New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): According to the latest information shared by Ministry of Railways, a total of 452 railway projects of total length 49,323 km, costing approx. Rs 7.33 lakh crore are in different stages of planning/sanction/execution across Indian Railways as on 1st April 2022. Out of which 11,518 km length have been commissioned and an expenditure of approx Rs 2.35 lakh crore has been incurred upto March 2022. The 452 railway projects includes 183 New Lines, 42 Gauge Conversion and 227 Doubling.
Indian Railways has reviewed all the projects based on last mile connectivity, missing links, traffic potential on the project, capacity enhancement, availability of land, forest/wild-life clearance etc. and based on the review, railway projects have been prioritized. Presently, Indian Railways' focus is on completion of capacity enhancement projects, last mile connectivity projects, National Projects and Gauge Conversion Projects etc.
Various steps taken by the Government for speedy sanction and implementation of rail projects include (i) setting up of Gati Shakti units (ii) prioritisation of projects (iii) substantial increase in allocation of funds on priority projects (iv) delegation of powers at field level (v) close monitoring of progress of project at various levels, and (vi) regular follow up with State Governments and concerned authorities for expeditious land acquisition, forestry and Wildlife clearances and for resolving other issues pertaining to projects. This has led to substantial increase in rate of commissioning since 2014.
Since 2014, there has been substantial increase in fund allocation for New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling Projects and commensurate commissioning of Projects in Indian Railways. The Average Annual Budget allocation for these works during 2014-19 increased to Rs 26,026 crore per year from Rs 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14 (126% more than average annual budget allocation during 2009-14). The Annual Budget allocation increased to Rs 39,836 crore in Financial Year 2019-20 (246% more than average annual budget allocation during 2009-14), Rs 43,626 crore in Financial Year 2020-21 (278% more than the Average Annual Budget allocation during 2009-14) and Rs 56,716 crore for Financial year 2021-22 (392% more than average annual budget allocation during 2009-14). For Financial Year 2022-23, highest-ever budget outlay of Rs 67,001 crore has been provided for these works, which is 481% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
During 2014-22, across Indian Railways, 20,628 km sections (3,970 km New Line, 5,507 km Gauge Conversion and 11,151 km Doubling) have been commissioned at an average of 2,579 km/year which is 70% more than the average commissioning during 2009-14 (1,520 km/year).
Land acquisition and its demarcation is done by Revenue Authorities of State Government and compensation for land acquired by the Railways is deposited with concerned State Government. Railways is closely and regularly following up with State Governments and concerned authorities for expeditious land acquisition/demarcation for Infrastructure projects.
The completion of any Railway project(s) depends on various factors like quick land acquisition by State Government, forest clearance by officials of forest department, deposition of cost share by State Government in cost sharing projects, priority of projects, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions, etc. and all these factors affect the completion time and cost of the project(s). With above constraints, every effort is being made to execute the project(s) expeditiously.