Railway Electrification works gaining Momentum on NFR

MALIGAON: The railway electrification works in N.F. Railway are in various stages of execution in various sections. It is expected that major portion of the work to be completed by this year. In this connection a review meeting was held on 16th January which was attended by Shri Sanjive Roy, GM/NFR, Shri Ratan Lal, GM/CORE, Divisional Railway Managers from Katihar, Alipurduar, Rangiya and Lumding Divisions apart from other senior officials from RVNL and CORE. In the meeting all the aspects of railway electrification works were discussed for speedy implementation and removal of bottlenecks. And various initiatives were taken for timely completion of the work.

The targets for completion of various sections are follows:

  1. Mukuria – Gunjaria (198 kms) by 31.03.2019
  2. Gunjaria – New Jalpaiguri (160 kms) by 31.03.2019
  3. New Jalpaiguri – Raninagar Jalpaiguri (102 kms) by 31.03.2019
  4. Raninagar Jalpaiguri – Falakata (80 kms) by 31.03.2019
  5. Falakata – New Coochbehar (80 kms) by 31.06.2019
  6. New Bongaigaon – Sarupeta ( 99 kms) by 31.03.2019
  7. New Bongaigaon – Jogighopa (43 kms) by 31.03.2019
  8. Guwahati – Narengi (45 kms) by 31.03.2019
  9. New Jalpaiguri station yard (49 kms) by 31.06.2019

It may be mentioned here that the entire portion of track including branch lines in NFR was sanctioned for 100% electrification in last year’s budget.  Total cost of the entire electrification work is Rs. 2,542.62 crs

The entire mainline was segregated into different sections for speedy implementation of work. Works are being implemented by CORE (Centre for Railway Electrification) and RVNL (Railway Vikas Nigam Limited). Section from Mukuria to Raninagar Jalpaiguri including New Jalpaiguri yard (597 track kms) are being done by CORE. From Raninagar Jalpaiguri to Sarupeta (259 track kms) are being done by RVNL. Work of New Bongaigaon – Jogighopa & Guwahati – Narengi portion will also to be done by CORE.

Principal COM/SCR holds Meeting with CMD/Singareni Collieries

SECUNDERABAD: N. Madhusudhana Rao, Principal Chief Operations Manager, South Central Railway held a meeting with N. Sridhar, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD),  Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) today i.e., 5th February, 2019 at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad. The meeting was held in anticipation of the increased production of coal by SCCL for the next two months and the cooperation of SCR to transport the incremental production.

SCCL transported coal at an average of 30 rakes (rake-full length freight train consisting of 59 wagons with an average loading capacity of 4000 Tonnes) per day during the month of September, 2018. The same was increased to 40 rakes during the month of January, 2019.

In anticipation of the increased production of coal by SCCL during the next two months, CMD/SCCL has sought the cooperation of SCR to transport an average of 45 rakes per day in February and March, 2019. N. Madhusudhana Rao assured SCCL all the cooperation in transporting higher volumes of coal. He sought SCCL to provide flexibility in choosing the destinations for the coal loaded rakes so as to improve efficiency in handling the rake movement. He also sought SCCL to expedite the line capacity works in the Godavarikhani and Goleti mines areas of the Ramagundam region for better connectivity.

Nagya, Chief Freight Traffic Manager, SCR, Shri N. Manoj, Sr.DOM/SC, Shri Allwyn, Executive Director, Coal, SCCL and Shri Antony Raja, General Manager (Strategic Planning & Marketing), SCCL were present during the meeting.

Railways could further benefit the environment, says new report

The UIC has participated in the IEA ‘Future of Rail’ report in New Delhi, which includes a central focus on India, where rail is the dominant mode of transport.
India’s Minister of Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal (centre left) and IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol (centre right) at the launch of the Future of Rail in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: According to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), prepared in cooperation with the International Union of Railways (UIC), rail is among the most energy-efficient modes of transport for freight and passengers, however is often neglected in public debate.

Released in New Delhi by IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, the ‘Future of Rail’ report is the latest in the IEA series that focuses on “blind spots” in the energy system.

The transport sector is responsible for almost one-third of final energy demand, nearly two-thirds of oil demand and nearly a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion. Therefore, changes in transportation are fundamental to achieving energy transitions. While the rail sector carries eight per cent of the world’s passengers and seven per cent of global freight transport, it represents only two per cent of total transport energy demand, highlighting its efficiency.

“The rail sector can provide substantial benefit to the energy sector as well as the environment,” said Dr Fatih Birol. “By diversifying energy sources and providing more efficient mobility, rail can lower transport energy use and reduce carbon dioxide and local pollutant emissions.”

The Future of Rail includes a Base Scenario that projects the evolution of the railway sector to 2050 on the basis of announced policies, regulations and projects. It also includes a High Rail Scenario to demonstrate the energy and environmental benefits of a more significant shift of passengers and goods to rail transport. While the High Rail Scenario requires about 60 per cent more investment than in the Base Scenario, global CO2 emissions from transport peak in the late 2030s, air pollution is reduced and oil demand is lowered.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, said: “It is recognised that the sustainable development goals for the global railway sector are achievable, such as: Rail as the safest mode of transport, rail reduces congestion, rail improves access to mobility, railway companies are responsible and attractive employers (rail is the largest employer in India) and last but not least, rail has a low impact on the environment and climate change.

“In the High Rail Scenario, by minimising cost per passenger or tonne kilometre, maximising revenues from stations and ensuring that all modes of transport pay for the negative impacts that they generate (polluter pays principle), an aggressive deployment of rail could lead to a peak of CO2emissions in transport. This scenario leads to the reduction and shift of 11.5 trillion passenger kilometres from airplanes, cars and two/three-wheelers, and 7.4 trillion tonne kilometres from trucks in 2050.”

Rail remains the primary transport mode in India, providing vital connections within and between cities and regions, and guaranteeing affordable passenger mobility that has long been a government priority. Rail passenger traffic in India has increased by almost 200 per cent since 2000 yet prospects for future growth remain bright. Construction has started on India’s first high-speed rail line, the total length of metro lines is set to more than triple in the next few years, and two dedicated freight corridors are on track to enter operation by 2020.

In all countries the future of the rail sector will be determined by how it responds to both rising transport demand and rising pressure from competing transport modes. Rising incomes and populations in developing and emerging economies, where cities are growing exponentially, are set to lead to strong demand for more efficient, faster and cleaner transportation, but the need for speed and flexibility tend to favour car ownership and air travel.

Rs.7,010 Crore allotted to East Coast Railway in interim Union Budget

Allotment for new lines this year has been pegged at Rs 2,630 crore which is 67 per cent more than the last year’s provision. Stating this, ECoR in a statement said this includes all budgetary heads including projects, electrification, passenger amenities, workshops, track and staff amenities in its jurisdiction, which covers most parts of Odisha.

HAJIPUR: Allotment of funds to the tune of Rs 7,010 crore has been made in the interim Union budget for East Coast Railway (ECoR), which is 13 per cent more than last year’s provision.

Stating this, ECoR in a statement said this includes all budgetary heads including projects, electrifications, passenger amenities, workshops, track and staff amenities in its jurisdiction, which covers most parts of Odisha.

Allotment for new lines this year has been pegged at Rs 2,630 crore which is 67 per cent more than the last year’s provision, it said.

A new 14.5 km line has been sanctioned between Talcher and Angul with an estimated project cost of Rs 278 crore, it said adding that the allotment for passenger amenities is to the tune of Rs 181 crore, up from Rs 82 crore provided last year, an increase of 119 per cent.

At least six other new railway line projects find place in the interim Union budget. These include 98.7 km-long Angul-Sukinda Road with a budget grant of Rs 250 crore, Haridaspur-Paradip (82 km) with Rs 400 crore and Khurda Road-Balangir (289 km) with Rs 350 crore.

Similarly, 154 km Talcher-Bimalagarh line has been allotted an amount of Rs 150 crore, while Jeypore-Malkanagiri (127 km) has got Rs 70 crore and Jeypore-Nawarangpur (38 km) granted Rs 10 crore, the ECoR release said.

A total of over Rs 1,685 crore has been allotted for several doubling and third line projects including Sambalpur-Talcher (174.11 km), Sambalpur-Titlagarh (182.11KMs), Bansapani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura (180 KM), Bhadrak-Nergundi-3rdLine (80 km), Vizianagaram-Sambalpur 3rd Line.

The other projects are Jarapada-Budhapank 3rd & 4th Line, Budhapank-Salegaon 3rd & 4th Line, Koraput-Singapur Road, Manoharpur-Bandhamunda 3rd Line, Rourkela-Jharsuguda 3rd Line and Bandhamunda-Rourkela 4th Line, it added.

Nepal starts Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway Procurement process, approaches Indian companies

KHATMANDU: Nepal has started the procurement process to launch railway services from Janakpur in Nepal to Jayanagar Railway Station on the Samathipur Division of East Central Railway of Indian Railways in India, for which Indian companies have been approached.

The Government of Nepal had, on January 13, gave a go-ahead for the procurement process following which the Department of Railways, under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, started preparations for the purchase of rails.

“The Department has sent proposals to Indian government companies towards that end, and some of them have responded to the proposals,” the state news agency RSS reported.

Though the Government of Nepal allocated NRs 500 million for the purchase of two trains for the service, the Department has stated that at least NRs 1.5 billion would be required for the purchase of rails.

The newly upgraded railway line between Nepal and India would cover a total distance of 35 kilometres in the first phase, for which the trial has already been carried out. The total length of the Bardibas-Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha-Bijayapura is 69 kilometres.

Moula-Ali Railway Station developed as “ADARSH STATION”- Improved with Additional Passenger Amenities

SECUNDERABAD: Moula-Ali station is an important Non suburban grade – 5 Railway station. This station is located on the busiest rail corridor Secunderabad-Kazipet section of Secunderabad Division.

In the recent past, surrounding areas of this station have seen rapid progress with establishment of thickly populated residential colonies. On an average more than 10 Express trains and several passenger trains arrive/depart from this station. The average traffic dealt at this station is 2500 passengers per day. In order to cater the passenger growth this station is developed as Adarsh station and several enhanced passenger amenities and facilities are provided at Moula-Ali Railway station with an expenditure of Rs. 3.5 Crores. The Adarsh Station  works have been sanctioned in the financial year 2016-17.

Improved facilities provided at Moula-ali station

  • Improvement to façade of station building.
  • Waiting room for travelling passengers.
  • Earmarked parking facilities for Divyangjan and others.
  • Non slippery walkway from parking lot to station building.
  • Ramps for entry of Divyangjan and senior citizens.
  • Modern and elegant Signage boards.
  • Pay and Use Toilets.
  • Improvements to platform surface.
  • Platform wall with land scaping.
  • Adequate drinking water arrangements.
  • Improvement to booking and enquiry offices.
  • In addition, a Foot over Bridge is under construction at an estimated cost of Rs 1.6 crore which is nearing completion. This is a long pending demand from the passengers of this region.
  • With this, a total of 67 stations are developed as Adarsh stations on the South Central Railway.

Train Operations in Kusunda–Sonardih of Dhanbad–Chandrapura section to be opened for Rail Traffic

NEW DELHI: Dhanbad-Chandrapura Railway line of Dhanbad Division of East Central Railway is passing over coal bearing area of Jharia Coal Field. The operation of passenger and goods traffic on the line was stopped w.e.f. 15.06.2017, on the report of Director General of Mine Safety (DGMS). Subsequently, on the certificate from DGMS, different sections of the line between Dhanbad-Kusunda, Sonardih-Chandrapura & Katrasgarh-Nichitpur link line were opened for traffic between June to November 2017.

Recently, authorization for reopening of the remaining section for goods & passenger trains between Kusunda- Sonardih has been received from Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, after joint inspection with DGMS. Some works have been identified for repair and rehabilitation of this line. After completion of these works, the section will be opened for traffic by East Central Railway.

Bhilai Steel Plant dispatches over 1 Lakh Tonnes of Prime Rails to Indian Railways in Jan 2019

BHILAIFollowing Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) dispatching over 1 lakh tonnes of rails to the Indian Railways in the just concluded January 2019, the entire senior management team of BSP led by A K Rath, CEO, BSP started by visiting Sanyantra Bhavan, Steel Melting Shop-2, Rail & Structural Mill (RSM), Universal Rail Mill (URM) and Steel Melting Shop-3 to congratulate and boost the collectives of the different departments that had combined as a team to make this distinguished achievement.

Accompanying Rath were P k Dash, E D (Works), B P Nayak, E D (F&A), A K Kabisatapathy, E D (Projects), Manas Biswas, E D (Mines & Rowghat), K K Singh, ED (P&A), general managers and senior officers of the Plant.

During the course of his visit to different units, instrumental in making this record achievement, Rath congratulated members of Steel Melting Shop-2, Rail & Structural Mill (RSM), Universal Rail Mill (URM) and Steel Melting Shop-3 collectives. He said that this achievement has again emphatically demonstrated the cooperative and collaborative culture of Bhilai Steel Plant. The production and dispatch of more than 10,0000 T rails during Jan 2019 was like breaching a mental barrier. He was emphatic that our collective capabilities are limitless.

Now, that this barrier has been breached we must achieve it consistently in coming months to meet requirement of Indian Railways. He reiterated that in the process of production there can be no compromise with safety.  He strongly urged members of the collective to focus on safety at least for thirty minutes every day, whether by contemplating on its application in our shop floor or by
discussing and sensitizing our colleagues and peers.

Rath said that with the successful surpassing of the one lakh tons monthly production and dispatch of rails, we must now challenge our limits and go beyond this achievement. We must now collectively strive for daily rail production of 2600 T from RSM and 1600 T from URM. He called on the collective of SMS-2 to strike out for achieving the target of 60 heats per month, including 1,50,000 monthly rail blooms. In January 2019, the Rail & Structural Mill and Universal Rail Mill combined to record total dispatches of 1,03,171 Tonnes of rails to Indian Railways.

With this new high in monthly production and dispatches of rails to Indian Railways, SAIL- Bhilai Steel Plant has taken a leap forward in production and dispatches of rails to Indian Railways.

SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant that produces the world’s longest 130 meter rails in single piece has been supplying world class rails to Indian Railways for more than five decades, meeting all the stringent requirements of quality and length of rails.  Total dispatches of prime rails by Bhilai Steel Plant so far in the current fiscal has been 7,54,708 Tonnes.

Seemanchal Express accident: 7 dead, 29 injured as 11 coaches derail in Bihar on NFR-Katihar Division

KATIHAR: Seven people have died and more than 20 are injured in Bihar after eleven coaches of the Seemanchal Express derailed on Sunday morning. The accident on the Delhi-bound train occurred in Vaishali district of Bihar. The train was running between Jogbani and Anand Vihar Terminal. Railway officials said it was at its full speed when the accident occurred around 3:50am. The Railways has issued helpline numbers to assist the injured and their family members. Teams of NDRF have reached the spot to carry out relief and rescue operations. Indian Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

Seemanchal Express accident: Based on initial probe, it has been found that a fracture in railway track caused the accident. Railway track fracture is said to be a common occurrence in the region owing to cold weather conditions in winter.

Indian Railways has arrived at the conclusion after preliminary inquiry as broken pieces of railway tracks have been found on the spot.

Railway track fracture is being reported to be a common occurrence in the region owing to weather conditions. The metallic tracks expand slightly at high temperatures and contract at lower temperatures. In the current season, the cold is said to have caused great strain in the tracks leading to the fracture.

Seven people have died and more than 20 are injured in Bihar after eleven coaches of the Seemanchal Express derailed on Sunday morning. The accident on the Delhi-bound train occurred in Vaishali district of Bihar. The train was running between Jogbani and Anand Vihar Terminal.

Railway officials said it was at its full speed when the accident occurred around 3:50am. The Railways has issued helpline numbers to assist the injured and their family members. Teams of NDRF have reached the spot to carry out relief and rescue operations.

Indian Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

Railways did away with atleast 11 of its thousands of unmanned LCs every day during past 10 months

NEW DELHI: Indian railways did away with at least 11 of its thousands of unmanned level crossings every day during the past 10 months to eliminate these death traps.

The last such crossing on broad-gauge lines was converted into a gated one in Allahabad on Thursday, the same day railway minister Piyush Goyal confirmed in his budget speech that these unmanned crossings were a thing of the past.

‘2018 school van accident put manned crossing project on a war footing’

According to railway ministry officials, an accident on April 16, 2018 involving a school van at such a crossing on Kaptanganj-Thawe section in UP that claimed 13 lives was the turning point for putting the focus on quickly doing away with these crossings.

“The ministry had told the Parliament these crossings would be a thing of past by March 2020. But work on a war footing was undertaken to complete the task earlier after the accident,” said an official. The number of accidents at unmanned level crossings has been at an all-time low at only three during this fiscal as compared to 65 in 2009-10.

Sources said in most of the cases either mechanised or manual system of operating gates have been operationalised to stop vehicles from crossing the tracks when trains go past these spots. They added at some crossing, they have route relay interlocking system where the rail traffic flow is higher.

Officials said the railways had zeroed down on four models to eliminate the crossings including merger with another level crossing by constructing diversion road, construction of subway or rail under bridge and manning. The last option was found to be most cost effective and less time taking. Building rail under and over bridges often require land acquisition and other permissions.

“At all manned crossings, the attendants have been deployed who work in shifts and they have been trained properly for the operational responsibilities. The activities involved in manning were provision of gate hut/porta cabins, lifting barrier/ swing gates, telephones and preparation of engineering plan to name a few,” a railway spokesperson said.

He added for timely elimination of UMLCs all general managers were empowered to take decision such as tendering system, grant traffic blocks, speed restriction, sanction of work and technical decisions regarding manning and interlocking.

Moreover, railways deployed ex-servicemen after proper training. “Till removal of all UMLCs, Gate Mitras were deployed at all these spots to counsel the road users,” said an official.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal on Friday had said safety remains the primary focus of the national transporter.

Exclusive: Will appoint 2.20 lakh more staff for Indian Railways, says Piyush Goyal

Indian Railways is already in the process of appointing of 1.5 lakh personnel, which will be complete in the next 8-9 months

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Piyush Goyal speaking exclusively with RailNews said that the Indian Railways will appoint another 2.2 lakh personnel to fill the vacant posts at the national carrier. Worth mentioning here is that the Indian Railways is already in the process of appointing of 1.5 lakh personnel, which will be complete in the next 8-9 months.

“10 days ago I have announced another 2.20 lakh jobs, which includes those which will fall vacant in the next two years. The appointment process will start very soon,” Piyush Goyal said.

Goyal further said that in the next phase of appointment, the government will for the first time introduce 10% quota for the economically backward section from the upper caste who otherwise don’t get any reservation.

It may be noted that last month the parliament passed a bill to provide 10% reservation in government jobs and education to the economically backward section in the general category. President Ram Nath Kovind has already given his assent to the constitutional provision.

The minister highlighted that the government is following a completely computerised process for appointment of Railway personnel, which ensures transparency in the system. “All the results are entirely computer controlled…the entire examination is videographed,” the minister said.

However, Goyal said that the attraction for government jobs is gradually fading up as people want to start something of their own. With 15 crore Mudra loan issued in the country, people are making a life of their own, he added.

“There are people who want to start new enterprises, want to experiment with new ideas,” Goyal said.

Railway Minister launches the IEA’s Report “The Future of Rail”

The huge investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped us improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services: Shri Piyush Goyal. The indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India: Shri Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI: Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the report “The Future of Rail” of International Energy Agency (IEA) at an event here today. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, Director General, International Union of Railways, Shri Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Members of Railway Board and other Dignitaries from Ministry of Railways and IEA were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said, today is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi Ji and Railways played a very important role in the his life, and his journey from Mohan to Mahatma was captured in a tableau during the Republic Day Parade this year. He added that, what Mahatma Gandhi Ji said is still relevant for the entire world. One of his writings quotes: “The Day the Power of Love overrules the Love of Power, the World will know Peace” continues to guide us even today.

He said that this Government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is committed to providing a better future for the country’s youth by combatting climate change and bringing down our emission levels. The huge investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped us improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.

Shri Goyal further said that the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India. He also highlighted Indian Railway’s successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways. He informed that 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, we electrified over 4,000 km, and in the coming year we aim to electrify over 6,000 Km. He reiterated that there is a rising demand for better quality, safer, more comfortable, efficient, reliable and cheap transport and added that no other form of transport can provide this other than railways.

In his introductory remarks, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav said that Railways can play an important role in the sustainable development of the world economy. He added that rail transport is superior to any other form of transport in terms of energy efficiency and being environment friendly. He highlighted the focus on capacity augmentation and infrastructural development by Indian Railways in recent years to make it an engine of growth for the nation.

“The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications. The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.

This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.

Backgrounder:

The IEA is an inter-governmental organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and 8 association countries. Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.

India and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have benefited from a long, on-going bilateral relationship and cooperation in a broad range of area including energy security, statistics, energy efficiency, market analysis for oil, gas, electricity, renewables, system integration and implementation agreements for enhanced technologies.

India has been the focus of many recent IEA analyses and reports for instance through the special focus chapter on the Indian Power sector of the Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) publication and the World Energy Outlook (WEO). High level policy dialogues have been further intensified over the last few years including a statement of intent on data and research cooperation, and a memorandum of understanding on clean energy research and development tracking. IEA has also held workshops and training programmes in India on energy data training, energy efficiency, strategic petroleum reserves, and the integration of renewables into the grid.

Centre allocates Rs.64,587 Cr for Railways in 2019-20; Infra allocation for NE increased by 21% to Rs.58,166 Cr in 2019-20

NEW DELHI: In the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Railways has been allocated Rs.64,587 crore.  The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs.1,58,658 crore.  This was stated by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal, while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.

Shri Piyush Goyal said  – “Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history as all Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network have been eliminated”.

Vande Bharat Express:

Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.

The Finance Minister stated that “infrastructure is the backbone of any nation’s development and quality of life.  Whether it is highways or railways or airways or even digi-ways, we have gone beyond incremental growth to attain transformative achievements.”

Infra in North East Region:

The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to large number of jobs being created also. Today, India is the fastest highway developer in the world with 27 kms of highways built each day. Projects stuck for decades like the Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi or the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed. The flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas of the country will develop ports for faster handling of import and export cargo. For the first time, container freight movement has started on inland waterways from Kolkata to Varanasi. Our Government will introduce container cargo movement to the North East as well, by improving the navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra river.

The Finance Minister announced that the people of North East have received significant benefits of infrastructure development in this Interim Budget. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time. Allocation for the North Eastern Areas is being proposed to be increased by 21% to Rs.58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE.

Boost to Renewable Energy:

The Finance Minister “while presenting the Interim Budget stated that India provided leadership to the global effort to address the problem of climate change. Our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting-up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs.”

India’s import dependence on crude oil and natural gas has been a source of big concern to our Government. While we have taken a large number of measures to moderate the increasing demand through usage of bio fuel and alternate technologies, urgent action is needed to increase hydrocarbon production to reduce imports. A high level Inter-Ministerial Committee, constituted by our Government, has made several specific recommendations, including transforming the system of bidding for exploration, changing from revenue sharing to exploration programme for Category II and III basins. The Government is in the process of implementing these recommendations, the Minister said.

Railway Budget for Waltair Division 2019-20 published

S.No. Plan Head Sanctioned budget for Work in progress (Rs crores) Sanctioned budget for New Works (Rs crores)
1 New Lines 8.01
2 Doubling 933.57
3 Traffic Facilities-Yard Remodelling & Others 16.41 0.07
4 Road Safety Works-Level Crossings 15.35 1
5 Road Safety Works-Road Over/Under Bridges. 60.86 8
6 Track Renewals 289.98 72
7 Bridge Works 12.96 1
8 Signalling and Telecommunication 72.56 1.5
9 Traction Distribution Works 10.99 3
10 Workshops including Production Units 143.58 6
11 Staff Quarters 4.12 1
12 Amenities for Staff 0.09 2.8
13 Passenger Amenities 126.52 10.6
14 Other Specified Works 6.04 4.13
15 Training/HRD 0.15 0.15
Total fund Approx 1773.27 111.25

JSPL announces Financial Results for third quarter & nine months FY 2018-19

JSPL continues to report Profits

Records Highest ever Production runrate in India of over 6MTPA in Jan’19

  • 3QFY19 Standalone PAT Rs. 177 Cr
  • 3QFY19 Consolidated PBT Rs. 14 Cr
  • 3QFY19 Standalone EBITDA up 61% YoY
  • 3QFY19 Consolidated EBITDA up 29% YoY

JSPL Standalone 3QFY19 Performance (YoY):

  • Turnover: Rs. 6,745 Cr; increased by 58%
  • EBITDA: Rs. 1,480 Cr; increased by 61%
  • EBITDA Margin: 22%
  • Crude Steel Production: 1.22 million tonnes
  • Steel Sales: 1.20 million tonnes

JSPL Consolidated 3QFY19 Performance (YoY):

  • Turnover: Rs. 9,580 Cr; increased by 37%
  • EBITDA: Rs. 2,077 Cr; increased by 29%
  • EBITDA Margin: 22%
  • EBITDA – Oman: US$ 32 mn
  • Crude Steel Production: 1.68 million tonnes
  • Steel Sales: 1.65 million tonnes

JPL 3QFY19 Performance (YoY):

  • Turnover: Rs. 1,004 Cr
  • EBITDA: Rs. 273 Cr
  • EBITDA Margin: 27%
  1. JSPL Standalone Performance

JSPL Standalone Steel production rose 26% YoY to 1.22 million tonnes (0.97 million tonnes in 3QFY18) while Standalone Steel sales during 3QFY19 increased to 1.20 million tonnes (up 28% YoY) on the back of steady ramp up at Angul. On back of Angul ramp up, JSPL India clocked its ever-highest Steel production run rate of over 6MTPA in the month of Jan’19.

The quarter ended December’ 2018 saw Steel sector grappling with falling prices and decline in Sales volumes. With rhetoric on prices in China falling, there was reluctance in the consumers to build any inventory during the last month. Volumes were also impacted by a short period of stocking in the last few weeks of the previous quarter, which saw an upsurge in prices that was short-lived.

The revenues for JSPL Standalone came in at Rs. 6,745 Cr (up 58% YoY) supported by higher realizations. Aided by higher efficiency and better product mix strategy against increasing raw material costs, JSPL Standalone maintained EBITDA margins of 22%, similar to previous quarter even in a price fall environment. JSPL Standalone reported EBITDA of Rs. 1,480 Cr (Up 61% YoY) and Profit After Tax of Rs. 177 Cr as compared to a loss of Rs. 74 Cr in 3QFY18.

  1. Jindal Power Ltd (JPL)

Non- availability of coal remains to be the biggest challenge for independent power producers, including JPL, in ramping up production. The Company generated 2,609 units in 3QFY19 as compared to 2,427 units in 2QFY19 (8% QoQ increase).

Despite higher volumes, rising coal costs (up 13% QoQ) led to a compression of margins for the Company’s power assets. JPL reported EBITDA of Rs. 273 Cr (as compared to Rs. 302 Cr in 2QFY19). JPL continues to generate cash profits at Rs. 131 Cr in the reported quarter.

  1. Global Ventures

3.1. Oman: During 3QFY19, Jindal Shadeed recorded production of 0.46 million tonnes of crude steel (as against 0.42 million tonnes in 3QFY18). The impact of falling global steel prices directly impacted sales & margins at the Jindal Shadeed plant with EBITDA for 3QFY19 at US$32mn (vs. 63mn in 3QFY18).

3.2. Mozambique: Mines at Mozambique produced 0.45 million tonnes ROM in 3QFY19 and generated EBITDA of US$ 4mn for the reported quarter.

3.3. Australia: During 3QFY19, the Company undertook repair & overhaul of equipment at the Wongawilli mines and produced approx. 86KT (vs 30KT in 3QFY18). The application for approval for starting the Russel Vale mines progressed well during the quarter.

  1. JSPL Consolidated Performance

JSPL produced 1.68 million tonnes on the Consolidated level (up 21% from 1.39 million tonnes in 3QFY19) and sold 1.65 million tonnes (up 21% from 1.36 million tonnes in 3QFY18).

JSPL reported Consolidated Revenues of Rs. 9,580 Cr (up 37% YoY) while Consolidated EBITDA increased to Rs. 2,077 Cr from Rs. 1,607 Cr (in 3QFY18), up 29% YoY. JSPL Consolidated Profits before Tax jumped from a loss of Rs. 323 Cr in 3QFY18 to a profit before tax of Rs. 14 Cr this quarter.

Net Debt to EBITDA (Trailing) at the end of 3QFY19 stood at 4.85x as compared to 6.6x as of March’2018. JSPL reported consolidated net debt of Rs. 39,197 (net of foreign currency exchange translation) in 3QFY19.

  1. Overview and Outlook:

5.1. Steel:

Following a good demand cycle in CY17, production ramp-up became global phenomena in Steel. The finished steel supply gradually outpaced, otherwise healthy demand, amidst already existing downtrend in trade on the back of US section 232, leading to softening in steel prices. On the raw material side, fairly stable prices give an indication that the steel cycle might be range-bound over the medium term though there could be mini cycles with shorter peak-trough duration. Major steel producing nation, China in particular is further expected to adjust its production to more sustainable levels.

Though prices have fallen in recent months, it is neither the structural demand collapse like 2009 nor the huge supply glut in the seaborne market like 2015-16. And could possibly only be normalization from the stimulus-fuelled growth, which began pushing prices in the December quarter a year before amplified by inventory liquidation in China during the winter months. In the coming months, the outlook for Steel could be a binary outcome largely dependent on supply adjustment and any stimulus coming in China, especially in the Real Estate sector. After a period

of price reduction, the Global steel prices seem to have largely found stability at the current levels; a fact supported by the recent uptick in prices further supported by a surge in iron ore prices.

India demand growth continues at ~8% in the 9MFY19 and World Steel Association expects it to grow at 7.3% in CY19. With a possible lull in demand during the general election, the growth is expected to return to its upward trajectory sequentially. Construction sector is likely to maintain current momentum with gradual revival in private investment. Government driven infrastructure program is driving majority of the growth, with projects like Sagarmala, etc further fuelling steel demand. On-going freight corridor and metro rail projects will continue to support the steel demand from the railway sector while rising urbanization and middle class incomes should continue to boost the demand for white goods.

The Company has been able to successfully align its product mix to niche products including but not limited to specialized application alloy/non-alloy heat-treated plates, wide sized plates, Long &   Head Hardened Rails, Heavy structures, specialized application wire rods & rounds for O&G application, to successfully maintain its sales growth trajectory and operating level contribution along with the steady ramp up of Steel plants in Angul & Raigarh.

5.2. Power:

Expected fresh round of mid-term and short-term power purchase tenders by State Distribution companies and Government of India intent to allow thermal power plants to sell power in short term (including power exchanges) using FSA coal are likely to brighten up the outlook of power sector.

The country is expected to achieve 100 per cent household electrification by the end of January 2019 under SAUBHAGYA scheme; which will boost the power demand in rural areas. The recent short-term power tenders by Discoms have received high bids as generators expect coal shortages to continue and future tenders to see higher rates backed by higher demand for electricity from State Discoms. Government’s proposal to introduce coal swapping arrangement among power producers, who are importing coal or have domestic supply linkages, will further ease supply constraints in view of reduced coal transportation costs and time. With coal production expected to reach its maximum during the last quarter of the financial year, better coal supply could be expected in the coming months.

The Company is focused on mitigating these key challenges by expeditious implementation of coal tolling with State Governments and coal swapping arrangements with other generators. In the long term, introduction of commercial mining for the private sector as initiated by Govt. of India is expected to lessen coal woes for thermal power generators.

SCCL to speed up land acquisition for 54 Km Rail line between Bhadrachalam Road-Sathupalli

సింగరేణి (కొత్తగూడెం): సత్తుపల్లి–భద్రాచలం రోడ్‌ (కొత్తగూడెం రుద్రంపూర్‌) రైల్వే పనులకు కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం గ్రీన్‌ సిగ్నల్‌ ఇచ్చింది. దీంతో పనులను అధికారులు వేగవంతం చేయనున్నారు. రైల్వే అధికారులు దాదాపు సర్వే పను లు పూర్తి చేశారు. 54 కిలోమీటర్ల పొడవుతో నిర్మించే ఈ లైన్‌కు 50 శాతం భూసేకరణ పనులు పూర్తయినట్లు సింగరేణి అధికారులు తెలిపారు. ఇంకా మిగిలిన పనులను రైల్వేశాఖ త్వరలో పూర్తి చేయనున్నట్లు తెలిసింది. అయితే సత్తుపల్లి ఏరియాలో బొగ్గు రవాణా రోజు రోజుకు పెరుగుతు న్న నేపథ్యంలో పనులు వేగవంతం చేయాలని సింగరేణి అధికారులు భావించి రూ.618.55 ఖర్చు చేయటానికి సంసిద్ధపడి దానిలో రూ.156. 38 కోట్లను చెల్లించింది. ఈ రైల్వే లైను పొడవు సుమారు 53.50 కిలోమీటర్లకు రూ.704.31 కోట్లు అవుతుందని అంచనా. వీటిలో 16 జూలై 2018 వరకు సింగరేణి సంస్థ రూ.156.38 కోట్లు చెల్లించింది. ఈ పనులు పూర్తయితే 2020 సంవ త్సరం నాటికి సుమారు 15 మిలియన్‌ టన్నుల బొగ్గును రవాణా చేయనున్నట్లు రైల్వే, సింగరేణి అధికారులు పేర్కొంటున్నారు. దీంతో సింగరేణికి బొగ్గు రవాణా ఖర్చు లక్షల్లో ఉంటుందని కార్మికులు అభిప్రాయం వ్యక్తం చేస్తున్నారు.

రోజుకు 30 వేల టన్నుల బొగ్గు రవాణా  – ప్రస్తుతం కొత్తగూడెం ఏరియాలోని జేవీఆర్‌ఓసీ–1, 2లలో రోజుకు సుమారు 30 వేల టన్నుల బొగ్గు 800 (చిన్న, పెద్ద) లారీలలో రుద్రంపూర్‌లోని ఆర్‌సీహెచ్‌పీకి వస్తుంది. ఈ రవాణా పక్రియలో ప్రమాదాల సంఖ్య ఇటీవల కాలంలో భారీగా పెరిగాయని కార్మికులు చర్చించుకుంటున్నారు. అంతేకాకుండా బొగ్గు లారీల రాకపోకల వలన దుమ్ము, ధూళి వచ్చి పర్యావరణం దెబ్బతినటమే కాకుండా రోడ్డు వెంట నివసించే ప్రజలు రోగాల బారిన పడుతున్నారు. అదేవిధంగా శబ్దకాలుష్యంతో రాత్రింబవళ్లు కష్టపడి వచ్చిన ప్రజలకు నిద్ర ఉండటంలేదని వాపోతున్నారు. ఈ పనులు పూరయ్తితే వీటన్నిటికి ఉపశమనం జరుగుతుందని ప్రజలు అభిప్రాయం వ్యక్తం చేస్తున్నారు.

సత్తుపల్లిలో మరో నాలుగు ఓసీలకు రంగం సిద్ధం – సత్తుపల్లిలో జలగం వెంగళరావు ఓసీ–1ను 2006లో సింగరేణి సంస్థ ప్రారంభించి ఏడాదికి సుమారు 50 లక్షల టన్నుల బొగ్గును ఉత్పత్తి చేస్తుంది. ఇదేక్రమంలో 2017లో  జేవీఆర్‌ ఓసీ–2లో ఉత్పత్తిని ప్రారభించింది. దీని జీవితకాలం సుమారు 29 సంవత్సరాలు. సంవత్సరానికి సుమారు ఒక మిలియన్‌ టన్ను బొగ్గు ఉత్పత్తి చేసేందుకు అధికారులు కసరత్తు చేస్తున్నారు. అదేవిధంగా సత్తుపల్లి ఓపెన్‌కాస్ట్‌ –3 కొమ్మేపల్లి ప్రాంతంలో మరో మూడేళ్లలో ఇక్కడ కూడా ఓసీ ప్రారంభం కానుంది. అదేవిధంగా కిష్టారం ఓపెన్‌కాస్ట్, ఇవన్నీ కలుపుకొని ఏరియాలో రానున్న మరో నాలుగేళ్లలో 10 మిలియన్‌ టన్నుల బొగ్గు ఉత్పత్తి చేసి రవాణాకు సన్నాహాలు చేస్తున్నారు. సింగరేణి సంస్థ ఉత్పత్తిచేసే బొగ్గును లారీల ద్వారా కాకుండా రైల్వే వ్యాగన్ల ద్వారా రవాణా చేస్తే సంస్థకు లక్షలాది రూపాయల లాభంతో పాటు అక్రమ రవాణాకు చెక్‌ పడుతుందని కార్మికులు అభిప్రాయం వ్యక్తం చేస్తున్నారు.

అభివృద్ధి చెందనున్న పలు గ్రామాలు – భద్రాద్రి కొత్తగూడెం, ఖమ్మం, జిల్లాలోని గ్రామాలను కలిపే ఈ రైల్వే మార్గం వల్ల కొత్తగూడెం, చండ్రుగొండ, మద్దుకూరు, అన్నపురెడ్డిపల్లి, లంకపల్లి, మండలాల గ్రామాలు అభివృద్ధి చెందనున్నాయి. దీనివలన పరోక్షంగా వేలాది మందికి ఉపాధి కలుగనుంది.

Rs.2362 Crore grant for ongoing Railway projects across Andhra Pradesh

VIJAYAWADA: Despite no new projects being announced for railways by Union minister Piyush Goyal in the interim budget placed in the Parliament on Friday, the ongoing projects under South Central Railway (SCR) in AP have got fund allocations from the Centre. However, there have been disparities in the allocations as compared with the previous year.

Of the Rs 5,924 crore sanctioned by the Centre for SCR this year, around Rs 2,362 crore would be spent on railway development in AP. The Modi government pumped Rs 1,308 crore less funds in the SCR coffer this year, as compared with the 2018-19 budget, in which railways had been sanctioned Rs 3,670 crore for infra boost in the state.

As for the two third line projects linking Vijayawada with Kazipet and Gudur, the fund allocations saw a staggering growth this year. “The fund sanctioned for Kazipet-Vijayawada third line has been increased from Rs 60 crore last year to Rs 110 crore in the interim budget. Likewise, the Vijayawada-Gudur third line has got Rs 350 crore, which is Rs 100 crore more than last year’s allocation,” said a senior railway official.

Besides, the allocation for construction of bypass lines at Vijayawada, Kazipet, Reningunta, Wadi and Gooti also surged from a mere Rs 31 crore in the 2018-19 budget to Rs 143 crore in the interim one. While the Centre increased the allocation to the development of a second entry at Tirupati railway station by Rs 4.5 crore, SCR gets Rs 4 crore less than last year for the development of Tiruchanur station. However, the allotment of funds for the Vijayawada-Bhimavaram-Nidadabvolu doubling and electrification works have plummeted to Rs 175 crore from Rs 200 crore granted last year. The dip was also seen in the allocation of funds to Guntakal-Kalluru doubling project — from Rs 76.52 crore last year to Rs 15 crore this time.

The highest allocation for railways in AP is Rs 700 crore pertaining to the current Nadikudi-Srikalahasti new line project, which was taken up in the 2011-12 fiscal at an estimated cost of Rs 2,450 crore. As per the agreement, the AP government would have to share half of the project cost. While the expenditure incurred on the project in the past four years clocks Rs 414 crore, SCR was allocated Rs 420 crore for the same last year.

Well done Indian Railways!

The provisions in the interim Budget presented on Friday reflect the robust revenue growth!

NEW DELHI: The railway revenues are beginning to turn. After failing to meet the Rs 1.8-trillion earnings mark in the past three years, the Railways are now moving closer to the Rs 2-trillion mark — way ahead of the Rs 1.78 trillion it earned last year. The surge is creditable.

The provisions in the interim Budget presented on Friday reflect the robust revenue growth. Indian Railways has, however, projected only a 95 per cent operating ratio. For the past few years, the railway’s wage bill has continued to be more than 60 per cent of its income. But even with digital modes of revenue collection, staff requirement will not come down since it provides services to 8.4 billion passengers annually.

Amtrak, the US railway managed by the federal government, also has a wage bill of 60 per cent of revenue.

Increasing fares is not the only way to improve revenues. The railway needs to target passenger volumes. Currently, the Indian Railways has a per-day ratio of 18 passengers per employee. A small increment, say two more passengers per employee, would add Rs 5,000 crore per annum to the Railways’ revenues. This is equal to a 10 per cent hike in fares. Railway container traffic is not growing too fast. This is an issue that the Railways will perhaps address from 2020.

The increase in capex was expected. Funding projects through borrowings is on the rise. Train 18 has cost about Rs 100 crore. Instead of spending for these from the exchequer, the government can take loans.

Budget Summary with Major Highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20

INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20 PRESENTED IN PARLIAMENT TODAY HAS A MAJOR SCHEME FOR FARMERS AND PROVIDES FOR INCOME TAX SOPS  THIS INTERIM BUDGET IS TO BE VIEWED AS A MEDIUM FOR A PROGRESSIVE

PATH FOR THE COUNTRY, THE FINANCE MINISTER SAYS. SHRI PIYUSH GOYAL SAYS GOVERNMENT HAS BROUGHT DOWN AVERAGE INFLATION TO 4.6%, LOWER THAN THE INFLATION DURING THE TENURE OF ANY OTHER PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT.

NEW DELHI: Interim Budget 2019-20 was presented in Parliament today by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal. Besides having a major Scheme for the farmers, it provides tax sops and sets the Developmental Agenda for the years to come.

A New Deal for 12 Crore Small and Marginal farmers with direct income support, a path breaking Pension initiative for 10 Crore unorganized sector workers, exempting income up to Rs 5 lakhs from Income Tax, reforms in stamp duty, highest ever budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore for Defence, record allocation of funds at Rs 58,166 crore for North Eastern Areas, a new AIIMS for Haryana, single window clearance for Indian film makers at par with foreigners and higher budgetary allocations for Education, Health, Infrastructure and for the welfare of weaker sections including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a Separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fisherman are some of the major highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20.

Major Schemes

New Scheme- namely “Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)” to extend direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year to farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares is announced.

While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that “our Government is launching a historic programme PM-KISAN with an outlay of Rs.75,000 crore for the FY 2019-20 and Rs.20,000 crore in the Revised Estimates of FY 2018-19”.

Under this Government of India funded Scheme, Rs.2,000 each will be transferred to the bank accounts of around 12 crore Small and Marginal farmer families, in three equal installments. This programme would be made effective from 1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself, Shri Piyush Goyal said.

To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of Fisheries, the Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries. Finance Minister said that through the measure, the Government wants to promote further growth over 7% to promote livelihood of about 1.45 crore people dependent on the sector.

The Finance Minister announced 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.

Allocation of Rs.750 crore for Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been announced for the current year itself. Setting up of “Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog” to upscale sustainable genetic upgradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows has also been announced. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cow.

To provide pensionary benefits to at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector a new Scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ is announced. The Finance Minister said that within next five years it would be one of the largest pension schemes of the world. A sum of Rs.500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed, Shri Goyal added. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year, he said.

Tax Benefits

Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs.5 lakhs will not be required to pay any income tax. The Finance Minister said that persons having gross income up to Rs. 6.50 lakhs are not required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings and insurance etc. Additional deductions such as interest on home loan up to Rs. 2 lakh, interest on education loans, National Pension Scheme contributions, medical insurance and medical expenditure on senior citizens etc, are also provided for in the Interim Budget 2019-20. Thus tax benefit of Rs. 18,500 crore is proposed to be provided to an estimated 3 crore middle class and small taxpayers comprising self employed, small business, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.

For salaried persons, Standard Deduction is being raised from the current Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs. 4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners.

Exemption on levy of income tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house is also now proposed. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one selfoccupied house.

