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FM Sitharaman says, 40,000 rail coaches to be upgraded to Vande Bharat standards

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2024-25 on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said 40,000 normal train coaches will be converted to Vande Bharat standards. Ms Sitharaman said this will be done to enhance the "safety, convenience and comfort" of passengers.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2024-25 on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said 40,000 normal train coaches will be converted to Vande Bharat standards.

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Ms Sitharaman said this will be done to enhance the “safety, convenience and comfort” of passengers. Sitharaman announced the launch of three major economic corridor programmes, which will be implemented to enhance the transportation of energy, cement, and minerals.

Sitharaman announced the expansion of key rail infrastructure projects such as Metro Rail and Namo Bharat to additional cities. The finance minister said three major railway corridor programmes will be implemented –  the energy mineral and cement corridor, port connectivity corridors and high traffic density corridors.

Identified under PM Gatishakti, Ms Sitharaman said these projects will enable multi-modal connectivity, improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost. Sitharaman highlighted the government’s efforts in revitalising the aviation sector over the past decade. She noted that the number of airports had doubled to 149 during this period.

The decongestion of high-traffic corridors, she pointed out, will help improve operations of passenger trains, resulting in safety and higher travel speeds for passengers. The outlay for infrastructure has been increased to Rs 11.11 lakh crores in FY25, says FM Sitharaman.

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The minister said that, with dedicated freight corridors, the three corridor programmes will accelerate India’s GDP growth. On aviation, Ms Sitharaman said the number of airports has doubled to 149 in the past 10 years and the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme has expanded connectivity to Tier II and Tier III cities. She also highlighted that Indian carriers have placed orders for over 1,000 new aircraft.

She said,”Expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously.” The minister added,”We have a fast-expanding middle class and rapid urbanisation is taking place. Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat (Regional Rapid Transit Systems) can be the catalyst for the required urban transformation. Expansion of these systems will be supported in large cities focusing on transit-oriented development.”

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