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National Rail Universities in India over next Five Years – Clear picture by Dec 2014: Gowda

मंगलौर Mangalore (MAQ): A clear picture on the establishment of a Railway University by Indian Railways may emerge in two months, if the Railway Minister’s assurances are any indication.

Speaking at the ‘Meet-the-Press’ programme organised by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists Union in Mangalore on Saturday, DV Sadananda Gowda, Railway Minister, said that the Indian Railways is planning to set up a Railway University.  ”Hunt for trained manpower in all aspects of function of Indian Railways will manifest itself through Railway Universities to be set up in all four corners of India and this project is closely monitored by PMO as the Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi is keen on this project,” he said.

These Railway Universities will be of world class and will impart diversified fields of technology and innovations in the field of Railway operations, safety, engineering, mechanical, civil, electrical, Signal & Telecommunications, Software & IT Applications in Railway operations, Metro Rail systems, Urban Planning and Marine Railway engineering technologies etc.

He said his intention to set up Railway Universities is not to limit the university to a particular region but to stretch in all four corners of the country – North, East, West and South and shall bring world’s attention towards its scale and set up to attract students, faculty, infrastructure etc.

Stating that countries such as China and France have railway universities, he said his department is collecting information on them. China has nearly 30 Railway universities, he said.

The Ministry has approached the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development seeking its guidelines on the establishment of a dedicated university for Railways.

The university will look at the all-round development of the person for Railways irrespective of the department. By the time a person comes out of the university that person will be assured of the job.

In the present system, a person is needed to be trained after joining the Railways. The person coming out of the university will be trained in entire operations of Railways irrespective of the departments and will be job-ready, he said.

Stating that at least two months are required for the study on the establishment of a Railway University, he said a clear picture will emerge by December, and the university will be set up by the beginning of an academic year, he said.

Kerala Govt to moot SPV for Nilambur-Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud railway line project

तिरुवनंतपुरम Trivandruam (TVC):  The State government would explore the possibility of forming a project-specific Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the proposed Nilambur-Sulthan Bathery-Nanjangud rail line project by bringing in private sector and foreign partners with requisite expertise, Minister for Industries and Information Technology P K Kunhalikutty has said.

The minister, who held a meeting with the office-bearers of the Nilgiris-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee (NWNHRAC) here the other day, further stated that he would take the initiative of convening a meeting of people’s representatives from the region to discuss the proposal with the chief minister.

The government would also consider the possibility of entrusting the task of conducting a feasibility study on the project to the Kerala State industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the minister said.

Though the state governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were directed to pool 50 per cent of the total project cost, only Kerala responded to the call positively. In such a scenario, the NWNHRAC has put forth the proposal to form a company to raise capital for execution of the project, action committee convener Adv T M Rasheed said, adding that the NWHRAC had handed over the minister a detailed project report on the proposed `642 crore railway line. The committee observed that the proposed rail line project would act as a catalyst for the overall development of the region and it would also function as a connecting link among the major IT cities of Kochi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The new rail line would also help increase supply of essential goods and commodities from neighbouring states, thus resulting in lower prices for consumers, they added.

Roadblocks to Talaguppa-Honnavara & Hubli-Ankola projects to be cleared shortly: Gowda

शिवामोग्गा Shivamogga (SMET): Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has said that hurdles in the way of implementing Talaguppa-Honnavara and Hubli-Ankola railway line projects would be cleared shortly.

“As railway tracks for both the projects pass through forestland, it is necessary to get the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forest. A petition has been filed by a few environmentalists against the Hubli-Ankola project. I have already discussed the issue with Union Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar,” he told presspersons here on Sunday.

Mr. Gowda said that he had directed the Railway officials to conduct a detailed study of the hurdles. Another meeting with Mr. Javadekar would be held shortly to get clearances for the projects. The possibilities of implementing the projects by causing minimum harm to environment are being considered. The hurdles will be cleared in a year, he said.

As part of its objective to ensure safe operation of trains, the Railways has decided to eliminate unmanned level crossings (ULCs) in phases. At present, more than 11,500 level-crossings in the country are unmanned. It is necessary to construct under-bridge or over-bridge across these level crossing to avoid the mishaps. The 2014-15 budget had earmarked Rs. 1,1785 crore for construction of over-bridges and under-bridges. The Railways would reserve an additional amount in the coming budget for the same, he said.

