Railways to see $120 b investments: Prabhu

New Delhi, (IANS) As much as $120 billion will be invested in Indian Railways in the next five years for expansion and upgradation, said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday.

Indian Railway did not see any investments in the past 25 years, so there will be an investment of $120 billion to catch up with the backlog, said Prabhu, in an address to students and alumni of premier institutions like the IITs, National Law University and the London School of Economics.

As the need of financial infusion in the railways is immense, the government has already decided to welcome FDI in the different departments of railways like station development, coach manufacturing, high speed network and suburban rail, he said.

Highlighting the ills ailing the railways, he said the bad condition of toilets and ticketless travel are the two main issues plaguing the railways and sought innovative ideas and solutions from the audience to solve the problems.

Asking if odourless toilets can be created without using water and if a fool-proof mechanism can be put in place to abolish ticketless travel, the railway minister promised to reward the best ideas and solutions while announcing that a new website to promote technology in rail services will be opened shortly.

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