Millennium Post

Railways to go for complete digitisation, save ₹60,000 cr

The Railways is developing a common digital platform integrating information from all departments as a roadmap for the future for bringing transparency in the system and enabling the public transporter to save about Rs 60,000 crore.

Besides, the entire supply and procurement chain of Railways will be digitised to curb corruption.

"Our entire supply chain is being digitised. Payment will be made electronically and procurement will also be made electronically. It will curb corruption," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told PTI on Wednesday in an interaction.

Spelling out his vision for the Railways, Prabhu said, "We are also doing ERP - enterprise resource planning - a complete digitisation process. All rail operations will be online. It aims to save about Rs 60,000 crore, according to industry estimates." Enterprise resource planning system will be an IT-based platform for system-wide integration and planning.

"Vision for Railways is to address those issues for which Railways is suffering on Wednesday. Complete digitisation will enable operation can be managed from one place," he said.

Highlighting various issues that are plaguing the national transporter, he said, "Organisations like Railways which are vast and complex must have a vision. We must have short term, medium term and long term vision and we must ensure a pan-India vision."

Referring to the congestion problems, he said though rail traffic has increased 16 times after independence, the infrastructure did not grow even four times. "As a consequence, we are operating 150 to 160 per cent of our capacity which is recipe for disaster." Currently 60 per cent of rail traffic is handled on 16 per cent of the network.

"So obviously there were congestions and it affected the revenue stream also. We are not been able to capture more traffic," he said. Congestion is also affecting punctuality as many trains are passing on the same line. Currently Railways' punctuality is about 79 per per cent.

"Punctuality is a casualty on Wednesday because so many trains are passing on one line. A train coming to Delhi may have come in time but cannot enter Delhi because of congestion. Same thing happens in Delhi airport like you hover around the airport," he said.

Prabhu said he has sanctioned 16,500 km of doubling and tripling as against only 22,000 km in the last 70 years.

He further said the Railways' vision is to save Rs 41,000 crore in the energy bill in the next 10 years which includes solarisation.

"We have plan for producing 1000 MW solar power... All our plants are subjected to energy audit so as to bring energy efficiency. We are also using LED bulbs to conserve energy," he said. Forty two per cent of Railways' lines are electrified on Wednesday.

"All broad gauge will be electrified in the country and and all metre gauge will be converted into broad gauge. It will benefit the Railways as train speed will increase and most importantly also help in reducing cost of energy."
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