specially designed coaches for differently-abled persons to be provided in each Mail/Express trains.

*Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority to be considered.

*National High Speed Rail Authority to be set up; Pre-feasibility studies on six high speed corridors completed; study on Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur to be taken up in 2012-13.

*Wellness programme for railway staff at work places.

*Institution of ‘Rail Khel Ratna’ Award for 10 rail sportspersons every year.

*A wagon factory at Sitapali, Odisha, rail coach factory at Palakkad, two additional new coach manufacturing units in Kutch (Gujarat) and Kolar (Karnataka); component factory at Shyamnagar (West Bengal); new coaching terminal at Naihati, the birth place of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.

*Freight loading of 1,025 MT targeted; 55 MT more than 2011—12; Passenger growth targeted at 5.4 per cent.

*Passenger earnings to increase to Rs 36,200 crore.

*Gross rail traffic targeted to increase by Rs 28,635 crore to Rs 1,32,552 crore in 2012—13.

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