Indian Railways takes various steps for effective and speedy implementation of rail projects

As on 01.04.2020, 513 Railway projects of 53,039 km length, costing approx. Rs. 7.5 lakh crore are in different stages of planning/sanction/execution, out of which 10,013 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore has been incurred upto March, 2020.

  • These projects include:-
    • 189 New line projects of 21,343 km length, costing Rs. 4,04,853 crore, out of which commissioning of 2,633 km length has been achieved and expenditure of Rs. 94,575 crore has been incurred upto March, 2020.
    • 54 Gauge Conversion projects of 7,003 km length, costing Rs. 59,699 crore, out of which commissioning of 3,733 km length has been achieved and expenditure of Rs. 23,405 crore has been incurred upto March, 2020.
    • 270 Doubling projects of 24,693 km length, costing Rs. 2,85,324 crore, out of which commissioning of 3,647 km length has been achieved and expenditure of Rs. 67,816 crore has been incurred upto March, 2020.
  • Completion of a Railway project(s) depends on various factors like expeditious land acquisition by State Government, forest clearance by officials of forest department, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc. and all these factors affect the completion time and cost of the project(s) which is finally worked out at the completion stage.
  • Various steps being taken by the Government for effective and speedy implementation of rail projects include:
    • Prioritisation of projects.
    • Substantial increase in allocation of funds on priority projects.
    • Delegation of powers at field level.
    • Close monitoring of progress of projects at various levels.
    • Regular follow up with State Governments and concerned authorities for expeditious land acquisition, forestry and Wildlife clearances and for resolving other issues pertaining to projects.
  • Average annual Budget allocation in the Indian Railways for New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling works during 2014-19 has increased to Rs. 26,026 crore per year from Rs. 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14, which is 126% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14 and Revised Budget outlay of Rs. 40,757 crore was provided to these projects for financial year 2020-21 which is 254% more than average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
  • For financial year 2021-22, the highest-ever budget outlay of Rs. 45,165 crore has been proposed for these works, which is 292% more with respect to average annual budget outlay of 2009-14.
  • During 2014-19, 13,124 km length (3035 km New Lines, 3,993 km Gauge Conversion and 6,096 km Doubling) has been commissioned which is 73% more than the commissioning during 2009-14 (7599 km).
  • During 2019-20, 2,226 km length (360 km New Lines, 408 km Gauge Conversion and 1458 km Doubling) has been commissioned which is 46% more than average annual commissioning during 2009-14 (1,520 km/year).

MTRC system in Indian Railways:

Indian Railways has introduced Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) system over its network. The aim and objective for implementing MTRC is to establish direct voice communication between Loco Pilot, Station Master, Controller and also to use it for Modern Train Control System. The system has been provided over 3460 Route KM. Details of MTRC provided are appended as under:-

Status of MTRC System based on GSM-R and TETRA over Indian Railways:

Zonal Railway Section Technology Route KM
Eastern Howrah-Dhanbad GSM(R) 270
East Central Dhanbad-Mughalsarai GSM(R) 400
North Central Palwal -Jhansi GSM(R) 353
North Central Ghaziabad-Aligarh-Kanpur- ALD-DDU GSM(R) 760
Northern New Delhi-Ambala-Ludhiana Including New Delhi – Palwal and Delhi area GSM(R) 372
Northern Ludhiana-Pathankot-Jammu Tawi-Amritsar GSM(R) 455
Northern Lucknow – Kanpur GSM(R) 75
Northeast Frontier New Jalpaiguri – Bongaigaon-Guwahati GSM(R) 410
Northeast Frontier New Jalpaiguri-Barsoi-Malda Town & Barasoi-Katihar GSM(R) 270
Metro Railway, Kolkata North-South Coridor – Kabi Subhas to Dakshineswar GSM(R) 28
Metro Railway, Kolkata East-West Corridor- Phoolbagan to Sector-V TETRA 7.5
Western Churchgate – Virar TETRA 60
Total 3460.5
  • GSM(R) = Global System for Mobile Communication-Railway.
  • TETRA = Terrestrial Trunk Radio

Further, new works for Long Term Evolution based MTRC System over 34304 Route KM have been approved at a cost of ₹ 6861 crore.

The total amount for MTRC allocated till Financial Year 2020-21 is ₹ 232.54 crore which has been fully utilized.

Other steps taken to develop state-of-the-art and high tech method of monitoring, inspection and maintenance of rail tracks to avoid train accidents are as under:-

  • Periodical inspection and monitoring of tracks is done by contactless sensor based Track Recording Cars (TRCs). Inspection of track is also performed by Zonal Railways using Oscillation Monitoring system (OMS).
    • Besides this, Automatic Track Geometry-cum-Video Inspection System, Self-Propelled Turn-out Geometry Measurement System and Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) are also in the procurement stage for further strengthening the monitoring and inspection of rail tracks.
  • Indian Railways is using state-of-the-art track maintenance machines like High Output Rail Grinding Machine, High Output Ballast Cleaning Machine. High Output Integrated 3X-Dynamic Tamper etc for maintenance of the rail tracks.
  • Improvements in Alumino Thermic welding: Mechanised preheating, Three piece prefabricated mould, Auto Tapping Thimble, Single shot crucible has been provided for improved quality of welding.
  • Improvement in Ultrasonic Flaw Detection (USFD) Testing Machines: Analogue USFD testing machines have been replaced by digital USFD testing machines capable of data logging, saving and transferring testing results to on-line application Track Management System (TMS) and PCs. USFD testing machines have been introduced having features for location tagging, time stamping of recording and improved scan (B-scan) capability. Self-propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing (SPURT) Cars has been introduced on Indian Railways for faster ultrasonic testing of rails.
  • Introduction of Thick Web Switches & Weldable CMS Crossing (WCMSC): Thick web Switches & Weldable CMS Crossings have been introduced in Indian Railways. This will help in better Track maintenance and safety.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 24th March 2021.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): South Central Railway

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