Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced a capital expenditure allocation of Rs 1.48 crore for the railways, the highest ever.
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 the Railways in next fiscal," Jaitley said.
However, as per expected lines, no major new trains were announced and the focus was more on modernisation and passenger safety.
Strengthening Railway network is major focus of the government. Safety first policy is the corner stone of the government. Increasing usage of technology will be implemented.
The 92-year-old practice of a separate Railway budget was discontinued last year and was merged with the Union Budget.
Highlights of Arun Jaitley's speech on Railways
- All trains will be provided with wifi, CCTV and modern facilities. Modern features are being designed. Government will spend Rs 1 lakh 48 thousand crore.
- All the unmanned railway crossings will be eliminated. All the railway stations with more than 25,000 footfall will be provided with lifts. CCTV cameras and Wifi will be installed on all trains and stations. The focus will be on safety and infrastructural development.
- 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives being procured. There is significant achievements of physical targets by Railways.
- The government will spend Rs 11,000 crore to add tracks to the Mumbai local train.
- Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up; Mumbai transport system is being expanded; suburban network of 160 km planned for Bengaluru.
- Focus will be on safety, maintenance of railway tracks, increase in use of technology and fog safety devices.
- Foundation stone of the bullet train was laid in September 2017. An institute is coming up in Vadodara to train the manpower required for the high speed railway projects.