Railway Budget: Cargo sector looks for more
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, presented his outlay for railway freight sector in his maiden budget. The proposed investment plan in the Rail Budget for 2015-19 made provisions to facilitate connectivity to new and upcoming ports through PPP model. This has also been done keeping in mind need for speedy work on critical coal connectivity lines to bring nearly 100 MT of incremental traffic to Railways and facilitate transportation of coal to power houses.
To modernise operations government announced logistics parks and private freight terminals on PPP model. Provision has been made for special milk tanker trains in association with National Dairy Board and Amul to facilitate transportation of milk through rail and boost movement of fruit and vegetables in partnership with CRWC at 10 locations. Prabhu also assured close monitoring of Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (DFC) and implementation of Eastern and Western DFCs setting a target of nearly 1,000 kms of civil construction contracts.
As per the Budget proposal, average speed of freight trains will be enhanced. Freight rates of cement, coal & coke, iron or steel & petroleum products have been raised, but salt has been exempted.