Budget 2023-24: Soon, Rs 75K-crore transport connectivity projects

The Centre will work on critical connectivity infrastructure projects worth Rs 75,000 crore in the upcoming fiscal year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Union Budget 2023-24.

The minister said: “100 critical transport infrastructure projects, for last- and first-mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertiliser, and food grains sectors, have been identified. They will be taken up on priority with investment of Rs 75,000 crore, including Rs 15,000 crore from private sources.”

Budget 2023-24: Soon, Rs 75K-crore transport connectivity projects

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasised that the national transporter will take up infrastructure specifically for corridors in the upcoming fiscal year. “We will adopt a corridor approach for infrastructure development. This will include port connectivity corridors under Sagarmala, energy corridors (projects connecting several coal belts), cement corridor, and hill corridors,” he said.

Sitharaman has announced that coastal shipping will be a preferred mode of transport for passengers and freight. This assumes significance as the Centre has been trying to promote rail-sea-rail (RSR) mode for transportation of coal to avert power crises.

The corridors are essential for last-mile multimodal connectivity, and have been in the backburner for years now. Recently, the PM-GatiShakti division of the commerce ministry issued directions to expedite these corridors for a reduction in cost of logistics.

The railways ministry has been allocated close to Rs 2.15 trillion solely for commissioning of track upgrade works and procurement of rolling stock for capacity enhancement.

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