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Indian Railways....

the golden Era

1 The Beginning
The first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane.
The idea of a railway to connect Bombay with Thane, Kalyan and with the Thal and Bhore Ghats inclines first
occurred to Mr. George Clark, the Chief Engineer of the Bombay Government, during a visit to Bhandup in 1843.
The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853, when 14 railway carriages carrying about 400
guests left Bori Bunder at 3.30 pm “amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and to the salute of 21 guns.”
The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, a
distance of 24 miles, on 15th August, 1854. Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway was opened to public
traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the Eastern side of the sub-continent.
In south the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Veyasarpandy
and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles. In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from
Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1959. The first section from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment was opened to
traffic on 19th October, 1875.
These were the small beginnings which is due course developed into a network of railway lines all over the country.
By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a route mileage of about 9000 miles.

1.1 Highlights
Freight and passenger traffic carried by Indian Railway has recorded an impressive growth. This has been possible
due to conscious efforts put in by the railways in improving the productivity of the assets and modernization and
technology upgradation in various fields. In some areas like track, signalling, communication systems,
computerization, etc., the technology in use is comparable to that in the very advanced countries. We have attempted
modernization and technological upgradation of the system to generate maximum capacity with minimum
investment and to provide rail transport at the least cost to our users.

1.1.1 Production of Rolling Stock


After Independence, Indian Railways have set up production units for manufacture of diesel locomotives, electric
locomotives,
coaches, wheels and axles, diesel components, springs, etc. Technology transfer agreements have also been signed
or manufacture of the latest design of electric locomotives (6000 hp), diesel locomotives (4000 hp) and light weight
coaches.

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Chapter 1
Role, Performance and Areas of Concern:

1.2 Overview
1.1.1 Indian Railways is a vast network – second largest in the world under a single management with
Track Kilometers 107360 (As on 31.3.1997)
Route Kilometers 62729
Electrified Route Kms 13517
Locomotives
Diesel 4363

Electric 2519

Steam 85

Total 6967
Wagons (Units) 272127
Coaches 33849
No. of Stations 6984
No. of Staff 15,83,600

1.1.2 IR Operates 11000 trains daily including 7500 passenger trains


1.20 million tonnes of freight traffic and 11 millions
1.1.3 IR Carries
passengers daily
Rs. 16668 crores of freight revenue and Rs. 6633
1.1.4 IR Earned
crores of passenger revenue during 1996-97.
1.1.5 IR Spent Staff Costs: Rs 10515 crores per annum
Fuel Costs: 1377 crores per annum
Stores: Rs. 8526 crore per annum (including fuel)
DRF: Rs. 2241 crores per annum.
Lease Charges: Rs. 1469 crores per annum
(IRFC/BOLT/OYWS, etc.)
1.1.6 95% of its freight traffic is contributed by seven major commodities, viz. Coal, foodgrains, fertilizer,
petroleum products, finished steel and raw material to steel plants, etc. all of them being essential commodities
for servicing the core sectors of the economy.
1.1.7 95% of the reserved accommodation is being made through the nationwide computerised passenger
reservation system at 352 locations.
1.1.8 95% of the freight tonnage and 89% passenger revenue is earned on the BG accounts for only 63.3% of the
total network.
1.1.9 Despite declining Capital from General Exchequer non-compensation of public service obligation
discharged by it inability to fix tariffs on commercial principles
1. Indian Railways has been consistently generating operating surplus. But
these have not been adequate to fully meet the requirements of timely
renewals and replacements of overaged assets, and at the same time for
strengthening/upgrading the system to arrest the trend of its declining market
share.

1.3 Role
Since their inception the Indian Railways have successfully played the role of prime mover to the economy and
society of the Indian sub-continent. As the principal constituent of the nation’s transport infrastructure, the Railways
have served to

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• integrated fragmented markets and thereby stimulate the emergence of a modern market economy.
• Connect industrial production centers with markets and with sources of raw materials and thereby facilitate
industrial development.
• Link agriculture production centers with distant markets and with sources of essential inputs thereby
promoting rapid agricultural growth.
• Provide rapid, reliable and cost effective bulk transportation to the energy sector, to move coal from the
coal fields to power plants and petroleum products from refineries to consumption centers, and
• Most importantly, link places to people – enabling large scale, rapid and low cost movement of people
across the length and breadth of the country.
• In the process, Indian Railways have become a symbol of national integration and a strategic instrument for
enhancing our Defence preparedness.

