To boost connectivity and lower congestion on key routes, the Railways plans to double or quadruple nearly 11,000 km of the total track length of 64,000 km by 2019-20.
The target was discussed at a recent meeting chaired by the prime minister, to review infrastructure projects. The Railways, it has been decided, should focus more on doubling and quadrupling of existing lines over the next four to five years, rather than new projects, except those in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. The aim is to ensure existing tracks are decongested, rather than laying new projects.
The meeting, coordinated by the NITI Aayog, was attended by ministers from all key infrastructure sectors. It was held in two sessions and has fixed near-term and long-term targets for each sector, the progress on which is to be periodically reviewed.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, in a recent interview with Business Standard, had acknowledged that with an investment plan of Rs 8.5 lakh crore over the next five years, they were focusing more on decongesting the network and improving the earning capacity.