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Union Budget 2018: Rs 1.48 lakh cr for railways, capacity expansion priority

SNS Web | New Delhi |

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Thursday during his Budget 2018 speech in Parliament, announced a capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for the Indian Railways in his Budget 2018 speech in Parliament.

Most of this money will be spent on capacity expansion, since it is a priority for the national transporter, Jaitley said while presenting the Union Budget, while adding that over Rs 1.48 lakh crore to be allocated for railways in next fiscal.

Jaitley proposed a target of doubling 18,000 km of lines and said gauge conversion is underway to eliminate capacity constraints.

Jaitely said 36,000 km of rail track renewal has been targeted in the coming year while 4,267 unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge routes are to be eliminated in the next two years.

New world-class train sets are being manufactured, dedicated freight corridors are coming up and electrification being taken up as a priority task for which Indian Railways is expected to explore other avenues to raise funds, Jaitley said.

Wifi and CCTVs will be progressively provided in all trains and there will be escalators at stations with 25,000- plus footfall.

The minister also pointed out that 600 stations have been earmarked for modernisation by the railways. The focus will also be on a suburban rail network in Mumbai and Bangalore.

Laying out a roadmap for the Indian Railways, Jaitley said the focus would be on modernisation of signalling, use of fog safety devices, better passenger amenities and safety in the coming year.

(With agency inputs)