1.4 Achievements
1.3.1 Over the last 4½ decades the Indian Railways have maintained a steady growth in both freight and
passenger transport output with minimum of inputs as can be seen from the input-output matrix given below:
(1950-51 taken as 100)
Tractive
Net Tonne Route Kilo
Period Passenger Coaches Wagons Effort of
Kilo Metres Metres
Locos
1950-51 100 100 100 100 100 100
1996-97 468 635 229 257 201 117
1.3.2 This has been achieved despite severe resource constraints through a steady improvement in the
productivity of assets as will be seen from the Table below:
Coach Utilisation (In
Wagon utilisation (Net Track utilisation (Million
Passenger Kilometers
Period Tonne Kilometers per Net Tonne Kilometers
per 1000 seating
wagon day (BG) per route KM (BG)
capacity)
1950-51 N.A. 710 1.50
1960-61 61.2 998 2.80
1970-71 71.2 908 3.60
1980-81 105.2 986 4.3
1990-91 119.6 1407 6.3
1996-97 128.7 1840 6.45

1.5 Unmanned Level Crossings:


Of the 40517 level crossings on the Indian Railways, 24359 are unmanned. The sole responsibility for negotiating
such levels crossings is that of the road user.
Depending on the location (having a bearing on the visibility for both rail and road traffic) and the combined
intensity of road and rail traffic, such unmanned level crossings are being progressively manned subject to
availability of funds. There are, however, limitations to such manning without detriment to railway operations in
areas where there are a large number of such level crossings between consecutive railway stations as there is a
practical limit to the extent the Station masters can follow the prescribed procedure of exchanging private numbers
with each of the Gatemen before permitting trains on the block sections.

2 Challenges facing Indian Railways

2.1 Aspirations of our rail-users:

2.1.1 Passengers:
India lives in its seven lakh villages where the main source of livelihood is agriculture and agro-based industries.
The people in these far-flung areas expect the Railways to play a significant role in enabling them to come on to the

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main stream of national development. They want more accessible, faster, secure, punctual and larger number of
services with better amenities at stations and in trains. Safety of rail travel, of course, is the primary and all-
pervading expectation of everyone.

2.1.2 Industrial Customers


In the matter of freight, a rail user expects an efficient service, free from delays. Damages and pilferage. The country
and the user also want the Railways to be financially viable, while at the same time maintaining reasonable fare and
freight rates.

2.1.3 Representatives of the people


Both in Parliament and outside, elected representatives project need for new railway lines, conversion of narrow
gauge and metre gauge to broad gauge, doubling of existing lines, electrification of tracks, road over bridges across
railway tracks, suburban/metro railway system in metropolitan cities, improvement in passenger amenities and
services, more and faster trains serving their constituencies all of which to be made available at present costs, will
call for resources on an impossibly large scale.

2.1.4 State Governments


State Government want backward regions in their respective States to be provided new rail infrastructure in virgin
areas and strengthening of existing rail infrastructure to stimulate development and growth. State governments also
want modern suburban rail systems serving important metropolitan centres and expect these systems to be funded by
the Ministry of Railways.

2.1.5 Duality of Objectives


The change in economic policies and the consequent rapid acceleration in the pace of growth have confronted
Indian railways with the sternest challenge in their history. The railways are required to respond to the changed
environment by making necessary competitive adjustment to deal with the pr
1.5.9.1 Unmanned Level Crossings:
Of the 40517 level crossings on the Indian Railways, 24359 are unmanned. The sole responsibility for negotiating
such levels crossings is that of the road user.
Depending on the location (having a bearing on the visibility for both rail and road traffic) and the combined
intensity of road and rail traffic, such unmanned level crossings are being progressively manned subject to
availability of funds. There are, however, limitations to such manning without detriment to railway operations in
areas where there are a large number of such level crossings between consecutive railway stations as there is a
practical limit to the extent the Station masters can follow the prescribed procedure of exchanging private numbers
with each of the Gatemen before permitting trains on the block sections.

