Friday, 15 August 2014

Southern Railway taking steps to implement Modi govt's people-centric initiatives

CHENNAI: Southern Railway has registered an increase in total earnings in the first four months of the current financial year and is taking steps to implement the people-centric initiatives announced by the Central Government, Rakesh Misra, general manager of the zone, said on Friday.

The total earnings of the zone in the first four months was Rs 2,380 crore, a 10.6% increase from those in the previous year, he said after hoisting the national flag to mark Independence Day on Friday.

"More than 276 million originating passengers were carried by Southern Railway in the first four months of the financial year which yielded passenger earnings of Rs 1351.34 crore, a 17.36% increase in earnings over the previous year. The originating freight earnings is 4% ahead of our earnings during the corresponding period of last year," he said.

The new government at the Centre has told railway zones to carry out people-centric initiatives, including improvement in cleanliness at stations and in trains, punctuality of mail, express and passenger trains, quality of linen supplied to passengers in trains, attaching extra coaches to clear waiting list, improving quality of food served in trains, reducing waiting time on queue for buying an unreserved ticket, giving priority of movement to agricultural products, quick clearances of proposals for sidings and road over-bridges, reducing 'running time' of some trains and proper regulation of temperature in AC coaches.

"Our punctuality record stands at around 94% for mail and express trains. Similarly, we are constantly watchful about augmentation of rakes. As many as 584 special trains were run in the first three months and more than 1,600 coaches were attached to regular trains on a day-to-day basis to clear waitlisted passengers.

As far as catering is concerned, we have awarded new contracts for 37 out of 39 trains, which is the highest number in Indian Railways," said Rakesh Misra.

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stress on need for better toilets, "the zone lays much emphasis on cleanliness of toilets on board trains and in railway premises. During inspections, special attention and focus is given to toilets. The mechanical department of Southern Railway is upgrading toilets in coaches," he added.

The zone was continuing to augment infrastructure required for running trains. "Palani - Pollachi (63km) gauge converted section, Perani - Mailam - Tindivanam (18.4 km ) doubling and Ennore - Attippattu third and fourth line (4 km) are ready for inspection by commissioner of railway safety and are likely to be commissioned shortly," he said.

"Chengalpet-Villupuram doubling (40 km) and also a 7km stretch of Sengottai-Bhagavathipuram section in Sengottai-Punalur gauge conversion project have also been completed," he added.

During the current financial year, Southern Railway has commissioned 25 km of Ariyalur - Kallakudi Palanganatham section of Villupuram - Dindigul doubling project. "We are also doubling Ernakulam - Ernakulam 'C' cabin section, a task which had been hanging fire for the past several years."

"EMU services in Chennai Beach - Tambaram - Chengalpattu - Tirumalpur section have now been augmented from nine car rakes to 12 car rakes. GPS-based passenger information system has been provided in 36 suburban trains in Chennai," said Misra.

In a bid to improve safety of women commuters in the suburban section, "RPF quick response teams have been formed to attend to the complaints of women passengers. Escorting of ladies special EMU trains in peak hours is done by women RPF squad called `Sakthi Padai'.

Apart from the peak hours escorting, 96 EMU trains running between 10pm and 6am are also escorted by RPF staff.

He said that passenger security was an important focus area. "Southern Railway is the first to complete installing Integrated Security System amongst all the 16 zones. It has been commissioned at 14 important stations at Rs 39.07 crore. The system has helped prevent crime inside railway stations."

Detailing the steps taken for disabled passengers, Misra said, "A society is judged by how much care it takes on those who need a bit of extra care. Regular inspections are conducted on special coaches earmarked for disabled passengers to ensure that normal passengers do not encroach upon the space meant for the differently abled".

Southern Railway is planning to install escalators at 22 more stations in a phased manner. Escalators have been installed at Chennai Egmore, Tambaram, Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Madurai stations. Elevators have been provided at Salem, Kozhikode and Chengannur stations.

"We have also brought safety awareness among our staff and have also launched safety campaigns in order to seek co-operation of the public. This is to strive to achieve our goal of zero accidents," he said.

Perambur Railway Hospital was also being developed further by adding new departments and specialities. "A super speciality neurosurgery department has been started and several complicated neurosurgical procedures involving brain and spine surgeries have already been performed by our dedicated team of specialist doctors. Also, the newly commissioned state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab has already been used for about six hundred Coronary Angiograms."

Misra inspected a guard of honour by the Railway Protection Force. B. Mohan, chief security commissioner, officers, staff and family members of Southern Railway, were present on the occasion. nadu,Southern Railway,Rakesh Misra,Independence day



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