Railway should develop inland waterways : Dr Kalam

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Vadodara, Mar 31 (UNI) Former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam today suggested the railway ministry to consider development of inland waterways for freight transportation and promoting tourism.

''The project can be linked to the interlinking of rivers project, so that large part of the country can have transportation through waterways, which is presently only one per cent of the total transportation length,'' Dr Kalam said, addressing senior railway officials and faculty members of the Railway Staff College (RSC) here.

Stating that the proportion of passengers and freight traffic of railways in comparison to the road traffic had been on the decline, he said the railways would have to transform into an inland transportation system providing door to door service using multimode transportation from the residence to a fast metro and then to a long distance train.

The railway vision 2030, he said, must aim at increasing the total route length from the present 63,000 kms to 78,000 kms with the conversion of all meter-gauge lines into broad-gauge lines through Build, Operate, Own and Transfer (BOOT) system. He said that there was a need to increase the railway network to the Northeastern states, which would not only enable faster development of the region but also act as a national integration mission.

The former President also stressed the need for developing quality human resources and creative leaders for realising the goals of transforming Indian Railways into a world class inland, environmental and passenger-friendly transportation system for the nation before the year 2030.

Appreciating the Railway Ministry and Lalu Prasad for their efforts to turn-around the railways into a profitable enterprise by innovative revamping of freight and passenger services, Dr Kalam opined that the management experience gained by the railways over the years should be documented and become the subject of study in management institutions in India and abroad.

On the safety of railway, Dr Kalam suggested introduction of GPS-based anti collision devices on all trains and use of space technology for real time tracking, surveillance and monitoring of trains with the help of high resolution remote sensing satellites, which are capable of providing resolutions of fraction of a meter.

UNI SS SR RC AS1809

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