GN Bureau | September 2, 2015
The railways have finally identified the projects that will be funded by the Rs 1.5-lakh-crore loan that Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has extended to the cash-strapped organization for the next five years.
Railway officials claim that the organization is under close scrutiny of prime minister Narendra Modi, who thinks that a robust railways can greatly contribute to the country's economy, reports Economic Times.
Initially struggling to identify projects to be funded by the LIC, the railways have now shortlisted 24 corridors for expansion and strengthening from the loan money.
The railways had signed an MoU with LIC in March to meet its capital requirement for network decongestion and expansion by 2019. Railway officials say though there is "endless work" to be done in railways, it took them time to find projects for LIC since the insurer was keen to invest only in financially viable projects that earned a rate of return (RoR) of at least 14% every year.
Since the priority of railway minister Suresh Prabhu is network decongestion, 24 congested corridors have been identified. Most of the sections in the corridors will yield a high RoR, going as high as 48% like the Rajkharsawan-Sini section in the Howrah-Mumbai corridor.
The identified corridors include the golden quadrilateral—Howrah-Channai, Delhi-Howrah, Howrah-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, Chennai-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi. In addition, some other corridors have been identified like the highly congested Amritsar-Ludhiana-Saharanpur-Moradabad-Lucknow-Sultanpur-Zafrabad-Mughalsarai-Varanasi route.
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