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Indian Railways receives $23.3bn in union budget

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated in his budget speech that a large part of the capital expenditure will be utilised for capacity creation.

The funding will also be used for the doubling of tracks and nearly 18,000km of third and fourth line works, as well as 5,000km of gauge conversion in order to eliminate capacity constraints, reported livemint.com.

Indian Railways is also set to refurbish a total of 600 railway stations under the initiative, in addition to introducing CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi in all stations.

The government intends to remove 4,267 unmanned railway crossings across the country and complete nearly 3,600km of track renewal works in the next two years, reported financialexpress.com.

Furthermore, escalators are planned to be introduced in all major stations that experience busy footfalls.

Indian Railways is currently scheduled to procure 12,000 wagons, 5,160 coaches and 700 locomotives this year.

The budget has allocated approximately Rs110bn ($1.71bn) for the Mumbai suburban railway service, while Bengaluru’s 160km-long suburban rail network is slated to be built at a cost of Rs170bn ($2.65bn).

Additionally, 50km of new line has been planned for addition in suburban areas at a cost of more than Rs400bn ($6.24bn).

The total expenditure outlined for safety considerations such as the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) fund during 2018-2019 is projected to be Rs730.65bn ($11.38bn).

Indian Railways will also expedite the usage of various technology-based measures such as ‘Fog Safe’ and the ‘Train Protection and Warning System’ under the plan in order to increase passenger safety.

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