TDS threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits is being raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs.40,000.

TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent is proposed to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000 for providing relief to small taxpayers.

The Finance Minister says that the Government wants the GST burden on home buyers to be reduced and accordingly the GST Council was moved to appoint a Group of Ministers to examine and make recommendations in this regard at the earliest.

Shri Goyal said that soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers will be allowed to file quarterly return.

Inflation

The Finance Minister said that the Government has been successful in bringing down average inflation to 4.6% over last five years, which is lower than the inflation during the tenure of any other Government. In fact Inflation in December 2018 was down to 2.19% only. Shri Goyal said if we had not controlled inflation, our families would have been spending around 3540% more today on basic necessities such as food, travel, consumer durables, housing etc. The average rate of inflation during previous five years 2009-2014 was a backbreaking 10.1%, he pointed out.

Fiscal Deficit

 The fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago, the Finance Minister mentioned. He said, the Current Account Deficit (CAD), against a high of 5.6% six years ago, is likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year. “We contained the fiscal deficit notwithstanding the Finance Commission’s recommendations increasing the share of the States from 32% to 42% in central taxes, which we accepted in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, thereby transferring significantly higher amounts to the States”, Shri Goyal said.

Growth and FDI

The Finance Minister Shri Piyush Goyal stated that a stage for high growth in decades to come, has now been set, after a wave of next generation path breaking structural reforms over the last five years, including introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other taxation reforms.

The country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during the last five years. “We are the fastest growing major economy in the world with an annual average GDP growth during last five years higher than the growth achieved by any Government since economic reforms began in 1991. From being the 11th largest economy in the world in 2013-14, we are today the 6th largest in the world”, the Finance Minister asserted in his Opening Remarks of his Budget speech.

Shri Goyal said that due to such a stable and predictable regulatory regime, growing economy and strong fundamentals, India could attract massive amount of as much as $239 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last 5 years, when most of the FDI was allowed to come in through the automatic route.

Enhanced allocations for major Schemes

Announcing an allocation of Rs.60,000 crores for MGNREGA for Budget Estimates 2019-20, the Finance Minister said that additional allocations will be made, if required.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs.19,000 crore in BE 2019-20 as against Rs.15,500 crore in RE 2018-19. During the period 2014-18, a total number of 1.53 crore houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he announced.

By March, 2019, all households will be provided with electricity connection. Till now, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided in a mission mode which has resulted in saving of Rs.50,000 crore for the poor and middle class.

He said through the world‟s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, to provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people in the country, around 10 lakh patients have already benefited through free treatment for medical treatment which would have otherwise cost them Rs. 3,000 crore. Lakhs of poor and middle class people are also benefiting from reduction in the prices of essential medicines, cardiac stents and knee implants, and availability of medicines at affordable prices through Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, the Finance Minister added.

Shri Goyal also said that 14 of the 21 AIIMS operating or being established in the country presently have been announced since 2014. He also announced setting up of a new – the 22nd AIIMS in Haryana.

Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is being increased from Rs.23,357 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs.27,584 crore in BE 2019-20.

A substantial increase is proposed in the allocation for welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The allocation of Rs.56,619 crore made in BE of 2018-19 for Scheduled Caste, further increased to Rs.62,474 crore in RE is proposed to be enhanced to Rs.76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20, an increase of 35.6% over BE of 2018-19. For the Scheduled Tribes also, proposed allocation in 2019-20 BE is Rs.50,086 crore as against Rs.39,135 crore in BE 2018-19, an increase of 28%.

The Finance Minister said that a Welfare Development Board to frame special strategies for the benefit of the hard-to-reach De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities will be set up under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. He said that a Committee under NITI Aayog will also be set up to complete the task of identifying De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities not yet formally classified.

Shri Goyal said under the Ujjwala Yojana aiming delivery of 8 crore free LPG connections, more than 6 crore connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year.

The Finance Minister announced that a National Artificial Intelligence Portal will also be developed soon as a part of the National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will now be renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade.

The Finance Minister stated that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), created by the present Government two years ago, resulted in average savings of 25-28% and the platform will now be extended to all CPSEs. Transactions of over Rs. 17,500 crore have taken place so far.

The Finance Minister announced that for the first time, the country‟s Defence Budget will be of over Rs.3 lakh crore.

The Finance Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal pointed-out that domestic air traffic passengers have doubled during the last five years, leading to large number of jobs also being created. The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India‟s rail map for the first time.

Capital support from the budget for Indian Railways is proposed at Rs.64,587 crore in 2019-20 (BE). The Railways‟ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs. 1,58,658 crore. The Finance Minister, who is also holding the portfolio of Railway Ministry, announced that the Operating Ratio is expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).

India‟s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. Stating this, Shri Goyal said that “our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs, he added.

The Finance Minister announced that in Entertainment industry, which is a major employment generator, regulatory provisions will now rely more on self-declarations. To promote entertainment industry, the Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, now available only to foreigners, will also be made available to Indian filmmakers. “We will also introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy”, he said.

Saying that “We are poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years and aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter”, Shri Piyush Goyal said that there has been a Growth of 18% in Direct Tax Collections in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18, mainly on account of demonetization.

Shri Goyal said that he is proposing, through the Finance Bill, necessary amendments to levy Stamp duties on one instrument relating to one transaction and get collected at one place through the Stock Exchanges. The duty so collected will be shared with the State Governments seamlessly on the basis of domicile of buying client, he said.

In all the total expenditure is to increase from Rs.24,57,235 crore in 2018-19 RE to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE. A rise of Rs.3,26,965 crore or approximately 13.30%. This reflects a high increase considering low inflation. The fiscal deficit of year 2019-20 is estimated to be 3.4% of GDP.

The Finance Minister pointed out that after completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, the Government would now focus on Debt consolidation. He said “We have maintained the glide path towards our target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21. India‟s Debt to GDP ratio was 46.5% in year 2017-18. The FRBM Act prescribes that the Debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40% by 2024-25. “Along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, we will now focus on Debt consolidation”, he added.

The key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in Parliament today are as follows: 

New Announcements

Farmers

  • 12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs.6000 per annum under PM-KISAN o Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19
  • Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore
  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources
  • New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen
  • 2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment.
  • Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan

Labour

 Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers o Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month

Health

 22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana

MGNREGA

 Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20

Direct Tax proposals

  • Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax
  • More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers
  • Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000
  • TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits
  • Existing rates of income tax to continue
  • Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house
  • Housing and real estate sector to get boost- o TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000 o Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.
  • Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-
  • IBA of Income Tax Act o Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years

Fiscal Programme

  • Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20
  • Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.
  • Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago
  • Total expenditure increased by over 13% to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE
  • Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE estimated at Rs. 3,36,292 crore
  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) allocation increased to Rs. 3,27,679 crore in BE 2019-20
  • National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20
  • Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20
  • Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – o Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% – from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20
  • Allocation for the STs increased by 28% – from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE
  • Government confident of achieving the disinvestment target of 80,000 crore
  • Focus now on debt consolidation along with fiscal deficit consolidation programme

Poor and Backward Classes

  • “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM
  • 25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor
  • Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages
  • All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019

North East

  • Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE
  • Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently
  • Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India‟s rail map for the first time
  • Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra

Vulnerable sections

  • A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.
  • New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes

Defence

  • Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever

Railways

  • Capital support of Rs.64,587 crore proposed in 2019-20 (BE) from the budget
  • Overall capital expenditure programme to be of Rs. 1,58,658 crore
  • Operating Ratio expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and to 95% in 2019- 20 (BE)

Entertainment Industry

  • Indian filmmakers to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films
  • Regulatory provisions to rely more on self-declaration
  • To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy

MSME and Traders

  • 2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs
  • Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs
  • Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade 

Digital Villages

  • The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years

Other Announcement(s)

  • New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence

Achievements during 2014-19

  • State of the Economy
  • India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years
  • “Country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during 2014-19”, says FM
  • India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14  Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991
  • Government has broken inflation‟s back from backbreaking inflation during 2009-14: FM
  • Average inflation down to 4.6%, lower than during any other Government
  • Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only
  • Fiscal deficit down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago
  • CAD likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year against a high of 5.6% six years ago  India attracted massive amount of FDI, worth $239 billion, during the last 5 years
  • “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity”, says FM
  • India becomes the fastest growing major economy in the world
  • Double-digit inflation contained and fiscal balance restored
  • Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route

Farmers

  • Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops
  • Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years
  • Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector

Labor

  • Employment opportunities expanded ; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore
  • Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years

Poor and Backward Classes

  • 10% reservation for the poor in educational institutions and government jobs
  • Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana
  • World‟s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people
  • Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts
  • 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class
  • 143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector
  • Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs
  • 10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat
  • Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class
  • 14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014
  • Government tripled rural roads‟ construction under the PMGSY
  • 80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads
  • 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19
  • 53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18

Women development to women led development

  • 6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year
  • 70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women
  • Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks
  • Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana

Youth

  • Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana
  • Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India

MSME and Traders

  • Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour
  • 25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)

Income Tax

  • Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year
  • 80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years
  • Tax administration streamlined- Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns accepted as were filed
  • Technology intensive project approved to improve assessee friendliness –In two years, returns to be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously
  • Earlier benefits given to middle class- o Basic exemption limit increased from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh
    • Tax rate reduced from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh o Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 introduced for the salaried class
    • Deduction of savings under section 80C increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh o Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property raised from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh
  • Special benefits and incentives already given to small businesses and startups- o Overall compliance processes simplified.
    • Threshold for presumptive taxation of business raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore
    • Benefit of presumptive taxation extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs. 50 lakh
    • Presumptive profit rate reduced from 8% to 6% to promote a less cash economy o Tax rate for about 99% companies reduced to 25%

GST

  • GST made India a common market
  • GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade
  • Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free
  • Responsive and sensitive reduction of tax rates – Most items of daily use now in the 0% or 5% tax slab
  • Relieving the businesses and service providers- o Exemptions from GST for small businesses doubled from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh
    • Small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore pay only 1% flat rate and file one annual return only
    • Small service providers with turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs can opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%
    • Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers to be allowed to file quarterly return
  • Encouraging GST revenue trends – The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year

Infrastructure

Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme o Number of Operational Airports crossed 100 o Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim

  • Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years

Roads

  • India is the fastest highway developer in the world
  • 27 kms of highways built each day
  • Stuck projects completed – Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi
  • Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Waterways

  • Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas
  • For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways

Railways

  • “Safest year‟ for railways in its history o All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated. o Semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” introduced – first indigenously developed and manufactured

Climate Change

  • International Solar Alliance o To promote renewable energy
  • First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in

India Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years o Now creating lakhs of new age jobs

Digital India Revolution

  • More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens
  • India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data
  • Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years
  • Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities

Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer

  • In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened
  • Aadhaar now near universally implemented
  • Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen

Customs and trading across borders

  • Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished  Digitization of import and export transactions
  • RFID technology to improve logistics

Steps against corruption

  • Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM
  • RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate
  • The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders
  • Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum

Drive against Black money

  • Undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore brought under tax through initiatives like Black money Law, Fugitive Criminal offenders Act, Demonetisation etc.
  • Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore have been attached
  • 18% growth in Direct tax

Banking Reforms and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

  • The IBC has institutionalized a resolution-friendly mechanism
  • Government has stopped the culture of “phone banking”: FM
  • Government adopted 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalization & reforms
  • Government has implemented measures to ensure „Clean Banking‟
  • Government has already recovered Rs. 3 lakh crore in favor of banks and creditors
  • Government has invested Rs. 2.6 lakh crore for recapitalization of public sector banks

Cleanliness

  • Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission as a tribute to 150 years of Gandhi Ji
  • FM thanks 130 crore Indians for translating Swachh Bharat into a national revolution
  • India has achieved 98% rural sanitation coverage
  • 45 lakh villages have been declared “Open Defecation Free”

Defence

  • OROP under implementation in full spirit with Rs 35,000 crore already disbursed
  • Military pay service hiked

Other achievements

  • Government put a stop to questionable practices of hiding high NPAs
  • Swachh Bharat Mission as the world‟s largest behavioral change movement
  • Moving towards realizing a „New India‟ by 2022 – o Clean and healthy India with universal access to toilets, water and electricity to all o An India where Farmers‟ income would have doubled o Ample opportunities to youth and women to fulfil their dreams
  • An India free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism 

Vision for the next Decade

  • Foundation for India‟s growth and development laid in the past 5 years
  • Poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years
  • Aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter

Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030

India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society

  1. To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living
  2. To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth
  3. Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables
  4. Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment
  5. Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through microirrigation
  6. Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India‟s development and growth
  7. Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022
  8. Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way
  9. A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment
  10. Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with proactive and responsible bureaucracy 

PRADHAN MANTRI KISAN SAMMAN NIDHI ANNOUNCED TO PROVIDE ASSURED INCOME SUPPORT TO SMALL AND MARGINAL FARMERS VULNERABLE LANDHOLDING FARMERS HAVING CULTIVABLE LAND UPTO 2  HECTARES TO BE PROVIDED DIRECT INCOME SUPPORT OF RS. 6000 PER YEAR . AROUND 12 CRORE SMALL AND MARGINAL FARMER FAMILIES ARE EXPECTED TO BENEFIT

To provide an assured income support to the small and marginal farmers, the Government is launching the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs,

Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each. This programme will be funded by Government of India. Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this. The programme would be made effective from 1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto 31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself. This programme will entail an annual expenditure of Rs.75,000 crore”. PM-KISAN would not only provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families, but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season. PM-KISAN would pave the way for the farmers to earn and live a respectable living.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

Regarding Animal Husbandry the Minister said, “I have increased the allocation for Rashtriya Gokul Mission to Rs.750 crore in the current year itself. I announce setting up of “Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog” to upscale sustainable genetic upgradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cows.”

Department of Fisheries

To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of fisheries sector, the

Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries. The Minister said, “In the last Budget, our Government announced the facility of extension of Kisan Credit Card scheme (KCC) to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers. Now, I propose to provide the benefit of 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.”

Crop Loans

When natural calamities strike, farmers are generally unable to repay their crop loans. The Finance Minister said, “Presently, the crop loans are rescheduled for such affected farmers and they get benefit of interest subvention of 2% only for the first year of the rescheduled loan. Our Government has now decided that all farmers affected by severe natural calamities, where assistance is provided from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), will be provided the benefit of interest subvention of 2% and prompt repayment incentive of 3% for the entire period of reschedulement of their loans.”

INCOME UPTO Rs 5 LAKH TO GET FULL TAX REBATE; HIGHER  STANDARD DEDUCTION PROPOSED  RELIEF OF OVER Rs 23,000 CRORE TO ESTIMATED 3 CRORE SMALL AND MIDDLE CLASS TAX-PAYERS. TDS THRESHHOLD ON INTERESTS ON SMALL SAVINGS RAISED. BOOST TO HOUSING AND REAL ESTATE SECTOR. FM ANNOUNCES A SLEW OF TAX RELIEFS FOR MIDDLE CLASS AND SMALL TAX PAYERS  

Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs.5 lakhs will get full tax rebate and therefore will not be required to pay any income tax. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs,

Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said “Because of major tax reforms undertaken by us during last four and half years, both tax collections as well as tax base have shown significant increase, achieving a moderate taxation- high compliance regime. It is, therefore, just and fair that some benefits from the tax reforms must also be passed on to the middle class taxpayers”

As a result, the Finance Minister added that even persons having gross income up to Rs. 6.50 lakhs may not be required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings, insurance etc. In fact, with additional deductions such as interest on home loan up to Rs.2 lakh, interest on education loans, National Pension Scheme contributions, medical insurance, medical expenditure on senior citizens etc, persons having even higher income will not have to pay any tax. This will provide tax benefit of Rs.18,500 crore to an estimated 3 crore middle class taxpayers comprising self employed, small business, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.

STANDARD DEDUCTIONS RAISED

For salaried persons, Standard Deduction is being raised from the current Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. “This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs.4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners”, the Finance Minister informed.

TDS THRESHHOLD INCREASED

Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits has been proposed to be raised from Rs.10,000 to Rs.40,000. Shri Goyal said, “This will benefit small depositors and non-working spouses”. Further, the TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent has also been proposed to be increased from Rs.1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000 for providing relief to small taxpayers.

MORE RELIEF TO RESIDENTIAL HOUSES

It has been proposed to exempt the levy of income tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one self-occupied house. Shri Goyal announced the relief considering the difficulty of the middle class having to maintain families at two locations on account of their job, children‟s education, care of parents etc. 

Further, the Finance Minister proposed to increase the benefit of rollover of capital gains under Section 54 of the Income Tax Act from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for a taxpayer having capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore. This benefit can be availed once in a life time. For making more homes available under affordable housing, the benefits under Section 80-IBA of the Income Tax Act is being extended for one more year, i.e., to the housing projects approved till 31st March, 2020. Also, for giving impetus to the real estate sector, the Finance Minister proposed to extend the period of exemption from levy of tax on notional rent, on unsold inventories, from one year to two years, from the end of the year in which the project is completed.

FISCAL PROGRAMME FOR 2019-20 AND BEYOND

FISCAL DEFICIT PEGGED AT 3.4% OF GDP FOR 2019-20

IN 2019-20 BE, TOTAL EXPENDITURE RISES BY 13.30% OVER 2018-19 RE

35.6% INCREASE IN ALLOCATION FOR WELFARE OF SCs, 28% FOR STs

DISINVESTMENT TARGET OF Rs. 90,000 CRORE SET FOR 2019-20

The Interim Budget 2019-20 has pegged the fiscal deficit for the year 2019-20 at 3.4% of GDP. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The estimate of incomes and expenditure which I am presenting today, pegs the fiscal deficit of year 2019-20 at 3.4% of GDP.”

Shri Goyal said in his Speech, “We would have maintained fiscal deficit at 3.3% for year 201819 and taken further steps to consolidate fiscal deficit in year 2019-20. However, considering the need for income support to farmers, we have provided Rs. 20,000 crore in 2018-19 RE and Rs. 75,000 crore in 2019-20 BE. If we exclude this, the fiscal deficit would have been less than 3.3% for 2018-19 and less than 3.1% for year 2019-20.”

The Macro-Economic Framework Statement says that the Revenue deficit in 2018-19 was budgeted at Rs. 4,16,034 crore, 2.2 % of GDP. On the other hand, the Current Account Deficit widened to 2.7 % of GDP in first half of 2018-19 from 1.9 % of GDP in 2017-18, mainly on account of higher trade deficit arising from higher petroleum, oil and lubricants imports. Despite the marginal increase, the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio is well on track to achieve its target level of 3% of GDP.

The main focus of the ensuing year will be to improve the expenditure efficiency and improve tax collections to ensure that the economy moves back to the fiscal deficit path as mentioned in the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) Act, says the Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement.

Further, the above document says that the Gross Tax Revenue of the Central Government is budgeted at Rs. 25,52,131 crore in BE 2019-20. This reflects a growth of Rs. 3,03,956 crore (13.5 %) over RE 2018-19. Direct taxes are expected to reach Rs. 13,80,000 crore in BE 201920 compared to Rs. 12,00,000 crore in RE 2018-19 indicating an increase of 15 % over RE. It is expected that direct taxes would be 6.6 % of GDP at the end of 2019-20. Indirect taxes are budgeted at Rs. 11,66,188 crore in BE 2019-20 showing an increase of 11.8 % over RE estimates (Rs. 10,42,833 crore). The increase is mainly on account of improvement in GST collections anticipated in 2019-20.

Non-tax revenue collections in 2019-20 is budgeted at Rs. 2,72,647 crore as compared to Rs.2,45,276 crore in RE 2018-19. This shows an increase of Rs.27,371 crore over RE 2018- 19, as per the Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement.

The Finance Minister, in his Budget Speech, said that the total expenditure has reflected a high increase considering low inflation. It has risen by Rs. 3,26,965 crore or approximately 13.30%, from Rs. 24,57,235 crore in 2018-19 RE to Rs. 27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE. Further, 2018-19 RE figures have shown an increase over BE 2018-19 figures by Rs. 15,022 crore. The Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE is estimated to be Rs. 3,36,292 crore. The increase in total expenditure is on account of increased support to agricultural sector, interest payments and internal security, as per the „Budget at a Glance‟ document.

In BE 2019-20, Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are proposed to be allocated Rs. 3,27,679 crore as against Rs. 3,04,849 crore in 2018-19 RE. Detailing further, Shri Goyal said in his Speech that allocation for National Education Mission is being increased from Rs. 32,334 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20. Also, allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is being increased from Rs. 23,357 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20.

“A substantial increase is proposed in the allocation for welfare of the Scheduled Castes and

Scheduled Tribes”, said Shri Goyal. The allocation of Rs. 56,619 crore made in BE of 2018-19 for Scheduled Caste, further increased to Rs. 62,474 crore in RE is proposed to be enhanced to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20, an increase of 35.6% over BE of 2018-19. For the Scheduled Tribes also, proposed allocation in 2019-20 BE is Rs. 50,086 crore as against Rs. 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19, an increase of 28%.

Regarding Disinvestment proceeds, the Government is confident of crossing the target of Rs. 80,000 crore this year and have kept a target of Rs. 90,000 crore in BE 2019-20, as per the “Budget at a Glance‟ document. Shri Goyal said in his Speech, “We have pursued the public enterprises asset management agenda to make these enterprises accountable to the people. As many as 57 CPSEs are now listed with total market capitalisation of over Rs. 13 lakh crore. The

Government received over Rs. 1 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18.”

As per the Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement, Non-Debt capital receipts on capital side are expected to be Rs.1,02,508 crore in BE 2019-20 indicating an increase of Rs. 9,353 crore over RE 2018-19. Increase in non-debt capital receipts is mostly on account of disinvestment which is budgeted at Rs.90,000 crore (RE 2018-19 – Rs. 80,000 crore). Total net borrowings in 2019-20 are projected at Rs.7,03,999 crore as compared to Rs.6,34,398 crore in RE 2018-19. This reflects an increase of 11 % over RE.

The Government had promised last year that it would carry out reforms in stamp duty levied and collected on financial securities transactions. Shri Goyal said in his Speech, “I am proposing, through the Finance Bill, necessary amendments in this regard. The amendments proposed would usher in a very streamlined system. Stamp duties would be levied on one instrument relating to one transaction and get collected at one place through the Stock Exchanges. The duty so collected will be shared with the State Governments seamlessly on the basis of domicile of buying client.”

While giving a vision for fiscal consolidation, Shri Goyal said in his Speech, “We have maintained the glide path towards our target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21”. The Government will now focus on Debt consolidation along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme. India‟s Debt to GDP ratio was 46.5% in year 2017-18. The FRBM Act prescribes that the Debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40% by 2024-25, the Minister added.

The table below provides the estimates of fiscal performance against specified fiscal indicators during RE 2018-19 and BE 2019-20 and projections for 2020- 21 and 2021-22.

Fiscal Indicators – Rolling Targets as a Percentage of GDP (Source: Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement)

GOVERNMENT PROPOSES TO LAUNCH MEGA PENSION YOJANA ‘PRADHAN MANTRI SHRAM-YOGI MAANDHAN’ FOR UNORGANISED SECTOR WORKERS

WITH MONTHLY INCOME UPTO Rs. 15,000; 10 CRORE LABOURERS AND WORKERS IN THE SECTOR TO BE BENEFITTED

The Government proposes to launch a mega pension yojana namely ‘Pradhan Mantri ShramYogi Maandhan’ for the unorganised sector workers with monthly income upto Rs. 15,000. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that half of India‟s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector working as street vendors, rickshaw pullers, construction workers, rag pickers, agricultural workers, beedi workers, handloom, leather and in numerous other similar occupations. The Government must provide them comprehensive social security coverage for their old age. Therefore, in addition to the health coverage provided under „Ayushman Bharat‟ and life & disability coverage provided under „Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana‟ and „Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana‟, our Government proposes to launch a mega pension yojana namely ‘Pradhan Mantri ShramYogi Maandhan’ for the unorganised sector workers with monthly income upto Rs. 15,000.

Shri Goyal said that this pension yojana shall provide them an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 from the age of 60 years on a monthly contribution of a small affordable amount during their working age. An unorganised sector worker joining pension yojana at the age of 29 years will have to contribute only Rs. 100 per month till the age of 60 years. A worker joining the pension yojana at 18 years, will have to contribute as little as Rs. 55 per month only. The Government will deposit equal matching share in the pension account of the worker every month. It is expected that at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector will avail the benefit of ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world. A sum of Rs. 500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year.

HIGEST EVER GROWTH OF 42% RECORDED IN MINIMUM WAGES OF LABOURS DURING LAST 5 YEARS

During the last 5 years, the minimum wages of labours of all classes have been increased by 42% which is the highest increase so far. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the high growth and formalistation of the economy has led to the expansion of employment opportunities as shown in EPFO membership, which has increased by nearly 2 crore in 2 years reflecting formalisation of the economy and job creations.

Shri Goyal said that the 7th Pay Commission recommendations were implemented and New Pension Scheme (NPS) has been liberalized. The Government‟s contribution in NPS had been increased 10% to 14%. The limit of gratuity payment has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. The limit of eligibility cover of ESIC has been increased from Rs. 15,000 per month to Rs. 21,000 per month. The minimum pension for all labours has been fixed at Rs. 1,000 per month. In case of the death of a labour during the service, the EPFO contribution has been increased from Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh. The honorarium of all classes of labours under Anganwadi and Asha scheme has been increased by about 50%.

GG/DSM/RM/SK/IA INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20

GOVERNEMNT TAKES SEVERAL MEASURES TO STRENGHTHEN MSMEs  

GeM PLATFORM EXTENDED TO ALL CPSEs

GOVERNMENT UNDERTAKINGS TO PROCURE A FIXED PROPORTION OF MATERIALS FROM WOMEN OWNED SMEs

The Government has taken several measures to strengthen the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs). While a Scheme of sanctioning loans upto Rs. 1 crore in 59 minutes has been launched, GST-Registered SME units will get 2% interest rebate on incremental loan of Rs. 1 crore. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that 25% sourcing by all the Government Undertakings will now have to be from SMEs. Of this, the material to the extent of at least 3% will be sourced from women owned SMEs, he added.

Highlighting the achievements of GeM, Shri Piyush Goyal said that transactions of over Rs.17,500 crore have taken place, resulting in savings of 25-28% on an average. “Government eMarketplace (GeM), created by our Government two years ago, has transformed public procurement by making it fully transparent, inclusive and efficient. MSMEs have an opportunity to sell their products through GeM”, the Finance Minister said. The GeM platform is now being extended to all CPSEs, he announced while presenting the Interim Budget.

Shri Piyush Goyal disclosed that the Government has recently assigned the subject of “promotion of internal trade including retail trading and welfare of traders, and their employees” to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which will now be renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade.

GOVERNMENT UNVEILS VISION FOR THE NEXT DECADE

The Government has unveiled its vision for the next decade, listing thereby ten most important dimensions in 2030. “With this comprehensive ten-dimensional Vision, we will create an India where poverty, malnutrition, littering and illiteracy would be a matter of the past. India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society.” said Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.

The Minister further said, “India is poised to become a five trillion dollar economy in the next five years and aspires to become 10 trillion dollar economy thereafter.”

The dimensions of Vision-2030 outlined by Shri Goyal are as follows-

  1. To create physical and social infrastructure for ten trillion dollar economy and to provide ease of living.
  2. Digital India led by the youths with innumberable start-ups and million of jobs.
  3. To make India pollution free by focusing on Electrical Vehicles and renewables.
  4. Rural industrailisation using modern technologies to generate massive employment.
  5. Clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques.
  6. Besides scaling up Sagarmala, India‟s coastline and ocean waters will power development
  7. Through our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World
  8. Self sufficiency in food production and producing food in the most organic way.
  9. A healthy India by 2030 and a distress free health care and wellness system for all.
  10. Ayushman Bharat and women participation would be an important component in it.
  11. Employees working with elected Government, transforming India into Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation.

FM: INDIA NOW 6TH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD WITH HIGH GROWTH

FISCAL DEFICIT DOWN TO 3.4%; AVERAGE INFLATION 4.6% FDI OF USD 239 BN IN FIVE YEARS

BANKS RECOVER RS 3 LAKH CRORES IN OUTSTANDING LOANS

Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the country has witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability, becoming the sixth largest economy in the world from being the 11th in the World in 2013-14. Presenting the Interim Budget for the year 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said “India is the fastest growing major economy in the world” with an average GDP growth of 7.3% per annum, the highest ever achieved by any Government since economic reforms began in 1991. Shri Goyal said under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, a clean, decisive and stable Government reversed the policy paralysis, laid foundation for sustainable growth and restored the image of the country.

New India by 2022 

Shri Goyal said that a New India would celebrate its 75th Independence year in 2022 when every family would have a house with access to water, electricity and toilets; farmers income would have doubled; and the country would be free from terrorism, communalism, corruption and nepotism

Fiscal Deficit and Inflation down

Outlining the broad picture of the State of the Economy, Shri Goyal said the fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 Revised Estimates from the high of 5.8% in 2011-12 and 4.9 % in 2012-13. Average inflation has been brought down to 4.6% from the high of 10.1% during 2000-2014. In December 2018 inflation was 2.19% only. The Finance Minister said, the Current Account Deficit (CAD) is likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year, against a high of 5.6% six years ago.

Shri Goyal said due to strong fundamentals and stable regulatory regime, the country attracted $239 billion as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last five years. He cited Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a path breaking next generation structural tax reform undertaken by the Government.

Recovery of Bank Loans

Highlighting the Banking Reforms, Shri Goyal said the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has institutionalised a resolution-friendly mechanism and nearly Rs. 3 lakh crores has been recovered by Banks and creditors. He said high stressed non-performing assets (NPAs) amounted to Rs. 5.4 lakh crore in 2014. Since 2015, numerous Asset Quality Reviews and inspections were carried out, and the 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalisation and reforms has been followed. Highlighting the restoration of the health of the Public Sector Banks, the Finance Minister said that recapitalisation has been done with an investment of Rs.2.6 lakh crore.

Steps against corruption

Listing out the measures undertaken by the Government to bring about a New Era of transparency in Real Estate Sector, the Finance Minister mentioned about The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act. He said the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 is helping to confiscate and dispose off the assets of economic offenders, who escape the jurisdiction of the country. He said the Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources including coal and spectrum.

Cleanliness

Highlighting the achievements of Swachhata Mission launched by the present government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Goyal said the country achieved nearly 98% rural sanitation coverage with as many as 5.45 lakh villages being declared open defecation free.

EWS Reservation

To ensure 10% reservation in educational institutions and Government jobs for economically weaker sections, the Government will provide for 25% extra seats i.e. around 2 lacs, while maintaining the existing reservation for SC/ST/Other Backward Classes.

Food grains for poor

To provide food grains at affordable prices to the poor and middle classes, the Finance Minister said about Rs 1,70,000 crore was spent in 2018-19. Rs 60,000 crore has been allocated for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the Budget Estimate of 2019-20. 

GST, THE BIGGEST TAXATION REFORM, LED TO INCREASE IN TAX BASE, HIGHER COLLECTIONS AND EASE OF TRADE

RATES CONTINUOUSLY REDUCED PROVIDING RELIEF OF ABOUT R. 80,000

CRORE ANNUALLY TO CONSUMERS

MOST ITEMS OF DAILY USE OF POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS NOW IN THE 0% OR

5% TAX SLAB 

AVERAGE GST COLLECTION IN THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR STANDS AT 97,100 CRORE PER MONTH AS COMPARED TO RS. 89,700 CRORE PER MONTH IN THE FIRST YEAR

GST COUNCIL TO APPOINT A GROUP OF MINISTERS TO EXAMINE AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE GST BURDEN ON HOME BUYERS

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) reforms has resulted in increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said “The Goods and Services Tax (GST) reforms lingered on during the previous Government for almost a decade. Our Government implemented the GST, which is undoubtedly the biggest taxation reform undertaken since Independence.”

Seventeen different taxes levied by the Central and State/UT Governments with cascading effect of tax on tax, were consolidated into one GST. India became a common market. GST has resulted in increased tax base, higher collections and ease of doing business. This will reduce the interface between the tax payers and the Government for day-to-day operations and assessments. The Minister said that now returns are fully online and e-way bill system is in place. Inter-state movements have become faster, more efficient, and hassle free with no Entry Tax, check posts, and truck queues among others.

The Finance Minister, Shri Goyal said, “The high taxation levied on multiple commodities in the pre-GST regime has been rationalised and the burden on the consumer, especially the poor and the middle class, has been significantly reduced.” The GST Council, comprising the Centre and States/UTs, finalised the GST rates collectively mostly lower than pre-GST rates. Since then, GST has been continuously reduced providing relief of about Rs. 80,000 crore annually to consumers. Most items of daily use of the poor and middle class are now in the 0% or 5% tax slab. Cinema goers who were subjected to multiple taxes up to 50% are mostly paying much lower tax at 12% now.

The Finance Minister, Shri Goyal said that our Government wants the GST burden on home buyers to be reduced and accordingly we have moved the GST Council to appoint a Group of Ministers to examine and make recommendations in this regard at the earliest.

Shri Goyal said that GST aims to benefit small traders, manufacturers and service providers. Exemptions from GST for small businesses has been doubled from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 40 lakh. Further, small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore have been given an attractive composition scheme wherein they pay only 1% flat rate and have to file one annual return only. Similarly, small service providers with turnover upto Rs. 50 lakhs can now opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%. More than 35 lakh small traders, manufacturers and service providers will benefit from these trader friendly measures. Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers will be allowed to file quarterly return, the Minister added.

The Finance Minister asserted that in spite of such major rate reductions and relaxations, revenue trends are encouraging. He said, “The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year. The State revenues are improving with guaranteed 14% annual revenue increase for the first five years.”

TAX COLLECTIONS INCREASED FROM RS 6.38 LAKH CRORE IN YEAR 2013-14 TO ALMOST RS 12 LAKH CRORE THIS YEAR . 80% GROWTH IN TAX BASE; NUMBER OF RETURNS FILED INCREASED FROM 3.79 CRORE TO 6.85 CRORE . WITHIN THE NEXT 2 YEARS, ALMOST ALL VERIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT OF RETURNS SELECTED FOR SCRUTINY TO BE DONE ELECTRONICALLY

The Government has reduced tax rates, more for the common man and middle class, and made the interface with the tax department much simpler and largely faceless. Due to this, the tax collections increased significantly from Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs 12 lakh crore this year. The number of returns filed have also increased from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore showing 80% growth in tax base.

While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “I thank the honest taxpayers of India for reposing faith in our Government. Let me assure them that we have used their contribution to serve the poor and create better infrastructure.”

The Income Tax Department now functions online. Returns, assessments, refunds and queries are all undertaken online. Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns were accepted as they were filed. Shri Piyush Goyal said that the Government has now approved a path breaking, technology intensive project to transform the Income-tax Department into a more assesseefriendly one. All returns will be processed in twenty-four hours and refunds issued simultaneously.”

Within the next two years, almost all verification and assessment of returns selected for scrutiny will be done electronically through anonymised back office, manned by tax experts and officials, without any personal interface between taxpayers and tax officers, he added.

The Minister said that reducing the tax burden on middle class has always been our priority ever since the Government took over in 2014. The Government increased the basic exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 Lakh and gave tax rebate so that no tax was payable by persons having income up to Rs 3 lakh. The Government also reduced the tax rate from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and introduced Standard Deduction of Rs 40,000 for the salaried class. Deduction of savings under section 80C was increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property was raised from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

Special benefits and incentives were also given to small businesses and startups. Overall compliance processes were simplified. Threshold limit for presumptive taxation of business was raised from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. The benefit of presumptive taxation was extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs 50 lakh. In order to promote a less cash economy, the presumptive profit rate has been reduced from 8% to 6%. The tax rate for companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore, covering almost 99% of the companies, was reduced to 25% which was also applicable to new manufacturing companies without any turnover limits.

RATIONALIZATION OF CUSTOMS DUTY AND PROCEDURES TO GIVE BOOST TO “MAKE IN INDIA” INITIATIVE RFID TECHNOLOGY TO BE USED TO IMPROVE EXPORT LOGISTICS

The Government has undertaken rationalization of customs duties and procedures to promote the “Make in India” initiative.

While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for

Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The Government has abolished duties on 36 capital goods. A revised system of importing duty-free capital goods and inputs for manufacture and export has been introduced, along with introduction of single point of approval under Section 65 of the Customs Act.

Indian Customs is introducing full and comprehensive digitalization of export/import transactions and leveraging RFID technology to improve export logistics, the Minister added.

ANTI-BLACK MONEY MEASURES BROUGHT UNDISCLOSED INCOME OF ABOUT RS 1.3 LAKH CRORE TO TAX RS 6,900 CRORE WORTH BENAMI ASSETS AND RS 1600 CRORE WORTH FOREIGN ASSETS ATTACHED

18% GROWTH IN DIRECT TAX COLLECTION IN FY 2017-18

TAX BASE INCREASED BY 1.06 CRORE PEOPLE FILING ITR FOR 1ST TIME MAINLY ON ACCOUNT OF DEMONETIZATION

The anti-black money measures taken by the Government during the last four and half years in the form of Black Money Law, the Fugitive Criminal Offenders Act, and Demonetisation, have brought undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore to tax. These measures have also led to seizure and attachment of assets worth approximately Rs 50,000 crore, and compelled holders of large cash currency to disclose their source of earnings.

While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today the Union Minister for

Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “Our Government is committed to eliminating the ills of black money from our country.”

During this period, Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore and foreign assets worth Rs 1,600 crore have been attached. As many as 3,38,000 shell companies have been detected and de-registered, and their directors disqualified.

The Minister said that there is 18% growth in direct tax collection in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18 is mainly on account of demonetization.

ONE LAKH VILLAGES TO GO DIGITAL OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS  

JAM-DBT – GAME CHANGERS SINCE BANK NATIONALISATION HALF CENTURY AGO

34 CRORE NEW BANK ACCOUNTS IN LAST FIVE YEARS UNDER JANDHAN;

AADHAAR REACH NEAR UNIVERSAL

SINGLE WINDOW CLEARANCE FOR FILM SHOOT, AVAILABLE TO FOREIGNERS, TO BE EXTENDED TO INDIAN FILMMAKERS CINEMATOGRAPH ACT TO BE AMENDED TO CHECK PIRACY

India having emerged as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data, the Government now aims to widen its impact by reaching out to the interior and rural areas. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said the Government will make one lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years. This, he said, will be achieved by expanding the Common Service Centres (CSCs).

“The Common Service Centres are expanding their services and also creating digital infrastructure in the villages, including connectivity, to convert the villages into Digital Villages,” said Shri Piyush Goyal. “More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) employing about 12 lakh people, are digitally delivering several services to the citizens,” he added.

The Finance Minister said mobile tariff in India is now possibly the lowest in the world, catapulting India as the world leader in the consumption of mobile data.

“Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years.

The cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world.”

Shri Piyush Goyal said the „Make in India‟ programme has seen India emerging as the new destination for mobile phone manufacturing industry. “Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities,” he added.

JAM-DBT, the next big game changer since Bank Nationalisation 

The Finance Minister termed the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer as game changers.

“Bank nationalisation was first done 50 years ago, but a large part of the country was still left out of the economic mainstream with no access to formal banking. In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened,” said Shri Piyush Goyal.

The Finance Minister said Aadhaar has ensured better targeted subsidies.

“Aadhaar is now near universally implemented. This has helped ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen,” he said.

Single window clearance for film shoot extended to Indian filmmakers 

Recognising India‟s Entertainment Industry as a major job sector, the Finance Minister declared extension of single window clearance for film shoot to Indian filmmakers. “Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, available only to foreigners, is now going to be made available to Indian filmmakers as well,” said Shri Piyush Goyal.

The Finance Minister also announced other measures to ease filmmaking and check piracy. “Regulatory provisions will rely more on self-declaration. We will also introduce anticamcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy,” he said.

DEFENCE BUDGET HIKED TO Rs. 3,05,296 CRORE

Rs. 3,05,296 crore have been provided in the Budget Estimates for 2019-20, compared to Rs. 2,82,733 crore provided in 2018-19 Budget Estimates. The figures were revised to Rs. 2,85,423 crore in the Revised Estimates of 2018-19. While presenting the Interim Budget 201920 in Parliament today the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal Sh. Piyush Goyal said “Our Defence Budget will be crossing Rs.3,00,000 crore for the first time in 2019-20. For securing our borders and to maintain preparedness of the highest order, if necessary, additional funds would be provided.”

On the issue of strengthening Defence and National Security, the Interim Budget 2019-20 states that our soldiers protect our borders in tough conditions and they are our pride and honour. The Finance Minister Sh. Goyal said that due care has been taken of their honour. He said that the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) which was pending for the last forty years has been resolved. He said “The previous Governments announced it in three budgets but sanctioned a mere Rs.500 crore in 2014-15 Interim Budget; in contrast we have already disbursed over Rs.35,000 crore after implementing the Scheme in its’ true spirit. The Government also announced substantial hike in the Military Service Pay (MSP) of all service personnel and special allowances given to Naval and Air Force personnel deployed in high risk duties.”

GOVERNMENT ALLOCATES Rs.64,587 CRORE FOR RAILWAYS IN 2019-20  – INFRA ALLOCATION FOR NORTH EASTERN AREAS INCREASED BY 21% TO Rs.58,166 CRORE IN 2019-20 

In the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Railways has been allocated Rs.64,587 crore. The Railways‟ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs.1,58,658 crore. This was stated by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal, while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.

Shri Piyush Goyal said – “Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history as all Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network have been eliminated”.

Vande Bharat Express:

Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.

The Finance Minister stated that “infrastructure is the backbone of any nation‟s development and quality of life. Whether it is highways or railways or airways or even digi-ways, we have gone beyond incremental growth to attain transformative achievements.”

Infra in North East Region: 

The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to large number of jobs being created also. Today, India is the fastest highway developer in the world with 27 kms of highways built each day. Projects stuck for decades like the Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi or the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed. The flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas of the country will develop ports for faster handling of import and export cargo. For the first time, container freight movement has started on inland waterways from Kolkata to Varanasi. Our Government will introduce container cargo movement to the North East as well, by improving the navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra river.

The Finance Minister announced that the people of North East have received significant benefits of infrastructure development in this Interim Budget. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India‟s rail map for the first time. Allocation for the North Eastern Areas is being proposed to be increased by 21% to ` Rs.58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE.

Boost to Renewable Energy:

The Finance Minister “while presenting the Interim Budget stated that India provided leadership to the global effort to address the problem of climate change. Our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting-up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. India‟s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs.”

India’s import dependence on crude oil and natural gas has been a source of big concern to our Government. While we have taken a large number of measures to moderate the increasing demand through usage of bio fuel and alternate technologies, urgent action is needed to increase hydrocarbon production to reduce imports. A high level Inter-Ministerial Committee, constituted by our Government, has made several specific recommendations, including transforming the system of bidding for exploration, changing from revenue sharing to exploration programme for Category II and III basins. The Government is in the process of implementing these recommendations, the Minister said

RS.1330 CRORE PROVIDED IN THE INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20 FOR THE MISSION FOR PROTECTION AND EMPOWERMENT FOR WOMEN

 An amount of Rs.1330 Crore has been provided in the Interim Budget for 2019-20 for the Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women. This is an increase of Rs. 174 Crore over the Revised Estimates of 2018-19 for the Mission.

While taking several welfare initiatives for women, the emphasis of the Government has been to move from “women’s development” to “women led development” during the last 4.5 years. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the Government embarked upon the programme to deliver 8 crore free LPG connections under the Ujjawala Yojana. 6 crores connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year. “Ujjwala is a remarkable success story of our Government programme, defined by a bold yet practical Vision of a responsible and compassionate leadership”, the Finance Minister said.

Shri Piyush Goyal further added that More than 70% of the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana are women who are getting affordable and collateral-free loans to start their own businesses.

