IR plans to invest a record Rs 576.3 billion in 2011-12. This includes adding 180km of new lines to the network, continuing construction of the two dedicated freight corridors, extending its anti-collision device - which has been successfully introduced on North West Frontier Railway - to three more zonal railways, and setting up more factories to manufacture railway equipment. Banerjee said that 85 proposals for public-private partnership projects have been received and a central system is to be set up to take then forward.
Indian Railways faces tough road ahead
THE 2011 railway budget, presented to the Indian parliament today by the railway minister, Mrs Mamata Banerjee, acknowledges that Indian Railways (IR) is going through a difficult phase. IR lost Rs 35 billion ($US 774 million) in 2010-11 following a 97% increase in costs mainly due to implementing the findings of the Sixth Pay Commission. IR now spends 42% of revenue on pay and a further 17% on pensions. Fuel is the third largest item of expenditure accounting for 16% of income.
Nevertheless, IR projects a 10% increase in earnings from freight traffic, which accounts for 65% of turnover, and a 16.57% rise in passenger earnings despite no planned increase in fares.