Ad Here  
The elusive, much needed single urban transport authority A regulatory commission for transport Spectacular surges in surface transport Plan outlay drastically cut... Say Ola! Chant Uber! For a fair fare India bites the BULLET Winning accolades... Smiles through miles… Ready to battle Is this radical or Tughlakian? New vehicle for old?
Plan outlay drastically cut...
In the current fiscal, Plan outlay for Southern Railways, has been reduced drastically from Rs 1947.09 crore to Rs 1569.09 crore, with massive cuts in nearly all heads; the worst hit is doubling of lines with allocation cut from Rs 411 crore to Rs 57.10 crore. That allocations for track renewal, sa

With the launch of the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC) on 29 October 2013, Indian Railways(IR) set the ball rolling for privatising its passenger segment on its existing infrastructure. Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru-Chennai are among seven routes identified, on which will run the 160 km to 200 km per hour mini high speed trains.

The HSRC as a fully - owned subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, will raise extra budget resources from the market and private investors and implement the projects in the PPP mode.


Competition from budget airlines...

Even sections of middle-class Indians have deserted this ‘lifeline of  the nation’ in favour of budget airlines, preferring cleanliness and speed of flying,  says Priamwada Viswanathan (PV), Chief Commercial Officer, SR: “with the Indian Railways (IR) providing mass transport at the cheapest cost, there is a continuous need to balance the requirements of the different segments of population. To meet the huge gap between supply and demand, we are walking the tightrope most of the time. Chennai Central station, for instance, has to handle nearly 3 lakh passengers daily, with 46 pairs of Mail/ Express trains and 257 EMU services.Measures to improve cleanliness and hygiene in stations are constantly strategised and implemented. But somewhere, habits of passengers across sections of society are so ingrained ensuring a high level of hygiene is a major challenge,” she said.

Railways endeavours to work on this continuously and the results are encouraging. Last month, B Selvam, a senior section engineer at the Train Care Centre, Basin Bridge, Chennai won the President’s Award for devising a fumigation chamber to exterminate pests and insects in compartments. A positive stroke for compartment hygiene.


Recent reforms

Railways have introduced standardised menus across its Rajdhani and Shatabdi services, a new fleet of Duronto speed trains and increased services. IR, though incurring year-on-year losses on its passenger services, have been adjusting fares as to accommodate even the lowest income groups. 92 stations have been identified as Adarsh stations and work on 74 stations completed. Chennai Central, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore, Kozhikkode and Ernakulam stations would get world class station status said PV.

Though passenger fares along with reservation fees and super-fast surcharges were hiked this year, growth in earnings is not on expected lines.During April-September this year IR earned Rs 18,099.83 crore against Rs 15,582.42 crore last year. Blaming ticket-less travel for the fall in revenue, a Railway Board Member said: “we have intensified ticket checking at major stations and opened up more ticket counters.Since travel by road is costlier than by rail, the later is still the preferred mode of transport for many,” he said.


Green moves

Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Mishra recently outlined a comprehensive project for installing windmills. In 2007, Integral Coach Factory installed seven windmills at Kasthurirengapuram and Urumankulam at a cost of around Rs.66 crore. Of ICF’s total annual power requirement of 25 million units, these windmills generated 25.90 million units and also earned Rs.2.50 crore as carbon credits! Since the investment can be earned back within 10 years, SR is looking at installing its own windmills in Tirunelveli.” Wind turbine generators are likely to come up along the Aralvaimozhi-Muppandal-Radhapuram belt.


Operating ratio

Of the country’s 17 railway zones, eight spent more on operations than their revenues in the April to October period, with the North East Frontier Railway being the worst performer. The aim this year was to ensure an operating ratio (OR) across the railways of 84 per cent.

 Experts say a smaller number of railway zones would contribute to more efficient operations. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951 to 17 in 2010.

SR, the earliest of the zones, differs from others in that its revenue is derived more from passengers than from freight. From passenger traffic, in fiscal 2011-12, the zone earned Rs 2560 crore (Rs 242 crore more than last year’s). Earnings from goods traffic was Rs 2221 crore, (Rs268 crore more than last year’s). The operating ratio hit an all time low of 119.87 still the best ever performance after the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations were implemented. Punctuality of the SR rising to 95 per cent is cited as a positive!

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236