With Prime Minister Narendra Modi wooing NRIs during his foreign trips, Railways has firmed up a plan to invite NRIs to take up station development works in their native villages and towns. The new policy also aims to encourage corporates, NGOs and individuals to adopt a station and upgrade its passenger amenities.
Railways has also sought a special safety fund of Rs 30,000 crore from Finance Ministry to eliminate all unmanned level-crossings in the country.
Announcing the policy measures, Railway Board Member (Engineering) V K Gupta said Wednesday that a cabinet note on the programme has already been prepared and once it is approved, the plan will be made public for feedback. “We are in touch with Indian embassies in countries like Australia and Canada that have a sizeable number of NRIs who are willing to adopt stations,” he said.
Railways have also identified stations such as Habibganj (Bhopal), Surat, Gandhinagar, Anand Vihar and Bijwasan for conversion into world-class stations. These stations would be developed under the PPP mode and the request for proposal has already been floated in the case of Habibganj, he said.
Noting that Railways aims to eliminate all level crossings in the country as promised in the Budget, Gupta said work has been sanctioned for 7,700 such crossings on broad gauge routes. He said 1148 unmanned crossings have been eliminated so far.