Railways Ministry session in Economic Editors Conference 2016

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a-k-mital-addressing-the-economic-editors-conference-2016_indianbureaucracy

Chairman Railway Board, Shri AK Mital along with other Board members viz., Member Traction Shri AK Kapoor, Member Engineering Shri Aditya K Mittal, Member Rolling Stock Shri Hemant Kumar, Member Staff Shri Pradeep Kumar, Member Traffic Shri Mohd. Jamshed, Financial Commissioner Shri Shahzad Shah, Director General (Personnel) Shri Anand Mathur, Director General (Railway Health Service) Dr. Anil Kumar and other Railway Board Senior officials addressed the Ministry of Railway session of the Economic Editors Conference 2016 held at New Delhi today. The following information was given by the Chairman Railway Board and other Railway Board members & other officials.

Two and a Half years achievement of Ministry of Railways

(May 2014 to Nov 2016)

I.Passenger amenities and Digital India initiatives

  • Social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with the handle @railminindia launched.  Ministry of Railways employed first of its kind, a real time 24×7 public grievance system through Twitter and provided medical, security and other emergency assistance to travelling passengers.
  • All India Security Helpline ‘182’ setup to report any untoward incident and seek emergency help during travel & ‘138’ to provide for all other query/complaints during travel
  • A mobile based application viz. Complaint Management System (COMS) launched.
  • E-catering facility launched at 250 stations. 408 railway stations designated for providing E-catering
  • Catering made optional in Train No. 12025 & 12026 (Pune – Secunderabad Shatabdi) and 12953 & 12954 (August Kranti Rajdhani) Trains for a period of 45 days on experimental basis.
  • A massive scheme for providing Water Vending Machines (WVMs) to provide RO Water at affordable prices is under implementation by Railway PSU IRCTC
  • Enhanced Reservation quota for Senior Citizens and Women from two lower berths per coach to four lower berths per coach in Sleeper class
  • Tatkal reservation timings have been staggered to serve dual purpose of providing convenience to  and for staggering traffic on the e-ticket portal. All agents are debarred from booking tickets during first thirty minutes of opening of booking
  • Automatic refund of Confirmed /RAC e-tickets on cancellation of trains similar to waitlisted e-tickets is granted without filing of TDR
  • Time limit for booking reserved tickets was increased to 120 days w.e.f. 01.04.2015
  • Destination alert and wake up alarm services launched on 139
  • Automatic Destination Alerts to passengers through SMS for Rajdhani and Duronto trains.
  • E-ticketing facility launched for disabled persons and for accredited journalist on concession pass.
  • Yatri Mitras Sewa launched for enabling old and differently abled passengers requiring assistance to book wheelchair services cum porter services, at the stations
  • Mobile charging facilities in all new general class coaches initiated.
  • Out of 1252 Stations identified for upgradation to Adarsh Stations’, 986 stations have so far been developed. 160 developed in last two years.
  • Scheme namely ‘SMS Gateway’ launched enabling passengers to get SMS alerts on the status of reserved tickets
  • New Generation system put in place which can book 15000 online tickets instead of 2000 tickets per minute and can attend 2,00,000 enquiries instead of 50000 per minute
  • Rationalization of Computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) done to enable passengers to buy tickets even after the preparation of reservation charts
  • Paperless unreserved ticketing including Paperless Platforms tickets through mobile phone introduced in suburban sections of Western Railway, Central Railway, South Central Railway, Southern Railway, Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway
  • Pilot Project of hand Held Terminals for TTEs launched
  • E-booking of disposable linen started on trains at New Delhi Railway Station, Nizamuddin Railway Station, Mumbai Central (BCT), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM), Bangalore City Junction, Chennai Central and Trivandrum Central Stations.
  • Currency Coin cum Card operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machines installed at select stations.
  • Initiated one of the largest free public Wi-Fi systems in the world. Launched at 74 stations with a plan to extend it to 100 Stations by December this year and to 400 stations by 2018.
