Daily : March 3, 2017

Indian Railway’s Freight and Passenger Business Action Plan -2017-18

Indian Railway’s Freight and Passenger Business Action Plan -2017-18

Question: ROLL-ON ROLL-OFF (RO-RO) is a new initiative taken by …
(a) Ministry of Shipping
(b) Ministry of Railways
(c) Ministry of Road Transport
(d) Ministry of Civil Aviation
Ans: (b)

  • On 2nd March 2, 2017, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated key freight sector initiatives at National Rail Museum, New Delhi.
  • Centre for Transportation Research and Management organized Eighteenth National Rail Transport Seminar with the theme: ‘Transforming IR’s Freight Services: Initiatives launched and the Road Ahead’ and the inauguration of ‘Key Freight Sector Initiatives’.
  • These initiatives inaugurated are as follows:
  • Policy of ‘Long Term Contracts’ with major customers.
  • Indian Railways Freight and Passenger Business Action Plan -2017-18.
  • Confirmation trial of Double stacks Dwarf Container Train under wire- a New Delivery Model.
  • The demonstration runs of Ro-Ro (Roll on – Roll off) service across the National Capital Region- A Pilot project of Indian railways for ‘Green Transportation’ – to reduce road
  • congestion and improve environment.
    ‘Roll-on-Roll-off’ is new delivery model which can provide multimodal transport mix. RORO envisions decongesting city by loading commercial vehicles onto railway flat wagons at railway terminals/PFTs outside the city and unload them after carrying them across the city. This service was started on KONKAN Railway and then proliferated to ECR and NFR successfully last year.
    The pilot project across National Capital Region is the next such service being introduced on Indian Railways. The pilot project on NCR from Garhi Harsaru to Murad Nagar was flagged off from Patel Nagar on 2nd March, 2017.
  • Benefits:
  • Everyday around 66,000 trucks enter Delhi. Out of these around 38% i.e. 25000 in number are heavy trucks, of this 15000 in number are not destined for the Capital.
  • According to a study, conducted by Centre for Science and Environment, commercial vehicles entering Delhi spew close to 30% of the total particulate load and 22% of Nitrogen oxide load from the transport sector.
  • This model would provide movement of trucks in day time also which was restricted earlier from 7 o clock in the morning to 11 o clock in the night.
  • Comprehensively it will help in saving transit time, environment compensation charge, toll tax, and fuel & turn round time for truck operators and benefit the community by reducing noise pollution, congestion, road accidents and carbon footprints.
  • Long Term Tariff Contracts/Agreements
    In compliance of announcement made by Minister of Railways in the Railway Budget 2016-17, it has been decided to launch the policy of Long Term Tariff Agreements/ Contracts. This facility will be extended to Railway’s key freight customers using pre-determined price escalation principle.
  • Objectives
  • Long term Gross Freight Revenue (corresponding to Minimum Guaranteed Quantity) commitments from customers at pre-determined price escalation principle.
  • The main features of the policy are :
  • Minimum Guaranteed Volume linked discounts on the basis of incremental growth in Gross Freight Revenue in return for commitment to provide Minimum Guaranteed Quantity of traffic.
  • Discounts range from 1.5% to 35% as per the incremental growth in gross freight revenue (GFR).
  • Customers are required to offer at least one million tonne traffic per annum.
  • Minimum period of agreement shall not be less than three years and at stretch not more than 5 years.
  • New customer will have to offer more than 3 million tonne traffic during the agreement period and one million traffic in the first year itself.
  • In case of customers already offering more than 5 million tonnes of traffic discount would be granted on the basis of absolute GFR corresponding to the total volume of traffic offered by the company during the previous 12 months subject to the same GFR being maintained over the period of the agreement.
  • Excluded commodities: All commodities below Class-100, Coal & Coke, Military traffic and RMC.
  • Under the pre-determined price escalation principle, any increase or decrease in freight rates will be implemented from the beginning of the next year of the agreement only.
  • Discount in freight under this scheme will be given as refund within 45 days.
  • Agreement will be signed at Zonal Railway level.
  • In case of multi zone operations of a customer, the agreement will be signed with that Zonal Railway which deals with maximum traffic of that customer.
  • Customer can opt for single zone or multi zone agreements or both.
  • Benefits:
  • This will benefit Key customers such as cement, fertilizers, steel industries etc. by providing stability and certainty of long term tariff/freight rates to the customers.
  • Trial Run of Double Stack Dwarf Containers:
    In the Railway Budget for 2016-17, Minister of Railways had announced that an Action Plan will be developed and implemented to expand the freight basket and recapture the traffic through either Containerization or New Delivery Models. Double Stack Dwarf Container Train is one such Innovative Delivery Model.
  • Main Feature
    Double Stack Dwarf Containers are designed with 6 feet 4 inches height to run under wire for maximum throughput with increased loadability.
    The overhead electric equipment in electrified territories on the Indian Railways acts as infringements to proliferation of ISO double stack containers (with conventional height of 8.5 ft and 9.5 ft.) on electrified section. All important routes are electrified.
    A single stack ISO 40 feet container has loadability of around 32 tonnes which can be increased to around 54 tonnes in Double Stack Dwarf Containers on electrified sections. Hence, the load-ability per wagon can be increased by more than 55% by using this delivery model.
    The concept has been received with excitement by various groups of customers transporting commodities with low- weight- volume ratio.
    A preliminary trial run of Double Stack Dwarf Containers was undertaken in Jan 2017. After ensuring removal of Infrastructure constraints, a confirmatory trial run was launched on 2nd March, 2017 by Minister of Railways between Ambala and Jamnagar (with run from Ambala to Ludhiana under wire) after which commercial runs will be started.
  • Benefits:
  • The load-ability per wagon under wire would increase by more than 55% thereby increasing throughput.
  • Per unit cost of transportation would come down. Beneficial to commodities with low weight- volume ratio.
  • The model envisages procurement of rakes and development of Dwarf Containers by Container Train Operators and other stakeholders.
  • Indian Railways is likely to regain lost modal share and capture new traffic in domestic segment like Petchem products such as Low Density/High Density Polyethylene, Plastic granules, white goods, PVC and Polyester fabric etc.
  • Likely to attract additional traffic of around 3 Million tonnes in the initial year.
  • Indian Railway’s Business Plan 2017-18
  • The Business Plan 2017-18 is a continuation of the ministry’s sustained efforts to make the journeys of passengers more pleasurable and to make Indian Railway’s Freight Business more responsive to the needs of our customers.
  • This Business Plan details 50 actionable initiatives covering the core business segments of Indian Railway’s Passenger and Freight Sectors as well as new avenues in Parcel and Non-fare business, that Indian Railways shall be focused on, in 2017-18.
  • Salient Features of Business Plan 2017-18
  • Upgrading the Delivery System by initiatives like revamp of railway goodsheds through partnerships with stakeholders.
  • Better freight services and rationalized tariffs to expand the freight basket.
  • Operational strategies to enhance throughput like procurement of 3000 25T BOXNS wagons in 2017-18, leverage IT and to improve asset utilization.
  • International Freight Services under which a demo train run between Bangladesh and India and a meeting of CEOs of railways of concerned countries to boost intermodal regional connectivity is planned in 2017-18
  • Passenger Segment
  • Transformation of ticketing by migrating towards cashless, paperless ticketing (6000 PoS machines and 1000 Ticket Vending Machines in 2017-18), Aadhaar -based ticketing and an integrated ticketing App by May 2017.
  • Providing comfort and a pleasurable journey experience through induction of new Rakes(about 2300 coaches in 2017-18)
  • Fulfilling travel needs by scaling up the new train products like Humsafar (7 new services by 2017), Antyodaya (7 new services by June 2017), Tejas (3 new services by June 2017) etc.
  • Enhancing Parcel Business through New partnership with the Postal Department to provide End-to-End solution in Parcel Traffic
  • Augmenting Non-fare revenues by monetization of Railways’ hard and soft assets through proliferation of Rail Display Network (RDN) at 408 A-1 and A class stations in 2017-18.
  • New policy on Out-of-Home advertising to generate Rs 6000 Crores in 10 years, About 2000 new ATMs, Train advertising, Content-on-demand and Rail Radio besides monetized apps for complaints/feedback and Cab Booking.
  • The initiatives enlisted in Business Plan 2017-18 carry specific targets and timelines. These will form the roadmap for the transformative journey of Indian Railway towards its vision of becoming an ‘engine of growth’ for the Indian Economy.


