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Rediff.com  » Business » Railways to seek air time from Doordarshan

Railways to seek air time from Doordarshan

February 03, 2010 14:11 IST

Mamata BanerjeeRailway ministry is likely to seek air time from Doordarshan to disseminate railway related information to public and raise a special Mahila Brigade for enhanced security.

In its forthcoming Budget, Railways also propose to launch more passenger services and speed up existing trains.

Extension of Kolkata Metro network and a proposal for railways' own in-house magazine are likely to figure in the Railway Budget on Feb 24.

Moreover, about 15 new Duronto trains and as many tourist trains specially catering to Buddhist circuits will be other highlights.

Indications are there that railway minister Mamata Banerjee might announce several trains for West Bengal which goes to polls next year.

The trains include a service between Howrah and Ajmer, a train between Digha and Puri and a couple of trains from the port town of Haldia to south besides a train linking Jhargram -- a Maoist affected region -- and Howrah among several others.

The Budget may also see a hike in the corporate safety fund keeping in mind the alarming rise in train accidents.

Sources said that Railways was earlier contemplating to have its own channel on the lines of the Lok Sabha TV.

However, given the nature of investment required for the project, it decided to book slots in the national channel.

The slots will be exclusively used for disseminating rail related information about the train schedule, seats availability in a particular train and tourist related information. 

There was a need for a dedicated railway channel to disseminate information specially during the accidents and delays due to unavoidable reasons.

"The air time in the national channel will be utilised for this," sources said.

An exclusive women force is also needed for the railways and such a force may find mention in the Budget, the sources added.

It is heard that the speed of several trains would be increased to accommodate the new trains and more AC III-tier coaches will be inducted in existing trains as this class is getting the maximum patronage.

"The railway network is facing a saturation but railways can do a little other than introducing more trains as every year passenger traffic is going up by eight per cent annually. Each day about 3 lakh people book tickets in railways," they said.

The coming rail Budget is also likely to fulfil the long standing demand of linking the tourist places of Digha and Puri.

Keeping in mind the large number of patients from east India visiting Vellore for treatment, railways might also provide a new train from Howrah to the southern city in the coming Budget.

Image: Mamata Banerjee

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