New Delhi: Minister for Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal today addressed the media on the five-year achievements of the ministries under his charge. Shri Goyal released a booklet highlighting the achievements in the Railways and Coal Ministries in the past five years. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri V.K. Yadav, other Railway Board Members, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Shri Sumanta Chaudhuri and Senior Officials of Railways and Coal were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal said, “There has been tremendous progress in last 5 years. Both, Ministry of Railways & Coal has taken up new projects at large scale & implemented them swiftly with an honest approach.” Applauding the vision & able leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Minister added that the vision and leadership defines the success of any organisation. Shri Goyal reiterated that the focused approach of the Government in last 5 years has materialized various projects for the benefit of Nation & people. He urged the people of the country to put their suggestions in the popular Mann Ki Baat show for taking up further developmental projects.
Highlights of Achievements & Initiatives of Ministry of Railways:-
In the past five years, the Government has made safety the foremost priority of Indian Railways. Indian Railways has achieved its best ever safety record in 2018-19 – there has been 81% drop in number of deaths from 152 in 2013-14 to 29 this year (upto Jan 31, 2019). This is a result of holistic efforts. All Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge network have been eliminated. Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) fund of Rs. 1 lakh cr has been created for safety expenditure.
Laying the foundations of infrastructure for a New India, there has been a quantum leap in capital expenditure. Total capital expenditure between 2014-19 is Rs. 5.1 lakh crore which is more than double of total expenditure during 2009-14. Railways is connecting India at a faster pace with a 59% increase in the average pace of commissioning New Line / Doubling / 3rd & 4th line projects from 4.1 Kms during 2009-14 per day to 6.53 Kms per day during 2014-18.
Aspirations of the people of North East were fulfilled with completion of 4.94 Kms long Bogibeel Bridge, longest rail-cum-road bridge in India. Now, journey from Itanagar to Dibrugarh is only 180 Kms, reducing the travel time from 24 hrs to only 5 hrs
Commuter travel in urban India has been given sufficient attention. Bangalore Suburban System is being developed with ongoing projects worth more than Rs. 15,700 cr. This will benefit about 15 lakh commuters. Mumbai Suburban Systems is also being modernised with ongoing projects worth more than Rs. 70,000 cr, which will benefit about 75 lakh commuters.
India entered a new era of mobility with Vande Bharat Express – India’s first high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled train. This is a prime example of the success of Make in India movement. This train will be proliferated across India and also exported globally.
The Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-speed Rail (HSR) will revolutionise the transport sector in India through speed, safety and service. Besides the Make in India benefits from the HSR project, Railways is creating large scale employment and economic development through sanctioned projects in Latur, Maharashtra; New Bongaigaon, Assam; Lumding, Assam; Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and Sonipat, Haryana. Setting records for Indian Railways, Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has successfully executed world’s 1st ever conversion of diesel locos into electric loco to enable Mission Electrification.
Railways has embarked on transitioning to sustainable rail transport with a six times increase in electrification from 610 RKM during 2013-14 to 4,087 RKM during 2017-18. 100% Electrification of Broad Gauge Routes of Indian Railways is targeted by 2021-22.
Railways has achieved significant milestones in moving the country’s economy faster with the highest ever freight loading in 2018-19. Freight earnings have touched their highest level and is expected to be about Rs. 1.43 lakh cr in BE 2019-20.
Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) are gateways to India’s superfast growth and development. First sections of Eastern DFC (Bhadan to Khurja, 200 Kms) and Western DFC (Rewari to Madar, 200 Kms) have been completed.
Railways is improving passenger services including a complete makeover of Stations by installing modern facilities including escalators, lifts, free wifi etc. and using local art in the design. 4 stations are undergoing redevelopment – Habibganj, Gandhinagar, Charbagh and Gomtinagar. Beautification of 65 stations has been completed using local art. Railways has improved trains and coaches including launching the Tejas, Antyodaya and Humsafar trains and Deen Dayalu and Anubhuti coaches. Connecting passengers to the digital world, high speed WiFi service has been provided at more than 800 stations. Pan India rollout of paperless Unreserved Ticketing (UTS) has been done to make ticketing convenient and hassle free.
Catering has also been a focus area with compulsory printing of MRP on all food items and use of artificial intelligence to monitor food production in base kitchens for improving quality and hygiene.
Offering its tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and contributing to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Railways has paid attention to hygiene with efforts such as record installation of Bio-toilets, third party independent surveys, integrated mechanized cleaning and On Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS)
Indian Railways is also playing its part in promoting tourism and providing a wonderful experience to tourists. It is also connecting Indias to their roots with the launch of Ramayan Express, Panj Takht Express, and Buddhist Circuit Train.
Rail Drishti dashboard has been launched, encompassing all the digitisation efforts in Indian Railways and promoting transparency and accountability. It brings information from various sources on a single platform and gives access to key statistics and parameters to every citizen of the country. The available information has been categorized under 15 user friendly sections on the Dashboard.
India’s first National Rail & Transportation Institute has been launched with 1st academic session started with two undergraduate programmes – B.Sc. in Transportation Technology & BBA in Transportation Management with 103 students. Rs. 421 crore has been sanctioned for next 5 years.
Recognising the significance of empowering and upskilling the Railways family, various steps have been taken including delegation of powers. Historic recruitment drive is being undertaken with 1.5 lakh vacancies being filled. 2.3 lakh individuals will be recruited over next two years.
Indian Railways has also focused on digital initiatives for bringing transparency and accountability to its business practices. E- reverse auction policy has been issued. 100% e- Procurement is being done through a single web-portal. Simpler approval processes in Research Designs and Standards Organisation have reduced process time from 30 months to 6 months.
Highlights of Achievements & Initiatives of Ministry of Coal:-
Coal powers the million aspirations of India. To ensure energy security, reduce imports and realise the vision of 24×7 Power for All, Coal India has enhanced drilling, production & offtake of coal. 105 MT increase in coal production since 2014 took almost 7 years to achieve before 2013-14. Production target of Coal India is 610 MT in 2018-19. As a result of record performance, number of coal plants with critical stock is only 4 out of 125 (as on 20th February, 2019) compared to 2/3rd coal plants with critical stock in 2014.
Further, to boost the power sector, superior Coal Quality has been ensured with steps such as third party sampling procedures and 100% crushed coal to power plants. Coal India is also delivering benefits of reduced cost of electricity as now amount of coal required to generate per unit of electricity (specific coal
consumption)has been reduced by 8% since 2014.
Brining the spirit of reform to coal sector, Commercial Coal Mining, the most ambitious reform in Coal Mining after Nationalisation in 1973 was introduced. This will reduce import dependency and bring energy security through assured coal supply. Further, transparent e-auction and allocation of coal blocks has led to successfully auction of 85 coal mines. Rationalization of coal linkages has led to total rationalisation of 61 MT with annual potential savings of about Rs. 3,651 crore (till date). Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala Transparently in India (SHAKTI), for auction and allotment of coal linkages, will lead to affordable power and transparency in allocation of coal. 16 Fuel Supply Agreements have been signed under this scheme. Timeline for 14 critical projects for evacuating coal has been established for time bound execution to increase coal transportation.
Railways and coal together are the Engine of New India. Tremendous progress has been made in both these sectors to reform and modernise them. These steps will empower every ordinary Indian and set foundation for a New India.