East-Central Railways :Path Breaking Initiatives
First set up on September 8, 1996 with Headquarters at Hajipur, Bihar, East Central Railway became operational on 1stOctober, 2002 by carving out areas from Eastern and North Eastern Railway zones currently consists of the divisions viz. Dhanbad, Danapur, Mughalsarai of Eastern Railway and Sonepur and Samastipur of North Eastern Railway. The last 13 years of its existence has been full of challenges and every obstacle was dealt in a dedicated manner despite constraints of work force and infrastructure.
ECR, has a vast network of 5402.693 track kilometer and 3707.988 route kilometers encompassing the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Out of 3707.988 Route km, 1572.202 km have been electrified.ECR has been lifeline for the people in its expanse and is playing a pivotal role in rapid development of the area. The development of infrastructure has been the major thrust area to bring about a rapid growth rate in the region and prosperity to the people. In the field of construction of new lines, doubling, gauge conversion, construction of bridges/road-over bridges, new workshop projects, Other than this qualitative and perceptible improvement in safety, cleanliness, catering, passenger amenities have been achieved to a large extent.
ECR is unique in the sense that both Goods loading and Passenger traffic assume great importance in view of the huge coal loading in the coal bearing of Dhanbad division of Jharkhand state and densely populated area of Bihar. The rapid growth in both the sectors has necessitated strengthening of infrastructure of Railways. Further ECR also has uniqueness of acting as a gateway to Nepal with International traffic catering to the movement of export traffic and passengers to Nepal and vice versa.
1. Passenger Business
With the objective of providing safe and efficient passenger and freight transportation solutions to the people, East Central Railway plays a pivotal role in fulfilling the transportation needs of its customers. This Railway has carried 2159.08 lakh passengers in the current year upto January, 2015. With the running of regular express trains and passenger trains per day, besides special trains during the period April, 2014 to January, 2015, better traffic facilities has provided to passengers.With the increase of 5.78%, East Central Railway has registered a significant increase under gross earnings by 9774.21 crore as compared to the corresponding month of last year i.e. 9240.17 crore.
Remarkable decrease in drugging cases reported over East Central Railway has been noted in year 2014 with arresting of 10 criminals involved in drugging crime. With the view to reduce drugging crime over East Central Railway, anti-drugging teams has been formed in each Division. Passenger awareness programme through regular pasting of posters having pictorial messages in trains and stations, publication of advertisements in major newspapers and staging of Nukkad Nataks has intensified. Escorting of trains and mounting Decoy checks in affected trains, portrait building of drugging suspects and maintenance of criminal album and video recording of passengers in general compartments is also being done by East Central Railway to check the crime on trains.
In order to ensure security to travelling lady passengers frequent and intensive checking is being done. Train escort parties on trains have been instructed to check the train with emphasis on safety on lady passengers.Decoy checks on the trains have also been intensified. Helpline numbers “1322” have been published to directly get the information from the site of occurrence of crime and immediately provide relief.
During the year 2014, total 105 touts have been arrested and prosecuted u/s 143 Rly. Act.
3. Passenger Amenities : Providing Journey with comfort
A front-runner in the area of provision of passenger amenities, ECR has 122 Computerized Passenger Reservation Centers (PRS), 68 UTS cum PRS and 351 UTS in East Central Railway. Further in order to facilitate easy availability of tickets at nearby areas 102 JTBS, 56 STBS and 6 India Post counters have been opened.
Keeping pace with technological intervention and to provide latest services ECR has proposed to install 25 ATVM’s (Automatic Ticket Vending Machine) at important locations.
The following are highlights of some of the Passenger Amenities work done on ECR.
FOBs are another area of focus in the area of providing better facility at stations for easy and safe passage of passengers to platforms. This year a total of 05 FOBs were commissioned. The FOBs at Danapur, Dhanbad, Samastipur, Peshar and Dehri-on-Sone are worth mentioning which are beautifully designed.
In order to provide easy and comfortable access to platforms, Escalators facility have been provided at Patna, Dhanbad and Muzaffarpur station. Other than these stations, in second phase 10 stations shall be covered with 20 escalators and in third phase 5 stations shall be covered with 9 escalators.
3.3 Cleanliness and Catering :
Providing a clean and pleasant atmosphere to passengers has always been the motto of East Central Railway. Concerned efforts have been made in this direction.
