Aiming to bring in more efficient work practices, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has instructed heads of six production units (PUs) and 42 workshops to draft short, medium and long term production plans to increase productivity and bring transparency.
“Processes and systems need to become outcome-oriented. The railways need to do business differently,” Prabhu told HT.
Caught up in procedural issues and red tape, rail PUs and workshops have been slow to adapt to new technology. Work orders are usually assigned to them after the end of six months in a financial year, while these have often been changed mid-course.
In his preliminary suggestions, former DRDO chief Dr. VK Saraswat — assigned the task of working out a rail revival plan — has emphasised the need to change the cycle of the work schedule for PUs and workshops, sources said.
“The organisation needs to adopt an outcome-oriented approach. As part of the decentralisation process, MoUs will be signed between the railway board and different zonal railways. GMs and heads of PUs are being assigned targets and these are being monitored on a regular basis. The outcome of such activity will become visible in due course,” Prabhu said.
To enable the organisation to reach international benchmarks, Prabhu is also working at ramping up R&D activities by engaging IITs and other educational institutions to conduct fundamental research in the sector.
“We have already firmed up MoUs with top institutes, including the Chennai and Mumbai IITs, besides the BHU and the Mumbai University. The proposal to set up a dedicated railway university is progressing. The Research and Design Organisation (RDSO) is also developing new design trains to provide for greater passenger safety,” Prabhu said.