Modi Govt to pump Rs 10,000 crore to complete 30 pending high-priority rail projects

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In the last 30 years, as many as 676 projects were sanctioned worth Rs 1,57,883 crore
Whenever the government announces a hike in railway fares people often complain about the poor services they get in the national carrier despite shelling out more money. One of the main reasons for government's failure to provide improved facilities is due to the pending projects which take a toll on the existing system.

But, the new government is going to fast track such the pending projects to reduce the most common complaint of the passengers. In an attempt to complete the pending railway projects, the railway ministry is going to spend nearly Rs 10,000 crore in the period of four years and complete nearly 30 high-priority projects.

"Railway Minister, DV Sadananda Gowda, is keen to complete pending railway projects first before allocating railways' limited resources to new projects," said Anil Saxena, additional director general and spokesperson, ministry of railways, was quoted by Mint as saying.

The Rail Minister while presenting the rail budget on 8 July had said that adding new projects leads to spreading of resources too thinly and delays in completing projects. The oldest project in the list dates back to 1995.

"In the last 30 years, as many as 676 projects were sanctioned worth Rs 1,57,883 crore. Of these, only 317 projects could be completed and 359 projects remain to be completed, which will now require as much as Rs 1,82,000 crore," Gowda had said.

Hence, the ministry has identified 30 such high-priority projects whose total cost is estimated to be nearly Rs 20,000 crore. Nearly half the amount has already been spent on these projects and the government will provide the remaining half in a course of four years. In the current fiscal year, as much as Rs 2,259 crore has been set aside for these projects.

More than 50 per cent of the projects are for doubling the lines which, once completed, will enhance capacity and generate returns. Others include new lines, electrification and gauge conversion.

The bigger projects in the list include doubling of Udhna-Jalgaon line worth Rs 1,390 crore, doubling of Daund-Gulbarga line worth Rs 1,514 crore, doubling of Utretia-Zafrabad line worth Rs 1,117 crore and Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion worth Rs 5,185 crore.

Saxena has termed all these projects, once completed, are expected to give a return of 14 per cent and above.

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