Expert Group for Modernisation of Indian Railways Presents its Report to Minister of Railways
Report Suggests a Total Funding of Rs. 822,671 Crore in Next Five Years
‘Mission Mode’ Approach for Focus Areas Suggested
The Expert Group for Modernisation of Indian Railways, constituted by the Ministry of Railways under the Chairmanship of Shri Sam Pitroada, Advisor to the Prime Minister, presented its report to the Minister of Railways, Shri Dinesh Trivedi, at a function, here today. The purpose of the Expert Group was to recommend ways and means to modernize Indian Railways to meet the challenges of economic growth, the aspirations of the common man, the needs of changing technology and the expanding market while at the same time ensuring adequate focus on addressing social and strategic requirements of the country in consonance with Indian Railways’ national aspirations. Present on the occasion among others were the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Bharatsinh Solanki, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Mittal, Board Members and some of the members of the Expert Group. Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Shri Trivedi complemented all members of the Expert Group, especially Shri Pitroda for their invaluable contribution.
The other eminent members of the Expert Group, were Shri Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Bank, Shri M.S. Verma, former Chairman, State Bank of India, Shri G. Raghuram, Professor, IIM, Ahmedabad, Dr. Rajiv Lall, MD, IDFC, Shri Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, Feedback, Infrastructure Services Limited and Shri Ranjan Jain, Adviser (Infrastructure), Railway Board.
Shri Sam Pitroda made a presentation on the modernisation of Indian Railways through video conferencing from Chicago.
Some of the major recommendations of this Report are as follow:
· Modernisation of 19,000 kms. of existing tracks.
· Strengthening of 11,250 bridges to sustain higher load at higher speed.
· Eliminating all level crossings.
· Implementation of Automatic Block Signalling on A and B routes.
· Deployment of on board train protection system with cab signalling on all other routes
· Introduction of GSM based mobile train control communication system on A, B and C routes.
· Introduction of new generation locomotives – electric locomotive of 9000 and 12,000 HP and High horse power diesel locomotives of 5,500 HP.
· Introduction of high speed potential LHB coaches with 160/200 kmph.
· Introduction of train sets for high speed inter-city travel.
· Introduction of heavy haul freight bogies.
· Installation of green toilets on all passenger trains.
· Modernisation of 100 major stations.
· Development of 34 multi modal logistics.
· To set up real time Information System.
· Provision of internet access at 342 railway stations (58 A1 class and 284 at A class)
· Development of PPP models and policies in various areas of Railways to attract private investment to augment core capabilities such as stations and terminals, high speed railway lines, elevated rail corridor, private freight terminals, leasing of wagons, loco and coach manufacturing, captive power generation and renewable energy projects.
· Development of substantial indigenous capabilities to be a global leader, namely in State-of-the-art railway technologies and railway components and equipment for global markets.
· Establish Indian Institute of Railway Research with Centres of Excellence, develop Indian Standards, critical vendors and protocols fro Railways.
· The Implementation of ‘Mission Mode’ approach for all 15 focus areas, namely, track and bridges, signalling, rolling stock, stations and terminals PPPs. Land, dedicated freight corridors High Speed Trains, review of existing and proposed projects, ICT, indigenous development, safety, funding, human resource and organisation.
· Construction of Eastern and Western freight corridors.
· Construction of North-South, East-West, East-Coast and Southern Dedicated Freight Corridors covering 6,200 kilometres in next ten years.
· Construction of a High Speed railway line between Ahmedabad and Mumbai with Speed of 300 kmph.
· To offer graduate programme in Railway technology at IITs and Railway management at IIMs. Also review and restructure of existing training institutions.
· Re-organising Railway Board along business discipline and reflect Chairman as CEO.
· Empowering Zonal Railways in investment decision making along with accountability for return on capital, transport output, safety, and profitability.
· Revamping of accounting systems on business lines and create profit/cost centres.
· Appointing a ‘PPP Ombudsman’ to resole disputes.
· To constitute a Railways Tariff Regulatory Authority to provide a level playing field.
· Sources of total funding of Rs. 822,671 crore in the next five years will be Rs. 250,000 crore from Gross Budgetary Support, Rs. 201,805 crore from Internal generation, Rs. 101,000 crore from leasing/borrowings, Rs. 229,024 crore from PPPs Rs. 24,000 crore from dividend rebate and Rs. 16,842 crore from Road Safety Fund.
The Report of the Expert Group is available on Indian Railways’ official website i.e. www.indianrailways.gov.in