An interactive seminar with major industries and stakeholders of Indian Railways freight business was organized . The theme of the seminar was “LOOKING BEYOND COAL-GROWTH STRATEGIES FOR RAILWAYS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT”. Keeping in view the importance of freight business, the seminar was specially addressed by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Railways and Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of state for Railways. The seminar was chaired by Shri Mohd. Jamshed, Member Traffic, Railway Board. This has been an unprecedented initiative of Ministry of Railways as it seeks increase in its freight business.
Addressing the interactive session, Minister of Railway Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Indian Railways is making all out efforts to boost its freight traffic. The Minister pointed out that directions have been given to the traffic department of Railways to intensely interact with the freight business representatives and understand their problems and try to address them. Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Railway officers both at zonal level and divisional level are reaching out to customers and chasing them with a view to increase Railway’s freight business. He said that Railways is focusing on non-coal traffic also in a big way and this seminar is discussing strategies for the same. He said that integrated accounting reforms are now underway in Indian Railway system. Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed out that transparency in the Railway functioning has been given top priority and the entire tender process has been made online. He said that Indian Railways is working on ERP Software system which has been rated by some agencies as the largest such project anywhere in the world. He said that emphasis is also being given on accountability. He said that the steps have also been initiated to tap non-fare revenue in a big way and a separate directorate has been set up for handling this subject exclusively. Referring to the recently launched time tabled train of CONCOR, The Railway Minister said that more such time tabled freight trains will be run in future. The Railway Minister also informed that the Indian Railways is forming joint venture companies with different state governments which will further help in proliferating Railway Infrastructure across the nation.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of state for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha said that Railways is going to make all out efforts to increase its freight loading and hence its freight revenue. He said that it is always useful to maintain a two – way dialogue between Railway administration and Railway customers as it leads to better policy formulation.
Member Traffic, Railway Board Shri Mohd. Jamshed made a detailed presentation regarding the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Railways to attract traffic and the action plan for meeting the future challenges.
Salient Feature of the Presentation made by Member Traffic:
- A number of initiatives have been taken for capacity development- Lines and Terminals by MOR. Details are as under-
- Total investment of Rs. 8.56 lakh Cr planned (2015-19)
- Review of Siding policy – simplified procedure, Timelines for projects, Reduced overheads, Online monitoring of progress.
- Additional Terminals: Under Mission hundred, 62 sidings/PFTs targeted to be commissioned during the current year.
- A number of initiatives have been taken by MOR towards rationalising the tariff structure and also facilitating smaller cargo transportation by rail. Details are as under:-
- Introduction of New Delivery Models – Inter-modal – ‘Roadrailer service’ and Ro-Ro, dwarf double stack.
- Port Congestion Charge-@ 10% on all traffic originating from Ports discontinued w.e.f. 13/04/2016.
- Busy Season Surcharge of 15% on basic freight removed w.e.f 01.05.2016 (upto 30.06.2016.)
- All covered wagons opened for loading of Two-Point / Multi Point Destination.
- Mini Rake Loading – Distance restriction eased – 400 kms to 600 kms (w.e.f. 15/03/2016)
- Elimination of Dual Freight policy for Export Iron Ore w.e.f. 09/05/2016.
- New Delivery Model – Introduction of Ro-Ro Service between Bihta and Turki on across Digha Bridge (25-5-16)
- Time-Tabled Freight Service – Container Train between Delhi-Whitefield in 70 hrs – ‘Cargo Express’ (15-6-16)
- Logistics Plan kept in abeyance w.e.f. 17-6-16- Now Eastern Ports can receive coal for Central Indian Power Plants.
- Key Customer Managers have been appointed for each commodity segment.