26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Suresh Prabhu’s Speech (PART 7)

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

E. Technology upgradation

71.Every dynamic and thriving organization needs to innovate and re-invent its practices. In accordance with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for Innovation, Technology Development and Manufacturing, we intend to set up an innovation council called “Kayakalp” for the purpose of business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in Railways.

72.We need to invest in fundamental and applied research for seeking solutions to rail-specific issues. We intend to set up a technology portal to invite innovative technological solutions.

73.We have decided to strengthen the RDSO into an organization of excellence for applied research. RDSO would collaborate with institutions of repute. We will set up in 2015-16 four Railway Research Centers in select universities for doing fundamental research. GOI has conferred Bharat Ratna on Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. To mark the centenary celebrations of Banaras Hindu University, we propose to set up ‘Malaviya Chair’ for Railway Technology at IIT (BHU), Varanasi. This Chair will help in development of new materials to be used in all assets of Railways.

74.A consortium of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Science And Technology and Industries on an Investment Sharing Model is being set up as part of Technology Mission for Indian Railways to take up identified railway projects for research.

75.We will shortly unveil an IT vision for the Railways. Online information on latest berth availability on running trains, an integrated mobile application including station navigation system, etc. will be made available. Customer friendly freight movement initiatives such as introduction of bar coded/RFID tracking of parcels and freight wagons, automated parcel warehouses, customer relationship management system, etc., will be undertaken. There will be an integration of train control and asset management applications.

76.IR proposes to move from preventive to predictive maintenance. It is proposed to explore the possibility of completely mechanized integrated track maintenance, which could bring in more efficiency. We intend to bring in state of the art equipment for even routine examination of tracks.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Suresh Prabhu’s Speech (PART 6)

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

Rail Budget 2
D. Safety:

65.Safety is of paramount importance. The loss of even a single life is too high a price to pay. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of all accident victims and Railway personnel who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Indian Railways have safety concerns on account of unmanned level crossings, manned level crossings, derailments, collisions, and fire. An action plan is being prepared for each of these areas.

66.We are preparing a five-year corporate safety plan by June 2015 indicating annual quantifiable targets. We will examine all pending recommendations made by High Level Safety Review Committee headed by Dr. Kakodkar Committee by April 2015.

67.Our ultimate objective is to eliminate all unmanned level crossings by construction of Road over Bridges (ROBs) and Road under Bridges (RUBs). In the short term, RDSO has been asked to develop a suitable device with reliable power supply system based on theft-proof panels/batteries in consultation with Indian Space Research Organization, using geo-spatial technology for providing audio-visual warning to road users at unmanned level crossings. Further, a radio based signal design project has been taken up with IIT Kanpur for warnings at unmanned level crossing.

68.Keeping in view the critical need to facilitate the construction of ROB/RUB’s, a web based application has been commissioned with user-friendly measures for online submission and approval of drawings within 60 days and an MOU has also been signed with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in this regard. I am happy to announce that in the next financial year 970 number of ROB/RUBs and other safety-related works to eliminate 3438 level crossings at a total Railway expense of Rs. 6,581 crore have been sanctioned. This is more than 2600% higher than the sanctioned number of ROBs/RUBs during the current year and the highest ever in recent times. These projects cover almost all States of our Union.

69.To prevent fire in coaches and also prevent coaches from climbing over each other during accidents, RDSO has been asked to develop new systems. We also propose to install Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System on select routes at the earliest.

70.To curb derailments, modern track structure consisting of sleepers and heavier rails are being used while carrying out primary track renewals. Better welding techniques would also be promoted. Further, analogue machines for testing of rails are being replaced with digital type machines, which are more reliable.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Suresh Prabhu’s Speech (PART 5)

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

Rail Budget 1

C. Capacity Augmentation

48.The key objective of our action plan of transforming the Railways is to significantly expand our network capacity. Our high-density networks are congested, over-strained and capacity-constrained. Our customers are dissatisfied. Our key customers like the coal, steel, and cement industries need new lines to transport their wares. Decongesting these networks with a basket of traffic generating projects is a priority.

