Indian Railways earmarks investment of Rs 856,000 crore for rail infrastructure

The Indian Railways has put an ambitious target towards augmenting rail infrastructure, earmarking investment of Rs 856,000 crore between 2015-16 and 2019-20. Network decongestion and expansion, and safety comprise 60 per cent share of the overall capital expenditure. The capital investment on infrastructure creation is expected to sustain at high levels on the back of long-term financing via Life Insurance Corporation of India, funding by multilateral agencies, and building relationships and partnering with the private sector. Over the last three years, 33 per cent of the total capital investment was towards construction of new lines, track renewal works, gauge conversion and safety works. Likewise, broad gauge line and electrification projects gather momentum. The commissioning of both in the last three years almost doubled, from 1,500 km during 2008-09 to 2013-14 to 3,000 km in 2016-17 for broad gauge, and 1,100 km to 2,000 km for electrification.