Budget 2018: The capital and developmental expenditure of the Railways is projected to increase to Rs 1,46,000 crore in FY2019 from Rs 1,20,000 crore in FY2018RE (Rs 1,31,000 crore in FY2018BE). The increase of 22% in FY2019 is in line with expectations, and would be required to meet the Railways Vision 2022. The Budget 2018 has also emphasized setting of higher execution targets, with the commissioning of 4,100 km of railway lines in FY2019 compared to 3,500 km during FY2018BE. It continued the emphasis on electrification of the railway network by sharply increasing the capex and target for electrification projects by 82.6% and 50%, respectively. Other major announcements in the Budget pertained to the initiation of suburban rail network projects in Mumbai and Bengaluru at an estimated project cost of Rs 68,000 crore.
Watch: Railway Budget 2018: 10 Things To Make Passengers Happy
The Finance Minister announced that 12000 wagons, 5160 coaches, and approximately 700 locomotives would be procured during 2018-19. The induction of 12,000-HP locomotives would be a crucial step, allowing the Indian Railways to run heavy haul and long-haul trains over the Dedicated Freight Corridor. The FM also announced that the government was planning to set a specialized railway university in Vadodara, Gujarat, where the workforce for high-speed railway projects would be trained. He observed that the coming year would be dedicated to operationalization of world-class trains.
Wi-Fi and CCTVs would be provided at every station and escalators installed at stations with a footfall of more than 25,000. The coming year would also witness a focus on the upgrade of signaling and use of fog safety devices.
Impact: Positive J