Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi Express to have new features in 2018 under ‘Project Swarna’

Come 2018 and the Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi Express coaches, thanks to the Indian Railways project ‘Swarna’, will be equipped with new features.

The coaches, said a top railway official, will have various new features such as disposable head rest cover for passenger seats, automatic odour control (AOC) system, and much more.

“The journey from Jaipur to Agra will be more comfortable in the new year. The Indian Railways has introduced Braille signage in the coaches to make travel easy for visually impaired people. Also, all coaches will be equipped with CCTV surveillance system,” North Western Railway chief spokesperson Tarun Jain said.

There will be Aadhaar enabled biometric attendance system for the staff to ensure their safety and responsibility, he added.

Trying to upgrade in all spheres, the railways has made efforts in improving the aesthetics too.

According to the officer, paintings exhibiting culture and heritage of the region will be displayed in the coaches.

Talking about more of such railway coaches, Jain said in future there are plans to roll out same features in other trains too, especially those running in tourist circuits.

Golden triangle (New Delhi-Jaipur-Agra) is an important tourism circuit in the country attracting scores of domestic and international tourists for witnessing rich cultural heritage.

Notably, India’s first Swarn Rajdhani was launched in New Delhi in November this year.

Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Turns Gold After ‘Project Swarna’ Upgradation

Under much appreciated ‘Swarn’ initiative which aims to bring gold standard service delivery in railways, the Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi 12046 has been upgraded. The upgradation costed Indian Railways approximately Rs. 50 lakh.

This is the only Shatadbi, which is under the preview of the Ambala division as the other two are under Delhi division.

Major Facilities Revamped Under ‘Swarna’ Initiative in Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi

Following key facilities have been upgraded in the Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi:

  • Punctuality – Trains will be on time. The delay is going to be minimized as much as possible.
  • Cleanliness – The staff will don new uniforms and have received special training for serving in the revamped trains.
  • Linen – Passengers will be given disposable headrest covers in executive class.
  • Coach Aesthetics – Vinyl wrapping and florescent strips for easier movement of travellers. Exteriors of the trains have also been covered with an anti-graffiti coating.
  • Toilets – Odour control systems have been installed. Automatic hygiene control systems will be installed in all coaches.
  • Catering – New additions to the on-train catering menu.
  • Staff behaviour – Staff will maintain polite behaviour in every situation.
  • Security and safety of passengers –  All coaches are equipped for braille-signage for the visually impaired. Security system will be beefed up by increasing CCTV cameras and railway protection force.
  • Entertainment –  New entertainment systems to be included – wi-fi hotspots, HD streaming and more.
  • Housekeeping – Headrest to be provided for passengers of executive class.
  • Regular feedback – will be collected from the passengers and the staff for the betterment of the services.

About ‘Swarna’ Initiative:

Recently launched ‘Swarna’ project of Indian railways aims to renovate India’s premium trains, including Rajdhanis and Shatabdis. From security to hygiene to aesthetics to entertainment, all aspects of the trains are upgraded to make travel a pleasant experience for passengers.

These elite trains are being upgraded at a cost of Rs 50 lakh each.

Railways, Bengaluru Metro to exchange land at Baiyappanahalli

South Western Railways and Bengaluru Metro are in talks to exchange parcels of land at Baiyappanahalli to amicably resolve their common requirement of land needed for respective projects.

Until now, the Railways and Metro officials were in a fix over land needed between their stations for future proposals.

While SWR needs space at Baiyappanahalli Railway Station to quadruple the Cantonment to Whitefield Railway line, BMRCL also requires the land in between to launch viaducts for the Baiyappanahalli Phase-1 Metro extension to Whitefield.

“We jointly inspected the area. Railways needs private land to be acquired for laying the 3rd and 4th tracks. They want Metro to acquire the private land in between, in exchange of which, we can utilise 1 acre of their land for our extension towards Whitefield,” said Chanappa Goudar, Land Acquisition Officer of BMRCL.

The Metro line will run on the median of Old Madras Road, parallel to the Railway track, heading towards Jyothipuram and KR Puram.

CPRO of SWR, Vijaya, said, “We have sent a detailed estimate to the Railway Board for quadrupling of Bengaluru Cantonment to Whitefield at a cost of Rs 493 crore. This project will be fully funded by the Railways.”

