Indian Railways has been working in the pursuit of reducing the unit cost of logistics to minimum. Of late, rail infrastructure projects related with Railway tracks have been given big push and as a result, a trend is clearly visible. Progress of Railway track projects i.e. New Lines, Gauge conversion and multi-tracking (doubling/tripling) has shot up almost three times in the period April-September (till date) vis-a-vis last year.
During this Financial Year till 21st September 2022, Railways has completed 1352 track Kilometres (TKM) of New lines, Gauge conversion and multi tracking projects. Another 150 TKM is likely to be added in the month of September itself. Combined figure is more than three times of the last year’s figures for the same period during the last financial year. Last year, 482 TKM was completed till 30th September, 2021.
During this Financial Year till date, 42 TKM of New Line, 28 TKM of Gauge Conversion and 1283 TKM of multi tracking has been completed. However, during last financial year (till September 2021), only 4 TKM of Gauge conversion and 478 TKM of Multi tracking was achieved. No progress in the new lines was achieved during corresponding period.
Majors sections commissioned are:
Doubling/ multi tracking: Daund-Gulbarga (225 Km) – Golden Quadrilateral route of Mumbai-Chennai, Vijayawada-Gudivada-Bhimavaram (221 Km) Doubling – AP, Secunderabad-Mahbubnagar doubling (85 Km) – Telangana.
Gauge conversion: Mansi-Saharsa-Purnea (169 Km) – Bihar, Mavli-Badi Sadri (82 Km) – Rajasthan.
New line: Bhadrachallam-Sattupalli (56 Km) – Telangana.
During 2022-23, total capex allocated for New Line/ Doubling/ Gauge Conversion in 2022-23 is Rs. 67000 Crores (BE). Actual expenses till August 2022 is Rs. 20075 Crores. In 2021-22, total capex allocated for New Line/ Doubling/ Gauge Conversion in 2021-22 was Rs. 45465 Crores (BE). Actual Expenses till August 2021 was Rs.15,281 Crores.
It is to be noted that in New Line/ Doubling/ Gauge Conversion, 2904 km was achieved against target of 2400 Km during 2021-22 which was the highest ever commissioning (excluding DFC). Target for current year is 2500 TKM.
Various steps being taken by the Government for effective and speedy implementation of rail projects include (i) substantial increase in allocation of funds on priority projects (ii) delegation of powers at field level (iii) close monitoring of progress of project at various levels, and (iv) regular follow-up with State Governments and concerned authorities for expeditious land acquisition, forestry and wildlife clearances and for resolving other issues pertaining to projects.