The interim railway budget presented Wednesday envisages investment of Rs.64,305 crore as against revised estimates of Rs.59,359 crore for 2013-14, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said in the Lok Sabha.Anticipating a healthier growth of the economy, Kharge said the freight traffic target is proposed at 1,101 million tonnes -- an increment of 49.7 million tonnes over the current year’s revised target of about 1,052 million tonnes. The gross traffic receipts have been projected at Rs.160,775 crore while Working Expenses have been proposed at Rs.110,649 crore, which is Rs.13,589 crore higher than the revised estimates for the current year.The minister said investment in Railways is being stepped up by partnership with the private sector. Public-private-partnership (PPP) projects related to rolling stock manufacturing units, modernisation of railway stations, multi-functional complexes, logistics parks, private freight terminal, freight train operations, liberalised wagon investment schemes and dedicated freight corridors are in the pipeline.
Apart from attracting private investments from domestic investors in rail sector, a proposal is under consideration of the government to enable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to foster creation of world class rail infrastructure.Reiterating the Railways’ commitment or safety and security of passengers the Minister said several measures have been and are being taken for its further strengthening. Manning or elimination of all unmanned level crossings has been taken up and indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and Vigilance Control Device (VCD) in all electric and diesel locomotives is being introduced. He said a Comprehensive Fire and Smoke Detection System is on trial on two rakes of Rajdhani Express trains. This will be extended to all major passenger trains. Introduction of electrical induction based cooking appliances in replacement of LPG in pantries is also being taken up.