India’s authorities announced that will spend £88bn (USD 130 billion) to modernise its crumbling railways, Theguardian reports.
The railways minister, Suresh Prabhu, said the network was crucial to India’s economic development as he signalled investment totaling more than 8.5tn rupees over the next five years.
Prabhu promised to make India’s railways safer, build more lines and increase the speed of journeys on nine key routes. He said the government would introduce wireless networks in stations and train the notoriously surly frontline staff in “soft skills” to make travel a more pleasant experience.
“Railways facilities have not improved substantially for the past few decades, which is the result of under-investment that affects capacity, leading to poor morale,” Prabhu told parliament as he delivered the annual rail budget.