At­tract­ing in­vest­ments and strength­en­ing in­fra­struc­ture

Governance Now - - EVENT REPORT -

Ra­jaji Meshram, Trans­port sec­tor ex­pert,

said that the in­vest­ments in the rail­ways have gone up mul­ti­fold in the past 4-5 years. How­ever, the rail­ways’ share has gone down to 35 per­cent pri­mar­ily be­cause of the chronic un­der­in­vest­ment. “if you go through various five-year plans, you will find that the in­vest­ment in road in­fra­struc­ture was of a very large quan­tum. Four years back, the an­nual rail­way bud­get used to be around ₹55,000 crore, which has now crossed over ₹1 lakh crore”, he said.

Rajiv Mehro­tra, chair­man & manag­ing di­rec­tor, RITES Ltd,

said there is a need to ex­am­ine why Built op­er­ate and Trans­fer (BOT) model could not pick up and how the rail­ways is go­ing to ex­pand the in­fra­struc­ture.

He said in the last three to four years, the rail­ways has in­creased the pace of at­tract­ing in­vest­ments and this mo­men­tum needs to be ac­cel­er­ated. “We need to get out-of-the-box so­lu­tions”, mehro­tra said.

RS Khu­rana, chair­man & manag­ing di­rec­tor, Mum­bai Rail­way Vikas Cor­po­ra­tion,

said the subur­ban rail­way is very typ­i­cal and the net­work is huge, be­cause of which the safety as­pect has be­come very im­por­tant.

The rail­ways is plan­ning to mon­e­tise the land avail­able to get in­vest­ments for en­hanc­ing the subur­ban net­work. “mum­bai has de­vel­oped along the rail­way tracks ever since the first Emu dc train started its op­er­a­tions in 1925. The im­por­tance of lo­cal or subur­ban trains can­not be ig­nored”, he said.

re­cently, a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gramme for the devel­op­ment of mum­bai subur­ban area has been pro­posed.

SK Pat­tanayak, manag­ing di­rec­tor, IRFC,

said that the irfc since its in­cep­tion in 1986 has been into rail­way fi­nanc­ing. It started with the fi­nan­cial leas­ing of rolling stock as­sets in its first year of oper­a­tion and to­day it is very much ac­tive in fi­nan­cial leas­ing do­main, he said.

in­cre­men­tal bor­row­ing has gone up like any­thing. To­day, the cu­mu­la­tive bor­row­ing, which irfc has done for the in­dian rail­ways, is around ₹2.2 lakh crore. “This is fur­ther go­ing to in­crease,” he said. The rail­ways has fixed the tar­get for the irfc in the cur­rent year at around ₹55,000 crore.

Sanjay Gupta, chair­man & manag­ing di­rec­tor, Konkan Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd (KRCL),

talked about how Konkan rail­way is an ex­am­ple of in­creas­ing in­vest­ments and cre­at­ing in­fra­struc­ture. Krcl came into be­ing in 1990 and for the first time the model of a joint ven­ture be­tween the ben­e­fi­ciary states and the union gov­ern­ment was picked up. The eq­uity hold­ers of the cor­po­ra­tion are the min­istry of rail­ways and the four states. “This is how the first in­vest­ment was at­tracted,” he said.

To­day, Krcl is run­ning 30 trains from each way. now, Krcl has reached a stage where there is no scope left for the in­fra­struc­ture ex­pan­sion and more ef­forts are be­ing made to at­tract in­vest­ment for cre­at­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Kishore Arun De­sai, OSD, Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil to PM, NITI Aayog,

said that the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion which needs to be asked is whether the rail­ways is a com­mer­cial en­tity or not. “We are ap­par­ently treat­ing the rail­ways for passenger busi­nesses. About 70 per­cent of the to­tal passenger rev­enue is un­der re­cov­ery, which means the rail­ways is los­ing a huge chunk of its passenger rev­enue on ac­count of so­cial obli­ga­tion,” he said. The rail­ways is us­ing freight as an in­stru­ment to make money and there are no po­lit­i­cal is­sues around the freight, he said.

Ja­gan­narayan Padmanabhan, di­rec­tor and prac­tice leader – trans­port and lo­gis­tics, CRISIL In­fra­struc­ture Ad­vi­sory, said the rail­ways

has planned to garner an in­vest­ment of ₹8.56 lakh crore over a pe­riod of five years.

There are enough pro­vi­sions within the in­dian rail­ways and it can go ahead with monetis­ing its as­sets. “For en­sur­ing a growth, you have to have the rev­enue”, he said. Around ₹25,000 crores can be raised if the transmission lines of the rail­ways are mon­e­tised, he sug­gested.

Gouri Thounao­jam, head – gov­ern­ment re­la­tions, PMI,

said that the project man­age­ment ecosys­tem de­vel­oped within the no­dal min­istry or Psu will not only mit­i­gate risk but will also en­sure im­ple­men­ta­tion of the idea to ex­e­cute pro­jects ef­fec­tively.

A to­tal of 355 out of 1,304 rail­way pro­jects were re­cently reviewed and 198 of them wit­nessed a cost over­run of ₹1.5 lakh crore, which is alarm­ing. “it is the need of the hour to get the house in or­der”, she said.

Rupin­der Singh, di­rec­tor sys­tems en­gi­neer­ing, Cisco India & SAARC,

said that the in­dian rail­ways has enor­mously im­proved upon it­self in the last cou­ple of years. it is go­ing with the right strat­egy to lever­age tech­nol­ogy, op­ti­mise ser­vices, im­prove safety and mon­e­tise as­sets.

