Dear Members of the Railway family,
The dawn of 26th January each year heralds the commemoration of Republic Day when the Constitution of India came into effect. On this occasion of the 71st Republic Day being celebrated today, I extend my warm greetings to you all. With the majestic tricolour fluttering high to rekindle a sense of oneness amongst us all, it is time for us to reaffirm our patriotic commitment towards the cause of Nation’s progress and integration.
At the outset, I take pride to be the leader of one of the best performing zones on Indian Railways, an image earned on the basis of the hard work rendered by each of the rail personnel through the last 54 years since the inception of the zone. This day offers us all an opportunity to analyse our performance and achievements during the current fiscal 2019-20 until December, so that we gear ourselves for the final lap and attain the goals set.
South Central Railway has yet again surpassed the Rs. 10, 000 crore mark in gross originating earnings between April - December, registering a total of Rs 10, 270 crore during the current fiscal. This comes under the backdrop of a challenging scenario in the transport sector. The zone has loaded 81 million tonnes of freight and carried 284 million passengers during the period. Onus is on us to join hands and work with renewed vigour to perform the best and enable the zone to stand tall, true to its image as a topmost performer.
Safety, Security, Infrastructure and Passenger Amenities are the thrust areas for South Central Railway, which influence public esteem. There is zero tolerance towards safety and the motto is to continuously maintain the best track record in this aspect. The Zone has undertaken several initiatives such as stringent Safety drives, night inspections, Safety audits etc., to monitor working aspects, alertness of staff on Safety duties and identify areas of improvement, so as to further strengthen the system.Maintenance schedules of rolling stock and track are being given due importance for ensuring safety. SCR has completed a record 231 Km of track renewals during the current fiscal year, with bare minimal regulation of train services. 85 manned railway level crossings have also been eliminated during the current year, so as to streamline road traffic movement. We need to remember the fact that safety has no tomorrow and it is our duty to ensure safe train operations.
Security at railway stations and in trains is yet another focus area for SCR. Surveillance cameras have been commissioned at 44 major railway stations over the Zone to keep a hawks eye, round the clock. In addition, Begumpet and Dharmabad stations have been provided with latest IP based VSS cameras under NIRBHAYA fund to monitor security, with plans to extend the same to all stations in a phased manner.
On the Infrastructure front, 119 Kms of Doubling and 14 Kms of New railway line have been completed. “Mission Electrification” is proceeding at a fast pace and 155 Route Kms have already been electrified this financial year.
SCR is determined to add quality to rail travel by significantly enhancing the standards of passenger amenities and facilities on its network. An amount of Rs. 146 cr has been spent during the current financial year for works pertaining to the same.For the benefit of the passengers, this year 09 lifts have been commissioned at 05 railway stations while works are in progress to provide 34 lifts and 16 escalators at 20 and 10 stations respectively. The latest Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB) coaches have been inducted in 22 express trains to optimize riding experience and safety. It is planned to introduce these coaches by all express trains in a phased manner. The Zone is amongst the first on Indian Railways to achieve 100% results in commissioning of free High Speed Wi-Fi at all its railway stations, barring halt stations.
As a responsive transporter, the zone has lined up a dynamic plan to cater the demands of passenger rush, basing on which 2533 special trains have been run between different destinations in the current financial year till date while 8911 additional coaches were attached.In terms of enhanced train connectivity, the introduction of a new day time intercity express between Vijayawada and Gudur and extension of the popular Rajyarani Express running between CSMT Mumbai and Manmad up to Huzur Sahib Nanded has met immense public acclaim.
The Zone has been in the fore front to safeguard environment and reduce pollution. Opting for a more viable option, innovative Head on Generation (HOG) technology has been commissioned to replace the conventional Diesel run End on Power Generation (EOG) system, to power the electrical needs of 18 pairs of express trains during the current fiscal. This will encourage use of green energy and reduce running costs besides offering scope to attach an extra coach by the trains. Use of Solar energy has attained a new high with the capacity getting enhanced to 08 MWp, scaling down use of fuel based energy and electricity, thereby saving on revenue too. The most recent innovation in this area is the concept of solar roofs made of solar energy panels which has been commissioned for the new booking Office building at Kamareddi railway station. As the saying goes, “Keep doing good and recognition follows”. The comprehensive measures towards energy conservation have yet another time enabled SCR to earn 04 prestigious National Energy conservation Awards from the Ministry of Power, Government of India and 03 awards from Government of Telangana. 09 stations over the Railways have been made energy neutral.
The Zone has also taken visible strides in afforestation with block Plantation of 08 lakh trees in 860 hectares of land and Boundary plantation of 07 lakh tress along 622 kms of railway land during the year. Drawing inspiration from “Sewa Diwas” celebrated on 2nd October, 2019 to commemorate Gandhi Jayanthi, SCR has launched an extensive campaign against single use plastic, seeking rail users as stakeholders in the task. 79 Plastic Bottle crushing machines have been installed at 57 busy railway stations to facilitate responsible disposal of plastic.
Employees are the strength for the Organisation. Steps to upgrade their skills and enhance work efficiency are high on the priority list. SCR has taken to the Digital Avenue by introducing a host of initiatives. The Zone is the first to implement the paperless digital working system e-Office for all internal correspondence on files. e-DAS is another first of its kind initiative of SCR, to provide an electronic platform for online approval of drawings, which significantly expedites the approval mechanism to facilitate on time commencement of rail projects.
SCR is fortunate to have a very cordial industrial relations atmosphere and I acknowledge the role being played by the recognised trade unions to serve the purpose. The administration lays emphasis on welfare measures to benefit the workforce, since their wellbeing signifies wellness of the organization too. A host ofmeasures including the introduction of Unique Medical Identity Card (UMID) have earned a positive nod.
The SCR Women’s Welfare Organization has been rendering yeoman service towards employee welfare, particularly in areas which are not in the reach of administration. In addition, the Organization is also reaching out to other deserving sections of the society. The schools being run by SCRWWO for children of railway employees as well as the under privileged sections of the outside society, are imparting quality education. At Vidya Vihar High School, Secunderabad, SCRWWO has organized painting and essay competitions amongst children and involved them in environment related activities, including Tree Plantation and the campaign to “Say No to Plastics”. Aakansha, one of the best schools for specially abled children in the region, is also being run by the organization. In the segment of health and family welfare, SCRWWO has undertaken various programs to benefit the families of railway employees. The organization has extended its concern towards the less privileged women contractual staff involved in cleaning contracts on railways by conducting health awareness programs and health check up camps.
The SCR Sports Association has continued to excel in developing infrastructure facilities and tapping best sports talent from all corners of the country. Teams representing the Zone have participated in 23 disciplines in All India Railway Sports Championships signifying its strength. The performance graph has also been creditable with SCR emerging among the top three ranks across Indian Railways. The Zone has been one of the most responsive employers, recruiting 29 Sportspersons during the current year, duly providing them world class training facilities and career growth.The recently inaugurated state-of-the-art synthetic hockey turf at Railway Sports Complex, Secunderabad can be rated as amongst the best in the country.
The region covered by SCR is a cradle of art, culture and crafts. The Zone is blessed to have SCR Lalitha Kala Samiti involved in undertaking these activities. The services rendered by Civil Defence personnel and the Scouts & Guides of SCR need special acknowledgement.
The last quarter of the financial year has picked pace and time is of essence for us to achieve set goals. Remember, with each new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Let us introspect, innovate and implement strategies which speak of our calibre, so that SCR achieves best possible results for the financial year 2019-20. My best wishes to one and all for a great performance.