Report Card Of Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu’s At The End of Calendar Year 2016

Report Card Of Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu’s At The End of Calendar Year 2016

From providing passenger services to announcing new trains, construction of new rail lines besides digitisation and tariff reforms on the freight side, India’s Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has done quiet a lot. A no-nonsense minister in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, Prabhu means business and is working towards bringing a change in the working environment with focus on latest technology and tariff reforms.

FREIGHT
● Seminar on “Evolving Strategic Partnership for Select Freight Segments” organized by CTRAM held.
● Port Congestion Surcharge & Busy Season Charges withdrawn.
● Arrangements made to transport drinking water to the drought-affected areas of Latur district in Maharashtra.
● First time-tabled container train service from Domestic Container Terminal, Okhla (Delhi) to Whitefield (Bengaluru) flagged off.
● Liberalized comprehensive parcel leasing policy & liberalized policy for parcel cargo express trains launched.
● Interactive seminar with major industries and stakeholders of Indian Railways freight business organized.
● Rationalized siding policy-a major freight segment reform easing the setting up additional private terminals launched.
● Commodity basket for container traffic – 43 additional commodities in Freight of Any Kind expanded.
● Station to station special freight rates policy has been liberalized.
● Solar Powered Guard Van of Goods (Freight) Train flagged off.
● Mini Rake Loading – Distance restriction has been eased from 400 km to 600 km. Due to this policy loading has witnessed 356% increase and earning has also shown 442% increase during April-Nov 2016 as compared to corresponding period of previous year.
● Dual Freight Policy for Export Iron Ore has been eliminated
● Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Empty flow Directions has been extended.
● Container Train Operators have been allowed to operate Parcel Special Trains on indent basis.
● Proposal to allow Private investment in General Purpose Wagons is being

Passenger Safety and Amenities:

SAFETY
● Fortnight long massive safety drive launched to focus on measures to prevent derailments.
● Indian Railways working on an action plan on eliminating unmanned level crossings from the railway network. The exercise is a sub-mission of the Railways “Mission Zero Accident”. Regular awareness campaigns are underway to sensitize public about taking precautions while crossing unmanned level crossing
● TRI-NETRA – Terrain imaging for diesel dRivers Infrared, Enhanced Optical & Radar Assisted system trial launched.
● An action plan has also been chalked out for retro-fitting of the existing 45,000 ICF designed coaches with better safety features over the next 3 to 4 years.
● Was decided that Indian Railways would completely switch over to the production of LHB coaches which are designed with better safety features like anti-climbing and anti-telescoping.
● Japan and Korea are roped in to improve the safety performance of Indian Railways
● Former CAG, Shri Vinod Rai and Renowned Nuclear Scientist Dr. Anil Kakodkar to be involved in improving the safety parameters of Indian Railways
SECURITY
● Dynamic measures undertaken by Railway Protection Force to come upto the expectations of the travelling public for a safer travel during year 2015-16
● Rescue of Children by RPF under “Operation Muskaan – II
● Fitment of CCTV In Amritsar- New Delhi Shan-E-Punjab Express inaugurated. Shan-E-Punjab Express becomes the First India Train  fitted with CCTV surveillance Cameras. Surveillance Systems while monitoring security shall not compromise on privacy of Rail Passengers four to six cameras per Coaches installed with Digital Video Recorder Facial Recognition in Unambiguous Light and in Low Light Conditions Especially in Aisle Areas

Conscious of ensuring passenger safety, Prabhu and his team are slowly yet steadily working towards reducing dependence on manual systems by moving towards latest technology and procurement of modern equipments. Says Prabhu, he wants to do this “on a war footing.”