3.4 Food Plaza and Jan Ahar :
Jan Ahar has been a focus area on East Central Railway to provide affordable and good quality food to passengers. It has been started at Patna Junction, Danapur Station and Mughalsarai Junction. East Centrail Railway planning to extend such ‘Jan Ahar’ facilities at Dhanbad, Barkakana, Muzaffarpur, Sonpur, & Darbhanga.
On ECR, Food Plaza have been opened at 11 locations namelyPatna (03) , Mughalsarai, Hajipur, Gaya, Lakhisarai, Hajipur, Dhanbad, Raxaul and Darbhanga.
3.5 Mechanized Cleaning of Coaches
All the 16 major coaching maintenance depots of ECR, have been brought under the Intensive Mechanized cleaning of coaches scheme to achieve better cleaning of coaches on pit line. In addition of cleaning, the coaches are also disinfected and sprayed with Deodorants & Room Fresheners to provide better amenities to passengers.
3.5.1 On Board House-Keeping Services (OBHS)for sanitation during journey is functioning in 27 pairs of long distance trains on this Railway.
3.5.2 Clean Train scheme (CTS) is in operation at Barauni and Mughalsarai stations over East Central Railway where 12 and 77 passing through trains respectively are attended to for cleaning of toilets and gangways of coaches’ en-route on daily basis.
3.5.3 Garbage generated from running trains from pantry cars and coaches is collected at nominated 14 stations and disposed off through existing contract at the station. Garbage generated at stations are being disposed through contract. The departmental cleaning is done at small stations.
3.5.4 Mechanized cleaning of stations – In ECR 04 stations of A-1 class, 18 stations of A class and 29 stations of B class, totaling 51 stations, have been provided with mechanized cleaning system.
3.6 Automatic Mechanized Laundry at Samastipur and Danapur
Automatic mechanized laundry have been started at Samastipur and Danapur to provide fast and better cleaning of bedrolls. This has facilitated the outturn of about 1000 sets of bedrolls per day. Over this Railway there are 10 nos. of linen management depot viz Muzaffarpur, Barauni, Raxaul, Darbhnaga, Sharsha, Gaya, Danapur, Rajedranagar Coaching Complex, Patna and Dhanbad. Over this railway pest & rodent control is being done at 16 nos. of coaching depots.
4.Freight Loading: Reaching New Heights
The essence of rail operations on Indian Railways happens to be the freight traffic generated and it is a remarkable achievement that East Central Railway has in every way remained amongst the top most performers in this aspect.
East Central Railway entered as the 5th member in the prestigious club “100 Million Tones” of other 4 railway who have achieved loading of more than 100MT in 2012-13. ECR achieved loading of 102.53MT in 2012-13 & 105.9 in 2013-14 respectively.
ECR loaded 87.56 MT of goods traffic upto January, 2015 with aggregate goods earning of Rs 7704.85 Crores with the increase of 3.91% .
5. E-Payment : Online payment of freight charges
A first time E-Payment started with a Katrashgarh over Dhanbad division on trial basis on 28.10.11. The benefits of the scheme more customers were attached and opted the scheme.
Payment under e-payment scheme will be limited to payment of freight charges at present. Railway may consider payment of other charges through e-payment at a later stage. This facility will be available at terminals where Terminal Management System (TMS) has been commissioned.
ECR in the process to bring more customers in the e-payment. Presently there are 76 customers of e-payment over ECR and our 95 %(Approx) of total goods earning is received through e-payment and 06 customer also ready to join the execution e-payment agreement.
6. NEW LINES: Connecting areas for the first time-
ECR has been striving hard to connect those areas which have been left behind in rail connectivity. Many new lines and gauge conversion projects are undergoing on ECR and in 2013-14, 34 km of of New lines (Kodram-Navadih) and 46 km (Madhepura-Murliganj 22 KM and Chhauradano-Raxaul 24 KM) of gauge conversion work were completed. In the year 2014-15, despite fund constraints, 80 km of new lines, 20 km of gauge conversion was completed and opened for public.
Hon’ble Prime Minister dedicated to nation 80 KM long Koderma-Hazaribag new line on 20thFebruary, 2015 and also flagged off DEMU services on this section, thereby fulfilling the cherished desired of the plateau people of this region. Gauge conversion of 20 KM long Murliganj-Banmankhi has been completed and opened for traffic. Similarly a New Sone Bridge between Dehri-on-Sone and Sonenagar has been successfully commissioned.
6.1 Hazaribag Put on Railway Map
Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister dedicated to nation 80 KM long Koderma-Hazaribag new line and flagged off of DEMU services on this section on 20th February, 2015, thereby fulfilling the cherished desired of the plateau people of this region.