  • The booking of retiring rooms at different railway stations made online and hourly booking introduced to enhance stay capacity, make it convenient and transparent.
  • E-Ticketing portal in Hindi launched
  • 60 lifts and 150 escalators provided in last 2 years at Railway stations
  • Model Rake (a passenger carrying train with 24 coaches) developed with improved interiors, colour scheme, aesthetics and amenity fittings. This is running as a train between New Delhi and Varanasi.
  • Cancellation of confirmed, RAC and Waitlisted PRS counter tickets made easy using IRCTC website or phone No. 139.
  • Provision made for acceptance of international debit and credit cards for payment of E-ticket through IRCTC website
  • Yatri Ticket/Sewa Kendra (YTSK) Scheme launched to allow private agents to operate ticketing terminals for selling reserved as well as unreserved tickets
  • Indian Railways operated 28 pilgrims’ special tourist trains.
  • Dustbins to be provided in non AC coaches also
  • NIFT, Delhi engaged for designing of bedroll etc.
  • A new ‘Rail Neer’ plant for package drinking water set up at Ambernath (Mumbai), Amethi (UP), Parassala (Trivandrum) .
  • In order to increase availability of accommodation for general class passengers on long distance Mail/Express trains, GMs were delegated powers to de-reserve Sleeper Class (SL) coaches as General Coaches (GS) in identified trains & sectors
  • Suvidha Trains with graded pricing structure introduced with facility for booking on PRS in addition to e-tickets and facility of limited refund on cancellation of ticket
  • The Defense Travel System to eliminate exchange of defense warrants was rolled out on the NGeT platform. Till date about 2000 Defense units have started issuing tickets through this platform without exchange of warrants
  • Number of berths available for physically challenged increased from 2 to 4
  • ‘VIKALP’, Alternative Train Accommodation System (ATAS) launched with a view to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and also to ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation. This facility is now available on New Delhi – Jammu, New Delhi – Lucknow, Delhi – Howrah, Delhi – Chennai, Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Secunderabad Circuits,
  • Launched pre-cooked (ready-to-eat) meals of reputed brands on trains.
  • Braille signage provided in 3000 coaches to facilitate travel to visually impaired passengers.
  • Provision of foldable ladder in First AC coaches launched
  • Provision of Bio degradable garbage bags to passengers started on pilot basis
  • 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.
  • Escorting ladies special trains and ladies compartment by security squad
  • Security helpline 182 activated and real time complaint resolution through Twitter employed with a high priority to women security issues
  • Fitment of CCTV surveillance cameras for women security in trains initiated with first such fitment undertaken in Amritsar-New Delhi-Shan-e Punjab Express
  • Development of security App over some of the Zonal Railways
  • Middle bay reserved for women
  • Pilot Project of Sale of Unreserved Tickets through Hand Held Terminals initiated at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station of Northern Railway.
  • “Janani Sewa” initiated – i.e. Hot Milk, Hot Water and Baby Food items at stations and children’s menu items on Trains.
  • Integrated (Facebook & Twitter) Social Media Platforms for grievance redressal.
  • Announcement of implementation of policy allowing differently abled persons to avail concession while travelling without escort.
  • Single person accountability for all facilities on trains-along with single nodal officer for monitoring.
  • Launching of optional travel insurance for passengers @ 92 paise only. Phase I rolled out with e ticket holders only.
  • Ministry of Railways has introduced the flexi fare system for Rajdhani/Duronto and Shatabdi trains.
  • New system of allocating vacant berths after final charting to wayside stations.
  • “Rail Geet” dedicated to the Nation.
  1. INFRASTRUCTURE CREATION AND SUPPORT TO MAKE IN INDIA INITIATIVE
  • Indian Railways has taken a giant leap forward in ‘Make in India’ drive by signing Agreement for setting up of Diesel Locomotive Factory (DLF) at Marhowrah, Saran district, Bihar for procurement and maintenance of mainline most modern high power Diesel Electric Locomotives with M/s GE Diesel Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. A separate agreement signed with M/S ALSTOM for setting up of electric locomotive factory at Madhepura, Bihar for procurement and maintenance of most modern high power electric locomotives, both major PPP and FDI tenders of Indian Railways. This would be one of the highest FDI’s in India amounting to order book of almost Rs 40,000 Crore.
