4 years of Modi Sarkar: Focus on safety has paid off for Railways
Safety and hassle free travel became the top priorities of the Indian Railways since Piyush Goyal took charge of the ministry last year from Suresh Prabhu. The railway ministry has seen three different ministers in the past four years but with Goyal taking charge in last September, the number of accidents dipped drastically. In 2017-18, the number accidents as per the Railway Ministry report are 73 which less compared to previous years.
Let us take a look at their key achievements:
Railways cite dip in mishaps:
After a string of accidents and heavy casualties since 2014, the year 2017-18 saw the number of accidents falling to 73 - the least ever. There was a 62% reduction in consequential train accidents from 118 in 2013-14 to 73 in 2017-18. Also the replacement and maintenance of old tracks - even if at the cost of efficient mobility - has taken a front seat. There was a 50% increase in track renewal from 2,926 kms in 2013-14 to 4,405 kms in 2017-18.
Rail connectivity to people of Northeast:
Suresh Prabhu will be remembered for delivering what no other Union railway minister could - a widened network of rail infrastructure to the people of the Northeast region. In the last three years, the ministry under Prabhu was successful in including five northeastern states - Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura - to the broad gauge (BG) map of the country. As many as 29 new trains were introduced in the region in a span of just one year - 2016 to 2017.
With an investment of Rs 90,000 crore in the coming years, the Railways is hopeful of connecting the capitals of all the northeastern states by 2020. Currently, only the capitals of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura are connected by rail.
First ever Bullet train in India:
Another achievements include the high-speed corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, or the bullet train project, which is expected to finish by 2022 and cut travel time from seven to three hours. India's first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will run at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour, covering the 508-km stretch in under three hours. The bullet train would run at an average speed of 320 km per hour and at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour. The Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project is expected to boost to infrastructure industry.
Employment generation with the project:
The construction phase of the line will create opportunities for employment for about 20,000 construction workers.
After the commissioning of the project, direct employment of 4,000 employees will be created for the operation and maintenance of this high-speed line. Further, the project is likely to generate about 16,000 indirect employment opportunities. Besides job creations, the project will bring skills in the field of ballastless track construction, installation of communications and signaling equipment, power distribution system.
Railways athletes won 10 out of 26 gold for India:
The Indian Railways has played a big part in engineering the gold rush at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast. Of the 26 gold medals that India have won at this CWG, about 40 per cent have come from athletes currently working for the Railways.
PoS machines at unreserved ticketing system counters:
In a bid to achieve target of going cashless, the Central and Western Railways have installed the Point of Sale (PoS) machines at the unreserved ticketing system (UTS) counters. Point Of Sale (POS) machines have been installed at more than 4,000 locations of Indian Railways so far.
India's first all-women railway station in Mumbai:
Matunga railway station of Mumbai is managed by women and it is in the sub-urban category while our station is first in the mainline category. Matunga Road railway station was converted into an all women staff operated railway station on March 8.
1,25,000 Bio-toilets installed in train coaches:
The Indian Railways at present have commissioned and are operating 27 sections as Green Corridors. All the trains plying on these sections are running with all the coaches equipped with bio-toilets. It has provided about 1,25,000 bio-toilets in its coaches till March 2018.
The technology for Bio-toilets have been innovated, designed and is 'Made in India.' And with the proliferation of bio-toilets in 60%, coaches commensurate human discharge in open has been eliminated.
Meanwhile, the induction of modern, engine-less train sets, the first proper rolling stock upgrade since the LHB coaches in India, will happen later this year. Total conversion to Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) from conventional coaches has picked up pace. More stations are getting free WiFi coverage. Modi has asked Railways to review its 100 percent electrification process, and the yearly target is being actively pursued.