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Rail Budget 2015: Suresh Prabhu gets PM Narendra Modi thumping his desk

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu made it a point to give fillip to ideas and pet schemes of his Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Rail Budget.

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu made it a point to give fillip to ideas and pet schemes of his Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Rail Budget.

Not just that, Prabhu began his foreword in the White Paper on Indian Railways tabled in Parliament with a quote from Modi. In his budget speech, he began by offering a 124-word thank-you note to and in praise of Modi.

Prabhu expanded the WiFi facility — a project Modi has been pushing for since the beginning of the NDA’s tenure — to all B-category stations apart from the existing A1 and A category ones, taking the total coverage to 400 stations.

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Increasing allocation to passenger amenities by 67 per cent, Prabhu said he wants to make Swachh Rail the driving force behind Swachh Bharat campaign. The motto, he said, would be to ensure Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat.

“These goals will also ensure that Railways is an integral part of all flagship programmes that our Prime Minister has launched for improving the quality of life of the downtrodden, from Swachh Bharat to Make in India, and from Digital India to Skill India,” he said. Sitting in the House, Modi was seen thumping the desk in approval several times at the mention of these moves.

Prabhu said the next fiscal will also see work on setting up the country’s first Rail University, another item on the PM’s wishlist. He added that he had sanctioned setting up of four Railway Research Centres for doing fundamental research.

Modi’s constituency Varanasi also had something to cheer about — the proposal to set up Madan Mohan Malaviya Chair for Railway Technology at IIT (BHU), Varanasi.

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For Make in India, Prabhu proposed manufacture of train sets after a two-year period. “With increasing capacity, Indian Railways would require more locos, more wagons and more coaches… All this will result in creation of job opportunities,” he said.

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