Reeling under extreme financial pressure and battling to improve its perceived image, the year 2020 came with added set of challenges for the Indian Railways.
With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting operations, the national transporter managed to counter the adverse impact by taking a slew of measures to ensure the country's growth engine does not stutter.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav mentioned how the employees worked beyond their defined roles to ensure operations are not derailed.
"Railway employees maintained supply lines during the lockdown. Railways ensured supply of medical kits and even supplied free meals to the needy during the lockdown. Many initiatives have also been taken up for passenger security. Despite the impact of the pandemic, we have achieved 98% loading. Kisan Rail is now running on nine routes and 27,000 tonnes of agro products have been transported so far. We have increased production of coaches and are starting a new wheel factory. We are making different types of locomotives in India now and work has also started on a 12,000 hp locomotive," Yadav said.
Yadav also informed that the IRCTC website overhaul has also been completed and information related to freight and passenger data is available on the Rail Drishti portal.
"All our files are maintained on electronic office system for transparency and speed. All data related to freight and passenger operations is available on the Rail Drishti portal. There was increased emphasis on these things in this year," he said.
Yadav also said that the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) will be deployed across Railways soon and capital expenditure is almost at the same level despite the coronavirus-led disruptions.
On the status of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project, Yadav said that they have ben assured that in four month, more than 80 percent of the land will be acquired.