Highlighting the benefits of Maternity leave of 26 weeks and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana for pregnant women, the Finance Minister said that these initiatives have provided financial support to women while empowering them to participate in work.

INTERIM BUDGET 2019-2020

 A COMMITTEE UNDER NITI AAYOG TO BE SET -UP TO COMPLETE TASK OF

IDENTIFYING DE-NOTIFIED, NOMADIC AND SEMI-NOMADIC COMMUNITIES NOT YET FORMALLY CLASSIFIED

A Committee under NITI Aayog will be set-up to complete the task of identifying De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities not yet formally classified. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the Government will also set-up a Welfare Development Board under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment specifically for the purpose of implementing welfare and development programmes for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities. The Board shall ensure that special strategies are designed and implemented to serve these hard to-reach communities.

Shri Goyal said that the Government is committed to reach the most deprived citizens of this country. To this end, the condition of the De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities merits special attention. These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore, frequently left-out. The Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities move from place to place in search of a livelihood. The Renke Commission and the Idate Commission have done commendable work to identify and list these communities. 

INTERIM BUDGET 2019-2020

 15.56 CRORE LOANS AMOUNTING TO Rs. 7,23,000 CRORE DISBURSED UNDER MUDRA YOJANA

 GOVERNMENT ENVISAGES NATIONAL PROGRAMME ON ‘ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE’

Under MUDRA Yojana, 15.56 crore loans have been disbursed amounting to Rs. 7,23,000 crore. While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that India is amongst the most youthful nations in the world. Through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, over 1 crore youth are being trained to help them earn a livelihood. Youth power has been harnessed through Self-employment Schemes including MUDRA, Start-up India and Stand-up India. With job seekers becoming job creators, India has become the world‟s second largest start-up hub. The Government is proud of the hard work and innovative ideas of our youth. 

Shri Goyal said that in order to take the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and related technologies to the people, a National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been envisaged by the Government. This would be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with Centres of Excellence. Nine priority areas have been identified. A National Artificial Intelligence portal will also be developed soon.

INTERIM BUDGET 2019-20

FM: INDIA NOW 6TH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD WITH HIGH GROWTH

FISCAL DEFICIT DOWN TO 3.4%; AVERAGE INFLATION 4.6%  

FDI OF USD 239 BN IN FIVE YEARS

BANKS RECOVER RS 3 LAKH CRORES IN OUTSTANDING LOANS 

Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the country has witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability, becoming the sixth largest economy in the world from being the 11th in the World in 2013-14. Presenting the Interim Budget for the year 2019-20 in Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said “India is the fastest growing major economy in the world” with an average GDP growth of 7.3% per annum, the highest ever achieved by any Government since economic reforms began in 1991. Shri Goyal said under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, a clean, decisive and stable Government reversed the policy paralysis, laid foundation for sustainable growth and restored the image of the country.

New India by 2022 

Shri Goyal said that a New India would celebrate its 75th Independence year in 2022 when every family would have a house with access to water, electricity and toilets; farmers income would have doubled; and the country would be free from terrorism, communalism, corruption and nepotism

Fiscal Deficit and Inflation down

Outlining the broad picture of the State of the Economy, Shri Goyal said the fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 Revised Estimates from the high of 5.8% in 2011-12 and 4.9 % in 2012-13. Average inflation has been brought down to 4.6% from the high of 10.1% during 2000-2014. In December 2018 inflation was 2.19% only. The Finance Minister said, the Current Account Deficit (CAD) is likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year, against a high of 5.6% six years ago.

Shri Goyal said due to strong fundamentals and stable regulatory regime, the country attracted $239 billion as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last five years. He cited Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a path breaking next generation structural tax reform undertaken by the Government.

Recovery of Bank Loans

Highlighting the Banking Reforms, Shri Goyal said the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has institutionalised a resolution-friendly mechanism and nearly Rs. 3 lakh crores has been recovered by Banks and creditors. He said high stressed non-performing assets (NPAs) amounted to Rs. 5.4 lakh crore in 2014. Since 2015, numerous Asset Quality Reviews and inspections were carried out, and the 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalisation and reforms has been followed. Highlighting the restoration of the health of the Public Sector Banks, the Finance Minister said that recapitalisation has been done with an investment of Rs.2.6 lakh crore.

Steps against corruption

Listing out the measures undertaken by the Government to bring about a New Era of transparency in Real Estate Sector, the Finance Minister mentioned about The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act. He said the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 is helping to confiscate and dispose off the assets of economic offenders, who escape the jurisdiction of the country. He said the Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources including coal and spectrum.

Cleanliness

Highlighting the achievements of Swachhata Mission launched by the present government led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Goyal said the country achieved nearly 98% rural sanitation coverage with as many as 5.45 lakh villages being declared open defecation free.

EWS Reservation

To ensure 10% reservation in educational institutions and Government jobs for economically weaker sections, the Government will provide for 25% extra seats i.e. around 2 lacs, while maintaining the existing reservation for SC/ST/Other Backward Classes.

Food grains for poor

To provide food grains at affordable prices to the poor and middle classes, the Finance Minister said about Rs 1,70,000 crore was spent in 2018-19. Rs 60,000 crore has been allocated for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the Budget Estimate of 2019-20.

COFMOW achieves best ever performance with an output of Rs. 1050.85 crore for the current FY 2018-19

NEW DELHI: The Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) is Indian Railways’ centre of excellence for procurement of modern and advanced machine tools, building ‘State of the Art’ rolling stock maintenance and manufacturing facilities for modernizing Indian Railway workshops. The Unit has achieved best ever performance of Rs. 1050.85 crores output during the year 2018-19, up to 15th January, 2019. Performance for machinery procurement and rolling stock works is Rs. 634.14 crores and Rs. 416.71 crores respectively, which represents an increase of 97% and 128% respectively as compared to the last year.

Timely procurement of modern M&P and completion of works has been given a big boost during the last quarter which will significantly improve the outcome by use of technology. This will support Indian Railways drive for modernization of its rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance infrastructure, and soon, to come in terms of the National Policy for Advance Manufacturing (NPAM) and Industry 4.0.

JSPL completes over 55% of Rail order: Naushad Ansari, Joint Managing Director, JSPL

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has shipped over 55 per cent of the order bagged from Indian Railways to supply about one lakh tonne rails.

In July 2018, JSPL has bagged 20 per cent of the Rs 2,500 crore global tender by the Indian Railways to supply long rails.

It was to supply around 1 lakh tonnes of rails to the national transporter over a period of one year.

” We have already supplied 54,302 tonne rails out of 97,400 tonnes. We expect to  complete the entire order by February,  several months  ahead of scheduled delivery period” Naushad Ansari, Joint Managing Director, JSPL said.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with Indian Railways in boosting the infrastructure development in the country. We continue to stay committed to developing India’s infrastructure needs and contribute in Nation Building.” He added.

According to media reports, the Railways has indicated a demand of about 14 lakh tonne during 2018-19 and 17 lakh tonne in 2019-20.

“We are well equipped and look forward to serve the Railways,” Ansari said.

In India, only two steel companies manufacture rails. Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)  at its Bhilai Steel Plant, and Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) at its Raigarh Plant.

SAIL was the only supplier of rails to the Railways until JSPL bagged an order in July 2018 to supply 1 lakh tonne rails to the national transporter.

Indian Railways is looking at 4,000 km of track renewal in each financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

It had invited the global tender for procuring around 4.87 lakh tonne of rails after anticipating that SAIL would not be able to supply the required amount of rails.

Indian Railways plans 1 GW Solar Power by 2020-21

The ambitious plan would help Indian Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewables.

NEW DELHI: As part of Go Green Initiatives, Indian Railways has already installed about 71.19 MW of rooftop PV at railways stations and service buildings.  Wind turbines with a capacity of 36.5 MW have been installed, out of which 26 MW at Jaisalmer was installed in 2015-16. The Indian Minister of State of Railways, Rajen Gohain, announced the achievement while speaking in Lok Sabha recently.

Building on this achievement, Indian Railways is planning to add solar panels to the rooftops of its rolling stock. It has already provided solar panels on rooftop of 19 narrow-gauge coaches and 23 broad-gauge non-air conditioned coaches in service.

The rooftop solar systems provide power for  around four to five hours, charging battery systems during this time. The systems do not work at full capacity during fog/rain and winter season and battery backup goes down to two to three hours depending upon weather conditions.

“Railways will provide solar panels on the rooftop of general coaches of two day-running intercity trains in Northern and Southern Railway and 50% Narrow Gauge coaches plying on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section of Northern Railway for conducting extended trials for one year in all weather conditions,” the minister added.

The government of India is encouraging cash-rich public sector undertakings to set up renewable energy projects. Indian Railways has committed to develop 5 GW of solar power by 2025.

Indian Railways briefed Parliament on roof top Solar Panels

Indian Railways have already provided solar panels on roof top of 19 Narrow Gauge coaches on Trains in Kalka – Shimla and Kangra Valley in Northern Railway and 23 Broad Gauge non-air conditioned coaches in service

(13 coaches in 2 trains of Northern Railway, 7 coaches in 1 train of Southern Railway, 2 coaches in 1 train of Konkan Railway and 1 coach in 1 train of West Central Railway). Solar system works during sunlight and generates battery backup of approx. 4 to 5 hours.

System does not work properly during fog/rain and winter season and battery backup goes down to 2 to 3 hours depending upon weather condition.

Railways have taken decision to provide solar panel on roof top of general coaches of two number of day running intercity trains in Northern and Southern Railway and 50% Narrow Gauge coaches plying on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in

Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section of Northern Railway for conducting extended trials for one year in all weather conditions.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Expect 34 FOBs, 85 Escalators on Western Railway Line in Mumbai in 2019

In 2019, around 34 FOBs, 85 escalators and 59 lifts are likely to come up on Churchgate-Virar suburban railway corridor.

MUMBAI: In order to cater to 36 lakh commuters, Western Railway has decided to construct 34-foot over-bridges, 85 escalators and 59 lifts that are likely to come up on Churchgate -Virar suburban railway corridor in 2019.

On Sunday, newly appointed Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Sunil Kumar Sag announced that he will fast-track all projects related to passenger amenities, including construction of wider foot over-bridges (FOBs), escalators, lifts, and other facilities at suburban stations in 2019.

Sag said that they will also ensure faster ticket booking experience at all stations and speedy dispersal of commuters from station areas. All access routes to stations will be clear of encroachments, he further added.

Along with this, WR has announced that it has started 25 exclusive counters to issue season tickets at 22 stations and 13 special UTS windows for women, senior citizens and the disabled at 11 stations.

Railways to extend 4 lines in Himachal Pradesh

SHIMLA: Railways is going to expand four railways lines network in Himachal Pradesh. Projects taken up for expansion include 63.1 km long Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line at an estimated cost Rs 6,769 crore, 50 km long Una-Hamirpur railway line at an estimated cost of Rs 3,044.10 crore , 33.23 km long Chandigarh-Baddi railway line at an estimated cost of Rs 1,540 crore, and 112.9 km long Nangal Dam-Talwara railway line at an estimated cost of Rs 2,528.49 crore.

BJP’s Shimla MP Virender Kashyap had raised the question about expansion of railway network in Himachal Pradesh in Lok Sabha. In his reply to his query, Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain said the Railway has taken up above four railways project lines for expansion of network in Himachal Pradesh .

The MP said that Una-Hamirpur railway line expansion project has been included in the budget. He said two surveys have been conducted to connect famous Sikh religious place Paonta Sahib with railway network. A survey for new broad gauge track from Ghanauli to Dehradun via Baddi, Nalagarh, Jagadhari, Surajpur, Kala Amb, Paonta Sahib (216 km) was completed in 2011, he added.

“According to survey report, the cost of proposed new broad gauge line was assessed as Rs 3,746 crore with rate of return of (-) 0.40 %. Project could not be taken forward due to low rate of return, poor traffic and financial projections,” he said. Kashyap said the minister had also informed him about one more survey from Pehowa to Paonta Sahib via Jagadhri and Yamunanagar was completed in 2013-14. According to the survey report, the estimated cost of 145 km project is Rs 1,954 crore with (-) 3.90% rate of return.

Railway Ministry to approach CCEA for doubling of Railway Line from New Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Rangiya: Piyush Goyal

GUWAHATI: Union Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal said that Railway Ministry will soon approach Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for clearance of doubling of railway line from New Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Rangiya.

Goyal who was in Guwahati on Saturday while addressing a review meeting of senior railway officers at Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Headquarters said that following the major success of completing Bogibeel Bridge, all efforts should now be pointed towards doubling of railway lines in the region for capacity enhancement.

He asked the officials to prepare a Plan of Action within one week. The Minister also spoke to Forest Minister of Assam, Parimal Suklabaidya for ensuring quick permission for soil procurement permission which is presently hampering project progress in Assam.

The Railway Minister was apprised that Tetelia – Byrnihat new railway line, doubling of Lumding – Hojai section, Agartala – Sabroom new railway line and international line from Jogbani would be ready very soon.

Goyal promised to name one premium passenger train after the Goddess Kamakhya as a mark of obeisance and respect of the entire Indian Railway family.

He addressed the concluding ceremony of All India Janajati Sports Meet near Sonapur at the outskirt of the city where he elaborated on the developmental initiatives of the Railway Ministry for the Northeastern region, he said timely completion of projects has always been topmost priority of the current government and the added thrust for this had resulted in timely completion of Bogibeel project which would be a boon for the people of not only Assam but the entire Northeast.

Goyal said the use of sound of Honey Bee for chasing away elephants from railway track was an example of rural innovation that can bring in real transformation. NFR’s Rangiya division had successfully installed a mechanism where sound of bee is amplified whenever elephants are spotted near railway track to chase them away, thereby saving wild elephants from being hit by trains. The Minister said such mechanism would be considered for replication elsewhere in the country.

Jammu-Poonch Rail Line survey report under examination: GoI

Survey for 223-kilometer Jammu to Poonch railway stretch was completed in September, 2017. As per survey report, the cost of the project is Rs 22771.55 crore with ROR (-) 4.54%.

JAMMU/NEW DELHI: The survey report of Jammu-Poonch Railway Line is being examined by the ministry of railways, Government of India, union minister of state in the ministry of railways, Rajen Gohain told Lok Sabha in reply to an unstarred question of Member Parliament, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday.

Survey for 223-kilometer Jammu to Poonch railway stretch was completed in September, 2017. As per survey report, the cost of the project is Rs 22771.55 crore with ROR (-) 4.54%.

Replying another query of Dr Farooq Abdullah regarding government of India’s plans for railway connectivity with Kashmir Valley, the union MoS railways said, “With a view to provide an alternative and a reliable transportation system to Jammu and Kashmir, government of India planned a 326-Km long railway line joining the Kashmir Valley with the Indian railways network. Out of 326-Km, Baramulla to Banihal stretch of 136 km and Jammu to Katra stretch of 79 Km have been completed and commissioned. Katra-Banihal (111 km) work has been taken up.”

Pertinently, the Jammu-Poonch rail line project, proposed from Jammu Tawi station via the historic city of Akhnoor to Poonch via Kaleeth-Dori Dager-Chowki Choura-Bhambla-Nowshera-Rajouri, was conceived during the tenure of Congress led UPA-II government. The railway project has also been declared as a national project by then union railway minister Mukul Roy on 22 March 2012.

The incumbent union railways minister, Piyush Goyal had also said in December last year that the Jammu-Poonch railway project would be taken up soon.

Guntur-Tenali Railway line doubling and electrification by February 2018

GUNTUR: The doubling and electrification works of Guntur-Tenali railway line will be completed in February, officials concerned said.The line, which extends up to 24 kilometres, is a critical link serving Guntur, Tenali and Vijayawada regions. Till now, Rs.167.37 crore has been spent on the project, which involves construction of two major and 40 minor bridges. Works for them, along with track linking with ‘class-II rails’ in mid-section, have been completed.

A railway station has been built at Vejendla and works for a new station building at Sangam Jagarlamundi, along with two platforms and one footbridge, is nearing completion.Increase in rail services in the region have put a lot of strain on the authorities to manage traffic. As of now, long-distance trains running between Tenali and Vijayawada have to take a diversion to New Guntur to provide connectivity to Guntur city.

This was the reason behind the SCR taking up the project for doubling of railway line between Guntur and Tenali. It simultaneously undertook the electrification works. Once developed, the line will help the SCR in additional revenue generation as transportation for goods and produce from mineral-rich Palnadu region will be enhanced.

100 Feet tall National Flag Hoisted at Secunderabad Railway Station

SECUNDERABAD: Secunderabad Railway Station became the first railway station of South Central Railway to hoist a gigantic Tricolour on a 100 feet tall pole in the circulating area of its main entrance. The flag is an attempt of Secunderabad Division to rekindle the spirit of nationalism and instill the sense of pride among rail passengers.

The flag was hoisted by Sri R. Ashoka Chary, Senior Cabinman, Sri Gopal Reddy, Senior Technician/Works in presence of Shri C.B.N. Prasad, Station Manager, Shri Ashok Kumar, Superintendent of Police/GRP and members of the Public.

The Railway Board has directed that National Flags be hoisted at ‘A1’ category railway stations on the Indian Railways, acting upon which SCR has taken the initiative.

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd appoints Sudhanshu Saraf as CEO – Steel Business

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), India’s steel and power major, today announced appointment of Mr. Sudhanshu Saraf as the Chief Executive Officer of Steel Business. The appointment of Mr. Sudhanshu Saraf as CEO – Steel Business comes alongwith the elevation of Mr. Naushad Akhter Ansari as Joint Managing Director (JMD) of JSPL.

“We welcome Mr. Sudhanshu Saraf in his role as Chief Executive Officer of JSPL’s Steel Business. Mr. Saraf’s deep understanding in identifying and deploying actions on System Constraints for maximizing benefit of existing systems will go a long way in realizing the continuous efficiency enhancement and operational excellence roadmap at JSPL”, Mr. N. A. Ansari, Joint Managing Director, JSPL said.

Mr.Ansari was elevated from his designation as CEO – Steel Business on 1st January 2019, and has been instrumental in leading the turnaround of JSPL. The 6 MTPA integrated steel plant at Angul was fully commissioned and completed during his tenure as CEO – Steel Business. Prior to taking over the reins as CEO – Steel Business, Mr.Ansari was instrumental in completion and successful commissioning of 2 MTPA integrated steel plant at Sohar (Oman).

“I see JSPL in a position of strength on many counts. I am excited about this opportunity to leverage these strengths to take JSPL to unprecedented heights.” Mr. Sudhanshu Saraf said.

Mr. Saraf would be directly responsible for the domestic and international steel operations of the company with capacities of 10.6 MTPA spread across Angul (Odisha), Raigarh (Chhattisgarh), Patratu (Jharkhand) and Sohar (Oman). The mining business of the company spread across Tensa (Odisha) and key international coal mining operations in Australia, Mozambique and South Africa would also come in Mr. Saraf’s portfolio.

Mr. Sudhanshu Saraf has been associated with JSPL for the past 3 years as a Consultant for companywide implementation of Theory of Constraints (TOC). With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Saraf has been a practicing TOC consultant for last 15+ years specializing in Whole System Thinking and System Design for sustainable delivery. An alumnus of Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU), Mr. Saraf completed Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) in Metallurgical Engineering in 1987. He is a Master Black Belt in Lean & Six Sigma.

Part of the USD 18 billion O P Jindal Group, JSPL has presence in steel, power, mining and infrastructure sectors.

ODIA Signals to be inter-linked to all Level Crossings: ECOR

 213 Manned Level Crossing Gates in ECoR Interlocked for ensuring Safe Traffic
 34 Mid-Section LC Gates Interlocked in current Financial Year
 LC Gates to be closed automatically, when the train reaches at a specific point before the Gate.

BHUBANESWAR: East Coast Railway has initiated interlocking of mid-section Level Crossing Gates in its jurisdiction to enhance Safety. Basically, at the Level Crossing Gates, what we see,   the Gatekeeper closes down the Gates when the train reaches the previous Station. Vehicles on the Road wait for some time in most cases unless the LC Gates are close to the Station. With interlocking, the Level Crossing Gates got closed automatically when the train reaches near the specific point. The signal will not allow the train to move if the Level Crossing Gate is not closed.

Recently, ECoR has eliminated all the Unmanned Level Crossings from its jurisdiction. Now, ECoR has 538 Level Crossing Gates in the mid section out of total 739 Manned Level Crossing Gates. Altogether, ECoR has interlocked 412 Level Crossing Gates including 213 Manned Level Crossing Gates in the mid-section where as 34 Level Crossing Gates have been interlocked till now, during the current financial year.

Of the total Level Crossings, 97 mid-section Manned Level Crossing Gates have been interlocked till now, whose Train Vehicle Unit (TVU) is more than 50 thousand. Till the third quarter of the Current Financial Year, ECoR has made 10 such Level Crossing Gates with Interlocking System.

Total Manned Level Crossing Gate = 739
Mid-Section Manned Level Crossing Gate = 538
Manned Level Crossing Gate near Stations=201
Total Manned Level Crossing Gates Interlocked = 412
Total Manned Level Crossing Gates Interlocked in Mid-Section = 213
Total Manned Level Crossing Gates Interlocked near Stations = 199
Total Manned Level Crossings waiting to be interlocked = 327

ସମସ୍ତ ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକକୁ ସଂକେତ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀ ସହ ଯୋଡ଼ାଯିବ I

ସୁବିଧାଜନକ ଭାବେ ରେଳ ଓ ସଡକ ପରିବହନ ପାଇଁ ଷ୍ଟେସନ ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ୨୧୩ ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକକୁ  ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀସହ ଯୋଡାଯାଇଅଛି  I

ଚଳିତ ଆର୍ଥିକ ବର୍ଷରେ ୩୪ଟି ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫଟାକର ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀ ବ୍ୟବସ୍ଥା I

ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକ ପୂର୍ବରୁ ଏକ ସଠିକ ସ୍ଥାନରେ ଟ୍ରେନ ପହଁଚିଲେ ଆପେଆପେ ଗେଟ ବନ୍ଦ ହେବ I

ରେଳ ଓ ସଡକ ଯାତ୍ରୀମାନଙ୍କ ସୁରକ୍ଷା ସହ ସୁବିଧାଜନକ ଭାବେ ରେଳ ଓ ସଡକ ପରିବହନ ପାଇଁ ପୂର୍ବତଟ ରେଳପଥ ଏହାର ପରିସୀମା ମଧ୍ୟରେ ଷ୍ଟେସନ ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ଅଂଚଳରେ ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକଗୁଡିକୁ ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀସହ ଯୋଡିବାକୁ ପଦକ୍ଷେପ ହାତକୁ ନେଇଛି I

ବସ୍ତୁତଃ, ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକଠାରେ ଆମେ ଦେଖୁ ଯେ ଫାଟକର ପୂର୍ବ ଷ୍ଟେସନରେ ଟ୍ରେନ ପହଂଚିବାପରେ ଫାଟକ ଜଗୁଆଳି ଫାଟକକୁ ବନ୍ଦ କରିଥାଏ I  ଷ୍ଟେସନ ପାଖରେଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକଠାରେ ସଡକ ଯାନ ଓ ସଡକ ବ୍ୟବହାରକାରୀ ମାନେ ଟ୍ରେନ ଆସିବା ସମୟରେ କିଛିକ୍ଷଣ ଅପେକ୍ଷା କରିଥାନ୍ତି I  ସଂକେତ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀସହ ଏହିସବୁ ରେଳବାଇ ଫଟାକଗୁଡିକୁ ଯୋଡ଼ାଯିବ ଦ୍ୱାରା ଟ୍ରେନ ଏକ ସଠିକ ସ୍ଥାନରେ ଟ୍ରେନ ପହଁଚିଲେ ଫାଟକ ଆପେଆପେ ବନ୍ଦ ହେବ I ଯେ ପର୍ଯ୍ୟନ୍ତ ଫାଟକ ଖୋଲାରହିଥିବ, ସେତେବେଳେ ଏହି ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀ ଟ୍ରେନକୁ ଆଗକୁ ଯିବାକୁ ସଂକେତ ଦେବନାହିଁ I

ଯାତ୍ରୀ ଓ ସଡକ ସୁରକ୍ଷାକୁ ଦୃଷ୍ଟିରେ ରଖି ପୂର୍ବତଟ ରେଳପଥ ଇତିମଧ୍ୟରେ ଏହାର ପରିସୀମା ମଧ୍ୟରୁ ସମସ୍ତ ଜାଗୁଆଳିବିହୀନ ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକକୁ ବନ୍ଦ କରି ବିକଳ୍ପ ବ୍ୟବସ୍ଥା ପ୍ରଦାନ କରିଛି I  ପୂର୍ବତଟ ରେଳପଥର ସମୁଦାୟ ୭୩୯ ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକ ମଧ୍ୟରୁ ଷ୍ଟେସନ ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ଅଂଚଳରେ ୫୩୮ଟି  ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକ ଅଛି I  ଏବେ ପର୍ଯ୍ୟନ୍ତ ପୂର୍ବତଟ ରେଳପଥ ସମୁଦାୟ ୪୧୨ଟି ଫାଟକଠାରେ ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ପ୍ରଣାଳୀ ଯୋଗାଇଥିବା ବେଳେ ଷ୍ଟେସନ ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ଅଂଚଳରେ ୨୧୩ଟି ଫାଟକଠାରେ ଏହି ସୁବିଧା ପ୍ରଦାନ କରିଛି ତନ୍ମଧ୍ୟରୁ ଚଳିତ ଆର୍ଥିକ ବର୍ଷରେ ୩୪ଟି ରେ ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ବ୍ୟବସ୍ଥା ସହିତ ଯୋଡାଯାଇ ଅଛି I

ପୂର୍ବତଟ ରେଳପଥର ସମସ୍ତ ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକ ମଧ୍ୟରୁ ଷ୍ଟେସନ ମଧ୍ୟବର୍ତ୍ତୀ ଅଂଚଳରେ ୯୭ଟି ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକଠାରେ ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ବ୍ୟବସ୍ଥା ଯୋଡାଯାଇ ଅଛି ଯେଉଁଠାରେ  ପ୍ରତି ଟ୍ରେନ ପିଛା ଯାନବାହାନ ଏକକ ଗଣନା ୫୦ ହଜାର ଅଟେ I  ଚଳିତ ଆର୍ଥିକ ବର୍ଷର ୯ ମାସ ମଧ୍ୟରେ ତଥା ୨୦୧୮ ମସିହା ଡିସେମ୍ବର ମାସ ମଧ୍ୟରେ ପୂର୍ବ ତଟ ରେଳପଥ ପ୍ରତି ଟ୍ରେନ ପିଛା ଯାନବାହାନ ଏକକ ଗଣନା ୫୦ ହଜାରଥିବା ୧୦ଟି ଜଗୁଆଳିଥିବା ରେଳବାଇ ଫାଟକକୁ ସାଙ୍କେତିକ ବ୍ୟବସ୍ଥା ସହିତ ଯୋଡି ପାରିଛି I

SER’s Adityapur-Kharagpur 3rd Railway line to speed up trains, freight

KOLKATA: Punctuality of passenger trains running in Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway is all set to improve in the coming days, thanks to the new third-line project and the latest initiative to introduce convoy system for freight trains.

Following the removal of encroachments by the railways and the state government at Krishnanagar near Tatanagar station in November, decks have been cleared for the ambitious railway project, a major portion of which is expected to be completed by 2019. Work has already gained pace after the removal of the squatters.

The 132km third-line project was sanctioned in 2015-16 at an estimated cost of Rs 1,312 crore. Out of the total stretch, 77km falls in Jharkhand and the rest 55km in Bengal. The project includes construction of 18 major and 157 minor bridges connecting as many as 16 stations.

Spokesperson of Chakradharpur railway division Bhaskar said, “The third-line project will not only enhance the line capacity for ensuring faster movement of passenger and freight trains, but will also help in improving punctuality of trains on the Howrah-Mumbai main line.”

He said the project would also help in economic development of the region.

Apart from the 50-odd pairs of mail/express trains, the Adityapur-Kharagpur section through which the third line will pass also sees the movement of numerous goods trains carrying raw materials and finished products for several entities, including Tata Steel and its subsidiary units.

On the convoy system of running freight trains, Bhaskar said it would be done as and when required.

“It is felt that there is a huge potential for increasing freight movement by introduction of freight convoy system wherein a time will be allotted for running only goods train in that particular section. It will be done when the traffic of passenger train is less. This would also help in improving the revenue earning of the division,” he said.

Korukkupet-Tiruvottiyur fourth rail line work gets underway

Work gets underway for the fourth rail line between Korukkupet and Tiruvottiyur railway stations, an important link in Chennai rail network.

CHENNAI: The fourth rail line between Korukkupet and Tiruvottiyur railway stations, an important link in Chennai rail network, is about to be commissioned even as work is going on in full speed.

There will be a line/power block for carrying out final works for the project starting on Thursday and ending on December 30, says a press release from Southern Railway.

RK Kulshrestha, General Manager, Southern Railway, accompanied by principal heads of departments, including S Anantharaman, Chief Operations Manager and Prafulla Varma, Chief Engineer/Construction, inspected the ongoing works in the section between Korukkupet and Tiruvottiyur today.

151 Kms Manoharabad-Kothapalli Railway line to be ready by March 2019

For several years, the people of these districts have long been aspiring for a rail line between Hyderabad – Karimnagar (Manoharabad-Kothapalli).

SECUNDERABAD: In major boost to rail transportation in city along with Siddipet, Medak, Siricilla and Karimnagar, the works on Manoharabad – Kothapalli (151 km) railway line are progressing at a brisk pace.

Already 90 per cent of land for this phase-I stretch has been acquired by the State government and handed over to the railways for taking up the work. Accordingly, earth work including cutting and embankment and construction of minor bridges are set to be completed by March, 2019.  Earthwork, embankment and construction of minor bridges in the sections of Manoharabad-Gajwel (32 km), which is the first phase of the rail link till Kothapalli, are in progress and set to be completed by March next year with 90% of land already acquired by the government and handed over, informed South Central Railway.

Senior officials informed that people of Medchal, Siddipet, Medak, Siricilla and Karimnagar districts would get connected by rail once this Hyderabad-Karimnagar link (Manoharabad in Medak district-Kothapalli in Karimnagar district) is completed in all respects.

The project has been sanctioned for a distance of 151.40 km at an estimated cost of ₹1,160 crore with ₹350 crore allocated last year and ₹125 crore this year with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal giving it priority. The new rail line passes through important towns such as Vemulawada (Dakshina Kaashi), Sircilla, Siddipet and Gajwel benefiting over 50 lakh population.

The other phases are: Gajwel-Duddeda (32.15 km), Duddeda-Sircilla (48.65 km) and Sircilla-Kothapalli (38.60 km). Around 160 bridges, seven road over-bridges, 49 road under-bridges and 13 new railway stations (eight crossing stations and five halts) are to come up.

New railway stations will come up at Nacharam, Iranagaram (halt), Gajwel, Kodakandla (halt), Lakhadaram, Duddeda, Siddipet, Gurralagondi (halt), Chinnalingapur, Siricilla, Vemulawada, Boinapally and Wedira (halt), said SCR officials.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the new railway line connecting in August 2016 and the project is also being monitored during PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) meetings, which is a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform.

While efforts are on to complete all the phases at the earliest, officials point out that once done, it would be beneficial for lakhs of pilgrims travelling to Vemulawada to seek blessings of Lord Shiva, handloom weavers of Siddipet and business community of Gajwel as it would bring in a new standard in travel convenience besides offering employment opportunities.

What makes this new line crucial is that the entire belt comprising of several important towns including pilgrim centres will be seeing the dawn of a new era in terms of rail connectivity and will bring in a new standard in travel convenience.

Ahmedabad to host “IR Track Standards Committee Seminar” between 10-12 January, 2019

AHMEDABAD/MUMBAI: The 82nd Meeting of Track Standards Committee is being held at Ahmedabad from 10th January, 2019 to 12th January, 2019. Western Railway is the official host of the seminar this time, and it is learnt that all the top policy makers, planning, projects, civil engineering officials from the Indian Railways, Railway Board, RDSO, IRICEN, IPWE, All Zonal Railway PCEs, All CAO/Constructions apart from various industry like SAIL, Bhilai Steel Plant, Jindal Steel etc. are attending the Seminar.

Indian Railways is the life-line of nation providing transportation facility over the length and breadth of country. It’s vision is to provide efficient, affordable, customer-focused, environmentally sustainable integrated transportation solutions and to be the vehicle of inclusive growth, connecting regions, communities, ports and centers of industry, commerce, tourism and pilgrimage across the country.

Civil Engineering infrastructure is the largest static infrastructure of Indian Railways comprising of track, bridges, land, etc. Management of this huge infrastructure has to be done in accordance with the organization’s vision. Civil engineering department of Indian Railways manages and maintains all these infrastructures. Further, it has key role in the area of infrastructure development, technological leap in various fields, high speed travel and development of world class stations.

The seminar will extensively deal with the Policy Changes that are required in the operational functioning of Indian Railways in the Civil Engineering perspective, covering the entire Railway lines infrastructure, gauge conversions, doubling, tripling, quadrupling of railway tracks, and bridges, ROBs/RUBs, level crossings, land management and the use of latest technologies like LiDAR (Light Detection and Reflection) in proper Asset Management of Railway system for achieving greater operational efficiency and maintain uptime Railway working.

IR has 1,30,950 bridges, out of which 670 are important, 10,798 are major and 1,19,400 are minor bridges. Indian Railways had rehabilitated/rebuilt various bridges including distressed bridges etc over the past 8 years now. Apart from the above, to improve the safety and reduce inconvenience to road users, busy level crossings are replaced extensively by Road Over/Under Bridges (ROBs/RUBs) gradually. The works of ROBs/RUBs in lieu of busy level crossings are sanctioned on cost sharing basis with the concerned State Governments/Local Authorities. There are numerous ROBs/RUBs works at various stages of planning and execution either directly or on on cost sharing basis, deposit terms, Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis and under NHDP.  IR owns about 4.31 lakh hectares of land, which is mainly used for locating operational and services infrastructure such as track, stations, workshops, staff colonies, etc.

The seminar will extensively review the various items of Railway working, standards of track maintenance in the light of increased speeds of train operations, threshold values for load testing of in service rails, anomalies in IRPWM & LWR manuals, clips with higher toe loads being used on Indian Railways, experience of tamping based on TM-115, digital axle counters, OMS equipments, Gauge at toe of points & crossing, SEJs for curves upto 4 degree, review of accident proforma, LWR/CWR over ballasted deck bridges, 26m rails on major and important bridges, various design modifications, machine maintenance and latest technologies on tracks, review of rail stress calculation methodologies, criteria for re-alignment of curves, corrosion of rails, fractures, use of longer sleepers, maintenance of channel sleepers, Standard deviation based track maintenance standards for 130Kmph to 160Kmph and spot values for 140Kmph to 160 Kmph, improvement of track machines, Reduction in thickness of end post of glued joints, Issues pertaining to improvement in A.T welding, review of Yardstick for USFD testing, Discrepancies in IRPWM & USFD Manuals, Maintenance of thick web switches, Maintenance of Spring Setting Device etc and various other latest technologies for Track and various Assets Management.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, assumes charge as Chairman, Railway Board

SECUNDERABAD: Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE) assumed charge as Chairman, Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Govt. of India today i.e., 1st January, 2019 at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad, before leaving for New Delhi.

Interacting with Media personnel who were present on the occasion at Secunderabad, the new Chairman Railway Board stated that Indian Railways is on course to achieve the vision of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister for a New India – New Railways. Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways has identified focus areas and is working on mission mode for making Indian Railways, world class. In the last 4 ½ years, great impetus has been given to rail development and the same will continue, the Chairman Railway Board added.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, stated that Safety is the foremost priority for Indian Railways towards which, track renewal, maintenance and replacements of tracks is being undertaken at a fast pace. Passenger amenities also are on the priority list and Indian Railways will strive to provide best facilities to rail users, he added. Speaking on the thrust given towards Infrastructure development, the Chairman Railway Board stated that priority will be accorded to the High Speed Bullet Train Project, Semi High-Speed Corridors and Dedicated Freight Corridors, works concerning new railway lines, doubling and tripling of Railway lines etc. The Chairman, Railway Board said that, employees are the backbone for the organization. All efforts shall be made towards their wellbeing by providing facilities at workplace and upgrading their skills by imparting them training at regular intervals.

Later, the Chairman Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav addressed Principal Heads of Departments and the Divisional Railway Managers of SCR’s Six Divisions viz., Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal and Nanded through a video conference at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav called upon the SCR Officials to hold a positive mindset, believe in themselves and focus on teamwork to achieve success. He stated that the Indian Railways is progressing well and in the last 4 ½ years, lot of developmental works were undertaken and completed. This initiative will continue to drive the organizational priorities of Indian Railways in the times ahead, he added. Indian Railways is growing in strength to become a World Class Railway. The Chairman Railway Board wanted South Central Railway to continue with its excellent performance in various spheres.

CMI Ltd bags Rs.107 Crore wire supply contract from East Coast Railway

The company is engaged in manufacturing cables for various industries such as railways, oil and gas, telecommunications, energy, industrial, power, petrochemicals, etc.

NEW DELHI: Cable manufacturer CMI Ltd on January 1 said it has bagged a Rs 107-crore contract from Indian Railways for supply of cadmium catenary wire.

“CMI has secured L1 (lowest bidder) position for supply of cadmium catenary wire to East Coast Railway for a value of Rs 106.64 crore. The tender was decided through a reverse auction process,” the Delhi-based company said in a filing to BSE.

The company is engaged in manufacturing cables for various industries such as railways, oil and gas, telecommunications, energy, industrial, power, petrochemicals, etc.

According to the company, its list of customers include Indian Railways, various metro corporations, IOC, BPCL, GAIL, ISRO, BHEL, NTPC, BSNL, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, among others.

Shares of the company on January 1 closed 3.03 percent up at Rs 180.45 apiece on BSE.

The company has been on a growth trajectory over the past few years, With its tag line “Cables That Empower “and with continuous focus on developing specialty products in the past years, the Company has served several elite clients in the infrastructure, solar, cement, power, oil & gas, telecom and Railways & Metro.

CMI is a leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution from power cables to telecommunication cables including electric cables for Railways, Metros, Utility, Buildings, Data Transmission, Instrumentation, Submarine Cables, Control, Special cables and Extra High Voltage cables for market segments namely Railways, Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Energy, Industrial, Communication and Special Applications.

CMI offers products conforming to various specifications, including but not limited to IS, IEC, IEEE, VDE, and other international standards covering entire range of cable products. CMI has best- in- class research and development, testing and production facilities. The development of unique compounds designed and tested to meet specific needs and stringent specifications, differentiates CMI make Cable from all others. It is our inherent quality of constantly evaluating ourselves and implementing new measures that fortifies our strength. Due to this dynamism in thought and action, we have built a robust business model and we are continuously strengthening our growth capabilities and deepening our growth appetite.

Need foolproof method to improve toilet system in trains: CAG tells Railways

The committee also observed that at various railway stations and railway toilets, a particular type of pungent disinfectant is used, causing discomfort to the passengers.

NEW DELHI: After the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), a parliamentary panel has now taken note of the problem of stinking and choked bio-toilets in trains and sought measures for their improvement.

The Railway Convention Committee (RCC), in its latest report on December 31, has in particular sought a foolproof mechanism for the effective use and management of the bacteria meant to be used in the bio-toilets that are replacing earlier “hole-in-the-floor” toilets in trains in a phased manner.

The 18-member parliamentary panel noted that the bacteria inoculum required for use in the bio-toilets to decompose human waste is currently being generated by the Railways at its in-house plant in Moti Bagh, Nagpur, and is also procured from DRDO, Gwalior. This is said to be sufficient to cover the requirements of the national transporter.

However, the committee detected a major problem with the bacteria inoculum — it’s short expiry date. Once it is opened, it has to be utilised within two days, and the Railways is apparently not able to do so, rendering it ineffective. It has sought a foolproof mechanism for the effective use and management of the bacteria meant to be used in bio-toilets.

Responding to the committee’s observation, the Railways said corrective measures have been introduced and cross-checking of bio-toilets has been intensified.

The RCC, headed by Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, has observed that though retro-fitment of bio-toilets is a laudable and environment-friendly exercise, these toilets are beset with problems such as choking, foul smell and overflow of human discharge.

Incidentally, the CAG, in a report in December 2017, had found that almost two lakh complaints regarding choking, smelly and non-functional bio-toilets in trains were received from the public in 2016-2017.

The RCC observed that human waste collected in bio tanks is “biodigested” by the anaerobic bacteria already filled in the bio-tank, which converts the human waste mainly into water and bio-gases. While gases escape into the atmosphere, the water is discharged after treatment.

The committee recommended that given the potential hazards involved in the discharge of waste water, the Railways should take steps for its safe disposal at designated locations without causing pollution.

The committee also observed that at various railway stations and railway toilets, a particular type of pungent disinfectant is used, causing discomfort to the passengers.

The Railways informed the RCC that, earlier, a phenylic-type disinfectant was used which had a peculiar smell. Now all zones have been advised to procure deodorising-cum-disinfecting fluid for use in railway offices, hospitals, stations, coach depots and trains.

The panel has suggested that all zones and divisions should start procuring the new deodorising-cum-disinfecting fluid without any delay and replace the old disinfectant at the earliest.

Regarding coach cleaning complaints, the committee has sought a quicker response time to redress complaints.

Taking note of third party audit-cum-surveys for assessment of cleanliness at 407 major stations in 2016-17, the committee is of the view that more stations should be covered as these measures put pressure on the staff and officers of all the stations to make their premises neat and clean and also lead to healthy competition among various stations.

The RCC has also taken note that the various cleaning facilities provided by the Railways are confined to few select stations. The committee has said the facilities should be extended to all stations and coaches in a time-bound manner.

The Mahtab-led committee also urged the Railways to conduct passenger awareness campaigns on cleanliness at frequent intervals so as to inculcate a culture of cleanliness among them.

The committee also emphasised the importance of enlisting the cooperation of local governments by the Railways in maintenance of cleanliness, prevention of encroachment and trespassing in the station surroundings and also for solid waste management.

Survey for another Bridge over Brahmaputra near Silghat nearing completion

MALIGAON: Shri Rajen Gohain, Minister of State of Railways today said that survey for construction of a new bridge over river Brahmaputra near Silghat is nearing completion and once the survey is complete it can be considered for inclusion in the Budget. The Minister was speaking in the ceremonial function for flagging off of a new train from Silghat (Assam) to Kolkata signalling transformation of the middle Assam areas through improved communication.

Shri Keshab Mahanta, Minister of Water Resources, Govt of Assam was also among the dignitaries present at the function. Senior Railway Officers including Shri Nilesh Kishore Prasad, General Manager (Construction), N.F. Railway, Shri Ram Bahadur Rai, Divisional Railway Manager of Lumding Division were also present at the glittering ceremony attended by large number of enthusiastic people of nearby areas. Shri Gohain has said that the introduction of this new train is another step towards transformation through transportation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The new train consists of 19 new State-of-the-Art LHB coaches having modern amenities and facilities for passengers. The new weekly express train is expected to be greatly beneficial for improving the trade and commerce of the middle Assam areas apart from improving the communication with rest of the country. Tourist travelling to visit Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary would also to be benefited as the train will have stoppages at Amoni and Jakhalabandha.

In his speech Shri Rajen Gohain listed the achievements of post 2014 period. He has also said that a Delhi bound train and a south bound train will also be considered for introduction from Silghat soon. He announced an award of Rs 2 lakh for the division for excellent work of readying facilities like watering of trains etc within record time.

