New Delhi [India], December 26 (ANI): Despite coronavirus outbreak in the country, 2020 has been a 'year of Grit and Victories' for Indian Railways, said Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman Railway Board on Saturday.
According to a press release, Railways used COVID-19 challenge as an opportunity to lay the foundation for future development and "next level of travelling experience" for passengers.
While speaking at a press conference, Yadav said that under the "guidance and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi", Railways has not only been able to keep the national supply chain running and move millions of people back home but also been able to usher in an "unprecedented growth in the development of infrastructure, innovation, capacity expansion of the network, freight diversification and transparency matters".
"A large number of people urgently wanted to get back to their homes and villages during the lockdown due to the pandemic, so the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the Ministry of Railways to arrange an emergency unique train service in coordination with individual state governments. The first Shramik Special train was flagged off on 1 May 2020," he said while talking about challenges they face during the pandemic.
"The Railways faced several challenges during the Shramik Special operation. Still, the biggest challenge was ensuring that 63.15 lack passengers travelling through some of the country's hottest regions during peak summer months had adequate food and water," he added.
For the first time, ever since April 2019, there has been no passenger fatality in train accidents, Yadav claimed.
"With the constant focus on safety, consequential train accidents have progressively reduced to an all-time low of 55 in 2019-20. For the first time, ever since April 2019, there has been no passenger fatality in train accidents," the release stated.
To enhance overall service quality and operational efficiency, Railways is now engaging with stakeholders and private players.
Developmental work of stations at Gandhinagar, Habibganj and Ayodhyahas have been fast-tracked. Railways are taking a partnership approach for station development and Request for Qualification (RFQs) have been invited for New Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Mumbai Terminal, Nagpur, Gwalior, Sabarmati, Amritsar, Pudducherry, Nellore, Dehradun, and Tirupati stations on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. (ANI)