NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the government will implement three major economic railway corridors across major infrastructure sectors to decongest the existing network and provide seamless connectivity.
“Three major economic railway corridor programmes will be implemented. These are – energy, mineral and cement corridors, port connectivity corridors, and high traffic density corridors,” Sitharaman said in her speech.
These projects have been identified under the PM Gati Shakti for enabling multi-modal connectivity. They will improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost.
“The resultant decongestion of the high-traffic corridors will also help in improving operations of passenger trains, resulting in safety and higher travel speed for passengers. Together with dedicated freight corridors, these three economic corridor programmes will accelerate our GDP growth and reduce logistic costs,” she said.
As many as 40,000 normal rail bogies will be converted to the Vande Bharat standards to enhance safety, convenience and comfort of passengers.
The aviation sector, the finance minister said, has been galvanized in the past ten years. Number of airports have doubled to 149, roll out of air connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities under UDAN scheme has been widespread. As many as 517 new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers. Indian carriers have proactively placed orders for over 1000 new aircraft. Expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously.
In the sphere of urban transportation, FM announced the expansion of mass rapid transit systems.
“We have a fast-expanding middle class and rapid urbanization is taking place. Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat can be the catalyst for the required urban transformation. Expansion of these systems will be supported in large cities focusing on transit-oriented development,” she said.
Sitharaman in her short Budget speech added, “Building on the massive tripling of the capital expenditure outlay in the past 4 years resulting in huge multiplier impact on economic growth and employment creation, the outlay for the next year is being increased by 11.1 per cent to eleven lakh, eleven thousand, one hundred and eleven crore rupees (Rs 11,11,111 crore). This would be 3.4 per cent of the GDP.”