Railways to invest Rs 1,50000 cr: Goyal

Henrietta Strickland
February 1, 2018

He said, around 600 railway stations would be developed with world-class facilities, Station having a footfall of more than 25,000 will be provided with escalators and all trains and stations will be provided with WiFi and CCTVs to enhance passenger security. The 92-year-old practice of a separate Railway budget was discontinued last year and since then has been merged with the Union Budget.

Last year, the Modi government had allotted Rs 1.31 lakh crore to the railways, with a gross budgetary support of Rs 55,000 crore.

A significant portion of this allocation will be used to enhance the carrying capacity of the Railways.

The much-awaited Rail Budget 2018 is expected to bring about some transformative changes to the Indian Railways, just as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hinted in his last full budget.

A large part of the capex has been devoted to capacity creation.

Jaitley said 18,000 kilometers of doubling, third and fourth line works and 5000 kilometers of gauge conversion would augment capacity and transform nearly the entire network into Broad Gauge.

Goyal said he has a plan to introduce an effective and modern ETCS II signalling system on the entire railway network in next six years.

"This is 22 per cent higher than 2017-18", he said.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal is learnt to have fixed a target of around 20 per cent reduction in the transporter's working expenses in 2018-19 to achieve better financial health by the end of the next fiscal. A major programme has been initiated to strengthen infrastructure at the Goods sheds and fast track commissioning of private sidings.

Jaitley assured adequate funds will be available under Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh.

The Railway Minister said the ministry will focus on technology this year to ensure safety on its network. 4267 unmanned level crossings in the broad-gauge network will be eliminated in the next two years.

He said with safety being the highest priority, in 2018-19, a total expenditure planned on safety related activities was Rs 73,065 crore. All railway stations and trains will be progressively provided with wi-fi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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