Budget 2021 to boost public transport; Railways to spend Rs 1.07 trn in capex
The government plans to deploy two new technologies i.e. MetroLite and MetroNeo to provide metro rail systems at much lesser cost with same experience, convenience and safety in Tier-2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier-1 cities.
In budget 2021-22, Indian Railways has an outlay of Rs 1.10 trillion, of which Rs 1.07 trillion will be spent for capital expenditure. Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan for India 2030 to create a ‘future ready’ railway system by 2030. “Bringing down the logistic costs for our industry is at the core of our strategy to enable Make in India. Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Eastern DFC are expected to be commissioned by June 2022,” stated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting budget 2021-22 in the Parliament today.
Further, Budget 2021-22 has proposed additional initiatives to be taken by the Indian Railways.
The Sonnagar – Gomoh Section (263.7 km) of Eastern DFC will be taken up in PPP mode in 2021-22. Gomoh-Dankuni section of 274.3 km will also be taken up in short succession.
Future dedicated freight corridor projects namely East Coast corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada, East-West Corridor from Bhusaval to Kharagpur to Dankuni and North-South corridor from Itarsi to Vijayawada will be undertaken. Detailed Project Reports will be undertaken in the first phase.
Total electrification of Broad-Gauge routes will be completed by December 2023. Broad Gauge Route Kilometers (RKM) electrified is expected to reach 46,000 RKM, i.e. 72 per cent by end of 2021 from 41,548 RKM on October 1, 2020.
Nirmala Sitharaman also proposed measures for passenger convenience and safety. Railways will introduce the aesthetically designed Vista Dome LHB coach on tourist routes to give a better travel experience to passengers. High density network and highly utilised network routes of Indian railways will be provided with an indigenously developed automatic train protection system that eliminates train collision due to human error.
The budget 2021-22 proposes to strengthen the public transport system in urban areas. FM Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the Government would work towards raising the share of public transport in urban areas through expansion of metro rail network and augment of city bus service. A new scheme will be launched at a cost of Rs 180 billion to support augmentation of public bus transport services. It will facilitate deployment of innovative PPP models to enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses. The scheme will boost the automobile sector, provide fillip to economic growth, create employment opportunities for the youth and enhance ease of mobility for urban residents.
Metro train services are expanding all across the country at a rapid pace. A total of 702 km of conventional metro is operational and another 1,016 km of metro and RRTS is under construction in 27 cities. While presenting the budget, FM said that the government plans to deploy two new technologies i.e. MetroLite and MetroNeo to provide metro rail systems at much lesser cost with same experience, convenience and safety in Tier-2 cities and peripheral areas of Tier-1 cities.