2.2 Balancing Public Utility with Commercial Function


The imperative of striking a proper balance between the railways’ dual role as a public utility on the one hand and a
commercial enterprise to be run on sound business principles on the other, constitutes the major challenge of
investment planning. In a resource-strapped regime and with dwindling allocation of Capital from the General
Exchequer the railways will have to assess objectively the trade-off between targeting investment for capacity
generation and investing in developmental projects which are unremunerative.
Through significant increase in transport output has been brought about by more intensive utilisation of available
assets and technological upgradation, there is, however, a limit beyond which productivity of the existing assets
cannot be increased. Indian Railways have nearly reached a plateau as far as improvements in productivity of

Chapter 2

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2.2.1.1 A Blue Print for Survival and Self-sustaining Growth
Objectives:
2.1 Strategic assessment of Indian Railways highlights the need to move the organisation on to the fast track to
meet the economy’s transport requirements and to avoid erosion of its profitability. The single largest
determinant of success in this context is likely to be Indian Railways’ ability to raise the funds needed for
growth.

2.2 A rough extrapolation of the investments required in the 9th Plan to achieve a higher growth rate indicates an
increment of the investment Plan from a level of about Rs. 32500 crores in 8th Plan to around Rs. 85000 crores
for the 9th Plan and an overall requirement of funds to the tune of Rs. 27000 crores by 2010.
2.3 Internally, Indian Railways will have to orchestrate its growth strategy in accordance with the growth of the
national economy by adopting the following corporate objectives:
• Sharpen the marketing capability to attract the freight and passenger business to the rail network through
constructive pricing mechanisms and tariff rationalisation as also through customer focus
• Strengthen the high-density network to make the system capable of meeting the demands of the freight and
passenger business.
• Practise austerity especially in the areas of energy consumption, materials management, overtime,
travelling allowance, advertisements, etc. and in all other areas in general to the maximum extent possible.
• Cut operating costs by at least 10% in the next 5 years.
• Withdraw from ancillary activities to enable the management to concentrate on the primary business of the
running freight and passenger services.
• Evolve a Financing strategy for optimal allocation of scarce resources to actualise the objective of a higher
growth rate, in tune with, and perhaps ahead of, the GDP growth rate and thus be the harbinger of a railway
renaissance.
• Bring about a cultural change in the organisational philosophy from being production oriented to customer
orientation.
• Research and Development
2.4 Sharpen marketing capability: The objectives here are:
• Seek to enhance market share in the bulk freight business.
• Aggressively secure growth in the non-bulk business (including less than take load bulk goods).
• Turn around the passenger business to at least achieve break even economics.

2.2.2 Bulk freight strategy: A comprehensive bulk freight strategy for Indian
Railways would comprise four main elements:
• A detailed mapping of the flows of bulk commodities across various modes of transport for key existing
and potential customers of Indian Railways.
• An assessment of the key infrastructure and service needs of these customers.
• The development of a pricing framework tailored to individual customers based on the availability of
competing modes
The design of the freight organisation would have to be based on cross-functional customer service teams
incorporating the roles and responsibilities of the teams and the systems needed for effective functioning.

2.2.3 Non-Bulk Freight Strategy: A strategy for maximising non-bulk freight


would include four main components:
• A detailed understanding of the current flows of non-bulk goods between major origin-destinations points
by Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) which is an organisation created by the Indian Railways to
focus on this segment.
• CONCOR would have to identify the priority flows on which it should focus based on the expectations of
customers. This would include a detailed understanding of special services such a consolidation by third
party service providers etc. suitable to the various potential customers.
• A similar approach by other interested parties will also be welcomed.
There would also be a need to develop a customer-oriented strategy to identify needs of existing and potential
customers and then devise appropriate transportation packages to meet those specific needs. This would require
institutional arrangements like Working Groups to develop industry – Railway linkage.

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2.2.4 Passenger strategy
As in the case of Freight Business, segmented approach is needed to evolve strategies to cater to the needs of 4
distinct passenger segments having peculiar characteristics, which today are catered to by the following classes of
trains:
• Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains;
• Cross country inter-city Mail/Express trains;
• Slow stopping passenger trains; and
• Commuter trains
Approp

Chapter 3

2.3 Information Technology areas


Information technology has made rapid strides in recent years. Indian Railways are yet to fully realise the potential
Information Technology offers in all areas of railway management and operations. While beginnings have already
been made for an integrated Management Information System – MIS – for the Railways as a whole, and
computerised reservation, with now networking facility, covers more than 90% of all reservations, and the Freight
Operating Information System (FOIS) seems set to deliver some results by 1999, the need for an integrated holistic
approach to tap the potential of Information Technology to cut costs, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of
performance is imperative. Specific areas for immediate action are arrival time management for freight as distinct
from a find-and –tell approach, and the management of terminals and through yards where and through yards where
almost all detentions occur. Information Technology based solutions should also enable higher line capacities being
achieved without resource to the construction of more expensive multiple lines, limiting such expenditure only to
cases where there is no other alternative but to do so. Information Technology based approaches could also improve
safety significantly. The recent decision of the Indian Railways to go in for a pilot project of the European Train
Control System on the Indian Railway network is a step in this direction.

