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Ashwini Vaishnaw highlights Indian Railways’ Amrit Bharat Station Scheme

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NEW DELHI : The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme (ABSS) stands as the most extensive railway station redevelopment initiative globally, a historic undertaking that, as per Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, has never been attempted before. 

Vaishnaw commended Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for inaugurating a station and laying the foundation stone for 553 stations, marking significant progress under the ABSS. Additionally, Prime Minister Modi initiated or laid the foundation stone for 1500 road-over-bridges (ROBs) and underpasses.

Amrit Bharat Station Scheme to enhance travel 

Launched by the Railway Ministry in 2023, the ABSS aims to identify and shortlist stations for redevelopment to enhance passenger facilities and amenities. Out of 7000 stations, 1321 have been selected for redevelopment, with many already in various stages of construction post the foundation stone laying for 553 stations.

Vaishnaw highlighted the growth strategy centered around public investment, contributing to an investment exceeding 30% of GDP. The railway’s capital expenditure (Capex) has surged to 2 lakh 52 thousand crores, a significant increase over the past decade, with tangible benefits evident on the ground. “The Capex in railways has reached up to 2 lakh 52 thousand crore which used to be a very small amount a decade ago,” Viashnaw said.

Indian railways track laying speed

The minister noted the substantial improvement in railway track laying speed, increasing from 4 km per day between 2004 to 2014 to 15 km per day today. Furthermore, 41,000 km of railway track has been electrified in the last decade, a notable achievement.

He further stated that the accomplishments achieved by the present government in the last decade are comparable to what was accomplished in 60 years.

Construction of flyovers and underpasses

Discussing flyovers and underpasses, Vaishnaw emphasised the remarkable progress, citing the construction of over 1000 flyovers and underpasses annually, a substantial increase from the 400 constructed per year between 2004 to 2014.

“It is a complex work to build world class stations but the government undertook several reforms to implement these schemes. Also, massive work is going on at all stations irrespective of their sizes and places,” Vaishnaw said.

Acknowledging the complexity of building world-class stations, Vaishnaw highlighted the government’s reforms and the ongoing extensive work at stations of all sizes and locations. He informed the equal treatment of big, middle, and small-sized stations for development, showcasing ongoing projects at various locations across the country.

“Ten years ago, only bigger stations were given importance. But this government has treated big, middle and small size stations equally for development work,” Vaishnaw said.

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