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The rapid growth in India's urbanization, population and wealth over the last few decades have had a marked effect on the mobility of its citizens. Propelled by several global mega trends, public transport is witnessing transformational changes across the world, and India is no exception.
This creates a momentous opportunity to invest in a world-class transportation system in order to meet its goals of economic growth and citizen prosperity.
As cities around us transform and become more connected and digitalised, the expectation for transportation is to follow through in every respect ranging from cutting-edge technology to comfort, safety, reliability and sustainability.
For a country of estimated 1.3 billion people (1), the projection suggests a huge stress on the already creaking urban infrastructure and an urgent call to modernise the existing system to meet the excruciating demands of the cities in the present and in the future. With the growing footprint of human life, ensuring safe, fast and economical commuting in urban areas is becoming a concern of critical proportions.
Today, the changing demography, work and technological evolution is pushing the government's vision of a smart city to realization.
As mobility flows have become a key dynamic in the rapid transformation of Indian cities, requiring state-of-the-art urban transportation infrastructure, Hitachi's smart mobility solutions for the movement of people and goods across the country and within cities are creating a huge impact. The solutions aim at assiduously ensuring mobile comfort for the citizens, addressing issues like last-mile connectivity, optimisation of existing capacity, feasibility of varied transportation modes and safety demand.
Recognising mobility as one of the key pillars to build a citizen centred Society 5.0 and the crucial role of Railways in achieving this vision, Hitachi through its Social Innovation Business has been leveraging its advanced OT (Operational Technology) X IT solutions to equip the service providers with new-age rolling stock, high-response braking and telecommunication systems, control stations, power solutions for long distance, suburban and intra-city rail networks.
In India, Railways is the lifeline of the country carrying millions of passengers and massive volume of essential goods to their destinations, every day. This clearly demonstrates its eminence in citizens' lives.
Aligning to the rapid strides the economy and urbanization has taken, the government has acknowledged the need to modernise Indian Railways on priority. Hence, the Railway Budget 2020-21 has proposed a Gross Budgetary Allocation of Rs. 6549 crores for Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) which include Rs. 2597 crore for construction of new Broad Gauge (BG) lines. (2)
Envisaged through public-private partnership, the focus gains significance in the backdrop of government's vision of a 5 trillion Indian economy as according to an economic survey it is estimated that one unit of investment in the railways enhances five-times the nation's GDP.
Equipped with decades of transformational experience delivered globally in the area of urban mass mobility, in India too Hitachi is making significant impact in the government's efforts to modernise railways and provide better commuting experience to citizens.
Urban challenges are increasingly getting complex and so are the solutions. Hence, comprehensive solution approach by Hitachi that possesses a unique blend of intelligent solutions encompassing an impressive line-up of end-to-end solutions is summarily aiding the development process of Indian Railways and allows Hitachi to emerge as a partner in India's integrated growth lead by digital transportation.
Hitachi's engagement with a wide array of strategically important projects in the country reflects the company's technological proficiency and collaborative approach in addressing the urban transportation challenges on hand.
Hitachi with its advanced end-to-end solutions has been following the yearning extension plan for a complete transformation of the Railways into a highly efficient network. Hitachi Rail STS India, widely recognized for its solutions in design, components and mobility has substantially contributed to establish Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)-based Signalling and the Telecommunications system for Noida-Greater Noida Metro Project.
With this, Hitachi Rail STS India accomplished a series of significant firsts in India by delivering the Aqua Line Metro Rail Project in an unprecedented 28 months. Covering 29.7 kilometres that comprise 21 stations from Noida Sector 51 to Delta Depot Station in Greater Noida (3), the successful implementation of the project has truly emerged as a unifier of the two adjoining cities of NCR.
In pursuance of the government's vision to upgrade and modernise railways with the latest OT (Operations Technology) and ICT (Information and Communications Technology), Hitachi is fully geared to provide solutions towards achieving sustainable, environment-friendly and affordable transportation systems across the country.
A robust mass transportation system is key to low carbon footprint society, which is high on the country's Social Development Goals. Therefore, by actively contributing to major urban projects like Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) and Navi Mumbai Metro Rail (CIDCO) Hitachi is contributing towards minimizing vehicular pollution and density while increasing citizen's productivity through faster and enhanced commuting experience.
Similarly, Hitachi's future-aligned railway solutions that incorporate high-performance rolling stocks to advance signalling systems are putting the government's ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) on fast track. The DFCs once constructed will enable faster speeds for passenger and freight trains by segregating the present mixed movement of the two.
The high speed Diamond Quadrilateral is another example of Hitachi's proficiency where the company is installing state-of-the-art signalling and telecom equipment for a segment of the western DFC, a 1,500km high-speed Delhi-Mumbai freight line, the backbone of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor mega infrastructure project. (4)
In addition to these, Hitachi's advanced signalling solutions panning from Rewari to Vadodara and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai on the western DFC combines a cutting-edge robust train monitoring system (TMS) and Diagnostic system. Together, they ensure safe operation of trains by controlling signal LED lights and points, automated warning system at level crossing that activate with an approaching train and a GSM-R, (Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway) telecom system that links these systems to work in tandem. The solution also entails implementation of latest European Train Control System (ETCS) in train protection and warning system.
While implementing multiple projects across India in the rail sector Hitachi is sensitive to the government's 'Make in India' initiative. Thereby, has also invested in the localisation in terms of signalling equipment. The Electronic Interlocking system and Multi-Section Digital Axle Counter (MSDAC) are now manufactured in India as well.
The contribution of Hitachi's connected solution ecosystem in auguring Urban living is making difference to millions of lives every single day. Like in India, the diversity of railway solutions on one hand are enhancing Social, Environmental and Economic values of the customers as well as the Society, they are equally contributing to improving the Quality of Life Citizens immensely. Creating new benchmarks for India's urban transportation system through Social Innovation Business, Hitachi aspires to Power Good and build a sustainable society.