Indian Railways is set to take a quantum leap in electrification and is set to be the world's first to be 100% electrical said Piyush Goyal.
Indian Railways is set to take a quantum leap in electrification and is set to be the world’s first to be 100% electrical, says Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. Speaking on the occasion of the 5th RK Vir memorial Lecture, Goyal said that Indian Railways will start expanding the route kilometres which are electrified from an average of 654 km from 2010-2014 to an average of 1500 kms between 2014-2018 every year. Goyal remembered late R K Vir, who moved the Indian Railways from steam engine age to the age of electrification, said that the visionary of Indian Railways would be glad to see the progress being made on the electrification program.
Addressing the long-standing question of whether Indian Railways will be privatised, Goyal said that Railways is not just one commodity or a company which does public service for profit. “It is also a national utility and national means of transport for people living in the rural parts of India who travel large distances for work or religious purposes. All these people cannot be just a matter of profit or loss,” he said. The minister called “these daily commuters” the true stakeholders of Indian Railways and added that it is a noble intention to provide this public service to them.
Watch Piyush Goyal’s full speech here:
The minister recently met officials of Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) and said that they were an efficient team. “The department put the entire process of approvals to their website, making it transparent for everyone to see and it also successfully reduced the number of pending applications from 640 to around 300-350,” Goyal elaborated. Yet another major breakthrough that Goyal attributed to RDSO was on removal of all the deadlines for empanelment processes. “Now the organization will be open for businesses 365 days a year. RDSO will also put a time deadline to approve each and every item,” he added.
The Railway Ministry is also looking forward to expanding the vendor base and the supplier base of Indian Railways as he feels it will offer better quality and healthy competition. The minister said that the 65,000 km long railway network which caters to a thousand crore passengers every year cannot sustain on signalling system. The minister severely criticized the centuries-old signalling system for the recent mishaps and called it to be an unsafe system to run the trains. Recently, Piyush Goyal had said that Indian Railways is changing its century-old signalling system with a modern network. “A few days ago we had a meeting to discuss the century-old signalling system which is currently in use. And in the coming years we will change the entire signalling system on our entire network,” Goyal has said. The move will come as a welcome step, especially given the recent rail mishaps.