For railways, Finance Ministry Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget 2019-20 presentation, has proposed public-private partnership (PPP) model to unleash faster development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services. It is estimated that Indian Railways will need to invest Rs 50 lakh crores for infrastructure development between 2018 and 2030. Given that the capital expenditure outlays of Indian Railways are around 1.5 to 1.6 lakh crores per annum, completing even all sanctioned projects would take decades.
“Indian Railways suburban and long-distance services do a phenomenal task in cities like Mumbai and smaller cities. Railways will be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route. I propose to enhance the metro-railway initiatives by encouraging more PPP initiatives and ensuring completion of sanctioned works, while supporting transit oriented development (TOD) to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs,” said Sitharaman.
She added, “We will complete the dedicated freight corridor project by 2022 that will free up some of the existing railway network for passenger trains. To make railway travel a pleasant and satisfying experience for the common citizen, we will launch a massive programme of railway station modernisation this year.”