Railway Budget 2019: Indian Railways to focus on suburban network; boost for rapid rail and metro

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Updated: Jul 05, 2019 7:02 PM

Railway Budget 2019: The national transporter will be encouraged to invest more on suburban railway system through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS)

Railway Budget 2019Railway Budget 2019: The Finance Minister mentioned that to take Indian Railways to another level, the PPP model will be introduced for faster development

Railway Budget 2019: Today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first budget of the Modi 2.0 government in the parliament. In Union Budget 2019 speech, several big announcements were made by the minister, promising to give a major boost to the country’s infrastructure sector. As the suburban train services of Indian Railways are a major regional connectivity booster for big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and smaller cities, the national transporter will be encouraged to invest more on suburban railway system through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route, Sitharaman said in the parliament today.

In Railway Budget 2019, which is a part of the Union Budget, Finance Minister also proposed to enhance the metro-railway initiatives. The minister said that this will be done by encouraging more Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives and ensuring completion of sanctioned works while supporting Transit Oriented Development in a bid to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs. The Delhi Metro network, one of the most popular in the country has been given a grant of Rs 414.70 crore.

The Finance Minister also mentioned that to take Indian Railways to another level, the PPP model will be introduced for faster development, rolling stock production and for delivery of freight. Further to this, Sitharaman also claimed that the railways is in the process of completing the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project. Once the DFC project is complete, it will free up some of the existing railways’ network for the smooth operation of passenger trains. In addition to this, the minister said that the development of inland waterways will also help in reducing the pressure on the national transporter.

While speaking on Metro Rail connectivity in India, Sitharaman said that during the financial year 2018-19, new Metro Rail projects for a total route length of 300 kms have been approved. Moreover, during 2019, nearly 210 kms metro lines have been operationalized. With this, a total of 657 kms of Metro Rail network has become functional across the country, she said.

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