Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee put forward a very “sisterly” Railway Budget for the year 2010-11, today in the Parliament. We present to you the most important highlights of the please-all Budget.
|Images of people eating railway food may
soon be blurred on TV or in movies, by the
Health Ministry recommendations
1. The next time you get any sort of food or beverage in an Indian train, you may find a message with words like “Consuming the contents may be injurious to health”, or “Statutory Warning: Eat at your own risk” written with it. In the Budget, Banerjee assured the nation that Indian Railways could compromise with the quality of the food, but not with the trust of the passengers. “It’s our duty to warn people beforehand, else they’ll lose the trust they have in us. Giving a statutory warning, like on cigarettes, puts the ball in their court,” said Banerjee.
The minister said that having a warning makes a lot of things easy. It will cut down expenditure on gloves for cooks. The pantry windows can remain open all the time so as to expose cooked food to outside fresh and clean air. “With growing milk prices, tea becomes cheaper to prepare if people are already warned,” Banerjee added.
2. The Budget assigned a sum of Rs 24 crore to the task of finding new people to blame for any train accidents in future. The money will be spent on finding and convincing people to accept the blame, that they caused a certain train accident. Some part of this money will also be used to condemn such incidents verbally, over as many media channels as possible, and to make telephone calls to relatives of victims, in order to offer tape-recorded condolences.
3. A “Discover India” campaign for foreign tourists has been announced. Under this campaign, tourists will get to travel in dirty coaches, with nothing but the coach walls to spit and pee. They will get the enriching experience of the practice of paying bribes, without which the train drivers would not be allowed to move.
4. “Railway platforms will be cleaned by the end of this year. All the garbage and waste collected will be duly placed inside the compartments of the general coaches,” announced the Minister.
5. Beggars and eunuchs have got the Right to Displace sleeping people from their berths, in the sleeper class coaches. The permissions may be extended to the AC coaches in the next year’s budget, said Banerjee pleasing the beggar and eunuch community.
6. New station clocks will be installed at major junctions, which will work according to the arrival and departure of trains, and won’t show the Indian Standard Time. This will help in ensuring that trains are always on time.
7. In the seventh major highlight of the Budget, Mamata Banerjee announced a sum of Rs 19000 crore to be spent on the removal of all trains and railway lines from the whole country, except West Bengal. The trains and railway lines will be used to develop the state’s railways beyond recognition.