The category-wise break-up of consequential train accidents shows that the incident of train collisions has come down to zero in the year 2018-19 in Indian Railways and the incidents of derailment have decreased from 78 in 2016-17 to 46 in the year 2018-19. This was stated in the Economic Survey 2018-19 presented by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament today.
Elucidating on the Freight and passenger performance of Indian Railways The Economic Survey 2018-19 says that Revenue Earning Freight loading (excluding loading by Konkan Railways) by Indian Railways during 2017-18 was placed at 1159.55 million tonnes, as against 1106.15 million tonnes during 2016-17, registering an increase of 4.83 per cent, with incremental loading of 53.40 million tonnes over 2016-17.
The Economic Survey 2018-19 further adds that in 2018-19, Indian Railways carried 1221.39 million tonnes of revenue earning freight showing an increase of 61.84 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 2017-18 and translating into an increase of 5.33 per cent. There is an increase of 2.09 per cent the number of passengers carried by Indian Railways during 2017-18 as compared to 2016-17 and 0.64 per cent increase in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
Regarding Indian Railways Mission Electrification program The Economic Survey 2018-19 states that Indian Railways has initiated a major electrification program for electrifying 100 per cent of its Broad Gauge network. This would reduce the nation’s dependence on imported diesel oil. As on 01 April, 2019, Indian Railways has 35,488 Route Kilometre (RKM) of network commissioned on electric traction which constitutes 51.85 per cent of total network and carries 64.50 per cent of freight and 53.70 per cent of coaching traffic. The pace of electrification accelerated and a total of 38,000 RKM has been identified for electrification by 2021.
The Economic Survey 2018-19 pointed out that the ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat’ mission of Indian Railways focuses on cleanliness. As per the swachh rail portal, ‘Beas’ station ranked first in India in the case of cleanliness among ‘A’ category stations and ‘Visakhapatnam’ tops the list among ‘A1’ category stations. Indian Railway has also made sincere efforts in the area of energy and water conservation and there is an increasing competition among stations to obtain “Green Rating”.
Similarly Indian Railway has also encouraged Green Certification of Workshop and Production Units through Green Industries Certification in collaboration which Confederation of Indian Industry. So far 10 Railway Stations, 34 workshops and 4 production units have been green certified by CII, The Economic Survey 2018-19 adds.
The Economic Survey 2018-19 also says that being a cost-effective long distant transport mode, Indian Railways has witnessed commendable progress. In order to provide safe, secure and comfortable journey to passengers, Indian Railways has taken numerous steps such as provision of lifts/escalators, plastic bottle crusher machines, mechanized cleaning and housekeeping etc. at major stations.