New Delhi: In order to discuss key issues related to the modernization of Indian Railways, ASSOCHAM had organised an International Conference on Modernization of Indian Railways today at Hotel Le-Meridien, New Delhi. The conference focused on procedural bottlenecks and brainstorm strategy options to accelerate private investment for speedy implementation of Rail Modernization process. The conference is attended by a large number of national and international stakeholders and companies from Japan, Korea, Russia, China, Australia, Germany and China etc.
Conference organisers from ASSOCHAM mentioned that Indian Railways, the premier transport organization of the country, is the largest rail network in Asia and the second largest Rail network in the world. It plays a crucial role in the development and operation of infrastructure sectors such as coal, power, steel, cement and other critical sectors. However, Indian Railways suffer from acute capacity constraints both in goods and passenger transport. The technology upgradation can considerably help in scaling up the efficiency of Indian Railways.
The Prime Minister’s Committee on Infrastructure calls for fast track approval of key infrastructure projects like Railways. Public – Private Partnership is an innovative way of delivering modern, high quality public services and promoting the country’s competitiveness. Private sector can play a major in building new rail lines, plants and enhancing capacity. Modernization of Indian Railways is a priority sector for which US$300 bn is planned to be spent on upgradation of Rail infrastructure including new rail lines, double/multiple lines, and high speed rail by 2020.The move would allow private sector to connect railways with ports, mines, and industrial plants by creating last mile connectivity and thereby reducing transportation cost.
The key issues discussed were:
- Modernization of Indian Railways.
- Strategies to leverage private capital in Railways
- Use of technology in Rail operations
- Government Policy on PPP mode in Indian Railways
- Enhancing efficiency & safety in Indian Railways
- Scope for State of the Art Technology and Joint Ventures
- Investment Opportunities for Heavy Haul Rolling Stock & Allied Equipment Suppliers
- Investment gaps and future challenges
- Roadblocks and key areas of Rail modernization
- Maintenance and Operating practices
- International case studies
- Energy Efficiency in Transportation
- Upgradation of tracks and bridges
- Ports perspective
- Building modern Rail Infrastructure
- Key trends and future plans of Indian Railways
- Innovations in Rail Infrastructure
- Future requirements of locomotives, passengers coaches and wagons
- Issues in safety, Rolling stock, signalling
- Use of ICT for improving Railway operations