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The initiatives were unveiled at the annual Railway Budget for 2013-2014 in New Delhi today, and include escalators at key stations, a new e-ticketing system and a swanky coach in select trains.
“The growth of Indian railways is inextricably linked with the growth of the country,” Pawan Kumar Bansal, India’s railway minister said during his speech to Parliament.
The minister said railways remained the single most important catalyst in India’s growth story and was a vital organisation integrating the nation – the plan target for the budget is $11.5 billion.
“It is a reformist and forward-looking Budget which presents a realistic picture of Railway finances,” Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister said while commenting on the Railway Budget.
India’s railroad network, ranked among the top five in the world, is spread over 64,000 km with 7,083 stations, to ferry 23 million travellers and 2.65 million tonnes of goods daily on 12,000 passenger and 7,000 freight trains.
Palaniappan Chidambaram, India’s finance minister has termed the Railway Budget for 2012-13 as “practical and implementable”.
Chidambaram will present the General Budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 on February 28.