2.3.1.1.1.1 Chapter 3

2.3.1.2 Assistance Sought from the Government

2.3.1.2.1 3.1 Providing level playing field


With road being the other major mode of transportation which alongwith Railways caters to more than 90% of the
total freight and passenger traffic generated in the national economy, an optimal inter-modal mix based on socio-
economic considerations is imperative. The National Transport Policy Committee (1980) had undertaken this
exercise and had determined the inter-modal mix in respect of most of the major bulk commodities at a level of 65%
to 70% in favour of rail. In respect of passenger traffic also the committee had recommended short distance traffic
upto 300 kilometers to preferentially move by road thereby leaving long distance non-suburban traffic to move by
rail. Un-fortunately a contrary trend has set in because no agency has been created to oversee the inner modal split
actually on the ground and certain macro level decisions have been taken which have neglected the inherent
advantages of the rail mode of transport in the areas of energy and land use efficiency, environment friendliness and
safety factors, Some of the factors responsible for the negation of the recommendations of the NTPC include,
interalia, the following:
3.1.1 Overall investments in the railway systems have been constricted due to
a. Plan outlays for the transport sector as a whole coming down from 23.54% of the total Plan in the Second
Five Year Plan to 12.93% in the Eighth Plan;
b. Public service obligations amounting to over Rs 1800 crores annually, discharged by the railways not being
compensated; and
c. Capital support from the General Exchequer being reduced from a level of 75% in the 5th plan to 23% in the
8th plan
3.1.2 By cross-subsidising passenger services by freight traffic the advantages of energy efficiency of the rail
mode have been neutralised due to the compulsion of freight rates being jacked up significantly to compensate
for low passenger fares.
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3.1.3 By subsidizing diesel prices on the one hand and levying electric tariff charges for railway traction at more
than three times the generation costs the energy efficiency of the rail mode has been artificially eroded.
3.1.4 whereas roads are built and maintained by the Government without any specific charge on the transport
operators except levy of road taxes on vehicles the railways have to invest in track, overhead electric
installations and signaling equipments out of the railway budget and also simultaneously bear the cost of
maintenance of these fixed assets thereby again denying a level playing field to the Railways. This issue has
been successfully dealt with in the restructured developed railway systems by putting railways on par with the
road sector and the Government undertaking the responsibility for funding investment and maintaining the basic
Railway infrastructure. They are now levying an access charge from the passenger and freight operators on the
lines of the road tax being levied on the road vehicles. This arrangement is today leading to a renaissance in the
ail business across the globe and heavy investments are being put in by Central Government in upgrading rail
infrastructure. Failure to provide a level playing field in the past had led these very railway systems to get run
down and lose their market share drastically. Indian Railways face the same dilemma today. The lesson of
history of European Railways can be a pointer. Due to a skewed policy for funding of railway projects and
lower priority to rail mode of transportation vis-a-vis road, the rail share in total transportation has declined over
the years. Overall energy policy, environmental concerns, land use advantages clearly suggest the need for
change of policy and according due priority to the Railways so that this national transport infrastructure is
provided a level plying field. A national Transport Policy Committee needs to be set up by the Planning
Commission to take an overall view of the existing transport scenario and decide on the modal shares and
funding requirements of different modes in the transportation infrastructure.

2.3.1.2.2 3.2 Meeting overall investment needs through enhanced Capital from General Exchequer
It is in this context that it is imperative for the Central Government to supplement the efforts being pursued
internally by the Railways to tap non-traditional sources of funding particularly in the context of the need to service
the 7% to 8% growth in GDP. Additional inflow of subsidised loans from the General Exchequer to the extent of at
least 35% from the existing level of 23% is extremely necessary particularly in view of the IR having a natural
advantage because of
a. average leads of movement on Indian railways being over 675 kms. International experience shows a cost
advantage to the economy in favour of rail for leads beyond 350 kilometers, and
b. superiority of rail mode in the energy and land use efficiencies as also social cost advantages in the areas of
safety and environmental pollution.

