Friday, September 30, 2016

Railway Ministry launches various services to the Nation 


Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, during a function held at Rail Bhawan on Thursday, as a part of fulfilment of Budget Announcements 2016-17, launched and dedicated a number of services to the nation. 


Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, was especially present on the occasion. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A.K. Mittal, Member Traffic Mohd. Jamshed and other Railways Board Members and dignitaries were also present on the occasion. 

The Ministry launched and dedicated following services to the nation :- 

1. Liberalised station to station special freight rates policy.

2. Policy providing sub quota of 33 % to women within reserved categories for the allotment in catering units. 

3. Policy giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations. 

4. New system of allocating vacant berths after final charting to wayside stations. 

5. Launch of the new “Train at a Glance” and new Time Table effective from 1st October 2016. 

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the Indian Railways is striving hard to achieve full passengers’ satisfaction in all respects and today’s initiatives are part of our such endeavours. 

He said that the introduction of new policy providing sub-quota of 33% to women in catering units is a step towards women empowerment and their increased participation in Railways. He said that Railways will continue to introduce such new reformative steps. 

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that Indian Railways being the biggest organization of the country has lots of complex projects to implement throughout the country. But overcoming the difficulties and complexities, Railways is implementing its budget announcements in a very promised manner which is a landmark in itself. 

Salient Features of the initiatives : - 


POLICY PROVIDING SUB QUOTA OF 33 % TO WOMEN WITHIN RESERVED CATEGORIES FOR THE ALLOTMENT IN CATERING UNITS

• In compliance of Budget Announcement 2016-17, a Sub Quota of 33% for women in allotment of each of the reserved catering units is being introduced on Indian Railways in order to extend economic empowerment for women. 

• Current Status of Reservation at Minor Catering Units (Stalls / Trolleys / Khomchas) • A1, A, B, and C Category stations – 25% of the Units are reserved for various categories like SC (6%), ST (4%), BPL (3%), OBC (3%), Minorities (3%), Freedom Fighters (4%) and Physically Challenged persons (2%).

• D, E and F Category stations – 49.5% of the Units are reserved for various categories like SC (12%), ST (8%), OBC (20%) and Minorities (9.5%).

• 33% sub quota reservation for women shall ensure allotment of minimum 8% stalls to women at A1, A, B & C category station and minimum 17% at D, E and F category station. 

• There are approximately 8000 Minor Catering Units over Indian Railways. 

• Under this provision, Railways shall ensure that women participation does not fall below a specific level. 


POLICY GIVING PREFERENCE TO LOCAL DOMICILE HOLDERS FOR COMMERCIAL LICENSES AT STATIONS

In compliance of Budget Announcement 2016-17, a process of giving weightage to district Domicile Holders for commercial licenses at stations is being proliferated at all stations over Indian Railways. 

• The proliferation would help to build local ownership and rural empowerment along with socio – economic development. 

• The weightage to district domicile holders is being proliferated for allotment of Catering Units at all categories of stations. 

• The proliferation of weightage to district Domicile Holders at all category of stations will ensure protection of livelihood of the small vendors. 

• The allotment of Minor Units over Indian Railways will ensure local ownership and will also promote regional / local cuisine, which is always a preferred choice. 

• The weightage parameter would range from 20% to the local District Domicile holders to 12% to the State Domicile holders in techno-commercial scores. 


TRANSFER OF VACANT BERTHS FOR OPTIMAL UTILISATION OF BERTHS 

• IR is introducing the facility of transfer of berths remaining vacant after second charting at the train originating station to the next and subsequent stations for clearing the waitlisted passengers at such stations. 

• The PRS system will automatically allot vacant berths available at the originating stations after preparation of second chart to the subsequent stations where waitlisted passengers are available. The passenger will get SMS on his registered mobile indicating the coach and berth number allotted. This will help passengers boarding at road side stations to get confirmed berths. Presently they get their berths confirmed only if confirmed berths from the pooled quota (PQ) allotted to the station are cancelled. 

• The TTEs will be able to allot vacant berths on board after departure of the train only upto the next station where quota is available for the train. In case no person boards the train at the next station he can further allot/extend the same to the next quota station. 

• At present about 3 lakh berths per year go unutilised while there may be demand at intermediate stations. This system will help in better utilization of available berths at the time of departure of trains from the originating station and also reduce the discretion available with TTEs in allotting the berths. 


LIBERALISED STATION TO STATION SPECIAL FREIGHT RATES POLICY

• Section 32 of the Railways Act, 1989 empowers railway administration to quote Station to Station Rate (STS) in respect of carriage of various commodities. 

• Railway Board used to issue guidelines to Zonal Railways for implementation of STS rates. Last guidelines on this subject were issued by Board in 2002, which were in operation till 2006. In November 2015, Zonal Railways were advised to exercise power vested with them to quote STS rates as per the Railways Act, 1989. 

• On request from Zonal Railways and to enable them to garner more traffic from road and other modes, broad guidelines are being issued to Zonal Railways for finalising STS rates. 

• Salient features of the proposed policy are as under: 

• Existing as well as new traffic shall be eligible. 

• Concession shall be granted up to a maximum of 30% on the incremental traffic over and above the benchmark NTKM. Benchmark NTKM is defined as average NTKMs of corresponding periods of previous 24 months. 

• Concession shall be in the form of percentage discount over the Normal Tariff Rate (NTR). It should be ensured that the concessional freight should not be less than the NTR of Class 100. 

• Concession shall be admissible to Block rake, two/multi point rake, Mini Rake etc. 

• Concession may be granted for retention of traffic also up to maximum of 15%. In case of container traffic, STS discount upto maximum of 15% shall be given to commodities charged at Container Class Rate (CCR). 

• STS scheme will be applicable for all terminals namely goods sheds, sidings, ports, CRTs, PFTOs etc. 

• To avail STS, Rail users shall be required to apply to the DRM with details, who shall forward the same for approval of GM through CCM, COM and FA&CAO. If Railway administration approves grant of concession under STS, an agreement shall be executed between Railway and customer. 

• The agreement shall be done for a maximum period of three years at a time and for not less than one year. Any change in freight rate (excluding imposition of any surcharge) shall not be applicable on the customer during the currency of the agreement or for one year, whichever is less. 

• Commodities excluded from STS are - 

o All commodities with classification below Class-100. 

o All commodities under Main Commodity Head “Coal & Coke” 

o Iron ore (all types) 

o Military traffic, POL and RMC

• Targeted customer: Food grain, Cement, Clinker, Dolomite, Limestone, Steel companies, Fly ash, etc. 

• Expected additional loading: 10 million tonne per annum. 

@BJ

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