New Railway and Highway Projects
The Centre gave its green signal for investments worth more than Rs.27,000 crore in new highways and railway lines across the country to boost economic growth.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved infrastructure projects worth Rs.27,328 crore for expansion of railway lines in 11 states and development of 1,120 km national highways in five states.
The government plans to increase its investments in the infrastructure sector. About 8,300 kilometres of roads involving more than Rs.1 lakh crore investments were revived, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech. Total investments earmarked in the current fiscal for roads and railways sectors amounts to Rs.2.18 lakh crore. The Centre is also augmenting port capacity by developing greenfield projects in both eastern and western coasts. In the aviation sector, the Centre plans to revive torpid airports.
The railway expansion programme includes nine projects involving 1,937 km of track construction at an estimated cost of Rs.20,867 crore. The projects include construction of second railway line between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya in Assam. The government also gave its approval to build third and fourth railway line projects on the North South and East West Corridors of the Golden Quadrilateral.
The Railway Ministry said the “fully saturated” Golden Quadrilateral will get a “big boost” helping in transportation of coal, minerals, steel and other commodities. This will also enable transportation of more passengers along these routes.
As a part of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP), the government approved constructing 1,120 km national highways in Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal with World Bank assistance. The work is scheduled to be completed by July 2024 at an estimated cost of Rs.6,461 crore.