The Committee Estimates Growth of 9 to 15 Per Cent in Freight Traffic During the Next 4 Years, suggests Measuires to Increase Passenger Traffic, Use of Satelite Suggested for Operation and Safety Needs, Specific Plans of Action Suggested for Zonal Railways
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu received the Report of the Committee on traffic optimization from Committee’s head, Shri Mohd. Jamshed, Additional Member (C&IS) and (T&C), Railway Board at a function here today. The Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha was specially present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion among others were Chairman, railway Board, Shri A.K.Mital, Board Member, Members of the Committee and senior railway officials.
Speaking on this occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that it is heartening to know that the Committee on Traffic Optimisation have submitted its report within the stipulated time frame. It is really an amazing document prepared by a Committee consisting of Railways’ own officers. The Minister said that the Committee has pointed out the potential of growth for Indian Railways and the roadmap suggested by the Committee, indicates that Indian Railways freight loading has the potential to grow between 9 to 15 per cent during the next 4 years against the growth of around 4% recorded during the last four years. The Railway Minister pointed out that the measures suggested by the Committee would be implemented in a mission mode. He called upon the railway officers to not only complete the freight loading traffic but work towards exceeding the target. The Railway Minister also announced that this Committee continue to be in existence and will monitor the implementation of its recommendations.
The Committee on Traffic Optimisation has examined and analysed the pattern of transportation growth both passenger and freight on Indian Railways in the last four decades and specifically during the last five years. Various constraints that have been impacting the desired growth of freight and passenger traffic have been reviewed at length and various bottlenecks identified. It is observed that growth of originating freight loading on Indian Railways has remained at a level of 4% during the last five years. There has also been reduction in number of passengers being carried by Indian Railways except in PRS segment during last five years. Indian Railways growth has not been able to keep pace with the growth in GDP.
The Committee has examined all factors impacting the growth of Indian railways including development of infrastructure, augmentation of capacity and saturation levels of all high density routes. It has also identified specific bottlenecks requiring urgent attention including completion of last mile projects, specifically those connected to through put enhancement i.e. doubling of traffic facility, signaling and electrification works. The Committee has also reviewed growth for various core sectors requiring high demand for transportation of selected commodities including Coal, Iron-ore, Steel, Fertilizers, Food-grain, POL and Cement, etc.
The Committee made the assessment to meet demand for transportation of Coal, Iron-ore and Containers. Demands in other sectors will also be robust providing huge volumes of freight traffic for the railways to move. The potential estimated by the Committee looks at growth of 9 to 15 per cent during the next four years. The Great Leap Forward would be achieved only with completion of Dedicated Freight Corridor. In the ensuing period various other capacity augmentation works will have to be completed, system improvements requiring changes in rolling stock and infrastructure maintenance practices will have to be looked at, capacity of terminals is to be augmented, utilization of alternate routes will have to be rationalized, wagon capacity scheme requires liberalisation, private freight terminals have to come up and rating structure have to be revised to provide more incentives in empty flow direction.
The Committee has also looked at the growth of passenger traffic of Indian railways. There has been decline in number of passengers in both sub-urban and non-sub-urban short route traffic. These are identified areas which require rationalisation of fares. The long distance reserved category traffic has shown robust growth, which has to be doubled during the next three years. Full load running of trains, induction of DMUs and MEMUs, dynamic pricing for all Mail/Express trains and changes in scheduling of trains and their maintenance are some of the areas requiring attention.
The Committee has also suggested using satellite for Indian Railways’ operation and safety needs.
The Committee has also suggested specific plans of action for Zonal Railways who have been provided not only the potential targets but also various actions to be taken during 2015-16.
Various policies requiring review and modifications have also been mentioned in the report. The report has been submitted to the Ministry of Railways for acceptance and implementation.
Earlier, the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) had constituted a Committee on 13/02/2015 to identify factors and issues affecting growth of traffic (Freight & Passenger) and suggest a plan of action for Traffic Optimisation in short term (during 2015-16) and long term (2018-19). The Committee consisted of the following:
- Shri Mohd. Jamshed, AM(C&IS), Chairman
- Shri Rinkesh Roy, CFTM/ECoR, Member
- Ms. Sarla Balagopal, CCM/SR, Member
- Shri Prabhakar Pranai, CTPM/WR, Member
- Shri Mukul Jain, CTPM/SER, Member
- Shri H.D. Gujrati, Director/DFCCIL, Member
- Shri A.K. Gupta, MD/CONCOR, Member
- Shri V. Shanker, CFTM/NR, Member, Secretary.
The Committee was given following terms of reference:
- a) To review the traffic growth both passenger and freight from 2010-11 to 2014-15 & constraints in achieving higher growth during this period;
- b) Identify bottlenecks which can be removed in short term (during 2015-16 and long run term (upto 2018-19) for capacity augmentation;
- c) Suggest innovative measures to enhance through put to achieve traffic growth of upto 15% in short and long term periods;
- d) Develop a brief action plan for implementation by Zonal Railways during 2015-16 towards optimization of traffic out put; and
- e) Suggest policy changes required to be undertaken by Railway Board to enable achieving higher traffic (Freight & Passenger) output.