Better Safety, Amenities, Punctuality and Financial Performance Achieved This Year: General Manager, NFR

Safety improved, with fewer derailments than last year so far, and no level crossing accidents have occurred this year so far. 170 Stations on Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) are now equipped with Electronic Interlocking, no passenger traffic station now has legacy mechanical signalling.

This was announced by Sanjive Roy, General Manager, NFR during the annual General Manager’s Republic Day Speech.

CCTVs will soon be installed at 15 more stations “to ensure a safe and secure journey”, according to the GM.

During the speech, the GM also said that 253 works related to passenger amenities at a cost of Rs. 1,320 crores were currently under execution on NFR. Punctuality of trains on NFR has improved to 81.15%, and the zone could achieve 100% punctuality on several days, he informed the gathering.

Full text of the Republic Day Speech by Sanjive Roy, General Manager of North East Frontier Railway

My Dear Railwaymen,

We have assembled here to celebrate the 71st Republic Day and I take this opportunity to convey my warmest wishes to you all and your families. Today we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of our Constitution coming in force, which shaped this socialist, secular, democratic republic for last seven decades.

Along with ensuring equal rights and justice for citizens, the Constitution also provides 11 Fundamental Duties for every citizen to follow. One of these is to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity, so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

We, the Indian Railway family, have consistently and tirelessly worked towards nation building and this is an apt occasion to look back at some of our achievements in the last few months.

It is our primary duty to ensure safety and security of all rail users. We have taken a number of steps to improve safety, enhance reliability of assets and ensure security of our passengers. Electronic Interlocking was introduced in 10 more stations this financial year taking the total number of such stations to 170. With this, there remains no Mechanical Interlocking lever frame in the jurisdiction of N.F. Railway for passenger train operation. 17 Block Proving Axle Counters were commissioned during this financial year taking the total number to 337.

Interlocking of manned Level Crossing gates with TVUs more than 50,000 was taken on priority and got completed during the year. At non interlocked LC gates which were closed to road traffic, Gate Working Rules were revised to ensure safety at such gates.

To improve safety in train running 230 km of track had been deep screened with 3.87 Lakh Cum ballasting which is about 41% more than progress achieved in whole of last year, 96 bridges were rehabilitated, 17 manned level crossings were also eliminated.

The rakes of 17 pairs of trains had been standardized and 10 pairs of trains have been converted into LHB. Use of LHB rakes not only increases safety and comfort of passengers, but also results in better efficiency.

Our efforts of minimising accidents b improving assets, tracks and strict adherence to safety protocols have considerably decreased consequential train accidents. Till the month of December 2019 there had been 02 derailments compared to 04 derailments in the corresponding period in 2018-19. No accident at level crossings took place this year. It is a matter of pride for us that Safety department could prepare and release the Zonal Disaster Management Plan, 2020 with ISO certification on the very first day of the year.

Apart from enhancement and adequate maintenance of all our assets, we have taken various other steps to ensure safe and secure journey for our passengers. For security monitoring CCTV is being installed in stations in phased manner. So far, we have installed CCTV in 13 stations and will soon cover 15 more stations.

Our RPF jawans have made us proud by rendering exemplary service by apprehending 17 suspected criminals involved in drugging and looting belongings of passengers and 120 suspected thieves. RPF has also detected carrying of contraband goods worth Rs. 6 crore and arrested 64 persons in this connection. Displaying a pro-passenger role, RPF personnel have also recovered 324 left-behind luggage and handed them over to respective passengers. Continuing its drive against trafficking of women and children on trains, RPF personnel rescued 902 minor children and arrested 10 suspected traffickers.

Along with safety, passenger amenities have been our major thrust area. We have been regularly upgrading passenger amenities so that our customers have a better experience in railway premises. As many as 253 works related to passenger amenities are being implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 1320 crore. Lifts and escalators are being provided at various stations.

Stations are being provided with modern airport-like LED lightings, toilets and drinking water facilities are being added. Free WiFi is being provided in 357 stations. Cleanliness at stations and trains has improved and many other small but significant steps are taken to provide better interface to the travellers. With improving standards for our stations, we have already achieved ISO certification in 22 stations for providing passenger amenities in clean and green environment.

We have introduced one SEWA Express train between Murkongselek and Dibrugarh on 15th October, 2019 and added four new DEMU services in Agartala- Sabroom-Dharmanagar section after commissioning of 40-km Belonia – Sabroom New BG line. We also ran 132 Election Special trains.

We have also added 44 coaches to 17 trains on permanent basis generating 3668 additional berths / seats. For the convenience of passengers, we have also introduced stoppage of 6 mail / express trains at 09 stations.

To display arrival / departure of trains, PC-based Integrated Passenger Information System has been installed in 2 more stations taking the total to 14 stations. Digital museum has been commissioned at 8 stations to display videos of railway heritage etc., taking the total population of such stations to 26. True colour video wall is provided in 05 more stations taking the total number of such stations to 07. These video walls can also be used for commercial advertising to bolster our revenue.

For the convenience of passengers, 4 new foot over bridges were provided, 6 new platforms constructed and heights of three platforms raised during this financial year.

To carry our passengers to their destination with comfort within stipulated time, efforts were made to improve our mobility. We removed 25 permanent speed restrictions and sectional speeds of as many as nine sections totalling 426 Kms were raised.

Uttar Banga Express was extended to Bamanhat to decongest New Coochbehar station. To minimise detention for watering of rakes, quick watering system has been installed at Guwhati and Lumding which can ϐill a complete rake in 10 minutes. Such system will be installed in eight more stations by June this year. We have also speeded up 19 trains reducing their running time between 5 to 30 minutes.

