Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in an interview on July 9 said that the money spent on Railways has increased as compared to the investment made between 2009 and 2014, which were the UPA government years. He further added that he is looking forward to more funding in this sector as the Railways has proposed to spend Rs 1.3 lakh crore this year. He said, “We have considerably ramped up the investment made annually in Railways. The average investment between 2009 and 2014 was only about Rs 48,000 crore. As against the same, we achieved investments of Rs 93,000 crore and Rs 1.1 lakh crore in 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. In the current year, we propose to spend Rs 1.3 lakh crore,” as quoted in a DNA report.
Suresh Prabhu further talked about the key areas that are expected to benefit from the investment in both private and public sector. He said, “A lot of our work is outsourced, but we would like the private sector to come in and develop our stations, goods sheds, logistic parks. Two loco factories are already being developed in the PPP (public-private partnership) mode and we hope to award one coach factory also through a similar process to the private sector.” He further added, “Indian Railways has taken up station redevelopment in a big way in PPP model. In fact, it launched one of the largest transit-oriented development programmes across the world worth Rs 100,000 crore.”
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While talking about the reforms being implemented in this sector, Prabhu said, “We have taken a number of reforms. Powers were delegated and decentralised for improvement of efficiency and transparency with the effective implementation of e-tendering, e-auctioning, e-ticketing, e-governance, e-freight demand, e-catering, e-wheelchair, e-concierge.”