CHENNAI: Southern Railway celebrated its 63rd Railway Week at Rajah Annamalai Mandram, Esplanade, Chennai today (11th April, 2018). Shri R.K. Kulshrestha, General Manager of Southern Railway was the Chief Guest of the function and distributed Shields to various Divisions / Departments / Workshops and Awards to officers and staff for their meritorious performance.
At the Railway Week Celebrations of Southern Railway held at Chennai, Smt. Sunitha Vedantham, Principal Chief Personnel Officer, Southern Railway welcomed the gathering. Shri. R.K. Kulshrestha, General Manager, Southern Railway addressed the Staff and Officers of Southern Railway who had gathered. A cultural programme, comprising classical dances and other performances, was conducted on the occasion. Shri P.K. Mishra, Additional General Manager, Southern Railway and other Principal Head of Departments, Divisional Railway Managers, Officers and Staff of Southern Railway participated in the function.
At the zonal level, 18 officers, 112 staff and 5 teachers / students were honoured with ‘Individual Awards’ and 10 groups consisting of 77 employees were given ‘Group Awards’. Further, 34 Efficiency Shields for outstanding performance in different areas of railway working were awarded to different Divisions/Workshops/Units.
The General Manager congratulated the Mechanical Department of Southern Railway for getting the ‘Best Department’ shield from Railway Board. He also congratulated Shri Naresh Lalwani, Divisional Railway Manager, Palakkad, for getting the ‘Best Change Agent’ award from Railway Board for his innovative ideas. Moreover, the General Manager congratulated the participants of the Inter-Zonal Quiz Competition who got first prize from the Railway Board. In addition to these, 6 Officers/Staff of Southern Railway will be honoured with Individual Awards at the Railway Board level.
The General Manager’s Inter Divisional overall Efficiency Shield was bagged by Chennai Division; Tiruchchirappalli & Salem Divisions were the Runners in the same category.
During his address, the General Manager said with the support and services of dedicated employees, Southern Railway has performed well during the year 2017 -18, by commissioning many capacity augmentation projects, by undertaking large number of safety works, implementing popular schemes and has generally achieved the targets and goals set by Hon’ble MR.
In 2017-18, Southern Railway earned Rs.7670 crores as gross earnings, registering a growth of 2.1% over last year. The passenger earnings during 2017-18 were Rs.4262 crores with an increase of 6.21% over last year and freight earnings were Rs.2739 crores with an increase of 4.7% over last year. In addition, the zone earned Rs.230.06 crores from sale of scrap as against Rs.200 crores last year.
Regarding Project implementation, the General Manager informed that during 2017-18, Southern Railway completed 2 major projects of doubling with electrification. Villupuram – Dindigul (270 km) doubling with electrification at a total cost of Rs.1600 crores and Tiruchchirappalli – Thanjavur (47 km) doubling with electrification at a total cost of Rs.350 crores were completed. With the completion of the Villupuram – Dindigul project, the entire stretch between Chennai – Madurai has double electrified lines. Furthermore, gauge conversion between Pollachi – Podanur (40 km), Karaikkudi – Pattukottai (73 km) and New Aryankavu – Edamann (21 km) were completed.
With the completion of gauge conversion works between New Aryankavu – Edamann, gauge conversion works in the entire stretch between Sengottai – Punalur have been completed at a total cost of Rs.358 crores. A total of 134 km of gauge conversion, 113 km of doubling and 247 km of doubling-cum-gauge conversion were completed during 2017-18, the highest in recent past. 19 ROB / RUBs were commissioned and railway portion of works in 33 ROB / RUBs were completed. A new Coaching Terminal has started functioning in Tambaram; more trains are planned to run from this terminal.
Railway Electrification between Erode – Karur – Tiruchchirappalli (141 km) and Karur – Dindigul (72 km) has been completed. Electrification works between Salem – Karur (85 km) and Tiruchchirappalli – Nagapattinam – Karaikal (153 km) are progressing and are expected to be commissioned this year. Of the 5079 km in Southern Railway, 3004 km (59.14%) is electrified as on 31st March, 2018.
On the improvement carried out in train operations, the General Manager said that Southern Railway operated 2323 special trains during April, 2017 – March, 2018 to clear extra rush of passengers as compared to 1610 special trains last year. Moreover, Southern Railway had permanently augmented 56 express trains and 12 passenger trains by adding 53 coaches and various trains were temporarily augmented by 3242 coaches during the year 2017-18. 6 pairs of new trains were introduced. The Chennai – Mysuru – Chennai & Chennai – Coimbatore – Chennai Shatabdi express trains are being progressively refurbished under ‘Swarn’ scheme.
202 rakes of Pet Coke were loaded during 2017-18. Automobile traffic increased from 195 rakes in 2016-17 to 235 rakes in 2017-18, with a revenue of Rs.55 crores. Automobile loading on Southern Railway has been growing continuously in the last 5 years, with this year registering a 20% growth in earnings. Cement traffic has increased from 440 rakes in 2016-17 to 519 rakes in 2017-18 with a revenue of Rs.91.5 crores.