As a result of these concerted efforts, the punctuality has improved to 81.15% during the period from January to December of last year and on several days we even achieved 100% punctuality. Our zone was among the top three zones in terms of punctuality for three consecutive months from September to November, 2019, a record achieved ϐirst time on our Railway since data loggers were installed.

While providing comfortable and punctual services to our passengers, we have tried to increase our earnings. This ϐinancial year, we have been given a target for earnings which is 15% higher than our earnings last year. Our Gross Apportioned Earnings till end of December is Rs. 3937

crore which is 10.7% higher than the proportionate target and is 52% more than the earnings for the corresponding period of 2018-19. 

There  had  been  2.6%  improvements  in  Zonal  Interchange,  8%  in  Inward  Releases  and  2.4%  in  Loaded  Receipts.  However,  our  freight performance is a matter of concern as on date. A number of factors contributed towards decline in loading and we have to put in serious

efforts to improve it. It is heartening to note that our parcel trafϐic has contributed Rs. 22.5 crore earnings in this ϐinancial year so far. We also commissioned one POL siding at Gumto, Arunachal Pradesh on 27.10.2019.

People’s protest on citizenship issue took violent turn during December and many of our properties were damaged by protestors besides affecting the train services. Despite very adverse conditions, our running staff, coach maintenance staff and commercial staff ensured running of trains even by taking personal risk in turning out for duty and performing duty in very adverse conditions. I salute our dedicated and committed team.

On the passenger earnings front we have carried 8.29 crore passengers, earning 1310 crore till December, 2019. Our non-fare revenue has recorded 118% increase over last year and we have earned Rs. 3.2 crore on this account. To discourage ticketless travel, our ticket-checking staff with the help of RPF have conducted more than 28 thousand ticket-checking drives and detected 7.49 lakh people without ticket and realised Rs. 51.6 crore as fare and penalties.

To fulϐil our commitment towards a greener and cleaner environment, we have commissioned Electriϐication of traction upto New Jalpaiguri now and for rest of the sections of N.F. Railway, the works are progressing well. After CRS authorization for running train with electric traction in the 67-km Gunjaria – New Jalpaiguri section in the month of December, 2019, the ϐirst passenger train converted into electric traction was Darjeeling Mail between New Jalpaiguri to Sealdah. Three more pairs of passenger trains are also converted to electric traction since then.

Following the introduction of electric traction, the New Jalpaiguri – Howrah Shatabdi Express is being run fully with HOG compliant system thereby eliminating the need of power supply from power cars. This not only reduces the cost of fuel but also curbs environmental pollutions.

Six more rakes were also made HOG compliant.

All our coaches have been retro-ϐitted with LED lights to increase energy efϐiciency. We have recently added 330 KWp of solar energy generating capacity which is estimated to save Rs. 27 lakh in energy bills annually besides reducing our carbon footprints. Our total solar energy generation capacity has now gone up to 2621 KWp.

Our employees are the driving force behind all the achievements and their welfare is given utmost priority. To improve their living conditions residential quarters are being renovated in phased manner. Efϐiciency and safety of operation largely depend on our running staff. For comfortable

stay of running staff during their rest hours, all running rooms have been upgraded with various provisions including air-conditioning.

Our Medical Department has covered more than 84% of staff and 96% of RPF jawans under the Annual Wellness Assurance Check-up so far. In addition to this 1321 school children were also covered under School Health Check-up Camps. Our employees should get the best of medical care available in the country. For that, our medical department has tied up with 05 more multi-speciality private hospitals for treatments of serious diseases taking the total number of such private hospitals to 23.

Healthy body houses a healthy mind. Thus, Indian Railways always promotes sports activities. In turn, our sportspersons continue to make us proud. Ms S Mirabai Chanu has won Gold Medals both at Quatar Cup International Weightlifting Championship held at Doha and 6 th  AIR Women

Weightlifting Championship held at Mumbai. Ms Bhagyabati Kachari has won Gold Medal at 13 th  AIR Women Boxing Championship held at New Delhi. Ms Sonali Chanu Gold Medal in Cycling at 13 th  South Asian Games held at Kathmandu and Silver Medal at 57 th  AIR Cycling Championship held at Bikaner. Shri A Boby Singh has won Gold Medal in the 11 th  World Body Building and Physique Sports Championship held in Korea. Shri Amit Kumar has won Gold Medal in the 44 th  National Powerlifting Championship held in Coochbehar.

N. F. Railway Bharat Scouts and Guides had been active in rendering various social services. It had successfully organized Himalayan Wood Badge Course, the highest adult leader training course for the Scouts section, for the ϐirst time in Alipurduar. A total of 22 Cubs and Bulbul were selected for Golden Arrow award for their meritorious service.

N.F. Railway has performed exceptionally well in all key performance parameters prescribed by Railway Board and I am extremely happy to inform you that during half yearly performance review by Railway Board for the period from April to September, 2019, N.F. Railway secured second position among all the Zonal Railways. All these could be achieved due to active contribution of each and every employee and their family.  I  am  especially  thankful  to  the  recognized  unions  and  associations  for  their  active  cooperation.  I  express  my  sincere gratitude  to NFRWWO for their relentless work towards welfare of families of Railwaymen, who are the backbone of this dedicated workforce.

On this day, let us take a pledge that we will put in our best efforts and continue to carry forward the good work done by us, we will also carry out the fundamental duties as envisaged in our Constitution with diligence and will continue to contribute to the noble cause of nation building.

Jai Hind.

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