Presenting her maiden budget in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman said, "comprehensive restructuring of National Highways Programme will be done, to ensure the creation of National Highways Grid of desirable capacity. The government envisions using rivers for cargo transport, it will also decongest roads and railways."
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said 125,000 km of road will be upgraded over the next 5 years at a cost of 802.5 billion rupees.
Since the past many years, the Indian Railways has been suffering from poor operating efficiency. The operating ratio remained above 95 per cent, reaching 98.4 per cent during 2017-18 during the last three years of the previous Modi government.
The other significant announcements made on Indian Railways are
- 657 kms of metro rail network has become operational across the country
- Railway infrastructure to need Rs 50 lakh cr till 2030
- Public-private partnerships to be unleashed to develop rail infrastructure
- Schemes such as Bharat Mala, Sagarmala and UDAN are bridging the rural-urban divide and improving transport infrastructure
Of late, the Railway Ministry has tried to supplement its revenues by the way of asset monetisation. The move is expected to generate around Rs 25,000 crore for the organisation.