Thursday, April 4, 2013

Safety of Passengers Remains Top Priority


                                     Two-Day General Managers’ Conference Begins 

The Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal said that it is heartening to know that Indian Railways has entered the prestigious one billion tonne select club in freight movement joining with China, Russia and USA. He congratulated General Managers and all railway men for this milestone achievement. He said that Indian Railways has achieved a remarkable freight loading capacity leading to this achievement. The Railway Minister announced an award of Rs. 5 crore for this achievement. The Minister stated this while addressing the two-day conference of General Managers of all Zonal Railways and Production Units which began here today.

The Railway Minister pointed out that safety in railway operations is always a priority subject and all efforts should be made to ensure safe railway operations. He hoped that the conference will deliberate on all safety related issues in detail and will take suitable measures wherever required. The Minister said that the efforts should also be made to minimize human error which also leads to accidents. He said that reasons for human error should be properly ascertained and corrective measures be taken to address this issue like, creating necessary environment for the crew, proper training and counseling of safety staff etc.
Expressing concern over the loss of innocent lives at unmanned level crossings, the Minister said that concerted efforts are required to create awareness among the road users regarding precautions to be taken at such crossings. Shri Bansal said that panchayats and village elders could be involved in this awareness campaign so as to sensitize the local road users about the hazards of avoidable accidents at unmanned level crossings.

Referring to the cleanliness, the Railway Minister said that it is important to ensure cleanliness on trains, in station area, at platforms and the surroundings. He called upon the General Managers to personally take interest and undertake regular monitoring on these fronts. Talking about Adarsh Stations, the Minister said that the work on them should be expedited. He said that it is also necessary to dispose off the scrap lying all around expeditiously which will not only bring revenue to the Railways but also keep the surroundings clean. He also asked General Managers to pay attention to punctuality of trains movement.

The Railway Minister said that Railway Board has been asked to work out a time bound action plan for implementation of steps taken for the convenience of differently abled and aged passengers as mentioned in my budget speech. He said that work on escalators needs to be expedited for the passengers convenience. Referring to the catering services, the Minister said that quality of the food served should be good and pantry cars should be maintained hygienically. The catering complaint number should be popularized so that people may send their complaints and get redressal of their grievances, he added.

The Minister also emphasized on better inventory management so as to make best use of Railway resources especially its rolling stock. Referring to several staff welfare measures in his budget speech, Shri Bansal said that General Mangers should ensure that there is constant improvement in staff quarter conditions, RPF barracks, hostel facilities for single woman Railway employees, medical facilities and education facilities. It is necessary to take proper care of employees so that they are able to contribute further in the growth of Indian Railways, he added. The Minister expressed happiness that the industrial relations in Indian Railways have always been good and the credit for it goes to both Railway management and the Railway employees for showing sense of accommodation.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways, Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Indian Railways is a nation within a nation and is the most visible institution touching lives of millions of people. He said that the criticism and feedback received from Railway users should be utilized in improving facilities. He called upon General Mangers to be proactive resilient and visionary. He also emphasized upon integration of infrastructure of entire railway network for optimum output.

In his speech, Minister of State for Railways, Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy said that it is really remarkable that Indian Railways has achieved one billion freight loading target. However, to increase the freight loading further, Railways will have to increase its loading capacity and for this, General Managers should ensure that the works are expedited and completed timely. Shri Reddy said that security of our passengers, both in the trains as well as within the railway premises, should be accorded a very high priority. Security of women travelers also needs to be improved. Expressing concern over encroachment cases of Railway Land, Shri Reddy said General Managers can explore mapping of the Railway Land with correct boundaries along with a detailed map of the track for better land management and monitoring of Railway assets.

In the beginning Chairman Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal outlined the agenda of the Conference and presented action plan for the General Managers.

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