New Delhi: Union Minister for Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal today convened a meeting with the key players/stakeholders of the Logistics industry, to brainstorm the possible ways and means towards transforming the freight operations of the Indian railways. The marathon meeting which lasted for almost three hours saw a host of suggestions from the Industry on possible policy interventions towards making freight operations more efficient, profitable.
Highlighting the key role that Railways is playing during COVID crisis, the minister said that Railways looks upon the COVID crisis with great deal of concern and sympathy and during this period, Railways has acted as a lifeline for the nation by carrying essential goods across the country. Not only that “We also utilized this time for completion of some of our long pending works like increasing connectivity to the main lines, carrying out long pending maintenance works, dismantling/repairing damaged bridges and Improving our existing infrastructural facilities”, said Shri Goyal.
Simultaneously, we have also acknowledged the tremendous opportunity presented by the freight and logistic business and have planned several measures to improve our services in the near future, stressed the railways minister.
The meeting which saw participation of Chairman Railway Board, and other key officials along with top barons of the logistics industry saw a host of constructive suggestions which included switching to an assured time bound delivery model, providing some kind of insurance mechanism to the partners, rationalizing the freight rates and make logistic costs more reasonable, improving the efficiency of loading/unloading at terminals as well as ports in a phased manner etc.
Welcoming the suggestions from the industry ,the Railways Minister said that innovation is key and the solutions need to be profitable to bring the logistics cost down. “We need end to end nonstop faster trains, better signalling systems, better scheduled and time table cargo trains and better financing options, to transform the freight operations and help achieve the target of Doubling the total freight traffic to 2.5 billion Tonnes”, said Shri Goyal.