Photographer: Surat Singh/BloombergQuint

Union Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley Announces Rs 1.48 Lakh Crore Capex For Railways

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for the Indian Railways in his Budget 2018 speech.

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.

Over Rs 1.48 lakh crore to be allocated for railways in next fiscal, said Jaitley.

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

The minister said that 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 is being prioritised for which the Indian Railways is expected to explore other avenues to raise funds, the finance minister 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.