Thursday, February 11, 2016

India - Railways - Rail track galvanisation can lead to 4% GDP savings, says global zinc body International Zinc Association (IZA) - Our Viewpoint: Our country needs the implementation of corrosion control measures in a proper way.

Our Viewpoint:

Our country needs the implementation of corrosion control measures in a proper way. Corrosion losses with reference to GDP reported here in railway sector do not provide the realistic figure. There are different methods available for corrosion control. Life cycle costing is very much needed to choose the right method of protection and execute the application in an optimized way. We can't directly jump to a conclusion for implementing single point solution without justification. Some methods appear to be cheaper in the initial phase, but demand for close vigilance in the latter stage. Cost for every component/process needs to be included in LCC.

NEW DELHI: Asserting that use of galvanised rail tracks could result in savings to the tune of 4 per cent of GDP, global zinc body IZA has urged Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to go for such technique to avoid losses arising out of frequent track replacement from corrosion.
This will also help in increasing longevity of rail tracks and ensuring passenger safety.

"Galvanising of railway tracks ... would not only be significant initiative towards safety of trains but would also give more life to the railway tracks," International Zinc Association (IZA) has said in a letter to Prabhu.

Urging Railways Minister to consider use of galvanised railway tracks for the safety of commuters and for longer life of rails, it said, "Experts estimate losses of almost 4 per cent of GDP per year on account of corrosion and Railways is nicely placed to minimise this loss."

IZA Director Rahul Sharma said that motivated by initiatives taken by the Railways Minister towards driving innovation and renovation in Indian Railways, the body has urged him to pay attention in this regard. "Indian Railways requires corrosion-free tracks in case India is considering Bullet Trains. The entire change would not only be cost effective but India would also be the first country to initiate such step towards passengers safety," said Sharma.

He said as per reports by IIT Kanpur and Steel Authority of India Limited, large funds are invested to upgrade and maintain the railway track system in India. One of the significant aspects of railway track maintenance is the detection of corrosion and the replacement of corroded rails.

Corrosion of rails causes huge economic loss because of frequent rail replacements, he said adding that rail failures due to corrosion affect the safety of commuters and disturb normal traffic. "The economic cost due to corrosion of rails is very significant. The rails have a life of 800 gross million tons, which works to approximately 12-13 years under normal traffic conditions in India. Corrosion reduces the life of rail to nearly half its expected life," he said.

"The annual loss due to pre-replacement of corroded rails is huge about Rs 440 crore. We have requested the Minister for his time to explain the benefits," he added.

IZA, a non-profit association established in 1990 in Brussels, has been active internationally as well as in India for sustainable development of applications of zinc, including the essentiality of zinc in human health, crop nutrition and corrosion protection of steel.

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Publication Date: 07 Feb 2016

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