'Half Revenue From Rail Fare Hike to be Spent on Fuel'

'Half Revenue From Rail Fare Hike to be Spent on Fuel'
Rail Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said that half of the revenue, likely to be generated from the recent hike in the rail fare, will be incurred on fuel expenses after the Centre's recent decision to introduce dual price regime for diesel.

Bansal told reporters here that out of Rs 6,600 crore, which was likely to be raised through increase in the fare, Rs 3,300 crore would now be spent on meeting the hike in diesel prices effected recently by the Centre for bulk consumers.

He said that the Railway was in need of funds to the tune of Rs 4.5 lakh crore for various future projects including electrification, new rail tracks etc while Rs 1.5 lakh crore is immediate requirement for various ongoing projects.

Asked whether the Railway will propose more fare hike in the forthcoming budget, he evaded a direct reply on it.

The Chandigarh MP, however, stressed on the need of mopping up resources for strengthening the railways.

The announcement of fare hike was made a few weeks ahead of the Railway budget, with revised prices coming into effect from January 22.

A part of this revenue would be spent for a special cleanliness drive under which 100 railway stations, including Chandigarh, have been shortlisted, he said.

Bansal said that the Kolkata-Ludhiana freight corridors will be completed during the next five years.

While speaking in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri, Union Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today said that the railways was committed to improve its infrastructure and passenger amenities despite paucity of resources and funds.

"The railways needed a hefty sum of Rs 63,000 crores for the development of half-a-dozen high-speed railway corridors across the country and for this purpose it would work on public-private-partnership (PPP) model," the minister said.

He said the railway infrastructure development programme was lax owing to the lack of expected cooperation from some state governments and land acquisition issues.

"The railway would overcome this to fulfill the expectations and demands of the people," he said.

Earlier, the minister laid the foundation for the broad-gauge line conversion from Aishbagh to Pilibhit via Lakhimpur Kheri.

Union Minister Jitin Prasada, Kheri MP Zafar Ali Naqvi and several other prominent public representatives and officials of railway department were present on the occasion.

Addressing a gathering after the foundation ceremony, the minister said that the UPA government was committed for the development of even smaller cities like Kheri and the broad-gauge line conversion would prove a mile-stone in the industrial as well as agricultural growth of the district.

"The conversion programme which will cost approximately Rs 927 crores will be completed in three phases and the entire project is likely to finished within next three years," he said.

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