In the august presence of Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu a Joint Venture Agreement was signed today i.e. 1st September, 2016 between Ministry of Railways and Government of Kerala for developing railway infrastructure in the State. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Ashok Kumar Mital, Member Engineering, Shri Aditya Kumar Mittal and other Board Members, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. The JV Agreement was signed by Shri S.C. Jain, Executive Director(Works) on behalf of Railways whereas it was signed by Shri K.R. Jyothilal, Secretary, Department of Transport & Revenue (Devaswom) on behalf of Govt. of Kerala.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the signing of JV Agreements with the State Governments is a farsighted step of Ministry of Railways by which Railways want to work hand in glove with the State Governments for the development of railway infrastructure in the State. He said that these kinds of JV Agreement is the best example of cooperative federalism for development of the nation as envisioned by our Prime Minister. Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed out that Kerala has been neglected for too long and now concerted efforts are needed to develop its railway infrstrucutre. He said that Railway Ministry has given maximum allocation to Kerala during 2014-15 to 2016-17. He further said that Railways is also working on the re-development of Kochi and Ernakulam Stations of Kerala State.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board said that today’s JV Agreement will certainly fulfill the rail transport needs of the people of Kerala. He said that Railways want to extend railway network all over particularly in the States where demand is more and rail density is less. He said that railways has very limited resources and thus working in collaboration with the State Governments through JV Agreement can bring fruitful results for the people of the country.
SILENT FEATURE OF THE AGREEMENT
• Indian Railways has been playing a major role in national integration by connecting the remotest places and bringing people closer to each other. Railways receive a large number of demands for network expansion as a Railway line acts as an engine of growth for the area it serves.
• Railways have a large shelf of ongoing New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling projects needing about Rs 3.86 lakh crores to complete. We have been trying to meet the aspirations of public within limited availability of funds.
• To expedite the projects, Railways have been trying to mobilize resources through other than Gross Budgetary Support. Towards this mission, 10 State Governments have till now agreed to share the cost of 41 ongoing projects ranging from 25% to 67% of the project cost. Some States are providing land free of cost in addition to sharing of construction cost.
• In view of the growing demands for Railway Lines in various States and huge requirement of funds to execute them, Hon’ble Minister for Railways has taken an initiative for setting up of Joint Ventures with States for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.
• Setting up of JVs will go a long way in identifying requirement of states keeping in line with other plans, finding avenues for funding of projects etc. Governments of Odisha, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have already signed JV agreement with Ministry of Railways for the same.
• The present railway network density in Kerala is 2.70 Km per 100 square Km which is above national average 2.01 Km per 100 square Km. However, it is an established fact that the railway network density in the country as a whole needs to be improved and the States coming forward in this regard is a welcome step.
• Signing of these JVs will go a long way in developing infrastructure in the State of Kerala.
• The average outlay to Kerala in Railway Budget was Rs.821.0 crore during 2014-15 to 2016-17 which is an increase of 121% over the average outlay of 371.9 crore during 2009-10 to 2013-14.
IndianBureaucracu.com wishes the very best.