MUMBAI: The 72nd Independence Day of our beloved nation was celebrated on Western Railway with the National Flag hoisted by Shri A.K.Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway. On this august occasion, he inspected the ceremonial parade, took salute of march past and extended his greetings to all Railwaymen and their families.
Shri A.K. Gupta said that recently, due to incessant rains, rail traffic was adversely affected between Virar- Vasai in Mumbai Division, at Kanalus in Rajkot Division and at Gir Gadhada in Bhavnagar Division. He appreciated everyone who did their best to face the challenge, provided all the assistance to the passengers and restored the life lines of Mumbai. Similarly, the restoration work was carried out on war footing in spite of heavy rainfall in Gujarat in minimal time. Drone cameras were used for aerial survey and to access the source and pattern of flow of water on tracks. He said that the year 2018-19 is being observed as the year for “Security of Women & Children” on IR. Child Help Desks have been set up at Vadodara, Bandra Terminus, Surat, Ahmedabad, Ratlam & Rajkot stations to help and save the children in distress & to reunite them with their families. During 2018-19, 295 runaway children have been reunited with their families.
Shri Gupta said that, Indian Railway’s first ever Double Stack Dwarf Container Service which can hold a volume of about 67 percent more, as compared to traditional containers, was flagged off from Rajkot in July, 2018. To further give boost to environment friendly transportation, Western Railway has started transportation of cars from Detroj in Gujarat, where a proper infrastructure has been developed for loading of vehicles. Shri Gupta added that, WR has transported milk products in Refrigerated Parcel Vans from Gujarat to various parts of the country. WR is also looking forward to run Parcel Cargo Express Train between Vapi & Assam in near future. Two Private Freight Terminals have been commissioned at Sukhpur in Ahmedabad Division and Sanjan in Mumbai Division.
Reflecting on WR’s achievements, he said that loading of about 27 million tons in the first four months of this financial year has been achieved, which is 13 percent more than last year. The originating freight earning has been approximately Rs. 3551 crore which is 12 percent more than the last year and total originating earning of Rs. 5625 crore which is 9 percent more than the last year.
Shri Gupta said that, there has also been a tremendous improvement in the mobility parameters during April – July, 2018. 56 PSRs have been relaxed, resulting in saving of time. Standard of interlocking has been upgraded at 10 stations so far since 2017 -18, resulting in increase of speed from 50 kmph to 110 kmph. During this period, Electronic Interlocking has been provided at 21 stations and Relay based Panel Interlocking at 12 stations. In 2017-18, sectional speed was increased in 5 sections resulting in saving of 30 minutes. The punctuality performance of mail/express trains has been 91 percent which is the highest amongst all Zonal Railways.
Shri Gupta emphasized that customer has been the focus of all our efforts. To enhance the travelling experience of our valued passengers, all 8 rakes of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains have been upgraded under project ‘Swarn’. 4 Humsafar and 1 Mahamana Express trains have been introduced and destination of 6 trains has been extended in the current financial year. WR has run 1478 Holiday Specials and provided more than 2 lakh additional berths by adding 3319 coaches in various trains on temporary/day-to-day basis in the first four months of this financial year. Shri Gupta said that 2 more Escalators and 3 more Lifts have been commissioned at various stations in this financial year, taking the total number of lifts to 58 and escalators to 44. Wi-fi facility has been provided at 37 stations during 2017-18. Now Wi-fi facility is available at 51 stations over Western Railway. Length of 6 platforms was extended last year, while 7 platforms have been extended this year so far for the convenience of passengers.
In keeping with ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission’, Western Railway has provided 9462 bio toilets in 2541 coaches till now. Under the ‘Clean India – Green India’ initiative, a Solid Waste Management Plant has been set up at Mumbai Central, which converts organic waste into cooking gas. With 53 more trains covered under On Board House Keeping Services since January this year, 107 trains are now covered under this scheme.
To promote Green Energy and reduce Carbon Footprints, we have converted all conventional light fittings to LED lightings at all 726 of our electrified stations due to which an annual saving of 7 million units and Rs. 5 crore is expected. Natural sunlight tubes have been installed at Mumbai Central station concourse. We are modifying all LHB rakes to work on HOG system to save energy.
With regard to Environment friendly measures, Shri A K Gupta said that, Rain Water Harvesting System has been installed at Diesel Shed Vatva. Bottle Crushing Machines have been installed at Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, Vadodara & Ratlam stations. Western Railway’s Gandhidham station got the distinction of winning the third position in Hon’ble Railway Minister’s station beautification competition. For excellence & consistency in maintenance, Parel, Mahalaxmi & Dahod Workshops have obtained the GreenCo rating certificate.
Shri Gupta said that to make ticketing faster and convenient, 927 Point-of-Sale machines have been installed over Western Railway. For the convenience of suburban passengers, UTS on mobile app is made available, which will be extended on non-suburban section shortly. With concentrated efforts to promote Digital India & to reduce cash transactions, an increase of 300% in the number of mobile tickets was recorded in June 2018 as compared to April, 2017, thus showing a big leap in a span of one year. He also added that, three new Foot Over Bridges have been commissioned on Mumbai suburban section in 2018-19, bringing the total number of FOBs to 113 which constitute 40% of the total number of FOBs on Western Railway. In order to ensure enhanced safety of bridges & to facilitate intensive & speedy inspections of all bridge structures, Carriage Repair Workshop, Lower Parel has turned out a specially modified Bridge inspection coach. Height of all 167 platforms in Mumbai suburban section has been raised for safety of commuters.
Shri Gupta said that Western Railway is continuously developing and upgrading its infrastructure. In July 2018, with the commissioning of doubling of remaining 34 kms of Nandurbar – Dondaincha section, the important East – West connectivity of 307 kms of Udhna – Jalgaon section has been completed with electrification. More than 200 kms of doubling work has been commissioned in the last two and a half years which is an excellent pace in comparison to any of the doubling work on Indian Railways. 8 Foot Over Bridges, 8 Road Over Bridges and 41 LHS/Road Under Bridges have been commissioned in the current year. 8 bridges have been rehabilitated, 3 bridges have been rebuilt and 4 bridges have been replaced by ballasted deck.
Gupta commended the Railway Protection Force for ensuring the security of passengers & protection of railway property. In the current year, 246 theft cases of passengers’ belongings & 21 robbery cases were detected and leftover belongings of passenger’s worth Rs. 97 lakh were returned. The RPF jawans saved 10 lives at the stations, while 27 cases were detected & solved with the help of CCTV footage. He congratulated all the Sportspersons of WR for winning laurels for Western Railway. 6 of WR’s Women Hockey Players i.e. Deep Grace Ekka, Lilima Minz, Navneet Kaur, Namita Toppo and Anupa Barla were part of the Runners-up Indian team in 5th Women Asian Champions Trophy held in South Korea. Western Railway won the All India Railway Women Cricket Championship 2018, as well as both the Men’s & Women’s Power lifting Championships in All India Railway Power lifting Championship 2018. He congratulated all sportspersons for their remarkable achievements.
General Manager endorsed that all the above achievements have been possible because of hard and dedicated work by the staff. He added that the task ahead is onerous, but not impossible. He also lauded the role of the recognized Trade Unions and Associations and thanked them for fostering cordial industrial relations between the administration and the railwaymen. He said the quest for excellence should always propel us, bringing out the best from each one of us and with this committed work force Shri Gupta was sure that it would be possible to meet the goals and fulfill the role as facilitator for the faith posed on WR by its valued customers.