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

Cargo Talk - - Technology -

QWhat

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.

QOn

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.

QHow

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

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