The Indian Railways has undertaken numerous measures to mobilize resources to implement its five-year perspective plan as laid down by Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu.
While speaking at the recent inaugural run of the Margao-Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani express, Prabhu had stated that the multi-tracking and electrification of railway routes, modernization of coaches and infrastructure development were some of the time-bound projects that would boost the country’s economic growth.
As part of its resource mobilization initiatives to fund these projects, the LIC would provide a loan of 1.5 lakh crore over a period of five years for railway projects. The first tranche of the LIC loan has been drawn by IRFC, it was informed.
While a financial services cell has been constituted in the Railway Board, an advisory board on financial matters has also been constituted.
“World Bank has initiated a feasibility study for setting up a fund for financing projects. To expedite resource mobilization for project execution, Indian Railways plans to form special purpose vehicles (SPV) with state governments. 17 states have already given in-principle approval for the formation of SPVs. Besides, tax-free bonds of 6000 crore have been sanctioned for issue,” a press note by Indian Railways states.
The Indian Railways has also implemented various projects to ensure the safety of passengers, the note adds. While a proposal has been invited for installation of a “fracture detection system” to detect rail/weld fractures and prevent derailments, an improved rail welding technique, using single shot crucible, has been implemented.
“A technological solution, developed in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, for unmanned level crossings has been successful. It will be replicated in other zonal railways. Trials have started on fire and smoke detection systems in non-AC coaches as well while CCTVs have been provided in ladies compartments of suburban trains and MEMUS. Pilot trials have also been done in three coaches,” the note adds.