  • Trials for 160/200 kmph train sets carried out which will improve average speed of passenger carrying trains thereby reducing journey time significantly.
  • MoU between India and Japan signed for Mumbai–Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project using Shinkansen Technology covering a total of 508 kms at an estimated cost of Rs. 98000 Crores. A new entity named National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited has been set up in February, 2016 to implement the project.
  • Further high speed studies are being conducted by Ministry of Railways on Diamond Quadrilateral High Speed Rail network. Feasibility studies of Delhi- Mumbai, Mumbai- Chennai and Delhi- Kolkata are underway.  The feasibility studies of Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai –Nagpur corridors are being taken up through G2G cooperation with Chinese and Spanish governments respectively
  • Ministry of Railways launched Gatimaan Express, country’s first semi high speed train with a maximum speed of 160 kmph between Delhi and Agra heralding a new era of high speed rail travel in India
  • Redevelopment of 400 Stations to be developed on e-bidding on as is where is basis; 10 stations handed over to IRSDC
  • Indian Railways commissioned 2828 Km of Broad Gauge lines, highest ever in 2015-16 & 1983 km of Broad Gauge lines in 2014 – 15 against an average of 1528 Km from 2009-14.
  • IR commissioned two mega bridges over river Ganga at Patna and Munger.With these, the Railway networks of North and South Bihar have been integrated.
  • The executions of the biggest infrastructural projects in the country, Eastern and Western DFCs have been fast-tracked.  Revised cost estimates have been approved by the Cabinet and funding has been tied up.  Rs.25,320 Cr worth of contracts have been awarded in the last two years, which is more than double of the total contracts of Rs.12,240 Cr awarded since commencement. The first ever section on DFC of 56 km between Durgawati-Sasaram commissioned. The project is progressing well for commissioning in phases by 2019
  • Rail Wheel Plant, Bela commissioned and regular production started
  • Diesel loco factory at Varanasi is being expanded by 25%
  • DEMU factory at Haldia was commissioned and Midlife Rehabilitation Workshop for coaches at Jhansi completed
  • One of the most challenging railway projects, conversion of 1500 V DC to 25000 V AC traction system successfully completed over the entire Mumbai division of Central Railway
  • During 2014-16, 3105 route kilometres have been electrified, which is an average of 1552.5 RKM/ annum as against 1236 RKM/annum during previous five years.
  • Construction of Electric Lolo Assembly & Ancillary Unit of CLW at Dankuni in West Bengal completed
  • Modern LHB Coach manufacturing facility commissioned at ICF Chennai.
  • Bogie Manufacturing Factory at Budge Budge has been commissioned.
  • RITES and SAIL Joint Venture factory for repair and overhauling of wagons commissioned at Kulti, West Bengal.
  • Letter of Acceptance placed and construction work started for a forged wheel plant at Raebareli with ownership of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited to manufacture 80000 forged wheels to substitute import. Railways have provided Land and Assured offtake support.
  • Rail Bogie Karkhana, Yadgir, Karnataka ready for handover.
  • Significant boost in elimination of unmanned level crossing has resulted in safe operations. In 2015-16, a total of 1253 unmanned level crossings were eliminated and 1024 Road over/ Road under bridges were constructed. This marks an improvement of 35% against the average number from 2009-2014
  • Policy issued providing sub quota of 33 % to women within reserved categories for the allotment in catering units.
  • Policy issued giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations.
  • Big boost to Rail Network. Cabinet approved nine projects worth Rs. 24,374.86 crore in Nine States.
  • Indian Railways electrified 1730 KM of Broad Gauge lines in 2015-16 & 1375 km of Broad Gauge lines electrified in 2014 – 15  in comparison to 1184 KM per year from 2009-2014
  • Indian Railways awarded 24000 contracts in Dedicated Freight Corridor in 2015-16 in comparison to 2600 per year from 2009-2014

