Lalu explains how he will fund infrastructure requirements

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) In his budget 2008-09, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today indicated how resources will be raised to garner an investment of Rs 2, 50,000 crore for the next five years to meet the crying needs of expanding network, modernisation and upgradation of technology.

Presenting the Railway budget in the Lok Sabha, Mr Prasad said the principal mode would be Public Private Partnership for which model concessional agreements would be worked out.

The PPP model will attract investments to the tune of Rs 1,00,000 crore over the next five years. These will include projects for provision of world class facilities at metro stations, setting up state-of-the-art rolling stock production units and construction of multi-modal logistic parks.

He said through global competitive bidding concessions would be awarded for developing the New Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, Mumbai, Patna and Secunderabad railway stations into world class stations during 2008-09.

The Minister was hopeful that he would be able to get an investment of Rs 15,000 crore for these stations.

Besides, through open competitive bidding the PPP partners would be selected for setting up diesel loco , electric loco and rail coach factories at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore. Apart from these, container trains, container depots and multi-modal logistic parks will be able to garner an investment to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.

The Rail Land Development Authority is to raise Rs 4,000 crore during 2008-09 by making commercial use of railway surplus land.

''Thus, concessions committing an investment of about Rs 25,000 crore are to awarded during 2008-09 for various PPP projects,'' Mr Prasad said.

The grandoise plans were pooh-poohed by the Opposition and Left parties, saying it was a sellout to the private sector.

UNI RL RP VC1900

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