Regular service of the train will start from Kolkata w.e.f 07.01.2018 and from Silghat w.e.f. 08.01.2018. Train number 13182 Silghat – Kolkata Express will leave from Silghat at 12-30 hrs every Tuesday to reach Kolkata at 12-50 hrs next day. During return journey train number 13181 Kolkata – Silghat Express will leave from Kolkata at 09-05 hrs on Monday to reach Silghat at 09-55 hrs on Tuesday. The train will have stoppages at Jakhalabandha, Amoni, Nowgong, Senchoa, Chaparmukh, Jagiroad, Guwahati, Kamakhya, Goalpara Town, New Bongaigaon, Fakiragram, New Alipurduar, New Coochbehar, New Jalpaiguri, Malda Town, Rampurhat, Bolpur and Barddhaman during its journey on both ways. The train will have one AC 2 tier, four AC 3 tier, eight sleeper class and four general second class coaches apart from two luggage cum generator vans.

Open to more PPP projects to boost Indian Railways infrastructure: Vinod Kumar Yadav, New Railway Board Chairman

“Infrastructure development has seen a threefold jump with the increase in new lines, doubling, tripling and electrification in the last few years and will be open for more public private partnership (PPP) projects across the zones,” he said.

SECUNDERABAD: Passenger safety, capital and developmental works and infrastructure management will continue to form the cornerstone for Indian Railways, said Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager of South Central Railway (SCR), who has taken charge as Chairman, Railway Board, and ex-officio Principal Secretary to the Central government on superannuation of Ashwani Lohani.

Assuming charge on Monday from Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad, Yadav said focus on safety, speed increase, passenger amenities and infrastructural development will be high on priority across all zones for Indian Railways. “Infrastructure development has seen a threefold jump with the increase in new lines, doubling, tripling and electrification in the last few years and will be open for more public private partnership (PPP) projects across the zones,” he said.

“In the last four-and-half years, the vision of the government was to provide rail safety which is the ultimate priority followed by better passenger amenities and infrastructure management,’” he said.

The four-pronged strategy adopted by the government is to fast-track completion of last-mile connectivity projects, increase the pace of construction of new railway lines, undertake doubling, tripling, quadrupling of the existing saturated rail routes and provide seamless connectivity with complete electrification of rail lines.

“As safety is the foremost priority, track renewal, maintenance and replacements of tracks is being undertaken at a faster pace. Besides, high speed bullet train project, semi high-speed corridors and Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), works concerning new railway lines, doubling and tripling of railway lines, etc would also be the on the focus agenda,” he added.

Indian Railways is undergoing a transformational overhaul for improving all system. According to an estimate, Indian Railways will save around Rs 13,000 crore per annum in fuel bill and reduce carbon emission by 3.4 million tonnes a year, if the entire rail network in the country stands electrified. Electrification, coupled with increased use of solar power, is bound to keep the railways on course.

Electrification of railway lines can be one major potential area for reducing expenditure of the national transporter. The interesting fact is, while around two-thirds of freight and over half of passenger traffic of Indian Railways are carried on the electric traction, the energy expenses due to electricity consumption remain at 37%, which signify the cost effectiveness of electrification for Indian Railways.

In fact, a plan to electrify around 13,000 route km of railway lines at a cost of Rs 12,134.50 crore has already been approved by the Cabinet and target completion of electrification of the entire Indian railway network by 2021-22.

The Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), which is tasked with the completion of electrification of rail tracks over Indian Railways, has been undertaking the job with renewed momentum in the last few years.

SCR zone has taken to electrification of its network on a priority basis. At present, out of the total length of 5,992 route km of its network, 3,250 route km stand electrified, which is sizeably over 50%.

Railways to seek CCEA nod for doubling New Bongaigaon-Guwahati Rail line: Piyush Goyal

GUWAHATI: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Saturday his ministry would soon approach the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for clearance of the doubling of the railway line from New Bongaigaon-Guwahati via Rangiya in Assam.

Addressing a review meeting of senior railway officials at Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) headquarters here on Saturday evening, Goyal said following inauguration of Bogibeel Bridge, all efforts should now be towards doubling of railway lines in the region for capacity enhancement. He asked the officials to prepare a plan of action within one week.

The minister spoke to state Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya for ensuring quick permission for soil procurement, which is presently hampering progress of project.

Goyal asked for Vistadome coaches in Lumding-Badarpur hill section and other tourist routes. He was apprised that Tetelia-Byrnihat new railway line, doubling of Lumding-Hojai section, Agartala-Sabroom new railway line and international line from Jogbani-Viratnagar would be ready very soon.

Before the review meeting with the senior officials, the minister went to Kamakhya temple. He promised to name one premium passenger train after Goddess Kamakhya as a mark of obeisance and respect.

While elaborating on the developmental initiatives of the railways for the northeastern region, he said timely completion of projects had “always been the topmost priority” of the present government and “the added thrust for this had resulted” in timely completion of Bogibeel project.

Goyal said the use of sound of honey bee for chasing away elephants from railway tracks was an example of rural innovation that can bring in real transformation.

NFR’s Rangiya division had successfully installed a mechanism where sound of bee is amplified whenever elephants are spotted near a railway track to chase them away, thereby saving wild elephants from being hit by trains.

The minister said such mechanism would be considered for replication elsewhere in the country.

AP State accorded priority in strategizing Plans for Introduction of New Trains, Provision of Stoppages/Extension of Train Services

SECUNDERABAD: The priority being accorded by Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways towards meeting the expectations of rail users in the State of Andhra Pradesh has formed the basis for South Central Railway to implement the plan of action for introducing train services, providing stoppages and extension of train services. This initiative in the last 4 years between 2014-18 has resulted in great benefits to the rail travelers in various sectors.

The high points of this endeavor of the railways to meet public needs in Andhra Pradesh State are:

Several Cities of Andhra Pradesh have been immensely benefited by the introduction of new trains.

  • The newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh was connected with the National Capital New Delhi by Train No. 22415 / 22416 Visakhapatnam-New Delhi-Visakhapatnam Express.
  • For the benefit of Secretariat Employees of new Capital of Andhra Pradesh, an exclusive Intercity Superfast Express Train No. 12795/12796 Secunderabad-Vijayawada-Secunderabad was introduced with a travelling time of 5 hrs 30 minutes.
  • Within the State of Andhra Pradesh also, farthest points of Dharmavaram & Tirupati were also connected by introducing a new Train No. 17215/17216 Vijayawada-Dharmavarm Tri-weekly Express and a Tri-Weekly Double Decker Train No. 22708/22707 between Tirupati-Visakhapatnam –Tirupati.
  • The temple town of Vishnavi Devi temple, Katra is now connected with Andhra Pradesh by introducing a new Train No. No. 22705/22706 Humsafar Weekly Express between Tirupati-Jammu-Tirupati.
  • Kakinada area was connected to Raichur and Kurnool Town via Vijayawada by running special trains No. 07245/07246 Kakinada-Riachur Tri-Weekly Special and Train No. 07238/07237 Kakinada-Kurnool Town Bi-Weekly Special. These trains are connecting Rayalaseema area with newly formed capital of Andhra Pradesh State.
  • During Godavari Pushkarams held in July-2015, 407 special trains were run for the convenience of pilgrims from different parts of Andhra Pradesh. Further, 1300 additional coaches were attached to various trains.
  • During Krishna Pushkarams held in August-2016, 458 special trains run for the convenience of pilgrims from different parts of Andhra Pradesh. Further, more than 3000 additional coaches were attached to various trains.
  • For Iztima, an international muslim congregation held at Kurnool Town 15 special trains were run during the month of December-2018.

New trains introduced (11 pairs) Originating from Andhra Pradesh.

  • Train No. 17622/17621 Renigunta – Aurangabad – Renigunta Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 12783/12784 Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam AC Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 17417/17418 Tirupati – Sainagar Shirdi – Tirupati Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 12795/12796 Vijayawada – Secunderabad – Vijayawada Intercity Express
  • Train No. 17215/17216 Vijayawada – Dharmavaram – Vijayawada Triweekly Express.
  • Train No. 17419/17420 Tirupati – Vasco-Da-Gama – Tirupati Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 22708/22707 Tirupati-Visakhapatnam-Tirupati Double Decker Triweekly Express.
  • Train No. 77405/77406 Kadapa – Pendlimarri – Kadapa 6 days a week DEMU.
  • Train No. 20890/20889 Vijayawada -Howrah – Vijayawada Weekly Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 22705/22706 Tirupati – Jammutawi – Tirupati Weekly Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 11066/11065 Renigunta – Mysore – Renigunta Express.

New trains (18 pairs) passing through Andhra Pradesh

  • Train No. 17021/17022 Hyderabad – Vasco-Da-Gama – Hyderabad weekly Express.
  • Train No. 16353/16354 Kacheguda – Nagercoil – Kacheguda Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 11073/11074 LTT Mumbai – Chennai – LTT Mumbai weekly Express.
  • Train No. 19419/19420 Chennai – Ahmedabad – Chennai Bi-weekly Express.
  • Train No. 16229/16230 Mysore – Varanasi – Mysore Bi-weekly Express.
  • Train No. 18112/18111 Yeshvantpur – Tatangar – Yeshvantpur weekly Express.
  • Train No. 16864/16863 Mannargudi – Jodhpur – Mannargudi Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 22863/22864 Howrah – Yeshvantpur – Howrah weekly Express.
  • Train No. 22837/22838 Hatia – Ernakulam – Hatia AC weekly Express.
  • Train No. 12504/12503 Kamakhya – Bengaluru – Kamakhya Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 22887/22888 Howrah – Yeshvantpur – Howrah Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 22877/22878 Howrah – Ernakulam – Howrah Antyodaya weekly Express.
  • Train No. 22920/22919 Ahmedabad – Chennai – Ahmedabad Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 22833/22834 Bhubaneswar – Krishnarajapuram – Bhubaneswar Humsafar Express.
  • Train No. 22415/22416 Visakhapatnam – New Delhi – Visakhapatnam A.P Express.
  • Train No. 22801/22802 Visakhapatnam – Chennai – Visakhapatnam Weekly Express.
  • Train No. 16793/16794 Rameswaram – Faizabad – Rameswaram weekly Express.
  • Train No. 22841/22842 Santragachi – Chennai – Santragachi Anthyodaya Express

Additional Stoppages of provided for trains (60 stations) originating / passing through Andhra Pradesh

  • Train No.22204/22203 Secunderabad – Visakhapatnam – Secunderabad Duronto Express at Vijayawada.
  • Train No. 12214/12213 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Yeshvantpur – Delhi Sarai Rohilla Duronto Express at Guntakal.
  • Train No. 12269/12270 Chennai – H.Nizamuddin – Chennai Duronto Express at Vijayawada.
  • Train No. 12245 Howrah – Yeshvantapur Duronto Express at Vijayawada & Renigunta.
  • Train No. 12841/12842 Chennai – Howrah – Chennai Coromandel Express at Eluru.
  • Train No. 17209/17210 KSR Bengaluru – Kakinada Town – KSR Bengaluru at Kavali & Singarayakonda.
  • Train No. 12703/12704 Secunderabad – Howrah – Secunderabad Falaknuma express at Ramannapet.
  • Train No. 18519/18520 Visakhapatnam – Lokamanya Tilak Terminus – Visakhapatnam Express at Samalkot.
  • Train No. 17229/17230 Thiruvanantapuram Central – Hyderabad – Thiruvanantapuram Central Sabari Express at Singarayakonda.
  • Train No. 12717/12718 Visakahapatnam – Vijayawada – Visakhapatnam Ratnachal Express at Anaparti.
  • Train No. 12806/12805 Visakhapatnam – Secunderbad – Visakhapatnam Janmabhoomi Exp at Nuzvid and Elamanchili.
  • Train No. 16533/ 16534 KSR Bengaluru -Bhagat ki kothi (Jodhpur) – KSR BengaluruExpress at Anatapur.
  • Train No. 12253/12254 Yeshvantpur – Bhagalpur – Yeshvantpur at Renigunta.
  • Train No. 22663/22664 Chennai Egmore – Jodhpur – Chennai Egmore Express at Ongole.
  • Train no. 77401/77402/77403/77404 Nandyal – Kadapa – Nandyal DEMU express at Kamalapuram.
  • Train No. 16733/16734 Rameswaram – Okha – Rameswaram Express at Renigunta.
  • Train No. 17215/17216 Vijayawada – Dharmavaram – Vijayawada Express at Koilakuntla.
  • Train No. 17603/17604 Kacheguda – Yeshavntpur – Kacheguda Express at Maddikera.
  • Train No. 12796/12795 Lingampalli – Vijayawada – Lingampalli Intercity Express at Mangalagiri.
  • In addition, the operational stoppages for 8 pairs of trains at Mantralayam Road, for 5 pairs of trains at Diguvametta, 3 pairs of trains at Guntakal are converted as Commercial stoppages on permanent basis.

Extension of trains originating / passing through Andhra Pradesh

  • Train No. 16583/16584 Yesvantpur – Bidar up to Latur.
  • Train No. 12793/12794 Tirupati – Hyderabad up to Nizamabad.
  • Train No. 12749/12750 Machilipatnam – Secunderabad up to Bidar.
  • Train No. 12737/12738 Kakinada – Secunderabad up to Lingampalli.
  • Train No. 12775/12776 Kakinada – Secunderabad AC Express up to Lingamapalli
  • Train No. 17401/17402 Machilipatnam/Narsapur – Tirupati up to Dharmavaram.
  • Train No. 17652/17651 Kacheguda – Chennai up to Chengalpattu.
  • Train No. 17643/17644 Kakinada – Chennai up to Chengalpattu
  • Train No. 57477/57478 Tirupati – Guntakal up to Kalyandurg
  • Train No. 57477/57478 Tirupati – Kalyandurg up to KadiriDevarapalli
  • Train No. 11304/11303 Kolhapur – Hyderabad up to Manuguru.
  • Train No. 12503/12504 Bengaluru Cantt – Kamakhya up to Agartala.
  • Train No. 17243/17244 Vijayawada – Rayagada up to Guntur.
  • Train No. 12733/12734 Tirupati – Secunderabad up to Lingampalli.
  • Train No. 12795/12796 Vijayawada – Secunderabad up to Lingampalli.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, GM/SCR appointed as Chairman, Railway Board

SECUNDERABAD/NEW DELHI: Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, IRSEE, General Manager, South Central Railway has been appointed as Chairman, Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Govt. of India. The appointments committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav as Chairman Railway Board today i.e., 31st December 2018 on superannuation of Shri Ashwani Lohani.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav belongs to the 1980 batch of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE). His academic qualifications include a Masters Degree in Business Administration – MBA (Technology Management) and a Bachelors Degree in Engineering (Electrical Engineering) from Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh.

Commencing his career o­n Indian Railways as Assistant Electrical Engineer in February 1982, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav held several important executive and managerial positions o­n Indian Railways including as – Additional Divisional Railway Manager (Operation), Delhi Division, Northern Railway; Divisional Railway Manager, Lucknow Division, North Eastern Railway and Chief Electrical Engineer, Planning/Traction Distribution, Northern Railway. Shri Yadav also worked on deputation in the Ministry of Industry, Govt. of India; Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCI); Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON); Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, led South Central Railway to a creditable performance in the course of his tenure as General Manager, heading the Zone. The Zone recorded its best ever financial performance in the fiscal 2017-18, grossing Rs.13673 Cr of originating earnings. SCR was the recipient of the highest number of six performance efficiency shields in various disciplines amongst all Zones during the year 2017-18, thereby earning recognition with the highest honor, Pandit Gobind Vallabh Pant Shield for overall performance on Indian Railways. Secunderabad Railway Station bagged honor as the first Green Railway Station on Indian Railways, to earn the Confederation of Indian Industry – Indian Green Building Council Green Co Platinum Rating. His tenure also marked the achievement of SCR becoming the first Zone on Indian Railways to complete 100% LED lighting of its Railway Stations, Service buildings and Residential Quarters. The Zone has also achieved the record for 100% elimination of unmanned railway level crossings (UMLC) by removing a record 269 UMLCs in the last two years. thanks to his priority towards Safety. As General Manager, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav himself was bestowed with the Award for best transformation initiatives during the year from the Ministry of Railways.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav headed the committee constituted by the Railway Ministry to bring in reform in the issue concerning “Gang Men Tool Kit”, which came up with a high quality and comprehensive light weight kit weighing 3 kgs, thereby reducing the load of a 5 kg kit the Gang men used to carry on duty, thereby enhancing their efficiency.  He is also credited with bringing in many innovative practices to enhance productivity and ensure workforce welfare. He implemented the concept DIGIPAY railway stations at select major terminals, to offer all transactions on the Cashless mode, for the first time on Indian Railways. His intensive monitoring and review has given impetuous to fast execution of rail infrastructure projects on the Zone. This has led to completion of last mile connectivity new railway line projects such as Peddapalli-Karimnagar-Nizamabad and Vishnupuram-Janpahad. A total of 186 kms of new railway line and 63 kms of doubling/tripling completed during his tenure. In addition, a record 700 route kms of railway line electrified in the last two years. The General Manager accorded top most importance to cleanliness of railway stations and overall cleanliness under the Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, thereby enabling SCR earn recognition as the second best Zone on Indian Railways in terms of Cleanliness standards, achieved in 2017-18.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav earned goodwill on the Zone for initiating various positive HR practices. The Zone organized a mega Job Mela for children of Railway Employees, which was attended by 22,000 candidates out of which over 5000 were offered job placements. He also was instrumental in organizing Passport Melas  exclusively for Railway families, at Railway premises. For the first time ever on Indian Railways, a leisure cum pleasure foreign tour was organized exclusively for Group D & C employees to far east countries of Singapore and Malaysia of highly subsidized costs. The workplace aesthetics underwent a total makeover in various offices to give them a corporate driven look. In terms of enhancing competence and skills, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav led SCR to tie up with the prestigious Indian School of Business for a management training program, which has been attended by over 500 officers till date. The frontline staff have been imparted training in the focus customer interaction areas under Project Saksham.

Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav is a fitness freak and a sports enthusiast. He also holds a keen interest towards Indian Classical Music and Art.

Highlights of the Initiatives & Achievements of Ministry of Railways in the year 2018 announced

Safety First : Elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings, Use of Technology , Online Monitoring of Rolling Stock and Switch over to LHB coaches for safety of Railway Passengers

Boosting ‘Make in India’ by indigenous manufacturing of Semi High Speed (160 Kmph) self propelled Train 18, with contemporary features as per global standards

Massive Push to Capacity Augmentation by commissioning strategic projects like Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).

Connecting North East: India’s longest Rail-Road Bridge Connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Transformational Reforms speeded up: Emphasis on cultural, process & structural reforms, empowerment/ strengthening of field level units 

Speedy and Smooth Passenger Services via Improved Coaches and Trains, UTS Mobile App, VIKALP Scheme and boosting Digital Transactions for Online Ticket Reservations

Swachch Rail: Bio Toilets, Clean-My-Coach SMS Services, Coach Mitra Initiatives for cleanliness in Trains and Railway Stations 

65 stations across Zonal railways have been beautified under Station Beautification initiative by using local art form, painting style, local themes

Use of Robotics and Industry 4.0 Technologies in Production Units of Indian Railways

‘Mission Raftar ‘ to Speed up, Contribute and Participate in the Growth Story of India

 Brighter and Energy efficient Railways with 100% LED lights at all Railway Stations

India’s first Rail and Transportation University commenced its first session in 2018

Promoting Tourism through Vistadome Coaches

Preserving Railway Heritage eternally on Digital Platforms

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways achieved all- round progress during the year with firm focus on safety and passenger services by leveraging the latest in technology and marshalling the inherent strength of a highly dedicated workforce. Some of the significant achievements of the year are highlighted below:

Enhanced Safety

Safety continues to be the foremost priority of Railways and is accorded the greatest consideration. During the current year, MoR launched following four safety drives on all Zonal Railways with a view to preventing accidents and strengthening safety on Indian Railways:-

  • On 13.04.2018, all zonal railways were advised to launch a one month safety drive particularly focusing on strict observance of shunting practices with compliance of rules/instructions contained in G&SR etc.
  • On 08.05.2018 all zonal railways were advised to launch a 30 days safety drive specially targeting safety at manned/unmanned level crossings.
  • On 19.06.2018 all zonal railways were asked to launch a safety drive to prevent accident due to cyclonic storm, heavy rains, landslides etc. during monsoon season.
  • On 16.10.2018, zonal Railways were advised to launch a special safety drive for a period of fifteen days with special emphasis on safety of work sites, stacking and handling of railway material near track and maintenance of points & crossings.

Some of the significant steps taken to enhance safety are:

  • Induction of technology for safety improvements – Smart Coach

Smart coach with diagnostic system monitor bearing vibrations provides advance information on health of bearing wheel & track. In addition, coach has been provided with wheel slip protection monitoring. Further improvements are being brought about to provide fire safety through fire and smoke detection unit integrated with passenger announcement and information system for emergency evacuation and video analytics with phased detection and unusual occurrence features to further enhance safety and security.

  • On-line Monitoring of Rolling Stock (OMRS)

Implementation of OMRS is the first step towards predictive maintenance for its Rolling Stock. OMRS monitors the health of each rolling stock and identifies the defective bearings and wheels. Real time alarm is generated to take corrective action before the line failure of the rolling stock. OMRS equipment will also trend the condition of bearing when implemented in whole rail network of IR.

  • Complete switchover to LHB: Indian Railways have decided to completely switch over to manufacture of LHB design main line coaches from 2018-19 onwards. The production of LHB coaches in Production Units has continuously increased over the years Production of LHB coaches from 2004-05 to 2013-14 was 2327 coaches, whereas 5548 coaches were produced from 2014-15 to 2017-18. During 2018-19, it is proposed to manufacture 4016 coaches.

As a result of relentless efforts put in by Railways, consequential train accidents decreased from 104 to 73 during 2017-18 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. In the year 2018-19 (from 1st April, 2018 to 30th November, 2018) consequential train accidents decreased further from 51 to 44 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. Category-wise break-up of accidents is given in the following table:-

Type of Accident (April to March)

2016-17

(April to March)

2017-18

2017-18

(1st April to

30th November)

2018-19

(1st April to

30th November)

Collision 5 3 3 0
Derailments 78 54 39 35
Manned Level Crossing Accidents 0 3 1 3
Unmanned Level Crossing Accidents 20 10 8 3
Fire in Trains 1 3 0 2
Miscellaneous 0 0 0 1
Total 104 73 51 44

Elimination of Level Crossings

  • 3478 unmanned LC gates have been eliminated during the current year so far.
  • In effect, all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge over Indian Railway have been eliminated except one. This will also be eliminated in the current financial year.
  • Out of 16, total 15 Zonal Railways are now unmanned level crossing free on broad gauge.
  • Accidents on unmanned level crossings have reduced from 20 in 2017-18 to 3 in the current year upto Dec., 2018.

New Initiatives In Track Maintenance

  • Highest ever rail renewal of 4405 km was carried out in 2017-18 and 5,000 km has been planned during the current year with outlay of 11,450 crores. 2812 km has been completed during the current year so far.
  • Exclusive RRSK fund amounting to Rs 1 lakh crore for safety related works including Track Renewal for a period of 5 years, with Annual Budgetary Outlay of Rs 20,000 crore has been created in 2017.
  • Trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System for detection of Rail/Weld breakage has been started on NR and NCR on 25 km track length each. After successful completion of trials, the system will be utilized over Indian Railway for timely detection of Rail/Weld fractures.
  • GPS based trackers have been provided to Keymen and Patrolmen to get real time information of any untoward incidents/emergencies to avert derailments.
  • Trials for VHF based Approaching Train Warning System to pre-warn the Trackmen working on running line, for any approaching train have been completed on five Zonal Railways and instructions have been issued for providing the system on Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonal routes over Indian Railways. This will help in ensuring personal safety of Track Maintainers while working on track.

Mechanization of Inspection, Monitoring And Maintenance Of Track

  • Highest ever sanction of Track Machines : Average sanction of machines per year for complete mechanization has been increased to 117 costing about 1547 cr during 2014-18 compared to 63 nos costing about 560 cr prior to 2014. Highest ever 538 machines costing Rs. 7268 cr were sanctioned in the current year Budget to give fillip to mechanization.
Item Year
Average sanctions of machines 2004-09 2009-14 2014-18 2018-19
(a)              Funds (Rs. In Cr.) 433 563 1547 7268
(b)              Machines (Nos.) 63 52 117 538
  • Seven numbers of High Output Integrated Track Machines, giving 60% more output in the same duration of effective block hours, were inducted for the first time in Indian Railways Maintenance Fleet. Order for 22 more such machines were placed and for 24 more machines will be placed in the current year to cover entire high density routes. This will result in better utilization of traffic blocks on busy routes for improved safety and economy in machines working for track maintenance.
  • High output BCM (HOBCM) with double the output of present machine along with stabilizer and ballast regulating system is planned for commissioning by March, 2019 for the first time over IR. This will improve safety and economy in track maintenance along with better utilization of maintenance slots on busy routes.
  • A new 3D state-of-the-art tamping simulator for practical hands-on training for operating advanced track maintenance machines has been installed and commissioned for the first time at Indian Railway Track Machine Training Centre Allahabad (IRTMTC) for skill development of track machine operator’s. This type of advanced technology simulator is now available only in five countries including India.

This will result in improved training for better utilization & maintenance of state of art tamping machine.

  • Leveraging technology for reducing reliance on human interface- Selected best available technology to improve safety by reducing reliance on human interface and efficient allocation of resources. Induction and proliferation of following new technologies have been decided for improved track inspection, maintenance and monitoring.
  • Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) for monitoring health of track ballast bed ( Clear ballast cushion, Caked up ballast & ballast penetration in formation) and to prioritize deep screening of track in place of present practice of periodic screening every 500GMT or 10 Yrs.
  • Axle Box Mounted Accelerometers on pilot basis in 40 rakes in fastest train on selected high density trunk routes to monitor track requiring urgent attention and generate alerts to maintain organization on daily basis.
  • Track Component Condition Monitoring System with Machine vision is planned to be fixed on 16 LHB based OMS Coaches for intermediate inspection by Zonal Railways to get defect list of track components to reduce reliance on human inspection.
  • Rail Grinding Machines with complementary Switch Grinding Machines and RIV are planned to cover entire Indian Railway track for maintenance of rails to control fracture due to rolling contact fatigue. It will improve reliability of asset by reduction in fractures. Order for 2 nos. Switch rail Grinding Machine (SRGM) & 2 nos. Rail Inspection Vehicle (RIV) have been placed for the first time on IR.
  • Long Rail Panel Handling:- State-of-the-art mechanized system for loading/unloading of long rail panels for safe handling of long rail to improve in service performance of rail has been sanctioned.
  • Vehicular USFD (SPURT Cars) to cover entire Indian Railways network for monitoring and identification of propagation of rail/weld defects for improving safety of track has been sanctioned.
  • Laser based Integrated Track Recording Cars with facility of Component Monitoring, Axle box acceleration measurement and Clearance measurement System, to cover entire Indian Railway network has been sanctioned.

Make In India

  • Induction of semi-high speed Train-sets to European standard: ICF took up manufacturing of Semi High Speed (160 Kmph) Self Propelled Train-set with indigenous efforts, termed Train-18, with contemporary features as per global standards. The first trainset has been rolled out by ICF in October 2018 and will shortly be ready for service after testing & trials.
  • ICF shall be making at least two more such rakes this year. Depending on feedback and requirements target for induction in 2019-20 shall be communicated in due course.
  • 100% indigenization has already been achieved in manufacturing of around 20-25% of total fleet of the track machines such as Utility Vehicles (UTVs), Rail Bound Maintenance Vehicles (RBMVs), Track Laying Equipment (TLE), Rail Threader & Rail-cum-Road Vehicles (RCRVs) over IR.

70% of existing fleet of machines have been manufactured by a world’s leading manufacturer with a local content in the range of 20% to 50%.

  • Now the local content is being further increased to minimum 51% to 80% under Make in India Policy.
  • Encouraged by Make in India, one more manufacturing plant by a world’s leading manufacturer of track machines is being set up in Gujarat and expected to start production by May’2019.

Technological Development

  • Improvements in AT Welding technology has been carried out to improve quality of welds for enhancement in safety.
  • Thick Web Switches: Policy decision has been taken to use only Thick Web Switches on IR network. This enhances mobility due to higher permitted speed for loop lines, improves safety and maintainability.
  • Weldable CMS Crossing : It is planned to provide Weldable CMS Crossings on all important routes on Indian Railways. For the first time, order for manufacturing and supply of about 4000nos.Weldable CMS Crossings has been placed.Instead of importing the finished weldable CMS crossings, the working agency is required to set up requisite infrastructure in the country which besides ensuring transfer of technology will also contribute towards ‘Make in India’
  • Advancements in Ultrasonic Testing of Rails and Welds: 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 TMS and PCs.
  • Bridge Management System: This Web-enabled IT Application covers all aspects of Bridge Master Data, drawings, photographs, etc. This will be a single IT-based repository for all aspects related to bridges on Indian Railways viz. Master Data, condition, inspections, design drawings, etc.The Application was launched by Minister of Railways on 12th July, 2018. It is being further developed to incorporate various bridge inspections.

Improved Sleepers And Fittings

  • Improvement in Concrete Sleeper: In order to strengthen track structure, a wider and heavier sleeper has been developed in 2014 which is fit for 25 t axle load at 100 kmph. After successful field trial over five Zonal Railways wider and heavier sleeper has been adopted and approved for full use from FY 2019-20. This is done in a record time of 3 years from drawing board to insertion in field for trial against normal period of 8-10 years.:
  • Web base system for track crossing permission – A web based system for granting permission of track crossing related to various public utilities i.e. water/sewerage/gas pipeline, OFC Cable etc. has been developed and made operational on Indian Railways since 01.04.2015. This system provides submission of online application and knowing status of the same till permission is granted. This avoids the frequent visits of the user to the Railway Offices for knowing the status of application.
  • To expedite clearance of track crossing cases, power to accord sanction is delegated to DRM for all the cases.
  • Land Data Management – A web based application called Land Management Module integrated with Track Management System (TMS) of Indian Railways has been developed, for maintaining centralized land data i.e. details of acquisition/area/usages and land plans of Land Bank of Indian Railways in digitized form. Indian Railways has already completed most of the work related to digitization of land record.
  • Indian Railways have also digitized details of vacant land plots measuring more than one acre.

Infrastructural Development

Capacity Augmentation through Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs)

  • Thrust is to commission strategic projects like Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
  • Work on both Eastern & Western Dedicated Freight Corridors progressed on full speed during the year culminating in successful trial of freight train over Phulera- Atari section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor & Khurja- Bhadan section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor(EDFC) in August & November 2018 respectively. The trials of Freight trains will be completed on extended sections of Rewari – Madar section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) & Khurja – Bhaupur section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor by the end of the financial year.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor will be fully commissioned in phases by March 2020.
  • Part sections of Western and Eastern DFCs viz 190 km Ateli-Phulera section of WDFC opened on Aug 15, 2018 and 194 km New Khurja – New Bhadan section of EDFC opened on Nov 23, 2018.

NL, GC and Doubling Commissioning:

NL, GC and Doubling Commissioning
S.N. Item Average of 2009-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 Target 2018-19
1 New Line 345.5 380 813 953 409 1000
2 GC 799.5 880 1042 1020 454 1000
3 Doubling 375 723 973 882 999 2100
4 Total 1520 1983 2828 2855 1861.94** 4100
5 Avg Km/Day 4.16 5.43 7.75 7.82 5.10 11.23
  • **During 2017-18, 1862 Km commissioning. ( Reduction due to diversion of Rails to Rail Renewal from Safety Consideration)
  • The progress of Track Renewal in 2016-17 was 2597 TKM, in 2017-18 track renewal was 4405 TKM( Track Kilometres).
  • During 2004-14, average commissioning of 4.1 km per day (1496 km per year).
  • Since 2014-18, average commissioning of 6.53 km per day (2382 km per year).
  • Commissioning of 7.75 km per day in 2015-16 (2828 km).
  • During 2016-17, 2855 km track (7.8 km/day) has been commissioned by introducing passenger services which is highest ever progress.

Expenditure:

  • Average Expenditure per year in New line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling Projects in 2009-14 was Rs 11,527
  • Average Expenditure per year in New line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling Projects in 2014-18 is Rs 24,461 which is 112% higher than average of 2009-2014.
  • Expenditure in first 7 months ( upto Oct.’18) is Rs 15,090 cr which is much more than the expenditure of whole year in the past.
  • Further, Budget allotment of Rs 34,835 cr (NL/GC/ DL) has been planned for 2018-19.

Doubling/3rd& 4th Line:

  • In 2009-2014, Only 5970 km of Doubling/3rd& 4th line works were included in the budget.
  • Also, till 2013-14, due to overall limited availability of funds, most of the projects were not progressing satisfactorily.
  • This has resulted into serious traffic constraint and availability of traffic maintenance blocks on existing network, Safety concern etc.
  • Since 2014-15, 14,480 km of Doubling/3rd& 4th line works have been included in the budget.
  • To expedite these capacity Enhancement Projects, Funds have been arranged through institutional financing.
  • Also, based on physical progress of projects, last mile connectivity projects and projects for decongesting the existing routes, sufficient funds are being allotted to each project.

Commissioning:

Item Average of 2009-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
  Progress Target Planning
Commissioning of Doubling 375 723 973 882 999 2100 4430 3985 3800
  • 2009-2014  : 1875 km ( i.e. 375 km/yr.)
  • 2014-17 : 2578 km ( i.e. 859.3 km/yr.)

229% higher than previous period.

  • 2017-18  : 999 km (Highest ever)
  • 2018-19 : Target 2100 Km

Expenditure:

  • 2009-2014 : Rs 12,307 cr ( Rs 2462 Cr. /yr.)
  • 2014-2018 : Rs 51,149 cr ( i.e. 10,229 cr /yr.)

415% higher than previous period.

  • 2018-2019 : Rs 17,359 Cr (705 % more than average allotment during 2009-2014)

Railway Development in North East Region

The following are the most noticeable achievements of the last four years in NE Region:

Major Works and On-going Projects:

  • 970 km Gauge Conversion completed in NE region in last 4 years. Thus, all MG sections converted to BG and there is no MG operation in entire North East Region.
  • 15 km of New Line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling commissioned per year during the period 2014-15 to 2017-18 as against on average of 110 km commissioning per year in NE Region in period from 2009 to 2014.
  • 15 New lines projects of 1,397 km length having a total cost of Rs. 47,695 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the NE states.
  • 6 Doubling projects of 482 km length having a total cost of Rs. 9,305 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the states of NE Region.

Connectivity to North Eastern States:

The Seven Sister States of North Eastern India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) have been connected by Rail Network.

  • Meghalaya came on the rail map with the flagging off the first ever train from Guwahati to Mendipathar in Meghalaya on 29.11.2014 by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi.
  • Tripura has been put on broad gauge railway map. On July 31, 2016, the then Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu flagged off the Agartala-New Delhi ‘Tripura Sundari Express’.
  • The Agartala-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was launched on October 28, 2017. It trudges the longest route (2,422 km) for any Rajdhani Express in service.
  • Jiribam, the first railway station in Manipur was connected by broad gauge line. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi flagged off the first passenger train service to Jiribam on May 27, 2016. The passenger train service to Bhairabi in Mizoram was also flagged off by him.
  • Lumding – Silchar Broad Gauge section inaugurated after Gauge Conversion on November 20th, 2015, giving seamless BG connectivity to Barak Valley of Assam.

Connectivity to State Capitals:

  • As per Indian Railways’ vision for North East region, all eight North East state capitals are to be linked with broad gauge rail link by 2020-21. Previously, only Guwahati had broad gauge railway linkage. Further, Arunachal Pradesh & Tripura State capital has been connected.

Marvels of Railway Engineering:

  • Jiribam–Tupul-Imphal New line Project :
  • India’s tallest bridge with pier height of 141 m is being constructed on Irang River at Noney in Tamenglong district, Manipur as part of the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new line project. Its height will be almost equal to two QutubMinars combined.
  • There will be six tall bridges having pier height more than 70m in the Bhairabi-Sairang new line Project (51.3 km).

Mega Projects (Commissioning of Bogibeel Bridge):

  • It is longest Rail-cum-Road Bridge of India.(4.94 Km long Bridge)
  • Across River Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh in the State of Assam
  • Dedicated to the Nation by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi Ji on 25th December, 2018.
  • Double line track with 3 lane Road and 74 km of total Railway track
  • This Project was sanctioned in 1997-98 at a cost of Rs.1000 crore and the work was commenced in April, 2002 by Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, the then Prime Minister of India.

The completion cost of the project is Rs.5820 crore (approx.).

  • DEMU services were introduced in Tinsukia Division of NF Railway in 2016-17. New coaching depots have become functional at Silchar in Barak valley region of Assam and at Agartala in Tripura. These measures have provided better connectivity to the isolated region of North East. The following projects have also been sanctioned for the North East region:
  • Workshop for refurbishing of LHB coaches at New Bongaigaon at the cost of Rs 90 Crore, sanctioned in the year 2017-18. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Provision of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit / Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit Shed at Lumding at the Cost of Ra. 73.67 Crore, included in Pink Book 2018-19. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.

Station Beautification

  • Indian Railways has launched an innovative initiative for the station beautification with wall art of paints and graffiti or local arts with participation of local artists, private groups and volunteers. 65 stations across Zonal railways have been beautified under this initiative by utilizing skills of local artists, mostly using local art form, painting style, local themes or contemporary arts. This initiative provided forum for expression of the emerging talents in the area and visibility of local art forms to the travellers. Balharshah & Chandrapur Railway stations (Central Railway) Madhubani Railway station (East Central Railway) & Madurai Railway station (Southern Railway) Gandhidham Railway station (Western Railway), Kota Railway station (West Central Railway) & Secunderabad Railway station (South Central Railway) etc. have been beautified.
  • Indian Railways has also commenced work on soft upgradation of 68 stations . This is targeted to be completed by 31st March, 2019. This initiative is to give substantial improvement to various passenger amenities like traffic circulation, inter platform transfer, waiting halls, facade improvement, lighting and accessible stations to Divyangjan.

Initiatives for Station Redevelopment over Indian Railways

  • The Cabinet approved on 03.10.2018, for redevelopment of Railway Stations, through simplified procedures adopting various business model, commercial as well as residential development at railway stations and for longer lease tenure upto 99 years.
  • Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) has been entrusted with all the stations to conduct techno-financial feasibility studies and prepare the business plan.
  • Four stations are under progress i.e. Habibganj(Bhopal), Gandhinagar, Lucknow (Charbagh), Lucknow Gomtinagar.
  • Habibganj and Gandhinagar are targeted to be completed by Feb 2019.

Improved Passenger Services

Indian Railways has introduced the following new Modern Trains/Coaches :

Humsafar Trains: Humsafar trains having additional amenities in the coaches have recently been introduced for providing comfortable Air-Conditioned III Tier travel. So far 29 Humsafar rakes (9 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18, 10 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by the Production Units. Following major features have been introduced:-

  • GPS based Passenger information system,
  • Passenger announcement system,
  • Dust bins in each bay,
  • Coffee vending m/c,
  • Improved aesthetics pleasing colour scheme,
  • Passenger announcement System,
  • Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) based surveillance system,
  • Integrated Braille displays etc.
  • Antodaya trains: Long distance fully unreserved train, LHB general second class coaches with vestibules, cushioned luggage racks, additional hand hold in doorway area for the comfort of standing passengers, provision of J hooks near longitudinal luggage racks for hanging carry bags, enhanced number of mobile charging points, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, more pleasing colour scheme for interior and exteriors, provision of MU cable in each coach for running train service with loco at both ends. So far, 15 Antyodaya rakes (3 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18 and 3 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by Production Units.
  • Deen Dayalu Coaches: Main additional features of Deendayalu coaches are -Cushioned luggage racks, Additional hand hold in doorway area, provision of J hooks for hanging carry bags, Toilet occupation indication display board, Enhanced mobile charging facility, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, Water level indicator, Pleasing Interiors, Improved exterior colour scheme with anti-graffiti coating, polymerized floor coating in toilets. So far more than 1100 Deen Dayalu coaches have been turned out by Production Units.
  • Tejas Trains: One Mumbai CST-Karmali Tejas train is plying between Mumbai CSTM to Karmali/Goa has been started on 24.05.2017. Two more Tejas rakes have been turned out of the PUs in the current year. These Ultra modern trains with speed potential of 200 kmph have following major distinguished features:
  • Automatic entrance doors,
  • Passengers Information display system (Electronic Reservation chart System),
  • GPS based Passenger information system,
  • Fire and Smoke detection system,
  • Superior toilet fittings,
  • Sealed vestibules,
  • LED lights,
  • CCTV,
  • Aesthetically pleasing colour scheme.
  • Vistadome Coaches: These coaches are provided with enhanced viewing area including on roof to enable tourists to enjoy panoramic view while travelling. The feature has been well received. Total of four such coaches are in service on scenic sections.

Model Rakes : Model Rakes include following features :

  • Modular Panels,
  • Superior material for panels,
  • Ergonomically designed ladders,
  • Aesthetically appealing toilet modules,
  • Large size mirrors, Platform washbasin,
  • Controlled discharged water taps,
  • Odour control system,
  • Dustbin inside the toilet,

First Model rake named as New Delhi-Varanasi Mahamana Express was started in Jan’16. Bhopal MLR Workshop has turned out more than 120 model rake coaches. ICF has also turned out 24 Model rake coaches. A total of four such rakes are in service on date.

Upgradation of Coaches:

  • Project Swarn was started to upgrade the condition of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express Trains, with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience across 9 dimensions which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behavior, catering, linen, punctuality, security, on-board entertainment. Real time feedback is also a part of Project Swarn. Under this scheme total 29 trains as targeted have been covered@ Rs. 50 lakh per rake.
  • Project Utkrisht has been launched to improve condition of 66 important Mail/ Express trains, @Rs. 60 lakhs per rake, consisting of 140 rakes. As a part of this project improvement in coach interior, coach exterior, toilets, lighting and passenger amenity items will be carried out. This is targeted for completion in 2018-19. Phase II of Project Utkrisht has also been sanctioned in which 500 rakes of mail express trains will be upgraded targeted for completion in 2019-20.
  • LED Lights in Coaches: All CFL/FL lights in all TL/AC and self propelled (EMU/MEMU/DEMU) coaches are being replaced with LED lights which is likely to save electrical energy to the tune of Rs. 19764/- per AC coach per Annum and Rs. 8424/- per non AC coach per annum.
No. of coaches in 2014-15 to 2016-17 No. of coaches during 2017-18 No. of coaches during 2018-19
820 coaches 4180 coaches 6465 coaches
  • Promotion of Digital Transactions:

To promote cashless and digital transactions, Ministry of Railways took the following steps :

  • Installation of Point of Sale (POS) machines at various Passenger Reservation System (PRS)/Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) booking offices & Parcel and Goods location for acceptance of payment through credit/debit cards.
  • Acceptance of Unified Payments Interface (UPI)/Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) as a payment option for booking of reserved/unreserved tickets.
  • Withdrawal of service charge on online booking of tickets.
  • Withdrawal of service charge applicable on transactions against credit/debit cards for purchasing journey tickets at PRS/UTS counters.
  • 5% discount on season tickets purchased through digital means.
  • 5% discount on reserved counter ticket subject to maximum discount of `50 for tickets of value of `100/- or more for payments made through UPI/BHIM.
  • Provision of 5% of the recharge value as bonus at the time of recharge of
    R-wallet in case of unreserved ticket booking through mobile phone.
  • Provision of 3% bonus on every recharge of Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM) card as an incentive for promotion of ticket booking through ATVM.