2.3.1.2.3 3.3 Compensation for public service obligations discharged


On the lines of the practices abroad, railways require to be compensated for the social obligations discharged by
them.
It is for consideration whether for public service obligation discharged the compensations under the various heads
like losses incurred on transportation of essential commodities, subsidised movement to Mortheastern Sates,
operation of unremunerative branch lines and commuter services etc. should become explicit charges on the
allocations made to the various Central Ministries of the Government of India to cover their specific areas of social
responsibility, and Railways discharged of this burden.

2.3.1.2.4 3.4 Funding of socially desirable but commercially unviable projects


Railways being both a commercial enterprise and a public utility, are required to invest on new lines and gauge
conversions taken up on considerations of development of backward and tribal areas. The funding for such projects,
as also the losses in their operation and maintenance, and the moneys required for renewals and replacements
thereon, should be covered under dividend-free grants. Part funding of such projects could also be considered
through social projects like Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. Considering their long term implications on the national
exchequer, it is necessary to put a cap on such projects as well. Alternatively uneconomic projects and their
operations, on the basis of national policy decisions should be entrusted to a separate corporation or agency to be
supported by necessary to examine whether funding for such unviable but socially relevant projects could come
from the beneficiary sector/State or the Central Exchequer or a combination of both.

2.3.1.2.5 3.5 Creation of a rail Infrastructure Development Fund for Rail Over/Road Under Bridges
(ROB/RUB):

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There is need to create a Rail Infrastructure Development Fund through 1% ad valorem levy on the purchase price
of road vehicles.
The proceeds therefore should be utilised solely for the purpose of replacement of level crossings by Road
Over/Road Under Bridges.
This has to be viewed in the context of increasing trend in level crossing accidents and the need to bring this down.

2.3.1.2.6 3.6 Tariff for Electric Traction


State Electricity Boards (SEBs) were initially charging Railways a special reasonable tariff for electric traction
which was lower than that for high tension industrial consumers. However, during the past decade, they have raised
their tariffs disproportionately with respect to the increase in cost of generation and distribution.. In most of the
cases, these tariffs are 3 to 4 times the price at which SEBs buy power from the Central Generating Units.
Railways are six times more energy efficient when compared to roads and are the only transport system capable of
using any form of energy including indigenously available fuels. However these disproportionately high tariffs for
electric traction and subsidy to diesel nullify this advantage to a very great extent which the nation cannot afford,
being against its long term energy and environmental policy interests.

2.3.1.2.7 3.7 Private Sector Participation in Railway Infrastructure


India infrastructure Report submitted by the Rakesh Mohan Committee has recommended a number of incentives
for projects in Power, Telecommunications, Ports, Roads and Urban Development sectors. Though the Railway
sector was not specifically covered in their report, the incentives recommended are equally valid for the Railway
sector and if extended to developers of Railway projects, financial institutions and individual investors showing
interest in such schemes, private investment in the rail sector may be attracted.

2.3.1.2.8 3.8 Commercial exploration of Railway land and air space


Railways have at their command a hitherto untapped source of railway land and the airspace above it. The approval
of the Central Government for the Railways to commercially exploit these non-performing assets for upgradation
and renovation of passenger and freight terminals would be a supplementary source of funding for Railways’
development.

2.3.1.2.9 3.9 Security on Railways - Role of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government
Railway Police (GRP)
The perception of the travelling public is that Railways are responsible for their security and safety during travel.
The legal position is, however, to the contrary with the safety during travel. The legal position is, however, to the
contrary with the safety ad security being the responsibility of the Government Railway Police (GRP) who are not
under the control of the Railways. The Ministry of Railways have the RPF mainly to protect and safeguard their own
assets and property entrusted to them for transportation but the primary responsibility for maintenance of law and
order as well as prevention and detection of crime on the Railways rest with the State Governments concerned
which they discharge through the Government Railway Police (GRP), since policing’ including, railway policing’
comes under the State list’ of the Constitution of India. This duality of responsibility has been found to be not
working satisfactorily particularly in the recent years when the problems faced by the Railways and the travelling
public due to law and order disturbances, robberies, decoities, theft of passengers’ belongings, dharnas, agitations
acts of sabotage, bomb explosions, etc. have become matters of grave concern to all. For all such problems, the
Railways look upon the Government Railway Police to take necessary steps and actions under the law.
For a number of reasons, some of which are enumerated below, there has been a serious erosion in the effectiveness
of the GRP in prevention and detection of railway crime and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises
The competence and motivational levels of personnel manning GRP in some States is very low.
Though the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) gives modernisation grants to the State Governments, this grant
does not percolate to the GRP. There is a lack of modern weaponry, proper communication system and
transport facility in the GRP which is adversely affecting the performance of the force.
There is some crime-prone States.

