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An ambitious project of increasing train speed upto


160-200 km per hour on major trunk routes will be announced which will involve fencing off the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes at an estimated cost of Rs 21,000 crore.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had written to Jaitley seeking Rs 1.19 lakh cr as a special safety fund, finally succeeded in getting a nod from the Finance Ministry for creation of a separate fund for the badly needed safety upgradation of rail infrastructure.

While Rs 15,000 crore will be from the gross budgetary support, railways will have to generate Rs 5000 crore from internal generation. It is to be seen whether the Railways will generate it by levying a safety cess or manage through the internal surplus.

The target of operating ratio is at 92 per cent Railways, which is losing both passenger and freight volumes, witnessed its traffic receipts in April-December 2016 down to Rs 1.19 lakh as against Rs 1.34 lakh cr target, a negative growth of more than 11 per cent.

Despite the introduction of flexi-fare, the passenger revenue segment has also witnessed a fall in earnings by over 9 per cent as compared to the last year.

The plan outlay is likely to go up from Rs 1.21 lakh crore to about Rs 1.36 lakh cr in the next fiscal.

Railways have accelerated spending by over 28 per cent on infrastructure projects in the nine months of the current fiscal as against the corresponding period in the last fiscal.

Expenditure on projects like laying new tracks, doubling and electrification of network across the country during April-December 2016 has witnessed a significant jump touching Rs 68,059 crore mark as compared to the Rs 53,118 crore in the same period last fiscal, which was an increase of 28.1 per cent, according to the Railways data.

The budget will continue to focus on speedy electrification and laying of new tracks as part of capital expenditure plan.There will be no announcement of new trains.

The Demand for Grants with details of allocations for states and specific projects will be taken up on February 3.

(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)