Following a string of deadly rail mishaps, the government is considering putting aside ₹1 lakh crores in a special fund dedicated to critical safety upgrades, The Indian Express reported.
The fund, Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, will be used to renew aging rail infrastructure such as rail tracks, signalling systems and bridges in the next five years. The first tranche for investment from the fund will be ₹20,000 crore.
The investment is part of Finance Ministry's ₹55,000 crores in budgetary support to Indian Railways for 2017-18. This year the Railways Ministry won't present a separate budget, ending decades of a colonial era practice. It annual budget exercise will be combined with the union financial budget.
India needs an urgent upgrade of its railway network that dates back to the colonial era and is aging badly. In November, at least 142 passengers were killed in a train mishap caused by a derailment in Uttar Pradesh of the Indore-Patna Express.