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On the other hand, there would appear to be a need to enhance the role of the RPF in ensuring security on the
Railways. In fact, there has been a suggestion that the RPF should replace the GRP. The main obstacle in bringing
about this change is that under the Constitution, ‘police’ is a State subject and , therefore, functions of the State
Police are such a registration of cases and their investigation, maintenance of law and order etc. cannot be taken over
by the RPF until the Constitution is amended which will be a long drawn out process.
As immediately measures to ensure better crime control and maintenance of law and order on the Railways, certain
steps could be initiated such as
• The State Governments consider formation of a separate cadre for the GRP manned by competent and
motivated staff and officers.
• The total expenditure on GRP should be borne by the State Governments as control of crime and
maintenance of law and order is their constitutional responsibility.
• MHA may consider earmarking of the modernisation grant given to the State Police to be utilised for
modernising GRP.
• Involvement of law and order machineries at District, Commissionerate and State levels has to be ensured
for effective control of railway related crimes and protection of railway property. It is necessary that the
District Megistrate at the District level, Divisional Commissioner at Commissionerate level and Home
Secretary at the State level should coordinate with their counterparts in the Railways to regularly monitor
railway related law and order problems and protection of railway property.
The monitoring at these three levels should be properly recorded and action taken must be ensured/discussed in the
subsequent meetings.
• Ministry of Railways are quite often asked to give relies to queries from different quarters as well as
Parliament questions regarding crime on Railways. Since this matter is dealt with by the State Government
Railway Police, quite often it is a problem to get the exact status of crime on Railways from the State
GRPs. MHA may consider directing the GRP through the State Governments to send periodical crime
statistics as well as progress of heinous crime to RPF. The State Governments may issue guidelines for
sending such statistics to RPF in their police manuals.

2.3.1.2.10 3.10 Exclusive study of the Railway Sector on the lines of the India Infrastructure Report (IIR)
IIR - otherwise known as the Rakesh Mohan Committee Report - that dealt with the country’s long term investment
needs in the infrastructure sectors - focussed on ports, communications, power, surface transport, urban
infrastructure and industrial parks, but did not specifically cover the Railways. Considering the Indian Railways’
pre-eminent role in the national economy, an exclusive study, solely targeted at the Indian Railways on the lines of
IIR, is an immediate necessity.

2.3.1.2.11 3.11 Metropolitan Transport Projects


Prior to 1986, all the issues pertaining to rail based urban transport systems were the sole responsibility of the
Railways. The reversion done in that year to the Business Allocation Rules has however resulted in the Ministry of
Urban Affairs and Employment being made in charge of all the issues except technical planning of rail based
systems which alone now continues with the Railways.
Though this division was intended to enable the Ministry of Urban Affairs to integrate rail based urban transport
systems with the rest of the urban planning aspects like urban development, land used, traffic management etc. this
has not worked well in actual practice due to the difficulties that arise while attempting to integrate urban
development as well. Considering that in the Indian context, most of the urban transit systems will be rail-based and
that the issue had come up in Parliament on a number of occasions and Parliamentary Committees had alsmmittees
had also examined the issue, there is a need to look at the whole issue in depth afresh.

2.3.1.2.12 3.8 Commercial exploration of Railway land and air space


Railways have at their command a hitherto untapped source of railway land and the airspace above it. The approval
of the Central Government for the Railways to commercially exploit these non-performing assets for upgradation
and renovation of passenger and freight terminals would be a supplementary source of funding for Railways’
development.

