Indian Railways play a pivotal role for the entire lower and upper middle class sectoral travel segment. It serves as the most economical mode of transport among the prevailing travel modes in India. With a modest beginning in India from 1853, the Indian Railways has emerged today as the main vehicle for socio-economic development of the country. Indian railway is a labor intensive industry having a workforce of over 13.6 lakhs employees. Indian railway is one of the largest employment providers in India. Employment generation has been one of the important objectives of development planning in India. Indian railway is contributing significantly to the employment generation.
Rail transportation has a number of favorable characteristics as compared to road transportation. It is six times more energy-efficient than road and four times more economical. The social costs in terms of environment damage or degradation are significantly lower in rail. Rail construction costs are approximately six times lower than road for comparable levels of traffic. It is the only major transport mode capable of using any form of primary energy.
Indian Railway Organization Structure
Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned railway company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It is owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometers (71,147 mi) of total track over a route of 65,000 kilometers (40,389 mi) and 7,500 stations. It has the world’s fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China.
How is Indian Railway Contributing to Nation’s Economic Development?
- Service sector is playing vital role in the development of Indian economy. Railway being an important part of service sector also contributing to nation’s economic development directly as well as indirectly.
- Indian railways are not only generating formal employment but also a large scale of informal employment through its forward and backward linkages. Service sector is gradually improving its share in employment.
- Capacity building on existing routes will help in carrying more and more freight, also in increasing passenger travelling.
- Operating ratio improvement will be focused which will help in better financing of projects in future.
- E-catering services in train are helping in fueling the growth of Indian Railways and in turn generate better employment opportunities. This has emerged as a major boon for employment generation and in turn supports the growth of Indian economy.
- Extensive network expansions through the “Diamond Quadrilateral Scheme” will help in easier movement of goods and reduce the lead time for businesses. This massive project is aimed at creating high speed rail network in India which would connect four metro cities in India i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. In the first phase, segregated rail corridors will be upgraded using conventional technology to train speeds of 160 to 200 km/h. In the second phase, key intercity corridors will be identified and state of the art high speed corridors will be developed up to 350 km/h using public private partnership and state ownership. The objective is to develop at least 4 corridors of 2000 km by 2020 and have at least 8 other corridors in different stages of progress. Current development is focused on creating six corridors:
- Delhi – Kolkata corridor : New Delhi – Aligarh – Agra – Kanpur – Lukhnow – Sultanpur – Varanasi – Buxar – Gaya – Patna – Dhanbad – Asansol – Bardwan – Kolkata
- Delhi – Mumbai corridor : New Delhi – Gurugram – Rewari – Jaipur – Ajmer – Bhilwara – Udaipur – Himmatnagar – Ahmedabad – Anand – Vadodra – Surat – Vapi – Boisar – Virar – Thane – Mumbai
- Mumbai – Chennai corridor : Thane – Navi Mumbai – Lonavala – Pune – Kolhapur – Belagavi – Hubballi – Davangere – Tumkur – Bangaluru – Banagarpet – Chennai
- Kolkata – Chennai corridor: Kolkata – Haldia – Cutttack – Bhubaneshwar – Vijayanagram – Vishakapatnam – Rajahmundry – Nellore – Chennai
- Delhi – Chennai corridor : New Delhi – Agra – Gwalior – Guna – Bhopal – Itarsi – Betul – Nagpur – Nizamabad – Hyderabad – Vijaywada – Ongole – Chennai
- Mumbai – Kolkata corridor : Thane – Nashik – Aurangabad – Akola – Nagpur – Durg – Raipur – Bilaspur – Rourkela – Kharagpur – Kolkata
- The social costs in terms of environment damage or degradation are significantly lower in rail.
- Rail construction costs are approximately six times lower than road for comparable levels of traffic.
- It is the only major transport mode capable of using any form of primary energy.
Thus we see that Indian Railway contributes to major part in GDP through employment generation, freight collection, e-catering services etc. Adding to the transparency, the recent move toward e-tendering will also help in assessing the profitability and contribution towards development on the whole.
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