Need to improve movement of goods: Rail Minister
New Delhi: Stressing the need for faster and economical movement of goods, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday advocated adoption of technologies and construction of more dedicated corridors.
"Heavy haul operations are now the need of the hour. However, at the same time there is an utmost need for considering technologies which aim at reducing the unit cost of transportation," Bansal said at the International Heavy Haul Association conference here.
He said, "In view of the pace of growth which the world has witnessed over the years, there is obvious need for faster, economical and greater movement of goods. It is a challenge for the transportation sector to transport goods to mega level required by the growing global economy."
The theme of the conference was "Building Transport Capacity through Heavy Haul Operation".
Referring to the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) project, Bansal said that both the Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana (Punjab) to Dankuni (Near Kolkata) and Western Corridor from Jawahar Lal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai to Dadri/Tughlakabad (Near Delhi) covering 3,400 kms of two busiest legs of the Golden Quadrilateral are being designed for 32.5 tonnes axle load trains which is higher than present 25 tonnes axle load trains.
He said tangible progress has been made on the construction on the DFC and "we need to develop more such corridors capable of running, higher axle load trains".
Appreciating the progress made by Australia, Bansal said that 40-tonnes axle load trains achieved by them "is really praiseworthy and we too need to constantly work towards achieving higher and higher axle load".
International Heavy Haul Association conference is organised once in every four years. The last conference was held in Shanghai China in 2009.
Highlighting the fact that railways are the most efficient and environment friendly mode of transportation, Bansal pointed out that there is bound to be greater dependence on it for transporting goods on a very large scale which is possible only through heavy haul operations.
Railway Minister said that India too is a growing economy and needs transport connectivity both for carrying essential commodities to every nook and corner of the country and also to carry its people from one place to other.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Railway Board, Vinay Mittal said that besides the two ongoing Dedicated Freight Corridors, Indian Railways has also undertaken a survey for taking up the work of similar Dedicated Freight Corridors on another four high freight density legs of the Golden Quadrilateral covering a length more than 6,000 kms.
Heavy haul rail operation has evolved over the years as a technology to transport bulk commodities in large volumes and reduce the unit cost of transportation.
Referring to the fact that heavy haul operations require strict maintenance regimes, Mittal said that its impact needs an in-depth study considering the life cycle, costs and asset reliability, availability, maintenance ability and safety.
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