This is a boost to software professional travelling from the city to the IT corridor as it means increased frequency of suburban trains.

While Metro construction will take until 2020, techies have come to rely on suburban trains to get to work.

Metro trains coming from Silk Board to K.R. Puram (Phase 2A) will connect with Baiyappanahalli depot and commuters can switch to the Phase-1 extension plying to Whitefield as well.

These junctions become even more crucial, as inter-modal connectivity between the corresponding Railway stations at Baiyappanahalli and KR Puram, must be bridged.

This is the first time that the two transport departments have quickly resolved the exchanging of land.

Indian Railways Fare: No Proposal To Increase Ticket Prices, Says Government

The Indian Railways does not have any proposal to increase fares, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain said the national transporter has seen an increase in passenger traffic of 0.68 per cent and a spike of 0.99 per cent between Delhi and Mumbai during April- November 2017 as compared to the corresponding period last year.

To queries on passenger traffic, special trains and their fares, he said railways runs these trains during peak seasons, festivals, special events for clearance of extra rush of passengers keeping in view the pattern of traffic, commercial justification, operational feasibility and availability of resources.

“Special trains on special charges are introduced based on demand pattern. They run over and above the scheduled time-tabled trains and are charged at the rate of 10 per cent of basic fare for second class for reserved accommodation and 30 per cent of basic fare for all other classes, subject to minimum and maximum”, the minister said.

He also pointed out that railways runs Suvidha trains based on demand pattern and the minimum fare of such trains is equal to Tatkal fare applicable for the class of accommodation for initial 20 per cent of berths and thereafter the fare increases for subsequent slabs of 20 per cent of seats/berths booked subject to maximum three times of Tatkal fare. Gohain said fares of these trains have been kept higher since special efforts like monitoring of waiting list position of each and every trains, arrangement of rakes and coaches, required staff at short notice are made for running of these services.

“Apart from this operational cost of running passenger train services is increasing year after year and the passenger fare is highly subsidised. “At present there is no such proposal”, he said replying to a query on whether government is reviewing increase in fares.

All Trains To Have Bio-Toilets By March 2019

The government today said it plans to complete the work of installing bio-toilets in all passenger trains by March 2019.

Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, said that to achieve this, all railway workshops have been instructed to compulsorily install bio-toilets in all existing in-service eligible coaches undergoing mid-life rehabilitation and periodical overhaul.

The Minister said retro-fitment of bio-toilets in existing in-service coaches is also being done to a limited extent in coaching depots.

“Approximately 55 per cent of the total passenger carrying coaches over Indian Railways have been equipped with bio-toilets.

“Bio-toilets are an important step towards ‘Swachh Bharat’. It keeps tracks clear of human excreta,” Mr Gohain added.

Golden Rock Railway workshop gearing up to overhaul LHB Coaches

With the railways planning to ramp up production of Linke Hofman Busch (LHB) coaches, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi is gearing up to carry out periodic overhaul of the coaches when they are sent for servicing.

Engaged in diverse activities, including manufacture of container wagons and POH of diesel locomotives and passenger coaches, this nodal workshop has forwarded a detailed proposal seeking sanction of funds for creation of separate infrastructure facility and procurement of machinery and equipment to overhaul LHB coaches.

Presently, the over 80-year-old workshop established during the colonial era is carrying out periodic overhaul of coaches manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory at Perambur in Chennai.

With increasing number of long distance trains being run with LHB coaches now, the workshop authorities have forwarded a proposal to the Southern Railway headquarters seeking sanction of Rs. 35 crore funds for creation of a dedicated shed and procurement of required equipment to overhaul such type of coaches in the future.

The workshop is awaiting the nod from the Railway Board, New Delhi, for the funds it has sought for setting up the facility to handle LHB coaches, which are longer than the ICF-made coaches with wider bays and doorways.

Trains including the Chennai Egmore–Tiruchi Rockfort Express, the Chennai Egmore–Madurai Pandian Express, Chennai Egmore–Tiruchi Cholan Express and the Lokmanya Tilak–Karaikal Express are being run with LHB coaches.

Ahead of carrying out overhaul of the entire LHB coach, the workshop is gearing up to overhaul bogies of such type of coaches initially possibly from next year, say the workshop authorities.

