New Delhi: The Railway Minister has spoken and reforms have been promised in the already booming Ministry, which has recorded a profit of Rs 20,000 crore in the last financial year.
Among the new proposals to be implemented this fiscal year - including slashing of fares and smart rail travel cards - will be the advent of call centres to help in smoother functioning of Indian Railways.
These call centres will function on one number - 139. Passengers can dial 139 from any part of the country for railway information
These train enquiry call centres will be functional in all the four regions of the country between June and September this year.
"By dialing the telephone number 139, passengers will be able to obtain information about arrival and departure of trains, seat availability etc., at local call rates from any part of the country", Lalu Prasad said in his budget speech.
Apart from being able to reserve tickets at 139, passengers will also be able to book related services like taxis to and from railway stations and hotels at their intended destination.
The call centres will have international-level facilities such as SMS alerts for frequent travellers.
Lalu has proposed to provide hand-held computer terminals to Ticket Travelling Examiners (TTEs) in reserved coaches. The TTE will feed in the current vacancy position coach-wise and berth-wise in these hand-held terminals.
These computer terminals will be directly linked to the PRS system to transmit the berth reservation position from running trains to the PRS system, he said.
As a pilot project, the hand-held terminals will be made available in three Shatabdi trains and another train.
(With inputs from PTI)