New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday penned a letter to around 13 lakh rail employees, thanking them for their work during the coronavirus crisis.
He said the last year was unlike anything that was experienced before.
“While the loss of our own would never be forgotten, it was the grit, determination and resolve of Rail Parivaar which had emerged victorious in the wake of the unprecedented pandemic,” he said.
Goyal said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Railway family” devoted itself to the service of the nation. “While the world came to a standstill, railwaymen never took a day off, and worked even harder at a great personal risk to keep the wheels of the economy moving,” he said.
The minister added that due to the commitment of all, the railways could ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods, be it coal for power plants, fertilizer for farmers or foodgrains for the consumers across the country.
“With your sheer willpower and resilience, we turned this crisis into an opportunity,” he wrote.
Goyal said 4,621 Shramik Specials were run to unite families and carry more than 63 lakh stranded citizens. “Despite limitations during the lockdown, 370 major safety and infrastructure works were completed. Kisan Rail Services became the medium to connect our ‘Annadatas’ directly with bigger markets. You, through your service, made this possible and in turn touched the hearts and lives of lakhs of people,” the Railway minister said.
“It is a matter of immense pride for me that the railways, with its exemplary work, has spearheaded the economic recovery,” he said, adding 1,233 million tonnes of originating freight has been loaded, “which is the best ever for any year”.
He also said 6,015 RKM (Route Kilometer) of rail electrification work has been achieved in the last financial year. “As they say, records are meant to be broken and no one does it better than the Indian Railways,” the minister said.
Goyal added that now, the railways has become a customer-centric and is taking numerous steps for improving its speed as well as operational efficiency.
“This is visible as the average speed of freight trains has almost doubled to 44 Kmph and punctuality of the passenger trains has been maintained at a level of 96 per cent. There have been zero passenger fatalities and a drastic reduction in number of consequential train accidents in last two years,” he said in the letter.
“I thank you for your dedication and stupendous efforts. I can say with confidence that with this motivated team, we will continue breaking records, achieve bigger targets, set examples for others with our performance, and contribute to the growth of Indian Economy,” Goyal said.