Mr. Gowda said it was necessary to strengthen and expand the railway network to fuel economic growth. With this objective, it has been planned to develop a ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ of high-speed trains that will link metropolitan centres across the country. The project would be modelled on the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ project launched when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister. Both Japan and China have successfully implemented such rail projects. The Indian Railways would avail themselves of technical expertise from these nations, Mr. Gowda said.

Rajya Sabha member Ayanur Manjunath and MLC M.B. Bhanuprakash were present.

BJP workers request Minister to upgrade Shimoga railway station

The district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has requested Union Minister for Railways D.V. Sadananda Gowda to take initiatives to upgrade amenities for passengers at the Shimoga railway station.

President of district unit of the BJP and member of Rajya Sabha Ayanur Manjunath, M.B. Bhanuprakash, MLC, submitted a memorandum to Mr. Gowda in this regard during his visit to the city on Sunday.

In the memorandum, the BJP has demanded construction of a spacious parking lot near the railway station and for introduction of escalators to cross tracks for the benefit of aged persons, women and persons with disabilities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Manjunath said the schedule of the Bangalore–Shimoga intercity train should be changed. The present schedule was not convenient for people of the Malnad region. The train should depart from Shimoga at 5.30 a.m. and reach Bangalore at 10.30 a.m. On the return journey, the train should start from Bangalore at 6 p.m., he said.

He has urged the Minister to take measures to construct a new railway station at the Vinobha Nagar locality in the city. The closure of the railway gate across National Highway 13 near Vidya Nagar results in traffic blockade. An overbridge should be constructed here to ensure free flow of traffic.

He also pressed for completion of the work of construction of railway overbridge in the outskirts of Bhadravathi city at the earliest.

With projected RoR of 12%, Odisha agree to bear 25% of Jeypore-Malkangiri line cost

भुवनेश्वर Bubaneshwar (BBS): Keeping in view low or negative rate of return (RoR) of Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur rail link projects, the state government has urged the Railways ministry to sanction these projects on cost sharing basis.

“The Odisha government has time and again raised demand for sanctioning Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur railway projects but it has not yet been sanctioned probably due to low RoR. Both these projects are proposed in one of the most backward Naxal affected tribal regions of the country”, R C Majhi, State Commerce & Transport Minister wrote to Railways Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

With the projected RoR of Jeypore-Malkangiri link being 12 per cent, the state government has agreed in principle to bear 25 per cent of the construction cost of the project. The funding support of the state government is expected to raise RoR of the project to 17 per cent, higher than the cut off criteria of 14 per cent fixed by the Ministry of Railways.

On the contrary, factoring in the negative RoR of and Jeypore-Nabarangpur railway project, the Odisha government has agreed to provide the entire land free of cost and also bear 50 per cent of the construction cost. The state government has pitched for national status on this rail project, citing that it is going to bring socio-economic benefit to the Naxal affected and tribal dominated region.

Railways-Karnataka agree on 50:50 cost-sharing

बंगलूरू Bangalore (SBC): The impasse between the state and the railway ministry over sharing of cost of projects here seems to have been solved and the 50:50 ratio back on track. The issue was solved at a meeting railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda had with Congress MPs from Karnataka.

The meeting follows CM Siddaramaiah writing to Gowda on the eve of the railway budget expressing Karnataka’s difficulty in honouring the 50:50 cost sharing agreement.

Siddaramaiah had indicated that Karnataka would bear 33% of the project cost, including cost of land, rather than the 50:50 ratio besides providing free land for the project.

Gowda’s predecessor Mallikarjuna Kharge too was one of the MPs who attended the meeting at which Gowda said railways will be financially hamstrung in expediting state’s railway projects if the cost-sharing agreement was not met.

Laying the foundation for a road under bridge in lieu of a level crossing, 146-B, on Padil Bajal Road at Kankanady here on Saturday, Gowda said, “I did not make the letter (from CM) public (and indulge in politics).” Admitting that BJP leader K S Eshwarappa did raise the cost-sharing issue in the just concluded session of the state legislature, Gowda said, “It is only based on the content of the letter and not on the basis of actual letter itself.”

Gowda said politics should not come in the way of development and pointed out that it is for this reason he adopted all the proposals Kharge had made in the interim budget.

