NITI Aayog’s 2020 vision for Indian Railways, roads: Increase track length by 8 times, double NH length

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New Delhi | June 10, 2016 6:00 AM

Government think tank NITI Aayog has set ambitious targets of doubling the network of national highways and hiking the railway track length...

According to the targets set by NITI Aayog, the total network of highways — including single and intermediate lanes and 4&6 lanes — is set to more than double to 9,60,000 km in 2020. (Reuters)According to the targets set by NITI Aayog, the total network of highways — including single and intermediate lanes and 4&6 lanes — is set to more than double to 9,60,000 km in 2020. (Website)

Government think tank NITI Aayog has set ambitious targets of doubling the network of national highways and hiking the railway track length by almost eight times between now and 2020, as it aims to create world-class infrastructure to boost the economy.

According to the targets set by NITI Aayog, the total network of highways — including single and intermediate lanes and 4&6 lanes — is set to more than double to 9,60,000 km in 2020 from 45,406 km at the end of the last financial year.

Also Read: Refinancing Rs 8450 crore may pull road sector from trouble: Indian Ratings and Research

For the current fiscal, NITI Aayog has set the highway network target at an ambitious 86,372 km. About 32,500 km of roads have been planned for four-laning by 2020, up from 24,706 km in FY16, and the current year target of 28,182 km. The road sector could require about `6.5 lakh crore as investments between FY18-FY22, and the think tank has suggested for raising long-terms funding through NIIF, IDFC, and IIFCL, as well as to aggressively push for hybrid-annuity model and increasing built-own-transfer contracts to 27% of the total projects during FY17 from 15% during FY16.

For the railways, the target for total track length, including commissioning of new lines, has been set at 130 lakh km for FY20, from 17.8 lakh km in FY17, and 16.5 lakh km achieved in FY16. At the same time, the government aims to reduce the empty freight wagon return ratio from an abysmal 39% during the current and last fiscal, to 30% by 2020, still missing the global benchmark of 25%.

Giving a huge push to renewable sources of energy to mitigate the impact of climate change, the government plans to have 17% of its total energy production to come from solar and wind sources by 2022, as against 5.7% in FY16. For the current fiscal, the target has been set at 6.5%. The total power generation capacity for the current fiscal has been set at 269 GW, up from 250GW generated during last fiscal.

The target for coal production has been set for 1,000 million tonnes for FY20, and for FY17, at 657 million tonnes. During the last fiscal, the coal production reached 597 million tonnes.

For the aviation sector, the target for passenger and cargo capacity has been set at 440 million passengers per year and six million tonnes a year, respectively. For the current fiscal the passenger capacity target is set at 270 million, higher than the 250 million passengers capacity during last fiscal, while the cargo capacity has been maintained flat at four million tonnes for FY17.

For the port capacity, the target for 2020 has been fixed at 2331 million tonne per annum as against the current capacity of 1602 mtpa.

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