The new facility is planned to be created in the wake of the proposed move of the railway administration to increase production of LHB coaches keeping in mind the safety features in such coaches, the authorities added.

The workshop has also started overhaul of high horsepower new generation EMD locomotives, which can run up to maximum speed of 140 km per hour. It has transformed from maintenance to manufacturing unit, producing container wagons for the Container Corporation of India, besides manufacturing oil-fired locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

Pakistan to upgrade Karachi-Peshawar Rail Line as part of CPEC project; Groundwork to start in Mar 2018; POK in trouble

Groundwork on one of the most important milestone of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – the rehabilitation and upgrading of Main Line-1 (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar – is likely to be initiated by March next year, Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways Director General (Planning) Mazhar Ali Shah told on Monday. “Although Pakistan Railways has set an ambitious target for starting the groundwork, it is working hard to meet this target,” Shah said. The DG further said preliminary design of the project was in process and hopefully within three to four weeks, the design would be finalised. He said a feasibility study of the project had already been finalised while the framework agreement with China had also been signed. After finalising the preliminary design, all the procedural arrangements including commercial contract and financial clause would be completed as soon as possible, he added.

Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line is one of four main railway lines in Pakistan, operated and maintained by Pakistan Railways. The line begins from Karachi City station or Kiamari station and ends at Peshawar Cantonment Station. The total length of this railway line is 1,687 kilometers (1,048 mi). There are 184 railway stations from Kiamari to Peshawar Cantonment on this line. The line serves as the main passenger and freight line of the country. 75% of the country’s cargo and passenger traffic uses the line. The line is currently undergoing an six-year ₨.886.68 billion (US$8.4 billion) upgrade and renovation as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, with average rail speeds expected be doubled to 160 kilometers per hour upon completion.

History of Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line

The present-day Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line was built as a patchwork of different railways of unified India during the 19th century. The Britishers, so as to establish connectivity in this region, had mostly depended on its Bombay Presidency (presently Bombay is in India renamed as Mumbai) by pulling funds to construct the Railway lines in different phases. A majority of the workmen were Indians (importantly Hindus) who toiled to construct the line from Karachi to Peshawar during that time. The Indian Staff comprised of resources in various categories like P-Way, Open Line, Telecom, Operating, Traffic, Accounts, Stores including Gangmen category. Few of the lines were even funded by the then Madras Presidency too (Madras is in India renamed as Chennai). There are Tamilians, Keralites too who migrated to Pakistan. Even today, there is a small community of Tamils in Pakistan who converted their religion and became Muslims (Muslim Tamils in Pakistan) migrated from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. These Muslim Tamils have integrated with the Urdu speaking Muhajir community. Notably, Schindias had also contributed a lot of fund for laying the lines and Britishers had an arrangement towards this collaboration with Schindias.

The present day line consists of the following historic sections built between 1861 and 1900:

  • Karachi–Kotri section, opened in 1861 (Kotri Bridge over the Indus River, opened in 1899)
  • Kotri–Rohri section, opened in 1900
  • Rohri–Multan section, opened in 1879 (Empress Bridge (near Bahawalpur) over the Sutlej River, opened in 1878)
  • Multan–Lahore section, opened in 1861
  • Lahore–Peshawar section, opened in 1876 (Attock Bridge over the Indus River, opened in 1883).
Early development

The Scinde Railway was constructed in 1861 as a 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway line between Karachi and Kotri. Work on the line had commenced in April 1858 and was the first railway line for public use in the region. Following the completion of the line, the Indus Steam Flotilla began docking in Kotri (instead of Karachi) from Multan. The Punjab Railway was constructed and inaugurated in late 1861 as a 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway line between Multan and Lahore, and later extended to Amritsar. Thus the travel time between Sindh and Punjab was greatly reduced together with the Scinde Railway, Indus Steam Flotilla and Punjab Railways; what normally took 40 days to travel between Karachi and Lahore now took 48 hours to transport passengers and cargo.

