The World Bank will help orchestrate the Indian Railways ambitious Rs 5 lakh crore investment for a grand revamp, transforming the 164-year old network and making it a key contributor to the country’s growth.
The World Bank is looking to help the state transporter break away from its colonial-era setbacks through strategic planning, digitisation, technological development, establishing a Railway University and Rail Tariff Authority.
The bank will also provide advisory services and programme management consultancy for this transformation exercise that is estimated to take 2-3 years.
“We needed this arrangement to build our capacity and deliver projects on a mission mode. World Bank’s expertise would be a great gain,” said a top rail ministry official, reported by The Economic Times.
In terms of planning, the bank has planned to create a body that will work on forecasting models, traffic optimization, etc.
“Further, an infrastructure plan for the next 10-15 years, after a detailed analysis on freight and passenger growth expected in India, is also envisaged to be created. The bank would be drawing that up as well,” added the official.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and his long-standing turn-around plan for the Indian Railways have seen many results over the years.
Most recently, Prabhu launched the Indian Railways’ SAARTHI app that will now ease the burden on commuters by way of taking care of all their railway services.
The integrated mobile application will cater to various passenger requirements, including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform.
From India’s first solar-powered DEMU train, increased state-of-the-art facilities, faster express lines to better grievance redressal forum and plans of private railway stations, the complex transport system is witnessing a shift gradually.
Suresh Prabhu’s ambitious investment of Rs 5 lakh crore for the Indian Railways in the next four years would see the Indian Railways spending Rs 1.31 lakh crore to augment capacity.
Finally, keeping in line with Prime Minister Modi’s Digital India Programme, the Indian Railways will soon launch a ‘digital enterprise’ which the World Bank will play a key role in by integrating infrastructure and managing database.
Source Link – Business Today