New Delhi: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Ministry of Railways (MOR), Government of India (GOI), held 4th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting for Technical Cooperation (TC) project of Capacity Development on Railway Safety to discuss the progress till now and future activities. This TC project commenced in December 2018, being jointly implemented by Indian and Japanese side, is expected to result in enhancing capacities of the Indian Railways (IR), Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) and Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) with regard to safety in railways network. The Indian railway network is one of the largest in the world, therefore maintenance of the safer and reliable operations is of utmost priority.
During the last year before the Covid-19 outbreak, JICA invited officials from IR, DFCCIL and CRS to attend training programs in Japan, focusing on Track Maintenance, Rail Welding, Rolling Stock Maintenance and Accident Investigation. These training programs organized by JICA showcased Japanese good practices of construction, maintenance works and shared Japanese knowledge and experiences with Indian officials. Due to current circumstances by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult for Indian and Japanese side to physically meet and implement the activities together, however Indian and Japanese side have been maintaining the virtual discussions. This JCC meeting was also held on virtual platform. At the JCC meeting, the current progress of safety action plans being implemented based on learning from training programs in Japan and future action plans were discussed. Especially, methods of Track Maintenance and Rail Welding were intensively discussed. As a consequence, a part of future activities for Track Maintenance, Japanese experts will support Indian side to prepare a guideline on adoption of indicator-based management methodologies by using Irregularity Measurement Device. In the field of Rail Welding, Japanese experts will support Indian side to improve Manuals and regulations to focus on ultrasonic detection method (double-probe method). Indian and Japanese sides have also agreed to extend cooperation period of this TC Project for around one year from October 2020 to December, 2021 with an aim at further enhancing railway safety in India.
The JCC was Co-chaired by Mr. Rajiv Chaudhry, General Manager, Northern Railway cum Project Director of the TC Project and Mr. NAGAI Shinsuke, Senior Representative of JICA India, along with Dr. Makoto Ishida, Chief Advisor of the TC Project and Dr. Fuminao Okumura, JICA Expert on Railway Safety Policy (Member, Japan Transport Safety Board, Government of Japan.)
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. NAGAI Shinsuke, Senior Representative, JICA India Office said, “JICA expert team and Indian officials have been communicating and keeping on-line discussion about the safety action plan even under the current situation by Covid-19 pandemic. At this JCC meeting, Japanese and Indian side have reached the agreement to extend our cooperation project for around one more year to fully utilize the learnings earned from the training programs conducted in Japan last year. It is hoped that this technical cooperation project would contribute to bring the safe environment in India and future action plans would be functionally implemented to promote safe operations and appropriate maintenance in Indian Railway.”