Tuesday 1 May 2012

Railway is Committed to Provide Safe Secure, Comfortable and Affordable Rail Travel to Passengers

16-April-2012,The Minister of Railways, Shri Mukul Roy said that Railways have to take initiatives which will ultimately lead to the fulfilment of the goals set in Vision 2020 document presented by former Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee. He said that the document gave roadmap for the overall development of Indian Railways and aimed at broadening the agenda of inclusive growth. He said that a special monitoring mechanism would be put in place to expedite pending projects which are essential for Railways’ growth and modernization. Addressing a gathering at the 57th Railway Week Central Function held here today, Shri Roy said that a strong thrust would be given for modernization of tracks, bridges, signalling & telecommunication works, rolling stocks and terminals. He said that Indian Railways is passing through a challenging period on the resources front. The working expenses of the Railways have increased due to various factors external to railways like increase in staff salaries, increase in diesel prices & electricity tariff, losses due to various agitations, losses due to ongoing economic slowdown and ban on export of iron ore in Orissa and Karnataka State Governments. This has put a lot of pressure on Railways’ internal resources. He emphasized on the need to devise innovative methods for internal generation of resources and to launch an aggressive drive to mop up resources through non-conventional means like PPP initiatives, advertising on Railway locations and utilising the vacant land and space available with the Railways. Shri Roy said that Railway is committed to provide safe, secure, comfortable and affordable rail travel to passengers. 

Shri Mukul Roy further said that safety and security of passenger will continue to be the highest priority and all the necessary safety initiatives would be implemented to achieve zero tolerance on safety issues. The Vision 2020 document envisages elimination of accidents in the next ten years on Indian Railways. Shri Roy said that the accidents at unmanned level crossings also continue to cause concern and the commitment to eliminate such crossings in a focussed and time bound manner would be pursued with vigour. 

Shri Roy emphasised on the need for Railway system to be geared up with maximum efficiency so that it remains profitable and provides satisfactory services to its customers along with fulfilling its social commitments. The Railway Minister said that it is also necessary to address the issues of cleanliness and quality catering on Indian Railways. Shri Roy said his vision is to have, “Profitable, efficient. Safe and corruption free Railways with a special emphasis on its social commitments. Shri Mukul Roy congratulated the Zonal Railways, officers and staff who won shields, merit certificates and cash awards for their outstanding performance during the year 2011-12. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K. H. Muniyappa said that Indian Railways’ commitment to the nation is unimpeachable. Shri Muniyappa pointed out that fresh measures have been introduced on the passenger facilities front like steps to prevent misuse of tatkal scheme, easy reservation of tickets through mobile phone, Rail Train Information System (RTIS) (opened to public in October 2011) for giving accurate train tracking details, development of multi-functional complexes for the rail users and so on. He said that Indian Railways is an important nerve of the nation and each and every Railwaymen/women has an important role to play for the upliftment of this organization. He congratulated each and every awardee for their outstanding contribution and wished them all success in life. 

The Minister of State for Railways, Shri Bharatsinh Solanki said that Railways as an organ of the welfare state is meant to serve all the sections of the society, more so the economically and socially weak living in far-flung remote areas. Thus, conducting Railway operations purely on business or commercial lines, with an eye on profits alone, cannot be the guiding principle for Indian Railways. Shri Solanki said that the Railways provide livelihood to millions of our people both directly and indirectly. When a railway line passes through a place, the adjoining areas automatically get a lot of ancillary developmental activities providing self-employment opportunities to the people. He congratulated the dedicated and committed workforce of the Railways and urged Railwaymen everywhere to keep up the dedication and commitment for further enhancing the performance and efficiency of the great Indian Railways true to the expectations of the customers and stake holders on a sustained basis. 

In his speech, the Chairman, Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal informed that despite global economic slowdown and other factors, Indian Railways succeeded in meeting its freight target of 970 million tonne and also exceeded financial target in freight earnings. Shri Mittal said that Railways total earnings in 2011-12 were Rs. 103158 crore which is Rs. 8632 crore more than the earnings of the last year. Referring to Railways’ commitment of providing connectivity to far flung areas and backward areas, the Chairman pointed out that Railways achieved 727 km of new lines, 856 km of gauge conversion and 752 km of doubling and will continue to strive to come close to the targets set in Vision 2020. Emphasising that the progress of Railways leads to the progress of the nation, the Chairman said that the Railways will have to meet the challenges related to safety, consolidation, decongestion, capacity augmentation, modernization, technological upgradation etc. He congratulated the award winners. 

The Railway Minister gave away the shields and awards to the winners. Among the important awards bagged by different railways, the Security Shield was won by Northern Railway. The Comprehensive Health Care Shield was jointly received by North Eastern Railway and Southern Railway. The Civil Engineering Shield was bagged jointly by South Central Railway & Northern Railway. The Civil Engineering Construction Shield was awarded jointly to Northeast Frontier Railway, Eastern Railway & Southern Railway. The other awards were, Mechanical Engineering Shield for South Central Railway, Electrical Engineering Shield for Northeast Frontier Railway, Signal & Telecommunication Engineering Shield jointly for Northeast Frontier Railway & Southern Railway, Personnel Management Shield for West Central Railway, Stores Shield for South Central Railway, Traffic Transportation Shield jointly for East Coast Railway & South Central Railway, Accounts & Finance Management Shield for Central Railway, Commercial Shield for Western Railway, Sales Management Shield jointly for West Central Railway and South Eastern Railway, Running Room Shield was jointly bagged by Western Railway (Bandra Running Room) and South Central Railway (Guntur Running Room), Level Crossing & Road Over Bridge Safety Works Shield jointly for South Central Railway, Northern Railway & Southern Railway, Comprehensive Health Care Cup for New Zones for North Western Railway and Govind Vallabh Pant Shield jointly for Western Railway & South Central Railway. The Minister of Railways’ Awards were bagged by 298 railway officers and staff. 

Shri Vijay Kumar Gupta, Secretary, Railway Board conducted the proceedings of the function. General Manager, Northern Railway, Shri B. N. Rajashekhar proposed Vote of Thanks at the end of the function

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