Rlys draws up plan to get projects worth Rs 50,000 cr back on track

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 3 2014, 10:40am hrs
With the Modi government focusing on getting stuck infrastructure projects cleared within the first 100 days of assuming office, the railway ministry has prepared a 100-day plan to get critical projects worth Rs 50,000 crore rolling. The railway Board will also make the independent railway tariff authority, to advise it on passenger and freight fares, operational within the given deadline.

Several projects 534-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section of the eastern railway freight corridor, electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and a diesel locomotive factory at Marhowrah (both in Bihar), Mumbai elevated railway corridor, port and coal connectivity projects and station redevelopment contracts would be bid out within the given time-frame.

All these projects, to be built on public private partnership (PPP) model, have been stuck for over five years despite the investors interest.

All these projects are under different stages of bidding and according to the 100-day plan, being steered by the new railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda, well award the contracts as per the new time lines, a railway board official said.

The railway Board has already received over two dozen nominations for the five posts of the tariff authority. The shortlisting for the same will also be done soon.

The national transporter also plans to run semi high-speed train (with an average speed of 150 kmph) on pilot basis on one of the short routes (either Delhi-Chandigarh) or Delhi-Kanpur) within the first 100 days.

We are in the process of upgrading the infrastructure on these routes. We might be able to run a train on pilot basis on one of the routes. Running bullet trains, as promised by Modi, is impossible to do due to high costs but we have told the PM that the semi high-speed is a kind of a low-hanging fruit for us and can be done without making any high investments, the railway board official added.