Railways seek nearly Rs 40,000 crore budgetary support

New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Cash-strapped Railways havesought an over two-fold increase in gross budgetary supportfrom the Finance Ministry in the coming Rail Budget to tideover its financial crisis and expedite various ongoingprojects.

It has asked for Rs 39,600 crore as gross budgetarysupport against the Rs 15,875 crore it got in the last budget.

"We have sought Rs 39,600 crore this time as grossbudgetary support to carry forward various projects includingexpansion and modernisation of railway infrastructure andaugmenting passenger services," said a senior Railway Ministryofficial.

Railways internal resources generation has beenreduced due to various factors including cost escalation andpay commission load.

Railways aims to increase the production of coaches,wagons and locos keeping acute shortfall in passenger coachesand increased demand for new trains and freight services.

About 3500 coaches were manufactured in 2009-10 whichincreased to 3700 in 2010-11.

"Our target will be to manufacture about 4000 coachesin 2011-12. In wagon manufacturing, the target is to roll out18,000 and about 500 locomotives in the next fiscal," said theofficial.

The budget will also lays stress on improving safetyand security of passengers like improvement in signallingsystem, installation safety related technology likeAnti-collision devices (ACD) and train protecetion warningsystem (TPWS).

New targets would be set for gauge conversion anddoubling of tracks.

Keeping the vision document in mind, which among otherthings proposes laying of 1000 km of rail track for the nextten years, railways could earmark more funds to meet thetarget.

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