New Delhi: The Indian Railways is looking to the private sector to put up little under a third of its five-year investment target of Rs2.44 lakh crore.
The dedicated freight corridor, constructing “world-class” railway stations, special purpose vehicles for manufacturing locomotives and coaches, and hospitality are some of the key projects in which the railways expects heavy doses of private investment.
It needs a big surge in its asset base, if the railways is to sustain the current growth in freight traffic of over 35%. In the last four years, while freight traffic has increasedby 35.5%, investment in locomotives by 3.9%, in coaches by 13% and in wagons by1.74% respectively.
The railways proposes to employ the public-private-partnership (PPP) model to raise Rs73,000 crore in investments from the private sector.
According to projections furnished by the railways, it needs to pump in Rs24,000 crore by 2010 towards modernisation. This will help finance the acquisition of 62,000 wagons, 3,600 locomotives and 17,500 coaches.
Addressing global vendors at the international railway seminar here on 13 February, executive director for PPP in the railways, Shakeel Ahmed, said the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-2012) would be a huge leap in terms of the sheer amount of money that the ministry plans to spend during the period.
“The net amount of investments in all the previous Five Year Plans amounted to Rs1.53 lakh crore. However, the investments planned for the next five years will exceed Rs2 lakh crore,” he said.