The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said that the Indian Railways need to plan for a massive expansion very meticulously with forward looking, efficient technologies and innovative practices currently available across the globe and adopt them to serve the country’s aspiring population.
While speaking at International Conference on Technological Advancements in Railway & Metro Projects 2017, he said that the IT revolution sweeping the world, to which India has also been a major contributor, is bound to improve the efficiencies in signaling, communications and safety and help in areas like intelligent transportation systems. “Technology will also be a potential ally for improving the safety and security and enhance the quality of passenger experience,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said.
“The Indian Railways connects the vast country through its extensive network of 64,000 km of track covering about 8,000 railway stations and 1,00,000 bridges as well as signalling and telecom network. It provides transport services to about two crore or 20 million passengers every day. Each day, 20,000 trains criss-cross the length and breadth of India serving, in a year, a population of about 700 crore (seven billion) people and transporting more than 1,000 MT (billion tons),” he said.
He also emphasized, “With the number of passengers projected to touch thirty million in the next few years and the demand for transportation of goods also touching four million tons of freight daily in the near future, the railways are poised for a massive expansion.”
“I am told that investments to the tune of Rs. 8 lakh crore are planned in the next five years on various projects in the railways,” Vice President said.
On massive urbanisation, the Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said that with urbanisation taking place at a rapid pace in India, the need for efficient and cost-effective transport is critical in ensuring faster mobility and sustainable development. He further said that new concepts such as ‘Transit Oriented Development’ should be tried out and promoted which will improve the lives of people living around the metro stations in a big way.
The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said that in the Indian ethos, we believe that science and technology are tools to improve the quality of life and we say “Bahujana hitaya, bahujana sukhaya” implying that we aim at the good of humanity at large and also care for the happiness of the entire population on this planet. We also believe this is possible if we are open to new ideas and concepts, either home grown or from outside, he added.
“The managers of our railway system must use every opportunity to update their knowledge and skills. Even the best systems in the world have to constantly keep learning and doing things differently to serve the populations better,” he urged.