New Delhi: Aiming to take railways to the next generation, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday said his department has prepared a blue print envisaging Rs 14 lakh crore investment in the next 10 years.
"The present railway system has outlived its utility. We are in some kind of Victorian age as far as the railways are concerned. Signalling is archaic. We have to embark upon a new generation," Trivedi told reporters here.
He said there is a requirement of Rs 14 lakh crore for the next 10 years for modernisation of rail network which include automation of signalling system, strengthening of track and procurement of modern rolling stock.
Asked how the massive amount will be generated, Trivedi said, "I am hopeful of getting the Planning Commission to support the modernisation plan. I am in constant touch with the Commission and they are aware of it. I will be also
meeting the Prime Minister for this."
Besides the Planning Commission, he said, "A part of it will also be from internal generation and private investment through public-private partnership (PPP) model."
On the commission`s role, he said, "Our plan should be in tune with the Planning Commission. If we are not in tune with it, then the Planning Commission becomes redundant. The commission has a bird`s eye view."
Trivedi also favoured a national policy for railways. "I am for a national rail policy taking the opposition on the board. Let it be a collective decision."
Linking the national transporter with GDP growth, he said, "If the railways are not modernised, then there is no way we can hold to our GDP growth. Whether it is seven percent or eight percent, the railways have a major role to play."