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Minister recites poems of Vajpayee, Bachchan

From poems of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Harivansh Rai Bachchan to teachings of Gautam Buddha, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu referred to these all as he presented his second Rail Budget in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Prabhu’s wife Uma and son Amaya were in the Visitor’s gallery as he outlined his vision for the railway sector by presenting the budget which kept untouched the passenger fares and freight charges.

During over hour-long speech of Prabhu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen repeatedly thumping the desk along with other members of the Treasury benches in appreciation of the proposals of the budget.

Prabhu walked into the House at 11:50 am and started his speech at 12:05 pm.

To make the functioning of railways more efficient, he announced seven missions, including activities to increase the average speed of superfast mail trains by 25 km per hour in the next five years. 

The Minister said the transformation of Railways would require its reorientation with an entirely different level of effectiveness.

The seven missions are – 25 Tonne, Zero Accident, PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency), Raftaar, Hundred, beyond book-keeping and capacity utilisation.

Under Raftaar, the Minister said that the railways would target “doubling average speeds of freights trains and increasing the average speed of superfast mail/express trains by 25 km per hour in the next 5 years”. 
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