Setting another record, the Indian Railways carried out renewal of 4,405 km of old tracks in 2017-18 - the highest ever in a financial year, Times of India reported.
The railways renewed rail tracks totalling over 640 km in March 2018, making it the most productive month. The national transporter marginally exceeded the target of 4,389 km for the financial year that ended 31 March.
The railways had achieved its previous best in the financial year 2004-05 due to the setting up of a special rail safety fund during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government.
The lightning speed of renewal helped the government improve the railways’ safety record. For the first time in 35 years, the national transporter recorded less than 100 accidents in a year. In the last financial year that ended 31 March, the railways recorded 73 accidents - 29 per cent fewer than the 104 in 2016-17.
In the 2017-18 Budget, the government had set up the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a special safety fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for financing safety-related works. Besides, the railways has speeded up the use of modern technology such as ultrasonic systems to detect defect on tracks.
The railways has also set a new record by transporting 1,160 million tonnes of freight in 2017-18. Freight earnings account for almost 65 per cent of its revenue.
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