Mergers & expansion

In 1870, the Scinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway was formed from the incorporation of the Scinde Railway, Indus Steam Flotilla, Punjab Railway and Delhi Railway companies in order to increase efficiency of passenger and cargo transport between Sindh and Punjab. However, the rail gap between Kotri and Multan was considered a hassle as the Indus River and Sutlej River were major obstacles to cross at the time. In 1871, the Indus Valley State Railway was inaugurated and construction began on extending the railway line from Multan south towards Bahawalpur(crossing the Sutlej River) and on wards to Rohri. In 1876, the Punjab Northern State Railway was constructed between Lahore and Peshawar and in 1883 the Attock Bridge over the Indus River was opened. In 1878, the Empress Bridge over the Sutlej River was opened and in 1879 the Indus Valley State Railway reached Rohri. From Rohri, a steam ferry would transport eight rail carriages at a time across the Indus between Rohri and Sukkur. This was found to be cumbersome and time-consuming. In 1889, the Lansdowne Bridge between Rohri and Sukkar was opened and in 1893, work on the Kotri Bridge commenced. It was only in 1900 that the section between Rohri and Kotri was completed. In 1885, all the companies were merged to form the North Western State Railway.

According to the railway officials of Pakistan, in the new development project, China Pakistan economic corridor CPEC total investment volume has been increased to over $51.5 billion for modernized CPEC railway lines in Pakistan from Karachi to Peshawar. The china and the Asian development bank have agreed to lend $8 billion to Pakistan to upgrade the railways infrastructure under the project of CPEC railway lines in Pakistan.

CPEC is around 3,000 kilometer networks of roads, pipelines and railways to transport oil and gas from Gawadar port in Pakistan to Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur province of china. The project consist the up gradation of 1872 KM railway track from Karachi to Peshawar,  dualization of the roads of Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi, and double the Lahore- Peshawar railways track.

China took serious to develop and upgrade the dilapidated railway network of Pakistan. The CPEC consist of $46 billion of energy projects, port development and infrastructure development.

The Pakistan’s railways system is in a huge a losses since many years due to lack of funding. Some of the railway track has been destroyed and many of them are not able to use. Bad governance, corruption and negligence are factors too.

Under CPEC Pakistan’s railways will be modernized. CPEC will provide funds to develop railway network from Karachi to Peshawar in Pakistan.  Financing for the railway system has been enhanced to 8 billion dollars from the earlier allocation of 3.5 billion dollars under the 46 dollars CPEC program lifting to the 51.5 billion dollars.

For the up gradation of Lahore- Karachi railway, Beijing will provide Pakistan with a 5.5 billion dollars concessional loan. This modernized railway line is called ML-1. And to double the Lahore- Peshawar railway track, ADB will provide 2.5 billion dollars. These concessional loans will carry less than 2 two percent interest rate.

CPEC project has been divided in three phases, short term, medium and long term. In short term CPEC projects will be completed by 2020 including repairing of main railway lines. The medium term projects will be completed by 2015 including doubling of the railway lines, while the long term projects is consist of railway lines connecting with neighbor countries by 2030.

Working on the first phase of the CPEC short term project has been initiated. The focus on Karachi – Peshawar railway line, has being made signal free and gate free line. Main purpose of this type of railway lines, to make the journey safe and fast to facilitate public and reduce chances of accidents. The track will able for high speed trains.

In CPEC project, the railways is also preparing to link Federally Administrated Tribal Area (FATA) with Peshawar and Torkham.  Later on the railway line will approaches to the rout of Chaman-Spin Boldak rail to link Afghanistan and central Asia through Peshawar Torkham in the third phase of the CPEC.

These railways lines will be modern and safer for traveling of foreigners, fence will built as the motorways to insure its safety and security as international standard. As early the government had no priority to improve the railway network as well management operations but considering the foreign interest now it hopes for better infrastructure of the railways in Pakistan.

Gawadar To Quetta CPEC railway line:

CPEC is an opportunity for Pakistan to make itself sustainable and profitable railways for the future. Pakistan claims that this project will develop the less developed areas of Pakistan especially Balochistan whereas the actual ground realities are different. Balochistan people were tortured, killed and are being fled away with coercion for building CPEC railway track from Gawadar to Quetta and Jacobabad via Besima. Around 560 KM of track will be made from Bostan to Kotla Jam on main line-2 via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan, while around 680 KM of track will be laid from Havelian to Khunejrab.

The Karachi- Peshawar railways are almost processed almost 80 percent of the passenger and freight traffic, but its efficiency has decline to around 60 kilometer per hour due to mismanagement and bad track. The up gradation will took six years to complete replacement of bridges and double the tracks and improve the signals. But it efficiency will to around 160 km per hour. It will ensure fast traveling and shifting goods to the regional markets.

