The Indian Railways is the world’s largest rail network. With all round development, industrialisation and urbanisation is catching up fast across the length and breadth of the country. The movement of men and material is rising rapidly with growing aspirations of the user expecting world class service from Indian Railways. The railways in India are constantly reinventing and trying to match with the expectations of the masses and classes in India. Need for Speed has come to the fore as the top most priority as it can help in moving people and goods at a faster rate from one one place to another. The capacity expansion is being implemented and explored further. The key to unlocking the potential of the Indian Railways lies in the capital funding at a massive scale so that important projects can be taken up without any delay. The Government of the day is going great guns in trying to collaborate with countries and companies so that the best mix can be decided and growth path is laid for rapid rise of the Indian Railways. Sandeep Sharma takes a look at the some of the segments and initiatives taken by the Indian Railways in its quest to provide smooth ride to the citizens….
HIGH SPEED RAIL CORRIDORS
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has recently informed Rajya Sabha that Six corridors on Diamond Quadrilateral connecting metropolitan cities and growth centers of the country (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata) have been identified for feasibility studies for high speed rail connectivity viz: (i) Delhi-Mumbai, (ii) Mumbai-Chennai, (iii) Chennai-Kolkata, (iv) Kolkata-Delhi and both diagonals i.e. (v) Delhi-Chennai and (vi) Mumbai-Kolkata routes.
Feasibility studies for Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata and Mumbai-Chennai have been awarded in September, 2015. Feasibility studies for Delhi-Nagpur portion of Delhi-Chennai corridor and Mumbai-Nagpur portion of Mumbai-Kolkata corridor are being undertaken through Government to Government cooperation, with China and Spain respectively.
Japan has offered an assistance of over Rs.79,000 crore with regard to Mumbai - Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor Project. The loan is for a period of 50 years with 15 years moratorium with the interest rate is 0.1 per cent. The project is a 508 Kilometer line costing a total of Rs. 97,636 crore. The project completion is envisaged in seven years.
REGIONAL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM (RRTS)
The Functional Plan on Transport for National Capital Region (NCR) – 2032 has identified the following eight corridors of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS):