New Delhi, In a significant development for the Indian Railways, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a series of initiatives in the Railway Budget 2024, aiming to strengthen connectivity and modernize the railway infrastructure.
Under the PM Gati Shakti scheme and the National Logistics Policy, three major railway corridors are set to be launched. These corridors, including a port connectivity corridor, an energy, mineral, and cement corridor, and a high traffic density corridor, align with the PM Gati Shakti’s goal of achieving a 51% decongestion of railway infrastructure by 2024-25. The substantial investment of Rs 100 lakh crore underscores the ambitious plan to lay new railway lines, easing congestion within the Indian Railways network.
Finance Minister Sitharaman highlighted the conversion of nearly 40,000 normal bogies into standard Vande Bharat bogies, a move aimed at enhancing the efficiency, safety, and comfort of railway travel. This step aligns with the broader vision of decongesting the railway network and preparing it for future challenges.
Additionally, to fund long-term infrastructure projects such as freight lanes and faster trains, the railway ministry has requested an increase in budgeted capital expenditures. This request encompasses the modernization of the railway fleet, introducing newer trains, carriages, and locomotives. The allocation of additional capital will also facilitate the rollout of 300–400 Vande Bharat trains, including configurations with sleeper cars.
The emphasis on updating signaling systems contributes to the enhancement of railway safety, further reinforcing the commitment to passenger convenience. Sitharaman’s announcement underscores the government’s dedication to transforming railway travel, ensuring it aligns with contemporary needs and safety standards.
In parallel, the expansion of Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat trains is highlighted as catalysts for urban transformation, particularly in large cities. As India experiences rapid urbanization and an expanding middle class, the government recognizes the role of these transit systems in supporting transit-oriented development.
The Railway Budget 2024 reinforces the government’s commitment to enhancing railway infrastructure, connectivity, and safety, laying the foundation for a resilient and efficient rail network in the years to come.
Stay informed with our detailed coverage of the Budget 2024 and its impact on various sectors.