PASSENGER AMENITIES, SERVICES
● Personalised take away bedrolls service launched.
● Main Concourse at Hazrat Nizamuddin Station commissioned Along with Enhanced Passenger Amenities and Executive Lounge at Agra Cantt
● Catering made optional in identified Trains (some Shatabdis & Rajdhanis)
● Initiation of “Janani Sewa” announced – i.e. Hot Milk, Hot Water and Baby Food items at stations and children’s menu items on Trains.
● Released Brochure on “Passenger Business Initiatives”.
● Hourly Booking of Retiring Rooms-enhancing stay capacity by use of IT for convenience of passengers launched.
● Optional Travel insurance for e-ticket passengers launched.
● Policy decision taken to provide sub quota of 33 % to women within reserved categories for the allotment in catering units.
● Policy decision taken to give preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations.
● New system of allocating vacant berths after final charting to wayside stations. 10% rebate also offered on these vacant berths.
● RAC berths increased to allow more passengers to travel on board Trains.
● Self Help Groups have been roped in to make local Cuisines available through E-Catering Services of Its PSU IRCTC.
● Handing over of all catering units to IRCTC is being finalised. Sharing of license fee between Indian Railways and IRCTC will be in the ratio of 40:60
● Policy guidelines for handing over of Retiring rooms and Dormitories to IRCTC have been launched.
● Policy of Multi purpose stall is being finalised.
● Automated refund, without filing of TDR in case of cancellation of trains introduced.
● Provision of booking full berth/seat for children between 5 and 12 years of age introduced. However full adult fare would be charged for the same.
● The Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) also known as VIKALP now available on sectors viz., Delhi- Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Secunderabad  is now being extended to other sectors and instructions have been given to Zonal Railways to this effect.
● Facility of Online Change of Boarding Point Introduced for e-tickets.
● Online concessional ticket booking facility launched for accredited journalists.
● Compensation Rate Payable to Railway Accident Victims has been Doubled.
● Flexi fare system for Rajdhani/Duronto and Shatabdi trains introduced.
● Flexi fare system in Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto trains reviewed and Rebate introduced in flexi fare system in select trains and select sectors.
● Flexi fare system introduced in Humsafar trains.
● So far, 316 no. of escalators at 129 stations & 178 no. of lifts at 79 stations have been provided across Indian Railways.
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And more so after the two derailments in less than two months, the minister is ensuring strict practices within and has instructed all railway officials to involve in inspection on a regular basis.

“I am very angry about the derailments. We have to bring down such cases. For that, safety inspections have to be more vigorous. We have to procure modern equipment for safety inspection on a war footing to avoid manual exercise,” the minister said.

NEW TRAINS
● Mahamana Express from Varanasi Cantt. to New Delhi with Model Rake flagged off. Coaches have been Refurbished for Enhanced Passenger Comfort and Facility in the Model Rake. Mahamana Express is the First Train to have a Seamless Run on Electric Traction from Varanasi to New Delhi via Recently Completed Ghaziabad-Moradabad Route.
● Lokmanya Tilak (T)-Kazipet Anandwan Express (Weekly) flagged off.
● Bilaspur-Bhagat Ki Kothi Express & Bilaspur-Bikaner Express (Bi-weekly) between Delhi & Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) and Delhi & Dalli Rajhara flagged off.
● India’s First Semi-High Speed Train Christened as Gatimaan Express Capable of Running at a Maximum Speed of 160 Kmph between H.Nizamuddin and Agra Cantt Flagged off. Train Hostesses to Provide Hospitality Services On-Board.
●Tiger Express train launched on the World Environment Day.
● Newly Developed Deen Dayalu Coach dedicated to the Nation
● Air Conditioned Coach developed for DEMU Train
● Launch of new service providing direct connectivity from Jhansi to Indore and Jhansi to Etawah
● Hansdiha – Dumka Passenger Flagged off.
●Train No. 22427/22428 (Balia – Anand Vihar Terminus – Balia) weekly flagged off.
●Train No. 14117/14118 MANWAR- SANGAM EXPRESS            (Allahabad- Basti- Allahabad) (5 days a week) flagged off.
●Train No. 15069/15070 Gorakhpur-Badshahnagar Express (daily) flagged off.
●Train No 12595/12596 Gorakhpur-Anand Vihar(T) HUMSAFAR EXPRESS(Bi- Weekly)(Via Basti) and Train No. 12571/12572 Gorakhpur-Anand Vihar(T) HUMSAFAR EXPRESS(Weekly)(Via Barhni) Flagged off.
●Train No. 55382 Pilibhit-Bhojipura-Bareilly City Passenger flagged off on newly Gauge converted Rail Track of Bhojipura-Pilibhit.
● Extension of Koderma-Hazaribagh town passenger upto Barkakana flagged off.
● Two additional coaches augmented for Cancer & Family Health Services to THE LIFELINE EXPRESS – the world’s first State-of-the-art Hospital Train .
● Extension of existing Agra Cantt-Etawah DEMU Train upto Mainpuri via newly constructed Etawah-Karhal-Mainpuri Broad Gauge section

Commenting on the status of special railway safety fund, he said, “There will be no dearth of funds for safety works. We have written to the finance ministry for the special fund and the minister has agreed in principle for it. We were also assured of more safety funds this time.”

