NEW DELHI, April 20 � Faced with criticism over a long list of pending projects in the North-east, the Centre today clarified that the Railway Ministry has provided the highest-ever outlay of Rs 5,338 crore for projects in the region.
Asserting that the Indian Railways have laid special emphasis on improvement of railway infrastructure in the north-eastern region, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said in a Lok Sabha reply that an all-time high outlay of over Rs 5,200 crore was provided and spent for new lines, gauge conversion and doubling projects in the region in 2014-2015 as against an outlay of about Rs 15000 crore for all such projects in the country. Again in 2015-2016, a still higher outlay has been provided for these projects in NER, added.
Railway Projects are taken up on the basis of remunerativeness, last mile connectivity, missing links and alternate routes, augmentation of congested lines, socio-economic considerations among others depending upon throw forward of ongoing projects, overall availability of funds and competing demands, which covers connectivity in backward areas also, Sinha explained.
In 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, outlays of Rs 2278 crore and Rs 3392 crore were provided and spent for the projects of new lines, gauge conversion and doubling in NER.
With a view to complete the projects in this Region expeditiously, Ministry of Railways has enhanced the outlays substantially in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. As a result, more than 450 Km of Broad Gauge track has been commissioned in the NER, last fiscal.