Tripura awaits upcoming Railway Budget, expects Superfast Trains

As the Railway Budget is to be presented in the Parliament at the end of this month, there is a surge of hope amongst the people of Tripura as they are expecting the introduction of the super-fast trains. The trains if introduced in the North-Eastern state will run from the capital city of Agartala.

The state is also hopeful of receiving funds for the Bangladesh Project connecting Tripura and Bangladesh.

People from interior landlocked parts of Tripura have to travel some 600 kms for almost 24 hours on the hilly national highway 44  to reach Guwahati, Assam. Guwahati is the closest railway station for the Tripurites. The other option that is available in the hilly terrains is to travel by expensive air service.

The local people are also hopeful of a possible rail link between India and Bangladesh which will work from Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh. This could become a reality only if the funds are allocated for this project in the current budget.

Furthermore, with the conversion of the meter gauge to broad gauge, people look forward to having few super-fast express trains like Rajdhani, connecting the state with New Delhi and at least two direct trains every week to Kolkata.  Not only will the connectivity improve in these parts of the country but basic facilities like medical emergencies will also be met.

CEO NFR S I Garur said, “Whatever our projects are going on adequate funds will be ensured and new projects will come up. New trains will be there definitely for Agartala will the commissioning of this project. New trains will be introduced from Agartala.”

The trial runs have been conducted on these converted lines in the state. Currently the southernmost city of Subroom and Akhaura (in Bangladesh) are in the process of conversion.

Source: ANI

Business Standard

Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express evacuated after bomb scare on the train

New Delhi: Following a bomb scare on the train, the Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express was evacuated at the Ghaziabad railway station on Sunday morning.

Several other trains were delayed or stopped after the Railways was warned about a possible bomb attack in one of the trains running between Delhi and Kanpur.

Delhi Divisional Railway Manager Arun Arora said, “We received an input from Delhi Police about a possibility of bombs in major trains like Shatabdi, Duronto, Rajdhani, Vaishali Express and Nilanchal Express.” Post the alert, search operations were carried out in all railway stations across the city, told the official.

The Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express that departed from New Delhi Railway Station at around 6.10 am was stopped at the Ghaziabad railway station for checking. A sniffer dog squad and a bomb threat team carried out a thorough combing operation of the train. After getting the clearance nod from the security agencies, the train was allowed to resume its journey at 7.52 am.

The Railways have stepped up security measures at major railway stations like the New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Old Delhi and Anand Vihar stations.

The National Capital is on high alert following yesterday’s terror attack at Pathankot Air Force Base.



Prabhu gives green signal to FDI projects in Railways

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has finally given a green signal to big ticket foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. The FDI is to set up a diesel and electric locomotive manufacturing plant in Bihar. This move by the Railway Minister also gives a push to the ‘Make In India’ campaign.

Courtesy: Business Today
Courtesy: Business Today

This plan of setting up two locomotive plants in Bihar was first announced by then railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2008. The plan had been stuck due to various reasons, including repeated revision of bidding documents.

The two plants would require an investment of Rs. 1200 crore each and the financial bidding for the same will be opened on August 31. There will be two pre-bid meetings held before the final bidding.

The plants will be at Madhepura and Marhora in Bihar, where in the foreign players will have 74 percent equity in each plant and Railways will have the remaining 26 percent. While four global firms — Alstom, Siemens, GE and Bombardier — have been shortlisted for the proposed electric locomotive factory at Madhepura, two multinationals — GE and EMD – are vying to bag the diesel locomotive plant at Marhora.

The government had already approved 100 percent FDI in Railways and this step would help in modernizing the public sector and boost the infrastructure and economic growth.

The Madhepura plant will manufacture 800 electric locomotives of 12000 horse power (HP) over a period of 11 years. As per the bidding condition, five electric locomotives will be imported and 795 will be manufactured.

The Marhora plant will produce 4500 HP and 6000 HP diesel locomotives in a period of 10 years after commissioning.

FDI opens up in Railways, cap of 49 percent in Defence

New Delhi: For the first time, the Union Cabinet has allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways and approved the proposal for introduction of 49 per cent Foreign Direct investment in defense .  The steps were taken with an intention to raise funds for expansion of railways and to increase domestic manufacture of arms.

The FDI was raised from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in defence, subject to management control by Indians, whereas 100 per cent foreign investment for railways will be allowed. India being one of the world’s largest importer of arms, this step aims to cut down imports by indigenizing defence production. It is yet to be cleared by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). In companies with 49 percent foreign holding, more than one Indian company will be allowed to hold 51 percent share.

In case of Railways, 100 percent FDI will be allowed in infrastructure segments like electrification, signaling, high speed and suburban corridors. A few railway operations have been partially opened for foreign investments.
There are estimates that point out that opening of railways to foreign investments may add 1-1.5 percentage points to overall GDP growth. Keen investors include China and Japan. Railways in India will now be removed from the list of prohibited sectors in the consolidated FDI policy.

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