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Dec 08, 2012, 06.03 AM IST | Source: PTI

Bansal seeks private investment in big-ticket rail projects

Bansal seeks private investment in big-ticket rail projects

New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) Ruling out the privatisation of the national transporter, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today sought private participation in big-ticket rail projects. "The scope is much more for private participation in rail projects. But I am not talking of privatisation of railways. Rail tracks will remain with railways. Core functioning of railways will remian with railways," Bansal said at an ASSOCHAM seminar here. He said, "I am inviting private players for the expansion of the rail network and there is a tremndeous scope for it." Wooing private players for multi-crore projects, Bansal said, "We are constructing Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), elevated rail corridor in Mumbai and a high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad where private sector can play a significant role." The 3300-km-long DFC is estimated to cost about Rs 95,000 crore while the 63-km-long elevated rail corridor between Churchgate and Virar in Mumbai is likely to cost Rs 21,000 crore. The 434-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor is slated to cost Rs 63,000 crore. Bansal said currently, "the average speed of goods train is 25 km per hour. It is a dismal figure I must say. Average passengers train speed is just 40 km per hour. With the completion of DFC, the normal track will be freed for passengers trains only and it will help in capacity augmentation." Underlining the importance of DFC, he said railways alone can contribute to the growth of GDP by 1.2 per cent and "for that we need DFC". He said 80 per cent of the land for DFC has already been acquired. "Besides, we are also planning to set up electric and diesel locomotive factories at Madhepura and Marhora in Bihar in which we are looking forward to private participation. The bidding documents are being readied now," Bansal said. PTI ARU SC

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