Indian Railways has set the target to lay 19 kilometres of new track per day in the 2023-24 financial year against the 12 km per day in the 2022-23 fiscal.
With the railways getting the highest budgetary allocation of Rs 2.41 lakh crore for the next fiscal, the national transporter is planning to lay 7,000 km of new railway tracks in the next financial year against 4,500 km in 2022-23, said an official in the railways.
The new track laying includes gauge conversion and doubling, said an official in the railways.
The Railway official said that before 2014, the railway used to lay just 4 km of new track per day and after that, the railways fast-tracked its works in new track laying.
In the coming fiscal, the railways will take up the works related to 100 critical transport infrastructure projects for last-and-first-mile connectivity for coal, fertiliser and food grain sectors on a priority basis.
As per the budget documents, for doubling of tracks, the railways allocated Rs Rs 30,749 crore, track renewals – Rs 17,296.84 crore, traffic facilities (yard remodelling and others) – Rs 6,715 crore, signalling and telecom – Rs 4,198.22 crore.
In the recent post-Budget webinar on ‘Infrastructure and Investment,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India’s capital expenditure has increased 5 times compared to 2013-14 and the government is moving with a target of investing Rs. 110 lakh crore under the National Infrastructure Pipeline.
Insisting that the government is fast-tracking its works in railways, the PM said only 600 route km of railway track was electrified per year before 2014 which is now reaching 4,000 km per year.
The Prime Minister further laid emphasis on the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan as a critical tool for integrating economic and infrastructural planning and development. He highlighted that under the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan, critical infrastructure gap projects have been prioritized for development in FY 2023-24 and Rs. 75,000 crore have been allocated for the task. Similarly, with multimodal infrastructure development, India’s logistics cost will reduce further, improving ease of living and ease of doing business in the country, the PM has said.