Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that his ministry has a 'comprehensive' plan for the North-East, adding that all state capitals in the region will soon be connected to Delhi.
"We have a very comprehensive plan for the North-East, and we have already decided to connect all state capitals of the region with Delhi. We are making a huge investment; the Prime Minister has visited the region many times and even I have gone with him," Prabhu said at a press conference in the national capital.
"The North East is considered as a special project state so the money for that is also available from multiple sources," he added.
Speaking of the railway budget, Prabhu said that the proposal has attempted to address all difficulties faced by the common man.
"The ordinary man has a few expectations when he travels. Thus, cleanliness is a major issue, as is hygiene and quick ticketing, and we have tried to address all these problems in the budget. The safe journey of women is not only our duty, but our responsibility as well. We have talked of CCTV surveillance for security of women in Railways, online booking of wheelchairs for senior citizens and the differently-abled and a helpline number," he said.
"Our government is a government of farmers and protects the rights of farmers. Thus we have special schemes for farmers, as well as for defence personnel. Keeping the difficulties faced by the ordinary man in mind, we have also increased the number of bogeys," he added.
Earlier in the day, Prabhu had presented his maiden budget in the Parliament, stating that the sector has to undergo a transformation over the next five years.
He said the proposed investment in railways will be Rs. 8,56,020 crores by 2019.
The thrust of the Railways is to become a prime mover of the economy once again, act as a resource mobilisation for higher investments, decongestion of heavy haul routes and speeding up of trains, emphasis on gauge conversion, doubling, tripling and electrification.
The minister also announced that Wi-Fi would be provided at 'B' category stations.