Railway Budget 2020: Big solar power push for Indian Railways! The Budget 2020-21 for India was presented in the parliament today by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Railway Budget, which has now been merged with the Union Budget was presented by the FM as well. In her Budget 2020-21 speech, the minister proposed the setting up of large solar power capacity alongside the railway tracks on Indian Railways’ land.
The eco-friendly move is likely to give a massive power boost to the national transporter and also cut down on its annual electricity bills. Apart from solar power capacity, the minister announced many other initiatives on Indian Railways’ front. Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways aims to becme a “net-zero” carbon emitter by 2030 and this move is aimed at that.
While presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, the Finance Minister said that as many as 150 trains will be run and operated on public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Also, four railway stations will be redeveloped and modernized with the help of the private sector. She spoke on the Railway Ministry’s move to invite private operators to run trains on the Indian Railways network. As many as 150 private trains have been proposed to start running in the next three to four years’ time. She also mentioned the speed at which the Indian Railways free high-speed WiFi project at stations is being implemented.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman also mentioned in her Railway Budget 2020-21 speech that in the coming years, more Tejas Express-style trains will be put into service on key tourism routes of India. The Tejas Express train can be said to be an upgraded version of Indian Railways’ Shatabdi Express train. The minister also mentioned the Modi government’s aim to allow for an investment of Rs 100 lakh crore for the country’s infrastructure which includes airports, railway stations, housing for all, irrigation projects, roadways, etc.