World Bank offers plan for Railway expansion in India
The World Bank has outlined the role it can play as India looks to fund its ambitious National Rail Plan over the next 30 years, which envisages almost 8,000 km of high-speed corridors and another 8,000 km of dedicated freight corridors (DFCs), involving funds to the tune of Rs 40 lakh crore.
The World Bank top brass shared its vision for the Railways and what it proposes at a presentation to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and other top brass last week.
The National Rail Plan and the National Infrastructure Pipeline recommend a total of 13 bullet-train corridors across India, including the under-construction Mumbai-Ahmedabad one. They are on routes like Mumbai-Nagpur, Hyderabad-Bengaluru, Varanasi-Patna, Patna-Kolkata, Delhi-Udaipur, Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, Nagpur-Varanasi, Amritsar-Pathankot-Jammu, Chennai-Mysuru via Bengaluru, Mumbai-Hyderabad, and Varanasi-Delhi via Ayodhya. However, there is no clarity on how to fund them, or the new DFCs.
The Bank has offered its expertise starting from handholding execution of partnership with private players, to development of intermodal stations and upgrading of existing lines. “Aim to build 8000 km of DFC and 8,000 km of High Speed Railway in 30 years. How to pay for it?” the presentation poses, offering “World Bank interventions” as a solution.