Indian Railways is all set for a $140 billion investment plan, which will be executed over the next five years to modernise the system. And in this, we are going to get a lot of help from Japan as well.
If all goes as plan, we might soon be welcomed by some really modern and world class railways stations in India, all equipped with features that will enhance the railway experience for commuters.
As a part of its railway station development plan, Indian Railways has identified 400 stations which will be upgraded with the help of private investment. And for this, Japan has agreed to be a part of the process and to help us reach there.
Picture Credit: Keshav Mukund Kandhadai/Flickr
In July this year, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi had given approval for redevelopment of 400 stations by involving private parties using the Swiss Challenge method. In this method, open bids are invited from interested parties and the best proposal is accepted by an expert committee. India will soon host a Japanese delegation which is going to come in with the aim of studying the opportunities for industries in this development plan.
In meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu discussed the ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in terms of the rail sector. These meeting included discussions on the participation of Japanese railways and Japanese companies in the development of different areas of Indian Railways, with a focus on technological modernization and upgradation.
Here are the things on which the two countries will be working together:
- Modernising the railway stations.
- Japan will assist Indian Railways in achieving its zero-accident mission.
- They will also help in solving the issue of sanitation by working on the development of waterless and odourless toilets in trains and station.
- They will provide assistance in development of a legal framework for high speed railways in India as well.
The zero-accident mission, which was chalked out keeping in view the increasing number of train accidents, will include renewal of tracks, construction of more railway bridges, development of accident proof coaches, better signalling and more.
“Once we implement it fully, the accident rate will go down and speeds will improve, facilities will improve, quality of service will go up and revenue will increase. Customer experience will go up significantly,” Suresh Prabhu had earlier informed The Hindu.
To begin with, Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), which is the research wing of Indian Railways, will sign a MoU with Railway Technical Research Institute of Japan. As per the memorandum, Japan will conduct research work for upgradation of our stations.
The plan is that Railways will invest $140 billion in infrastructure upgradation in the next five years. For this, the Railway Minister also held meetings with heads of leading financial institutions in the country.