Indian Railways seeks over Rs1 trillion from govt for safety upgrades

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has written a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley seeking to create a separate fund for undertaking safety projects


Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

New Delhi: With the aim to achieve zero accidents, Indian Railways has sought more than Rs.1 trillion from the finance ministry to strengthen tracks and upgrade signalling systems.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has written a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley seeking Rs.1,19,183 crore to create a separate fund for undertaking safety projects, including track works and elimination of level crossings by construction of rail overbridges and rail underbridges, said a senior railway ministry official.

Since the railways has decided to increase the average speed of trains, it is important that rail tracks and bridges are also strengthened along with signalling upgradation.

Besides increasing the speed of passenger service, the railways has decided to run freight trains with 25 tonnes axle load for which strengthening of tracks and rail bridges is essential.

The railways had formed a committee comprising officials from the finance, electrical, mechanical, civil and signals directorates. The committee identified the works required for enhancing safety and accordingly submitted the report to railway board.

“With the board’s approval, the railway minister wrote to the finance minister seeking to create a separate fund for strengthening safety to prevent accidents,” the official said. “We are awaiting a positive response.”

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