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Indian Railways Honors 100 Employees at 68th Railway Week


The Honourable Minister for Railways, Communications, and Electronics & Information Technology, Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, has formally bestowed the “Ati Vishisht Rail Seva Puraskar” (AVRSP) upon a hundred employees from different zones, divisions, production units, and public sector undertakings (PSUs) associated with the Indian Railways in recognition of their exemplary service. In addition, he awarded twenty-one Shields intended to foster the adoption of best practices among the staff of the Railways. The ceremony for the distribution of these Awards and Shields took place during the 68th Railway Week Central Function, which was held at Bharat Mandapam, located within Pragati Maidan in the capital city of New Delhi. The event was attended by the Chairperson & CEO, Members of the Railway Board, General Managers from various Zonal Railways, and the leaders of the Production Units and PSUs under the Railways.

During the opening address, the Chair of the Railway Board, Ms. Jaya Varma Sinha, emphasised the recent advancements of Indian Railways. She highlighted the introduction of 34 additional Vande Bharat trains, aimed at enhancing passenger transport, and the redevelopment of 1309 stations as a part of the Amrit Bharat initiative, which promises to better the passenger experience and reduce travel times. Ms. Sinha addressed the topic of railway safety and noted the use of cutting-edge technologies, such as ‘Kavach’, to bolster overall safety measures, which are being executed rapidly and extensively.

Looking ahead, Ms. Sinha outlined various innovative projects, including the ambitious goal of transporting 3000 million tonnes of freight, increasing speeds along the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals (GQGD) network, and connecting all previously unreachable regions, with a specific mention of the north-east and Jammu & Kashmir. In her concluding remarks, Ms. Sinha lauded the awardees for their exceptional dedication, asserting that their efforts are elevating the railways to unprecedented levels. She concluded by affirming the integral role of the railways in propelling India towards becoming ‘Viksit Bharat’ or a developed nation.

Upon presenting the awards, the Minister of Railways, Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, addressed the attendees and praised the recipients for their outstanding contributions. He remarked on the rapid progress of reforms within the Railways, guided by the direction of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He highlighted that the past nine and a half years have witnessed more railway electrification than the previous four decades combined. He attributed this acceleration to the strategic 2015 integration of the railway budget with the general budget by the Prime Minister, which eliminated the interest/capital charge previously levied on railway grants and resolved financial barriers that had constrained the sector. He noted that what was once the Railways’ most significant hurdle—insufficient investment—has now been surmounted.

The Union Minister asserted that the public’s anticipations regarding the railways are currently being satisfied. The Prime Minister frequently remarks that we are in the railways’ golden era, attributing this success to the workforce’s collective efforts. The dedication of the railway staff instils a sense of national pride, as they contribute significantly to the country. The enhancement of railway facilities is advancing at an unprecedented pace and magnitude. Numerous fresh initiatives are underway, contributing to the realisation of a strategic objective.

Discussing the significant potential reductions in logistics expenses, Minister Shri Vaishnaw remarked, “Transportation via roadways incurs increased expenditure due to fuel costs. Based on current evaluations, there is an expectation of 3000 million tonnes of additional cargo becoming available. Should the railways succeed in capturing half of this cargo volume, it could lead to a conservative fuel saving of 16,000 crore litres. This would, in turn, translate into a financial saving of approximately Rs. 1,28,000 crore, representing a substantial economic benefit and cost-efficiency for the country.”

Speaking about the country’s economic expansion, the Union Minister emphasised that in 2014, India held the 10th position among worldwide economies, identical to its standing in 2004, indicating a stagnant period. Presently, India has advanced to the 5th position. Looking ahead, the Minister expressed confidence that under the guidance and foresightedness of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is poised to reach the 3rd spot in the foreseeable future.

Southern Railway: Shields & Awards

Southern Railway has been acknowledged as the recipient of the overall Commercial Efficiency Shield. Additionally, it shares the distinction of being awarded the overall Safety Shield in conjunction with East Coast Railway and North East Frontier Railway.

Mr. R.N. Singh, the General Manager, along with Ms. Neenu Ittyerah, the Principal Chief Commercial Manager of Southern Railway, was honoured with the Commercial Efficiency Shield presented by the Honourable Minister of Railways. The award ceremony was attended by Ms. Jaya Varma Sinha, who serves as the Chairperson & CEO of the Railway Board. Moreover, the General Manager also accepted the Safety Efficiency Shield, this time accompanied by Mr. Somesh Kumar, the Principal Chief Safety Officer of Southern Railway.

The following individuals were formally recognized for their exceptional service and honored with awards by the Honourable Minister:

  • Shri K. Veeraperumal, Track Maintainer 
  • Shri M.K. Sudheesh Kumar, Locomotive Pilot 
  • Shri T. Selva Kumar, Deputy Chief Ticket Inspector 
  • Shri Deshidi Madhusudhan Reddy, Railway Protection Force Inspector 
  • Shri A. Selvaraja, Senior Section Engineer, at Avadi EMU Car Shed 
  • Shri E. Hari Krishnan, Indian Railway Traffic Service, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager 
  • Shri S. Mayileri, Senior Divisional Engineer, Chennai Division 
  • Shri S. Mariappan, Assistant Executive Engineer, Projects/Chennai Egmore 
  • Smt. Durgadevi Vijayakumar, Chief Nursing Superintendent, at Perambur Railway Hospital

The recipients expressed their gratitude and a sense of honour for receiving the railway’s most prestigious acknowledgment for its employees.

Text: B. Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Southern Railways

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