Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital was the Chief Guest on 16th National Seminar organized by Centre for Transportation Research and Management on the theme “Evolving Strategic Partnership for Select Freight Segments” in India Habitat Centre . Shri Mohd. Jamshed, Member Traffic, Railway Board & President, CTRAM, Shri Girish Pillai, Advisor Infrastructure, Railway Board, Shri R. K. Tandon, ED/CTRAM, officers and stakeholders were among those present on the occasion.
While inaugurating the seminar, the Chairman, Railway Board Shri A. K. Mital welcomed the participants of the Seminar and said that it is his privilege to be at the Seminar of Evolving Strategic Partnership for Select Freight Segments” organized by CTRAM. He said that Railways is most economical mode of transportation even then railway traffic is going down as compared to the other modes of transport. He pointed the reason behind that Railways has not spent enough for developing basic infrastructure for the freight sector.
Shri A. K. Mital further stated that the Railways has brought in various policies and initiatives for attracting the investors in these sectors. He said that Railways have improveed freight terminals as 90 percent of the loading is done from freight terminals only. This seminar is supposed to concentrate on bringing the investment on terminals i.e. to attract more and more freight by loading steel, cement and automobiles etc.
Member Traffic, Shri Mohd. Jamshed in his address congratulated CTRAM for choosing such a relevant theme for this seminar. He said that for the success of any economic development it is imperative that all the stake holders join hands for a collective effort. All around the world the buzz word today is collaboration and partnership. Today’s seminar with this focus on having strategic partnerships will surely throw open new dimensions in Railways freight business. Railways have always believed in taking together our stake holders in freight business. Right since its inception the Indian Railways had long term business relations with industry and private enterprises. Infact of the 1100 million tonnes freight loaded by the Railways in the last year, more than 75% of this traffic has been dealt at terminals ,sidings or ports which are actually owned by private industry.
He further said that in recent times Indian Railway is opening up strategic partnerships with the private sector in the new area of rolling stock too. The various new schemes of Indian Railways inviting private investment in wagons such as WLS (Wagon Leasing Scheme) LWIS( Liberalised Wagon Investment Scheme) SFTO , AFTO have witnessed considerable interest of our partners and so far 195 rakes have been procured entailing an investment of approximately 3500 crores. This trend is further growing in recent times. A remarkable paradigm shift has taken place recently wherein Coal India limited has signed an MOU with the Indian Railway for procurement of wagons for Rs. 500 crores. Thus Railways as a transporter is facilitating investment by our stake holders in both terminal as well as rolling stock.
He hoped that while the seminar will surely address the issues of all freight business models, the focus is on 3 key sectors i.e., automobile, cement and steel industry.
Shri R. K. Tondon, welcomed participants of the Seminar in the beginning and Shri Girish Pillai, Advisor/Infrastructure, Railway Board proposed a Vote of Thanks at the conclusion of the event.
ABOUT CENTRE FOR TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT (CTRAM)
CTRAM (Centre for Transportation Research and Management) is a registered Society of Transport Professionals and is functioning from Rail Bhavan. The CENTRE works under the guidance of a Governing Council consisting of serving as well as retired Senior Railway Officers. CTRAM is headed by Member Traffic/Railway Board, as its ex-officio President and the Addl. Member/Traffic, Railway Board is its ex-officio Vice-President. There are around 600 individual Members of CTRAM from IRTS Community and 18 Rail-User Companies are its Corporate Members.
One of the objectives of CTRAM is to provide a forum to the transport professionals, Industry and Government agencies for cross-sectoral, cross – functional dialogue on issues relating to the emerging needs of the fast growing economy. With these objectives, CTRAM has been organizing National Seminars on topical issues every year in different parts of the country. So far fifteen such National Seminars have been organized. The last one was held in Secunderabad with the theme of “ PPP & FDI on Indian Railways”. Some of the issues discussed in the past Seminars have been:
• Terminal Infrastructure Development Through Private Participation.
• Building World Class Stations Through PPP.
• Dedicated Freight Corridor – Issues and Options.
• Transforming Railways’ Role from Transporter to Logistics Provider.
• Customer Care.
These Seminars are well attended by representatives of Industry, Railways, Transport Professionals and the recommendations made in the Seminar are sent to the decision-makers for implementation. The success rate of accepting the recommendations has been good.
In addition to holding of Seminars, CTRAM has also done Technical Studies pertaining to Steel Industry, Cement Industry, Ports, Coal, Wagon Requirements on IR, Freight/Passenger Terminals etc.