Karnataka is one among eight states that share costs of projects, which eventually benefit the states in their development. The CM had cited financial constraints owing to the state rolling out public welfare programmes while seeking a change in cost sharing.

The railway ministry is prioritising execution of ongoing and new projects on need-basis. Accordingly, March 2015 is the deadline for completion of doubling Bangalore-Mysore line and March 2016 for Bangalore-Hassan new line. The budget has allocated Rs. 150 crore for the Hassan line for its speedy completion, Gowda said, adding that Karnataka has got Rs 1,400 crore for various projects.

The Bangalore-Mangalore Express proposed in the budget might initially run via Mysore and be named “Kudla Express” as demanded in the coastal region, he said. This train, post completion of Hassan-Bangalore line via Shravanabelagola, could take the direct route via Hassan, he added. The new train from Kasargod to Baindoor proposed in the budget too will be started soon looking at convenience of various stakeholders, he said.

East Coast Railway earnings up 17pc in 2013-14

भुवनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS) With a focus on passenger service and completion of major projects, earnings of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) climbed up to Rs 12,338 crore in 2013-14, registering a jump of 17.37 per cent over the previous year.

“Our Railway earned Rs 12,338 crore during 2013-14 as against Rs 10,512 crore in 2012-13 and thus recorded a growth of 17.37 per cent over the previous year,” ECoR General Manager Rajiv Vishnoi said.

Railway Minister promises to solve rail issues at Thanisandra, Hebbal

बंगलूरू Bangalore (SBC): Looking at the reports on lack of safety measures at a railway crossing below the Hebbal flyover and files pertaining to Thanisandra Railway Station going missing, Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda promised to solve the issues at the earliest.

The Minister told hat both the issues were not brought to his notice until now. He said he will soon hold a meeting with Railway officials. “Lack of pedestrian safety below Hebbal flyover is a serious issue. I will visit the spot and hold consultations with officials on the ways to provide a pedestrian safe pathway,” he said.

When asked about the longstanding demand for a foot over-bridge at the junction, he said even that would be looked into.

The Minister said that he will inquire into the missing documents regarding Thanisandra Railway Station and take suitable action.

First DRM Cup Swimming Championship held at Visakhapatnam

VIZAG ECRWWOविसाखपटनम Visakhapatnam (VSKP): The first DRM Cup swimming championship was conducted by the East Coast Railway Sports Association here on Sunday. The championship, inaugurated by Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar on Sunday morning, where Madanlal Meena was the guest of honour, was organised at the newly-built Olympic-size swimming pool constructed by the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway.

The championship conducted under the auspices of the Visakha District Swimming Association saw participation of 320 enthusiasts — 200 boys and 120 girls.

President of East Coast Railway Women’s Welfare Organization Anju Anil Kumar was chief guest at the evening session and gave away the prizes.

G. Vishal Yadav was adjudged best swimmer in the boys’ group and V. Meena Amrutha best swimmer amongst girls.

Senior DCM M. Yelvender Yadav presided over the event. Senior Divisional Engineer (Coordination) G.H. Victor Joseph, Divisional Engineer (headquarters) and Assistant Sports Officer Ch. Vishnu Murty, ADME and Assistant Sports Officer Kaushalender, secretary, Visakha District Swimming Association, A. Mohan, general secretary, ECoRSA, Waltair, B. Appanna Reddy, and secretary, Swimming, ECoRSA, Waltair, . Lakshmana Prasad, helped organise the event.All divisional officers of Waltair Division of East Coast Railway were present.

MRVC seeks residential category for Railway Land; bats for longer lease

मुंबई Mumbai:  Taking a huge initiative to streamline the railway development policy in the city, the Mumbai Vikas Railway Corporation (MRVC) has written to the Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) to change the stipulation which states that the maximum lease period of land being given out for development must be for only 45 years. The RLDA is the statutory body set up by the railway ministry to commercially develop railway land.

Why the need for a longer lease?

Rakesh Saksena, CMD/MRVC confirming the move said, “We have written a letter in connection to the 45,000 sq mt land at Bandra East which has been unable to get a buyer despite being put on the block two times. This demand for enhancing the lease period was arrived at during talks between MRVC and different stake-holders in the land development policy”.