The CPEC railway lines will then be extended in the next phase to link Gawadar with Peshawar and then Haveilian, Abbottabad, with Khunjerab.

Plan for reconstruction and up gradation of around 50 railway stations has been started, which, It would be helpful for generating revenue and modernizing the public utility.

Under the mega project, the construction work on two (Narowal and Nankana Sahib) of the three stations of Sikh tourism has already been stared with approved cost of Rs 659.99 million while the tenders are in process for upgradation of Hasanabdal station. The stations built over 100 years back were in bad condition.

The Raiwind City railway station will be completed by February 2018 at a cost of about Rs135 million. This was said by Pakistan Railways CEO Javed Anawar said at the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday of the project.

Rail network in Punjab (Pakistan)

Punjab taking steps to benefit from CPEC’s western route. Housing colonies like satellite towns should be developed in the vicinity of interchanges at Fateh Jang, Pindigheb and Tarap so that mass migration to Islamabad and Rawalpindi is managed and discouraged.

Working paper will present its report to him by April 30 this year The working paper recommended that the future development in this region can be modeled like Noida (New Okhla Industrial Development Authority), a systematically planned development in the suburbs of New Delhi.

The working paper proposed that the provincial roads linking the CPEC western route with M2 and N5 need to be developed and dualism.

The western corridor will provide fast and world class connectivity to southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) like Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, and Karak to Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Similarly the tehsils of Mianwali, Jandh, Pindigheb will by 60-90 minutes commute from Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

A a total 560 kilometers track from Bostan Kotla Jam on the main line-II via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan and another 682 kilometres track from Havelian to Khunjerab will be laid. The up gradation of 1,872 kilometers track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi including Taxila-Havelian – along with dualisation of the track from Shahdara to Peshawar will also be carried out.

Railways to get Infra-red and Laser Rays technologies for beating Dense Fog

Winter is here, but a train commuter won’t have to fear the fog now. For the first time, the Railways is set to introduce a device that will allow the trains to run at more than 100 km per hour in dense fog without compromising on safety.

Trials of the device, named ‘Trinetra’ (third eye), have been completed and authorities have got the nod for installing it in passenger trains.

The device uses infra-red and laser rays to detect any object on tracks up to a distance of 2 km and display the information on screen fitted inside the locomotive.

The device can also detect any minor damage or crack in the tracks and thus avert rail accidents. Trinetra has been devised by the mechanical wing of the Railways.

Railway officials claimed during trial that the device successfully detected the presence of small objects on the track at least 500 metres in advance.

Similarly, it indicated minor defects in the tracks to the loco pilot and eventually trains could be stopped at a safe distance.

“The Trinetra device will be useful in averting train collisions, derailment and accidents on unmanned railway crossings. The radar-based system has been found to be accurate in sensing any physical obstruction on the tracks as it can also detect any damage in tracks ahead,” said a railway ministry official.

The ministry began trial of the device last year and sources said its working has already been demonstrated before the Prime Minister’s Office.

It may be noted that the railway ministry has been struggling to develop an effective train accident protection and warning system for over two decades.

Multiple trials were conducted on these devices but they failed to yield desired results.

The Trinetra device has been successfully tested in nearly 100 mail and express trains that included New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express.

The introduction of Trinetra also assumes significance in the wake of frequent derailments in recent years. Out of more than 250 accidents since 2015, a majority of them were caused due to damage in tracks or poor visibility.

Officials said the new devise will prove to be more useful during nights and in foggy conditions when drivers have to constantly look outside the locomotive to assess the condition.

Railways will be inviting tenders for installation of the device in January. As per the plan, nearly 4,000 trains will be equipped with the device in the first phase.

The phase-I will be implemented in the northern railway zone that witnesses the maximum train disruption due to fog.

The devices will be efficient in heavy rains as well, officials claimed. The Railways plans to equip these trains with the Trinetra device before the next winter.

Procurement of this device is a part of the Railways’ efforts to achieve zero-accident target.

The railway ministry in this year’s budget has also created a special safety fund of Rs 100,000 crore for eliminating unmanned level crossings, track renewal, signal upgradation and installation of train collision avoidance system for reducing train accidents.

