The World Bank will help Indian Railways frame a basic blueprint with an objective to aid its Rs 5 lakh crore investment to transform itself from a colonial-era mass transporter into a strategic platform underpinning growth in Asia's third-biggest economy.
The multilateral lending agency would partner the 164-year-old railroad network, the world’s fourth longest, to help the state transporter with investment and planning, digitisation and technology development, besides establishing a Railway University and the Rail Tariff Authority.
"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 said.
Rail minister Suresh Prabhu has drawn up an ambitious plan to transform Railways with an investment of Rs 5 lakh crore in the next four years. For this year, the Railways would spend Rs 1.31 lakh crore to augment capacity.
On the planning front, the World Bank has proposed to set up an organisation for creating detailed forecasting models, traffic optimisation and planning.