Enhancing Passenger Convenience:

To provide passengers with an elevated level of comfort and a highly satisfying experience, MoR has taken the following steps :

  • Introduction of ticket booking through mobile phone – UTSONMOBILE App for unreserved ticket booking and IRCTC RAIL CONNECT App for reserved ticket booking.
  • Establishment of Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSK) on public private partnership basis for issuing of tickets.
  • Launch of the Next Generation E-ticketing System (NGeT) for improving accessibility and enhancing the overall experience of e-ticketing.
  • Introduction of Defence Travel System enabling online booking of tickets for defence personnel.
  • Provision of concessional online ticket booking facility to persons with disabilities and accredited press correspondents.
  • Streamlining of Computerised Passenger Reservation System to facilitate timely preparation of Reservation Charts and transfer of vacant berths to next remote location.
  • Introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme known as VIKALP scheme on all trains to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers.
  • Provision of SMS alerts facility to passengers in case of change in train running status like cancellation/delay of trains for more than one hour etc.
  • Acceptance of downloaded Aadhaar (e-Aadhaar) & m-Aadhaar also as one of the proof of identity for undertaking journey in any reserved class.
  • The concept of ‘Train Captain’ as a single person/leader responsible for coordinating the entire team and facilitating all services during the complete journey of the train has been introduced.
  • For the first time, passenger amenities are being provided at stations on the basis of passenger earnings as well as passenger footfalls. Revised criteria for categorization of stations has been issued on 22.11.2017. The revised criteria aims at providing higher level of amenities at bigger stations, commensurate with the earnings/passengers handled. Revised comprehensive instructions for provision of passenger amenities at various categories of stations has been issued.
  • Foot Over Bridge and High Level Platforms have been included in minimum essential category for all stations and accordingly all stations over Indian Railways will be provided with FOB and High Level Platforms in a phased manner. Also all new stations shall now be constructed with High Level platforms and Foot Over Bridge at all categories of stations on broad gauge including Halt stations.
  • Complete decentralization of powers to DRM and Field officer for fixation of Reserve Price for Parking, Pay & Use Toilet, charges for Retiring Rooms/dormitory, Portage charges etc.
  • Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) have been empowered to extend the period of contract of physically handicapped PCO booth holders upto ONE year at a time on the basis of satisfactory performance of licensee.
  • Zonal Railways have been advised to provide one wheelchair per platform and in case of island platforms one wheelchair per two platforms at all A-1 and A category stations. General Managers have also been authorised to reduce/increase the number of wheel chairs to be provided at stations based on the passenger traffic handled at the station and assessed requirement of wheel chairs at the stations.
  • Provision of a segregated area within waiting halls to be known as feeding corner for feeding the babies by lactating mothers.
  • Online booking of Retiring Rooms with the provision of hourly booking.
  • Launch of ‘Sarathi Sewa’ for provision of Battery Operated Vehicles (BOVs) at stations through publicity route or CSR.
  • Launch of ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ at major stations for booking of wheel chair service cum porter services etc.

Cleanliness

Important measures include :

  • Integrated mechanised cleaning was provided at 488 Railway stations up to March 2018. It is now provided at 697 stations.
  • Independent third party Survey of passenger perception on Cleanliness standards of 407 major railway stations carried out first time in 2016 and repeated in 2017 and 2018.
  • On Board House Keeping Service (OBHS) is being provided since 2008-09. Starting from 2008-09, OBHS was provided in 416 pairs of trains up to March, 2014. 448 pairs of trains added in 3 years from 2014-15 to 2016-17. Another 139 added in 2017-18 and 65 more in 2018-19. A total of 1068 trains are presently having facility of this service.
  • All Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and other important long distance Mail/Express trains are provided with OBHS for cleaning of coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains.
  • Service is supported by sms based on demand “Clean-my-Coach” service in 1059 trains, augmented to “Coach-Mitra”, since 2017-18 to cover over 1020 trains presently.
  • Railways are setting up mechanized laundries for improving quality of washing of linen provided to AC coach passengers. Starting from 2009-10, 25 Mechanized laundries were set up till March, 2014. 32 more mechanised laundries were set up from 2014-15 to 2018-19. Orders for 14 more mechanized laundries with total capacity 81 tonnes per day (TPD) have been placed. Nearly 283 TPD is presently being supplied from mechanised laundries. Target is to cover 100% linen washing requirement by mechanised laundries in next financial year.
  • Automatic Coach Washing Plants : These not only clean exterior of coaches more effectively and efficiently, they also reduce the direct water requirement by avoiding wastage. In addition these also come with water recycling facility thereby further reducing the requirement. Based on the location feasibility, initially 122 locations have been identified for provision of ACWP. 10 plants have been installed and LOA has been issued for 7 more locations. Zonal Railways are tendering for provision at 31 locations. COFMOW has opened a tender on 17-10-18 for 21 more locations, likely to be finalised by end of December 2018. COFMOW has also floated a tender for Rate Contract for additional 80 locations.
  • Bio-Toilets: As a part of “Swachh Bharat Mission”, IR is proliferating bio-toilets on all its coaching stock so that no human waste is discharged from coaches on to the track. During 2017-18, against the target of 40000, 57429 bio-toilets have been provided in 15017 coaches, as compared to 10159, 15442 and 34134 bio-toilets in 3374, 3961 and 8788 coaches in last three years.
2004-2014 2014-2017 2017-2018 2018-19 (upto Nov)
Bio Toilets 9587 59735 57086 40937
Coaches 3647 16123 15017 11107
  • The work is targeted to be completed next year with provision of bio-toilets in balance approx 13000 coaches. 
  • Bio-Vacuum Toilet: Vacuum flushing system toilets substantially reduce the requirement of water for flushing, while ensuring effective/ proper flushing of faecal matter from the pans. Bio-vacuum toilets have been provided in one train “Tejas” running between Mumbai & Goa. Vacuum toilets are being provided on all newly manufactured Tejas and Humsafar coaches from 2018-19 onwards. Procurement of another 2000 bio-vac toilets is under process. Railways have been instructed to provide Bio-vacuum toilets in coaches of all premium trains to begin with, to ensure proliferation of vacuum toilets at an accelerated pace. PUs shall be providing these in all new production w.e.f 2019-20.

Make in India : Coaches

  • Smart Coach: MCF has rolled out a smart coach in Sept’18, providing better safety passenger amenities as well as enabling predictive maintenance. Diagnostic system monitor bearing vibrations provide advance information on health of bearing wheel & track. In addition, coach has been provided with wheel slip protection monitoring, water level indicator, Wi-Fi, infotainment system with emergency talk back and passenger announcement and information system alongwith digital destination board.
  • Further improvements are being brought about to provide and monitor improved air conditioning which will monitor particulate pollution inside the coach along with quantum of fresh air and power consumption. Fire safety through fire and smoke detection unit integrated with passenger announcement and information system for emergency evacuation and video analytics with phased detection and unusual occurrence features would further enhance safety and security.
  • Tender for 150 smart coaches is under finalization. Production is expected to start from January, 2019.
  • Air conditioned EMU rakes: Prototype full air conditioned EMU rake was introduced in service on 25.12.2017 in Mumbai suburban area. Six more rakes are expected induction during the current year. This will be followed by more such rakes in 2019-20 along with partial air conditioned rakes for the first time in the history of suburban service. It is planned to partially air condition 78 existing EMU rakes of Mumbai suburban. Target for induction of first such rake is later part of 1st quarter of 2019.
  • Three phase MEMU rakes: Three MEMU rakes equipped with 3 phase IGBT based electrics have been turned out from ICF in July, 2018. These are undergoing prototype test and trial under RDSO. The rakes will be inducted in passenger service after successful completion of trials. The technology is not only energy efficient in traction but also equipped with regenerative braking to save energy during braking.

Comparative Performance – Coach Manufacturing: 

  • The coach production from production units has been increasing exponentially.
Coach Production – Production Units
Production Units 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2018-19
Target Actual upto Nov ‘18
RCF 1550 1480 1603 1489 1251 1374 837
ICF 1604 1678 1997 2215 2397 3156 2062
MCF 130 140 285 576 711 1232 844
Haldia 5 16 48 0 85 30 49
G.Total 3289 3314 3933 4280 4444 5792 3792
  • Capex on Infrastructure Production Units: The infrastructure spending has increased and therefore also the works getting completed as shown from following table:
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Unit
Budget Grant vs. Final Expenditure BE 2624.2 3679.98 3339.27 2579 Rs. Crore
FM 2027.97 2951.91 2386.7 Rs. Crore
Works Completed No. 0 112 75 105 Numbers
Cost 0 1103.6 1775.4 2393.5 Rs. Crore
  • The increased spending and execution has also given a boost to “Make in India” through following projects:
  • A new coach manufacturing factory has been sanctioned at Latur in Maharashtra, at an estimated cost of Rs. 492.73 crore. The factory will manufacture 250 MEMU coaches per year, which will replace slow moving conventional passenger trains. Construction work of boundary wall, test shops, ancillary building and track connectivity is under progress.
  • The following projects have been sanctioned for the North East region:
  • Workshop for refurbishing of LHB coaches at New Bongaigaon at the cost of Rs 90 Crore, sanctioned in the year 2017-18. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Provision of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit/Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit Shed at Lumding at the Cost of Ra. 73.67 Crore, included in Pink Book 2018-19. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Indian Railways are also ramping up the production capacities of its coach production units. This will enable Indian Railways to run more trains with safer, more modern and comfortable coaches. A sanction of Rs 486.76 crore has been provided for augmenting the capacity of Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, from 1700 to 2750 coaches per year. Work is under progress. Similarly, a work of Rs. 480 crore has been sanctioned for augmentation of production capacity of MCF Rae Bareli from 1000 to 2000 coaches per annum. Tender is under finalization.
  • Robotics and Industry 4.0 in PU production: Industry 4.0 is Smart manufacturing based on Cyber Physical system. It includes end-to-end digitization and integration into digital eco-system with all value chain partners interacting seamlessly. System includes- Proactive Production Monitoring, Integrated Maintenance Analytics, WIP Inventory and Manufacturing Analytics Dashboard. Robotics is being used in MCF for manufacturing, who are also implementing Industry 4.0. This would be duplicated over ICF and RCF also.

Railway Electrification

  • During year 2017-18, 4,087 RKM of BG routes have been commissioned on electric traction against target of 4,000 RKM. During previous (2016-17), achievement on electrification was 1,646 RKM, thereby increase of 148%. For period 2014-18, routes of 8,411 RKM have been commissioned on electric traction against 3,038 RKM commissioned during 2009-14, thereby increase of 177%. For the current financial year (2018-19) target for electrification has been set as 6,000 RKMs. Up to 15.12.18, 1,667 RKMs has been commissioned on electric traction in 2018-19. Achievement on electrification during corresponding period of 2017-18 was 1,648 RKM.
  • With a view to transforming Indian Railways into “Green Railways” and to capture the economic benefits of electric traction in an accelerated manner, Indian Railways has planned to electrify balance BG routes by 2021-22. Accordingly, the work for electrification of balance un-electrified BG routes of IR covering 13,675 route kilometers has been approved by CCEA at a cost of Rs.12,134.50 crore. To achieve ambitious target for electrification of balance route, following strategic policy decisions have been taken:
  • Base of executing agencies have been broadened and projects covering 1735 RKM have already been entrusted to Govt. PSUs i.e. IRCON, RITES and PGCIL.
  • Timelines and approving authorities for various drawings/schematic/plan approval for RE projects have been re-defined.
  • It has been decided that “Henceforth, where, electrification and doubling works are sanctioned; both works shall be executed by the same agency.
  • Adoption of EPC mode of contraction for larger size projects i.e. 300/500/1000/1500RKMs.
  • Emphasis on mechanized execution of OHE construction works.
  • Design for Cylindrical cast in-situ and prefabricated foundation developed for expeditious and mechanised execution of foundation works.
  • Anchor bolt type foundation developed in rocky soil to speed up foundation work.
  • OHE design revisited for low density traffic routes; to reduce the cost of electrification and also expedite execution of the work.
  • Diesel Locomotives Works, Varanasi & Diesel Modernization Works, Patiala have been repurposed for manufacturing Electric locomotives and have already manufactured more than 50 electric locomotives by using existing resources & electric supply chain.
  • Diesel loco sheds are being progressively repurposed for maintenance of Electric locomotives.

Important Projects

Electric Locomotive Factory, Madhepura in Bihar (A make in India Project):

  • As a first step of attracting private investment and FDI in Indian Railways, contract for setting up Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura/Bihar to manufacture 800 nos High Horsepower Electric Locomotive (12000 hp capacity) was signed between Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Limited (MELPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and Alstom Manufacturing India Limited.
  • First phase of the factory has been completed. First locomotive has been rolled out from the factory and is undergoing tests & trials. Further four locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.

Diesel Locomotive Factory, Marhowra in Bihar (A make in India Project):

  • Contract for setting up Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra/Bihar to manufacture 1000 nos High Horsepower Diesel Locomotive (4500/6000 hp capacity) was signed between GE Diesel Locomotive Private Limited (GEDLPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and GE Global Sourcing India Limited.
  • Construction of the factory is ongoing as per schedule. Two Prototype locomotives (4500 hp) were handed over to Indian Railways in February, 2018 by the company. After tests/trials these locomotives have been accepted for commercial service. 50 locomotives have been supplied and out of 50 locomotives 19 are in commercial service. Total 98 locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.

Electric Locomotives:

New Era of Green Technology- HOG power supply:

All Passenger (WAP7) locos turned out by CLW during 2017-18 are fitted with Hotel Load Converters. The main benefits of this system are supply of pollution free and cheaper power from OHE as compared to End on Generation (EOG) system besides other advantages like reduction of carbon emission, noise level and consumption of fossil fuels helping in protecting the environment. There is a saving of around Rs. 1.5 lacs per day per pair of rake by using HOG supply. 47 locos have been provided with HOG during the first nine months of 2018-19 (upto October, 18) as compared to 43 during last year.

WAP-5 locomotive in push-pull mode:

Operation of Twin WAP5 loco in push-pull mode has been planned which has faster acceleration, faster braking and substantially lowered coupler forces.

One pair of WAP-5 loco and rake has been modified and Confirmatory Oscillograph Car Runs (CoCR) Trial has been carried out by RDSO from Delhi (NZM) to Mumbai (Bandra Terminal) from 07.10.18 to 13.10.18. During the trials, a saving of 83 minutes running time was recorded.

Upgradation of Electric Locomotives:

It is planned to upgrade the existing 6000 HP WAG9H locos to 9000 HP to improve the hauling speeds of freight trains. It’s a make in India initiative already started at CLW. First locomotive is expected to be commissioned by Jan’2019. Similarly, it has been decided necessary to upgrade existing WAP-7 locomotives from 6000 HP to 9000 HP to haul 24 coach trains at balancing speed upto 140 kmph. Process of development of High Horse Power Passenger locomotives (9000 hp) has already been initiated by CLW. First locomotive is expected to be commissioned by Mar’2019.

Design review for enhancement of speed from 140 kmph to 160 kmph has been completed and manufacturing process has been initiated at CLW and first locomotive is to be rolled out by January, 2019.

Provision of Regenerative braking feature in WAG-7 locomotives:

Conventional Electric locomotives (fitted with DC Traction motor) are provided with Rheostatic braking wherein energy generated during braking is dissipated in dynamic Braking Resistance (DBR) resulting in wastage of energy. Regenerative braking feature in WAG-7 locomotives is being developed and one WAG-7 locomotive no 24571 fitted with re-generative converter is under testing. Saving due to regeneration braking would be around Rs 24.6 lakhs per loco per year.

Development of Battery cum 25 kV AC operated Shunting Locomotive:

The Battery operated shunter is capable of shunting up to 59 BOXN/5800T train load/24 coach rake from one line to adjacent line at a speed of 10 – 15 kmph on level track. Development has been initiated at CLW & KPA/ER Workshop.

Provision of EP Assisted system:

The purpose of EP assisted system is to minimize response time during braking and release, and to make braking simultaneous along the whole length of the train. This helps in reducing braking distance and facilitates quick release of brakes. Procurement action has been initiated at CLW and 20 passenger locomotives will be fitted on trial basis.

Conversion of a Locomotive from Diesel to Electric Traction:

Indian Railways has created history by first-ever conversion of a locomotive from diesel to electric traction. The conversion of Diesel locomotive into Electric locomotive is a highly specialized and unique work which was not done earlier in traction application worldwide.

Two diesel locos (Alco) have been successfully converted to electric and sanction for operation of twin WAGC3 Electric locomotive converted from WDG3A Diesel locomotives has been issued.

Diesel HHP locomotive have also been successfully converted to electric and are under trial.

Electric Loco Production at CLW:

CLW has produced 350 electric locos during the year 2017-18 as against 292 in 2016-17. A new milestone has also been set by CLW in the process by becoming largest loco manufacturer in the world under single roof.

Manufacturing of Electric Locomotive at Diesel Modernization Works, Patiala:

In order to cater to the enhanced requirement of electric locomotives commensurate with 100% electrification and to utilize the infrastructure & manpower of DMW, mainly a Diesel loco rehabilitation workshop, DMW was entrusted with the responsibility to manufacture Three Phase IGBT based electric locomotives during current FY 2017-18. With enormous efforts put in by officers and staff, DMW has turned out two electric locomotives during 2017-18.

DMW has turned out 21 WAP-7 locomotives during the current year (upto November).

  • Crew Voice/Video recording system (CVVRS):
  • First electric loco no. 32001 fitted with Crew Voice/Video recording system (CVVRS) has been commissioned in Dec’2017.
  • The system ensures the effective and temper proof video and voice recording of locomotive cab for post failure event analysis. CVVRS is being planned for 20 loco sets at CLW initially.
  • Provision of Simulator:

A work for setting up of simulators amounting Rs. 350 crore for training of running staff for minimizing the accidents has been sanctioned under M&P (Plan head-41) against Pink Book no. 1177 of 2018-19.

Diesel Locomotives:

  • LCAVR (Loco Cab audio video Recording System) This system provide invaluable data to investigators which helps them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an accident and for identifying operational issues and human factors, including crew performance. 23 Diesel locomotives have already been equipped with LCAVR while tenders for further 3000 have been floated recently by DMW/PTA against RSP.
  • Distributed Power Control System (DPCS)DPCS provides real time communication between lead and remote locos through wireless data radio to synchronize locos. Main advantages of DPCS are increased hauling capacities and reduced crew requirements. DPCS has been fitted in 145 Diesel Locos (HHP-95 and ALCO-50) till date. NFR has started its successful running in critical graded LMG- BPB new BG section. Furthermore ECR has also been running freight train with DPCS which has enhanced wagon turn round and thus has increased mobility.
  • Diesel loco sheds are being progressively repurposed for maintenance of Electric locomotives.
  • Air Conditioning of Running Rooms – Provision of adequate quality of rest in Running Room and provision of adequate facilities in crew lobby has always been priority of IR. Accordingly, an umbrella work for upgradation of Running Room for Loco Pilots & Guards on IR” has been sanctioned under Pink Book 2018-19 at anticipated cost of Rs.225 crs. A Budgetary outlay of Rs. 200 crs. has also been granted and works are in progress over IR.

Energy Efficiency

  • All railway stations (more than 8000) have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries.
  • 99% of service buildings provided with 100% LED lights over IR.
  • This will save 240 Million Units of electricity per annum amounting to Rs.180 Crores reduction in annual electricity bill of IR.
  • So far, 574 no of escalators and 407 no of lifts have been provided covering 215 stations and 180 stations
  • So far,19 MW of Solar plants have already been installed (68.19 MW rooftop + 3 MW land based at MCF Raebareli).So far, 36.5 MW Wind power plant has been installed.

Open Access

  • IR is presently drawing about 1100 MW through Open Access, in 10 States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Delhi, U.P. and also in Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
  • Railway have saved 1249 Cr. from April’18 to Sept’18.
  • Indian Railways is doing much better than what was targeted in Mission 41K and till Sept’ 18, it saved about Rs 8902 Cr. This is more than 16% the proportionate target of Rs7653 Cr, as envisaged in “Mission 41K.”

Automatic Switched Neutral Section (ASNS)

  • Successful trials of ASNS have been carried out in the month of Oct’18(under the supervision of RDSO).
  • This is going to be very important as Indian Railways have decided to run trains at 160 kmph.
  • This will help in reduction of stress to Loco Pilots thereby efficient and safe operation of trains.
  • This will also ruled out any damage to OHE due to Loco Pilots entering neutral section with DJ opening.

100% Green Powered station:

  • Indian Railways’ go green and save electricity initiative has proved to be immensely beneficial.
  • Malwal Railway station of Northern Railway under Firozpur Division is the first Green Powered station commissioned in India (Jan’11). It is meeting all its power needs like lighting and fans load from solar power only.
  • Asangaon Railway station of Central Railway under Mumbai Division has been second 100 % Green Powered station powered with windmill & solar panels (March’18).
  • On similar lines, Guwahati Railway station in the Northeast has become the first Railway station in northeast to run completely on solar power (May’18).
  • Railways are making extensive efforts in this direction to make more and more 100% green powered stations.

Important Milestones for the current year

  • Indian Railways has been consistently trying to improve the illumination levels at various stations. Various policies have been issued from time to time to improve the illumination levels. The last major decision taken in this regard was to switch over to 100% LED on all Railway Stations.
  • As per the direction of Minister of Railways, Indian Railways has switched over to 100% LED lights stations as on 30.03.2018; a day before the targeted date. This has improved the illumination levels considerably. This was done as Phase-I of the project for improvement in illumination, wherein the existing lights were replaced by LED lights on one is to one basis.
  • PAT: Indian Railway is continuing on its path towards achieving higher energy efficiency & shall achieve the targets set for it under Govt. of India’s Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) cycle-II and in the next cycle and shall strive for maximizing its gains through earning of more & more energy saving certificates (ESCerts).]
  • Railway is also working on plans to install solar panels on vacant Railway Lands along the tracks and other land parcels for generating power to meet its Traction energy requirement. This would be done First time in the World.

Mission Raftaar

Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) along with diagonals carry approximately 58% of freight traffic and 52% of coaching traffic with a share of only 16% of the network (~10000km) taken up for initial emphasis. Major impediments to mobility have been identified viz. ~70% of the routes having sectional speed of less than 130kmph. 2736 level crossings, averaging one LC at every 3-4km. 730 locations speed restrictions (Average one SR at every ~15-20km). ~10% (~900) turnouts of speed of less than 30kmph. A road map has been developed to overcome the existing impediments in a systematic manner. All but 28 unmanned LCs removed on IR.A speed policy framework has been developed to address this issue of the mismatch between speed potential of rolling stock and fixed infrastructure. It has been decided to upgrade 10000km of Golden Quadrilaterals and diagonals for 160 kmph speed and remaining routes for 130 kmph speed. Some of the important elements of the policy are :

  • Replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU trains: MEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment of up to 20kmph in comparison to loco driven passenger trains. Busy Ghaziabad- Allahabad – Mughalsarai route has been made free from conventional trains by replacement by MEMU. For replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with MEMU trains on six routes, total 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. IR has planned to ramp up the production of MEMU rakes to 1232 coaches in next three years (approximately three times existing level) for ensuring full implementation. Total 124 pair passenger services have been replaced by MEMU/DEMU services on Indian Railways. The travel time has been reduced by 5-20 minutes in these services. Delhi- Mumbai, Delhi- Howrah and Mumbai- Chennai will be completed in Yr 2018-19. All routes will be made free from conventional commuter trains by Yr 2021.
  • Right Powering of freight trains: Over the years Horse Power to trailing load ratio has deteriorated due to longer trailing loads. This has adversely affected average speed of freight trains. New policy introduced for right powering arrangement for freight trains with a horse power to trailing load ratio of 1.5-2.0 to bring it at par with international standards. For eight major railways out of the requirement of 663 additional locomotives, 300 locomotives have been provided.
  • Introduction of Twin Pipe Air Brake System on freight trains: Twin piped braking system saves on an average ~90 seconds in every event of braking, which becomes significant over a long distance. All new wagons are being manufactured with twin pipe system. Retrofitment of all 1.7lac wagons has been sanctioned. Approximately 11000 wagons have been retrofitted.
  • Procedural Improvements: Policy circular 6 which governs increasing speed of trains has been rationalized. It will enable faster realization of gains from new technology and various speed raising initiatives.
  • Decision has been taken to stop the manufacture of conventional ICF coaches and replace them with LHB coaches with speed potential of 160kmph. Successful trial of T-18 by ICF has been done and the same is in the process of commissioning.
  • Standardization of coaching rakes enables first-in-first-out/ reduce rescheduling/ avoid out of path running of trains. In the new time table 960 rakes out of 2732 rakes have been standardized.

Technology for practical uses

  • Quick Watering Facilities: This facility allows quick filling of water in coaches, which is also essential to maintain cleanliness in them. 7 stations (Ajmer, Jaipur, Abu Road, Vijayawada, Villupuram, Erode and Vadodara stations) have been provided with quick watering facilities. Sanction for provision in 47 more stations has been obtained. For another 66 stations, work for out of sanction in Supplementary Demands for Grants 2018-19 at a cost of about Rs 230 cr has been planned and processed at Railway Board level. Instructions have been issued to all Zonal Railways to be in readiness to award the work as soon as sanction is received for above work. Further, Zonal Railways have been also processed sanction for 27 locations at their level.
  • Monitoring of punctuality through Data Loggers: To authentically report train timings, a system of integrating data-loggers with the Control Office Application (COA) software has been started in Jan’08. Train timings are captured in real time at zonal interchange points and important inter divisional exchange points, there are 168 such points over IR.

Green Initiatives: Care for Environment

  • Assessment and rating of IRs Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification of 2 Workshops and 1 Production unit in 2016-17. 31 more Workshops, 4 more Production Units, 2 Diesel Sheds, one Stores depot and 2 STCs have been ‘GreenCo’ certified since. 22 of these units have been certified in current financial year 2018-19.
  • Eight Railway Stations and two Railway Schools have achieved Green Certification. 6 out of these 8 railway stations achieved Green Certification in 2018-19. Rail Nilayam/ Secunderabad, IRICEN/Pune and Administrative building of ICF/Chennai are also certified as Green buildings. Railway Hospital Ajmer is the first railway hospital to achieve Green rating recently.
  • Head On Generation (HOG) System: EOG system requires diesel fuel besides having other problems related with maintenance & pollution. In Head on Generation (HOG) electric power for the coaches is received from over head lines through two 500 KVA converters fitted in electric locomotive. This helps in eliminating noise and reduction in carbon foot print. Average saving with HOG on an average is around Rs.70000 per trip per train as it varies with duration of journey.

After development of concept in 2013-14, Production Units have been turning out all LHB coaches as HOG compliant since December, 2016. A total of 126 EOG trains have been converted to HOG i.e. operating with HOG compliant locomotives. Year wise progress:

2014-15 to 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 (Upto Nov’18)
22 40 trains 64 trains

Promoting Tourism

  • Vistadome Coaches & Hill Railways : These coaches are provided with enhanced viewing area including on roof to enable tourists to enjoy panoramic view while travelling. The feature has been well received. Total of four such coaches are in service on scenic sections.

Preservation of Heritage in Railways

In 2018, Railways implemented various policy reforms for meaningful preservation of Railway Heritage and promoting steam heritage tourism. These include creation of budget head for funding heritage related activities, unified structure of zonal level heritage committees, special delegation of powers to Divisional Railway Managers for promoting steam tourism, provision of engagement of retired railway officials for heritage preservation etc.

As a result of these reforms, this year witnessed inauguration of steam charter services over Kangra Valley Railway (KVR) and Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR), special steam hauled round trip services over Kalka Shimla Railway & Nilgiri Mountain Railway, introduction of AC coaches over Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, introduction of weekly steam service between Garhi Hasru – Farukhnagar in Delhi Division, steam tourist specials in South India hauled by EIR-21 (Express) which is one of the World’s oldest working steam locomotives (Year built 1855) etc. All these have immensely helped creating interest in steam heritage tourism in the country. Steps taken include :

  • As a major Digital India initiative in recent years, Ministry of Railways partnered with Google’s nonprofit Arts & Culture initiative to make India’s railways century old heritage accessible worldwide using advanced digital technologies through online storytelling and virtual reality. This is a first of its kind effort of Indian Railways to digitize its heritage and bring it online for universal access.
  • The project, named Lifeline of a Nation (accessible at https://g.co/indianrailways) was launched by Minister of Railways on 28th September, 2018. The online platform brings together a collection of digital storytelling with more than 3,000 images, 150 videos and 150 iconic locations of Indian Railways across India. The project offers insights regarding the lesser known stories and heroic efforts of people like track men, station charges and workshop engineers, to celebrate their contribution to India’s Railways.
  • On 15th August, 2018, Railways launched digital museums at selected railway stations in India to spread awareness among public about the rich heritage of railways. The effort aimed at showcasing the more than century old the legacy of Indian Railways via one to two minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas. The short films will showcase heritage buildings, locomotives and much more to make people aware of the rich heritage of Indian Railways. With a target to reach 100 stations, so far these screens are operational at more than 30 stations.
  • As a living example of industrial heritage and to depict technological development over Indian Railways, five meter gauge (MG) and three narrow gauge (NG) lines have been identified for preservations and further developing them as heritage tourism destinations.
  • In December, 2018, Railways notified the Indian Railways Heritage Charter (IRHC) -2018, for the first time in its history, outlining its commitment and providing broad guidelines for restoration, preservation and conservation of century old rich railway heritage of India.
  • Revival of steam locomotives: To preserve the rich heritage of Indian Railways, vigorous efforts of revival of steam locomotives, since 2017 has been taken. This has resulted in to revival of EIR 21, the oldest steam locomotive in the world by Golden Rock Workshop of Southern Railway, Beyer Garratt by Kharagpur Workshop of South Eastern Railway, ZB 66 in Kangra Valley section and Miss Muffet by Jamalpur Workshop of Eastern Railway.

Customer Focused Policies for Freight

To make the rail transportation attractive to its customers, various initiatives were taken in 2017-18 which includes tariff rationalisation, classification of new commodities, expansion of freight basket through containerisation, new delivery models like RORO services, Long Term Tariff Contract policy with key customer, Station to Station rate, Double Stack Dwarf Container (DSDC), Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy,Electronic Registration for Demand of Wagons (e-RD) etc.

These policies launched in 2017-18 have been further extended upto March 2019.

The main initiatives undertaken during 2018-19 are:-

  • Electronic Transmission of Railway Receipts (eT-RR)

With introduction of E-RD (Electronic Registration for Demand of wagon), eT-RR has been implemented which use a user-friendly and paperless transaction system where Railway Receipt is generated and transmitted electronically to customer through FOIS and delivery of goods is given through e-surrender of eT-RR. That is, customer is saved the hassle of carrying physical Railway Receipt from originating to destination station. After success of pilot project at one terminal namely HPCL/Loni of Central Railway, it has been implemented over Northern Railway in second phase in March 2018. Proliferation on pan India basis is on anvil.

Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy

  • Zonal railways have been empowered to permit weightometer / pre-weighbin system of weighment in private siding on case- to- case basis w.e.f. 18.06.2018.
  • Dispensation from mandatory (100%) weighment in the case of container rake loaded with containers carrying standard bags of uniform size.
  • Exemption from weighment has been granted in case of loading of standard Bags of uniform size in container. Low density commodities like Pet Coke, Met Coke, Chuni and De-oiled cake have been exempted from mandatory weighment.
  • Designed tare weight of new wagons namely BOXNS, BCFC, BRHNEHS, BOBRNHS, BOBRNEL, BOBYNHS, BFNSM 22.9 has been notified. 

Issue of multiple Railway Receipts (RRs) for container traffic

  • Indian Railways had extended facility of multiple RRs in favour of more than one Container Train Operator for a single container train (w.e.f.20.04.2017). The guidelines have been implemented recently in September 2018. This facility has come in on an opportune time as M/o Shipping has now relaxed ‘Cabotage’ law for foreign vessels on transportation of loaded for empty containers between Indian ports.
  • With this relaxation, aggregation of containers at ports is likely to get a fillip. The facility of multiple RRs(Railway Receipts) for each operator shall further aid aggregation and promote economic growth. In addition, it is in sync with GST requirements and shall help each operator to avail Input Tax Credit(ITC) as per freight paid.

Promoting containerization

To promote containerisation, following measures have been taken: –

  • Introduction of new delivery model of Double Stack Dwarf Container to be charged by applying 17% concession on FAK rate has been extended upto 31.03.2019.
  • The methodology for levying Terminal Access Charge (TAC) for handling container train in railway terminal has been liberalised from 1.5 times to one time in case of double operation (i.e. unloading followed by loading), reduces non-freight cost to customer.
  • With effect from 11.07.2018, movement of CP Coke, a restricted commodity, has now been permitted in transportation in container at CCR (Container Class Rate) i.e. by applying 15% concession on Applicable class rate published in Goods tariff.
  • Decision has been taken to transport empty containers and empty flat wagon for private container rakes at a discount of 25%. The move is likely to give a thrust to movement of empty container by rail towards ports to return as loaded, thus profiting Indian Railway with higher container share.

Liberalised Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Empty flow Directions

This scheme has been issued w.e.f.01.01.2017. Under this scheme loaded traffic in empty flow direction is being charged at LR1 (with certain conditions), which amounts to average discount of 30 – 40%. In the revised policy, benefit has been extended to the traffic booked from originating Division to intermediate point on that O-D division. Further, rebate has also been extended to the traffic booked from originating division to all the other divisions (not listed in the empty flow direction) of the destination zone. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes. This scheme has further reviewed and revised guidelines have been issued w.e.f. 01.10.2018. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes.

Freight Heavy Haul Initiatives:

  • Prototype of the 25T axle load BOXNS wagons was made in Oct’15. The wagon will run at 100 kmph in loaded and empty condition with pay load to tare ratio of 4.1 as compared to conventional BOXNHL wagons, which have payload to tare ratio of about 3.6. These wagons will achieve increased throughput per rake by 14.8%. 25t wagons are required for operation on DFC, which were tried upto 110/100 kmph on SER successfully. Induction of these wagons has already started, till Nov. 2018, 2600 wagons are in operation and another 2400 are in the pipe line.
  • For increasing throughput of finished goods and other containable goods, a dwarf container has been designed which can be moved in double stack loading even under electrified sections of IR. This enables increase in throughput of containable commodity even on electrified lines. This service has been opened on Jamnagar-Ludhiana route and efforts are on to proliferate on other routes also.
  • In the area of multimodal transport, the concept of Road-Railers which was under trial for past few year has been finalized in 2016-17. The commercial operation of the train has started in August, 2018. This allows for specially designed road trailers to bring container load form the customer premises to Railway sidings where it gets converted to train and goes to the destination. This initiative brings door to door delivery for container traffic without need for any container handling at railway premises.
  • In the area of transportation of finished steel namely hot rolled and cold rolled steel coils, new wagon BFNSM has been designed which is specifically designed for increasing the throughput of steel coil by more than 35% per rake compared to other similar wagons. Safety approvals for this have been obtained and induction of these wagons has started in 2018 already.

Transformation of Indian Railways

  • Large scale process and cultural reforms are being introduced in order to steadily transform Indian Railways into a more vibrant and efficient organization and make it an engine of economic growth and development of the country. Empowerment of General Managers (GMs), Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) and frontline staff and comprehensive delegation of powers have been done so as to fast track decision making, Deliverance and overall working of Railways. Model Schedule of Powers has also been issued from Railway Board in October 2017 (revised version in July 2018) for the first time to bring uniformity in delegations across zones.
  • The enhanced delegations and empowerment will improve safety, give faster access to work and breakdown sites, improve station and passenger interfaces, ease of procurement by user departments, improve upkeep of equipment, improve cleanliness and hygiene at stations and in trains and enhance training and capacity building of staff.
  • Stress on integrity and ethics – Prime thrust of Indian Railways is on transparency in its functioning and on impeccable integrity of its employees at all levels. In this aspect, a policy of zero tolerance against corruption is being followed. Mission Satya Nishtha has been launched on 27 July 2018 across IR to inculcate the culture of honesty and transparency.
  • Workshop on Leadership and Emotional Intelligence for GMs and DRMs has been organized at NAIR to further align the top management of the Railways with the Transformation initiatives (Workshop for GMs held on 10 & 11 Nov’ 2018, for DRMs on 17 & 18 Dec 2018 and 8 & 9 Dec 2018). This is being further proliferated to the level of Principal Heads of Departments.

Personnel & Educational Initiatives

  • Two recruitment drives were launched by the Railways in the first half of the year:-
  • For 27,795 ALPs and 36,576 Technicians (Total – 64,371).
  • For 62,907 vacancies in Level I including Trackmen.
  • The first stage examination involving 47.56 lakh candidates have been successfully completed on 04.09.2018 with record attendance percentage of 77%.
  • For Level I, a total of 1.90 crores have been called for examination which commenced on 17th September, 2018 and ended successfully on 17th December, 2018. Total attendance in this examination was about 61%. It is a paperless and computer based test.
  • Thus in a short time of less than nine (9) months, the Railway has not only called for the applications, but shortlisted them and organized the recruitment examinations too. It is the biggest computer based test involving about 2.40 crore candidates.
  • To address the problem of inaccuracies and deficiencies in the assessment of vacancies on Indian Railways and their linkages to RRBs, Online Indenting and Recruitment Management System (OIRMS) has been implemented in recruitment processes against latest Centralized Employment Notifications (CENs) No.01/2018 for the posts of ALP & Technicians and 02/2018 for vacancy assessment by Railways/PSUs, and online indenting of the same have been carried out with the help of OIRMS software.

 India’s first Rail and Transportation University

National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI), Vadodara has begun its first academic session with two under-graduate programmes from 05th September, 2018. A total of 103 students (17 girls and 86 boys) have joined the two courses (62 in B.Sc. and 41 in BBA). The Courses are:-

  • Sc. in Transportation Technology
  • BBA Programme in Transportation Management
  • The NRTI was dedicated to the nation on 15th December, 2018.

Employees grievance redressal and health check up camps across Indian Railways

  • In September 2017 Zonal Railways and Production Units organized grievance redressal camps at various field locations for redressal of employees grievances. This was combined with health checkup of employees. In the above camp the service records of the employees were shown to the employees and copies also supplied to them.
  • 9025 health camps were held throughout the country for employees during last 12 months. 12 lakh employees were covered in this drive.

Training under ‘Project Saksham’ 

  • A massive training programme named as ‘Project Saksham’ has been launched this year for giving 5 days on the job training to all 12 lakhs employees of Indian Railways. This will help in competence building of employees and thereby productivity and efficiency of the organization. We have by now trained more than 12 lakhs employees which is a record in itself.

Introduction of objective type question in Departmental promotion examination in Railways.

  • In order to bring objectivity in the selection procedure in departmental selections, Ministry of Railways has introduced a system of 100% objective question for departmental selection in non-gazetted categories by way of either computer based test or by OMR sheets. The benefits of objective type question paper are – greater coverage of subject questions, transparency in selection, quick declaration of result and avoidance of complaint from candidates. A question bank on each of the subject will be prepared, to be updated from time to time.

Introduction of Mobile application on staff matters.

  • Various Zonal Railways have launched Mobile applications to cater to service request for Railway employees. This will improve the grievance redressal mechanism and help in better productivity of staff as satisfaction level of staff will improve.

Scanning of service records of all employees.

  • Ministry of Railways has had scan more than 12 lakh service records of its employees. This will improve access of service records to employees. Our further aim is to use the scanned records for development and launch of HRMS application.

Development and updation of data on COMPTRAN

  • A portal named as COMPTRAN (Common Portal for Mutual transfer) for employees desiring mutual transfer to their place of residence has been developed which helps in online search for mutual partners for employees’ inter Zonal transfers. Recently, the Zonal Railways have been asked to update the data on the portal so that it is helpful for employees as regards search for their mutual partner is concerned. This is a welfare scheme for employees of Indian Railways.

Aadhar Enabled Bio-metric Attendance System (AEBAS)

  • AEBAS has been implemented on Indian Railways in compliance with DOPT’s instructions contained in their OM No.11013/9/2014-Estt(A-iii) dated 21.11.2014. This will improve monitoring of staff attendance and hence improve productivity.

Sports

Continuing with its winning spree, RSPB has been doing fabulously in 28 game disciplines on national and international sports arena and is a established and one of the most prestigious Sports Bodies in India today. Indian Railways is a proud institutions today having 162 Arjuna awardees, 21 Padmashree and 5 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees on its roll besides thousands of national and international talented athletes. Indian Railways performance in the field of sports has been unparalleled.

Railway Sports Promotion Board made a number of policy changes in the larger interest of sports and brought out following changes during January-November 2018:

  • To pave the way of becoming officer, RSPB has made provisions more easier to its athletes who are representing India in various international championships.
  • RSPB has introduced 3-4 coaching camps and started fielding its teams atleast 4-5 national level tournaments and has started giving hotel accommodations to its athletes participating in national/international tournaments.
  • As a result, RSPB has been able to get podium performances from its athletes in 40 national championships, best ever performance of RSPB till date. Internationally also, RSPB has come out with 10 gold medals in Commonwealth games and 27 medals in Asian Games besides other various international tournaments.
  • RSPB successfully hosted the World Cycling Championship at Bikaner in North Western Railway recently.

Research and Development

  • Streamlining of vendor registration process of RDSO: A number of steps have been taken by RDSO towards streamlining new vendor registration process. The process of vendor registration has been made completely online and there has been reduction in average time of fresh registration cases from existing 30 months to 6 months. EOI has been floated by RDSO open for application throughout the year. Hence suppliers based outside Lucknow, now have the provision of online vendor registration application and the whole process of registration is completed within a specific timeline. There was also an emphasis to resolve all the pending vendor registration cases in within reasonable time frame. There were 691 old pending cases initially by October’17 which have been brought down to 98 by December’18.
  • Collaboration with Other Research and Academic Institutions: IR has made a significant move by engaging with IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) to leverage their core competencies in developing new technologies and products. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)s have been signed in the between Ministry of Railways and these institutes for establishing Centre of Railway Research (CRR)s. The research domains allocated to these CRRs’, based on their competencies, have been listed below:
Name of Institution Domain Areas
IIT Madras Signaling & Communication,
IIT Kanpur Loco propulsion technologies, Traction Installtion/OHE
IIT Roorkee Track, Bridges, Structures
Mumbai University Financial management, human resource management and Operation research.

Other Notable Initiatives

  • ‘SAMANVAY’ Portal for co-ordination with State Governments: A ‘SAMANVAY’ portal (railsamanvay.co.in) has been developed for online reporting of issues pending with State Governments pertaining to infrastructural developmental projects which are being undertaken by different Railway agencies. Concerned State Governments were requested to go through the pending issues of Railways in States which are uploaded on SAMANVAY portal and take needful action to help Railway expedite its developmental/expansion projects.
  • Rail Good Work Portal: With a view to generate numerous innovative yet practical ideas across the most critical areas of Railways Operations, the Railway board has undertaken several initiatives from time to time. Rail Good Work Portal is an on-line platform for all units under IR, where they can showcase the various good works being done by them. An exercise has been undertaken to identify the best and the most impactful entries uploaded on the good works portal and ask the innovators for descriptive videos for mass scale implementation across IR and to further encourage the habit of doing good work and reporting thereon.

Ministry announces enhancement of Combined Reservation Quota of lower berths for Senior Citizens & Female Passengers

NEW DELHI: Ministry of Railways has decided that the combined reservation quota of lower berths earmarked for senior citizens, female passengers 45 years of age and above and pregnant women may be enhanced.

