Multi-disciplinary Business Development Units (BDU) set up by Western Railway to double freight traffic by 2024

As per the directives of Railway Board and in a bid to give boost to the freight traffic by Indian Railways, Shri Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western railway has directed setting up of multi-disciplinary Business Development Units (BDU) at Zonal Headquarters and divisional units of Western Railway. Constitution of BDUs is a logical step towards spurring a business minded approach to tap the rail transport and logistics business. 

  • It aims to simplify/streamline the decision making process at the field level, simultaneously it aims at better outreach to existing and potential customers and comes up with customized products and packages.
  • According to a press release issued by Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer Shri Sumit Thakur, Indian Railways aims to improve business prospect in freight market by in corporating new ideas and initiatives. 
  • In order to achieve this coveted goal, it is all the more important to reach out to railway freight customers to understand how better railways can serve their needs.
  • Multi-disciplinary Business development units which has been set up by WR aims at doubling the freight carried by railways by 2024 by attracting additional traffic of non-bulk traditional commodities hitherto moved by road. 
  • The focus of railways is to improve ease of doing business by interacting with prospective customers and simplifying the procedure involved.
  • The BDUs consisting of a committee of officers from Operating, Commercial, Finance, Mechanical and Engineering departments of SAG officers at zonal level have been set up, which will be coordinated by Chief Freight Traffic Manager of WR and headed by Additional General Manager of WR. 
  • Similarly, team of JAG officers headed by Additional Divisional Rly Managersand coordinated by Sr Divisional Operations Managers have been set up at divisional level. Western Railway working towards this direction, has set up multi-disciplinary Business Development Unit at each of its six divisions, as well as at zonal Headquarters. 
  • These teams are continuously interacting with representatives from Chamber of Commerce, trade, industry, ports, APMCs and respective states. 
  • Through these interactions these BDUs will be explore and attract untapped potential traffic.
  • The proposals so received shall be promptly analyzed and developed and assistance if any from other Zonal railway and Railway board shall be immediately sought. 
  • At the Railway board, BDU coordinated by Shri Manoj Singh EDTT/F as convener and comprising of EDTC/R, EDF(C) and EDME/Fr as members has been tasked with responsibility of facilitating and clearance of proposals received from zones within a week’s time of receipt of such proposals.
  • Shri Thakur stated that the focus of Western Railway is also to improve infrastructural facilities at Goods sheds and to remove various operating constraints. Improvement of platform surfaces, drainage facilities, cover sheds, drinking water facility, high mast lights, resting and toilet facilities for traders and laborers etc are being major areas, where input is being given.
  • To increase the average speed of freight trains, various operating constraints are being reviewed and systematically removed. 
  • It is proposed to increase the average speed of freight trains gradually. 
  • Due to such efforts freight speed o­n WR has increased to 43.1 Kmph which is 63.5% more than average freight speed of 2019 apart from this in FY 2020-21 100% punctuality has been maintained o­n 13 days. 
  • As a long term plan it is targeted to increase freight seed beyond 50 Kmph by doing capital investment. 
  • The objective is to strengthen Railway’s share not just in transportation of traditional commodities, but to also make a strong foray into miscellaneous non-bulk goods. 
  • The customers were asked to submit proposals with traffic assurance, so that the possibilities for reduction in freight rate can be explored. 
  • Emails have been sent to existing and prospective customers and mapping of prospective customers is in progress. 
  • Web cards are being circulated o­n social media for educating to customers about freight incentives. 
  • Market of transportation of bulk and non bulk commodities are being captured. 
  • It is targeted to open two Private Freight Terminals and three sidings in FY 2020-21. 
  • The BDU will serve as a single window to facilitate prospective freight customers to expedite all formalities for clearance of goods and parcel loading.
  • Shri Alok Kansal – General Manager Western Rly, has appealed to all existing/potential freight customers to contact respective Business Development Unit of their area for most competitive rates & speedier movement and delivery of their products. 

Contact details for point of contact of BDUs at zonal and divisional level is as mentioned below:

Sr. no Location Designation Mobile no.
1 Churchgate CFTM WR 9004490903
2 Mumbai Sr DOM MMCT 9004499900
3 Vadodara Sr DOM BRC 9724091900
4 Ratlam Sr DOM RTM 9752492900
5 Ahmedabad Sr DOM ADI 9724093900
6 Rajkot Sr DOM RJT 9724094900
7 Bhavnagar Sr DOM BVP 9724097900

Source: Western Railway-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Ministry of Railways

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