Railways to be No. 1 in freight
High-speed corridors, semi-bullet trains between major Indian cities and temperature-controlled storage units for fruits and vegetables are in the pipeline for Indian Railways.
Sadananda Gowda has stated that he aims to make India the largest freight carrier of the world. Stating that railways will play a major role in building a dynamic India, he further added, "Railways are carrying 31% of total freight currently. Railways carried 1.3 billion ton of freight last year. It is growing rapidly," Gowda said. His priority is to double, even triple the tracks.
At the outset, Gowda has made it clear that it would require 5 lakh crore to complete the projects that are already on the anvil. In a groundbreaking statement, he also said that the Railways is seeking Cabinet approval for FDI, apart from private investment. The Budget has already proposed that all major ports be linked via the PPP model.
Addressing the issue of increased passenger fares and freight rates, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked the citizens to judge the government on the basis of its per- formance and plans for the railways.
As per the Budget, six high speed corridors have been identified, and proposal for semi-bullet trains at a speed of 160-200 km/ph for Chennai-Hyderabad, DelhiKanpur, Delhi-Agra, NagpurBilaspur, Delhi-Pathankot have been put forward.
As for new trains, dedicated parcel and special milk-tanker trains will be launched shortly, along with temperature-controlled storage for fruits and vegetables. 18 surveys will be commissioned for new lines, and 10 more for doubling and extending previous lines will be started.
DV Sadananda Gowda Railway Minister Government of India