FINANCE
● Cabinet approved merger of rail budget with general budget; advancement of budget presentation and merger of plan and non-plan classification in budget and accounts.
● Cabinet approved Productivity Linked Bonus to railway employees.
● National Conference on “Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways – A Strategic Mission for Sustainable Growth” held
● Railway PSU RITES Achieved Highest Ever Total Income of Rs. 1294 Crore, Higher by 11% Over The Previous Year.
SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT AND INNOVATION
● Campaign for “Innovation Challenges for Indian Railways” launched.
● Concept Paper on Rail Development Authority of India prepared.
● Indian Railways appointed Ernst Young (EY) as consultant to tap advertising potential of stations and trains. EY to identify assets and pricing strategy across 7000 stations for the purpose of advertising.
● A 3 day Rail Vikas Shivir (Rail Development Camp) held with a view to generate numerous innovative yet practical ideas across most critical areas of Railway operations for substantial progress of this sector.
● Ministry of Railways in collaboration with Center for Transportation Research and Management (CTRAM) organised 17th National Rail Transport Conclave.

Prabhu wants Railways to procure modern equipment for faster detection of fracture on rail tracks.  For more upgradation, experts from Japan and Korea would also examine the existing safety mechanism and suggest ways to strengthen it.

HIGH SPEED RAILWAY
● High Speed Train between Mumbai – Ahmedabad Corridor already sanctioned and under implementation with financial & technical assistance from Japan.
● Other high speed corridors along the diamond quadrilaterals are under exploration.
● Semi-High Speed Train between Delhi – Agra called Gatimaan Express started.
● 8 More semi-high speed corridors are under study.
● Indian Railways working on a proposal to acquire modern EMU Train Sets for improved average speed.
● Field Trials for Spanish Talgo Train held for saving substantial travel time.
● Mission Raftaar launched to work towards increasing speed of existing trains in Indian Railways
● Process is on for introducing faster trains Tejas as announced in the Railway Budget
● International conference on Technology for Ultra High Speed rolling stock jointly organised by Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers Association (IRSMEA) with active support of Indian Railways held.
● Protocol for Undertaking Feasibility Study of Speed Raising of Nagpur-Secunderabad Railway Corridor Signed Between Indian Railways and Russian Railways
●‘Mission Raftaar’ of Indian Railway Starts To Yield Results
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About train fares, Prabhu said, “Earlier there was no competition for railways. But now situation has changed. Budget airlines are directly competing with our premier service.”

PSUs under railways, like IRCON, RITES and RVNK would also be involved in checking safety parameters and suggest measures to repair loopholes, if any.

 NEW LINES
● Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved construction of the below additional Railway lines
1. Doubling of Hubli-Chikjajur railway line
2. Third line between Wardha (Sewagram) – Balharshah at an estimated completion cost of Rs.1443.32
3. Doubling of Ramna-Singrauli railway line
4. Third line between Anuppur-Katni
5. Doubling of Katni-Singrauli railway line
6. Construction of additional Bridge and doubling project of Rampur Dumra-Tal-Rajendra Pul
7. Third line between Itarsi and Nagpur
8. Third line between Balharshah-Kazipet
9. Third line between Jhansi and Bina
10. Third line between Vijayawada Jn and Gudur Jn
11. Third line between Mathura and Jhansi
12.  Fourth line between Jharsuguda and Bilaspur
13.  Third line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur (Kalumna)
14.  Third line between Kharagpur (Nimpura) and Adityapur
15.  Doubling of New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya of Northeast Frontier Railway in Assam
16.  Doubling of  Rajpura-Bhatinda railway line at an estimated cost of Rs.1,251.25 crore and expected completion cost of Rs.1,465.59 crore
●  Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase-III approved by Cabinet.
●  Newly laid section of Hansdiha – Barapalasi in Jharkhand dedicated to the Nation,
●  Hazaribagh-Barkakana section of Koderma Ranchi New Railway Line Project dedicated to the Nation.
●  Foundation stone laid for elevated rail line of Indian Railways to eliminate 5 level crossings on Rohtak-Gohana stretch in Haryana under Delhi Division of Northern Railways.
●  Digha and Monghyr Railway Bridge across River Ganga opened.
MAKE IN INDIA INITIATIVES
●  Contract Awarded for setting up of Electric Loco Manufacturing Factory at Madhepura in Bihar and Diesel Loco Manufacturing Factory at Marhowrah in Bihar.
●  Rail Coach Factory set up at Kanchrapara/West Bengal.
●  Electric Loco Assembly & Ancillary Unit of CLW set up at Dankuni in West Bengal.
● LHB Bogie Manufacturing Factory set up at Budge Budge, West Bengal.
●  Foundation stone laid for Rolling Stock Component Factory at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
●  Contract awarded for setting up of Forged Wheel Factory at Raebareli.

