The Indian railway has long been the back bone of transportation for Indian citizens. It provides cheap and convenient means of transportation. The Indian railway even has a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for employing the maximum number of people when compared to other railway networks in the world. However, almost all the netas who had governed India had sadly politicized the Indian Railways. Whenever they had built a new railway line, it was almost always around election time and the sole intention was to gain votes and win the election. This attitude of our netas has stalled the development of our railways and has prevented it from reaching its full potential. At one point of time, our railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, even termed the Indian Railways as ‘sick jersey cow’. Read more on Investments
However, it is heartening to see that the attitude of our netas is slowly changing for the better. In a welcome announcement, our railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, yesterday (08/03/2017) announced that the Government of India will modernize the Indian railways at the cost of US $140 billion with the help of investments from UAE. The Indian Government is currently in talks with UAE – based sovereign wealth funds for this purpose. If the talks are successful, the investment amount of US $140 billion will be spent to modernize the Indian Railways over a span of five years.
“Of the $140 billion we will be investing over the next five years, the majority will go towards India’s modernization efforts, the introduction of new technologies and increasing capacities. We have requested that the government of the UAE look at the huge potential for investment that lies in Indian infrastructure, particularly in the railways. They are very keen to know more about this. We’ve had good meetings with Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)”, Suresh Prabhu said.
According to a statement released by the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Prabhu visited the UAE from March 5th to 7th, on the invitation of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE. Mr. Prabhu said that the Indian Government currently had an appetite for “tens of billions of dollars” and that it would use whatever funds were made available. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is the third largest sovereign wealth fund in the world and has assets worth US $92 billion. In January 2017, PM Narendra Modi said that his government was in a ‘mission mode’ when it came to rejuvenating the Indian Railways. So far, his government seems to be on track J at implementing its promise.
Mr. Prabhu claims that the Indian Government has already secured US $65 billion out of the proposed US $140 billion for the development of the Indian Railways. Apart from this he said that the Indian government has allocated US $16 billion for the safety of the Indian rail network and US $7 billion for the development of renewable and clean energy. Apart from this, Mr. Prabhu said that the Indian Government is in talks with the Japanese Government for the funding of a high – speed rail corridor between Mumbai to Ahmedabad. It also plans to have two medium – speed rail corridors between Mumbai and Delhi and Mumbai and Kolkata. Mr. Prabhu also added that the Indian rail tracks will be electrified more in the next five years than it has been in the last few decades combined!
Last but not the least, Mr. Prabhu said, “It’s been a very good visit to the UAE and I’ve had interesting and fruitful meetings with the leaders of this country”.
It is very heartening to see the Indian Government take steps to modernize the Indian Railways which is in dire need of rejuvenation. High speed rail corridors between major cities in India are the need of the hour for India. Cutting the travel time short by means of high – speed rail networks will save valuable time for business and working class people. It will also make Indian railways look modern rather than old and outdated. The Government of India should take more of such useful measures in every sector. Read more on Startup News
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