Indian Railways: Financial woes far from over, many promises remain unfulfilled


Marya Shakil,CNN-IBN
Feb 25, 2013 at 09:29am IST

New Delhi: A day ahead of the Railway Budget, CNN-IBN is looking back at what promises were made and if they have been met. Several important projects are still running behind schedule.

The new Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, ended a decade of populism in January 2013 by announcing hike in fares a month before the Budget Session. This came because the railway had hoped to generate Rs 1,200 crore by the end of March 2013. But still, railway's financial woes are far from over.

The proposed rail coach factory in Sonia Gandhi's constituency Raebareli is not nearly complete. The idea was to manufacture 1,000 coaches per annum. But so far it has turned out just 51. The proposal for a diesel locomotive manufacturing unit at Marhowrah is still stuck in land acquisition.

As for electrification of lines, of the proposed 64,460 km, only 22,224 km have been electrified. Former additional member of the Railway board Sumant Chak said, "What have we done? The Chinese in the past years have gone up to 90,000 km, we have added just 6,000 km on our own."

So did the story of the Indian Railways end with the Britishers? Experts say little progress in infrastructure development has been made over the past 65 years. They say what's needed is not just intent but much more planning and implementation.

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