Train com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem is ex­tremely im­por­tant and the rail­ways is still us­ing the age old com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem. He hoped that the rail­ways would soon opt modern com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem. on the as­set part, he said that he was glad to see two sta­tions – Habib­ganj and ghan­d­i­na­gar – are be­ing mod­ernised by the rail­ways.

Mukesh Nigam, manag­ing di­rec­tor, CRIS,

said for the past 15 years, such is the push to­wards digi­ti­sa­tion that all other as­pects of rail­way work­ings have been brought un­der this am­bit. There has been two ob­jec­tives of digi­ti­sa­tion, which in­clude a push to­wards cus­tomer de­light as well. “To­day a cus­tomer wants seam­less ser­vice. The ap­pli­ca­tions are in si­los but as the tech­nol­ogy has grown, we are head­ing to­wards in­te­gra­tion of these ap­pli­ca­tions”, he said.

Dr R Badri Narayan, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor (C&IS), In­dian Rail­ways,

said the rail­ways chose to go with its own it or­gan­i­sa­tion to ex­e­cute its ap­pli­ca­tions and that was the time when cris came into be­ing.

“I want to high­light the ben­e­fits of hav­ing a cap­tive it or­gan­i­sa­tion. there was a time when Passenger reser­va­tion sys­tem used to be with the cmc and the rail­ways got into ma­jor con­trac­tual is­sues and could not take the project for­ward. later, cris was pitched in for the project. de­spite a lot of im­prove­ments, we find that for sus­tained IT devel­op­ment it is good to have a cap­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he said.

coun­try

Ka­mal Kashyap, man­ager, India – public sec­tor sales, en­ter­prise group, Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise,

said the com­plex­i­ties which ex­ists in the rail­way op­er­a­tions in india are un­par­al­lel in many ways in terms of num­ber of pas­sen­gers and tracks. in­dian rail­ways is a clas­si­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion be­cause it has a huge man­u­fac­tur­ing setup and a huge cus­tomer base.

“As an it or­gan­i­sa­tion, the com­pany can bring in the cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy. We have the un­der­stand­ing of tech­nol­ogy and we can as­sist the rail­ways to have a par­tic­u­lar tech­nol­ogy which is best suited for it. We have a whole lot of cus­tomised prod­ucts for the rail­ways”, he said.

Nalin Bansal, VP, Ru­pay con­tact­less & new busi­ness, Na­tional Pay­ments Cor­po­ra­tion of India,

said npci is far­ily a young com­pany which started around 10 years ago and was given a man­date by the rbi to set up do­mes­tic pay­ment sys­tem.

To­day, npci is a 1,000 peo­ple strong or­gan­i­sa­tion. Ev­ery­thing that npci does is com­pletely in-house. “it has helped in cre­at­ing an abil­ity to in­no­vate and com­ing up with so­lu­tions rel­e­vant to the mar­ket”, he said.

NK Goyal, pres­i­dent, CMAI As­so­ci­a­tion of India Limited,

said there should be a bal­ance in the way in which tech­nol­ogy is used in the age of mass scale adop­tion of modern tech­nol­ogy.

Sunil Ku­mar, GGM – in­ter­net tick­et­ing, IRCTC,

said that at present in­surance cover is be­ing given on the re­served tick­ets to pas­sen­gers by the irctc. “if due to some un­avoid­able rea­sons, a passenger can­cels his ticket, a cer­tain amount of money gets de­ducted as a can­cel­la­tion fee. irctc is think­ing to give in­surance on can­cel­la­tion fee to pas­sen­gers to min­imise their losses”, he said.

Hi­man­shu Goyal, India busi­ness leader, The Weather Com­pany,

said that the com­pany was founded 40 years ago in the united states of Amer­ica and ibm bought it three years back. “We are fore­cast­ers at one end from Busi­ness to con­sumer (B2c) per­spec­tive and we help our cus­tomers make bet­ter de­ci­sions,” he ex­plained. The com­pany pro­vides ser­vices to ma­jor mo­bile hand­set com­pa­nies, Face­book and other com­pa­nies. The firm had also helped the gov­ern­ment of ra­jasthan to cre­ate ra­jd­haraa cit­i­zen App where peo­ple can get lat­est weather up­dates.

Pre­sen­ta­tion on se­cu­rity sur­veil­lance in In­dian Rail­ways by Su­mati Shandilya, DIG/MAC, Rail­way Pro­tec­tion Force, In­dian Rail­ways

un­der­scored the im­por­tance of safety and se­cu­rity. He said that it needs to function smoothly in a se­cured en­vi­ron­ment for the eco­nomic and so­cial well-be­ing of the na­tion and its ci­ti­zens.

rail­way net­work in india has un­der­gone mas­sive ex­pan­sion in the re­cent years. While the length of route kilo­me­tres has not in­creased as much, the num­ber of trains and vol­ume of pas­sen­gers have gone up man­i­fold. The in­her­ent struc­tural weak­nesses of the rail­way sys­tem like many en­try/exit points, stop­pages of trains in poorly se­cured road­side sta­tions, lack of ac­cess con­trol and un­reg­u­lated crowd movement make it highly vul­ner­a­ble, he said.

L to R: Kishore Arun De­sai, NITI Aayog; SK Pat­tanayak, IRFC; Sanjay Gupta, Konkan Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd; ₹Khu­rana, MRVC; Ra­jaji Meshram, Trans­port Sec­tor Ex­pert; Rajiv Mehro­tra, RITES; Ja­gan­narayan Padmanabhan, CRISIL In­fra­struc­ture Ad­vi­sory; and...

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