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Railways to march on the fourth generation development model: Dinesh Trivedi Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Thursday, 29 September 2011
New Delhi: The Union Railway Minister, 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. The Railway Minister said that India has to move to the fourth generation development model in order to move to the next orbit.

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.

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’.

Elaborating on the huge network of Indian Railways, 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.

Fabrice Walewski, General and Managing Partner, Touax Group, France in his address stated that Operational Leasing could prove to be a highly effective means of generating a higher rate of infrastructural growth within the railways. The benefits accrued by the implementation of such an approach would bring a host of benefits including the conservation of working capital, preservation of credit lines and increased purchasing power of the buyer amongst others. Mr R K Gupta, Managing Director, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd briefed the participants on the various freight corridor projects in the country. He added that over 50% of the land required for the projects had already been acquired and said that the DFCIL would acquire all the land for its projects by late 2012.

Gajendra Haldea, Adviser to the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Government of India, delivered the special address in a session on the Emerging Trends and Technology in Rail Infrastructure. He  stressed upon the severe infrastructure deficit currently faced by the Indian Railways. While public investments in infrastructure to the sector had seen an increase through the successive five year plans, the gap between the demand and supply of railway infrastructure continued to grow due to a huge surge in the GDP, and needs to be addressed.

Haldea stated that it was imperative that the railways open up to private sector investment in order to meet the targets stated the Vision 2020 document. The ministry’s intends to spend over 1 trillion dollars in infrastructural development, with about fifty per cent of this sum expected to be through private investments. In light of this, Mr Haldea emphasized that it was important for the sector to strive to create a level playing field for potential investors. The sector, he said was not constrained by a dearth in investment supply or consumer demand. He called for a paradigm shift within the Indian Railways, which he said must direct its focus on consulting with stakeholders and integrating the Public Private Partnership model into the centre of its operations.

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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