New Delhi: Indian Railways has received a record outlay of ` 1,10,055 crore, of which ` 1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure. This record outlay was announced by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 in the Parliament today. Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan for India – 2030. The Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030.
Smt. Sitharaman said, “Bringing down the logistic costs for our industry is at the core of our strategy to enable ‘Make in India’.” The Finance Minister announced that Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Eastern DFC are expected to be commissioned by June 2022.
Further, the Finance Minister proposed the following additional initiatives to be taken up:
- The Sonnagar – Gomoh Section (263.7 km) of Eastern DFC will be taken up in PPP mode in 2021-22. Gomoh-Dankuni section of 274.3 km will also be taken up in short succession.
- Future dedicated freight corridor projects namely East Coast corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada, East-West Corridor from Bhusaval to Kharagpur to Dankuni and North-South corridor from Itarsi to Vijayawada will be undertaken. Detailed Project Reports will be undertaken in the first phase.
- 100% electrification of Broad-Gauge routes will be completed by December, 2023. Broad Gauge Route Kilometers (RKM) electrified is expected to reach 46,000 RKM i.e., 72% by end of 2021 from 41,548 RKM on 1st Oct 2020.
Passenger Convenience and Safety
Smt. Sitharaman also proposed following measures for passenger convenience and safety:
- Introduction of the aesthetically designed Vista Dome LHB coach on tourist routes to give a better travel experience to passengers.
- High density network and highly utilized network routes of Indian railways will be provided with an indigenously developed automatic train protection system that eliminates train collision due to human error.