In future, success of Indian Railways would define the success of the Nation.” This was stated by Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal while having a review meeting on 26th March, 2021 with the Board Members and General Managers of Zonal Railways and Divisional Railway Managers of Divisions.
Shri Piyush Goyal said “The year was the most challenging year for Railways. One year of lock down. Covid-19 has demonstrated the resolve of Railways to fight back and emerge stronger. Mindset of Railways has transformed. It’s no longer business as usual for Railways. Use of new technologies and innovation has created new standards and benchmarks.”
- Shri Goyal said that It was time to rewrite the destiny and future of Railways which is Self sustaining, punctual, passenger friendly, safe, green and the first choice of businesses .
- He said 1223 MT Highest Freight Loading is a message of positivity to the Nation.
- 5900 Kms Electrification was done this year.
- It is the Highest ever electrification achieved by Indian Railways.
- Shri Piyush Goyal complimented the Railway officers & staff for making extra Ordinary efforts during the pandemic to increase loading.
- He also stressed on safety measures to be adopted and directed Railway officials to take proactive steps towards the same.
- It is to be noted that Indian Railways has continued to maintain the high momentum in Freight figures in terms of loading, earning and speed in the month of March 2021.
- It is expected to surpass the total cumulative freight figures of last year.
- Freight Revenue for the Year 2020-21 is Rs. 114652.47 (in Cr) as compared to Rs. 112358.83 (last year).
- It is a growth of +2%.
National Rail Plan:
Indian Railways have prepared a National Rail Plan (NRP) for India – 2030. The Plan is to create a ‘future ready’ Railway system by 2030. The NRP is aimed to formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight.
- The objective of the Plan is to create capacity ahead of demand, which in turn would also cater to future growth in demand right up to 2050 and also increase the modal share of Railways to 45% in freight traffic and to continue to sustain it.
- To achieve this objective all possible financial models including Public Private Partnership (PPP) are being considered.
- The main features of the National Rail Plan are:-
- Formulate strategies based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives to increase modal share of the Railways in freight to 45%.
- Reduce transit time of freight substantially by increasing average speed of freight trains to 50Kmph.
- As part of the National Rail Plan, Vision 2024 has been launched for accelerated implementation of certain critical projects by 2024 such as 100% electrification, multi-tracking of congested routes, upgradation of speed to 160 kmph on Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes, upgradation of speed to 130kmph on all other Golden Quadrilateral-Golden Diagonal (GQ/GD) routes and elimination of all Level Crossings on all GQ/GD route.
- Identify new Dedicated Freight Corridors.
- Identify new High Speed Rail Corridors.
- Assess rolling stock requirement for passenger traffic as well as wagon requirement for freight.
- Assess Locomotive requirement to meet twin objectives of 100% electrification (Green Energy) and increasing freight modal share.
- Assess the total investment in capital that would be required along with a periodical break up.
- Sustained involvement of the Private Sector in areas like operations and ownership of rolling stock, development of freight and passenger terminals, development/operations of track infrastructure etc.
- The draft plan has been put up in the public domain (The Indian Railways website) and is also being circulated amongst stakeholders for comments/remarks.
- Once the comments/remarks from stakeholders have been obtained, the NRP in its final form will be issued incorporating the pipeline of projects that will be executed up to 2030.
- The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for each project will be prepared and processed for sanctioning. Once sanction is obtained, fund requirements on a year to year basis will be worked out and the funds earmarked in the annual capital expenditure.
- The NRP is for the entire Indian Railways network and not only for districts connected to the existing rail network but also districts indirectly impacted by rail transportation.
- In effect virtually all the districts of the country get linked to the plan.
- Implementation of the NRP has already commenced.
- The Indian Railways has identified and prioritised a large number of projects designated as Super Critical, Critical and Coal/Port connectivity, for completion as per the Vision 2024 document which is a subset of the National Rail Plan.
Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR