Rail­ways’ Tar­get: Lay­ing 9.5 km of Tracks Every Day

In­dian Rail­ways is im­port­ing US-made ma­chines that can lay 1.5 km of tracks daily

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Ra­jat.Arora@ times­group.com

New Delhi: In­dian Rail­ways has set a daily tar­get of lay­ing 9.5 km of tracks to com­plete its am­bi­tious line dou­bling and ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion projects ear­marked for the next fi­nan­cial year.

The rail­way min­istry is im­port­ing US-made track-lay­ing ma­chines that can lay around 1.5 km of tracks per day as against the 100 me­ters of tracks the rail­ways lays man­u­ally on an av­er­age. The rail­way min­istry has set aside a fund of around ₹ 35,000 crore to un­der­take these works which in­clude con­struc­tion of new lines, gauge con­ver­sion and dou­bling of ca­pac­ity. Of the to­tal bud­get, around ₹ 10,000 crore will be spent on con­struc­tion of rail­way lines of ded­i­cated freight cor­ri­dors that will con­nect Delhi to Jawa­har­lal Nehru Port in Mum­bai and Lud­hi­ana in Pun­jab to Dankuni in West Ben­gal. “The US made new track lay­ing ma­chines be­ing man­u­fac­tured by Harsco will be used ma­jorly across In­dia from now on.

“We have the tar­get of de­liv­er­ing 9.5 km every day. It is for the first time that the rail­ways will be work­ing on such a dead­line,” a se­nior rail­way min­istry of­fi­cial said.

For the next fi­nan­cial year, the to­tal track lay­ing tar­get has been set at 3,500 km whereas the track elec­tri­fi­ca­tion tar­get has been set at 4,000 km.

The tar­get is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the cur­rent one, where rail­way is con­struct­ing around 2,000 km of new tracks. Rail­way min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu has also in­structed all his of­fi­cials to wind up the long pend­ing projects on pri­or­ity ba­sis. The min­istry has al­ready sent in­struc­tions to zonal rail­ways.

The rail­way min­istry plans to spend ₹ 1.31 lakh crore — the high­est-ever for ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion — in the next fi­nan­cial year. It has re­ceived ₹ 55,000 crore from the fi-

Rail­way min­istry is also go­ing to un­der­take ma­jor track re­newal works to make the rail­way net­work safer

nance min­istry as gross bud­getary sup­port.

“We have been told to move to the project-based fund­ing model where all ex­ist­ing projects are to be pro­vided funds im­me­di­ately so that they are not de­layed any more,” the of­fi­cial said.

The min­istry is also go­ing to un­der­take ma­jor track re­newal works to make the rail­way net­work safer in the wake of the re­cent train de­rail­ment cases.

“Around 3,600 km of track re­newal will also be taken in the next year,” the of­fi­cial said.

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