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Indian Railway to Get Revamp Just before 2019 General Election

indian railway

indian railway

Narendra Modi led NDA government is all set to revamp Indian Railway just before 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Indian Railways will spend Rs 5000 Crore on modernizing 68 railway station before 2019. It will also rework the conditions for the private partnership to make the proposal more inviting for companies, as per a report in The Economic Times.

This move has come after railway failed to bring in investment from private companies for the redevelopment project.

Before coming to power BJP had promised to change the face of age-old degrading Indian Railways. They launched railway development programme in February 2017. The government was hoping for this project to be India’s largest public-private partnership, but project received a lukewarm response from corporates.

The railway ministry has clearly instructed to finish the work within before 2019. The budget has been also allocated to the zonal railways to fast-track the work.

In the first phase of redevelopment program, list of stations picked to get up gradation include Pune, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Shimla, Mathura, Valsad, Ambala, Varanasi, and Dehradun.

Rail Ministry has adjoined hands with Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to link the project with Smart cities mission. Railway has chosen stations of those cities which have been already selected under Smart city mission.

The deal, however, did not appeal to the corporates because of the restrictions the Railways had imposed and the concession period of 45 years did not seem viable to them. Smart cities mission took off independently and this project could not catch up due to lack of funds.

A ministry official said that instead of going for a complete overhaul, the zonal railways will upgrade the existing structures, provide air-conditioning in waiting halls and food courts, build foot over bridges, increase passenger amenities and put up new facades at station entrances.

“Most of the money to be spent on every station would go towards installing elevators, flooring the platforms and refurbishing the walls, along with constructing a modern facade at the station entrances to make them look as airports,” a top rail ministry official said.