Mr. Lalit Chandra Trivedi
General Manager at East Central Railway , Patna , Bihar , India
INTERVIEW with Mr. Lalit Chandra Trivedi
Rail Analysis: Please tell us some interesting insights about East Central Railway that you found after taking charge as General Manager.
Mr. Trivedi: East central Railway occupies the same place in IR, as is occupied by the heart in human body and incidentally performs same function. The Grand Chord line proverbial main artery of IR connects Dhanbad with Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction (Mughalsarai Junction) forming crucial east west corridor accounting for the heaviest exchange of Railway Trains. Besides Mail/Exp. and Passenger trains, around 200+ freight trains carrying coal and other commodities pass through this every day.
(Dhanbad Coal Loading)
ECR is the third highest in gross originating earnings on IR. In the current FY ending March 2019 our originating earnings are expected to be around 18000 crores INR equivalent to 2.7 Billion USD. Besides transporting coal to power plants spread over India from Jharia, Chopan and Karanpura coal mines of BCCL, NCL and CCL. ECR also meets requirements of fertiliser, cement, food grain of not only Bihar, Jharkhand, parts of UP and MP, but of NEPAL as well. ECR runs into
NEPAL at 3 points. Sponsored by MEA we are undertaking major Railway Projects viz. Raxaul – Kathmandu, and Jaynagar – Bardibas projects in Nepal. ECR comprises area around which the ancient history of India for the first 1000 years from 500BC to 500AD revolved. We are trying to reflect the glorious past of the regions in our station and administrative buildings besides painting our trains with Madhubani paintings etc. to familiarize citizens of
(Madhubani railway station with Madhubani paintings)
India with the rich cultural heritage of the region. After all our envisaged projects are commissioned we are poised to take the polar position in earnings on IR among zonal Railways. This financial year’s capital expenditure is expected to be around 5000 crores INR after taking into account outlays of our own construction organisation, RE, MEA, DFCC, IRCON, RVNL etc.
Our emphasis is on capacity augmentation, safety and improving terminal capacity besides electrification. We will be commissioning electrification on 700 km of our routes this FY, the highest on IR. We are targeting to switch over 100% to electric tracktion in the calendar year 2019. Our Capex is also going to be the 2nd highest on IR.
Rail Analysis: Short while ago, it was announced that all the unmanned level crossings are eliminated successfully in the Railways. What are other important tasks of ECR aimed at track safety and security ?
Mr. Trivedi: Avoiding surface crossings of Railways and Roads is our focus area. Wherever we do have to cross roads we have ensured that Level crossings are manned. We are also ensuring that our Level crossing gates with traffic Level of 50000+ TVU (number of trains passing x average no of road vehicles) are interlocked and protected by signals.
(Bihar Sampark Kranti with Mithila paintings)
About 200+ Road over bridges (each costing around 40 crores) have been sanctioned over ECR and are in various stages of execution by multiple agencies. As per directives of Railway Ministry, we were among the first few Zonal Railways who ensured 100% elimination of unmanned Level crossings (450+) before 30th September 2018. We are also undertaking construction of LHS (Low height subway) in a major way. In the current FY we expect to commission around 50 LHSs on ECR eliminating the surface level crossing at these locations.
Rail Analysis: Recently Government announced Railway Budget for 2019-20, what are your viewpoints on it? How much will be allocated to ECR and how are you going to utilize it ?
Mr. Trivedi: Budget announced for 2019-20; mainly lay emphasis on building new infrastructure besides augmenting the existing ones. Towards this end, main financial outlays have been received under the heads meant for building of New line; doubling of existing routes, Railway electrification, production of high horsepower locomotives, LHB coaches, MEMUs etc. ECR has also received adequate funding for all our important projects. We intend to complete our Gauge conversion project besides commissioning 100% electrification of all routes in 2019-20.
(Patna-Dlehi Rajdhani crew with hand held terminals)
Rail Analysis: What are the steps being taken by ECR for station redevelopment across its stations ?
Mr. Trivedi: We have taken up station developments at Patna, Patliputra, Hajipur, Sonpur, Bapudham Motihari, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction and Barkakana.
(Hajipur Railway Station)
While developing stations we are trying that the facade of station building represents the glorious past of the area where the station building is located for example the building of Patna city station now rechristened Patna sahib is designed like famous Gurudwara of Patna Sahib located nearby where Guru Govind Singh was born, similarly the new terminal of Patna called Rajendra Nagar Terminal is designed like a Buddhist Stupa and painted white. Station at Madhubani is virtually an art gallery depicting Mithila culture and one at Darbhanga depicts the contribution of Royal family of Darbhanga to the art and culture of the area.
(Patna Railway Station)
Rail Analysis: We came to know about UTS mobile app which is a move toward digitization of railways. Please tell our readers more about it.
Mr. Trivedi: To facilitate ease of travel we are aggressively pursuing purchasing general class tickets used by daily commuters through mobile app. We are offering concessions on the price of ticket bought through our UTS mobile app. Our efforts are bearing fruit and the ticket sales through this newly introduced mode is growing exponentially bringing down rush at out ticket counters at stations.
(UTS Mobile App)
Rail Analysis: Any other initiative of ECR that you would like to share with us ?
Mr. Trivedi: One of our major achievements was commissioning of third line on Son Bridge on Son River in Mughalsarai division between Son Nagar and Dehri-on-Sone stations. This has removed the long existing bottleneck on Grand Chord and increased throughput through this route by 15%.
Another initiative has been replacing conventional engine hauled passenger trains by MEMUs with faster acceleration and deceleration capability besides avoiding the need for loco reversals at terminal. Introduction of MEMUs has been greatly welcomed by daily commuters.
Water vending machines providing RO water at reduced rates is another facility greatly appreciated by passengers.
(Son Bridge on Son River in Mughalsarai division)
I firmly believe that for the success of an organization, welfare activities for staff play a major role. Towards this end ECR set up in the current year world class Heart care facilities in ECR’s central Hospital located at Patna on PPP basis in collaboration with ARTEMIS medical hospital chain. So far around 100 Railway personnel have taken advantage of this scheme by way of provision of stents, pacemakers etc. Similar PPP arrangements for cure of other major diseases are in pipeline.
This interview shall be covered in our March 2019 Edition Magazine with more details on Train 18 . Click Here to advertise in the magazine or know more on the same .