Railway Ministry urges private sector to make investments in railway infrastructure, for which they are ready to offer an attractive and investment friendly environment particularly looking at investment partners in 400+ station building projects for high return on investment, said Mr Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railway at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
We have to move merely providing rail infrastructure to other support services such as technology up gradation, better logistic support and better passenger services in an integrated manner, said Mr Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on ‘ASSOCHAM International Summit on Invest Rail .’
“Need of the hour in Indian Railways is the massive investment and new technology without which we cannot move to become a world class transporter. Thus, the plan is to increase investment to nearly one trillion rupees in the next decade”, said Mr Rajen Gohain.
Thus, Rail is the right forum for investment that can address nearly all investments challenges such as ensuring reduced global warming, volatile fuel costs, having lower energy consumption, reducing urban congestion, having less land usage, servicing an aging population and making transportation accessible to all ages across all income brackets. In addition, rail has lower infrastructure renewal and maintenance cost which is often mentioned as 20 times lower per ton kilometre that other forms.
“Investment in rail will thus help in the planets sustainable and environmental goals and help in meeting the greenhouse gas emission targets. In addition, rail offers a more stable and sustainable form of transportation. We, in Indian Railways, are thus trying to have a collaborative approach in bringing governments, local authorities, railways and other stakeholders on the same wave length for a more sustainable form of transport system”, mentioned Mr. Gohain.
Investing in rail stimulates the economy while reducing CO2 emissions and urban congestion. As many countries worldwide plan to step up their investments in rail over the next decade, we in Indian Railways can and must do more. While India has the world’s fourth largest rail network, it has been outstripped by /china, which now has more than six times as much track following an intensive expansion and modernisation of its network over the past two decades. We are thus also looking in using PPP more- or as articulated in the coming years. We aim to keep people at the centre of all our activities and investments in our journey, said Railway Minister.
Indian Railways has one of the biggest network in the world and is recognised as one of the largest organisation under single management. It is also an admitted fact that for the past couple of centuries, transportation has fuelled the world’s economy. In this context, for the country’s economic and environmental health, it is thus time to restore the balance between road, air and rail.
Others who also spoke during the conference were H.E. Mr Cho Hyun, Ambassador, Embassy of Republic of Korea, Mr Jean-Marc Fenet, Minister Counsellor & Head Regional Economic Department, Embassy of France, Mr J.P. Gadia, Managing Director, Resurgent India Limited, Dr A.K. Agarwal, Chairman, Rail Transport Council, Mr S.C. Aggarwal, Chairman, India-EU Business Council and Mr D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM