World Bank to help Railways in a Rs5,00,000-cr makeover

The World Bank will help Indian Railways revamp its 164-year-old mass-transport infrastructure to a more agile infrastructure network in a major makeover involving investment of Rs5,00,000 crore.

The World Bank will find ways to make the Indian Railways a dynamic entity by shedding its colonial era ways through strategic planning, digitisation and technological upgradation. Besides the global lender will help establish a Railway University and Rail Tariff Authority.

The Bank will help Indian Railways create a body that will work on forecasting models, traffic optimisation, etc to overhaul its entire operations. Besides, it would assess projected fright growth to plan infrastructure development needed for the next 10-15 years.

The Railways has earmarked Rs 1,31,000 crore investment this year to augment capacity.

The Bank had earlier partnered Railways in financing the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

For the digital transformation, the World Bank will provide advisory services and management consultancy programme for 2-3 years.

"We needed this arrangement to build our capacity and deliver projects on a mission mode. World Bank's expertise would be a great gain," a top rail ministry official was quoted as saying.

The lending agency has proposed to set up an organisation for creating detailed forecasting models, traffic optimisation and planning.