Dedicating the railway line to the nation by flagging off a Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train from Hazaribagh railway station, Hon’ble Prime Minister thanked the farmers who had given land for this project, stating that they had made a huge contribution for future generations. He said the railways were not just a means of transport, but could become the backbone of the Indian economy. Hon’ble Prime Minister said “The railway is the backbone of the country, which ultimately decides the direction and speed of the development of the country.” On this occasion Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railways said that this project would help to fulfil the development needs of the public of this region.
Hon’ble Prime Minister said that Jharkhand should focus on rail and road connectivity in order to boost its prosperity, urging the people of the state to provide full support to the construction of the same.
Hazaribag Town is a very old District Head Quarter in the State of Jharkhand. There was a persistent demand to provide rail connection to Hazaribag Town since year 1910 to cater to social & economic development of the area but topography of area i.e. predominantly hilly terrain, river valleys , thick forest & non-viability, discouraged the sanction and construction.
A Preliminary Engineering-cum-Traffic survey for Koderma - Ranchi new rail line was carried out in 1986 and project was not considered remunerative (ROR 1%) but required for development of backward areas. Subsequently the new line project Koderma-Hazaribagh-Barkakana-Ranchi was sanctioned in the year 1998-99 and the detailed estimate was sanctioned at the cost of RS.332.06 crore on 08.02.2002.
The updated estimated cost of the above project is approx 3020.94 Crore with share of the Govt. of Jharkhand of Rs. 1681 Crore and Rs. 1340 Crore share of the Indian Railways.
Out of Koderma-Ranchi (202 Km.) new rail line, Koderma-Hazaribag (79.705 Km.) has been completed at the cost of Rs. 940 Crore. There is no manned or unmanned level crossing in the alignment between Koderma-Hazaribag.
On this occasion, Dr. Syed Ahmed Hon’ble Governor, Jharkhand; Shri Raghuvar Das, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand; Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railways; Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways; Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Hon’ble Minister of State for Rural Development and Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance were present.
7. MEGA RAIL BRIDGES : Integrating the people of Bihar
River Ganges bisects State of Bihar into Northern and Southern parts. The northern Bihar is a gangetic plain flanked by the mighty Himalayas in Nepal in North and river Ganga in south. Similarly the ‘Mithilanchal area of North Bihar gets further divided into Eastern and Western parts by River Kosi. On the entire length of river Ganga falling in the State of Bihar, there are three bridges one at Naugachhia, one at Mokama and the third being ‘Mahatma Gandhi Setu’ at Patna. ‘Rajendrapul’ at Mokama is a Rail-cum-Road Bridge. The inadequate number of bridges has become one of the reasons for hindering the development of one of the most populous state of India. Not only with the construction of bridges on these rivers geographical integration ofunification Bihar will be completed but also it will lead to social, economical and industrial development of the area.
7.1Rail cum Road Bridge, Patna :
At present there is no rail link to connect North and South Bihar near Patna. In the entire east to west stretch of of about 445Kms of river Ganga in Bihar, there is a rail-cum road bridge at Varanasi and then the downstream if we go the nearest Rail link across river Ganga is available at Mokama (Rajendra Bridge), which is 318 km away from Varanasi. The Mokama rail link is already saturated and has become a major bottleneck for increasing the number of trains between North and South Bihar. This has been a great hindrance in the industrialization of North Bihar and Nepal, which have become the important trade centre for consumable goods. Construction of Rail-cum-Road Bridge will remove the bottle-neck and both parts of Bihar will be connected by more number of trains. Trade centers of North Bihar will also be connected with the rest part of Bihar. Power houses at Barauni and Kanti who are under going expansion in North Bihar shall also be benefitted due to lessened congestion. Hence this Rail cum Road bridge shall act as a lifeline for Bihar.
The work of Ganga Rail Bridge at Patna was included in 1997-98 when the proposal was only for the Rail bridge but in 2006-07 the scope was increased to Rail cum Road Bridge. It is the longest Rail cum Road bridge.
The dilapidated condition of the only road bridge connecting North and South Bihar in Patna (Mahatma Gandhi Setu), warrants for immediate arrangement of alternate road bridge. Understanding the problem, in the year 2005, in September, 2006 scope of the project was enlarged and Rail bridge was converted into Rail cum Road bridge.The bridge will be 2ndlongest Rail-cum-Road Bridge in India with total length of 4556m. The bridge consists of 38 spans. The proposed Road of the bridge is connecting NH-31 of North Bihar to NH-80 of South Bihar. Gladly, work on all the 38 Spans of this mega structure has been completed by December, 2014. It is hope that the construction of complete bridge will be completed by 2015-16 end.
