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294     Economic Survey 2021-22

                                          Box 5: National Railway Plan

               The National Rail Plan lays down the road map for capacity expansion of the railway network by
               2030 to cater to growth up to 2050. It envisages the creation of a future ready railway system that
               is able to not only meet the passenger demand but also increase the modal share of railways in
               freight to 40-45% from the present level of 26-27%. The target of 40-45% modal share for railways
               is necessary from the perspective of sustainability and also from the national commitments made
               globally for reducing emission levels.(see chapter 6 on sustainable development and climate

               Unlike  growth,  which  is  linear,  capacity  grows  in  surges  (sawtooth  curve)  depending  on
               project completion timelines.As per the National Rail Plan, the freight ecosystem is expected
               to grow from the present level of 4700 MT to 8200 by 2030. At present the railway capacity is
               barely able to carry 1220 MT which is around 26-27% of the modal share. The Plan provides
               a pipeline of projects,which on completion will increase railway capacity to capture 45% of
               freight traffic. Since the railways is already having a large number of sanctioned projects that
               need to be completed before taking up new projects, it has been planned to increase railway
               capacity in two surges. The first surge is to be provided by the Vision 2024 plan to prioritize and
               complete sanctioned projects so that railway capacity does not fall far behind the targeted modal
               share such that by the time capacity is finally created, the traffic would have shifted to another
               mode. To prevent further bleeding away of modal share, railway capacity enhancing projects
               have been categorized as Super Critical and Critical. 58 projects have been identified as Super
               Critical  and  are  targeted  for  completion  by  December2022.  68  projects  have  been  identified
               as Critical and have been targeted for completion by March 2024. These projects are focussed
               at increasing capacity on routes that serve major mineral, industrial hubs along with ports and
               major consumption centres.

               In addition to these critical projects, the Ministry of Railway has also targeted 100% electrification
               of its network by December2023 upgrading Delhi-Mumbai & Delhi-Kolkata corridors to 160 kmph
               and also elimination of level crossings on the Golden Quadrilateral/Golden Diagonal routes. On
               completion of Vision 2024 projects, in the second half of the decade, the aim is to commission new
               Dedicated Freight Corridors and also High Speed Passenger Corridors, besides multitracking and
               signaling upgradation of congested routes
               The next 10 years will see a very high level of CAPEX in the railway sector as capacity growth
               has to be accelerated such that by 2030 it is ahead of demand. Up to 2014,CAPEX on railway was
               barely Rs45,980 crore per annum and consequently the railway was charecterized by high levels
               of  inefficiency  and  highly  congested  routes  unable  to  meet  the  growing  demand.  Post  2014,  a
               conscious effort was made to improve the railway sector by substantially increasing the CAPEX.
               The CAPEX outlay for 2021-22 is Rs 2,15,000 crs which is more than five times the 2014 level. As
               more projects are taken on hand and several sources of capital funding are developed, the CAPEX
               will increase further in coming years and the railway system will actually emerge as an engine of
               national growth.
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