With the current action plans on anvil for 100% electrification coupled with renewable strategies, Indian Railways will become a net zero carbon emitter by 2030. However, it is always a team which needs to work in partnership, with a collective effort of working towards a common goal, said Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance, and Corporate Affairs, Government of India.
Quoting Steve Jobs, the minister added, ‘Great things in business are never done by one person. Industry participation is as much important in our mission as to make Indian Railways the newest, finest and safest Railways in the world’.
The minister said this while addressing the Rail Contact 2018 conference in New Delhi today. The Rail Contact 2018 was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in support with the Railway Board, Ministry of Railways.
Sharing the scale of modernization and transformation the Indian Railways has been able to achieve, the minister said, we have been able to ramp up track renewal to 476 km every month. In the last 64 years, freight loading has increased by 1344% in the Indian Railways. Passenger travel in terms of kilometers has increased 1642%. The total investments in 2013-14 in the capital infrastructure of Railways was slated for about 46000 crores, which is now made 1,41,000 crores for this year, he added, citing the scale of growth happened in last 5 years.
The Railways needs more engagement and investments in areas such as technological upgradation and modernization. The sector has huge technology issue. Transformation may not take shape without engagement with modern technology.
He further emphasized on Railway station redevelopment with Public Private partnerships. He reiterated to address the issues with measures, including extending the lease period, also allowing multiple leases.
He invited the industry to engage in these areas, also, to prioritize and focus on the actions to bring the desired transformation. The efforts of Industry-Railway working together can leave behind in the footprints of time, a better legacy than what we have inherited, he added.
Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction of the Railway Board also addressed the Rail Contact 2018 program and spoke about how the Government is working in a most transparent manner on the policy frameworks for a faster and better execution of electrification project by 2021-22.
Shri Singh further added, ‘RDSO timelines have reduced from 30 months to 6 months. We have put every item in the public domain under procurement policy as we believe that transparency can do wonders in our efficiency’.
Alain Spohr, Managing Director (India & South Asia), Alstom India spoke about how ease of doing business in the country is rapidly changing. He said, the major changes that are taking place in India particularly in Railways are the state of the art technologies, to operate at affordable price, increasing security, and promoting electrification. ‘Moving ahead, we will need to have a global framework for easy mobility in the country’, he added.
Vikram Kirloskar, Vice President, CII announced that CII will undertake Rail-Industry Partnership series under the guidance of the Railway Board in the coming days to achieve the vision of Railways through industry partnerships.
Atul Sobti, Chairman, CII National Committee on Capital Goods and Engineering said, there is huge opportunity in the areas of technology and innovation. Multiple trends in the technology segment are creating opportunities in India’s Capital-Goods sector.
Umesh Chowdhary, Chairman, CII National Committee on Railways, Managing Director, Titagarh Wagons Ltd said, greater emphasis should be given on the public-private collaboration to bring in efficiency and maintaining world-class infrastructure.