At present, the following combined reservation quota of lower berths is earmarked in Sleeper, AC-3 tier and AC-2 tier classes for senior citizens, female passengers 45 years of age and above and pregnant women:-

Class No. of lower berths per coach
Normal Mail/Express trains Rajdhani/Duronto/ fully AC  Express trains
Sleeper 6
3AC 3 4
2AC 3 3

Revised combined reservation quota of lower berths earmarked for senior citizens, female passengers 45 years of age and above and pregnant women has been enhanced as under:-

Class Revised (No. of lower berths per coach)
Normal Mail/Express train Rajdhani/ Duronto/fully AC trains
Having single coach of the class Having more than one coach of the class
Sleeper 6 7
3AC 4 4 5
2AC 3 4 4

As Illustration Comparison of Number of Lower Berths Earmarked Under Combined Quota Meant for Senior Citizens, Female Passengers 45 Years & Above and Pregnant Women As Compared to Earlier Provision

Train No. Sleeper 3AC 2AC
No. of coaches Number of lower berths No of coaches Number of lower berths No. of coaches Number of lower berths
Earlier Revised Earlier Revised Earlier Revised
12860 Geetanjali Express 14 84 98 2 6 8 2 6 8
12230 Lucknow Mail 8 48 56 5 15 20 4 12 16
12952 Mumbai Rajdhani Express NA NA NA 11 44 55 5 15 20

Bogibeel over, all efforts now to be on Doubling: Says Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a Review Meeting with NFR

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal reviews Northeast Frontier Railway performance and roadmap for future developments. Minister visits Goddess Kamakhya Temple, promises to name one train after the Goddess shortly.

MALIGAON: The Union Railway Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal today said that Railway Ministry will soon approach Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for clearance of doubling of railway line from New Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Rangiya. He was addressing a review meeting of senior railway officers at N. F. Railway Headquarters at Maligaon this evening. The Minister also said that following the major success of completing Bogibeel Bridge, all efforts should now be pointed towards doubling of railway lines in the region for capacity enhancement. He asked the officials to prepare a Plan of Action within one week. The Minister also spoke to Forest Minister of Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya for ensuring quick permission for soil procurement permission which is presently hampering project progress in Assam. Railway Minister also directed for Vistadome coaches in Lumding – Badarpur hill section and other tourist routes.

The Railway Minister was apprised that Tetelia – Byrnihat new railway line, doubling of Lumding – Hojai section, Agartala – Sabroom new railway line and international line from Jogbani to Viratnagar would be ready very soon.

Before review meeting with N. F. Railway senior officials, the Minister went to Kamakhya Temple seeking blessings of the Goddess. He promised to name one premium passenger train after the Goddess Kamakhya as a mark of obeisance and respect of the entire Indian Railway family.

Earlier in the morning, he addressed the concluding ceremony of All India Janajati Sports Meet near Sonapur at the outskirt of the city. While elaborated on the developmental initiatives of the Railway Ministry for the Northeastern region, he said timely completion of projects has always been topmost priority of the current government and the added thrust for this had resulted in timely completion of Bogibeel project which would be a boon for the people of not only Assam but the entire Northeast.

Shri Goyal said the use of sound of Honey Bee for chasing away elephants from railway track was an example of rural innovation that can bring in real transformation. N. F. Railway’s Rangiya division had successfully installed a mechanism where sound of bee is amplified whenever elephants are spotted near railway track to chase them away, thereby saving wild elephants from being hit by trains. The Minister said such mechanism would be considered for replication elsewhere in the country.

Along with the rest of Indian Railways, the last four years had been very eventful and successful years for N. F. Railway. A few of the achievements of N. F. Railway in Assam in particular and Northeastern region in general are attached separately.

ASSAM

It is also to be mentioned that in budget, 2017-18, four new line projects have been sanctioned in Assam alone which would play a crucial role in easing transportation bottle necks. They are (i) Sivsagar-Jorhat (62KM) (ii) Salona-Khumtai (99km) (iii) Tezpur-Silghat (25km) with a bridge on the Brahmaputra near Silghat and Agthori-Kamakhya (7km) with a bridge on Brahmaputra near Saraighat. Survey is also going on for 38km new line from Harmuti to Majuli, while to ease traffic bottle necks the entire BG route from Bongaigaon to Lumding has been sanctioned for doubling.

  • Moreover, Union Cabinet has also approved electrification of entire 2348 km track length of N.F. Railway including all branch lines in Budget 2018-19 at a cost of Rs.4,435 crore. By end of 2020, Guwahati will see its first electric train and the whole of NE India will be electrified by 2022.
  • For enhancement of passenger travel experience and faster connectivity within the state Two Shatabdi Express trains (Guwahati – Dibrugarh and Guwahati – Naharlagun) have been introduced in 2017 and Assam also got its first DEMU train in October 2016. All short distance commuter rakes are planned to be converted to DEMU services in a phased manner. As many as six trains running with conventional ICF coaches have been converted to safer and more comfortable LHB rakes. SILGHAT is all set to become the first train terminal of Central Assam. After completion of sick line and pit line facilities, first train from Silghat to Kolkata is to be flagged off on 1st
  • 30 stations in Northeast have been provided with Hi-speed free WiFi connections. While Agartala – Anand Vihar Rajdhani Express was provided with free Wi-Fi Entertainment system through which passenger can access 30-hours of media free of cost on their Wi-Fi enabled device. Passenger lifts installed at Guwahati and New Tinsukia. Escalators installed at Guwahati. Moreover, 18 escalators would be provided at various stations of N. F. Railway and works have been started for installation of 40 more lifts at various stations over N. F. Railway.
  • For further improvement of the passenger travel experience, Mechanized cleaning of all 359 stations started from 2nd October 2018 and On Board Housekeeping Service provided in 57 trains. Three major station–Rangiya, Guwahati and New Tinsukia – have been taken up for soft upgradation at a total cost of Rs.39 crore. To ease the ticketing experience, Unreserved Tickets, Platform tickets, Season tickets can now be purchased through a mobile app, which mean passengers will no longer have to stand in long queues to get their tickets.
  • The Minister also emphasised that SAFETY is the topmost priority of the Railways and the elimination of all unmanned Level crossings has been a major achievement towards better safety in Railways.

NORTHEAST

  • 6 New Line projects, 3 Gauge Conversion Projects and 3 Doubling Projects totaling 1299 km of track has been commissioned in NE since 2014, which is more than 2.5 times the progress of 501 km achieved during 2009-14. With the completion of the long pending Lumding Badarpur gauge conversion project in 2015 and Baraigram-Dulabcherra in 2017, entire MG network of NE has been converted to BG. This is the first stepping stone towards opening up of the region for international connectivity fulfilling the slogan of “Act East” of our PM. Since 2014, Rs 28905 Cr has been allocated for construction projects which are about twice the fund of Rs 12660 Cr allocated during 2009 to 2014. 3 New lines, 4 Doubling projects worth Rs. 16312 crore have been sanctioned since 2014. 43 projects totaling Rs 98000 Crore are under progress, of which 25 are new lines. 11 of these are national projects.
  • People of state capitals of NE region, except Guwahati, had not seen any railway track. Ending decades of isolation, PM Shri Narendra Modi flagged off a BG train from Naharlagun ( Itanagagar) to Delhi on 20th February 2015, while an AC train was flagged off from Agartala on 31st July 2016. Meghalaya also got its first railway track, when PM Shri Narendra Modi flagged off a train to Mendipathar on 29th November 2014, while Manipur and Mizoram entered the Railway Map of India, when Shri Modi flagged off passenger trains to Jiribam in Manipur and Bhairabi in Mizoram on 27th May 2016. By 2022, all state capitals of the seven sister states including Sikkim will be in the Railway Map of the country.
  • 37 new train services have been introduced since May 2014 compared to 27 during April 2009 to April 2014 in NE region.

M Umashankar Kumar relinquishes charge as CPRO/SCR on Promotion; joins as General Manager, RVNL

SECUNDERABAD: Shri M. Umashankar Kumar, IRSSE has relinquished charge as Chief Public Relations Officer, South Central Railway on Promotion. He has joined in his new assignment as General Manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), Secunderabad today i.e., 31st December, 2018 on deputation.

Shri M.Umashankar Kumar, who belongs to the 1997 batch of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers is a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from College of Engineering, Osmania University, Hyderabad. He has undergone a professional training programme in Public Private Partnership from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He has also completed Advanced Management program in Public Policy Management from the prestigious Indian School of Business.

His remarkable stint of 4 years as the Head of Public Relations Department of South Central Railway has seen many a high point in terms of showcasing the Zone’s image amongst the public. Acting on the evolving priority of the New Digital and Social Media as the channel for Communication, Shri Umashankar Kumar has been instrumental in positioning South Central Railway in the front, in being the most active on Twitter and Facebook on Indian Railways. The zone also made his mark on various other avenues of Social Media including the Instagram, YouTube & the Website.

His pro-active inclination towards disseminating news and information on the Railways in the Print and Electronic Media and continuous interaction has enabled SCR succeed in building a trustworthy rapport with the public. Shri Umashankar Kumar’s Transformational qualities brought in a sea change in the working culture of Public Relations Department on the Zone. The handling of any crisis/disaster management situation was on the basis of a continuous 24×7 approach in terms of news sharing and flow so as to reach out to the rail users and other sections of public with clarity and on time. One of the most positive of his achievements is the concept of SCR issuing Press Releases in Telugu to the media, which enormously enhanced the coverage of rail news in the regional media, thereby benefitting the public.

The strategy drawn to optimize news reach to the public and create more public awareness on various issues, was core to the plans of Shri Umashankar Kumar as CPRO for SCR. An extensive multi pronged publicity campaign undertaken to highlight the extensive arrangements made by Railways during Godavari and Krishna Pushkarams, came in for huge appreciation, since the pre publicity and the day to day news on rail arrangements came very handy for pilgrims to utilize train services. His innovative approach to publicize the Railways positively, led to the production of several video films on SCR’s Achievements, Performance and Progress. The unique and creative concept of producing crisp on spot videos on a continuous basis to highlight specific initiatives of public benefit undertaken by SCR for use in Digital and Social media has been very successful. Yet another of his achievement on the creative front is the publication of SCR’s Coffee Table Book – A Treasure Trove of Rail Heritage meant for capturing the history of Railways in the region.

Shri Umashankar Kumar played a prime role in the ‘Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat’ cleanliness campaign on the zone, ensuring massive publicity across all media including the social media. He was instrumental in involving various institutions, eminent personalities and Non Governmental Organizations in the Swachhta campaign and in utilizing innovative publicity options to drive home the message, including the use of mobile Digital Theatre. One of his biggest contributions is the planning and execution of DIGIPAY Railway Station concept on SCR, for the first time on Indian Railways enabling provide all services on the Digital Gateway at important Railway stations.

Shri Umashankar Kumar is credited with several technology innovations on the Railways, which include the introduction of the rail user-friendly Mobile apps, HYLITES and TADAAST on SCR recently. He is also the brain behind the introduction of web based passenger information system and has been involved in the field trials of Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on Secunderabad – Wadi Section of SCR.

He played a key role in organizing several Human Resource (HR) related initiatives on SCR including the organizing of the first ever Mega Skill Development cum Job Mela – Mana Kosam, involving over 22,000 candidates, 110 companies and Job offers over 5000. He also took active part in the success of Passport Mela – Mee Kosam exclusively for Railway families and Overseas Tour for SCR Employees to far east countries. His coordination and close liaison with the International School of Business (ISB) came to the fore in SCR conducting Leadership workshops at the ISB for over 150 Railway Officers till date.

Setting the norms for office aesthetics, he undertook entire renovation of the Public Relations Office of SCR to match the best in terms of corporate ambience and set the benchmark for other Railway Offices to emulate. During his tenure as CPRO, the Public Relations Department of SCR earned several accolades and recognition, including the 1st Prize for SCR’s Pavilion at the All India Railway Exhibition held at Bhopal in April, 2018.

He is a recipient of the highest honour, the Minister of Railways Award in 2011 for his outstanding contribution in completion of throughput enhancement works on SCR in record time.

Railways plan to offer Openings for over 14,000 Junior Engineers

NEW DELHI: After assistant loco pilots, technicians and gangmen, Indian Railways is expecting another heavy rush of applicants as it will soon recruit over 14,000 junior engineers (JE) in mostly safety-related semi-supervisory posts.

The national transporter will offer job opportunities to diploma holders in all streams for which the notification will be issued soon for receiving applications between January 2 and 31, 2019.

With this, the total posts offered in various segments in the rail sector will be in excess of 140,000 in 2018.

Currently, railways is in the midst of filling up 64,000 posts of assitsant loco pilots (ALP) and technicians and 62,000 gangmen, for which the first phase of the recruitment examination is over.

There were total over 2 crore applications for these posts.

“The second phase test followed by document verification for ALPs and technicians will begin shortly,” said a senior Railway Ministry official adding: “For gangmen, there will be a physical test in February.”

The recruitment test for JEs is expected to commence from March next year after the scrutiny of applications is completed.

Depending upon the number of applications and their places of residence, the railways will decide on the venues of the examination centres.

Though the JE posts state of diploma as the minimum qualification, a considerable number of BTech graduates are also expected to apply.

The selected JEs will be responsible for maintaining coaches, electrical services and overhead electrical equipment, among others.

Like for other posts, the entire exercise – beginning from filling applications to appearing for recruitment tests – will be computer-based, saving a substantial amount of paper.

The fee has been kept at Rs 500 and Rs 250 to keep out non-serious applicants who apply but fail to appear for the test.

For general candidates, the examination fee is Rs 500, of which Rs 400 will be returned to the candidate after he or she appears in the examination.

The fee is Rs 250 for SC/ST, women, those who are physically challenged, applicants from economically weaker sections and ex-servicemen. The full amount will be returned to the candidates after appearing in the examination.

A total of 2.37 crore had applied for 1.26 lakh posts ranging from ALPs, technicians to gangmen and trackmen.

Earlier, recruitment examinations used to be conducted manually, but the Railways had to abandon the system and opt for the online mode after a few instances of question papers being leaked.

The online test has resulted in substantial saving of time and resources while also bringing transparency in the recruitment process, the official said.

Indian Railways working on a Plan to allow Private Freight Terminals on Railway Land on Revenue Sharing model

The transporter reckons that PFTs on railway land would help reduce encroachment of its land apart from increasing earnings through licensing fee. The national transporter has introduced a terminal charge of Rs 20 per tonne for both inward and outward traffic from these terminals.

NEW DELHI: Giving a major boost to the existing and upcoming private sector freight operators, the Indian Railways has decided to share with them the revenue generated from handling traffic. The Indian Railways is working on a plan to allow private freight terminals (PFTs) on railway land adjacent to stations with a view to utilising vacant land parcels better, increase public-private-partnership (PPP) investments and boost freight revenue.

The national transporter has introduced a terminal charge of Rs 20 per tonne for both inward and outward traffic from these terminals. At present, the Railways has around 58 private freight terminals handling 15 million tonnes (MT) of traffic.

Commercial viability of private terminals is more near cement companies, ports and power plants which consume coal. At present, private freight terminals are built by private investors on private land and connectivity is given by the railways to the operators on lease basis. The transporter believes that PFTs on railway land would help reduce encroachment of its land apart from increasing earnings through licensing fee. Under this scheme captive warehouses will be built by investors on land adjacent to stations and railways will earn lease rentals. The transporter will also charge for the railway lines leading up to the warehouses, since commercial use of land will require.

“There are chunks of land available around stations especially in areas which are mineral-rich and where loading is high. These are sparsely populated areas as well. We are seeking to permit private freight sidings on land adjacent to the railway stations,” said a railway ministry official. Commercial viability of private terminals is more near cement companies, ports and power plants which consume coal. At present, private freight terminals are built by private investors on private land and connectivity is given by the railways to the operators on lease basis. “These terminals are mostly 2-3 km away from stations and therefore huge capital is required to build warehouses, yard and railway lines which many small players are not able to do,” the official added.

The transporter reckons that PFTs on railway land would help reduce encroachment of its land apart from increasing earnings through licensing fee. According to the official, railway minister Piyush Goyal has already given his approval for the scheme under which captive warehouses will be built by investors on land adjacent to stations and railways will earn lease rentals. The transporter will also charge for the railway lines leading up to the warehouses. On average, a rake of freight earns the railways around Es 50 lakh. Sources said since commercial use of land will require Cabinet approval, Goyal has asked to consider a policy to involve Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) in the process. “RLDA will look at the availability of land and give clearance,” said the official, adding that applicants will apply at the zonal level post which a feasibility report will be made with projections of traffic before a final approval.

The government is also trying to make station redevelopment more attractive to investors by introducing single-stage bidding, 99-year lease and inclusion of residential mix in projects. The railways has around 11.4 lakh acres of land of which 1.17 lakh acres are deemed surplus. However, since most of this surplus land is in linear stretches, the scope for commercial development of vacant land is much less than what the land areas suggest. PPP investments in the railway sector has been low, even though for the last few years, the government has tried to promote private investments in peripheral areas. While expert panels had suggested allowing private train operators (by paying rentals to IR for track access), the government hasn’t acted on such proposals.

Based on the current plan, terminal charges levied for both inward and outward traffic at PFTs will be reimbursed.

Also click here to read DFCCIL – Private Freight Terminal Policy HERE: DFCCIL-PRIVATE_FREIGHT_TERMINAL_POLICY

Railways completes 306 km of western dedicated freight corridor

NEW DELHI: The railways on Sunday said it has completed the 306-km section between Madar (Ajmer) in Rajasthan and Kishangarh (Rewari) in Haryana in the western segment.

A Railway Ministry official said a trial run of freight train on this newly completed section was done on Sunday in the presence of Anurag Sachan, MD.

Equipped for heavy-haul train operation with 25 tonne axle loads for the first time in the country, the section contains 15 major bridges and 271 minor bridges and 177 Road Under Bridges (RUB).

The 306-km route has six newly-built freight stations – Dabla, Bhagega, Sri Madhopur, Pachar Malikpur, Sakhun and Kishangarh and three junctions – Rewari, Ateli and Phulera.

On November 30, the railways completed the 194-km section from Bhadan to Khurja in Uttar Pradesh of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC).

Freight trains on Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL) will be capable for attaining speeds of 100 kmph as against the current maximum speed of 75 km/h on Indian Railway network.

Earlier in August this year, the railways opened the 190-km Ateli (Haryana)-Phulera (Rajasthan) section of the Western DFC earlier this year.

The 190-km section of the Ateli-Phulera on the Western DFC has 10 viaducts and major bridges, 127 minor bridges, one railway overbridge, 118 road under-bridges and six stations.

According to the official, railways is optimistic that the entire DFC would be fully electrified by the time of its commissioning in March 2020.

The Rs 81,459-crore project received the Union Cabinet’s green light in 2006 and has since missed several completion deadlines due to various reasons, including procedural wrangles, land acquisition, environment clearances and other related issues.

Passing through nine states and 60 districts, the project will have 48 stations and junctions along the Western DFC and 58 on the Eastern DFC.

While the Western DFC will cover 1,504 km from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Navi Mumbai to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, traversing through Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari, the Eastern DFC covers 1,856 km from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni, near Kolkata in West Bengal, and will traverse the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

The DFC, once completed, is expected to complement the future of the Indian economy with an increased number of freight trains in eastern and western sectors of the country.

Railway’s new policy for companies: Barter goods, services for Ads on-board trains

The policy states that the maximum number of four thematic products and equipment with courtesy signage per coach inside the toilet or near the exit doors would be allowed.

NEW DELHI: In a reminiscent to the barter system, the railways has devised a first-of-its-kind policy to allow companies to advertise on trains in lieu of their goods and services for passengers on board.

So, don’t be surprised if you see advertisements of a soap brand on a train and find the same being provided in toilets on board for your use.

A policy drafted by the Railway Board’s Transformation cell has said that offers of goods and services in exchange for publicity on running trains have been discussed in the board and a decision has been taken to implement it on a trial basis.

A directive in this regard was issued to all general managers of railways on December 27.

“We are experimenting with an unique idea. In barter system, there is no exchange of money. Lakhs of passengers travel by train on a daily basis. Imagine the kind of publicity these brands are going to get. It is a very lucrative deal for them,” a senior railway official said.

The order states that when such an offer is received by a coaching depot officer (CDO) he will put it up on the railway website for 21 days to give equal opportunity for interested parties to pitch similar products.

Once the stipulated waiting period is over, the CDO can choose one party and grant them the request. The policy also states that initially, the permission to advertise in this manner can be given by CDOs for three months in two trains in each depot.

“Initially, we will concentrate on barter of goods rather than services. Things like soaps, dispensers, bedrolls. The companies can offer their goods and instead of money, we will give them advertising space on board trains,” said the official.

The policy also states that the a maximum number of four thematic products and equipment with courtesy signage per coach inside the toilet or near the exit doors would be allowed.

The maximum size of advertisements have been restricted to six inches by six inches, the policy states.

ICF poised to enter the Export Market in a big way with Train-18 success

With a fully computerised Design & Development Division equipped with state-of-the-art computer designing facilities and testing equipment, and a ISO.9001 certificate for its quality systems from TUV, Germany, to boot, the ICF is poised to enter the export market in a big way.

CHENNAI: With the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) giving his clearance for the commercial run of Train 18, India’s first Trainset, had a successful trial at speeds of up to 160 kmph.

“Based on documents submitted, along with the application and inspection and speed trial, the case is being forwarded with recommendation for the sanction of central government for operation of Train-18 up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph on Indian Railways tracks,” CCRS Shailesh Kumar Pathak has stated in his order desptached to the Railway Board on December 21.

Taking note of the inspection of the 16-coach train on December 19 at Safdarjung station in the capital and thereafter a speed trial between Safdarjung and Agra on December 20, the CCRS order has recommended certain precautionary measures like fencing and regular greasing of all the curves on the route.  CCRS, while giving the green signal for the launch of the swank, Rs 100-crore blue-nosed engine-less train equipped with many new passenger amenities, has also recommended the fencing of tracks at vulnerable locations to ensure safety.  “For speeds beyond 130 kmph and up to 160 kmph, the provision for sturdy fencing all along the track shall be ensured,” the letter stated.

Acknowledging the CCRS recommendation, a senior Railways official told: “The train is likely to be launched on December 29 between Delhi and Varanasi.”

Now, as one of the ‘Make in India’ initiatives, it has turned out the first of many rakes of train sets christened ‘Train 18’. These have undergone extensive trials at 160 kph by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Lucknow, before entering service. Basically with the same architecture as an EMU (electric multiple unit), this train set has every alternate coach as a motorised one, instead of just one motor coach with three trailer coaches as in an EMU. Apart from adding more power to the train, this results in higher acceleration and sustained high speeds.

What makes this initiative unique is it is an in-house effort by ICF’s design team working from scratch. With a stainless steel body, fully AC (including driver’s cab) coaches, sealed gangways, automatic door opening with sliding footsteps, it’s a match for train sets running in Europe or Japan.

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will soon launch an air-conditioned EMU (AC EMU) train set with features similar to Train-18.

“It is undergoing final stages of construction and the train will be flagged off by mid-January,” said a senior ICF official.

According to a report, the AC EMU train has 12 cars. It is equipped with under slung propulsion system. Its alternative coaches are motorised, while each coach uses a new generation bogies. The train also sports a wider sealed gangways. The train is said to have better acceleration and deceleration as six out of the total 12 coaches is motorised unlike the currently running AC EMU train at Mumbai.

“The new AC EMU is for the Mumbai suburban train division alone,” the senior ICF official said.

The design involved not only the coach, but also jigs and fixtures for building the body and bogies. A unique feature is the Train Control and Management System, which oversees its propulsion system, braking system, and automatic door closing and opening. In addition, its interior furnishing makes it poles apart from the ordinary Mumbai EMU locals.

The 16-coach rake has all its power equipment underslung, which provides optimum seating capacity of 1,124—two executive cars seating 52 each, 12 second class coaches with 78 seats each, and two with motor coaches with 54 each (as room for driver’s cab at each end needs to be provided).

With on-board Wi-Fi infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting and many more facilities over and above those in the current Shatabdi trains, this Train 18 could indeed prove to be a game-changer for intercity commuters.

Features
  • The train can run at a maximum speed of 110 kmph.
  • Solar panels of 3.6 kw capacity are installed on one of the coaches.
  • Screw-less interior paneling finish, wider gangways, sleek luggage racks, stainless steel hand holds, rubberized flooring, fully air conditioned train and automatic sliding doors
  • GPS based passenger information and announcement system.
  • All the coaches will have CCTV cameras installed.
More seats
As the latest AC EMU employs under slung power, the seating capacity has been increased. For a rake of 12 coaches, it has been increased from 1,028 seats to 1,116, up by nine per cent.

Post-Independence, the Indian Railways can claim to be the pioneers of ‘Make in India’, with its first facility at Mihijam (Jharkhand) in 1950 to manufacture steam locomotives. This venture with the North British Locomotive Company of the UK was followed in 1955 with the Swiss Car & Elevator Manufacturing Co to manufacture railway coaches at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. Next was a collaboration in 1961 with the American Locomotive Company of the US to manufacture diesel locomotives at the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi.

Two decades later came up a second plant to manufacture coaches—Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, Punjab. To meet the growing needs for wheels and axles, the Rail Wheel Factory (formerly Wheel & Axle Plant) was set up at Yelahanka in Bangalore, in collaboration with the Amsted Industries of the US in 1984. Also, the Diesel Maintenance Works built in 1982, in Patiala, manufactures spares for the growing fleet of diesel locomotives, and a similar one for electric locomotives has recently been commissioned at Dankuni, in West Bengal.

The Rail Spring Karkhana, set up in 1986, at Sithouli near Gwalior with West German aid to manufacture coil springs for wagons and passenger coaches completes the list of eight production units.

This ‘Make in India’ initiative has also provided an opportunity to public sector giants—BHEL and SAIL—and private sector big guns such as Kirloskar, Timken India (previously TATA Timken), NEI, ABB, Siemens, Mukand, etc, to enter in a long-term partnership with the Railways, all the while saving the nation billions of dollars in foreign exchange.

Apart from meeting its own needs, railway production units have also been exporting, earning precious foreign exchange, with the ICF leading the charge. The first export consignment of 47 bogies to Thailand was sent in 1967, and since then 361 bogies and 447 coaches have been exported to 13 Afro-Asian countries. The last order for Sri Lanka, to supply 20 rakes of six broad-gauge diesel multiple units, for commuter traffic around Colombo, was worth Rs.120 crore.

With a fully computerised Design & Development Division equipped with state-of-the-art computer designing facilities and testing equipment, and a ISO.9001 certificate for its quality systems from TUV, Germany, to boot, the ICF is poised to enter the export market in a big way.

Railways to lose Investment Guarantee from World Bank due to IRFC IPO

The MIGA gives political risk insurance and credit enhancement for cross-border lenders. MIGA helps multilateral lenders to make cross-border lending by identifying risk-free avenues in developing countries; sovereign guarantee (usually accorded to 100% state-owned entities) is one of its chief criteria.

NEW DELHI: The decision by the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) to go for an initial public offering of Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) has put paid to the Indian Railways’ (IR’s) chances of getting an investment guarantee from the World Bank. With the IPO decision, the Railways has lost the World Bank’s Multi-Lateral Investment Guarantee (MIGA) for raising at least $500 million from international private sector investors and lenders.

A decision to come out with the initial public offer (IPO) of IRFC, the borrowing arm of Indian Railways, has hit the entity’s ability to access low-cost institutional finance and could threaten the transporter’s capital expenditure. While a cap put by insurance regulator Irdai on insurers’ single-enitity exposure had come in the way of IRFC raising Rs 26,000 crore from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in the current fiscal, the IPO is now learnt to have resulted in the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) backtracking from a proposal to arrange a virtual soft loan of $500 million (Rs 3,500 crore) to IRFC.

MIGA helps multilateral lenders to make cross-border lending by identifying risk-free avenues in developing countries; sovereign guarantee (usually accorded to 100% state-owned entities) is one of its chief criteria. The result: IRFC will have to raise some Rs 55,000 crore this year via market borrowings, including the more expensive short-term bridge loans, against Rs 28,550 crore planned earlier, to help the transporter stick to its capex plan. While IRFC bonds used to carry a coupon rate of 8%, the lack of tax-free status has made its market borrowings costlier this year. As the market exposure increases, its creditworthiness will likely get dented, potentially inflating the cost even further.

As against this, LIC funds would have cost IRFC 7.5% annually (30 basis points above the benchmark 10-year g-sec). The MIGA loan would have been even cheaper at 5%. Higher cost of loans tied up by IRFC would finally reflect on the railways’ finances too, as the transporter, apart from repaying the principal, is required to give lease rentals (akin to interest) to IRFC for the assets created out of the latter’s borrowings. In a year, the railways shells about Rs 10,000 crore from its revenue to service the debt raised by IRFC while repayment of principal is made out of budget allocation.

It was said earlier that Indian Railways’ debt servicing costs were poised to rise at a much faster clip starting FY21 and might more than double in five years from now as repayment obligations concerning Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India and the proposed high-speed train network would kick in. The transporter’s debt-servicing cost, which stood at Rs 14,000 crore in 2015-16, was estimated to be over Rs 19,000 crore this year; with the latest developments, this could go up even further. According to sources, while MIGA was earlier assured by IRFC that it would remain a 100% government-owned entity, the department of investment and public asset management has now decided to list IRFC. If the IPO is of 10% stake in the borrower, then it could fetch the government some Rs 500 crore, according to an official estimate.

While the railways’ capex this year is pegged at Rs 1.46 lakh crore – Rs 53,000 crore from Union budget (GBS), Rs 27,000 crore via public private partnership, Rs 28,500 crore via IRFC market borrowings and Rs 26,400 crore from LIC. While the plan was to raise a massive Rs 1.5 lakh crore from LIC over five years (FY16-FY20), just Rs 16,200 crore have so far been raised from the insurer. Only Rs 1,630 crore is expected this year as LIC is bound by the Irdai norm, as per which its exposure in a government firm is capped at 25% of the firm’s net worth. IRFC’s current net worth is around Rs 13,000 crore, but the LIC also reckons Rs 90,000 crore worth bonds issued by it.

Kalwa to get Elevated Railway Station: MRVC

An MRVC official said a rail flyover has been planned with a ballastless track and construction of an elevated Kalwa station including platforms, booking office, connected foot underbridges, staircases and related works

MUMBAI: Kalwa station will soon be two-storey like Sandhurst Road. In a big boost to Mumbai railway connectivity, the railways on Monday finally floated tenders to begin construction work on the Airoli-Kalwa link, which will connect Navi Mumbai to Kalyan-Kasara directly for local trains.

An official of the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) said a rail flyover has been planned with a ballastless track and construction of an elevated Kalwa station including platforms, booking office, connected foot underbridges, staircases and related works. The tentative cost of the entire project and railway line is estimated at Rs 476 crore.

The new line, which is expected to be completed by 2021, will run on an elevated section after Digha station and pass through parts of Kalwa. The project is likely to de-congest Thane station and provide direct connectivity between suburbs in Thane, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai.

The two new station platforms of Kalwa and Mumbra have also begun to take shape after the decade-long work on the 5th and 6th lines is pacing ahead to meet the 2019 deadline.

Explaining the works, a senior official of the MRVC that is building the lines said that the platform structures and basic utility works are being built, and as per the layouts the two new platforms at Mumbra will be used by the slow local lines and the existing platforms will be used by fast trains. At Kalwa, the new platforms will be used by the fast local trains and the existing ones will continue to be used by slow trains.

The official said that the new platforms are coming up with the footover bridges, ramps and all modern passenger amenities. A breakthrough was made in October when a 2-km stretch was built between Mumbra and Kalwa and connected to the old lines, making space for the station.

Harbour line affected

Suburban services on the harbour line were affected when a local train suffered unit failure and was stranded near Mankhurd, disturbing the morning peak hour. It led to bunching of trains from Mankhurd to Nerul.

The 749 Vashi-CSMT train was stranded for over 30 minutes between Vashi and Mankhurd, just after it started. Commuters were seen walking on tracks and many resorted to taking cabs from Mankhurd station

Indian Railways bagged 17 most Coveted & Prestigious Energy Conservation Awards 2018

NEW DELHI: In a major achievement, Indian Railways with its continuous emphasis on energy efficient technologies and energy conservation measures, has bagged 17 most coveted and prestigious National energy conservation awards 2018 instituted by Government of India. This is the highest number of awards bagged by a single organisation..

It is a big sweep in ECE 2018 awards as Indian Railways bagged 30% of the total awards. Honorable Minister of Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal has congratulated the officials for this singular achievement and called upon to continue striving for more and more energy efficiency and conservation measures in railways.

Indian Railways participated in three categories namely railway stations, hospitals and institutions out of the five major categories in which awards are given covering different sub-sectors.

Under ‘transport’ category, Indian Railways obtained 10 awards for subsector railway station. Under ‘building’ category, Indian Railways got 3 awards for sub-sector Railway hospitals.Under ‘institution’ category, Indian Railways bagged 4 awards for subsector state PWD, CPWD and PHED.

10 awards for railway stations sub-sector include Vidisha railway station in Madhya Pradesh which won the first prize, Jamnagar Station in Gujarat second prize and 7 certificates of merit to Dwarka, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Hyderabad, Nizamabad, Guwahati, Jaipur and Kazipet.

Three awards for Railway Hospital sub-sector include Railway hospitals of Izzatnagar division which won the first prize, Railway Hospital of Rajkot division second prize and certificate of merit to Railway Hospital of Ratlam division.

Four awards for state PWD subsector include passenger reservation system complex building of Secunderabad division which won the first prize, rail soudha zone HQ office building 2nd prize and certificates of merit to Rail Nilayam in Secunderabad and Hyderabad Bhawan (DRM Hyderabad office) in Secunderabad.

These awards are given by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) of ministry of power Government of India to various Institutions for adopting Energy Efficiency measures for reducing energy consumption and the cost

Prime Minister inaugurates the Longest Rail-cum-Road Bridge constructed over Brahmaputra river in Assam

The foundation stone of the Project was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, H.D. Deve Gowda on January 22, 1997 and work commencement of the Project work was done by Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on April 21, 2002 with sufficient budgetary sanctions. N.F.Railway to run New Intercity Express Train via.Bogibeel Bridge.

DIBRUGARH: Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the India’s longest Road-cum-Rail bridge “Bogibeel Bridge” at Dibrugarh in Assam today i.e. the 25th December 2018.

Bogibeel Rail-cum-Road Bridge over River Brahmaputra is situated 17 Km from Dibrugarh City in Assam. Constructed for Double Line Broad Gauge Rail Line and Three lane Road, Bogibeel bridge will be the lifeline of North Eastern part of the country and will facilitate connectivity between North and South Banks of River Brahmaputra in the Eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Bogibeel Bridge will also enhance the national security of the Eastern region of India by facilitating swift movement of Defence Forces and their equipment. Government of India has given utmost importance to this Bridge declaring it a National Project in the year 2007.

Bogibeel bridge will provide a connection between the Rangia-Murkongselek section of the North East Frontier Railway on the north bank of Brahmaputra and Lumding–Dibrugarh section that lies to the south of the Brahmaputra. Dibrugarh Railway Station, the largest in the region is to be linked to the Rangia – Murkongselek line via Chaulkhowa and Moranhat. The Railways have also initiated the gauge conversion of the Dhamalgaon to Sisiborgaon rail line to the north of the bridge and commissioned the 44 km Chalkhowa – Moranhat line to the south.

The remote districts of Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, Dibang Valley and Tirap of Arunachal Pradesh will be greatly benefited by this Bridge. Almost 75 percent of the 4000-km long border that India share with China is in Arunachal Pradesh and the bridge will help in logistical support for Indian Army manning this border.

With commencing of the bridge the Road distance from Dibrugarh, in Assam to Itanagar will be reduced by 150 km and the railway travel distance between these two points will be reduced by 705 km. Bogibeel Bridge Project was a part of Assam Accord 1985 and was sanctioned in the year 1997-98.

The foundation stone of the Project was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, H D Deve Gowda on January 22, 1997 and work commencement of the Project work was done by Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on April 21, 2002. The bridge has a total length of 4.94 km (revised from 4.31 km). The sanctioned estimated cost of the Project was Rs. 3230.02 Crores. Revised estimate of the project amounts to Rs. 4,857 Crores which has been approved and sanctioned by the Railway Board to cover escalation and increased bridge length.

The design of Bogibeel bridge has 39 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete. It is designed to carry a double line 1,676 mm(5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway on the lower deck and a 3-lane road on the upper deck. Upon completion it will be the longest combined rail and road bridge in India and second longest bridge over the Brahmaputra after Dhola-Sadiya Bridge which is a road bridge of length 9.15 km.

New Intercity Express trains via Bogibeel Bridge to be introduced by N.F. Railway

With the proposed inauguration of the much awaited Bogibeel bridge over river Brahmaputra, N.F. Railway plans to introduce two new Intercity Express trains connecting Tinsukia and Naharlagun via the new bridge. While one train will run five days in a week, another will run weekly. The new trains will benefit greatly the people of Arunachal Pradesh and on the north bank of river Brahmaputra. The inaugural special train will run only on 25th December and regular services will start from 26th December as per details given below:

While train no 15908 will leave Naharlagun at 05-30 hrs on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to arrive at Tinsukia at 11-00 hrs, in the return direction train no 15907 will leave Tinsukia at 16-00 hrs on every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to arrive at Naharlagun at 21-15 hrs.

On the other hand, train no 15912 will leave Naharlagun at 05-30 hrs on every Thursday to arrive at Tinsukia at 11-00 hrs and train no 15911 will leave Tinsukia at 18-45 hrs on Thursday to arrive at Naharlagun at 00-10 hrs on Friday.

The trains will have stoppages at New Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Dhamalgaon, Dhemaji, Gogamukh, north Lakhimpur and Harmuti during jouney on both ways. The train will have one AC chair car and nine second class day coach with sitting accommodation apart from two luggage cum generator car.

On 25th December, the inaugural special train no 05907 will start from Dibrugarh at 11-30 hrs to arrive Naharlagun  at 18-45 hrs.

SAIL steel for Bogibeel Bridge

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has supplied around 35400 metric tonnes of steel for the construction of Bogibeel Road-cum-Rail Bridge on the river Brahmaputra. This quantity is little more than 50% of the total quantity of steel supplied for the bridge.

SAIL has also supplied TMT rebars, plates and structural for this 4.94 KM long bridge,which has composite welded steel truss girders in its structures. Earlier, SAIL had supplied 90% steel for the construction of the Dhola-Sadiyabridge, which is India’s longest bridge.

The 4.9 km-long bridge on the Brahmaputra river is Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge. It has a serviceable period of 120 years.

JioPhone without riders: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio woos Railway Employees

Reliance Jio has made an attractive offer to railway staffers, mainly junior grade employees who use feature phones, to shift to its 4G feature phone — JioPhone.

NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio has made an attractive offer to railway staffers, mainly junior grade employees who use feature phones, to shift to its 4G feature phone — JioPhone.

According to the offer, if railway employees want to get a JioPhone for their own use all they need to do is pay upfront Rs 600. The requirement of giving any old feature phone in exchange has been set aside for them. The employees also need not pay Rs.594 as upfront recharge amount (@ Rs.99 per month) valid for six months.

In case railway employees want to get the JioPhone for their dependent parents, spouse, or children, the requirement of giving an old feature phone in exchange will be set aside but they will have to pay Rs 1,095 upfront. Of this, Rs 501 will be the cost of the phone and `594 will be the recharge amount (@Rs.99 per month) valid for six months.

The general scheme for JioPhones is that a consumer needs to give an old feature phone in exchange plus Rs 501 as price for the phone and Rs 594 for recharge amount valid for six months.

Sources said in case of railway employees buying the phone for their own use, the mandatory recharge fee has been waived because employees get phone reimbursement allowance according to their rank which will get transferred to Jio as part of the closed user group (CUG) scheme.

While voice will be free, which is part of Jio’s tariff policy, data limits will be provided as per rank of the employees.

JioPhone was first launched in October 2017 against a payment of Rs.1,500 which was refundable security after three years. Till June 2018, around 25 million handsets were sold, which was not seen as very high by analysts. In June this year, the company came with a new offer of Rs.501 along with giving an old feature phone in exchange plus six months recharge @Rs.99 per month. This made effective cost for consumers at Rs.1,095. Since then, the phone has been sold well, taking the total number upward 46 million.

The sales have come mostly from C-category circles like Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, North-East, and Jammu and Kashmir, where incumbent operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea do not have a good 4G network coverage till date.

Even if they provide some 4G coverage, they have not subsidised any 4G handset in a manner Jio has done so to feature phone users, who total around 500 million in the country.

Western Railways allows on-board Shopping on Trains

MUMBAI: Passengers aboard long-distance trains starting in Mumbai will soon enjoy a shopping experience similar to the one found on flights. The Western Railway (WR) has finalised the contract to allow shopping carts on board 16 trains and will roll out the facility in January. It will be the first such initiative in the Indian Railways.

The contractor will have to pay the WR ₹40,000 per train per month as licence fee. Each train will have two salespersons with a shopping cart. They will be in uniform and will be equipped with point of sale machines to facilitate credit and debit cards. They will also provide catalogues, which passengers can browse through before placing an order.

Once it is launched, the WR expects to earn ₹3.66 crore in five years. Chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said the licensee will not be allowed to sell food and contraband. “The salespersons will be allowed only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. They won’t be able to promote their products using a microphone or by shouting,” he said.

Initially, the contractor will begin the service on two trains and will add two more every subsequent quarter. Railway officials said the first trains have not yet been decided, but one of them could be the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express.

“The licensee will have the discretion to choose the trains at the end of each quarter. However, once a train has been selected, he cannot change it,” an official said.

The initiative is part of the WR’s effort to generate non-fare revenue. The Mumbai division of the WR will soon be placing another tender under the same bucket for on-board entertainment on long-distance passenger and local trains.

It’s Railway Board Vs Railways’ Personnel Cadre!

NEW DELHI: he Railway Board and the railways’ personnel cadre are on a collision course with officers demanding that the post of Member (Staff) in the apex body be kept exclusively for them, instead of opening it for officers from across cadres of the national transporter.

Recently, the Department of Personnel and Training had approved the recommendations of the Cadre Review Committee (CRC) for encadrement (keeping the post exclusively for a specific cadre) of the post of Member (Staff) in the Railway Board.

The Railway Board had taken a different view on the matter stating it would set a wrong precedent and lead to different cadres — like telecom and signalling, stores among others that are not encadred — demanding a member of their own on the board.

The railways’ group A services includes multiple cadres including: traffic, accounts, personnel in the civil services cadre; mechanical, electrical, civil, signalling, stores in the engineering services cadre; and the RPF (Railway Protection Force), which is also a civil service cadre.

In the railway board, except for the Chairman and Member (Staff), all posts are en-cadred.

“It is unfair on IRPS (Indian Railway Personnel Service) officers that a post is not en-cadred for us in the board. So, whichever cadre gets the post of Member (Staff), their position is strengthened in the board. We are demanding our right,” a senior IRPS official said.

Another official said the officers of IRPS cadre are experienced in handling matters relating to establishment, cadre management, industrial relations and labour laws and thus, they possess varied experience in managing cadre of all employees in all the departments.

So, the railway board should have a representation from the cadre, the official argued.

The contention has led to a Twitter hashtag #injusticeirps with officers tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in their posts.

“Every post except Member (Staff) is encadred because they are technical posts. Member (Staff) can be anyone from any cadre as it’s basically personnel services. Anyway, the executive deal with their personnel themselves. So, it’s not something that requires specific expertise,” a senior railway official said.

A delegation led by Anand Mathur, the President of the Indian Railway Personnel Officers Association (IRPOA), also met Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh for intervention in the matter.

The Indian Railway Personnel Service is a cadre of civil servants of the government of India. The officers of this service are responsible for managing the human resources of the Indian Railways which has a work force of about 13 lakh.

State-of-the-art engine-less Train-18 will run between Delhi and Varanasi soon

NEW DELHI: Train 18 route confirmed! The state-of-the-art engine-less Train 18 will run between Delhi and Varanasi, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has confirmed. According to PTI, in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Gohain said the Delhi-Varanasi route has been proposed for the first Train 18 set. As many as 36 train set coaches have been planned, to be developed during the financial year 2018-2019 at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), located in Chennai, he said. Train 18, the ‘Make in India’ engine-less train, recently became Indian Railways’ fastest train by crossing the 180 kmph mark during its trials. It also suffered damages during its trial run on the Delhi-Agra route recently, with miscreants throwing stones and smashing a window of the train.

