Integrated safety system to be unveiled in Rail Budget
“Our target is zero accident level and we are working towards that goal. One has to migrate to a new platform and devise a long-term plan for this,” Prabhu said in an interaction with reporters yesterday.
Plagued with accidents, railway have undertaken several steps to prevent them.
The focus is on upgradation of the system including signalling, rolling stock and maximum use of information technology for strengthening safety, he said.
As per the plan, railway is working on integration of various system including track maintenance and signalling to develop a robust mechanism using information technology to prevent accidents.
Prabhu said Japan’s safety record in train operations is the best in the world and Indian Railway is working with them as part of an agreement with the country.
Referring to financial position he said Railways cannot depend on just fare to sustain itself and steps needed to be taken to increase non-tariff revenue.
“We cannot just depend on freight and passenger earnings.
We have to increase the non-tariff revenue also,” he said, adding there is a requirement for restructuring.
Besides increasing revenue from advertisement substantially, railway is planning commercial exploitation of real estate through station development.
Giving examples of Tokyo and London stations, Prabhu said “We are offering 400 stations for redevelopment across the country.”
Referring to the last budget, he said “we have taken many customer-friendly initiatives. We are on the course.”
Taking note of downslide in freight business, Prabhu said, “It is a global trend. Cargo movement has declined globally.
The import and export are down. So freight is also down.
Loadings of steel, cement, coal were also affected because of the economy. Cargo movement is always influenced by external factor.”
He said loading of foodgrains has also been being affected because of change in foodgrains policy. “So nobody can swim against the current. China’s economy is also affected due to the slowdown.
However, he hoped that there would be improvement in the last quarter of the fiscal.