AIR spotlight summary on “Rail Vikas Shivir”.
Rail Vikas Shivir (Rail Development Camp) was organised at Surajkund near Faridabad. The intention behind the shivir is that the railway officers and workers should take part in the modernisation of railway. The experts from all over the globe are invited to share their views. The railway ministry has set a target of investing 8.5 lakh crores till 2019.
Objectives of the Rail Vikas Shivir
- The idea behind the shivir is to modernise the Indian railways.
- To involve the man power of the railway to the maximum possible way.
- To have a future plan of the infrastructure of the railway development.
Challenges in Indian Railways
- Expansion of the railway, railway modernisation and safety.
- Providing quality food.
- Reaching the destination on time and keeping the destination time to the convenience of the passenger.
- Railways are having some competition with low fare airline services.
- In the recent time railways is losing the freight share to the roadways. In short distance the railways is environment friendly.
Measures to improve Indian Railways
- The idea behind the amalgamation of the railway budget and general budget is that the railway should be in the mainstream.
- The railway minister has delegated the financial powers to the divisional railway managers thereby involving the railway officials from down to top to take part in the process in transforming the railways.
- South Korea has shown very keen interest to take up the redevelopment of New Delhi railway station. Similarly the Bhopal railway station has been given to a private player for redevelopment. This is very good initiative to make the Indian railways at par with international standards through PPP mode and participation of foreign players.
- Lot of time was wasted due to red tapism and bureaucratic hurdles in tendering process. Now by delegating the financial powers to railway managers the railway ministry will be able to cut down the time lag and thereby see the fast execution of the new railway lines. This move is to decentralise the railway network and decide the development areas at the regional level according to the aspirations of the local people. The government has set a target of 4300kms of new railway lines.
- The digitisation of the railways is a good move by the railway ministry which is attracting the common man.
Scope for expediting the expansion of railways
- There is a need for large investments in the railways. The railway network should be expanded and thereby bring in more passengers to travel through railways.
- Railways offer an alternate mode of transportation for passengers when flights are not available.
- There is a great demand for bullet train in India because India is a vast country and reaching from one part to the other part consumes lot of time.
- In the globalised world there is a need to prepare the Indian railways at par with international standards.
- India is importing technology from foreign countries even though we have great human resource, IITs, and research institutes. The NITI Ayog has invited the common man and engineers to come forward and give technological solutions to the railway challenges. Developing indigenous technology is the need of the hour.
There is lot to be done to curb corruption and mismanagement of railways which is existent in certain parts of the country. Railways have the potential to add 2% to the GDP of the economy and Rail Vikas Shivir will give ownership to the railway officials and the workers to be part of the modernisation of the railways.