Railways to spend Rs.41,426 crore to modernise network, services

New Delhi, Feb 24 (Calcutta Tube) The government planned to spend Rs.41,426 crore ($8.29 billion) to modernise the rail network and improve customer services, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said while presenting her ministry’s budget in parliament Wednesday.

Out of this, Rs.4,411 crore will be spent to lay 1,000 km of new lines and Rs.1,302 crore for improving passenger amenities.

The spending would be financed through a gross budgetary support of Rs.15,875 crore, diesel cess of Rs.877 crore, internal resources of Rs,14,523 crore and extra-budgetary resources of Rs.10,151 crore.

An additional Rs.9,120 crore will be borrowed from the market through Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd.

The budget came against the backdrop of the share of Indian Railways in the movement of goods, vis-a-vis truckers, falling from 24.07 percent in 2001-02 to 20.89 percent in 2008-09 and further to 19.32 percent in the first 10 months of this fiscal.

Indian Railways runs the world’s second largest network under a single management: 64,099 route km to ferry 18.9 million passengers on 7,000 trains daily from 6,906 stations. It also runs 4,000 freight trains to carry 850 million tonnes of cargo.

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