While the Bandra east land is being readied for development by RLDA, three major land parcels in Bhandup, Mahalaxmi and Wadala have been handed over to MRVC.

Is the residential sector a better bet?

Saksena said that residential development of railway plots must also be considered since the commercial sector is facing a glut, especially in Mumbai. “The ultimate aim of land development is optimum monetisation of the land, so why should residential development be excluded,” asked Saksena.

Senior MRVC officials agree to the above point. The three plots that they have been provided for development – at Bhandup, Wadala and Mahalxmi – are such that expecting commercial development from them might be a tough ask. The Bandra land, these officials say, is however best suited for a commercial complex than a residential colony.

“These three plots might fetch huge amounts if they are allowed to be developed as residential enclaves. Infact, areas like Mahalaxmi and Wadala are seeing a tremendous boom in the construction of upscale residential colonies. These plots, close to the railway stations, could fetch handsome a price,” said officials. “However residential development would mean long lease periods like 80 years or 99 years. No one will line up for a 45 year lease to build a residential colony,” said a senior MRVC official

Why land development is so important?

MRVC officials agreed that land development might be the single-biggest money-spinner for the railways in the city as other forms of revenue – tickets or advertisements- are not enough to power the projects that the railways has been planning in order to increase the capacity of the suburban system.

The failure of the Bandra land development plan has already got the MREVC shooting off a letter to the railway ministry saying that its projects as well loan repayment schedules would get affected if the money from the Bandra plot does not materialize soon. MRVC is expecting around Rs 2,400 crores as its share form the land sale.

It was earlier highlighted how real estate developers are of the view that the railway’s 45-year lease policy is a major dampener since the high land costs in Mumbai combined with the short lease would make any project unviable.

Which places could hold the key for Mumbai?

Currently, the RLDA is thinking of residential or mixed-use development for four of its plots but the length of lease period is still to be decided by the railway board. These plots are at Ashok Vihar in Delhi, Nirala Nagar in Kanpur, Aisha Bagh in Lucknow and Kanchrapara in West Bengal.

Bani-Basohli Rail link on the priority list of Government at Centre: Jitendra Singh

बसोली Basohli: Union Minister in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh declared that rail link to hilly areas of Bani and Basohli as well as declaration of Basohli as a heritage township are on the priority list of BJP led Government at Centre.

Jitendra singhAddressing a huge gathering on his maiden visit to Basohli township after taking over as Union Minister over two months back, Dr Jitendra Singh said that spadework on these two projects have already been started and once project reports are made ready both the issues will be expeditiously followed up by the concerned Union Ministries.

Regarding the growing public demand for grant of separate districts to Bani and Basohli tehsils, the Union Minister said that since the issue has been under the domain of State Government so the people should vote BJP to power in the coming Assembly elections so that this long standing demand is fulfilled.

Dr Singh said BJP is fully aware of the problems of the people of the State and soon after taking over, the Narendra Modi led Union Government took some drastic steps for the welfare of the people of this border State.

He said in a brief period of two and half months, many major accomplishments were made for the Jammu region by BJP Government at Centre, which include the sanction of bridge on river Ravi at Keedyan -Gadyal in Kathua. The foundation stone of the bridge is to be laid by Union Surface Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, he added.

He said besides, an ITI was sanctioned for the Jammu for which location of land is being worked out. Referring to the demand of opening of K V for Basohli, he said KV for Doda has already been sanctioned and for Basohli the issue will only be taken up after land is made available for the purpose.

Dr Singh said that instructions have been issued by Union Surface Transport Ministry for the speedy work on roads including those being constructed under PMGSY and the local administration including Deputy Commissioners have been advised to seriously execute these works and in case they face any difficulty in executing these works they can contact him.

The Union Minister also urged the youth to prepare proper documentation of various projects demanded by them and either pass the same to the concerned MLA or his newly established office at Gandhi Nagar.

Dr Singh who is also holding the independent charge of Science and Technology Ministry also announced that for the first time his Ministry of Science and Technology will hold a Science exhibition-cum-fare at Kathua tomorrow in which All India Director General (DG) of CSIR will also be present on the occasion.

Addressed the gathering, the BJP MLA from Basohli, Jagdish Raj Sapolia said that Dr Singh was very concerned for the development of the area and his last visit to Basohli town was postponed because of Parliament Session. But keeping his word to visit the area shows his commitment for the development of the area, he added.

