• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Lauds allocation of Rs. 2,52,000 Crore for capital expenditure for FY 2024-25 for Railways

Key Highlights of Interim Budget for Railways

  • Rs. 2,52,000 Crore for Capital Expenditure for Railways in FY 2024-25
  • Implementation of three major economic railway corridor programmes namely energy, mineral and cement corridors; port connectivity corridors; and high traffic density corridors
  • Conversion of 40,000 conventional rail bogies to ‘Vande Bharat standards’

 

With the ‘mantra’ of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas’ and the whole of nation approach of “Sabka Prayas”, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Union Budget 2024-25 in Parliament today.

Addressing a press conference later in the day on the historic announcements in the Interim Budget for transformation of Railways, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw said “ten years back, despite having a separate budget, the thought process was always to add new trains or extend a particular train but there was no focus on increasing capacity or improving safety but in the last ten years, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has changed the paradigm and put entire focus on creating new capacity, getting new technology and prioritizing safety. As a result of this, in last ten years 26000 Km track has been added, 1,08,000 Crore has been invested in Safety System and Automatic train protection system (Kavach) has started, new generation of trains are being developed and many of them are already running and are very popular.”

The Union Minister further stated that “In this budget, a big focus has been put on creating additional capacity through three corridors. First is Energy, mineral and cement corridors which will help reduce pollution of roads and ensure reduction in cost of logistics. Second is port connectivity which will provide seamless connectivity to the ports through railways in a multimodal ‘Gati Shakti’ way and third is ‘Amrit Chaturbhuj’ which will be akin to golden quadrilateral on Railway network on high density traffic routes. Overall, through these 3 corridors, about 40,000 Km of new track will be laid which will significantly increase railway capacity and reduce pollution as railway can save up to 90% CO2 emissions in a cost effective manner. This will bring a big transformation in the country’s economy in an efficient, productive and sustainable manner.”

Talking about the second big announcement, the Union Minister said “the success of ‘Vande Bharat’ and ‘Amrit Bharat’ trains has led to the fact that now we can upgrade all the 40,000 conventional coaches. The work to increase capacity is happening on multiple fronts. Last year we added 5,200 km of new tracks which is equivalent to entire rail network of Switzerland. This year we are adding 5,500 km. From 4 km per day in 2014, we are now adding about 15 km per day in new tracks. With the capital investment envisaged in today’s budget, we are at Rs. 2,52,000 Crore CAPEX for 2024-25. Current year, we have already achieved 82% of CAPEX budget by end of January, 2024 which is significant. So, there is a clear focus on increasing capacity, passenger experience and infrastructure. PM’s focus on Railways is very clear and it is helping bring more capacity and once these 3 corridors are completed we will have enough capacity to end the waiting list problem.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has lauded the Interim Budget as an inclusive and innovative Budget that carries the confidence of continuity and will empower all four pillars of ‘Viksit Bharat’ — youth, the poor, women, and farmers. The Prime Minister said “In the Budget, it has been announced to manufacture 40,000 modern ‘Vande Bharat Standard’ coaches and induct them in regular passenger trains. This will enhance the experience of comfortable travel for millions of passengers on different railway routes across the country.”

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