 

DIGITAL INDIA INITIATIVES
● New checks on booking of e-ticket/i-ticket through IRCTC website introduced with a view to further prevent possible misuse. Under the new provisions a maximum of 6 tickets can be booked online by an individual user in a month on IRCTC website.
●  Cancellation of PRS counter tickets through IRCTC website and 139 introduced
● Printing of Bar Code on Unreserved tickets introduced to Prevent Fraud.
●  International Debit and Credit Cards accepted for payment for e-ticketing through IRCTC website
●  India’s first High Speed Public Wi – Fi Service at Mumbai Central station inaugurated.
●  As on 27 December 2016, 98 Railway Stations are provided with High Speed Wi-Fi service..
●  Implementation of E-enabled Track Management System (TMS) & Mobile Application of TMS on Indian Railway and Track Inventory Management System inaugurated on Northern Railway.
●  A New Micro – Site for Railway Budget 2016-17 Update and Budget Watchhttp://www.railbudget2016.indianrailways.gov.in or  www.indianrailways.gov.in/rb2016 launched.
●  Hand Held Terminals given for TTEs
● Paperless Unreserved Ticketing Mobile Application launched
●  E-booking of Disposable Linen on Trains launched
● Works Module of Indian Railways E-Procurement System (IREPS) and Implementation of ‘e-Tendering in Works Contracts’ launched.
● Integrated (Facebook & Twitter) Social Media Platforms for grievance redressal launched.On an average 12000 tweets and 400 posts per day are received from Railway Ministry’s Twitter & Facebook accounts. Social Customer Relationship Management System has been launched to handle such large number of tweets/posts.
● Railway Ministry’s Twitter handle has reached 2 million followers.
● Go India Smart Card introduced on pilot basis in select sectors (New Delhi – Mumbai, New Delhi – Howrah) to facilitate Cashless transactions and to reduce the time taken at Booking Counters.
● Hand Held Terminals for Booking of Unreserved tickets at Point of Sale launched at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station
● Website of National Rail Plan, 2030 launched.
●  Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSKs) to install POS machines and accept payments through all banks debit/credit cards for issuing both reserved and unreserved tickets.
●  Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSKs) & Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBs)are encouraged to accept payments through other modes also like UPI, USSD, e-wallet, Aadhar enabled payments system.
●  5% Discount for booking of Retiring Room through digital means like using debit/credit cards introduced
●  0.5% discount in the base fare of season tickets (Monthly, quarterly, Half yearly, yearly) over suburban section has been granted in case the payment is made through digital means through debit card, credit card etc.

 

ELECTRIFICATION AND SIGNALLING

  • Indian Railways Khurja Yard gets Ultra Modern Computer based Signalling System
  • International Conference on Decarbonisation of Indian Railways – Mission Electrification inaugurated.
  • Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL)-PTC (formerly known as Power Trading Corporation of India Ltd) Control Center Inaugurated
  • Record electrification of 1775 rkm in a year in Indian Railways, has been achieved upto 15thDec.’16, This is 20% higher than the previous record electrification of 1479 rkm achieved during the same period for calendar year 2015.
  • To increase the pace of electrification; it was proposed to assign works to other Railway PSUs like IRCON & RITES including PGCIL (PSU of Ministry of Power).
  • One of the most challenging railway project for conversion of 1500 V DC to 25000 V AC traction system has been successfully completed over the entire Mumbai division of Central Railway.
  • 38 WAP7locomotives have been fitted with Hotel Load Converters (HOG). 3000 liters of diesel is saved in one round trip between New Delhi-Mumbai by Rajdhani Express with HOG and reduce noise pollution.
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GREEN INITIATIVES