BJP general secretary, Rajiv Jasrotia in his address while referring to Dr Singh said that it is a matter of proud that someone from the State has made name inside the Parliament and in his office at Delhi.
The gathering among others was addressed by Inderjit organizing secretary BJP, BJP district president Basohli, Mr Mankotia, Mandal presidents Thakur Dass, Mr Padha, Amrik Singh and Mohan Singh.

BMRCL co-branding RFP evokes good response from companies above Rs.1000 Cr turnover

बेंगुलुरु Bangalore (SBC): An attempt at ‘co-branding’ a station of Namma Metro seems to have received ‘substantial’ interest, if Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) sources are to be believed. U.A.Vasanth Rao, General Manager (Finance), BMRCL, said a tender issued on July 9 for co-branding of Trinity Metro Station has received a ‘very good’ response. BMRCL officials are now hoping that the enthusiasm for the technical bid will carry over to the financial bidding process.

Without disclosing the number of bidders, he said banks, real estate and financial companies in the vicinity of the station were the largest segment among the respondents. Mr. Rao said, “Mobile phone companies have also shown keen interest.”

Part of the co-branding initiative is to get the brand associated with names of stations. So, an instance of the announcement that would be made is: You are approaching ‘Trinity (brand name) Station’. Mr. Rao said BMRCL is targeting only ‘big brands’, i.e. companies in the big league with a turnover of above Rs. 1,000 crore, to partner as advertisers.

Besides a 10 ft X 5 ft kiosk to showcase the company’s products, its signage will appear every five minutes (when Namma Metro is fully operational) with the brand name mentioned 1,000 times in announcements . Co-branding would be done ‘wherever feasible’ at other Metro stations as well. The aim was to get a share of people’s mind space with ‘gentle’ advertising that would subtly persuade commuters through visual and audio media, he said.


  • BMRCL invites ‘co-branding’ for Trinity station
  • First time in India a Metro station will be ‘co-branded’
  • Financial, telecom, real estate companies, banks are among those interested

Upcoming Kolkata Metro line may boost Madurdaha realty

कोलकात्ता Kolkata (KOAA):  The upcoming metro project in Kolkatta has improved the prospects of the realty market in many localities. One such locality, say trend watchers, is Madurdaha.

Subhoto Biswas, owner, MS Realtors says, “The soon to be functional metro in Madurdaha has already heightened expectations. Although the market has not leaped, there is no reason why it won’t in the future.”

Biswas informs that the popular price bracket in the area is between Rs 35-45 lakh and the market is fast moving for 2BHK units. Within this price range, you are sure to get a home with corresponding social infrastructure.

Ram Kamal Saha, a local property consultant at Real Realty Consultants points out that the area has developed from scratch. “There was nothing in Madurdaha a few years back. Recently, new roads have been constructed and of late, a lot of new projects have started which have practically created a new township.”

Both Saha and Biswas add that the rental market has few takers in Madurdaha. “There are service men and businessmen in the locality and most of them have invested for end use,” says Saha.

As of now, the closest metro station is the Khudiram Metro Station located beyond Pranabananda
Road and Garia Station Road towards the west of EM Bypass.

Social infrastructure of the area is also respectable in the form of hospitals like Ruby Hospital, educational institutions and the like. State run buses are popular and ensure fast connectivity.

According to Magicbricks data, one could opt for a 2BHK unit with area in the range of 770-1400 sq ft. The price range would be anywhere between Rs 28-70 lakh. If you wish to go in for a larger configuration, prices would be in the range of Rs 35-75 lakh. The size of these 3BHK units is in the range of 1000-1700 sq ft.

This may vary depending on the brand of the developer, quality of facilities provided and proximity to social and physical infrastructure.

Concern

Rahul Jha, owner, GS Realty, warns about the poor drainage and sanitation conditions in Madurdaha. “The drainage system has been totally neglected and there have been instances of dengue in the locality. The drainage repair work has already started and we are hoping that it should be solved within six months.”

Yet another concern among local brokers is that the roads are in need of a facelift. Sreejib Pal, realtor at DR Group says, “Prospective buyers have now realised the potential of Madurdaha. The roads, however, are in a bad condition and it works against us.” While some roads are undergoing repairs, a lot more needs to be done.

