The dawn of 71st Republic Day of our nation was marked on Western Railway with flag hoisting by Shri Alok Kansal -General Manager of Western Railway. He also inspected the ceremonial parade at WR HQs Lawn at Churchgate and took salute of the March-past. Shri Kansal addressed the gathering by extending the greetings on this occasion to the Railwaymen and their families. Shri Kansal stated that Western Railway has achieved an earning of approx. Rs.341 crore from land resources which is Rs.77 crore higher than the proportionate target. WR have achieved a loading of 59.04 million tonnes in this financial year upto December 2019 and the originating earning in this period has been approx Rs 10921 crore. WR ran 2904 Double Stack Container trains and 1005 Long Haul trains during this period which are highest ever. Western Railway has successfully implemented Budget Module, Traffic Accounts Management System and E-recon on Indian Railways.
In the beginning of the ceremony, Shri A. K. Singh – Principal Chief Security Commissioner of W. Rly welcomed the General Manager Shri Alok Kansal. Shri Parikshit Mohanpuria – Dy. General Manager (General) of W. Rly offered vote of thanks to all. On this occasion, Western Railway’s GM Shri Kansal also recited an inspiring poem – “Kosish karne walon kee haar naheen hotee”. A cultural programme with patriotic songs was also presented by the artists of W. Rly Arts & Culture Association. Similarly a “Dog Show” was also performed by the dog squad of RPF. Smt. Tanuja Kansal – President of Western Railway’s Women Welfare Organization, Shri V. K. Tripathi – Additional General Manager of W. Rly alongwith various Principal Heads of Departments and other senior railway officers & staff were also present on this occasion. Shri Gajanan Mahatpurkar – Sr. Public Relations Officer of W. Rly anchored the whole ceremony. After the ceremony, GM Shri Kansal also visited the heritage gallery situated at WR HQs at Churchgate and appreciated the efforts to preserve rare artefacts and rich heritage. Shri Ravinder Bhakar- Chief Public Relations Officer of WR briefed him about various exhibits in the gallery.
As a new motivating initiative, on the directions of WR GM Shri Kansal, a new tradition has been started by all 6 divisions of W. Rly to facilitate several outstanding employees on the occasion of Republic Day with Gold medals & certificates of appreciation for their exemplary contribution to ensure safety and other important aspects at various levels. These awards were distributed at Mumbai Central, Vadodara & Ahmedabad divisions on 26th January, 2020 by respective Divisional Rly Managers i.e. Shri G.V.L. Satya Kumar, Shri Devendra Kumar & Shri Deepak Kumar Jha.
Shri Kansal enumerated the several landmark events that have taken place over Western Railway in the recent past. Some of the major events highlighted by him were introduction of ‘Uttam Rake’ on its suburban section with advanced features, extension of AC EMU suburban services to all 7 days in view of the convenience of passengers and their demand, upgradation of 42 rakes of long distance trains under Project Utkrisht. Western Railway’s 8 stations i.e. Udhna, Surat, Virar, Naigaon, Borivali, Kandivali, Andheri and Santacruz have got top slots in National Cleanliness Survey. In the current financial year, Western Railway has achieved the scrap sale of about Rs.313 crore; which is about 28 percent more than the proportionate target. Fulfilling our commitment towards ‘Zero Scrap Mission’, 4 out of 7 workshops have achieved zero scrap status. Mumbai Central station is the first station to be certified as “Eat Right Station” by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for providing quality food to passengers.
