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India allocates $17.6bn for upgrading network

India's Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, left, arrives at Parliament House, New Delhi, to present the rail budget on Feb. 25 (Photo courtesy of Press Information Bureau)

NEW DELHI -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government plans to spend 1.21 trillion rupees ($17.6 billion) in India's aging rail network in the financial year beginning April, up 20% on the year.

     Indian Railways, the world's fourth-largest network with 23 million daily users, most of them poor, has suffered for decades due to under-investment. The Modi government, which came to power in May 2014, said last year it aims to invest 8.5 trillion rupees over the next five years to upgrade rail infrastructure.

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