On the energy conservation front, all 714 railway stations open for traffic in Southern Railway have been provided with 100% LED lighting as on March, 2018. This would result in energy savings to the tune of 7.98 million units and would reduce energy bill by Rs.6.048 crores per year. Moreover, the Golden Rock Workshop has been awarded the 1st prize in the ‘National Energy Conservation Award, 2017’ by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The workshop also won the prestigious 5-star label for energy efficiency from BEE. 207 Kwp Solar Panels were commissioned during 2017-18; with this, Southern Railway has installed 402.45 Kwp Solar Panels so far. The EMU workshop in Tambaram has received 5-S Work Place Management Certificate.
Southern Railway eliminated 158 unmanned level crossings during 2017-18. 45 manned LCs have also been eliminated by provision of ROB / Subway / Diversion, etc. The General Manager proudly announced that as on date no unmanned level crossing exists in Kerala. There are no unmanned LCs in Chennai, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram Divisions of Southern Railway, too.
The number of consequential accidents decreased to 3 during the 2017-18 compared to 8 during the year 2016-17. There was no loss of life or injury to any passenger in these accidents. 59 LC gates were interlocked during the year 2017-18 to improve safety. 53 bridges were rehabilitated / rebuilt at accost of Rs.40 crores. Southern Railway became the first zone to introduce ‘Under water inspection’ of bridges with remote operated robotic vehicle. The zone also carried out ‘Drone Survey’ of 3 major bridges namely Nethravathy, Cauvery and Pamban bridges. 5 km of automatic signalling, Electronic Interlocking System in 21 stations and Datalogger facilities in 159 stations have been commissioned this year to enhance safety.
He further added that Southern Railway was always the forerunner in implementing passenger friendly initiatives and innovations. The zone spent an amount of Rs.100 crores in 2017-18 for provision of passenger amenities as against Rs.71 crores during 2016-17. Divyang friendly facilities are available at 8 A1, 41 A and 22 B category stations. Emergency Medical Centres have been provided at 23 railway stations so far. Battery Operated Cars for the use of Divyang, sick and senior citizen passengers on payment basis are provided at 11 stations. Women facilitation centres, an innovative concept of Southern Railway, at 7 important stations has drawn applause from the passengers. Wi-fi facilities are available at all A1, A and B category railway stations. 31 UTS / PRS locations were converted as IUTS (UTS-cum-PRS) locations during 2017-18. Online booking of retiring rooms was commissioned at 7 stations during 2017-18; this facility is now available at 41 stations.
Southern Railway takes special efforts for the convenience of differently-abled passengers and senior citizens. 11 Lifts and 9 Escalators were commissioned during 2017-18, thus bringing the total no. of lifts and escalators in use to 61 and 84 respectively.
Integrated Security System has been implemented at 14 important railway stations over Southern Railway. Separate CCTV control rooms in these stations ensure the safety and security of passengers. Under Nirbhaya fund, Rs.72 crores has been sanctioned for provision of CCTVs in 136 stations classified as A1, A, B & C including suburban railway stations. Moreover, Child Help Desk is available at Chennai Central & Chennai Egmore railway stations. 979 runaway / missing children were rescued by RPF personnel in association with Child Helpline during 2017-18.
Heritage Special Voyage in Nilgiri Mountain Railway – Weekend Summer Special Service with steam locomotive has been introduced between Mettupalayam – Coonoor from 31.03.2018.
Passenger complaints received through CPGRAMS, COMS, e-mails, etc. Are being redressed within short time and there is a drastic reduction of 21% in public complaints between December, 2017 – March, 2018 compared with last year.
On-Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS) are available in 85 trains over Southern Railway. 2 BOOT laundries are operational at Basin Bridge and Kochuveli.
Southern Railway has surpassed the target in fitment of bio-toilets in coaches for the current year 2017-18. 65% of coaches in Southern Railway have bio-toilets; all 6229 coaches of Southern Railway would have bio-toilets by December, 2018.
The General Manager congratulated Mr. Sathish Kumar, Chief OS / Track Machines, Chennai Division who won Gold Medal in 77 kg men’s weightlifting event in the ongoing Commonwealth Games, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. Sportspersons like him would motivate others to excel and bring laurels to the country, the General Manager added. He also congratulated all sportspersons who had represented Southern Railway in various national and international events.
He conveyed his best wishes to all the members of SRWWO for undertaking various staff welfare activities including health camps and for caring for differently-abled children at Ashraya School, etc.
He extended his warm greetings to recognised trade union and all associations for their active cooperation and sincerely thanked all of them for their support.
The General Manager thanked Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, for always being a source of inspiration and guiding factor in all endeavours and for changing the Indian Railways through a number of transformation ideas in running safe train operations. Our Chairman is always rendering all necessary assistance to Southern Railway, he added.
Congratulating all the awardees who have made outstanding contribution, he expressed his sincere gratitude to each and every one of the employees of Southern Railway, who had put in their best performance and had helped Southern Railway to achieve goals and targets set before them.
The General Manager believed that with the team work of dedicated and hardworking employees, Southern Railway would surpass the targets and achieve greater heights in the years to come.