4 shocking facts about Indian Railways and past budgets

published on July 8, 2014

Minister of Railways DV Sadananda Gowda seems to have let the cat out of the bag with some startling revelations about how the Indian Railways was run over the past 10 years.

Not pulling his punches, he said, “Madam Speaker, I am sure, my esteemed predecessors were aware of this precarious situation, but they, however, fell prey to the ‘nasha’ of claps in the House when they announced these projects.”

Here are 4 shocking facts about the largest railway network that Gowda revealed in his budget speech:

1. The Railways spends 94 paise out of every rupee it earns leaving it with a surplus of only 6 paise. “This surplus, apart from being meager, is continuously on decline due to non-revision of fare. The surplus, after paying obligatory dividend and lease charges, was Rs 11,754 crore in 2007-08 and is estimated to be Rs 602 crore in the current financial year.”

2. The previous governments have focussed more on sanctioning projects rather than completing them. This is evident from the fact that in the last 30 years, as many as 676 projects worth Rs 1,57,883 crore were sanctioned. “Of these, only 317 projects could be completed and 359 projects remain to be completed which will now require as much as Rs 1,82,000 crore,” he said.

3. In the last 10 years, 99 new line projects worth Rs 60,000 crore were sanctioned out of which only ONE project has been completed. “In fact, there are 4 projects that are as old as 30 years, but are still not complete for one reason or another. The more projects we add, the thinner we spread our resources and longer it takes to complete them,” Gowda said.

4. In the last 10 years, Indian Railways made an investment of over Rs 41,000 crore in laying 3,738 km of new lines. On the other hand, it spent only about Rs 18,400 crore to double 5,050 km though it was a priority for the health of the system

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