49.There are inherent advantages in creating more capacity on the existing network. It requires shorter completion time. Since most of the land is already available it is less expensive. And it generates incremental revenues quickly. These revenues can then be used to invest in other lines. Additional benefits include higher average speeds for trains, timetabling of freight trains, improved punctuality of passenger trains and increase in carrying capacity.

50.While last mile connectivity projects continue to be accorded the highest priority, we intend to fast track the sanctioned works on 7,000 kms of double/third/fourth lines and commission 1200 km in 2015-16 at an investment of Rs. 8686 crore. This budgetary allotment under Capital is 84% higher than 2014-15. We also intend commissioning 800 km of gauge conversion. Additionally, we have sanctioned 77 projects covering 9,400 km of doubling/tripling/quadrupling works along with their electrification at a total cost of Rs. 96,182 crore which is over 2700% higher in terms of amount sanctioned in 2013-14, 2014-15 being a Plan holiday. The priority for undertaking projects has been determined by a designated committee for capacity enhancement, revenue generation and decongestion. Negotiations are on with financial institutions for funding of these projects through extrabudgetary resources. Hon’ble Members would be happy to note that these projects cover almost all States.

51.Traffic facility works like construction of longer loops, creating smaller block sections, building by-pass lines, making crossing stations, augmenting terminals and removing permanent speed restrictions is our utmost priority. These are small expenditure works but they provide huge operating benefits in a short time to de-bottleneck and create additional capacity. In the year 2015-16 works with outlay of Rs. 2374 crore will be taken up.

52.Madam Speaker, Indian Railways is committed to provide rail connectivity to all the North-Eastern states. I am happy to announce that Meghalaya has been brought on the Railway map of India and direct connectivity to Delhi has been provided to Arunachal Pradesh. Further, the Barak Valley will be brought on broad gauge by March this year. The work for connecting the remaining states of this region is progressing well.

53.Indian Railways is committed for faster rail network growth in Jammu & Kashmir. The rail connectivity between Jammu region and the Kashmir valley through the Banihal tunnel provides all-weather connectivity with the rest of the country. The commissioning of UdhampurKatra was like a dream come true for millions of pilgrims.

54.The implementation of two dedicated freight corridor projects on Eastern and Western routes is gathering pace. We will target to award 750 km of civil contracts and 1300 km of system contracts in 2015-16. Durgawati-Sasaram, a 55 km section of Eastern DFC is proposed to be completed in the current year. Preliminary Engineering cum Traffic Survey (PETS) for four other DFCs is in progress and will be completed this year. We intend to explore the idea of construction of DFC feeder routes through private participation.

55.In order to achieve fuel economy and also to enhance traffic output, it is necessary to accelerate the pace of Railway electrification. As against a sanction of 462 route kms in 2014-15, a length of 6,608 route kilometers has been sanctioned for 2015-16. This constitutes an increase of 1330% over the previous year.

56.Indian Railways must expand freight handling capacity in tandem with the expansion of freight carrying network capacity. We propose to set up a PSU – Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TRANSLOC), to develop common user facilities with handling and value-added services to provide end-to-end logistics solution at select Railway terminals through Public Private Partnerships. In the initial period, it has been proposed to upgrade 10 existing goods sheds of Indian Railways and develop 30 small multimodal logistic parks where Indian Railways has surplus land.

57.For the benefit of our farmers, a state of the art Perishable Cargo Centre is under completion at the Azadpur Mandi with a scientific banana-ripening Centre. We have taken steps to develop the air cargo sector to facilitate and integrate the movement of air cargo between ICDs and the gateway airports.

58.To facilitate the rapid development of a network of Private Freight Terminals (PFT), a policy was issued in 2010 and revised in 2012 to invite private investment in this space. Certain issues have emerged which are discouraging further investments in PFTs. We intend to address these urgently so that the proliferation of these terminals is not hampered. We will, in the next three months, review the Wagon Leasing Scheme, Special Freight Train Operator Scheme, Private Freight Terminal Scheme and Liberalised Wagon Investment Scheme for making them more liberal, broad-based and attractive to our partners from the private sector. We will also consider new and lighter design of wagons for better fuel efficiency and carrying capacity.
Railways will also work out modalities to facilitate provision of spare Railway land and redundant goods sheds on nominal licence fee to private developers for development of such facilities.