Manufactured at a cost of Rs 100 crore, the semi-high speed Train 18 has been undergoing extensive speed and safety trials by RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) and is now ready to be inducted in the Indian Railways fleet of trains. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to flag off the luxury self-propelled Train 18 by end-December. Codenamed after the year it has been manufactured in, Train 18 will get its official name soon, with the Railway Ministry mulling several options.

With automatic doors and sliding footsteps, several aircraft-like features and a whole new semi-high speed propulsion technology, Train 18 will herald a new era in the history of Indian Railways. The train sets have been conceptualised to replace Shatabdi Express trains. The fully air-conditioned chair car train has European-style seats, a swanky pantry and is also disabled-friendly. The advantage of faster acceleration and deceleration will help Train 18 save around 15-20% of the journey time and with no locomotive reversal required the turnaround time would also be reduced.

ICF Chennai has been asked to manufacture two more Train-18 like sets this financial year. The coach factory has said that if tasked with, it can manufacture around 8 such train sets in financial year 2019-2020.

Chittaranjan Locomotive Works working on building India’s first 9000 HP Locomotive

Sri Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction inaugurated the first-ever high HP Motor of 1190 KW for traction application. A first milestone, for upgradation of IR’s locomotives from 6000 HP to 9000 HP.First Make-in-India 9000 HP loco is expected to be rolled out from CLW in January 2019

CHITTARANJAN: Indian Railways is all set to get another feather in its speeding locomotives fleet. Last month, the railways has received a modified engine with an aerodynamic and ergonomic design which is capable of running at 200 kmph. The engine has a motor of 5400 HP. The engine was modified by the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW).

Soon after, the state-of-the-art Train 18 has scorched Indian Railways track hitting a record speed of 181 kmph during the trial.

Now, the CLW is working on building India’s first 9000 HP locomotive. It’s upgrading a 6000 HP loco to 9000 HP. Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction, has already inaugurated the first-ever high HP Motor of 1190 KW for traction application on December 19.

“Sri Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction inaugurated the first-ever high HP Motor of 1190 KW for traction application. A first milestone, for upgradation of IR’s locomotives from 6000 HP to 9000 HP. First Make-in-India 9000 HP loco is expected to be rolled out from CLW in January 2019,” said the Ministry of Railways in a tweet.

This project enlists to save traction energy cost which will help to reduce railways fuel expenses and also reduce carbon emissions.

JICA to offer Loan Assistance of Rs.20,196 Crore for Chennai Metro Rail

JICA has approved funding for the second phase, which would cost an estimated Rs 40,941 crore.

CHENNAI: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will offer a loan assistance of Rs 20,196 crore for the 52.01 kms phase-II of Chennai Metro Rail project, the Tamil Nadu government said Saturday.

JICA has approved funding for the second phase, which would cost an estimated Rs 40,941 crore, a state government release said.

It is aimed at extending Metro rail connectivity between Madhavaram and Sholinganallur (35.67 kms) and from Madhavaram to Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal (16.34 kms), the release added.

Union Finance Ministry, Additional Secretary, C S Mohapatra and Japan Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu formally exchanged documents at an event in New Delhi, Friday.

The loan agreement for providing the first tranche under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of 75,519 million Japanese Yen (about Rs 4,770 crore) was also signed between Mohapatra and JICA, chief representative, Katsuo Matsumoto.

The funding would further enhance Metro Rail connectivity to various parts of the city.

Additional Chief Secretary, T.V. Somanathan and Chennai Metro Rail Managing Director, Pankaj Kumar Banswal were also present on the occasion.

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is the Executing Agency of the Project.

Chennai is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in India. The population of the Chennai Metropolitan Area was about 7.1 million in 2001 and grew to 8.7 million in 2011. Population density in Chennai City is about 25,000 people per square kilometre, which is one of the most in the world, overtaking Mumbai and Kolkata. The newly inaugurated stretches will mitigate the difficulties caused by increasing road traffic in Chennai. These expansions in the city’s metro rail network will eventually lead to balanced regional development and enhancement of environmental conditions.

The Chennai Metro Project is an extraordinary example of Indo-Japanese partnership and has gained success that other Metro projects are looking forward to emulating.

JICA has extended 183,595 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 11,300 crore) in concessional Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans since 2008 to develop the Chennai Metro Project. Overall, JICA has extended ODA loans of 1.1 trillion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 60,000 crore) to help develop metro systems in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Railway expenditure outpaces earnings, operating ratio breaches 112%

NEW DELHI: With expenditure continuing to far exceed earnings, Indian Railways is facing a dismal financial scenario with the operating ratio breaching the 112-per cent mark.

“The trend is unlikely to be reversed before March 2019 — when the National Transporter expects heavy advance ticket bookings for the upcoming summer vacation, which could ease the pressure,” Railway Ministry sources in the know told.

Bookings for the summer vacation usually start in February-March as one can reserve tickets 120 days in advance.

A substantial amount is also expected to start coming from non-fare revenue such as the station redevelopment project and advertisements, the sources added.

The Railways’ total earnings is way behind target — it had earned Rs 1.15 lakh crore against the target of Rs 1.22 lakh crore at the end of November this year, a shortfall of Rs 7,840 crore, according to a financial review prepared by the Railways.

The ordinary working expenditure of the national transporter was Rs 1.03 lakh crore as against the budget projection of Rs 98,441 crore by November-end this fiscal.

In passenger segment, it earned Rs 33,900 crore against the target of Rs 34,583 crore, a deficit of Rs 683 crore. Currently, the loss in the passenger business is hovering around Rs 30,000 crore.

As a result, the operating ratio is under stress and has touched 112.91 per cent mark, the data prepared by the Railways’ financial wing reveals.

This means that, in the April-November period, the national transporter spent Rs 112.91 to generate every Rs 100, which is reflective of a lower growth in traffic against the set target and heavy outgo on account of increased pension liability and working expenses.

The operating ratio is a gauge of operational efficiency that measures expenses as a proportion of revenue. Besides the working expenses, there are other expenditures — including pension liability, expenditure of the Railway Board and railway institutions — which has far exceeded the total incomes during April-November 2018, resulting in the higher operating ratio.

A higher ratio also indicates less ability to generate surplus funds that could be used for capital investments such as laying new lines and manufacturing more coaches.

The Railways has earmarked its highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 1.49 lakh crore for the current fiscal with the focus on capacity augmentation, electrification and overall infrastructure upgradation.

Tirupati Railway Station set for ₹524-crore makeover

TIRUPATI: South Central Railway General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav said keeping in view growing pilgrim rush to the Lord Venkateswara temple, the Tirupati railway station would be modernised at a cost of ₹524 crore.

Speaking to reporters here, after inspecting platforms and other facilities such as the cloak room, waiting halls and the cafeteria, Mr. Yadav said tenders for the works would be floated soon.

Platform numbers 4 and 5, he said, would be modernised as per international standards, with open waiting halls, a premier executive lounge and a spacious cloak room. Later, Mr. Yadav unveiled a statue of Lord Venkateswara at the entrance of the railway station, and took part in a puja.

Divisional Railway manager V.P. Singh and senior railway officials from Guntakal, Tirupati and Renigunta accompanied Mr. Yadav.

Also, much delay seems inevitable in starting Tirupati railway station redevelopment works as the tenders which were called earlier were cancelled due to some technical reasons and fresh tenders have to be floated again soon. This may take at least another three more months, said Guntakal Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Vijay Prathap Singh.

The Rs 500 crore works were aimed at developing the station like an airport with advanced passenger amenities and additional platforms. The General Manager of South Central Railway (SCR) Vinod Kumar Yadav has been trying to take up the works at the earliest to provide hassle free journey to thousands of pilgrims visiting Tirupati every day. He made several visits to the city and held several rounds of meetings with various agencies and officials in this regard.

But still the project was facing several hitches at every stage. Speaking to media, he said that the Railway Under Bridge (RUB) works at Rayalacheruvu Railway gate also will be delayed as the drain diversion works have to be taken up by local administration. It may be recalled that the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati has to take up diversion works which they could not do for long.

The railway authorities were waiting for these works to get completed. Though the government of AP has issued orders stating that TUDA has to bear the expenditure component on behalf of the government, there was no movement till date.

The DRM has made it clear that the works at Tiruchanur railway station were going on expected lines. He made surprise visits at Tirupati railway station on Monday and went round the platforms, waiting halls and inspected passenger amenities in view of the increasing rush on account of Vaikunta Ekadasi on Tuesday. Senior DCM Rakesh, Station Director K Satyanarayana, Station Manager M Subodh Mithra and RPF CI K Saidaiah were also present.

Tenders floated for RuB at RC gate

At last, fulfilling the long pending demand of denizens of pilgrim city to have a Road under Bridge (RuB) at Rayala Cheruvu gate, Railways have floated tenders to take up the works.

The works will be taken up jointly by railways and the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati and the total cost will be borne equally by the two authorities.

However, the State government has issued orders in October this year, that TUDA will bear the expenditure on behalf of the government and work in coordination with railways. The hardships of denizens with the level crossing gate at Rayala Cheruvu road were well recognised by the railways than civic authorities.

The problem was so severe at this gate which was located at the heart of the city connecting the north and south sides.

With an estimated 2.5 lakh vehicles passing through it daily while the gate will be closed as many as 80 times a day for the traffic to facilitate trains movement and the problem was unimaginable during the peak hours.

About 40 trains pass through this gate and it has to be closed for shunting and other purposes too. The problem was there for more than two decades while it aggravates by each passing day.

Taking into consideration the gravity of the problem, South Central Railway (SCR) General Manager (GM) Vinod Kumar Yadav took special interest in taking up the proposal for constructing RuB forward.

He visited Tirupati several times and held discussions with the civic authorities. Even, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and ADRM also held confabulations with the Corporation officials for several times.

In order to move ahead with the construction works, the main drainage that passes through the gate has to be diverted by the MCT. Unless, they complete this work, railways could not proceed.

Even after repeated discussions, the corporation has failed to take up the drain diversion works. They have to undertake some other works like providing approach roads etc., The lack of initiation from the MCT for almost one year has tied the hands of railways.

In fact, in such situations, civic authorities have to run after the railways to accept the proposals for bridge works. Here, the reverse was the case and yet there was no result. However, with the tender work has begun, railways have kept a board at the bridge site indicating the details of the project.

Speaking to media, the SCR GM said that the proposed works will be completed by August 31, 2019.

While the construction of bridge has to be taken up by railways, the shifting of water pipeline, UDC pipes and cables, construction of approach road and retaining walls were the responsibility of municipal authorities.

Asked about the delay in shifting of water and UDC pipes, he said, “They are doing it now. We have been getting full support from local authorities. Joint efforts will be made to complete the work before the stipulated time.

Let us move forward”. Still, as no works have been taken up at the bridge area to shift the lines, doubts persist on the completion of the project before the deadline.

IR energises 715 Railway Stations with Wi-Fi services; to extend the facility in another 5734 Railway Stations

NEW DELHI: Wi-Fi services have been provided at 715 no. of railway stations as on 14.12.2018. Wi-Fi services are proposed to be provided on 5734 railway stations. RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RCIL), a Public Sector Undertaking under Ministry of Railways has entered into an agreement with M/s. Mahataa Information India Private Limited (M/s. MIIPL), an Indian subsidiary of Google Inc. for providing free Wi-Fi at 438 A1 and A category stations. The complete cost has been shared by RCIL and MIIPL.

RCIL has also entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) / Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications for providing Wi-Fi services at 200 rural railway stations.

Free mobile Wi-Fi services at 715 railway stations have been used by 1.3 million unique users till the month of October 2018.

The cost of providing Wi-Fi at 438 stations where RCIL has entered into agreement with M/s. MIIPL is shared by RCIL & M/s. MIIPL and no fund has been provided by Government. However, the cost of providing Wi-Fi at 200 rural stations where RCIL has entered into an agreement with Ministry of Communications, the funds of ₹ 27.77 Crore have been provided by Ministry of Communications under USOF.

List of Stations (State-wise) where Wi-Fi Internet Facility is planned:-

S.No. Name of State No. of Stations
1. Andhra Pradesh 449
2. Arunachal Pradesh 02
3. Assam 225
4. Bihar 366
5. Chhattisgarh 109
6. Delhi 25
7. Goa 06
8. Gujarat 352
9. Haryana 117
10. Himachal Pradesh 42
11. Jammu & Kashmir 29
12. Jharkhand 191
13. Karnataka 159
14. Kerala 110
15. Madhya Pradesh 363
16. Maharashtra 489
17. Manipur 02
18. Meghalaya 02
19. Mizoram 01
20. Nagaland 02
21. Odisha 207
22. Puducherry 03
23. Punjab 211
24. Rajasthan 453
25. Tamilnadu 428
26. Telangana 10
27. Tripura 12
28. Uttar Pradesh 785
29. Uttarakhand 19
30. West Bengal 565
                                     Total 5734

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha yesterday.

IRSDC signs MoU with SBI, SBICAP for project

NEW DELHI: Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd (IRSDC) and Rail Development Authority (RLDA) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with State Bank of India and SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBICAP) for financing the project cost towards redevelopment and development of some identified stations.

The MoU was signed between IRSDC GM(Admn) Anil Kumar and SBI GM S Venkatraman, Vice-President SBICAP Abhinav Gupta here.

IRSDC, SBI and SBICAP will mutually work together for arriving at a broad understanding for the funding transaction on the basis of identified stations and commercial development of adjoining land parcels.

They will also try to achieve a funding mechanism which is optimal to the needs of both IRSDC and SBI.

IRSDC is a joint venture public Ltd company of IRCON International Ltd and Rail Development Authority(RLDA).

An MoU between Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and National Building Construction Corporation Ltd. has been signed on 30.06.2017 for redevelopment of 10 stations viz. Tirupati, Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Nellore, Madgaon, Charbagh (Lucknow), Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane New, Ernakulam Jn. and Puducherry as a part of the SMART City project launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Contracts have been awarded for redevelopment of Gomtinagar and Charbagh (Lucknow) railway stations. Bids have been invited for redevelopment of Puducherry and Tirupati stations.

Station redevelopment is planned by leveraging commercial development of land & air space in and around stations, i.e. vacant railway land and air space not required by Railways for its immediate operational needs shall be leased out to interested parties for setting up commercial establishments.

The revenues realized from commercial development of stations should be sufficient to at least cover the entire cost of station redevelopment after meeting the full expenditure on real estate development and Maintenance obligations, i.e. station redevelopment project would be cost neutral to Railways.

IRSDC has been entrusted all stations by Ministry of Railways for undertaking Techno-economic feasibility studies, master plans and business plans to undertake development/redevelopment of the stations. The Company is undertaking the work of development/re-development of the existing /new railway station(s) which will consist of upgrading the level of passenger amenities by new constructions/renovations including re-development of the station buildings, platform surfaces, circulating area, etc., to better standards so as to serve the need of the passengers. It will also undertake project for development of real estate on Railway/Government land and its commercial utilization as may be required in connection with development of railway stations.

Western Railway develops GPS location Tracking Solution to determine Speed & Location of Disaster Management Trains

MUMBAI: In a series of unique innovations, Western Railway has developed a GPS based location tracking solution to determine the precise location and speed of Disaster Management Trains. The system has been implemented in all Accident Relief Trains (ART), Accident Relief Medical Equipment (ARME) and Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains (SPART) of Mumbai division of Western Railway. Earlier, it was always a challenge to know the actual location of Relief trains during the movement of Accident Relief Equipment to accident/disaster sites.

According to a press release issued by Shri Ravinder Bhakar – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, this tracking system provides an automated solution with real time location and speed tracking, recording and traceability. The recording is independent of GSM signals as the tracker obtains the location directly from satellite. The data is from GPS and hence undisputable. The tracking system is installed in all the Accident Relief Trains/Accident Relief Medical Equipment of Mumbai division at Udhna, Valsad, Bandra, Nandurbar.

The system comprises of:

  • A PT08 vehicle GPS tracker blue
  • GPS + LBS(network) dual locating
  • Inbuilt Geo-sensor
  • Inbuilt Li ion battery(400 mAh)
  • 24 V power supply
  • Angle data uploads and data storage

The important information that can be derived from this system are, speed and location of the ART/ARME – On Real Time basis, GPS Tracker records location independent of GSM and a replay of actual movement with precise speed-time-location mapping is available later. The location overlap with Google Maps allows determining the closest/fastest road approach. The installation of the system is very simple. It uses a mobile charging point provided in the Rolling Stock. The mobile based app is universally accessible and the tracker should be switched on all times. The installation is not only easy but cost effective too with one time cost of the equipment of Rs.7900 only. With this innovation, Western Railway is truly moving in the direction of Digital India.

BEML shares zooms 30% in 10 days post Mumbai Metro deal, Bullet Train rakes Indigenisation talks

BEML Ltd has pitched for indigenisation of at least six rakes of bullet train coaches in collaboration with its Japanese partner Hitachi. BEML also bagged a contract worth Rs.3,015 crore for the Mumbai Metro Rail corridor last month.

BANGALORE: BEML was up 7% at Rs.911/-, surging 30% in the past 10 trading days at BSE.

BEML Ltd, the country’s largest railway coach maker, has pitched for indigenisation of at least six rakes of bullet train coaches in collaboration with its Japanese partner Hitachi. Japanese companies Hitachi and Kawasaki will bid to be the main contractor in the Japan government-assisted Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project.

“We have submitted our request for indigenisation of six bullet rakes (60 coaches),” BEML Chairman and Managing Director D K Hota told PTI.

However, in joint negotiation meetings, Hitachi had indicated that if the project has to meet its rollout deadline of 2023, then indigenisation of not more than one bullet train rake could be possible.

“We want more volume in the indigenisation process, which will be a win-win for the country and make our investments viable in the bullet train project,” Hota said.

The USD 15-billion project envisages 24 rakes comprising 240 coaches, which would run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

BEML is keen on undertaking the entire interior work that is termed as ‘level three indigenisation’. The broad contours can only be finalised after the bidding and selection of the main contractor and the subcontractor for the bullet train project, an official said.

A team of BEML officials had recently visited the Hitachi facility in Japan to evaluate ground realities.

Indigenisation of coaches is part of the central government’s ‘Make in India’ mission. The railway coaches business is a key and growing segment for Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), which can produce 800 rail coaches and 300 metro coaches per annum.

Meanwhile, it has also bagged a contract worth Rs 3,015 crore for the Mumbai Metro corridor. The public sector company will manufacture 378 metro cars for the Mumbai Metro Corridors 2A, 2B and 7.  The company on November 23, announced that it has bagged contract worth of Rs 30.15 billion from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to supply rolling stock on Metro corridors 2A, 2B and 7. According to BEML, there is scope for another 120-odd metro cars in the same project in the second lot, taking the total to 500.

Hota had recently said the company was aiming at a 30-per cent rise in the bottom line in the 2018-19 fiscal.

BEML was up 7% at Rs.911/-, surging 30% in the past 10 trading days at BSE.

Shares of companies related to the railway sector were also trading higher by up to 7% on the back of the order flow. Texmaco Rail and Engineering, Titagarh Wagons and Commercial Engineers & Body Builders Company (CEBBCO) were up 2% to 7% on BSE. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.49% at 36,306 points at 11:32 am.

CEBBCO is locked in upper circuit for the fourth straight trading days, up 5% at Rs 25.90, also its 52-week high on BSE. The stock soared 38% in the past eight days from Rs 18.75, as compared to a 4% rise in S&P BSE Sensex.

Last week, the company bagged a development contract worth of Rs 1,523 million for manufacture and supply of wagons to Railway Stores (S), Ministry of Railways, Government of India. These wagons are BOXNHL type, designed to carry coal, steel, stones etc.

Titagarh Wagons was too up 5% at Rs 85, gaining 28% in the past eight trading days on bagging an over Rs 1,500 million from Indian Railways.

“The company has been awarded a contract for manufacture and supply of 5,058 wagons to Indian Railways, the bidding for which was conducted under the reverse auction method. These wagons are BOXN HL type, designed to carry coal, steel, stones etc. and the value of the order is Rs 1,561 million,” Titagarh Wagons said in a regulatory filing on December 10.

As per the contract, one-third quantity (1686 Wagons) is to be supplied within six months and to complete the supply of the full quantity of wagons before 28.02.2020, it added.

Policy instructions regarding criteria for Green Certification of Railway establishments

NEW DELHI: Recent Policy instructions regarding criteria for Green Certification of Railway establishments are made available by Ministry of Railways on the Indian Railways website www.indianrailways.gov.in at the link http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/Environment_Management/Policy_Inititive_010217.pdf

These include parameters having direct relation to environment improvement, such as, Energy conservation measures, use of renewable, Water recycling/rain water harvesting, Waste management (Solid & Liquids) and its disposal, Tree Plantation/ Green cover, etc.

All major Railway establishments including building, production units/workshops, stations, hospitals, schools and training centres are to be covered for Green Certification from any of the Recognised Certification Body.

The requisite details of CSR Policy are available on the Indian Railways website www.indianrailways.gov.in at the link

http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/Environment_Management/Commercial_Circulars/EnHm_Circular_1_2016.pdf

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

e-Drishti software to help Railways Minister and CRB keep track of punctuality of trains

NEW DELHI: An ‘e-Drishti’ interface has been unveiled for the Union Railway Minister, Minister of State and Board Members. This software includes an interface which provides summary information on punctuality of trains for the previous day.

There is also an interface which provides information on current train running on the Indian Railway network. In addition, there are interfaces providing details of freight earning, freight loading and passenger earnings for the previous day & month and cumulative for the year, in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Punctuality of passenger carrying trains is being also monitored rigorously to improve punctuality performance on a daily basis at Divisional, Zonal and Railway Board levels by Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs), General Managers (GMs) and Railway Board Members and senior officers.

To ensure running of trains right time when pairing trains are running late, scratch rakes are inducted and rakes are standardized to the extent operationally feasible.

Also various steps have been initiated to improve punctuality such as prioritization of preventive maintenance of assets to minimize asset failures, capacity enhancement projects by construction of additional loop lines at stations, doubling, construction of third line corridors, automatic signalling, construction of limited height subways to replace level crossings, Road Under Bridges (RUB) and Road Over Bridges (ROB) etc.

Besides, punctuality drives are launched from time to time and staff involved in train operations is sensitized. In addition, Zonal Railways have also been advised to have better coordination with Civil and Police authorities of states to deal with situations arising out of law and order problems.

Using this software, Railway Minister can track any information with just a click of mouse — whether from his office or while on the move. It will also enable Minister to know at any given point of time day’s freight and passenger earnings, freight loading and unloading, punctuality, progress of major projects, public grievances, movement of trains across the country, details of railway stations and much more.

It also has been connected with base kitchens of Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) as many complaints comes regarding the quality of food served on trains. Through live video, Minister will be able to monitor the goings on in IRCTC kitchens. It will also provide the live status of reserved and unreserved passengers travelling on trains besides providing the exact location of trains at any point of time.

SAIL, Indian Railways ink Long Term Tariff Contract agreement

SAIL Enters Into a Long Term Tariff Contract With Railways For Loading & Unloading Terminals

NEW DELHI: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Indian Railways have entered into a strategic agreement on long Term Tariff Contract (lTTC) on Tuesday, a Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) press release informed.

The agreement was signed in the presence of senior officers of Railways and SAIL in the office of CCM of South Eastern Railway in Kolkata.

The agreement was inked by Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, CCM, SE Railway on behalf of Railways and by Debabrata Maiti, GM (Rail Movement) on behalf of SAIL and is valid for a period of three years.

SAIl is one of the premier customers of Indian Railways, having a rail coefficient of over 95%.

This agreement involves as many as 15 Zones of Indian Railways for loading and unloading terminals, with different commodities applicable to LTTC, viz, Iron & Steel, Pig Iron, Slag, limestone, Dolomite, Manganese Ore etc with a Benchmark Gross Freight Revenue (BGFR) of Rs 3,417.74 crores and with corresponding tonnage of 19.3 MT effective from September 1, 2017. At present, this is the highest LTTC agreement in terms of gross freight revenue of Railways.

SAIL is on the verge of completion of a major modernisation program at its different steel plants and is expected to attain substantial incremental growth.

SAIL expects that infrastructural improvement at loading and unloading areas will reduce the detention and thereby improve the overall turn-around time of railway wagons in the future. As such, LTTC agreement will be mutually beneficial to both the organisations, the press release informed.

THESE ARE THE COMMODITIES APPLICABLE TO THE CONTRACT

Different commodities applicable to the contract are:

  • Iron & Steel
  • Pig Iron
  • Slag
  • Limestone
  • Dolomite
  • Manganese Ore

With a benchmark gross freight revenue (BGFR) of Rs 3,417.74 crore and with corresponding tonnage of 19.3 million tonnes (MT) effective from September.

  • Currently, this is the highest Long Term Tariff Contract (LTTC) agreement in terms of Gross Freight Revenue of Railways.
  • “Steel Authority of India Ltd and Indian Railways have entered into a strategic agreement on Long Term Tariff Contract (LTTC) on August 29, 2017,” SAIL said in a statement.
  • Long Term Tariff Contract has been introduced by Indian Railways to establish long-term contracts with customers with guaranteed incremental revenue for Indian Railways, the statement said.
  • The contract can be for a period of three to five years.

World’s first Lifeline Hospital train reaches Tripura, over 1000 patients attended in two days

Lifeline Express is a train healthcare service which was set up as a joint initiative of Impact India Foundation, Indian Railways and Ministry of Health in 1991.

AGARTALA: Over a thousand patients from far-flung rural hamlets of North Tripura district have been treated at Lifeline Express, the world’s first hospital train, since Tuesday at Churaibari Railway Station of North Tripura district.

Lifeline Express is a train healthcare service which was set up as a joint initiative of Impact India Foundation, Indian Railways and Ministry of Health in 1991.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Lifeline Express Joint Director Anil Premsagar Wednesday informed that the hospital train received good response among local people and has attended to over a thousand patients in the first two days.

“We received 400 patients on the first day. It is 4 PM now and we have already received 600 patients. The idea behind the train is to provide diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment to persons with disabilities and reach out to inaccessible rural areas that lack medical services”, he said.

Among those who received treatment on the ‘hospital train’ so far, 77 cataract patients were identified, who would undergo surgery starting tomorrow.

“We have identified 77 cataract patients here so far. We shall commence surgery from tomorrow. We offer surgeries on eye and ear conditions, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and treatment of oral, breast and cervical cancer on Lifeline Express”, Premsagar told this correspondent.

CMO Jagadish Chandra Nama said 11 health department personnel were deployed at Churaibari to assist authorities on board the train. This is a great service and we shall support it in every way, he said.

Churaibari Assistant Station Superintendent Prasanta Bhattacharjee informed that the train arrived in Tripura on December 16. It has started offering treatment since Tuesday and would continue its services till January 06 next year.

Lifeline Express was initially supposed to make base at Kumarghat railway station in Tripura. But it was routed to Churaibari due to absence of siding line and problems of Food Corporation of India (FCI) work at Kumarhat.

Its services were opened up at Churaibari on Tuesday by North Tripura district magistrate Raval Hamendra Kumar.

The hospital train has conducted 1.30 lakh surgeries and treated over 10 lakh patients in its Out Patient Department (OPD) across 184 districts in 20 states of the country till now.

Saluting the Stalwarts – Railway Legends Honoured in Bengaluru

In the picture seen are MrAlok Sinha, MD/Frauscher India, Mr.Micheal Thiel, Global CEO, Frauscher & Captain Rahul Bali, MD, Innovations India

BENGALURU: Legendary Railway Signalling &Telecom Engineers who completed 5 decades of serving across the world making significant contributions in the field of Railway Signalling & Telecom were honoured at a special event called Saluting the Stalwarts at Hotel Shangri-La in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The event saw the presence of a huge number of dignitaries like the ADGP of Karnataka Police Sh. Sanjay Sahay, Global CEO Frauscher Sensor Technology Mr. Micheal Thiel, Hitachi India Head Mr. Mangal Dev, Veterans of the Indian Railways, Top Corporate Honchos, Captains of various Industries and Senior Government officers who came from various parts of India and the world to express their solidarity with this noble cause of honouring the legends of Railways.

On this occasion, a special symposium was organised where eminent personalities from various walks of life shared their thoughts and made relevant deliberations followed by the felicitation of the Railway S&T Stalwarts. As one of the legendary Railway S &T stalwart Sh. Chandrika Prasad took the audience down the memory lane, Sh. Sanjay Sahay gave an absolutely wonderful perspective about the future of Indian Railway Signalling & Telecom. Mr. Micheal Thiel who came all the way from Austria to be a part of this event said that initiatives like this showcase the glorious past of Railways and instil a feeling of pride amongst the Railway S&T professionals.

Saluting the Stalwarts, is an honest and humble effort by the industry and our organising partners Innovations India to reach out to the heroes of the S&T world and recognise their contributions and express our gratitude to them for the unconditional hard work that they have put in for decades in the field of Railway S&T. We plan to organize this event regularly as an endeavour to honour our legends as well as highlight various aspects of Railway S&T that would surely convert it into one of the most desirable events to promote business cooperation across various sectors of trade and industry. said Mr. Alok Sinha, MD Frauscher India.

Captain Rahul Bali, MD Innovations India said that the event was conceptualised with an aim to act as a platform that would honour the stalwarts and attract the brightest minds from across the world to ideate, showcase innovation and best practices, and discuss their application in the field of Railway Signaling and Telecom for the overall benefit of Railways. He said that while it was very heartening to see some of the Leading players of Railway S &T as well as major stakeholders of the Indian Railways participate in this event, the way forward from here was both ambitious and challenging.

Saluting the Stalwarts successfully conveyed a strong message that – Heroes are remembered but Legends never die.

Delhi State Govt rejects NCRTC proposal to build elevated station at Sarai Kale Khan

NEW DELHI: Regional Rail Transit System (RRTS), the high speed connecting Delhi with its peripheral area appears to have missed the July 2024 deadline as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government has officially rejected the National Capital Region Transport Corporation’s (NCRTC) proposal to build an elevated station for RRTS at Sarai Kale Khan.

To make Sarai Kale Khan a new phase of ISBT in national Capital, the AAP Government has suggested NCRTC to build its station underground.

The Delhi Government has been planning to revamp Sarai Kale Khan and provide connectivity between the Metro, railway station and the bus stand using travelators and skywalks.

According to officials in the Delhi government as well as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), which is behind the RRTS project, the bone of contention is whether the station would be built overhead or underground. While RRTS wants an overhead station, Delhi Government is insisting on an underground one before it gives its nod to the project, to be co-funded by the governments. Till a decision is made, the revamp of Sarai Kale Khan will remain stalled.

DELHI GOVERNMENT’S PLAN

Delhi Governments new building for Sarai Kale Khan ISBT has been stuck for more than five years as the site was earmarked as a green area in the Master Plan prompting Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to withhold its nod.

“The MoHUA changed the land use from ‘District Park’ to ‘Transportation’ in February 2015. This was done to facilitate the Delhi Government in developing  Sarai Kale Khan ISBT,” said a senior Government official.

According to a Delhi Government official, ISBT will be developed as a multi-modal transit centre that will integrate city bus service and railways. Thirty per cent of the land has been kept for building hotels at the ISBT, which will have airport-matching facilities.

“This ISBT will be developed with facilities for underground bus parking, car parking and designated places for autos, taxis and two-wheelers,” the official said.

A complete makeover has been proposed for the ISBT at Sarai Kale Khan, which was established in 1996 and caters to nearly 800 buses and more than 50,000 passengers every day.

NCRTC’s PROPOSAL

Whereas in its proposal, the NCRTC have not neglected these redevelopment plans of Delhi Government either for renovating ISBT or constructing a hotel at Sarai Kale Khan.

According to NCRTC which is implementing agency of RRTS, there is no restriction in Delhi Governments redevelopment plans. “The construction of RRTS station and redevelopment of ISBT as proposed by Government is possible. The only modifications regarding sites of hotel or ISBT have been proposed that too with intent to provide maximum benefit to commuters,” said a senior NCRTC official.

“The entire focus is on seamless movement of commuters from one mode to another.

Moreover, since an underground Metro Station is already existed over there, so an underground RRTS station has to be 50m below ground, so considering the current state of affairs at Sarai Kale Khan, no parallel activity is possible, when digging for the construction of an underground RRTS station would take place, which is a time-consuming affair and will take years to complete.

So redevelopment would only be possible with an elevated RRTS station as proposed by NCRTC,” said the official.

Integral Coach Factory rolls out first ever Self Propelled Inspection Car

CHENNAI: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) today rolled out Indian Railways’ first ever Self Propelled Inspection Car (SPIC) from ICF Furnishing Division by a senior ICF employee in the presence of other officials.

According to ICF, maintenance engineers of railways regularly carry out inspection works at places like tracks, level-crossings and stations. So, they make use of an inspection coach which is hauled by diesel or by an electric locomotive.

As a separate locomotive is used for such inspection purposes, it becomes expensive to conduct the maintenance work. Sources also noted that during maintenance, the locomotives undergo ETR (Engine Turn Round). In Railway parlance, it means that the locomotive has to be detached from one end and coupled to the coaches yet again from the other end for the return journey. Such a method are high expensive and moreover, they are time-consuming.

To curb this issue, the engineers at ICF came up with SPIC. As the name suggests, SPIC is self-propelled, meaning that it is powered by diesel-electric power pack which is placed in the under-slung of the car. Thereby it effectively eliminates the need for using a separate locomotive coach.

Senior officials from ICF revealed that the SPIC prototype has been manufactured at an approximate cost of Rs 4.5 crore.

Features
* Stainless steel body coach with an aerodynamically designed driving cars in the end.
* Coaches are fully air-conditioned including the driving cars.
* Has a seating capacity for 32 persons.
* CCTV cameras and LED display on the driver’s car.
* Onboard Wi-fi.
* Vacuum-assisted bio-toilet.
* LED lightings.
* GPS based passenger information system.
* 340 HP underslung diesel-electric power pack for propulsion.
* 40 KVA underslung DA set for air conditioning and for powering the light and fans.

Hyderabad-Medak rail line connectivity works on track – Railway line between Akanapet and Medak to be constructed soon

With the construction of a new railway line between Akanapet and Medak, Telangana people’s long-cherished dream of Hyderabad-Medak rail connectivity is set to be fulfilled very soon.

HYDERABAD: The much-awaited Hyderabad-Medak rail connectivity is finally seeing the light of the day. The allocation for the Akanapet–Medak new line from 2014-15 to 2018-19 was Rs 169 crore and the budgetary allocation for the 2018-19 financial year is Rs122.27 crore. The new railway line is targeted for completion by March 2019. It is one of the important new railway line projects being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Medak being an important town situated nearer to capital city has so far not been connected by rail. At present the people from the Medak area are dependent on the road transport only. The project will bring the Medak district on the India Railway atlas and club the backward interior area people with rail network effectively.

The project was sanctioned in 2012-2013 at an estimated cost of Rs 117.72 crores for a distance of 17.2kilometers. It is destined to usher in a new dawn of financial growth and development in the region, on the strength of a reliable rail route, which will open up new avenues of mobility.  The initiative of the railways has met the co-operation of the Government of Telangana, with the Indian Railways and the State Govt. bearing 50% of the project cost, each. In addition, the State government. has given land free of cost for the new rail line.Laying of the new line involves construction of 3 new Railway stations, 3 major bridges, 1 Road Over Bridge, 35 minor bridges and 15 Road Under Bridges.

Akanapet – Medak new railway line will provide connectivity to three more important towns with three new railway stations including Medak.

UPCOMING STATIONS

  1. Akanapet: it a station on the existing Secunderabad to Mudkhed Broad Gauge section. This station in futurebecomes a junction station with one main line and existing one loop line and one more loop line proposed to connect the Medak line. In addition to the high level platform one more high level plat form is proposed to accommodate the more trains with Foot Over Bridge. Ramayampet is the Mandal place which is 2 Kms near by the existing Akanapet station. The place is famous for manufacture of brass and silverwear, wooden furniture and statues.
  2. Lakshmapur: Thiswill be a crossing station with one main line and two loop lines. One High level and one low level platforms are proposed. A new station building is proposed for construction including Relay, Battery/Generator room.
  3. Shamanapur: This is a new halt with one low level plat form and a new station building for booking counter and waiting hall.
  4. Medak: This is a developing town and District head quarters. This is also an important commercial centre for different agricultural products that is being exported to far of place. The place is famous for Medak Church of South India, Westly – South India’s largest Church since 1924. Once rail net work is being connected, it will be accommodate more benefit to the rail users/pilgrims to travel directly towards Mumbai, Nanded, Aurangabad, Delhi and Northern Districts of TelanganaState and the station importance will be amplified and become a tourist hub. This will be a terminal station facilitated with one main line, one passenger loop line and one goodsloading/unloading line. One high level platform and one rail level goods platform is proposed for the convenience on the passengers and freight loading/unloading. A new station building including Battery/Generator room is proposed for construction.

With the construction of a new railway line between Akanapet and Medak, Telangana people’s long-cherished dream of Hyderabad-Medak rail connectivity is set to be fulfilled very soon.

While the new railway line, the construction of which is scheduled to be completed in the early part of the New Year, will cater to the needs of the people travelling between Medak and Hyderabad, it will also mark a new dawn of financial growth and development in the region.

An important project being monitored by the Prime Minister’s office and being implemented under the transformational policies adopted by Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal according to top priority for the last mile projects, the Akanapet-Medak railway line is scheduled to be complete by March next year.

Once completed, this railway project will not only put Medak, an important town near Hyderabad which is hitherto unconnected by rail, as well as the district on the railway map and will also provide rail connectivity to the people of interior and backward areas of this district. The 17.2 km project was sanctioned in 2012-13 at an estimated cost of Rs 117.72 crore. The Indian Railways allocated Rs 169 crore for the project during 2014-15 to 2018-19 and it has also set aside Rs 122.27 crore for the 2018-19 financial year.

The project, on the strength of a reliable rail route, is set to open new avenues of mobility and contribute to the overall development in the region.

TS contribution

The initiative of the Railways has met the cooperation of the Telangana government, with Indian Railways bearing 50 per cent of the project cost and 50 per cent the State government.

In addition, the State government has also given land free of cost for the construction of a new rail line. Laying of the new line involves the construction of three new railway stations, three major bridges, one Road Over Bridge, 35 minor bridges and 15 Road Under Bridges.

The new railway line will provide connectivity to three more important towns with three new railway stations, including Medak.

The existing Akanapet Station will become a junction with one main line and a new loop line, proposed to connect the Medak line, added to the existing loop line. In addition to the existing high-level platform, it is proposed to have an additional high-level platform and a Foot Over Bridge.

Besides Medak, the other major station on the line will be Lakshmapur, which will be a crossing station with one main line and two loop lines. There are plans to have one high level and one low-level platforms at this station, with a proposal for construction of a new station building, including relay, battery or generator room.

New facilities

Medak, a developing town and the district headquarters, is an important commercial centre for different agricultural products which are exported to different places. The town is also famous for Medak Church of South India, Westly – South India’s largest Church since 1924.

Medak will be a terminal station and it will have one main line, one passenger loop line and one goods loading/unloading line. One high-level platform and one rail level goods platform, and a new station building, including battery or generator room, are proposed to be built at this station.

Once the project is completed, more rail users, including the pilgrims, will benefit a lot as they will be able to travel directly to and from Mumbai, Nanded, Aurangabad, Delhi and northern districts of Telangana. There is every possibility of this town becoming a major tourist hub after the completion of the project.

‘Speed up ongoing railway works in Nizamabad’

Nizamabad: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asked the officials concerned to speed up the ongoing project works like Railway Under Bridge, Railway Over Bridges and Widening of Level Crossings Gates in Nizamabad Lok Saba constituency. The Minister has sent a written replay on Wednesday to Nizamabad MP K Kavitha, who had sent him a letter on January 24 about Railway projects issue in the district.  Minister also assured that a RUB, which is under progress at Vijaya Talkis, in Nizamabad town will be completed soon.

Gujarat high court notice to ASI, railways over construction near Brick Minarets

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court has issued notice to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and local administration over a PIL complaining of illegal construction by the railway authorities within restricted zone of the Brick Minarets, which are a centrally protected monument in Kalupur area.

The Brick Minarets are the tallest in Ahmedabad and are now located to the north of Ahmedabad Junction railway station. Though much damaged, especially near the foot, the stairs inside the minarets may still be used. The minarets are three stories tall with carved balconies.

A resident of Walled City, Munaf Ahmed Mullaji has sought HC directions to ASI for its inaction against the DRM, who illegally put up construction within 30 metre of the protected monument, though the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act does not permit any construction within a 100-metre zone and prohibits it in a 200-metre regulated zone without permission from competent authority.

Petitioner’s advocate Khalid Shaikh submitted before the HC that the railway authorities started illegal construction in the prohibited zone of the brick minarets and ASI’s local office wrote to the DRM on January 1, 2018 to immediately obtain permission for the same. The same week, ASI issued a notice to the DRM asking him to stop construction work. On January 17, ASI issued a show-cause notice and on July 17, ASI threatened the DRM of initiating criminal proceedings for violation of laws.

However, the ASI did not take any criminal action, neither did it remove the construction allegedly illegally put up by the railways. The petitioner made various representations to the ASI, but to no effect.

The petitioner has sought HC direction to ASI to take criminal action against the DRM for the illegal construction near the listed monument and sought directions to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the district collector for removal of the construction. His advocate termed the construction as illegal citing amended laws, which say that no new construction whatsoever could be permitted within the prohibited area of a centrally protected monument. The DRM could not have sought permission for the construction.

The court has sought reply from ASI and DRM by January 16.

Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project: First Consignment for Training Railway Officials on Special Tracks arrives from Japan

The institute, worth Rs 600 crore is being set up in the campus of National Academy of Indian Railways, in order to train people on various operations that are required to run the high-speed train network efficiently.
As the country does not has the technology to manufacture slab tracks, as many as 20 slabs have been imported from Japan to train the trainees.

NEW DELHI: Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project gets big consignment from Japan! With India gearing up for its first-ever bullet train, work on developing a training institute in Vadodara, Gujarat is going on in full swing. The institute, worth Rs 600 crore is being set up in the campus of National Academy of Indian Railways, in order to train people on various operations that are required to run the high-speed train network efficiently. Recently, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is executing the project received a big consignment from Japan. This included slab tracks, rails as well as other fixing components. The development of the project is being carried out in three packages, out of which, work on the first two packages is almost 50-60% complete.

While talking to Financial Express Online about the project, Deputy Chief Project Manager Anupam Awasthi said that in the first two phases, the corporation is developing the hostel building and setting up the slab track for training. The slab track which is going to be 100 metres long will include 50 metres straight track and 50 metres curved track. The slab track is being set up to provide training to those who will be recruited by NHSRCL for operation and maintenance of the bullet trains. He further said that the radius of the curve on the bullet train corridor will be around 6000 metres, which is a flat curve, unlike the sharp curves that could be seen in conventional Indian Railways. This is because the bullet train will run at a speed of 320 kmph.

As the country does not has the technology to manufacture slab tracks, as many as 20 slabs have been imported from Japan to train the trainees. In addition, 200 metres rail of JIS (Japan Industrial Standard) has been imported from Japan. Also, as India does not produce 13 mm diameter rebar, it has been imported as well.

Awasthi said that the slab track will include an embankment, filled with crushed stones. However, on the main line, elevated tracks will be used. In the training institute, the slab track is being laid on the ground over roadbed concrete. He further said that unlike normal Indian Railways, where sleepers are used to hold the rail, there will be no such component for the bullet train. Therefore, three kinds of inserts that are used in Japan have been imported, which will hold the rail on the slab track. He also added that the corporation is expecting the consignment of cement mortar by the end of this month, which will be embedded between the concrete bed and slab track. According to him, the main purpose of cement mortar is to provide resilience and dampness to the structure.

