Railways plans six high-speed corridors to ease congestion
Six high-speed and semi-high speed corridors will be built to ease up the congestion on the Indian Railways, railway board chairman VK Yadav said on Wednesday.
The detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared within a year, Yadav added.
The corridors include the Delhi-Noida-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi (865 km) and the Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Ahmedabad (886km) sections. These, Yadav said, will be constructed to join the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed bullet train which is scheduled to be completed by December 2023.
“Trains can run at a maximum speed of over 300 km/hr on a high-speed corridor, while on a semi-high speed corridor, the maximum speed can go beyond 160km/hour,” Yadav explained.
The other corridors also include sections along the Mumbai-Nashik-Nagpur (753 km), Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad (711 km), Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore (435 km) and Delhi-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Amritsar (459 km) corridors.
“We have finished about 90% of land acquisition for the bullet train project. We need 1,380 hectare of land for the project. About 1,005 hectare was private land of which we have acquired 471 hectares. Another 149 hectare was state government land of which we have got 119 hectare. About 128 hectare is still remaining which is railway land. That has been given to the high-speed corporation,” he said.
Ahead of the upcoming Union budget, Yadav said the railways is reeling under financial stress and would struggle to meet its operating ratio target this financial year. Operating ratio measures expenses as a proportion of revenue or the amount spent on every rupee earned.
This comes at a time when the national transporter has targeted to reduce its operating ratio to 95% for the current financial year.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India noted in a report tabled in Parliament last year that the Indian Railways has the worst operating ratio in the last 10 years at 98.44% and its revenue surplus has decreased by more than 66% from Rs 4,913 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,665.61 crore in 2017-18.