Logistics

Rail freight loading zooms by 39 mt till Dec

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on January 02, 2018

Given the spike in freight loading, the Railways is planning to procure more wagons next year

All commodities except urea see rise in loading

The Railways loaded about 39 million tonne (mt) extra freight in the April-December 2017 duration, a Railway official said, adding that these are initial estimates.

This is almost eight times the five mt incremental cargo loaded for the entire 2016-17 over the previous year.

All categories of commodities — with the exception of fertiliser — has seen growth. Buoyed by this growth, the Railways is planning to procure 5,000-7,000 wagons in the next fiscal.

The Railways is looking to use a bidding system where the lowest cost will be discovered by using a vendor that offers the lowest price for a particular product, said another Railway official.

This is even if the entire quantity supplied by the vendor does not match the total requirement of the Railways. In that case, it will source from more than one vendor. The move will help lower the procurement prices for the Railways, he added. The official also said that the track replacement work of Railways has picked up with greater planning. Over 470 km of tracks has been laid in December, picking up from an average of 238 km per month in the April-August 2017 period.

RDSO shift

The Railways is considering a proposal to shift the research function of Lucknow-based Railway Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) to the new Railway University that is coming up in Vadodara.

“This will pave the way for joint research by railways, industry and academia, as happens in many countries across the world,” according to a Railway Ministry official.

At present, RDSO has multiple roles that include research, setting standards, and approving vendors. The move comes at a time when RDSO is being revamped with several of its functions digitised.

To ensure greater transparency, all pending applications of RDSO have also been put online, the official added. This will widen the scope for newer vendors to enter the Indian Railways market.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently approved the Ministry of Railways' transformative initiative to set up the first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara to skill its human resources and build capability.

Government is working towards completing all approvals by April 2018, and to launch the first academic program in July 2018, said an official release.

The University will be set up as a Deemed to be University under de novo category as per the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2016. A not-for-profit company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 will be created by the Ministry of Railways which shall be the Managing Company of the proposed university. The company will provide financial and infrastructural support to the university, and appoint Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the university. Board of Management, comprising professionals and academics, shall be independent of the managing company with full autonomy to perform its academic and administrative responsibilities.

The existing land and infrastructure at National Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara, Gujarat will be utilised and modernised for the purpose of the university. It is expected to have 3000 full time students. The funding of the new university will entirely come from Ministry of Railways.

Correction

This news story has been edited to correct a factual error in the headline.

Published on January 02, 2018
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