In a further move to take the Indian Railways at an advanced level, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in a programme held in Rail Bhawan today i.e. 08.12.2016 launched website of National Rail Plan, 2030. The website can be accessed at http://www.nationalrailplan.in
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Indian Railways needs to form a concrete plan about its doings in the coming 10-20 years. He said that after receiving ideas Railways will capture all the requirements from the different stakeholders. He said that if we have a proper structured demand and decide the time to implement it, it will be very good for the country and the person making the demand. He said that Railways do not want to beat the other modes of transport by competing but want to work by complementing. He said that Railways will be including all the ideas received during recently held Rail Vikas Shivir in the National Rail Plan.
BACKGROUNDER : –
· The Indian Railway Network is a key component of the Country’s Transport System. Transporting goods and passengers on a massive scale, the Indian Railways plays a critical role in India’s economic as well as social fabric, not to mention the security and cross-border strategic linkages. Pragmatic development of Indian Railway Network as part of the country’s overall multi-modal transport system is therefore, very important.
· So far, the development of the network is taken up based on numerous individual requests received from various stakeholders such as State Governments, elected representatives, industries, etc. for sanction of railway projects in different parts of the country. Based upon these representations and based upon infrastructural gaps, operational requirements, bottlenecks strategic requirements, socio-economic considerations and participation by other stakeholders, new railway projects are sanctioned. However, these projects are sanctioned mostly in isolation and may not necessarily take holistic view of railway infrastructural needs of the Country.
· Presently Railway planning is presently not based on some integrated plan. Surveys are initially done as per demands of Public representatives and the some of these lines are later sanctioned. Railways shall reverse the process. First the network plan should be there and accordingly surveys should be started. The network plan shall take into account connectivity to backward region, Congestion in the existing network and futuristic development of Industrial corridors. Deficits in existing network are to be planned for removal. There are huge regional imbalances.
· To take a holistic approach, a beginning was made 2 years back when 24 clusters were identified and process of removal of their bottlenecks was initiated on a corridor basis. Projects were sanctioned to decongest the network and works have started.
· To take this process to next level, National Rail Plan 2030 has been envisaged which shall not only take care of existing corridors but also the identification and development of new corridors & connections. This will facilitate easy movement of freight and passengers, and access to resources and services with reliability, safety and convenience to secure an environmentally efficient and long term sustainable rail transport system.
· Participation of all stake holders is the key in development of NRP. Suggestions/expectations/
· Railways are open to all ideas including any suggestion regarding how the plan should be prepared and implemented. National Rail Plan web site will be in public domain for consultation and shall be shared with all Stake holders in the transport sector including States, Different ministries involved with transportation, Federations such as CII and FICCI etc. All gaps in railway infrastructure are to be identified and ways to fill them up are to be worked out. There may be surplus infrastructure in some areas whereas deficit in other areas. All gaps are to be identified and balancing of views of all the stake holders in development of plan will be important.