Railways, in an attempt to give a major boost to its infrastructure, has plans to raise Rs 35,000 crore with the help of the World Bank and create a separate fund for investment in the sector. According to PTI, this Railway of India Development Fund(RIDF) would be independent of the Railways Budget. The Railways of India Development Fund is intended for all big ticket rail-based projects, which include station redevelopment, expansion of the railways, port connectivity and freight terminal up gradation of the PPP model. PTI reports that World Bank has also given its in-principle approval to create the fund. The Indian Railways is also reported to be seeking the approval of the Union Cabinet to set up the RIDF next month.
According to PTI, the Railways is also looking to seek the approval of the Cabinet to proceed with the Rs 17,000 crore speed enhancement of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sectors. The Union budget 2018 had declared a Rs 17,000 crore high speed, project for the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sectors. One of the senior Railway Ministry officials spoke with PTI and said that the ministry will seek the approval of the Narendra Modi-led cabinet for both the Railways of India Development Fund and speed up the project in India on two major trunk routes shortly, as the ground work for these projects has almost been laid.
Reports state that semi-high speed project aims at running trains on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes at 160 kmph to 200 kmph speed in order to save a considerable amount of time spent in travelling between the two megapolis. The Indian Railways have plans to increase the speed of both the passenger trains and freight trains and redevelop more than100 stations by the year 2022.