2.3.1.2.13 3.9 Security on Railways - Role of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government
Railway Police (GRP)
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The perception of the travelling public is that Railways are responsible for their security and safety during travel.
The legal position is, however, to the contrary with the safety during travel. The legal position is, however, to the
contrary with the safety ad security being the responsibility of the Government Railway Police (GRP) who are not
under the control of the Railways. The Ministry of Railways have the RPF mainly to protect and safeguard their own
assets and property entrusted to them for transportation but the primary responsibility for maintenance of law and
order as well as prevention and detection of crime on the Railways rest with the State Governments concerned
which they discharge through the Government Railway Police (GRP), since policing’ including, railway policing’
comes under the State list’ of the Constitution of India. This duality of responsibility has been found to be not
working satisfactorily particularly in the recent years when the problems faced by the Railways and the travelling
public due to law and order disturbances, robberies, decoities, theft of passengers’ belongings, dharnas, agitations
acts of sabotage, bomb explosions, etc. have become matters of grave concern to all. For all such problems, the
Railways look upon the Government Railway Police to take necessary steps and actions under the law.
For a number of reasons, some of which are enumerated below, there has been a serious erosion in the effectiveness
of the GRP in prevention and detection of railway crime and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises
The competence and motivational levels of personnel manning GRP in some States is very low.
Though the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) gives modernisation grants to the State Governments, this grant
does not percolate to the GRP. There is a lack of modern weaponry, proper communication system and
transport facility in the GRP which is adversely affecting the performance of the force.
There is some crime-prone States.
On the other hand, there would appear to be a need to enhance the role of the RPF in ensuring security on the
Railways. In fact, there has been a suggestion that the RPF should replace the GRP. The main obstacle in bringing
about this change is that under the Constitution, ‘police’ is a State subject and , therefore, functions of the State
Police are such a registration of cases and their investigation, maintenance of law and order etc. cannot be taken over
by the RPF until the Constitution is amended which will be a long drawn out process.
As immediately measures to ensure better crime control and maintenance of law and order on the Railways, certain
steps could be initiated such as
• The State Governments consider formation of a separate cadre for the GRP manned by competent and
motivated staff and officers.
• The total expenditure on GRP should be borne by the State Governments as control of crime and
maintenance of law and order is their constitutional responsibility.
• MHA may consider earmarking of the modernisation grant given to the State Police to be utilised for
modernising GRP.
• Involvement of law and order machineries at District, Commissionerate and State levels has to be ensured
for effective control of railway related crimes and protection of railway property. It is necessary that the
District Megistrate at the District level, Divisional Commissioner at Commissionerate level and Home
Secretary at the State level should coordinate with their counterparts in the Railways to regularly monitor
railway related law and order problems and protection of railway property.
The monitoring at these three levels should be properly recorded and action taken must be ensured/discussed in the
subsequent meetings.
• Ministry of Railways are quite often asked to give relies to queries from different quarters as well as
Parliament questions regarding crime on Railways. Since this matter is dealt with by the State Government
Railway Police, quite often it is a problem to get the exact status of crime on Railways from the State
GRPs. MHA may consider directing the GRP through the State Governments to send periodical crime
statistics as well as progress of heinous crime to RPF. The State Governments may issue guidelines for
sending such statistics to RPF in their police manuals.

2.3.1.2.14 3.10 Exclusive study of the Railway Sector on the lines of the India Infrastructure Report (IIR)
IIR - otherwise known as the Rakesh Mohan Committee Report - that dealt with the country’s long term investment
needs in the infrastructure sectors - focussed on ports, communications, power, surface transport, urban
infrastructure and industrial parks, but did not specifically cover the Railways. Considering the Indian Railways’
pre-eminent role in the national economy, an exclusive study, solely targeted at the Indian Railways on the lines of
IIR, is an immediate necessity.

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2.3.1.2.15 3.11 Metropolitan Transport Projects
Prior to 1986, all the issues pertaining to rail based urban transport systems were the sole responsibility of the
Railways. The reversion done in that year to the Business Allocation Rules has however resulted in the Ministry of
Urban Affairs and Employment being made in charge of all the issues except technical planning of rail based
systems which alone now continues with the Railways.
Though this division was intended to enable the Ministry of Urban Affairs to integrate rail based urban transport
systems with the rest of the urban planning aspects like urban development, land used, traffic management etc. this
has not worked well in actual practice due to the difficulties that arise while attempting to integrate urban
development as well. Considering that in the Indian context, most of the urban transit systems will be rail-based and
that the issue had come up in Parliament on a number of occasions and Parliamentary Committees had alsmmittees
had also examined the issue, there is a need to look at the whole issue in depth afresh.

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