According to an official document, the railways has allocated over Rs 1 lakh crore for safety measures between 2017-18 and 2021-22. The expenditure on track renewal has shown consistent growth during this period.
Government Response to Auditor General’s Report
Government sources have indicated that the railways will soon respond to a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The report was cited by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to criticize the Centre over a recent train accident in Balasore, Odisha. Kharge claimed that the report exposed the empty safety claims made by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
Kharge’s Concerns and CAG Report
Kharge expressed serious concern about the deteriorating safety of the railways in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He highlighted the 2022 CAG report, which stated that funding for the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) had been reduced by 79%. Kharge questioned why the required funds were not allocated for track renewal work.
Railways’ Expenditure on RRSK and Track Renewal
Contrary to Kharge’s claims, the data in the document reveals that the railways spent over Rs 1 lakh crore on RRSK works from 2017-18 to 2021-22. The government extended the validity of RRSK by another five years in February 2022.
The expenditure on track renewal has shown a steady growth during the same period. It increased from Rs 8,884 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 13,522 crore in 2020-21 and further to Rs 16,558 crore in 2021-22. In total, the railways spent Rs 58,045 crore on track renewal during this period.
The railways’ expenditure on safety measures and track renewal reflects the commitment to ensuring the safety and maintenance of the railway infrastructure. The government’s response to the CAG report will provide further clarity on the matter. The data presented contradicts Kharge’s claims, demonstrating significant investments in safety measures and track renewal. The railways’ ongoing efforts aim to enhance safety and improve the overall quality of rail transportation.
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