III.REFORMS

  • A Memorandum of Understanding with LIC of India for obtaining funds to the tune of Rs.1.5 lakh Cr signed.
  • MOF approved issue of tax free bonds by IRFC amounting to Rs.6,000 Cr
  • Powers delegated and decentralized for improving efficiency and transparency. Measures for E-tendering, E-auctioning, E-ticketing, E-Governance, E-Freight Demand, E-Catering, E-WheelChair, E-Concierge etc. taken for efficiency and transparency
  • Ministry of Railways (MoR) signed Joint Venture agreement for formation of Companies with five State Governments viz. Odisha, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Gujarat.  JVs would undertake project development works for an identified basket of projects, which will inter-alia include surveys, preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) and getting requisite approvals, processing for sanctioning of identified projects and monitoring
  • Ministry of Railways conducted world’s largest online exam for recruitment for almost 92 lakh aspirants in more than 1100 centers in 351 cities across India. With a view to increase transparency, a new system of handing over the Question Booklets to the candidates has been introduced. A pilot project of uploading of Answer Keys and Cut-off marks has also been initiated.
  • Replacement of Paper Applications, Duplicate OMR Sheets and bulky multilingual Question Booklets with Online Applications and Computer based online Exams has led to saving 310 crore A4 size sheets, which means a saving of about 4 lakh trees from cutting, in last three examinations alone.
  • Deloitte, a consulting firm has been engaged for studying the manpower rationalization of the Group A services.  Report submitted and is under examination.
  • Four Centres of Railways Research set up in premier educational institutions.
  • A web enabled grievance redressal machinery (Nivaran) for both serving as well as retired railwaymen has been developed. The grievance can be tracked on real time basis, alongwith provision of appeal. 2000 senior authorities in 200 offices dealing with staff grievances have been integrated into one platform.
  • An ERP based Human Resource Management System is proposed to be implemented all over Indian Railways and Rs. 339.72 Crores has been sanctioned for this purpose.
  • Railways signed MoU to set up its own Railway Design Centre in collaboration with National Institute of Design (NID)
  • The process for putting in place a regulator “Rail Development Authority” has been initiated. A concept note was uploaded to receive feedback from all stakeholders. Process for drafting of a bill/executive order underway.
  • 100 % FDI allowed in identified areas of railway sector and sectoral guidelines on FDI formulated
  • Ministry of Railways implemented 100% E-procurement solution for all kinds of contracts – goods, works and services. It is India’s largest e-procurement system
  • A web-enabled IT-Application “Project Monitoring and Information System (PMIS)” launched which will be implemented in Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project, followed by other mega and complex projects of Indian Railways. This will increase transparency in project monitoring
  • “Technology Mission on Indian Railways (TMIR)” for Development/Research/Innovations in Railway Technologies in association with Department of Science & Technology, MoHRD and representatives of Industry has been set up
  • Cross functional Directorates have been set up in Railway Board for Mobility Directorate to enhance average speed of trains, for Non-Fare Revenue to enhance revenues from Non-Tariff sources.
  • Separate Directorate for Environment Created.
  • Names of Members changed – Member Mechanical becomes Member Rolling Stock, Member Engineering becomes Member Infrastructure, Member Electrical becomes Member Traction.
  • Release of Handout on ‘Railway initiatives for Ease of Doing Business’ and Nomination of ‘Key Customer Managers’
  • Cabinet approves merger of rail budget with general budget; advancement of budget presentation and merger of plan and non-plan classification in budget and accounts.
  • Cabinet approves Productivity Linked Bonus to railway employees.
  • Monitoring of Budge Implementation on daily basis through online system of E-Samiksha
  1.   GREEN INITIATIVES
  • Commissioned 26 MW wind mill power plant at Jaisalmer
  • 10 MW Solar Plants installed in two years. Massive solarisation (1000 MW Solar Power Plants) planned in next Five years with an eye on making Railways, the largest solar power producer in the country
  • Railways provided 27,000 bio-toilets in trains in the last two years. A target of 30000 bio-toilets set for the next financial year
  • First ‘Green’ DEMU train introduced on Northern Railway to run between Rewari-Rohtak section
  • A hybrid toilet system, combining best features of a vacuum toilet system and indigenous bio-toilet system has been installed for trial in a First Class air conditioned coach of Dibrugarh Rajdhani which is running well since September 2015. The system does not require any waste handling facilities for evacuation and processing of waste. This system uses significantly less quantity of water is used for flushing
  • A new separate Environment Management Directorate formed to address all environment related issues in a focused and integrated manner
  • M/s. RITES has been engaged for setting up of two pilot plants at NDLS and JP for disposal for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in an environment friendly manner including conversion of Waste to Energy (bio-methanation)
  • A major push was given to get additional sanction of more than 30 Water Recycling Plants during 2015-16. As against this, less than 30 WRPs have been functioning all these years
  • Setting up of Automatic Coach Washing Plants in major coach maintenance depots
  • After field trials, Indian Railways has now developed the environmental friendly composite sleepers made up of recycled plastic waste, which will be used over all girder bridges in future for improved maintainability and facilitating higher speeds and higher axle loads.
  • Indian Railways has started a massive exercise of planting trees alongside Railway Track with the signing agreement with Haryana & Punjab Government in the first phase.
  • Tiger Express train was launched on the World Environment Day.

