Railway Budget 2019: In the Union Budget 2019 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke of the need for massive investments in Indian Railways and how the private sector can play a key role in the same.
Railway Budget 2019: Indian Railways passengers will in the years to come travel in world-class trains that have been manufactured under ‘Make in India’ with private sector participation. In the Union Budget 2019 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke of the need for massive investments in Indian Railways and how the private sector can play a key role in the same. According to Sitharaman, the railway infrastructure will need a total investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030. To take the national transporter to another level, the Finance Minister said that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model will be unleashed in Indian Railways.
According to Nirmala Sitharaman, the capital expenditure outlays of Indian Railways stand at approximately Rs 1.5-1.6 lakh crore per annum. With this allocation, the sanctioned projects of Indian Railways will take decades to complete, she said. Hence the PPP model is being proposed to unleash faster development of Indian Railways in form of better rolling stock, railway tracks and passenger and freight services.
The PPP model will help the national transporter in enhancing its technology along will upgrading its infrastructure. With the recent success of Vande Bharat Express, the railways is looking forward to introducing more such semi-high speed trains across the country. Indian Railways is already looking to partner with the private sector for manufacturing aluminium bodied coaches.
Meanwhile, the minister also spoke about the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) as a key project in order to decongest the network of Indian Railways. The move will ensure faster movement of both goods and passenger trains. Sitharaman said that the development of inland waterways will also help in reducing the pressure on Indian Railways.
Moreover, she said that schemes such as Bharat Mala, Sagarmala and UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) are bridging rural-urban divide as well as improving the transport infrastructure of the country. While, speaking about the infrastructure of India, Sitharaman also said that a total of 657 km of the metro rail network has become operational across the country.