7.2Rail-cum-Road Bridge, Munger
No road bridge across River Ganges is available between Mokama and Bhagalpur for a distance of about 206 Kms. The only rail link available across river Ganga in Bihar is Rajendra Bridge at Mokama. Similar is the situation for Road Bridge also. Rail-cum-Road Bridge at Munger has a revised cost of Rs. 2363 crore, in which Rs. 1116 crore share with State Government and Rs. 1247 crore share with Railway. Rail link of the bridge is connecting Jamalpur station of Sahebganj loop (Maldah Division) of Eastern Railway to Sahebpurkamal station (Barauni-Katihar section) of East Central Railway. The bridge is 3190 m long. All the 31 Spans of this bridge have been completed by December, 2014. It is hope that the construction of complete bridge will be completed by 2015-16 end.
In the year 1887, a meter gauge rail link between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi (Saraigarh) was provided by the Bengal North West Railway. Due to severe Ino-Nepal earthquake in 1934 this rail link washed away in heavy flood owing to meandering nature of river Kosi, no attempt was made to restore this link for a long period.
The Kosi Rail Bridge project included in the budget in the year 2003-04 at an estimated cost of Rs. 323 Crore. After the construction of Kosi Rail Bridge, the distance between Nirmali and Saraigarh will get reduced to 20.5 KM from present 299 KM. It will provide an alternative BG route of length 610 km between Gorakhpur and Katihar against the existing route of 505 KM via Chapra and Barauni, which at present is a highly saturated corridor.
This project gained exceptional significance as the East West Corridor from Muzaffarpur to Purnia (NH 57) of NHAI shares the same location for crossing River. The bridge is 1780m long with 39 spans.
7.4 New Sone Railway Bridge
This bridge was constructed during the year 1898. Due to introduction of clause of MBG-1987 loading, the existing bridge became the major constraint and necessitated the construction of a new alternate bridge.
Traffic on this route will increase considerably when the third line between Dehri-On-Sone and Mughalsarai will become operational. The New Sone Bridge between Dehri-on-Sone and Sonenagar which has been successfully commissioned on 16.08.2014, will prove a great help in this regard.
7.5 Second Gandak Bridge between Hajipur-Sonpur
A new second bridge on river Gandak has been opened (5.5 KM) between Sonpur and Hajipur for double line traffic for this section.
8. Signposts for the future : 54 KM long Nawadih-Kavar new rail line will be completed soon. Similarly, Raxaul-Narkatiaganj gauge conversion work is going to be finished shortly.
9. Rail Budget 2014-15 promises fulfil : In Rail budget 2014-15 new train, survey for new line ect has been announced. According to the announcement in rail budget 2014-15 four new jansadharan express, extension of five trains has been done.
10. New Factories and Workshops
10.1 Samastipur Workshop –
Samastipur Workshop was established in the year 1881 for overhauling of Steam locomotives, POH of coaches and wagons. It was remodelled in 1962 for manufacture of MG wagons. In 1993, manufacturing of BOXN wagons started @1 wagon per month, in addition to the existing activity of wagon POH. POH activity of MG wagons was discontinues in June 1996 and since then this workshop is primailty engaged in production of BOXN wagons. The manufacturing of BOXNHS wagons started in June 2002. At present, the workshop is engaged in manufacturing of Stainless Steel BOXNHL wagons.
10.2 Carriage Repair Workshop, Harnaut
ECR had no carriage repair workshop and was totally dependent on ER and NER. In order to be self reliant and improve efficiency, workshop for overhauling of 50 coaches per month has been set up at Harnaut on Bakhtiyarpur-Rajgir section of Danapur division of East Central Railway. The workshop is spread over 75 acres of land and there is scope for future expansion. The workshop was taken over by ECR on 15.06.2012, and since then it has carried out POH of 367 Non-AC ICF coaches. Its present outturn is 25 coaches per month. The workshop is expected to reach its installed capacity in 2015-16 and in future there is plan to repair air-conditioned coaches as well.
11. Connecting with the heritage
To keep the heritage alive and make the people aware of past glories, a heritage park in the precincts of head quarter has been opened featuring locomotives of the bygone era – One BG steam Engine is brought from the erstwhile Rohtas Industries Ltd. and another NG Steam Engine from Sugar Mill, Hathua.