'Expect More Premium Trains Like Tejas Express: FM Sitharam's Railways Push In Union Budget 2020
FM announced that the Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through public-private partnership model to boost farm income.
Finance Minister - Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, proposed an allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for transport, infrastructure, including Railways in the Budget 2020.
Sitharaman highlighted Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry's continued focus on safety, and how the number of railway accidents have come down drastically.
FM announced that the Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through a public-private partnership model to boost farm income.
"To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishable goods inclusive of meat and fish, Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail via PPP mode," Sitharaman said.
Under the scheme, refrigerated coaches in express and freight trains will be available so that perishable goods can be transported across the country. The step will benefit the farmers.
Indian Railways is actively looking forward to private sector participation through the public-private partnership PPP model. The government will redevelop four stations with the help of the private sector, FM said.
The Indian railways is also expected to bring around 150 private trains in service in the upcoming years.
The FM said that the government will actively pursue the 508-km bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which has been lagging in face of multiple challenges.
Around 550 Wi-Fi facilities have been commissioned at railway stations.
The government will also install large solar power capacity alongside rail tracks, on land owned by Railways.
Sitharaman said that more Tejas Express like premium trains will be in service on key tourism routes.
The FM in her speech also mentioned that the long-pending suburban rail project for Bengaluru will get major support as the centre will provide 20 per cent to the equity contribution. The sub-urban train project is worth Rs 18,600 crore.
The 148-km suburban rail project is expected to connect areas like Outer Ring Road and Electronic City but has been pending before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval.
She also claimed that the government has achieved the important target of eliminating the unmanned level crossing all across the country. This is a big step in ensuring the safety of citizens of this country.
In last year, railways received a budget allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and the highest ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh crore.