The procedure followed in the decision-making process including Channel of supervision and accountability.
(a) Authorization for opening of new railway lines:
In terms of Railway Act, 1989, under Section 6, Metro Railway Act, 2002 and the Rules for Opening, 2000, Indian Railways / Metro Railways approach to the respective Commissioner along with their application/proposal seeking sanction of respective CRS for opening of new railway lines, doubling of existing lines, gauge conversion works, electrification of Railway lines etc.
Rules for Opening stipulates that while making a reference to the commissioner for inspection, the concerned Railway shall furnish all the relevant documents to the commissioner one month before the date on which a railway line or a section of a railway line is proposed for opening by the railway.
On receipt of the application, the CRS scrutinizes the application and if everything is in order then a date of inspection is fixed and intimated to the Railway. On the schedule date the CRS conducts the inspection with his team of officers accompanied by Zonal Railway Headquarter and Divisional officers led by DRM of the respective Division.
After inspection, if CRS is satisfied with its fitness with respect to safety of the passengers; he issues authorization /sanction for opening of the subject work with certain stipulations and also forwards the inspection report of the same to the Central Government through CCRS.
If CRS is not satisfied with its fitness with respect to safety of the passengers; he issues the inspection report of the same to the Railway indicating the various deficiencies in the work to be attended to ensure safety of the passengers. It is the discretion of CRS to re-inspect the section after attending all the deficiencies by the Railway before opening the same for public carriage of passengers or else authorizes the Central Government to open the subject section after attending the deficiencies.
(b) Sanctions for execution of minor works:
Structural works affecting the safety of trains on running lines, such as provision of additional bridges, rebuilding or re-girdering of existing bridges, re-modeling of station yards, modification to signaling etc. are carried out by the Railways only after obtaining the sanction of the CRS.
In terms of above provisions, Zonal Railways submits the applications of different works along with all enclosures like Joint Safety Certificate, Track Certificate, Bridge Certificate, OHE Certificate, RDSO Speed Certificate, Railway Board’s first sanction, Condonation of Board for infringement to the Schedule of Dimensions etc. After receipt of such applications, CRS examines them as per the provision of various manuals and if found in order, gives the sanction for the same.
(c) Introduction of new rolling stock and increase in the speed of existing rolling stock:
Prior to 1stOctober 2018, as per the rule, the CRS after examining the proposal sent the report, with his recommendations to the CCRS. CCRS after examining the proposal, if found in order, forwarded the same with or without stipulations, to the Ministry of Railways for sanction of running of new rolling stock or increasing the speed of existing rolling stock.
Now, Ministry of Railways, vide Gazette notification no. 698 dated 01 October 2018, has amended the Railways Opening for Public Carriage of Passenger Rules,2000 and revised this procedure. As per present procedure, (Rule 28) RDSO applies to CCRS for both;
- sanctioning speed of new designs of rolling stock
- increasing the speed of existing rolling stock
CCRS after examining the proposal, if found in order, recommend the same, with or without stipulations, to the Ministry of Railways for sanction of running of new rolling stock or increasing the speed of existing rolling stock.
(d) Railway Board has issued the Schedule of Dimensions (revised 2004), Maximum, and Minimum& Recommended Dimensions to be observed on all 1676mm Gauge on IR.
These dimensions given in Schedule-1 of Indian Railway Schedule of Dimensions (IRSOD) (revised 2004) have been classified into two heads; for existing works and for new works.These Dimensions are to be observed on all 1676mm Gauge on Indian Railway unless prior sanction has been obtained from the Railway Board through CRS/CCRS to execute the new work which would infringe the IRSOD.
Before 01st October 2018, the proposal for any infringement to the Schedule of Dimension used to be submitted to CRS. It was then scrutinized by CRS from safety point of view. After examining, CRS was required to send the proposal for condonation of infringement to CCRS. Again in CCRS office the proposal was examined and then forwarded to Railway board. Based on the recommendation of CCRS, Railway Board used to grant sanction for the condonation of infringement.
However, Ministry of Railways, vide Gazette notification no. 698 dated 01 October 2018, has amended the Railways Opening for Public Carriage of Passenger Rules,2000 and revised this procedure as per Rule 22A. As per present procedure, proposal for any infringement to the Schedule of Dimension is submitted to CRS which is then scrutinized by CRS from safety point of view. After examining the proposal, if CRS is satisfied that infringement is safe for train operation, he sanctions the condonation of infringement with or without stipulations. If the proposed infringement is beyond the limits defined in the Schedule-II of IRSOD then procedure prior to this amendment of Opening Rules i.e. 1 October 2018, as mentioned in preceding para, is followed.
(e) Any consignment which does not adhere to IRSOD, 2004 is treated as an over dimensioned consignment (ODC). For movement of ODC on Indian Railway, separate sanction of the competent authority is required. Railway submits the application for movement of ODC to the concerned CRS, if it requires CRS sanction. The same is examined in the office of the CRS and when found in order, sanction is granted by the CRS for movement of ODC in the concerned zonal Railway.