It is our Honorable Prime Minister’s firm belief that Indian Railway has the potential to become the backbone of India’s progress and economic development. This is the vision we all are working for at Indian Railways with you as our partner.
18 months ago, when I took over the reigns of this great organization called Indian Railways, I was faced with many challenges. I had the option of making small incremental changes or go beyond business as usual. I chose the latter Bringing in systemic changes was the need of the hour. It was important to change the perception of Indian Railways from a slow moving behemoth to a responsive modern organization. It is satisfying for me to note that we have made some progress. A lot is still to be done.
Our Prime Minister has asserted many times that our Government’s priority is the commonest of common man of the country and it is with this in mind, we worked on improving the travel experience for our people. We launched a host of initiatives aimed at this.
The two years that have gone by would be recognised as significant in the history of Indian Railways.
These have been the years when we broke away from tradition and convention and abandoned the business as usual approach. These years have been challenging, no doubt; the experience has also been exciting. We have diagnosed that most of the problems ailing Indian Railways are because of under-investment.
Last year, a five-year investment plan of Rs. 8.56 lakh crore was unveiled. The capex plan for 2015-16 was increased to Rs. 1 lakh crore as against an average of about Rs. 48,000 crore spent during 2009- 2014. We have spent over Rs. 93,000 crore against the aforesaid target, a feat never achieved earlier by Indian Railways. For the first time, we decided to go in for sustained borrowing from the market to meet the enhanced capex requirements. A financing facility has been extended by LIC to provide Rs. 1.5 lakh crore over a period of five years. For 2016-17, our target is to spend Rs. 1.21 lakh crore as capex, 34% higher than 2015-16.
For the last two years, we have made untiring efforts to take care of the needs of our passengers. We are trying to resolve the problems of passengers on a real time basis by using social media. Measures have also been taken to make journeys safer and satisfying for women, divyang and senior citizens.
Some of the important achievements are:
- Commissioned record 2828 kms of broad gauge lines which is 85% higher than 2009-14 average annual commissioning. 7.7 kms lines commissioned per day against 2009-14 average of 4.3 kms
- Capital expenditure in 2015-16 was about Rs. 94,000 Cr which is almost double the average annual capital expenditure over the previous five-year period of 2009-14
- Electrification of 1730 kms done in the last year is a huge jump over 2009-14 annual average of 1184 kms
- A responsive 24×7 complaint resolution mechanism employed through the use of social media
- Cleanliness: Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat campaign, Clean my Coach Service launched, third party cleanliness audits conducted for stations
- E-catering, E-wheelchair, E-bedroll facilities launched to ensure seamless availability and access to these facilities
- Ticketing: IRCTC capacity increased, Automatic ticket vending machines installed, cancellation of PRS tickets through cell phone launched, Vikalp scheme launched
- Speed: India’s first semi high speed train Gatimaan Express launched, trial run of Talgo coaches underway
- N-E Connectivity: Barak Valley of Assam, Agartala, Mizoram and Manipur connected to broad gauge
- High speed Wi-Fi launched at various stations with a target of 400 stations by 2018 Environment: A provision of 1% of total project cost made in all future projects to spend on environment protection measures, major thrust on solar and wind energy provided, traditional lights replaced by environment friendly LED lights
- 100% E-tendering implemented resulting in transparent and accountable procurement process
IndianBureaucracy.com wishes the very best.