The Union Railway Minister, Shri Dinesh Trivedi has called upon all the stakeholders concerned to work towards the growth and development of Indian Railway System with emphasis on modernization, safety, security, infrastructure development and passenger amenities. Shri Dinesh Trivedi was speaking at the International Rail Conference-2011 organised jointly by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Ministry of Railways, Government of India.  The theme of the Conference was “Rail Transportation in India: Moving to the Next Orbit”.  The Railway Minister said that India has to move to the fourth generation development model in order to move to the next orbit as envisaged in the theme of this momentous conference.

 Elaborating on the huge network of Indian Railways, Shri Trivedi pointed out that Indian Railways are running 19,000 trains everyday and its human resource consisting of close to 15 lakh employees from gangman to Railway Board member represent an amazing dedicated force working around the clock for running this huge system which also boast of the best industrial relations for decades together. He said that challenges before Indian Railways are great and hence the opportunities are greater.  He emphasized that the four areas namely track, rolling stock, signal, station and freight terminal require closer attention to ensure effective rail growth and operation.

Describing safety as the top priority area for the Railways, the Minister said that there has to be a zero tolerance as far as the accidents are concerned.   He said that technology again plays the most vital role to eliminate human errors and enhance safety.  Shri Trivedi said that he has constituted a high level committee to suggest measures for further enhancing the safety standards in Indian Railways.  The Railway Minister pointed out that nuclear scientists and space scientists and other experts have been included in the committee so as to get the significant suggestions for the best safety protocols.  He informed that noted nuclear expert, Shri Anil Kakodkar is heading this Committee.

Shri Trivedi said that the dreams of the entire nation regarding development of Indian Railways have indeed effectively been captured into the Vision 2020 document presented by my leader Mamata Bannerji.  This document, he pointed out, is a tangible action plan to transform Indian Railways into an efficient world class system and a commercially vibrant organization with a social conscience.  We have to roll out a road map to implement that vision. This implementation envisages fourth generation level modernization of Indian Railways system.

Shri Trivedi said that the Railway Ministry has constituted a committee on Modernization under the Chairmanship of noted personality Shri Sam Pitroda which will draw a strategy to deploy technology in the key areas of rolling stock, track and signaling.  He hoped that the recommendations of the committee will guide Indian Railways to leapfrog in its efforts to rapid modernization. The Minister also called upon to have a relook at the financial model of Indian Railways where most of the earnings are from the freight sector.  He said that Railways have to focus on areas like finance and marketing also besides its focus on operations.  Referring to the development of stations as a multi-purpose hub, the Minister said that it could be a good idea to consider setting up a Station Authority of India on the lines of Airport Authority of India for the optimal utilization of stations where there could be libraries, office complexes etc. in addition to the  activities pertaining to Railway Operation.

Referring to the forthcoming 12th Five Year Plan, the Railway Minister pointed out that the approach paper of this Plan has indicated an investment to the tune of US $ 1 trillion in the infrastructure sector in the country and half of this investment has to come from the private sector.  He said that it is a very promising objective in taking India forward in the development of its crucial infrastructure and provides a great opportunity to the private sector.

 Shri Trivedi said that Railways too have envisaged ambitious plans for the coming 12th Five Year Plan which will require huge investments in the Railway sector. He pointed out that several new project areas are being envisaged to be executed in partnership with industry both in public as well as private sectors through JV/PPP mode.  The Minister said that Indian Railways for decade have shared a symbiotic relationship with trade & industries who are stakeholders and partners with Railways in developing and maintaining infrastructure and sustaining services.

Speaking on the occasion, Member Mechanical, Railway Board, Shri Sanjiv Handa said that the time has come when there is a need to develop an effective delivery mechanism for the Railway users.  He said it is necessary to provide best services to the Railway customers.  Shri Handa said that industries should not talk merely of products but focus on addressing complete range of issues thereby offering “solutions” and CII should work as a watchdog to ensure that the industry delivers ‘solutions’.

The International Rail Conference 2011 is highlighting the large scale business opportunities in India’s Railway and Urban development sector and provides a platform for exchange of views, ideas and business opportunities among the global/domestic industry and Indian Railways.  The focus areas include rail transportation in India, rolling stock, rail infrastructure, finance and urban transportation.  Over 300 industry leaders including policy makers and key stakeholders from the Railways and urban transport sector are participating in the Conference which is an International Leadership Forum to share their views and jointly taken action towards the upliftment of Railway sector in India.

Coinciding with the conference, an International Railway Equipment Exhibition (IREE) 2011 was also organized on the sidelines of the Conference. The Railway Minister inaugurated the exhibition and released IREE Exhibitor Catalogue.   The exhibition is the only international event in India for the Railway industry and its allied sectors.  Over 200 exhibitors from 22 countries namely Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, U.A.E., United Kingdom and U.S.A. are participating in India’s largest railway show. The Indian Railways pavilion at the IREE 2011 includes display and active participation from all production units, regional Railways, PSUs, National Rail Museum and Railway Board.  The Railway Board stall showcased freight, safety, passenger amenities, history & heritage.  Some of the leading participants are Bombardier, Texmaco, Siemens, Daulat Ram Group, BEML, Titagarh, EMD, VaeVkn, Faively,. Fedders Lloyd, and China (CSR & CNR) among others.


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