Indian Railways did track laying work, which includes laying new tracks, doubling the existing lines, and converting narrow gauge to broad gauge, 11.5% faster during the NDA’s initial three-year rule than the Congress-led UPA-II’s.
The Railways has laid 7,666km of tracks during 2014-17 (NDA’s rule), which is 794km more than the UPA-II’s between 2009 and 2012, an RTI response revealed.
Addressing the nation from Red Fort on Independence Day this year, Prime Minster Narendra Modi had said railway tracks are being laid at double the speed. But data from the ministry of railways do not substantiate that claim.The railways’ achievement under the UPA-II’s first year was 27% more than the target. It encouraged the government to set target at 2,301km in 2010-11, 31% more than the last year.
“It outdid the target and laid 2315km length of tracks. But after that there is a constant decrease in the target leading to considerable decline in achievements as well,” says a former member of the Railway Board, requesting anonymity. The change of government at the Centre in May 2014 changed the growth trajectory and the railways, in the next three years, laid down tracks 13% more than its target.
|Year||Target(Distance in KM)||Achievement|
|2017-18||3100||716.75 (till Aug 17, 2017)|
However, the data defies Modi’s claim that “the railway tracks are being laid at double the speed”. A senior railway official, however, justified his statement, saying, “In 2013-14, railways laid down only 1,562km of track while in 2016-17, it is 2,855. So it’s almost double.”
As far as 2017 is concerned, the initial four and a half months shows only 23% achievement of the ambitious target of 3,100km.
Railway officials say that they are confident of outdoing it as they did in the past. Read more