In a bid to fix the century-old system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indian Railways to use technology developed through 'Make in India' for its ambitious new signalling project of Rs. 78,000 crore, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal told PTI.

"Keeping in mind the Make in India initiative and the fact that three Indian companies are already trying to develop the signalling system, he (Modi) suggested that we should consider indigenous technology also and in case it is found suitable, we should give preference to it," said Goyal in the interview.

The minister said that at a meeting held earlier this year, PM Modi had made suggestions on two projects of the railways, that is, signalling and electrification.

When asked about the possibility of the project to get delayed due to waiting for the development of indigenous technology, the mister said that the national transporter was computing the delay it could cause in fixing the century-old system. "That is what we need to assess and report back to the prime minister," he said.

He said that the indigenous manufacturers will be simultaneously supported in order to come up to the level of the international players. To make it cost-effective, any project with international technology will largely be made in India, as said by Goyal.

People cross a railway track in front of an arriving train on a foggy winter morning in Allahabad in this November 30, 2016, file photo. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

The minister also said that the Prime Minister has asked the railways to focus not on 100 percent electrification, but on cost-effective electrification with a thrust on prioritising the routes. "Where there is more traffic, the cost-benefit is maximum. So, for every rupee you invest, you get maximum benefit," said Goyal in the interview. "I think that is absolutely the right way in which a project should be assessed," he added.

According to the sources, global suppliers like Ansaldo, Alstom, Bombardier, Siemens, Thales, STS, CAF and the Memec Group could be considered for the signalling system. The initial plan was to roll it out based on the European Train Control System-Level 2, across its network.