Good Work practices from Railway Zones, Units to be replicated Nationally

Automation to curb overloading, reserved parking for cabs among initiatives

NEW DELHI: Automation to curb overloading and providing reserved parking for cabs are some of the good work practices in certain Railway zones and production units that will soon be implemented nationally.

In Ranchi, the Railways has linked the electronic machines that weigh wagons directly with the central IT system through a secured link to check software manipulation and bust undetected overloading. In Bengaluru, it has reserved parking space for cab aggregators Uber and Ola, thereby creating another revenue stream.

Such local innovations are among the 25 practices identified by the Centre to be scaled up nationally for the Railways to improve operations, save costs and increase revenues.

Moving more cargo than what customers have paid for is one of the most common ways in which transporters lose money — be it road, rail, ships or air. The Ranchi division of the South Eastern Railway Zone, decided to feed the wagon loading data directly on to the central server of the Railways IT arm — CRIS — which designed the freight operating software system. The loading data generated by electronic in motion weigh bridges (EIMWB), gadgets used to weigh the wagons carrying cargo, is transmitted through a “secured” Internet network, which also does away with errors or possible manipulation by the people punching in the numbers.

At present, other zones weigh each wagon and punch the data manually to the freight operating software system. The manual intervention leaves the system susceptible to errors and manipulation.

Overloading of cargo

The national transporter loads over 1100 million tonnes of cargo in a year, with each tonne yielding a revenue of ₹97 crore on an average. Moreover, overloading also has other side-effects — it damages the rail tracks faster due to wear and tear and makes running of passenger trains unsafe.

In another innovation — a first of its kind in India — the Bengaluru division provided exclusive parking space in 12 stations for cab aggregators — Ola and Uber — through an open tender basis.

The move, apart from providing passenger benefits, would help the division garner ₹14.82 lakh a year from the three-year contract with Uber India Technology Private Ltd and ANI Tech Private Limited (Ola). The Mysuru division has also provided such exclusive parking space at ₹84,000 a month.

Another local innovation that has been identified involves reusing the sturdy sleepers of rail tracks to improve floor of goods sheds and make boundary wall. This has been tried in Vikramnagar goods shed in Ratlam division. The Hubli division of South Western Railways has designed a manually operated coach window cutter tool that helps evacuate passengers more quickly from coaches than the time taken by using hydraulic cutters.

Good response

These innovations are among “25 good work practices that have been selected for initial mass scale implementation across railway units,” the Centre has said in a communique to General Managers across the Railways zones and production units. The Centre has selected these practices from “an overwhelming response of 1,250 entries” received from different railway units across the country.

The Zones have been instructed to implement these practices where they can and send their feedback over the next three months.