A total of 484 railway projects, spanning 51,165 km and worth Rs 7.53 lakh crore, are in different stages of completion while 10,638 km of rail projects worth Rs 2.14 lakh crore has been completed till April this year, the Parliament was informed on Friday.
"As on April 1 this year, 484 railway projects of 51,165 km length costing approximately Rs 7.53 lakh crore are in different stages of planning or sanction or execution, out of which 10,638 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs.2.14 lakh crore has been incurred upto March, 2021," Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
He said that the completion of any railway projects depends on various factors like quick land acquisition by the state government, clearance by the Forest Department, deposition of cost share by state government in cost sharing projects, priority of projects, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of projects site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc. and all these factors affect the completion time of the project(s), which is finally worked out at the completion stage.
However, Railways is making all the efforts for expeditious completion of projects, he said.
"During 2014-21, 17,720 km length (3,681 km new liness, 4,871 km gauge conversion and 9,168 km doubling of tracks) has been commissioned at an average of 2,531 km per year which is 67 per cent more than the average commissioning during 2009-14 (1,520 km per year)."
He said that the average annual budget allocation in the railways for new lines, gauge conversion and doubling works, during 2014-19, has increased to Rs 26,026 crore per year from Rs 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14, which is 126 per cent more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
The minister also said that the annual budget allocation for these projects for financial year 2020-21 was Rs 43,626 crore, which is 278 per cent more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
For 2021-22, highest-ever budget outlay of Rs 52,498 crore has been provided for these works, which is 355 per cent more with respect to average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
He said that the budget outlay has been provided to the projects in a rationalised manner and budget has been allotted to the projects which are in advance stage of completion, priority projects, important new line and national projects, executable and important gauge conversion projects and the projects which are important from the throughput enhancement considerations.