There are lot of "on the way" long term plans in the railway budget this year and having them implemented is going to be difficult unless the same government continues for the next 5-10 years. Nevertheless, following are some of the key areas in the budget where Laloo makes his mark.
1. 50% concession for AIDS patients
2. Ten new Garib Raths and 53 new trains to be introduced.
3. Railway tickets to show 'expected time of arrival'
4. Thirty per cent discount to senior citizens for rail travel and 50 per cent discount for women in all classes
5. Close circuit TV and bomb detecting equipment to be installed at major stations
6. Professional agencies being involved on a pilot basis to ensure cleanliness in running trains.
7.Railways to provide escalators at 50 per cent of the stations in the country.
8.Middle-level and low-level platforms to be upgraded to high-level platforms in several stations to help commuters.
9.More facilities for women and old passengers.
Clearly indicates that the budget has been prepared keeping in mind the parliament elections coming up next year and i am sure the finance budget to be presented shortly will have more surprises in store for the common man. Let's wait and watch.