26th January 2017
Dear Members of the Railway Family,
On the momentous occasion of the 68th Republic Day celebrations of our great Nation, I extend my warm greetings to you. This memorable day is an opportunity for South Central Railway to reaffirm its commitment towards the cause of progress by playing its role as a responsible transport service provider. I sincerely feel proud to be leading the excellent family of South Central Railway at a time when the Zone is celebrating its Golden Jubilee to commemorate 50 selfless years of service to the people.
As you are aware, Indian Railways is passing through a progressive phase of transformation. In this perspective, I would like to spell out the priorities for the South Central Railway in the times ahead. Safety in rail operations is of paramount importance and it shall be our endeavour to live up to the trust of each rail user on the basis of Zero-tolerance to any lapse on this front. Punctuality of trains is what matters to rail customers and we have to achieve total reliability of assets by adhering to best maintenance practices, so that train services do not get delayed due to failures. We shall keep focus on improvement in Mobility of trains. I consider that the Financial health of the organisation is the prime factor for growth and we shall endeavour to ensure that the revenue earnings increase on a continuous basis. Next on our agenda shall be the Execution of Construction Projectson time, so that they serve the people and generate returns for the Railways too. A satisfied rail customer is the most important asset for our image and we shall strive to redress Public Grievanceson real time basis.
Before I proceed further, I would like to extend my congratulations to Team South Central Railway for receiving the coveted Rail Vikas Shivir Best Zone Award at the hands of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at the recently held National Level Conclave of Ideas for positioning Indian Railways on the innovative growth path. This achievement is in tune with my own belief on the strength of what team work can achieve.
South Central Railway has had a subdued performance graph during the current fiscal. The Zone has recorded originating gross earnings of Rs.8,773 Crs till December, 2016, while the freight traffic was to the extent of 71.5 Million Tonnes. However, there was a marked increase in passenger traffic which rose to 284 million till December 2016, an increase of 2.5% over last year. We need to perform to our best as we come to the last quarter of the financial year and also set the ball rolling for the ensuing financial year. I would like to stress on tapping of various Non-fare sources/avenues for generating additional revenue, both on short term and a long term basis.
On the safety aspect, 69 Level Crossings (LCs) have been eliminated during the current fiscal on the zone and 48 unmanned LCs have been converted as manned level crossings. Security is yet another area which requires attention, keeping in view the fact that each passenger deserves to carry good memories of a rail journey. The Railway Protection Force has been rendering effective service all along. CCTV Cameras have been installed at 78 stations with plans to further enhance the coverage to 56 more stations.
An onerous task which was awaiting fulfilment for a long time was achieved with the commissioning of the state of the art Route Relay Interlocking system at Vijayawada at a cost of Rs. 40 Crores during September 2016 in a record time. This challenge was imposing, since Vijayawada is one of the busiest stations on Indian Railways and it required the best of strategy to complete the work in 3 days, braving the vagaries of nature. The new RRI has enhanced the handling capacity of trains at Vijayawada by over 30% and has set a new bench mark for any such work on Indian Railways.
During the year, the Nandyal – Yerraguntla new railway line has been completed and train services were commenced in August 2016. Passenger train services have been extended to Morthad on the Peddapalli – Nizamabad new rail line. 213 Kms of new railway line pertaining to eight on-going projects is targeted for completion during the current fiscal and the dead line will be adhered to. A significant landmark with regard to new rail projects is the laying of foundation stone for two major projects of Manoharabad – Kothapalli new rail line in Telangana and Nadikudi – Srikalahasti new rail line in Andhra Pradesh during the year, which are planned to be completed within a fixed time frame.
