Piyush Goyal: Railways to use Rs 73,000 crore on safety

Updated: Feb 01, 2018, 22:40 IST | IANS

The railways will spend over Rs 73,000 crore on safety out of the Rs 1.48 lakh crore capital expenditure earmarked for it in the Union Budget, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said

Piyush goyal
Piyush Goyal

The railways will spend over Rs 73,000 crore on safety out of the Rs 1.48 lakh crore capital expenditure earmarked for it in the Union Budget, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.

The Railway Minister said the ministry will focus on technology this year to ensure safety on its network.

Apart from the Rs 73,065 crore, the Railways will use Rs 20,000 crore from its rail safety fund that was created last year, he said.

"It will comprise Rs 5,000 crore from the capital (budgetary support), Rs 10,000 crore from railway safety fund received as Railways' share from central road fund and Rs 5,000 crore from railways' revenue," the Minister said.

Goyal said the railways will get a gross budgetary support of Rs 55,000 crore from the Finance Ministry.

"The railways will get budgetary support of Rs 53,060 crore from the Finance Ministry. The government has provided Rs 1,940 crore towards reimbursement of losses on operation of strategic lines and Rs 88 crore towards reimbursement of operation cost of e-ticketing to the IRCTC," he said.

He said the Indian Railways will generate Rs 11,500 crore from the internal resources and raise Rs 28,500 crore from IRFC and Rs 26,440 crore from Institutional Finance (LIC) to support.

"It will also generate investment of Rs 27,000 crore from the public private partnership in the projects," he said.

Speaking about the Rs 1.48 lakh crore capex in the railways, Goyal said, "The government is drastically scaling up investments by almost three times to Rs 1,46,500 crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 53,989 crore in 2013-14."

"This is 22 per cent higher than 2017-18," he said.

In 2017-18 Union Budget, the total capex of Railways was pegged at Rs 1,31,000 crore.

According to the ministry officials, the operating ratio of 2018-19 is estimated at 92.8 per cent as against 96 per cent in 2017-18.

The Minister said the first set of the modern train announced by Jaitley would be commissioned in September this year.

Stressing on technology, he said: "Our main focus will be on technology, in everything. I have to give people security. So my target is to have CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi in all trains and all coaches."

He said that for the national transporter "money is never a concern".

Goyal said he has a plan to introduce an effective and modern ETCS II signalling system on the entire railway network in next six years.

ETCS II is a radio-based cab signalling equipment on the railway network which would not only help address safety concerns but also aid capacity management.

Stakeholders in the Railways also reacted positively to the thrust on technology in the Indian Railways.

Bharat Salhotra, Vice President Sales and Business Development, Asia Pacific of the French giant Alstom told IANS: "The increased capital outlay on railways to Rs 1.48 lakh crore is a positive outcome and one that spells increased opportunities for players like us.

"We have the right technology, capabilities, skill and expertise to support the government in the achievement of its top priorities of safety, modernisation, High speed and digitisation of railways," he said.

He said the government is on the "right track in spelling out its vision". The French giant is producing India's first 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive at its plant in Bihar's Madhepura, which is likely to be rolled out in March.

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