Meanwhile, the third package, which is going to be bigger than the first two, is stated to come up by early next year. It will include consignment for simulator as well as other signalling equipment to train staff in the institute.

MRVC proposes surcharge on Mumbai Suburban Railway fares

NITI Aayog also said the railways should enhance service delivery, achieving 95 per cent on-time arrivals by 2022-23. On Wednesday, the state government approved partially funding the project and the surcharge on fares. The proposed surcharge now awaits the nod of the Railway Board, NITI Aayog and the Cabinet.

MUMBAI: In what could raise suburban railway ticket fares by a rupee or more, the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has proposed a surcharge of up to 25 per cent on fares in the Detailed Project Reporters (DPR) for upcoming railway projects. The money would be used to repay loans for the upcoming Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-III and III A. The railways plans to take loans amounting to Rs 21,000 crore to fund these projects, sources told.

On Wednesday, the state government approved partially funding the project and the surcharge on fares. The proposed surcharge now awaits the nod of the Railway Board, NITI Aayog and the Cabinet.

At present, commuters pay a surcharge of 18 per cent on fares, which is used to repay loans taken for MUTP-II A. The MRVC receives up to Rs 3 on each suburban ticket for a distance of more than 10 km. According to a senior MRVC official, with the proposed surcharge, fares may go up by Re 1 or Rs 1.5.

“We are expected to take a loan of Rs 7,000 crore for projects under MUTP-III and Rs 14,000 crore for MUTP-III A. To repay the huge loans, increasing the surcharge is required. The railways will decide how the surcharge of 24 per cent will be implemented,” a senior MRVC official said.

Projects under MUTP-III A worth Rs 54,000 crore include an elevated corridor between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Panvel, a new suburban railway corridor between Panvel and Virar, introduction of communication-based technology to improve signalling and procurement of 210 AC locals.

Projects under MUTP-III worth Rs 10,085 crore include quadrupling of the Virar-Dahanu corridor, Panvel-Karjat suburban corridor, Airoli-Kalwa Link and trespass control measures.

Listing goals for the national transporter, NITI Aayog has said that it should increase the speed of infrastructure creation from the present 7 km/day to 19 km/day by 2022-23, achieve “100 per cent” electrification of broad gauge track in the same period and also increase the average speed of freight and mail/express trains to 50 km/hr (from about 24 km/hr in 2016-17) and 80 km/hr (from about 60 km/hr), respectively. It has also said the railways should enhance service delivery, achieving 95 per cent on-time arrivals by 2022-23.

“By 2022-23, the railways should have a freight load of 1.9 billion tonnes and an improved modal share of 40 per cent of freight movement from the current level of 33 per cent. Increase the share of non-fare revenues in total revenue to 20 per cent,” it said.

Subhash Gupta from Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee said, “Any hike in ticket fares will only come into the picture after the Lok Sabha elections….”

नीति आयोग ने रेलवे को 2023 तक इन कामों को पूरा करने का दिया टारगेट

नीति आयोग का कहना है कि रेलवे को किराये ढांचे और सब्सिडी को तर्कसंगत करना चाहिए और अपनी संपत्तियों के मौद्रिकरण से राजस्व जुटाना चाहिए.

नई दिल्ली – नीति आयोग का कहना है कि रेलवे को किराये ढांचे और सब्सिडी को तर्कसंगत करना चाहिए और अपनी संपत्तियों के मौद्रिकरण से राजस्व जुटाना चाहिए.

नीति आयोग ने नए भारत के लिए व्यापक राष्ट्रीय रणनीति का अनावरण करते हुए कहा कि रेलवे को अपने मूल्य ढांचे पर नए सिरे से विचार करना चाहिए, जिससे यात्री और माल ढुलाई खंड वह टिका रह सके. नए भारत के लिए रणनीति@75 रिपोर्ट में आयोग ने कहा कि ढुलाई भाड़ा सड़क परिवहन की लागत के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धी होना चाहिए.

इसमें कहा गया है कि 2022-23 तक भारत के पास ऐसा रेल नेटवर्क होना चाहिए जो न केवल दक्ष, विश्वसनीय और सुरक्षित हो बल्कि लागत दक्ष और पहुंच वाला भी हो. यह लोगों की आवाजाही से लेकर माल ढुलाई दोनों के लिए होनी चाहिए.

रेलवे के लिए लक्ष्य तय करते हुए नीति आयोग ने कहा कि उसे बुनियादी ढांचा सृजन की रफ्तार को मौजूदा सात किलोमीटर प्रतिदिन से बढ़ाकर 2022-23 तक 19 किलोमीटर प्रतिदिन करनी होगी. इसी अवधि में ब्रॉड गेज का शतप्रतिशत विद्युतीकरण हासिल करना होगा.

साथ ही इस दौरान माल गाड़ियों की औसत रफ्तार को 2016-17 के 24 किलोमीटर से बढ़ाकर 50 किलोमीटर प्रति घंटा और मेल-एक्सप्रेस ट्रेनों की औसत रफ्तार को 60 किलोमीटर से बढ़ाकर 80 किलोमीटर प्रति घंटा करना होगा.

Privatisation will put Railways upgrade on track, says NITI Aayog’s report.

NEW DELHI: From ownership of locomotives and rolling stocks to modernising stations, improvement of the railways hinges on “private participation,” said Niti Aayog, in its report on strategy for New India, released on Wednesday.

The planning body, in its suggestions, said that the national transporter should consider opening up ownership and operations of freight terminals and ownership of locomotives and rolling stock to the private sector under a transparent, neutral (non-railway) and fair regulatory mechanism.

The idea is to take steps that will keep India’s $2.7 trillion economy steadily expanding by about 8%, which could quicken to 9-10% by 2022-23, making India a $4 trillion economy.

The blueprint, called the “Strategy for New India@75”, released in the city by finance minister Arun Jaitley and NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, proposes increasing the share of taxes in national income to 22% from 17%, inclusion of fuel and electricity within the goods and services tax (GST) and privatizing airports, as well as key railway assets such as freight terminals, engines and rolling stock.

The idea is to take steps that will keep India’s $2.7 trillion economy steadily expanding by about 8%, which could quicken to 9-10% by 2022-23, making India a $4 trillion economy. “It is also necessary to ensure that growth is inclusive, sustained, clean and formalized,” the blueprint said.

The document, which captures the National Democratic Alliance administration’s prescription for future reforms and growth milestones, comes just months ahead of national elections due by May.

Explaining the need for the blueprint, Jaitley said sound policy measures would put the economy on track, lift people out of poverty and improve the quality of life.

Although unlike its predecessor Planning Commission, NITI Aayog is not involved in allocation of funds to various programmes, officials say its advice will be heeded by ministries, given that the think tank is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said the think tank has a monitoring and evaluation division, which prepares the outcome budget. “The entire focus of this government is on outcomes. Every resource spent is measured on the basis of outcomes delivered,” said Kant. Kumar said the strategy document was reviewed in detail by the Prime Minister. “Therefore, we do have some lever,” said Kumar.

The strategy paper lays emphasis on completing major infrastructure projects such as the first phase of Bharatmala Pariyojana, laying roads in the north-eastern region and digitally connecting 250,000 gram panchayats through the Bharat Net programme by 2019. It aims to deliver all government services up to the gram panchayat level digitally by 2022-23. It also proposes using idle land available with state-owned companies for productive use, giving every family a pucca house and ensuring power for all. Production of minerals is another priority for which the blueprint proposes a revamped exploration policy and a regulator.

“Popular aspirations are growing, people are becoming impatient. They want things to happen faster,” said Jaitley.

One key area of reform proposed by NITI Aayog is privatization of key government assets. The document advises that the government exit non-strategic sectors by divesting its stake, which will add to the exchequer. Liberalizing foreign ownership limits across industries, encouraging foreign investments in government securities and easing rupee bond limits are among the key suggestions.

NITI Aayog has suggested that the investment rate be boosted from 29% of GDP in FY18 to 36% by FY23.

Doubling goods and services exports to $800 billion by FY23 from $478 billion in FY18, improving the business environment and working with states to relax land and labour rules are also part of the agenda.

Cross-subsidisation of Fares by IR leads to Transport Bottlenecks affecting the Power Sector: World Bank

The cross-subsidisation of fares in the Railways whereby Freight Costs in India are among the highest globally, leads to transport bottlenecks affecting the power sector: says the World Bank report.

NEW DELHI: India lost a staggering $86.1 billion, equivalent to over 4 per cent of its GDP, owing to distortions in the power sector in 2016, says a World Bank report released on Wednesday.

The report tiltled ‘In the Dark: How much do power sector distortions cost South Asia?’ prepared by World Bank Senior Economist Fan Zhang, also says that although India has achieved 100 per cent village elctrification earlier this year, 178 million Indians still remain unconnected to the grid as per figures for 2017.

“India achieved 100 per cent village electrification in 2018. But at the household level, its rural access rate, at 81 per cent in 2017, is still the third-lowest in South Asia,” the report said.

It estimates the downstream impact of power shortages on rural households and firms at 1.42 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year and the second largest economic cost for the country.

It said the government should look to ensure steady power supply to households for its electrification programme to be truly successful.

Although the power deficit in the country has been substantially reduced over the last few years, the reliability of electricity is still low compared with global standards.

Te 2018 Global Competitiveness Report ranks India 80th among 137 countries in the reliability of electricity supply.

Using nightly satellite images from India for 2013, the World Bank study found that areas adjacent to newly electrified villages subsequently experienced worse power outages.

Among the major distortions in the sector, according to the report, is the lack of commercial mining in coal, a near monopoly on which is enjoyed by state-run Coal India, and which fuels over 70 per cent of the country’s power generation. It said the lack of competition has bred major inefficiency in India’s coal mining.

The cross-subsidisation of fares in the railways whereby freight costs in India are among the highest globally leads to transport bottlenecks affecting the power sector, the report said.

Using microeconomic data from utilities, households and firms, the report quantifies the cost of each type of distortion in the power supply chain.

“The results show that the overall economic cost of distortions – ranging from 4 to 7 per cent of GDP – is far greater than previously thought on the basis of analysis considering only the fiscal implications of distortion,” it added.

Railway electrification provides faster and reliable train journeys compared to those of diesel trains and a strong reduction of pollution in busy stations and in the country. However, many national programmes for the electrification of new and existing railway lines have required a substantial investment for the railway infrastructure.

This is because railway electrification uses AC single-phase power that requires connection to high-voltage transmission lines, which are not always available in the intended places where the railway feeder stations should be located and usually require complicated and extremely expensive modifications of the existing layouts.

New AC electric railways are not seen favourably by the transmission operators as they introduce negative phase sequence current and intermittent load peaks that affect the stability of the system, especially for future scenarios where the inertia of the power system will be substantially reduced for the widespread adoption of renewable power sources.

There is currently a need to find suitable and cheaper alternatives to traditional electrification systems that do not rely on connection to the high-voltage transmission system and allow the integration of renewable power sources and energy storage.

The typical power level of heavy railways and even high-speed railways are in the range of 100-500MVA, with individual supply points designed for a peak-power of 50-100MVA, which is compatible with the typical capabilities of medium-voltage distribution systems. However, innovative railway feeder stations need to be based on technologies that do not introduce any phase imbalance to the distribution network.

Passive and active methods are available to reduce or eliminate the imbalance. Passive solutions alternate the phases that supply each section of the track. The major drawback of this solution is the requirement of neutral sections ensuring electrical isolation between consecutive sections of the track.

Active solutions use power electronics converters operating together with, or in substitution of, the main power supply equipment in the feeder stations. Traditional methods use the power converters as power compensators – they inject a negative phase sequence current in phase opposition with the one drawn by the railway, so that the current supplied by the utility grid is balanced. More advanced solutions are instead based on replacing single-phase transformers with full-size power converters, operating at either the same or a different frequency of the power grid.

Active power compensators

An established technology is based on Static VAR (volt ampere reactive) compensators (SVCs), albeit they require large filters for the additional harmonics introduced by the thyristor switching. More recently, static synchronous compensators (STATCOMs) have been introduced. As they are switch-mode power converters operating with switching frequencies higher than those of thyristors, they require passive filters relatively smaller than those of SVCs. STATCOMs can be connected to the three-phase grid or the single‑phase overhead line and use a conventional two-level or three-level H-bridge topology. In East Asia, STATCOMs have been used in conjunction with V-V and Scott connected transformers to the phase imbalance of the railway.

Co-phase and advanced co-phase system

An alternative electrification system, called co-phase power supply, is a hybrid solution between a STATCOM and a full static converter. It uses a static single-phase to single-phase power converter and an impedance matching balance transformer, which acts as a three-phase to two-phase converter.

The aim of the control system is to inject the appropriate current to filter harmonics and eliminate the negative sequence on the three-phase supply. Unlike STATCOMS, the converter of the co-phase supply can also supply active power directly to the load. At present, a prototype feeder station has been built in China and the trials undertaken so far have shown improvement on the power quality of the supply.

The co-phase system has been further improved into the advanced co-phase power supply in which one three-phase transformer, connected to the railway line through the static converter, is added in parallel to the existing single-phase transformer and controlled to supply active power to the trains and to balance the three-phase current on the grid.

Full-size static converters

In this scheme, single-phase transformers are replaced by static converters that convert the three-phase power of the grid into the single-phase power for the railway. The power conversion can be either direct (AC/AC) or with an intermediate DC link (AC/DC and DC/AC).

Feeder stations with full-size static converters draw a nearly sinusoidal balanced current at nearly unity power factor. This is the technology widely used for all the countries operating with railway frequencies different from 50Hz. However, it is now becoming attractive also for 50Hz railways for the possibilities of longer feeding distances and better control capabilities compared to traditional feeding arrangements.

The static converter has an independent control of the input currents on the three-phase side and a regulated voltage on the single-phase side. Therefore, the utility grid can be fully isolated from nonlinear traction loads, like legacy locomotives that use diode or thyristor rectifiers.

The control of the voltage on the single-phase side also allows the synchronisation of the output voltages of multiple feeder stations, thus creating a continuous overhead line without neutral sections. Therefore, the electrified network would have a feeding arrangement similar to DC railways, where multiple feeder stations simultaneously supply the trains.

Static converters also allow active and reactive power sharing, thereby reducing the power ratings of the feeder stations. Additionally, as the output current is monitored, static converters can implement any desired short circuit management scheme, with much reduced short‑circuit current and, consequently, switchgear rating.

Medium-voltage DC electrification

At the present state of the art, DC electrified lines are already connected to medium voltage power distribution grids, as the DC voltage is generated by a three-phase diode rectifier that draws balanced current with high power factor. However, the level of the DC voltage is limited to around 3kV for the limitation on the maximum short-circuit breaking current of circuit breakers, which in turn limits the maximum capacity of the railway. A higher voltage of the power supply would also pose problems for traditional traction system of the trains, which operates at voltage levels of a few kV.

The recent introduction of new multilevel topologies now allows the design of reliable medium-voltage static converters that could be used for DC railway electrification. The advantages are being connected to a lower voltage drop for the DC operations of the line, enabling longer feeding distances, lower power losses for the lower resistance of the conductors and higher capacity for the lower currents on the line.

The main challenges are the need of suitable protection schemes to deal with short-circuit currents and the need of power electronics-based DC transformers on board of trains to replace traditional transformers. Both of these are under development, and valuable input can be taken from other research fields, mainly HVDC transmission and medium-voltage DC power distribution.

The new concept of medium voltage DC railways would fit very well with a future vision of electric railways better integrated with power distribution networks, especially for the possible interconnection with renewable power sources and energy storage, which typically operate with DC power.

HC clears hurdles for Railways to take over land in Velachery

Division Bench confirms orders passed by a single judge to evict encroachers

CHENNAI: A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday cleared all legal hurdles and paved the way for Southern Railway to take possession of 4.87 acres of prime land, allotted for the second phase of Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS), at Velachery here.

The Bench comprising Justices R. Subbiah and P.D. Audikesavalu dismissed a writ appeal filed by Annai Indira Gandhi Hut Dwellers Welfare Association which claimed right over 97 cents of the high value land and confirmed a judgement passed against it by Justice S. Vaidyanathan on Feb. 23.

The judges said, several multi-storey buildings had been constructed on the lands that were reportedly under the occupation of the appellant association and they were being used for commercial gains though it was the case of the association that all its members were poor hut dwellers.

It was the case of the association that it had as many as 97 members and that the government had allotted one cent of land to each of them in 1992. However, the allotment was abruptly cancelled in 2003 citing the need to handover the lands to Southern Railway for the project.

Challenge dismissed

Though the association challenged the cancellation by way of a writ petition filed in 2004, it got dismissed by Justice Vaidyanathan early this year after he learnt that the original allottees were no more in occupation of the lands where many multi storey commercial buildings had been raised.

The judge referred to the submissions made by Chennai Collector, in his counter affidavit, that actually 97 families in the locality had encroached upon the government land about two decades ago and thereafter made a request for allotment of one cent to each of them. Therefore, a G.O. was issued in 1992 assigning the lands.

Subsequently, the association increased its membership to 312 and obtained ‘pattas’ (land ownership documents) in the names of those members from a Tahsildar through illegal means. Shocked over encroachers squatting over government land and refusing to vacate, the single judge had termed them as “land grabbers” and ordered their eviction.

Concurring with his core findings, the Division Bench now said: “Most of the persons in favour of whom the lands were assigned, originally, were not actually living there. Further, it could be seen that lots of construction were put up unauthorisedly… Therefore, members of the appellant association are not entitled to the relief of equity to continue in the lands.”

Haryana CM approves 95Km Panipat-Asaoti Rail Line via.Rohtak-Jhajjar-Farukhnagar-Patli-Manesar-Sohna bypassing Delhi

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has accorded approval to the proposal of establishing a 95 kilometers new rail line from Panipat to Asaoti in Palwal via Rohtak-Jhajjar-Farukhnagar-Patli-Manesar-Sohna rail route bypassing Delhi.

This new rail line would be developed by the newly set up Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation (HRIDC), said an official spokesman.

He said that this new route would provide direct connectivity for Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal, Sohna and Gurugram with other districts of Haryana and Chandigarh and thus facilitate fast passenger connectivity (avoiding Delhi) to all the important places including the capital of the state and running of Shatabdi like trains from Gurugram to Chandigarh.

This would decongest Delhi rail network and immensely beneficial to the National Capital Region from an environment point of view by reducing the high density of both passenger and goods traffic in Delhi, he said.

The spokesman also said that the passage of rail network of Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabhgarh and Palwal area thorough Delhi is a major bottleneck in its industrial growth. The proposed new line would, thus, open up a new era of development of state’s economy.

While divulging details about the new rail line, he said that the major part of the route already exists on Indian Railway network and only missing links would be required to be provided. The route from Panipat to Jhajjar via Rohtak already exists. Jhajjar could be connected to already existing station at Farukhnagar through a new Railway line of about 30 Kilometers, the spokesman said.

He further said that while Farukhnagar to Garhi Harsaru and Garhi Harsaru to Patli are existing Railway lines, Patli to Asaoti new railway line via Manesar and Sohna, of about 60 Km length, would be required to be constructed. In addition, provision of Y-connections would be made at Garhi Harsaru, Patli and Asaoti Railway Stations.

The spokesman said that the development of this route is likely to give rise to new Greenfield Projects of Multi Modal Logistic Parks (MMLPs) in this region by the CONCOR or other players. This route would also facilitate direct connectivity (avoiding Delhi) for the major CONCOR depot at Tughlakabad to various important destinations in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan and Gujarat states, he said.

Besides, this would also give connectivity to the DFC at Asaoti which would facilitate traffic inflow/outflow from the entire Haryana State to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL). Thus, the Public Sector Undertakings like CONCOR, DFCCIL and HSIIDC could also be incorporated as partners with the HRIDC, he added.

Nadikudi-Srikalahasti new Rail Line a key link between cities of Guntur and Tirupati in AP

AMARAVATI: The Nadikudi-Sirkalahasti new railway line project, being undertaken by South Central Railway (SCR) to meet the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh, particularly to those hailing from backward regions of Guntur, Prakasham and Nellore Districts, which were hitherto unconnected on the rail map, will be a key link between cities of Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh once it is commissioned.

The project is sanctioned in 2011-2012 at an estimated cost of Rs 2289 crore for a distance of 309 kilometers, is destined to herald a new dawn of economic prosperity and development in the region, on the strength of a reliable rail route, which will open up new avenues of mobility.

The initiative of the Railway has met the co-operation of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, with the Indian Railways and the State Government bearing 50 per cent of the project cost, each. In addition, the State Government has given land free of cost for the new rail line.

The Nadikudi-Srikalahasti rail line project will serve as a key link between the cities Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, being the shortest route between these two urban hubs.

The line will enormously boost the potential for transportation of freight from the industrial belt of Guntur District to different parts of the state and beyond, besides generating a viable passenger transportation mode.

The project connects Secunderabad-Guntur Branch line at Nadikudi of Guntur district and Gudur-Renigunta main line at Srikalahasti in Chittoor district and is expected to serve over 20 lakh people in the three districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The Railway foresee traffic of around 10 lakh passengers utilizing the rail services once the project is commissioned, an SCR statement here said on Sunday.

Himalayan nation Nepal gets first modern train tracks

The competition between two Asian giants, India and China, for influence over tiny Nepal is yielding a bonanza in the form of the Himalayan mountain nation’s first modern railway – and possibly more to come.

KHATMANDU: New shiny rails connecting the 34 kilometers (21 miles) between Janakpur in southeastern Nepal and Jay Nagar in Bihar are raising hopes for more business and pilgrimages.

The railway is India’s latest bid to keep its foothold in South Asia, a traditional sphere of influence, as China spends billions on its massive Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure project that aims to expand trade across a vast arc of 65 countries from the South Pacific to Africa and Europe.

Biswombar Sah, a 62-year-old farmer, is among hundreds of people in Janakpur visiting the still-under-construction rail station daily to check on its progress as workers polish the marble floors, lay tiles on the platform and paint local art on the walls of the waiting room.

“These train tracks are the best thing to happen to us in a very long time. We are all thrilled about getting a modern train that will make travel so much easier and cheaper,” Sah said.

Once the new $80 million rail line begins operations, plans call for extending the railway deeper into Nepal.

For now, only a dusty trail passing through villages connects Jay Nagar and Janakpur. It’s mostly used by people bringing in daily goods on motorcycles and small trucks.

The British, who ruled India from 1858-1947, built a narrow-gauge 2.5-foot wide track in 1937 to transport timber from Nepal. That train, with only three rusted carriages, windows lacking panes, missing doors and iffy service – the engine often broke down for days – quit running in 2014.

Millions of Hindu devotees travel every year to the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur, where the Hindu goddess Sita is believed to have been born and later married the Hindu god Ram.

The new line will be able to handle bigger trains carrying more passengers than the old trains.

Home to Mount Everest and other peaks on the roof of the world, Nepal has limited road networks. Politicians have been promising for years to build new train lines across the mountainous country. China and India are vying for leverage by offering to build them, and that helped spur work on the Indian-funded Janakpur-Jay Nagar line.

Despite great hopes among those awaiting the new train it’s unclear exactly when passenger service will start. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been expected to travel by train to Janakpur in December to inaugurate the new line during a popular Hindu festival but that plan has been cancelled.

The new train connection is expected to give India a boost. And when it comes to railways, it already has an advantage since Nepal’s border with China is mountainous while the frontier with India is in the plains, said Dhruba Hari Adhikary, an independent analyst based in Kathmandu.

Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal Rail Line : PMO gears up to neutralise all disturbances

Jiribam-Silchar passenger train flagged off on May 27 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

IMPHAL: With a view to complete the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway construction work within the stipulated period, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has initiated necessary measures to neutralise all kinds of disturbances to the construction work.

On account of repeated disturbances to the construction work, the project’s deadline for completion has been extended several times.

As a result, the estimated cost of the project has surged considerably which entails unnecessary expenditure to the Government of India.

Taking strong exception to the repeated disturbances and the resultant delay, the PMO has initiated strong measures to neutralise all the disturbances and send necessary security forces, informed a well-placed source.

The estimated cost of the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal New Line Project is Rs 13,000 crore.

Out of this total estimated cost, Rs 7000 crore has been spent till March this year.

Out of the 111 Kms long railway line, laying of track for 12.50 Kms from Jiribam to Vangaichungpao had been completed and even trial had been conducted.

The 12 Kms long portion from Vangaichungpao to Kaimai is targeted for completion by March next year.

Likewise, the 60.50 Kms long portion from Kaimai to Tupul is set for completion by March 2020.The final section from Tupul to Imphal which is 26.93 Kms long is targeted for completion by March 2021.The PMO has taken up strong measures including deployment of adequate security forces to ensure that the project’s different portions can be completed within the stipulated periods.

The PMO has already started sending troops of Territorial Army to protect labourers and officials engaged in the railway project.

Notably, the work sites are already guarded by troops of CRPF, IRB, 5th MR and Assam Rifles.

However, it is not yet clear how many troops of TA would be sent by PMO for securing the railway project’s work sites, said the source.

Nonetheless, the PMO has sent one company of TA.

Adequate strength of TA troops would be sent within the current month, conveyed the source.

Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line is divided into two major sections- Jiribam-Tupul (84 Kms) and Tupul-Imphal (27 Kms) .

The railway line would have 46 tunnels with a total length of 59 Kms.

The railway line would also have 123 minor bridges, 32 major bridges and six high rise bridges including bridges as high as 141 m, 120m, 98mand 70m.Construction of the six high rise bridges has been completed by 50 per cent and construction of the 32 major bridges are yet to take off.

Construction of minor bridges has been completed by over 70 per cent.

Construction of tunnels has been completed for 52 Kms out of the total combined length of 59 Kms, added the source.

Start work on Jammu-Poonch Rail Line: Jugal

JAMMU: Jugal Kishore Sharma, BJP Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Jammu-Poonch Constituency demanded starting of work on the railway line from Jammu to Poonch via Nowshera –Rajouri.

The demand was made by him in the Lok Sabha. Jugal Kishore Sharma complimented the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi & Minister of Railways for sanctioning the project for laying of Railway Line from Jammu to Nowshera Rajouri upto Poonch and said that the survey for laying of railway line has been completed and needs Railway Minister’s approval  to start the work at the earnest. He said that during his frequent tour in Jammu, Akhnoor, Sunderbani, Nowshera, Rajouri and Poonch belt, people demanded Railway line from Jammu to Poonch and this is a very genuine demand.

Jugal said that the demand is pending for last 70 years and the migration of people from rural to the urban areas will stop after arrival of train in Rajouri and Poonch. He added that Jammu to Poonch Railway line will also provide great benefit to the people and the army in Rajouri Poonch sector. He said that he had also raised his voice in the same concern before and was given assurance that work will be started.

Jugal requested Minister of Railways in Lok Sabha session to approve the project & release the funds to start the construction work for laying of Jammu-Poonch Railway line at the earnest so that the people of Jammu, Akhnoor, Sunderbani, Nowshera, Rajouri and Poonch belt get connected through Rail.

Parliament Panel asks Railways to fix responsibility for project delays

The committee recommended the monitoring committees at Railway Board, every zonal railways level and there should be strict monitoring of all the progress to ensure their timely completion.

NEW DELHI: A parliamentary committee has pulled up the Ministry of Railways for failing to provide any completion timeline for nearly 3000 rail bridges sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3328 crores since 2015 and has asked the Railway Board to have strict monitoring of all projects and fix responsibility for unreasonable and unexplained delays.

The action taken by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on Maintenance of Bridges in Indian Railways tabled in both houses of parliament Tuesday said that the submission by the ministry is conspicuously silent on the issue of fixing accountability against the officers of the Indian Railways for procuring equipment at exorbitant rates as the same are lying underutilized.

Asking the ministry to put in place a monitoring system that would ensure timely completing of the projects, the committee recommended the monitoring committees at railway board, every zonal railways level and there should be strict monitoring of all the progress to ensure their timely completion.

Noting with regret that the bridge management system is yet to be commissioned even after a lapse of 11 years, the committee expressed deep dissatisfaction over the failure of the ministry to expedite the work.

The Parliamentary Committee headed by Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge told the ministry to address the matter seriously and take all necessary effective measures to ensure that the system is commissioned without further delay.

Electrification on Sarai Rohilla-Gurgaon-Rewadi section to be completed soon; Electric Trains from Feb-2018

In Sept, PM Modi-led Cabinet approved the electrification of the remaining 13,675 km of tracks. The project, which is a part of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s ‘Mission 100% electrification’ initiative, aims to make the railway network more eco-friendly by providing faster as well as smoother passenger and freight movement on the expanding network.

NEW DELHI: Electrification in Indian Railways! Giving a boost to railway infrastructure, soon, electrification work will be completed on a 78-km long railway section, connecting Sarai Rohilla to Gurgaon and Rewadi. According to a tweet shared by Lok Sabha Member, Rao Inderjit Singh, the overhead electrification work on the 78-km long stretch is likely to get over by January 19, next year. The electrification work on this section is being done at a cost of Rs 593 crore, the minister informed. According to the minister, who represents Gurgaon in Haryana, soon an electric locomotive-hauled train will run from Sarai Rohilla to Ahmedabad via Gurgaon and Rewadi section. The eco-friendly step by Indian Railways is also likely to reduce pollution significantly, the tweet said.

In the month of September, PM Narendra Modi-led Cabinet approved the electrification of the remaining 13,675 km of tracks. The project, which is a part of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s ‘Mission 100% electrification’ initiative, aims to make the railway network more eco-friendly by providing faster as well as smoother passenger and freight movement on the expanding network. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Gohain has said that after the electrification of lines across the Indian Railways’ network is completed, the national transporter will save around Rs 13,000 crore per annum in fuel bill. Also, it will reduce carbon emissions by around 3.4 million tonnes a year, he said.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani recently said that 50 per cent of the electrification work has been completed already. Now, the aim is to complete 6,000 km stretch more in 2018-2019, an added 7,000 km stretch in 2019-2020 and 10,500 km each in the next two years, Lohani said.

Last month, Lohani was quoted saying that the national transporter is looking to step up track-related work to 12,000 km in the next financial year compared to 5,300 km, that was carried out in 2016-2017. During 2017-2018, the number of train accidents registered is 30 per cent less than the figure recorded in 2016-2017. Moreover, fatalities caused due to accidents came down from 238 to 57. The declining trend could also be witnessed in 2018-2019, from the month of April to September, which saw 34 accidents and 21 deaths.

The Delhi-Rewari railway track will witness the running of electric trains from February next year, as the overhead electrification project on this route will be completed by January 2019.

The electrification of Sarai Rohilla-Rewari overhead project covering 78 kms had started in 2014-15 with a budget to Rs 593.97 crore. The report citing RN Singh, DRM of Delhi zone, Northern Railway said this project is first phase of the Delhi-Ahmedabad rail electrification project, covering 900 kms.

Singh reportedly express confidence that electrification from Rewari to Ahmedabad section will complete by 2019-20. The section will get electric supply from a power sub-station at Garhi-Harsaru station in Rewari section, the report added.

Notably, the foundation stone of electrification work of the Delhi-Rewari rail track was laid by Union minister of state for planning Rao Inderjit Singh.

The project will also contribute in lessening the impact of pollution. This aspect is significant as from Rewari section only about 80 diesel engine driven trains pass through every day. Of these, 9 are passenger trains.

The report stated that one diesel engine discharges about 15 kg carbon in an hour. Trains from Delhi to Rewari cover the distance in almost two hours, while passenger trains take 2.5 hours. Taking this aspect into consideration, diesel engine discharges about 45 kg carbon, while 80 such trains emit about 3600 kg carbon.

Train-18 to be flagged off by PM Modi on Dec 29 on Delhi-Varanasi route

NEW DELHI: Train 18, Indian Railways’ first engineless ‘Shatabdi killer’, is all set to be flagged off by PM Narendra Modi on December 29, learns Financial Express Online. Train 18, manufactured by ICF Chennai, recently became India’s fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during tests on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route. An informed source in the Railway Ministry told Financial Express Online that Train 18 will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the latter being PM Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. “Train 18 will be flagged off on December 29 by the Prime Minister on the Delhi-Varanasi route. The venue of the flag off has not yet been decided, whether it will be Delhi or Varanasi,” the official told.

Train 18, with its white and blue exterior and state-of-the-art swanky interiors, is a world-class offering from Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways. Boasting of several firsts, Train 18 has an underslung propulsion system, automatic doors with sliding footsteps and is also disabled friendly. Train 18 will be operated at a maximum speed of 160 kmph – the only other train to run at such speed being the Gatimaan Express. Train 18 has been codenamed after the year it has been manufactured it, but the Railway Ministry is presently mulling options for changing the name of India’s fastest engineless train.

Thirty years after the first Shatabdi Express rolled out, Indian Railways is getting a next-generation all air-conditioned chair car train set that will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express fleet. Train 18 has several passenger friendly features – rotating seats in executive class, European-style seats, modular bio-vacuum toilets, diffused aircraft-like lighting, cushioned luggage racks, personalised reading lights, fully sealed dust-free gangways for easy movement, better pantry equipment to keep food hotter and beverages chilled, and disabled-friendly wheelchair parking spaces and toilet.

With the ability to accelerate and decelerate faster, Train 18 is expected to reduce the total travel time by 15-20%. Additionally, with the need for locomotive reversal eliminated, the turnaround time of the train is also reduced. The ‘Make in India’ Train 18 has been manufactured at a cost of Rs 100 crore, but ICF GM Sudhanshu Mani has told Financial Express Online that the cost will come down to Rs 80 crore as more such train sets are manufactured. This, he claims, will be around half the cost of a similar import.

Impressed with the success of Train 18 during its trials, Piyush Goyal-led Railway Board has asked ICF to expedited manufacturing more such trains. According to Sudhanshu Mani, ICF can manufacture 2 more Train 18 sets in the current financial year and has the capability to making 8 more in 2019-20.

20-km long patch of third Railway Line between Nagpur and Wardha stations to be opened for train movement soon

General Manager of Central Railway claimed that third and fourth lines would be completed in two-and-a-half years

MUMBAI: D K Sharma, General Manager, Central Railway, on Tuesday announced that 20-km long railway line out of proposed 78-km long third railway line between Nagpur and Wardha stations would be opened for train movement next year. However, the entire project that include laying of the third and fourth line will take another two-and-a-half years for completion.

Addressing a press conference at the office of Central Railway’s Divisional Railway Manger (DRM) immediately after a day-long annual inspection, Sharma claimed that work of fourth railway line would start after completion of land acquisition process. “The land acquisition procedure is in last phase and railway officials are co-ordinating the exercise with officials of State Government,” he said.
When asked about future plans for Ajni Railway Station, Sharma claimed that the station would be developed as the satellite station and more trains would run from the station. The plans are on cards, he added.

On the issue of running of Metro trains between Nagpur and four nearby towns – Bhandara, Wardha, Katol and Ramtek stations, Sharma replied that plans were ready and execution would began after receiving Metro coaches from MahaMetro. “We are waiting for the Metro coaches,” he said.  Sharma also assured of covering open area of Platform No. 8 and construction of a new Foot Over Bridge (FOB). “FoB would connect all the eight platforms of the station,” he said.

When asked about plans of developing Nagpur Railway Station as world-class railway station, Sharma informed that railways had received poor response from private partners when tenders were invited for development of three major railway stations as world-class in the zone. Now, the railways have relaxed norms and extended lease period upto 99 years and this would work. “Habibganj and Gandhi Nagar stations would be first developed as world-class stations. Thereafter, Mumbai, Napgur and other stations will get world-class look,” he claimed. Maninder Singh Uppal, DRM, Sunil Udasi, CPRO, Central Railway and officials were present at the press conference.

International Tender for Yangon-Pyay Railway upgrade to be held next year

NAYPYIDAW: State-owned Myanma Railway (MR) will hold an international tender for the upgrade of the Yangon-Pyay railway “within the next 8-9 months,” a spokesperson from MR said.

Work is expected to commence in 2020 or 2021 and take three years to complete, the spokesperson said.

Yangon-Pyay railway is one of the five most important railways in Myanmar, providing transport for close to three quarters of total rail passengers. The project is expected to cost US$200 million, which will be funded by the Asia Development Bank and European Investment Bank. Consultants from Austria will be hired for the project.

Last month, work on the first of two phases of the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project also commenced.

The first phase of the project covers the Yangon-Taungoo section of the railway route. Max Myanmar Construction Co Ltd and Japan’s Tekken – Rinkai Nissan Construction Co Ltd have formed a joint venture to work on 74km of tracks from Bago to Nyaunglebin under the first phase of the project. The second phase will cover Taungoo to Mandalay.

Expected to be completed over four years, the entire project will be funded by loans totaling ¥45 billion from the Japanese.

The government is also in the process of upgrading the stations along the Yangon Circular railway. Work is expected to be complete in 2030, according to state media. The project is being funded by a US$207.8 million loan from Japan and K54.5 billion from the national budget.

Despite those plans though, Myanmar is currently investing just 1.5 percent of its GDP on developing its railway networks compared to some 6pc of GDP globally, according to state media.

Regional Rail Corridor of Delhi-Gurugram-SNB approved by NCRTC Board

Another Corridor of Regional Rail makes headway – NCRTC Board approves DPR of Delhi–Gurugram–SNB RRTS Corridor

NEW DELHI: NCRTC Board, chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, in its meeting held on 6th December 2018, has approved the DPR (Detailed Project Report) of Delhi-Gurugram-SNB (Shahjahanpur-NeemranaBehror Urban Complex) RRTS corridor.

One of the three RRTS corridors prioritized for implementation, Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar is planned to be implemented in three stages. In stage I, Delhi – Gurugram – Rewari – SNB Urban Complex will be constructed. In Stage II, it will be extended from SNB Urban Complex to Sotanala and in Stage III, SNB Urban Complex to Alwar will be constructed.

The 106 km long, Delhi-Gurugram-SNB corridor will be elevated for about 71 km (11 stations), the remaining 35 km (5 stations) will be constructed underground, mostly in Delhi & Gurugram. This corridor will converge with other RRTS corridors in Sarai Kale Khan and will be interoperable, facilitating commuters’ movement from one corridor to another without the hassle of changing trains.

Delhi-Gurugram- SNB Corridor Map, Station list, reference image of RRTS train and NCRTC logo are annexed.

Similarly, with an intent to incentivise the use of Public Transport, Delhi-GurugramSNB corridor will be seamlessly integrated with other modes of transport in NCR:

RRTS station Mode of transport with which integration provided
Sarai Kale Khan Line-7 of DMRC at Sarai Kale Khan, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station and ISBT Sarai Kale Khan.
Jor Bagh Line-2 of DMRC at Jor bagh station
Munirka Line-8 of DMRC at Munirka station
Aerocity Airport, DMRC- At Aerocity- Airport Express Line & proposed Phase-IV Line
Udyog Vihar Proposed Extension to Gurugram Rapid Metro &  Proposed Metro from Gurugram Railway Station
Kherki Daula Proposed Bawal metro and Proposed Bus terminus
Panchgaon Proposed Bawal Metro, Proposed ISBT, Proposed Multimodal hub
Bawal Bawal Bus Stand

RRTS trains with design speed of 180kmph, operation speed of 160kmph and average speed of 100kmph will be available at a frequency of every 5-10 minutes. The infrastructure is being designed for up to 9 coaches train. These trains will be airconditioned with transverse seating and overhead luggage space for commuter comfort. There would be priority seating arrangements for people with special needs, an exclusive coach for women travelers and a business class coach in every train to encourage people to leave their cars for public transport.

This RRTS smart line will pass through the urbanized and industrialized areas of Haryana and connect Delhi airport with the RRTS network, increasing the overall productivity of NCR. The corridor will strengthen the regional transport infrastructure by providing a fast, safe, comfortable and reliable mobility option to the residents of Delhi, Gurugram, Rewari, Manesar, Daruheda, Bawal and nearby areas. The fast commuting connecting Delhi to nearby regions will be immensely beneficial in decongesting Delhi and its roads, providing citizens the choice to live & work in different regional nodes to lead a better quality of life.

Once constructed, the corridor is expected to bring down the travel time between SKKSNB in less than 70 minutes (106 km). The daily ridership on this corridor is estimated to be 8.5 Lakhs in 2025. This high-speed, high-frequency, high-capacity RRTS corridor will not only offer mass transit benefits but also bring in wide range of economic benefits to the society including effectively curbing pollution, improving safety & reliability of commute and creating employment as well as new economic opportunities. Apart from unlocking economic development potential of the region, such high-speed commute will bring people and places closer enabling polycentric growth in NCR.

The corridor is planned to be constructed in about 5 years’ time excluding 1 year of preconstruction activities at a base construction cost of INR 24,975 crore, funded by Government of India (20%), concerned State Governments (20%) and bilateral/multilateral funding agencies (60%).

NCRTC is a joint venture of the Government of India (50%) and State Governments of Haryana (12.5%), NCT Delhi (12.5%), Uttar Pradesh (12.5%) and Rajasthan (12.5%). It is mandated to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain RRTS in NCR and works under the administrative control of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, GOI.

Out of the 8 identified corridors to connect various NCR towns with high-speed rail commute under the Functional Plan on Transport for NCR-2032, three have been prioritized for implementation in Phase-1 by the Planning Commission appointed Task Force, these are Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar and Delhi-SonipatPanipat. This is the 2nd RRTS corridor, which has been approved by NCRTC Board after Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut.

Delhi-Gurugram-SNB rapid rail line (RRTS) to save time, ease daily commuting

NEW DELHI: Commuting will become easier and faster for adjoining areas of national Capital as the upcoming Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project has proposed interchanges and connectivity to regional periphery of Delhi that will provide integration with other modes of transport such as the metro, buses and trains.

Recently, the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) board has approved the project proposal for a part of the Delhi – Alwar corridor, which has given the hopes for the daily commuters from the Delhi- Alwar, Shahjahanpur- Neemrana-Behror urban complex, through Gurugram.

As per the proposal, the first phase will be 106-km long, having 11 elevated stations and five underground stations. The underground stations of the corridor will be in Delhi, Gurugram and SNB (Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror). The RRTS project will also integrate with the Delhi Metro at four of its existing stations, namely, Sarai Kale Khan, Jor Bagh, Munirka and Aerocity.

The official further said that the RRTS trains will run at an average speed of 100 kilometres per hour, and with a frequency of 5-10 minutes. The plan is to also have a business class coach in every train, so that more people can use the line and leave their cars behind. “Once constructed, the corridor is expected to decrease the travel time between Delhi and Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror Urban Complex to less than 70 minutes, he added.

The corridor is planned to be constructed in about five years excluding one year of pre-construction activities at a base construction cost of Rs 24,975 crore, funded by 20 percent by the Government of India, 20 percent by the concerned state governments and 60 percent by the bilateral and multilateral funding agencies, NCRTC said in a statement.

Out of eight corridors, which have been proposed, three corridors are the first prioritised under phase-I which is of 349 kms, in which Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat (103 kms) which will be covered in 80-85 minutes through this route, Delhi- Ghaziabad-Meerut ( 82 kms) will take around 40-45 minutes and Delhi Gurugram-Rewari- Alwar (164 kms) will take around 70 minutes, NCRTC said.

The officials of the NCRTC said apart from Anand Vihar, where the rapid train station will have an integration with the Metro, state buses and trains, the other interchange will be at Sahibabad in Ghaziabad. “One of the entry-exit will also be developed at Kaushambi’s UP roadways bus stand. The next interchange will be at Sahibabad where the integration will be with the UP roadways buses. This interchange will be near the UPSRTC depot,” said an official.

The next interchange in Ghaziabad will be developed at the Meerut crossing near GT road where the rapid rail will have integration with the Metro. The terminating station under the 9.41-km Dilshad Garden to Ghaziabad route is being developed at New Bus Stand near Meerut Road. After that interchange, the rapid rail corridor will move on the median of the Delhi-Meerut road towards Meerut