The ministry has so far failed to implement indigenously-developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).

L&T Metro Rail bags ABCI Award

L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail has bagged the award of the prestigious Association of Business Communicators of India (ABCI). L&T bagged the National Award for “Web Communication — Online Campaign for Social Media, PR & Branding” and it was presented at the 57th Annual Awards Ceremony, organized by the ABCI at a function in Mumbai on December 22. The Award was pitted against India’s leading corporates, banks and PSUs. It bagged the honors for the clarity of its communication, design, vibrancy of expression and for demonstrating that the recognition of an organization is through PR and Branding .

According to the Newspaper,The award has got Hyderabad Metro a national footprint. The ABCI holds annual contests. This year, over 250 organizations representing private sector companies, PSUs and communication agencies submitted a total of over 1,900 entries. L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited is a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro, an Indian multinational engaged in technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services with USD 17 billion in revenue.

Work on Patna Metro Rail to start Soon: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said works on metro rail project in Patna would be taken up soon as the state government will submit a corresponding detailed project report (DPR) to union ministry of housing and urban affairs within next four months.Nitish, while inaugurating the newly- built station road flyover on Tuesday evening, said Union minister of state (independent charge) for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh has assured that the DPR for Patna metro rail would be cleared in minimal time. Vehicular movement on the new flyover will commence from Wednesday.”The central government has recently changed its policy for development of metro rail networks in the country. Accordingly, we were required to change the DPR for Patna metro rail.

According to the Newspaper,State urban development department is finalising the changes in the DPR and we intend to submit within next three to four months. Union urban minister Puri had come to Patna to participate in the Shukrana Samaroh (thanks- giving or concluding ceremony of 350th birth anniversary of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh) and he has assured me that the DPR for Patna metro rail would be approved in minimal time,” Nitish said.The preliminary DPR for proposed metro rail in Patna entailing an estimated outlay of Rs. 16960crs was given an in- principal approval by CM Nitish Kumar on December 22, last year, followed by an approval by the state cabinet on February 9, this year.Meanwhile, the new metro policy of the Centre was given a nod by the central cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi in its meeting held on August 16.

IRFC hopeful of raising Rs.1,000 Crore from Capital Gains Bonds

Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) is hopeful of raising Rs 1,000 crore from the recent issue of capital gains bonds, its Managing Director S K Pattanayak said today. With an aim to raise Rs 500 crore with the green shoe option to retain over-subscription, IRFC is looking at mopping up Rs 1,000 crore from the capital gains bonds, he told here. Stating that IRFC opened the issue on November 10, Pattanayak said the bonds have a lock-in period of three years and presently yields an interest of 5.25 per cent per annum, payable on October 15 every year. The bonds have benefits under Section 54 EC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, he said.

IRFC is among the four institutions authorised by the Union Finance Ministry to issue such bonds. The other three non-banking financial companies are NHAI, REC and PFC. “The IRFC bonds are safe, secure, redeemable and non-transferable, and are a cheap source of funding for us,” the managing director said, adding, that a person who has received capital gains in a year can invest in these bonds and save tax on capital gains. An investor can invest a minimum of Rs 20,000, and in multiples of Rs 10,000 thereafter, with a maximum of up to Rs 50 lakh in these bonds, during a financial year. Noting that IRFC is one among the five Railway PSUs selected for listing on the bourses, Pattanayak, who was on a visit here, said preparations were underway in that direction.

Since its inception in 1986, IRFC has been playing a significant role in supporting the expansion of the Indian Railways, meeting about 30 per cent of its extra budgetary requirements, he said. The amount is around Rs 40,000 crore during this fiscal. Stating that the Railways has a big investment plan of Rs 8.56 lakh crore from 2015-16 to 2019-20, Pattanayak said said the target of funding through IRFC has been pegged at Rs 2.50 lakh crore. For the current fiscal, the Railways has planned a capex of Rs 1.31 lakh crore and is looking to raise more than Rs 35,000 crore in addition to its budgetary resources, primarily to procure safer passenger coaches and electric railway locomotives, and pushing the network electrification and signalling modernisation programme, he said. IRFC’s cumulative funding to the rail sector has crossed Rs 1.80 lakh crore as of March 31, 2017 and is all set to cross Rs 2.20 lakh crore by March, 2018, he said.