New IT vision for freight on Indian Railways
The Indian Railways is expecting a revolutionary turnaround. An Advisory Council headed by Som Mittal, is relegated with the task of preparing the draft of the Information Technology, Communication and Telecom (ICT) Vision. CARGOTALK gets you the highligh
issues is the Advisory Council looking at to develop the ICT vision?
The IT vision is aimed at developing a comprehensive ICT roadmap, to enable Railways to realise the goals that it had set for 2030, as articulated by the Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in his budget. The main objective is to make technology the fulcrum to transform the Railways. Due to its size and the complexity of its operations, the scope of leveraging tech- nology in Railways is enormous. Technology can help in better utilisation of assets - both rolling stock and fixed, enhancing customer experience and improving profitability.
However, significant gain will come about by re-engineering the current processes, speeding up decision-making and building a robust decision support system. The Council is seeking inputs from a large number of stakeholders as well as experts from the industry to bring in best global practices.
which tenets will the ICT vision be prepared?
Over the last 30 years, Railways has implemented many IT solutions successfully, like the passenger reservation system. But as we look at 2030, the opportunity of leveraging GIS, Cloud, analytics, IOT can bring about phenomenal transformation in rail operations.
These technologies will help in integrating various operations and provide real time information and automation.
Since, the volume of bulk cargo will only increase in the future, we need dedicated freight corridors and faster trains to leverage the situation. Railways will have to take away some of the burden from existing road freight movement by providing reliable and predictable parcel and break bulk movement.
This can be made possible through a journey where technology is central to change and is implemented with conviction and zeal. We hope that in the next five to six weeks, we are able to give our recommendations to the Railway Board. Since it is a journey, we will give a phased implementation programme.
will the ICT vision have an effect on the cargo sector?
Based on the work done so far, several factors will yield immediate advantage. The Council would suggest a road map for innovative and relevant technological solutions specific to railways. Needless to say, a proactive management and new mindsets will be critical to the programme’s success.
Som Mittal Chairman Advisory Council