Aiming at improving logistic efficiency in freight sector and eliminating wait list in passengers’ sector, the Indian Railways has planned to add 40,000 km rail routes under the Amrit Chaturbhuj, Rail Sagar and Economic Corridor across the country.
This plan, to be executed at an estimated cost of Rs 12 lakh crore, was announced in the interim budget 2024.
As part of the strategy for ‘Amrit Kaal’, three major economic railway corridor programmes have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity.
While Amrit Chaturbhuj is being planned along the high density traffic route to decongest the corridors enabling faster passenger train movement, the Rail Sagar would come up to improve connectivity with ports.
The Economy Corridor will come up for energy, cement and mining and boost freight loadings.
Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic corridor programmes will accelerate the gross domestic product growth and reduce logistic costs, said Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in the post-budget press conference.
Lauding the allocation of Rs 252,000 crore as Gross Budgetary Support and Rs 255,393 for Capital expenditure for FY 2024-25, he stated that the Prime Minister’s focus on railways is very clear and it is helping bring more capacity.
With the introduction of more electric locomotives replacing diesel locos, the operating ratio of the Railways has also improved to 98.7 per cent.
The Union Minister further stated that, “In this budget, a big focus has been put on creating additional capacity through three corridors. First is energy, mineral and cement corridors which will help reduce pollution of roads and ensure reduction in cost of logistics. Second is port connectivity which will provide seamless connectivity to the ports through railways in a multimodal ‘Gati Shakti’ way and third is ‘Amrit Chaturbhuj’ which will be akin to golden quadrilateral on Railway network on high density traffic routes.
”Overall, through these three corridors, about 40,000 Km of new track will be laid which will significantly increase railway capacity and reduce pollution as railway can save up to 90 per cent carbon-di-oxide emissions in a cost effective manner. This will bring a big transformation in the country’s economy in an efficient, productive and sustainable manner.”
Talking about the second big announcement, the Union Minister said, “The success of ‘Vande Bharat’ and ‘Amrit Bharat’ trains has led to the fact that now we can upgrade all the 40,000 conventional coaches. The work to increase capacity is happening on multiple fronts.”
The Railways will upgrade 40,000 bogies at par with Vande Bharat standards at an estimated cost Rs 15,200 crore in the next four to five years.
Vaishnaw further said, “Ten years back, despite having a separate budget, the thought process was always to add new trains or extend a particular train but there was no focus on increasing capacity or improving safety but in the last ten years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the paradigm and put entire focus on creating new capacity, getting new technology and prioritising safety."
"As a result of this, in last ten years 26000 Km track has been added, Rs 1,08,000 crore has been invested in safety systems and automatic train protection system (Kavach) has started, new generation of trains are being developed and many of them are already running and are very popular,” he added.
On the capacity enhancement, he explained, "Last year we added 5,200 km of new tracks which is equivalent to entire rail network of Switzerland. This year we are adding 5,500 km. From 4 km per day in 2014, we are now adding about 15 km per day in new tracks.”
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!