V.CLEANLINESS

  • Indian Railways joined the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in a big way. It formulated an integrated policy on cleanliness
  • 27 Charitable Institutions/Social Organizations invited to take part in ‘Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ through Shramdaan campaign
  • Criterion for qualification of OBHS trains revised to include all important mail & express trains. 7 more Clean Train Stations added and 240 new trains added on OBHS in last two years
  • “Clean My Coach” Service launched for any cleaning requirement in the coach. A passenger can send an SMS on a mobile number 58888 or book through app and his request is attended to
  • 16 more mechanised laundries set up in the last two years. Now around 45 percent linen is cleaned through mechanised laundries
  • Intensive mechanised cleaning of coaching in coaching depots through professional agencies – 132 Coaching Depots in different Railways already have the system
  • Cleaning of 50 major stations has been outsourced to professional agencies
  • Cleanliness audit through 3rd party started for Railway stations institutionalised. Ranking of stations based on cleanliness would be generated periodically
  • A Nine-Day Long nationwide “Swachhta Saptah” launched from New Delhi Railway Station.
  1. CONNECTIVITY IN NORTH EAST AND J&K
  • Indian Railways completed Udhampur-Katra Broad gauge line in the State of Jammu and Kashmir bringing Katra on Broad Gauge Railway map
  • Minister of Railways Flagged Off Fast Passenger Carrying Train namely Banihal-Baramulla Fast Passenger (DEMU) and Budgam-Baramulla DEMU in the State of Jammu & Kashmir
  • Lumding-Silchar Broad gauge section inaugurated giving seamless BG connectivity to Barak Valley of Assam
  • Meghalaya came on the rail map with the flagging off the first ever train from Guwahati to Mendipathar in Meghalaya
  • The Prime Minister laid the foundation for a new line to take rail connectivity to Mizoram’s capital Aizawl
  • The Tripura’s Capital Agartala came on the broad gauge rail map
  • Meter gauge will be fully eliminated in North-East in near future
  • IR commissioned 545 KM of Broad Gauge lines in North East in 2015-16 in comparison to 110 KM per year from 2009-2014

VII.PPP IN RAIL LINE PROJECTS

  • In 2015-16, Indian Railways generated an investment of Rs.15,000Cr through PPP. This is the highest achieved till now.
  • Partnership with State Governments, Industry is being encouraged to undertake coal and mining connectivity projects.
  • To encourage port connectivity projects, thrust has been given to implementation of projects under the participative model policy of 2012.
  • A Total of Seven Projects under Customer Funded Model or PPP costing about Rs. 2200 Crore have been cleared and are under implementation.
  • Rail connectivity to Tuna Port at a cost of 142 Cr has been implemented in 2015.
  • A Total of 6 Ports and mine connectivity projects costing about Rs. 3300 Crore have been approved for implementation under the Joint Venture Model
  • Some of the projects under Joint Venture model are rail connectivity to the ports of Jaigarh (Rs 771 Cr.), Rewas (Rs.349 Cr), and Dighi (Rs.724 Cr.)
  • Ministry of Railways for the first time has decided to launch three annuity projects Bhadrak- Nergundi 3rd line (900Cr.), Nagpur – Wardha 3rd line 550 Cr. and Kazipet- Vijayawada 3rd line 1566 Cr in the current calendar year.

VIII. FREIGHT

  • Massive rationalization of freight policies initiated
  • Launch of rationalized siding policy-a major freight segment reform easing the setting up additional private terminals.
  • Liberalized station to station special freight rates policy
  • Merry-Go-Round system introduced to capture short lead traffic near steel plants and thermal power house
  • Port congestion charges withdrawn which will help in increasing traffic from the Ports to hinterland
  • Two-Point/Multi Point/Mini Rake facility extended to maximize traffic.
  • Roll on – Roll off scheme launched on Digha Rail Bridge over River Ganges near Patna. Under this scheme loaded trucks would be moved on the flat wagons to avoid congested roads across Ganges. Now it has been launched on pan India basis.
  • Auto hub at Walajabad in Chennai Division developed for automobiles moment
  • Busy season charge withdrawn till 30th September 2016.
  • Dual pricing policy of Iron withdrawn.
  • Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme for traffic loaded in Traditional Empty Flow Direction introduced
  • Computerized system to register demands for wagons introduced. Electronic forwarding note and Electronic Railway Receipts introduced to enhance efficiency and transparency in freight operations
  • Liberalised Wagon Investment Scheme allows investment by End users in Special Purpose Wagons and High Capacity Wagons. So far (Apr 2014 – Sep 2016) approval has been given for procurement of 9 rakes under this scheme.
  • Special Freight Train Operator Scheme has been launched to increase rail share of the non-traditional commodities like molasses, fly ash, edible oil, caustic soda, chemical, petrochemicals, alumina & bulk cement, etc. So far (Apr 2015 – Sep 2016) 6 rakes have been induced under this scheme.
  • Automobile Freight Train Operator Scheme has been launched which permits procurement and operation of special purpose rakes by private parties. So far (Apr 2014 – Sep 2016) 9 rakes have been inducted under this scheme.
  • Wagon Leasing Scheme, Private Freight Terminals, accelerated to improve freight.

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