  • Substantial paper saving effort by budget wing of Railway Ministry in preparation and communication of Rail Budget 2016-17. This effort has resulted in saving of 12 lakh sheets of A-4 size paper and printing of 26 lakh pages.
  • Indian Railways bagged highest ever 27 National Energy Conservation Awards for the Year 2015-16.
  • ‘First Green Train Corridor namely Rameswaram – Manamadurai’ free from human waste discharge inaugurated.
  • “Okha-Kanalus and Porbandar-Wansjaliya Sections in Gujarat of Western Railways inaugurated as Green Corridor Sections (Free from human waste discharge from trains).
  • Till date about 400 MW (160 MW rooftop and 240 MW on land based system) has already been tied up/tendered out of the target of 500 MW rooftop and 500 MW land based solar power system to be set
  • Model Tender Document for 100 MW Solar Rooftop project of IR finalized
  • 339 nos. of Railway stations have already been fitted with 100% LED luminaries.
  • First WDG4DHHP diesel locomotive no. WDG4D-70486 fitted with vacuum based toilet and bio-digester system inaugurated.

INITIATIVES FOR THE SENIOR CITIZENS & PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

  • Senior Citizens Concession Rules modified.
  • Announcement of implementation of policy allowing differently abled persons to avail concession while travelling without escort.
  • Railway Streamlined procedure for issue of concession certificate to physically challenged persons (Divyang)
  • With a view to provide support to old and differently abled passengers requiring assistance at the stations, introduced Yatri Mitras Sewa for enabling passengers to book wheelchair services cum porter services.

HUMAN RESOURCE

  • Policy decision taken to post Station Directors at all A1 Category Stations.
  • Single person accountability for all facilities on trains-along with single nodal officer for monitoring launched.

CLEANLINESS (SWACHH RAIL MISSION)

  • Nine-Day Long “Swachhta Saptah” held.
  • In order to carry out efficient disposal of waste, Indian Railways has decided to provide separate dustbins for collections of biodegradable (wet waste) and non-biodegradable (dry waste) on the platforms and all passenger interface areas in A1 & A category stations apart from vending stalls.
  • “Clean My Coach” Service launched to ensure cleanliness in Trains.
  • Padma Bhushan Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak founder of Sulabh International appointed as a Brand Ambassador for “Swachh Rail Mission” of Indian Railway.

SPORTS

  • Indian Railways won National Chess Team Championship for the First Time
  • 35 Sportspersons from Indian Railways participated in Rio Olympics
  • Indian Railways among all sports organization in the country becomes the highest contributor for the Indian Olympic Contingent.
  • Almost Entire Indian Women Hockey Team & Weightlifting Team Comprises of Railways Players.
  • Sakshi Malik, a Railway Employee won the first Olympic Bronze Medal in 58 kg category in wrestling.
  • Indian Railways Team Won Senior National Powerlifting Championship.
  • Indian Railways Men Hockey Team Won MCC Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey Tournament For The First Time.

MOUs

  • Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ministry of Railways and Governments of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh,Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Odisha for “Formation of Joint Venture Companies for Development of Railway Infrastructure in these States.
  • MoU signed between India and Sweden on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signed Between Ministry of Railways and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for developing applications in the field of Remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) for remote sensing at unmanned railway crossing including, all geospatial solutions and customized software solutions for providing reliable,  efficient & optimal solutions to Railways in it various areas of operation thereby benefiting the rail user.
  • Railway Ministry takes major step towards Scientific and Technical collaboration among major Government Technical and Scientific Agencies for development of special material and technologies for improving Railway Rolling Stock.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Ministry of Railways and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Green Industrial Units.
  • Agreement Signed Between Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited(IRSDC) And Bansal Group For The Redevelopment And Modernization Of Habibganj Railway Station
  • Indian Railways Ties Up with Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara for award of MBA Degree To Railway Probationary Officers In Specific Railway Fields
  • Indian Railway Minister held discussions with the visiting German Transport Minister
  • Ministry of Railways Promoting Railway Related Education in The Country in Collaboration With Premier Educational Institutions

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Renovated National Rail Museum inaugurated.
  • Conference on Heritage Rail Tourism organized jointly with Asia Pacific Heritage & Rail Tourism Organisation
  • “Rail Geet” dedicated To The Nation
  • India to supply Diesel Locomotive to Myanmar Railways.
  • Indian Railways PSU RITES signed Locomotives Export Contract with Myanmar Railways.

 

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