Innovative Policy in Indian Railways
NewDelhi: The Government has formulated several innovative policies to make railway system more profitable. Some of such measures pertaining to various heads are as under:-
- Freight sector:
- Scheme providing freight incentives: Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme for traffic loaded in Traditional Empty Flow Direction (TEFD); Long Term Tariff Contract (LTTC); incentive to load Fly Ash; concessions for Short Lead and Long Lead traffic; non-levy of Terminal Charges at unloading point of notified alternate goods- sheds and Private Freight Terminals (PFTs); Premium indent for freight customers; and withdrawal of Busy Season Charge from 01.10.2019.
- Schemes floated to attract new traffic in container trains: Large scale de-notification of commodities for container traffic and lower freight charges; 25% concession on haulage charge for empty containers and empty flat wagons till 30.04.2021; 5% concession on haulage charges for loaded containers till 30.04.2021; 50% terminal access charge for containers handled at Group-III container rail terminals; round trip base charging for ultra short lead (up to 50 Kms) till 30.04.2021; introduction of cube container for two wheeler automobile traffic; and stabling charges for containers withdrawn till 31.03.2021.
- Modification in transportation product: Minimum number of wagons for availing trainload benefit for BCNHL reduced from 57 wagons to 42; trainload benefit for mini rake of 20 wagons provided for booking of parcel size traffic; and supplementary charges of 5% for mini rake and two point rakes modified into graded form.
- Schemes to promote ease of doing business: Registration of demand for wagons electronically; Electronic transmission of Railway Receipts; Electronic payment system for freight charges; development of Freight Business Development Portal for uploading applications by customers for stacking permission/ diversion/ rebooking/ short of destination delivery/ waiver of demurrage and wharfage/ Station to Station rates, etc.
- Parcel sector:
- Power delegated to Principal Chief Commercial Managers of Zonal Railways in consultation with Principal Chief Operations manager to decide the composition of Parcel Express for transportation of Fruits, Dairy Products and Vegetables subject to minimum 15 parcel Vans.
- Power delegated to Principal Chief Commercial Managers of Zonal Railways to downgrade the scales to next lower scale at a time if occupancy of the Brake van of particular trains is below 50%.
- Introduction of discounted scheme up to 30% if utilisation of parcel vans or Brake van portion of coaching train is below 40%.
- Introduction of discount at the rate of 8% of the applicable parcel rate if parcel van is indented for 24/23 Parcel vans plus one brake vans.
- Launch of Kisan Rail services to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce such as fruits, vegetables and other perishables including milk and fish, from production regions to consumption regions.
- Introduction of the concept of advance booking of Parcel space in SLRs and Parcel Vans attached to passenger carrying trains.
- Passenger sector:
- Introduction of Flexi fare Scheme in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains since 09.09.2016. Based on feedback from different quarters rationalisation of Flexi fare scheme of Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi Express since 15.03.2019 with new additional features of graded discount scheme.
- Introduction of discounted fare schemes in Shatabdi trains over Bengaluru-Mysuru-Bengaluru, New Jalpaiguri-Malda Town and Ahmedabad-Vadodara sections.
- Introduction of 10% discount during current bookings on vacant berths after preparation of first reservation chart in all trains including Rajdhani, Duronto & Shatabdi trains.
- Introduction of trains like Gatimaan, Humsafar, Tejas, Vande Bharat, Tejas-Rajdhani etc., on higher fare based on higher facilities.
- Power has been delegated to General Managers of Zonal Railways under certain condition to declare AC-3tier in identified trains as AC chair Car during day time over sections where AC-3-tier coaches are running either underutilised or in locked condition.
- Power has been delegated to Principal Chief Commercial Managers of Zonal Railways to introduce discounted fare in trains with sitting accommodation of AC Chair Car and Executive Chair Car subject to certain conditions.
- Non Fare Revenue:
To enhance earnings from Non Fare Revenue sources, Non Fare Revenue Directorate was carved out in 2016. Indian Railways earned Rs. 351.49 crores from non fare revenue pertaining to aforementioned policies in the year 2019-20. A range of innovative ideas have been employed to generate more revenue, prominent ones including upgradation of waiting rooms at stations for enhanced passenger comfort, health kiosks and massage chairs at stations, repair maintenance and operation of railway owned godowns, digital charging and smart phone lockers at stations, self ticketing zones, E-mobility, Electronic Vehicle charging and battery swapping stations in circulating areas and cab rental services. Ideas like luggage wrapping and sanitising, kiosks for distribution of bedrolls and Covid preventive gears, vending of disposable spittoons, automated ticket checking and managing access system for touch less ticket checking as well as temperature check of passengers were rolled out specifically for effective Covid management.
As regards safe and comfortable journey for passengers, up gradation of infrastructure to make rail journey safe is a continuous ongoing process. Various inputs have been continuously given like introduction of Linke Hofmann Busch Coaches, introduction of Train Collision Avoidance System technology in Signalling, enhanced Track Renewals, Electronic Interlocking of Stations and Level Crossing Gates and elimination of unmanned Level Crossing Gates.
Creation of dedicated fund to finance critical safety related work, Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK), have led to major improvement of safety in train operations.
Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) has been introduced in 2017- 18 to finance critical safety related works of renewal, replacement & augmentation of assets. The Fund has been created with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore with annual outlay of Rs. 20000 crore. Contribution of Rs. 15000 crore towards RRSK is received from Gross Budgetary Support and Railways contribute Rs. 5000 crore towards to the Fund annually. Accordingly, sufficient funds are being provided to identified safety works.
Automatic Ticket Vending Machines(ATVMs) and Cash- Coin & Smart Card operated (Versatile) Ticket Vending Machines(CoTVMs) of Indian Railways are available at large number of Railway stations through which unreserved tickets can be sourced using Smart card or cash. Moreover, passengers can also utilise the UTSONMOBILE app of Indian Railways to book unreserved tickets.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.