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 452 Railway projects of total length 49,323 Km are in different stage of planning/sanction/execution at a cost of 7.33 lakh crores, said the Union Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw. 

In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the minister said that of the total length, 11,518 km is commissioned and an expenditure of approximately Rs. 2.35 lakh crores have incurred up to March, 2022. 

Vaishnaw added that the railways have reviewed all the projects based on last mile connectivity, missing links, traffic potential on the project, capacity enhancement, availability of land, and forest/wildlife clearance. “The projects are prioritized based on the review. Presently, the focus is on completion of capacity enhancement projects, last mile connectivity projects, National Projects and Gauge Conversion Projects." 

He said that the government has taken various steps for speedy sanction and implementation of rail projects. “Setting up of Gati Shakti units, substantial increase in allocation of funds on priority projects, delegation of power at field levels, close monitoring of progress and regular follow up- with state governments and concerned authorities have led to substantial increase in rate of commissioning since 2014." 

The minister added that fund allocation for new line, gauge conversion and doubling projects and commensuration commissioning of projects have witnessed a rise since 2014. “The Average Annual Budget allocation for these works during 2014-19 increased to 26,026 crore per year from 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14, registering a 126% growth. For Financial Year 2022-23, highest-ever budget outlay of 67,001 crore has been provided for these works, which is 481% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14." 

The completion of any Railway project(s) depends on various factors like quick land acquisition by state government, forest clearance by officials of forest department, deposition of cost share by state government in cost sharing projects, priority of projects, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions, etc. 

“All these factors affect the completion time and cost of the project(s). With above constraints, every effort is being made to execute the project(s) expeditiously," Vaishnaw added.

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