Indian Railways is neither efficient nor has a network extensive enough
to cover the entire country with its capacity expansion and
modernisation estimated to cost more than
14 lakh crore over the next
ten years, industry body The Associated Chambers of Commerce and
Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) stated recently.
More than just resource mobilisation, there should be emphasis on
developing entrepreneurial and managerial skills that private sector can
bring into rail transport with value addition for the end user, said
With 14 lakh employees and an annual budget of
Indian Railways is the third largest network in the world. The country
has a land area of 3,290 lakh square kilometers but rail lines measure
up to 64,015 kilometres, up from 53,596 kilometres during the
Independence in 1947.
The average increase in route kilometres thus works out to 180
kilometres a year. Both developed and developing countries are
spending hundreds of billion of dollars each year to add more route
kilometres of new lines. China is spending 300 billion dollars (about
14 lakh crore) over the next three years to expand and modernise its
With national economy set to grow at over eight per cent in current
financial year, Indian Railways should adopt a customer focused
approach and modern technology through public private partnership in
construction of dedicated freight corridors, high speed rail corridors,
world-class railway stations and multi-modal logistics parks.
At the same time, there is a strong need for high speed inter-city
passenger service to cope up with increasing demand.
Indian Railways log nearly 61,500 crore passenger kilometres and
44,000 crore tonne kilometres of traffic. It carries less than 20 per cent
of total passenger traffic and 40 per cent of the country's freight.