Shri Kansal further stated that WR has introduced 6 new trains in this year which includes 2 Mail/Express and 4 DEMU trains. 2 trains have also been extended. During this period, WR ran 3215 Holiday Specials for the convenience of passengers and 2861 additional coaches were attached to various trains on temporary/day-to-day basis. Punctuality of Mail/Express trains has been 92.46 percent which is more than the last year. To improve the safety, 189 CTR units of Track Renewal is done against the proportionate target of 127 km. 46 old bridges were rehabilitated, while 41 major bridges were strengthened during this year. We removed 39 PSRs, raised speed on loop lines on 7 sections, while raising the sectional speed on six sections to save travel time. All these efforts have made possible to increase the average speed of the trains. Customer has been the focus of all our efforts. The facility of buying paper and paperless unreserved tickets without having to visit the booking counter is available for passengers at all stations. 12 lifts and 12 escalators have been commissioned at various stations in the current year. Free & fast Wifi facility is provided at 285 more stations in this year. In yet another environment friendly initiative, 100 percent solar energy, operated Mobile Charging Kiosks were provided at 15 stations for the convenience of commuters. At Vadodara, Ahmedabad and 52 stations of Mumbai Division, Cleanliness Feedback System has been installed where passenger can rank the station on cleanliness.
Shri Kansal while enumerating the various measures taken by W.Rly for green energy stated that Western Railway have bagged 3 National Energy Conservation Awards instituted by the Ministry of Power for 2019 which include 1st prize in Transport category and 2nd and 3rd prizes in Institution category for Divisional Railway Manager’s offices at Rajkot & Bhavnagar respectively. WR have taken keen interest in pursuing various energy conservation measures during current financial year, such as 12.5% improvement in specific energy consumption. Provision of HOG electric locomotives, LED lights at stations, service buildings, residential quarters and in 3857 coaches etc have resulted in saving of approx. Rs.246.14 crore in this financial year, apart from reduction in carbon credit, thus assisting in maintaining Green & Clean environment. Today, this is the need of the hour for our country. Diesel Shed-Ratlam has become the first Diesel Shed on Western Railway to get Gold GreenCo certification. Vadodara railway station got the Gold-Green Railway station certification and Divisional Railway Manager’s Office Building, Vadodara got the Silver-Green Building certification.
In keeping with ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, Western Railway has done a commendable work in bio-toilet fitment, 5067 coaches comprising 99 percent holding are now fitted with bio-toilets. PET bottle crushing machine has been installed in the pantry car of one rake of Rajdhani Express for the first time in India. To beat Plastic Pollution, 32 Bottle Crushing Machines are installed at major stations. 23 stations on Western Railway are certified with ISO 14001:2015 for environment management system. For better washing of coaches with saving of water, First Automatic Coach Washing Plant for main line coaches in Gujarat is commissioned in Bhuj.
He also said that Western Railway is committed to infrastructural development for the overall growth and economic prosperity of the country. About 101 Km Gauge Conversion work is completed in this year. Sabarmati – Kalol section which is part of Ahmedabad – Mahesana Gauge Conversion project and Doubling of Jasali – Diyodar section has been completed and certified fit for passenger traffic. ‘Statue of Unity’ which is 182 metre tall, is the world’s tallest statue. In order to connect this site with the rail line, Hon’ble Minister of Railways, inspected Kevadiya station recently. Very soon, there will be direct connectivity to it by train from Vadodara station, which will benefit passengers including international tourists. 163 theft cases were detected and left over belongings worth more than Rs.2.6 crore were returned to their owners. It is worth mentioning that 637 runaway or separated children were reunited with their families or handed over to NGO/City Police. Western Railway was first to accomplish open market recruitment of 5610 candidates of Group ‘D’ categories. More than 7500 staff were promoted and compassionate appointments given to wards of 500 families.
Shri Kansal while congratulating Western Railway sportspersons for their remarkable feat & achievements proudly informed that Chinglensana Kangujom Singh, Hockey player of Western Railway has been conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award. Nilkanta Sharma and Amit Rohidas have qualified to represent in Men’s Hockey team and Deep Grace Ekka, LilimaMinz and Navneet Kaur have qualified to represent in Women’s Hockey team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In the end Shri Kansal said that “The quest for excellence should always propel us to bring out the best from each one of us. I am sure that with this committed work force, we will be able to meet our goals and fulfill our role as facilitator for our valued customers with zeal and commitment. On the call of our Hon’ble Prime Minister, I look forward to your support and trust, so that our country can witness an all round development.”