On the passenger services front, SCR has seen the introduction of 09 pairs of new trains to meet public expectations, which include the Tirupati – Visakhapatnam AC Double Decker Express and Tirupati/Hyderabad – Vasco Da Gama Express. To cater to the pilgrim and festive season rush, 1220 special trains have been run on a dynamic plan basis besides attaching around 12,000 extra coaches to various regular trains during the year. One of the biggest annual events in India, Krishna Pushkaram, covering over 3 states under SCR jurisdiction, was effectively handled where 691 special trains were run and 4,871 extra coaches were attached by scheduled/special trains carrying 42.6 Lakh passengers. Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure maximum convenience to the passengers. The present scenario has made the transport sector sizeably competitive and we should strategise a coherent plan of action to stay ahead in serving the travelling public.
I have always known SCR as a passenger centric Zone which comes out with best options in enhancing the standards of passenger amenities and facilities. The Zone has spent Rs. 52.27 Crs during the current financial year till date and plans for the remaining months of the year are also in place. In addition to enhancing the quality of all basic amenities at stations, the initiative has also specially focussed on provision of facilities for the specially abled persons at all the 74 A1, A & B category stations on the Zone. Another innovation is the display of Braille signage on coaches to enhance convenience of rail users. The plans formulated by the Rail Ministry for redevelopment of stations to international standards are under implementation on SCR. All the 36 A1 and A category stations over the Zone have been identified for this project and in the first phase Secunderabad, Vijayawada and Aurangabad stations have been taken up for the task.
Swachh Bharat Mission has seen SCR implementing a pro-active strategy to derive results on a prolonged basis covering various segments. The prime focus is on keeping the railway premises and trains clean. Mechanised cleaning of coaches at 13 coaching depots and at 57 stations is in vogue. On-board Housekeeping services has been extended to 62 long distance trains, Clean Train Stations concept at 04 major junctions has yielded enormously positive results. 4,138 Bio-toilets have been fixed in 1,115 coaches during the current fiscal, to carry forward the task of eco friendly ambience in trains.
The Zone has registered a very significant achievement in the energy conservation sector bagging nine National Energy Conservation Awards 2016 in various categories from Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, Government of India, a record achievement. Measures that are in implementation include commissioning of 645 KwP solar panels at various rail locations during the year besides provision of 30 natural day light pipes at service buildings and workshops. 158 stations have been converted to 100% LED lit stations during the year taking this step fast forward. 247 Track Kilometres of rail line has been additionally electrified on the zone during the year which is a positive trend. I expect a thrust to Electrification on the zone replacing the usage of Diesel thereby saving on energy costs and helping the cause of a greener environment.
The Zone is focussed on carrying forward the digital initiative of the government in a sizeable way. To enhance passenger comfort, high speed Wi-fi services have been introduced recently at Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Guntur in addition to the existent facility at Kacheguda, Vijayawada and Tirupati. The Wi-fi services are also available at Warangal, Basar and Aurangabad while work is under progress to cover 27 more stations. In tune with the Government’s decision to promote cashless transactions, 112 Point of Sale machines have been installed for issue of Reservation tickets at 108 locations, 32 Point of Sale machines have been installed at the booking offices of the 26 Suburban stations to facilitate issue of season tickets, on Credit/Debit/RuPay Cards. I would like to make a special mention of the fact that, hand held terminals were used for issuing unreserved tickets on pilot basis during the Krishna Pushkaram period.
I consider Employees as the core strength for an organisation. It is their motivation and commitment which yields the results. Therefore, welfare of staff and their families is high on my agenda and every step will be taken to improve any shortcomings in this aspect. In this connection, I also acknowledge the excellent industrial relations prevailing on SCR, with the recognised trade unions playing a responsible role.
The entities which need my appreciation for their good work in the segments of sports, welfare and cultural activities are the SCR Sports Association, SCR Women’s Welfare Organization and the SCR Lalitha Kala Samithi respectively.
There is a lot that needs to be done towards taking the progressive blue print of Indian Railways forward. South Central Railway has to gear itself to this task and achieve the benchmarks of performance and customer satisfaction without any compromise. I am sure that the team spirit and commitment prevalent on the Zone will deliver outstanding results in the days to come. I once again share my good wishes for your professional and personal success.
Jai Hind !
(Vinod Kumar Yadav)