16 states respond to share Rs 60,000 cr cost for rail projects

Source: Business Standard, Dec 04, 2016

New Delhi: As many as 16 states have responded till now to Railways’ offer of sharing cost of about 40 projects worth over Rs 60,000 crore for speed implementation of laying new lines and development of stations among others.

Railways has undertaken the steps to mobilise resources over and above the available budgetary resources to fast track execution of projects.

“Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written to all states for becoming partners in rail projects. So far, 16 states have come forward to share cost of 43 projects worth Rs 62,379 crore,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding “state governments are sharing 25 per cent to 66 per cent cost of the projects.”

The extent of implementation of projects depends upon the response of the state government as some states are also giving land free for the projects.

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Besides strengthening connectivity by laying new lines and doubling, Railways is focusing on station development programmes for enhancement of passenger amenities.

The aim is to provide better facilities at stations and states like Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are keen on developing stations at world class level in their respective states, he said.Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala and Odisha governments have signed the joint venture agreement to create state specific joint ventures companies to undertake project development, resource mobilisation and monitoring of mutually identified rail infrastructure projects with equity participation of Railways limited to maximum 50 per cent.

Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra governments have also agreed to form joint venture companies, the official said.

The Joint Venture Company can form Project Specific Subsidiary Company (Project SPV) which may have equity holding by other stakeholders like banks, PSUs, ports and mining companies  for implementation.

Railways has arranged extra budgetary resources from financial institutions for which Railway Ministry has signed an MoU with LIC for a loan of 1,50,000 crore to be received over a period of five years, for funding capacity enhancement projects.

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