Agencies, New Delhi
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said government has proposed a Rs 1,50,000 crore investment to make Indian Railways the most preferred transport of the country.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Goyal said the proposals in the budget are aimed to transform Railways into a modern, safe, green, affordable and comfortable mode of transport.
The Rs 1,48,528 crore investment was three times more as against Rs 53,989 crore in 2013-14, he added.
Detailing a break -up of the finances, he said the project got budgetary support of Rs 53,060 crore. Besides it generated Rs 11,500 crore from internal resources, Rs 28,500 crore from Indian Railways Finance Corporation, Rs 26,400 crore from LIC and investments through PPP to the tune of Rs 27,000 crore.He pointed out that this was 22 per cent higher than Revised Estimates in 2017-18.
He said, around 600 railway stations would be developed with world-class facilities, Station having a footfall of more than 25,000 will be provided with escalators and all trains and stations will be provided with WiFi and CCTVs to enhance passenger security.
He said with safety being the highest priority, in 2018-19, a total expenditure planned on safety related activities was Rs 73,065 crore.
Mr Goyal said the entire Railways network will be electrified in the next five years with power sector sharing added energy with the Railways.
This will lead to an estimated saving of Rs 10,000 crore per annum, help in reducing carbon emissions and promote sustainable development, besides increasing the country’s energy security by saving foreign exchange on imported fuels.