Railways plans big revamp, modernisation

Committee to focus on private investment

The Pitroda Committee will have six members, including HDFC Bank Chairman Deepak Parekh, former chairman of State Bank of India MS Verma, IIM-Ahmedabad Professor G Raguram, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC)  Managing Director Rajiv Lall and Chairman of Feedback Infrastructure Services Limited and  Railway Board adviser Ranjan Jain.

Private investments

It is clear that the Railways will try to attract huge private investments to implement its modernisation plans as the Pitroda Committee has experts with wide experience in planning and implementing privatisations of infrastructure sectors.

“Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a must to grow at a higher speed. If the economy has to grow at a speed of 8 per cent, the Railways should grow at 12 per cent to properly contribute to it,” said the railway minister.

Through PPP

“Infrastructures at about 500 of 7000 railway stations in India are to be developed through PPP, said Pitroda.

He outlined the tasks of the committee and said it would focus on modernisation of tracks, signalling, rolling stocks (engines and wagons) and  stations and terminals.
The committee will launch integrated information technology initiatives for improvement in operational efficiency, safety, flexibility and comfort, Pitroda said. It has also been given the power to review ongoing projects.

Overall modernisation

“The committee will plan overall modernisation of the rail system in India with an ambition to take it into the fourth generation,” asserted Trivedi.
The minister said Satellite Imaging for  Rail Navigation (SIMRAN) project to track trains at real time would be rolled out soon.

Wi-Fi facility

“Based on cost effectiveness Wi-Fi (internet connectivity through wireless) facilities will be installed in upper class compartments in trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani to give an office-like atmosphere to passengers,” he said. This is the second committee Dinesh Trivedi has announced in a week.  Earlier he had formed a high-level committee on safety with nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar as its chairman.

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