Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Railways and infrastructure get record allocation in Budget 2018

Railways and infrastructure get record allocation in Budget 2018

He added that the railways would get a gross budgetary support of Rs 55,000 crore from the finance ministry. Mumbai's local train network will see doubling of 90 km of existing lines at Rs 11,000 crore and another 150 km of new lines, including elevated tracks, at Rs 40,000 crore.

Not forgetting aviation in budget this year, finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed to expand airport capacity by five times.

Referring to the signalling system, he said 100-year old technology was still being used by railways and this obsolete technology was responsible for delays during situations like fog.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the road construction arm of the state government, is planning to construct a 1.8 km six-lane third bridge at Vashi for Rs 777 crore, besides several other flyovers and bridges to ease traffic.

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Under this system, discounts could be given during the off season, the minister said, adding that the fares would automatically adjust themselves through artificial intelligence, algorithms or technology, to help trains have more occupancy, thus maximising revenues.

Goyal also said, "Today's budget is not a precursor to 2019 general elections, but it was in line with the previous four budgets we have presented i.e. a budget that is beneficial for the country and its people". Gauge conversion targets have also increased by 74 per cent to achieve the required 1,000 route kilometres. In Bengaluru, a suburban network of approximately 160 kilometres at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore is being planned to cater to the growth of the metropolis.

On passenger amenities, escalators at railway stations, WiFi and CCTV cameras in trains and stations were promised in the budget. Goyal said he was mulling the option of inviting private players for the job in a new model of engagement.

Jaitley said that railways would start with a station re-development fund to upgrade all stations with more than 25,000 footfall daily. 600 major stations will be redeveloped.

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