Maiden Anti-Ship Missile launch by Kalvari class submarines

Question: The Indian Navy recently conducted the test firing of an anti-ship missile from the first of the indigenously built Kalvari class submarines. How many submarines of this class are being built by India?
(a) 8
(b) 6
(c) 9
(d) 10
Ans: (b)

  • On 2nd March 2, 2017, The Indian Navy successfully conducted the maiden firing of an Anti-Ship missile from the first of the indigenously built Kalvari class submarines, during a test firing in the Arabian Sea.
  • The missile successfully hit a surface target at extended ranges during the trial firing.
    This missile launch is a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpene class submarines being built in India, but also in enhancing the Indian Navy’s sub-surface warfare capability.
  • All six Kalvari class submarines being built in India will be equipped with this anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat. These missiles will provide the submarines the ability to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.


National Mission for Clean Ganga Signs MoU with Rotary India

Question: The main stem of the river Ganga flows through … states of India.
(a) 5
(b) 6
(c) 4
(d) 8
Ans: (a)

  • On 2nd March 2, 2017, National Mission for Clean Ganga under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation signed an MoU with Rotary India in New Delhi.
  • Rotary India will support clean Ganga mission through their ‘WASH in Schools’ program in various schools. The program includes the implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services in the targeted government schools. Awareness about sanitization is raised among all the stakeholders including school children, teachers and school management communities etc.
  • This will be achieved through an integrated learning environment and enabling children to serve as agents of change for their siblings and communities at large. Rotary India has planned to undertake ‘WASH in Schools’ programme in 20,000 Government Schools.
  • The MoU will pave the way for integrating the theme of Ganga Rejuvenation with Rotary’s program of WASH which is to be undertaken in government schools and communities located along the river Ganga in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Nadia District of West Bengal and other states where Rotary has a strong presence.
  • It will undertake activities and campaigns to create awareness in schools and communities about Ganga rejuvenation and thereby reducing the pollution flowing into the river.
  • The emphasis will be on public outreach and community participation. The MoU shall remain in force for two years.
  • The collaboration between NMCG and Rotary is a significant step in involving various stake holders and communities in Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • It is notable that the main stem of the river Ganga flows through 5 states of India. These are Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.


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