Dec. 29 – The Indian railways, often known as the lifeline of the country, announced that they would spend an additional Rs 30,000 crore (US$6.6 billion) to upgrade infrastructure and boost the economy. The sector plans to renew 2,941 km of railway tracks and sleeper sheets along 2,382 km of railway lines utilizing about 344,228 tons of steel during this financial year. Laloo Prasad Yadav, the railway minister announced that the railways would invest Rs 75,000 crore (US$15 billion) to upgrade infrastructure over the next seven years during his annual budget speech in Parliament.
As part of its growth initiative, the Railways have already manufactured 3,000 coaches this year, a year on year rise of 12.5 percent. They will also develop 300 railways stations into model stations and construct 23 world class stations. The Indian railways which run on electricity also have plans afoot to increase electricity generation and capacity, the Economic Times said.
The Indian railways a state owned entity have the fifth largest and busiest network in the world in terms of track length and at 1.4 million employees is the worlds largest commercial employer. The railways transport over eighteen million passengers and more than two million tons of freight daily.