Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw unveils vision for Indian Railways and Telecommunications sector

Business Sunday 11/February/2024 07:52 AM
Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw unveils vision for Indian Railways and Telecommunications sector

New Delhi: In an address at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw provided insights into the strides taken by India's railway and telecommunications sectors under the Modi government's leadership.

Vaishnaw's speech underscored the government's commitment to revolutionising infrastructure and fostering inclusive development across the nation.

Vaishnaw commenced his address by highlighting the progress achieved in railway infrastructure development. He revealed staggering statistics, stating, "Ten years back, the rate of track construction was about 4 km a day; today, it is 15 km a day."

Emphasizing the magnitude of the transformation, he added, "Last year we added 5,200 kms which is like adding one Switzerland to Indian Railway network. This year we are adding 5,500 kms of tracks which is like adding one Austria to the Indian Railway network. So we are like adding a full complete national railway network to our network every year".

The minister also shed light on the station redevelopment program, disclosing that 1,309 stations are currently undergoing transformation, marking the world's largest station redevelopment initiative.

Vaishnaw said, "Today we are doing world's largest station redevelopment program, 1,309 stations are getting re developed".

Vaishnaw lauded the revival of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), stating, "BSNL which was on a bad shape has revived; Company making Rs.1,500 cr Ebitda profit currently"
He reiterated the government's commitment to optimizing the transport network and emphasised forthcoming major initiatives under the Modi 3.0 administration.

The minister underscored the profound impact of railway investment on various industries, stating, "Each rupee we invest in railways has an impact on 250 industries."

He stressed the importance of railways in regaining market share and achieving green goals, emphasizing Prime Minister Modi's hands-on approach in addressing challenges.

Vaishnaw said, "The third term will see the announcement of many new railway corridors and network expansion. Railways for a long period had been losing market share. For our green goals, railways need to grow. Our PM helps us think through problems, goes into minute details."

Highlighting the government's multifaceted approach to development, Vaishnaw identified investment in digital and physical infrastructure, inclusive growth, manufacturing, and the simplification of archaic laws as the four pillars of development.

"Investment in digital and physical infra, inclusive development, manufacturing and simplification of archaic laws are four pillars of development", said Vaishnaw.

He celebrated milestones such as the completion of 280 km of high-speed rail projects and the commencement of construction on an undersea tunnel from BKC, Mumbai, to Thane spanning 21 km.

Vaishnaw said, "We are laying foundation of Viksit Bharat. Investment in infra has risen from USD 50 billion to USD 130billion. Investment in digital and physical infra, inclusive development, manufacturing and simplification of archaic laws are four pillars of development. 280 kms of high speed rail project completed. Construction started on undersea tunnel from BKC, Mumbai to Thane of 21 km."

Vaishnaw discussed advancements in telecommunications, noting, " Every version of Vande Bharat is an improvised version."

He outlined plans for scaling up 5G networks, highlighting India's competitiveness against global giants like Huawei, Ericsson, and ZTE. The minister emphasised the government's efforts to democratize technology and ensure its accessibility to all sections of society.

Vaishnaw said, "PM has transformed the way of thinking of bureaucracy. Coming April or May, looking at scaling up 5G networks. We will be competing against likes of Huawei, Ericsson, ZTE. We have fully democratized tech."

Vaishnaw reaffirmed the government's commitment to inclusive growth and technological advancement.

Vaishnaw said, "People at the bottom of pyramid should have all access to tech. Every part of Indian society benefited from our inclusive growth pillar. Our mobile manufacturing is USD 43 billion, exports crossed USD 12 billion. This Dec we will see first chip roll out of Micron project. Close to 1,500 old laws repealed."

He reiterated the importance of providing access to technology to all segments of society and highlighted achievements in mobile manufacturing and law reform.