Prabhu inaugurates key freight sector initiatives of Indian Railways
The Dollar Business Bureau
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday inaugurated key freight sector initiatives such as a new policy of long-term contracts’ with major customers, Indian Railways Freight and Passenger Business Action Plan 2017-18, confirmation trial of double stack dwarf container train under wire- a New Delivery Model and the demonstration run of roll on – roll off (RO-RO) service across the National Capital Region.
The roll on - roll off service is a pilot project of Indian railways to promote green transportation through reducing road congestion and improving environment.
Indian Railways earns two-third of its revenue from freight, primarily from the transportation of eight commodities. The global slowdown has also hit the country’s transportation sector, which has affected Railway’s freight earnings. Despite these global and domestic challenges, Indian Railways has been able to improve its freight loading.
The ministry has tweaked its freight policies and rationalised them in consultation with all stakeholders in order to attract more freight towards railways. “For these changes, Indian Railways has adopted market-oriented approach to make traffic policies. These landmark reforms in freight policy are in line with the budget announcements. Prabhu called upon the stakeholders to respond to these changes and honour their commitments,” Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said.
The concept of Double Stack Dwarf Container train is aimed at saving time and is expected to be cost effective. The RO-RO services concept is also expected to beneficial from the point of view of pollution, public health and for speedy transportation.
The railway minister also said he was working in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s broader development agenda. “Of late, the Railway Ministry has taken various initiatives in the field of non-fare revenue and in saving fuel cost. We have fixed up a target of savings of Rs.41,000 crore in next ten years on the energy front. Railways have taken massive plans of expansion & capacity augmentation,” Prabhu said.