59.In an effort to reduce empty flows of wagons, an Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme for traffic loaded in Traditional Empty Flow Direction has been launched in October 2014 as a pilot project on NF Railway and Southern Railway. We propose to launch the scheme on an all-India basis.

60.Long haul freight operations, where two or more freight trains are combined into a single train formation, will be used extensively. Towards this end, the construction of long loop lines will be expedited. Further, the pace at which distributed power systems are to be provided on locomotives deployed on long haul trains will be speeded up.

61.The speed of 9 railway corridors will be increased from the existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so that inter-metro journeys like DelhiKolkotta and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight. This will involve the upgradation of track including turnouts and rolling stock to higher standards as well as the adoption of improved methods of track recording,
The average speed of freight trains, both in empty and loaded conditions, will be enhanced. A policy of attaining speeds of 100 kmph for empty freight trains and 75 kmph for loaded trains is being put in place. In pursuit of the objective, to maximize loading in every train, the loading density on all major freight bearing routes of Indian Railways will be upgraded to 22.82 tonne axle loads.

62.Madam, we will continue to pursue with vigour our special projects like High Speed Rail between MumbaiAhmadabad. The feasibility study for this is in advanced stage and report is expected by the mid of this year. Quick and appropriate action will be taken once the report is available with us. Regarding the other high speed routes on the diamond quadrilateral, studies are being commissioned.

63.The transformation of Railways offers huge opportunities for Make in India initiative. With increasing capacity, Indian Railways would require more locos, more wagons and more coaches. The ‘Big ticket’ manufacturing ideas include High Horse Power and green technology locomotives, commodity specific wagons like auto carriers, signaling systems and train protection systems and track laying and track maintenance machines. All this will result in creation of job opportunities.

64.Functioning of Indian Railways Production Units and Workshops would be reviewed with a view to providing them a cutting edge in the manufacture of their products. Measures for technological upgradation and enhancing productivity would be undertaken to make them selfsustaining. Spare capacity in these units can be used for external customers. We propose to get a study conducted to examine these issues.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Suresh Prabhu’s Speech (PART 4)

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

Rail Budget 3

B. Station Redevelopment

45.IR caters to all sections of society, especially the poor. Our Prime Minister has very rightly said that our Railway stations should be best of the breed. Indian Railways has been attempting redevelopment of stations, but the effort has not met with much success. Such an idea needs the power of imagination, combined with a stable business sense. A transformed station can change the skyline of small and medium cities and bring in revenues, and become an incubator of local economy.

46.While the process for development of the already selected stations would continue, for the rest of the stations, we propose to revamp the station redevelopment policy completely and simplify processes for faster redevelopment by inviting open bids from interested parties. The present stations will be available for development on “as is where is” basis, to exploit the space and air rights on concession basis. Land will not be sold. Anyone can participate in this bidding with their designs and business ideas by providing the operational requirements of Railways for running trains at these stations. All approved bids will be processed by independent experts and uploaded on the web and integrated with best bidding practices. For quick decision-making, the Zonal and Divisional offices will be empowered. A monitoring cell will be constituted to ensure adherence to timelines. We want our Railway stations to be iconic structures with architecture reflecting the culture and character of the city. We invite the state governments and the local bodies to be our partners in this endeavour.

47.Most of the Railway terminals located in big cities are amidst very congested areas. We propose to develop Satellite Railway terminals in major cities with the twin purpose of decongesting the city as well as providing service to passengers residing in suburbs. The satellite terminals will have modern facilities for originating and terminating trains, which will also briefly stop at the existing major terminals. Ten select stations will be taken up in 2015-16 for this purpose.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu’s Speech Continues…

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