However, Jha and Saha are both hopeful that for investors in this locality, the return on investment would be sizeable.

With a new township in the making with the drainage system undergoing repair and the metro already under construction, hopefully they will be proved right.

Larsen and Toubro accepts Metro Rail alignment: Metro Project to be realigned

हैदराबाद Hyderabad:  Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday said that the Hyderabad Metro Rail alignment was being changed to protect Sultan Bazaar, Moazzamjahi market and the Telangana martyrs’ memorial.

He said that the government had already conveyed its decision to L&T.  L&T has requested to alter the Metro Rail route by the Telangana government.

“We have suggested that the Metro route should be diverted towards Kacheguda at Narayanguda to avoid Sultan Bazaar. Besides, we are looking at diverting the Metro to behind the Assembly building to avoid the Telangana martyrs’ memorial. Also, realigning the Moazzamjahi market route is being worked out,” Chief Minister Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao said.

He added that he had had detailed discussions with HMR and L&T officials over realigning the route and they were convinced with the alternatives proposed by the government.

However, the government has softened it’s earlier stand on taking the Metro underground at these localities and has instead pitched for realignment after builder L&T cited huge financial repercussion that would make the project unviable.

Mr Rao blamed the previous government for entering into an agreement with L&T without addressing Sultan Bazaar and other contentious issues. “When I proposed the alternate routes they were convinced. They said that the then government had not brought these issues to their notice, else they would have planned accordingly,” Mr Rao said.

China’s new Tibet Railway line to handle 8.3 million tons of Freight

ल्हासा Lhasa: Passenger transport service started Saturday on the newly opened Lhasa-Xigaze railway, the second rail line in Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region.  Train K9821 left the Lhasa railway station at 9.00 a.m. Saturday and arrived at the Xigaze railway station at 11.59 a.m.  It made four stops along the way.

“Tickets went on sale on Sunday for the first train.  Monday, 828 passengers took the train, or an occupancy rate of 99 percent,” said Zhao Hailin, Dy.Head of the Lhasa Railway station.

SCR to close all Unmanned LCs by 2016-17

सिकंदराबाद Secunderabad (SC): South Central Railway (SCR) propose to close all Unmanned Level Crossings (ULCs) by the Financial Year 2016-17. In all 440 ULCs on SCR and 93 are under Vijayawada railway division alone.

After the tragedy at Masaipet in Medak district in which private school bus was hit by an express train at an unmanned gate killing about 15 children last month, Indian Railways has directed the authorities to take steps to close all the ULCs as early as possible. Officials deputed their staff at all the gates to prevent mishaps at the unmanned railway gates.

SCR Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Pradeep Kumar said about 581 ULCs are there under SCR and the management has closed 440 gates in the last four years. Indian Railways has chalked out an action plan to eliminate all ULCs in the next two years, he said.

“We are giving top priority for passengers’ security. As part of it, safety counsellors have been appointed at all the ULCs with railway staff or through outsourcing. The safety counsellors would guide the road users on dos and don’ts at railway gates. Besides, caution boards and speed breakers have been arranged near the gates,” said Mr. Pradeep Kumar.

Officials are conducting special drives and sensitization programmes on safety precautions to be followed at ULCs, and Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been deployed at high density railway gates to educate and caution the road users on the impending danger, if they trespass the closed gates.

“SCR is working out with the State Government in closing the ULCs. We are trying to merge some ULCs which are located nearby the manned gates and close the gates which have less traffic. In Vijayawada division, about 20 unmanned gates are located on Kakinada-Kotipalli railway line,” the DRM said.

Top companies respond to RFP for Lucknow Metro project civil works

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): The metro rail project of Lucknow is gathering steam every day to begin construction by September 2014 as scheduled. Apart from selection of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation’s (LMRC) new MD, the project has also bagged expression of interest from top companies for constructing its 8km priority section.

About eight reputed companies including MNCs have participated in the bid for civil construction work of the priority section from Transport Nagar to Charbagh railway station. The names include Soma and IL&FS, Larsen and Toubro, Afcons, Gammon India, and Simplex Infrastructures.

The tender was floated on June 20 and the deadline for receiving tenders was postponed by two weeks from July 31 to August 14 after an overwhelming response and queries from the construction companies. Officials said the company will be finalized within a week as the construction has to begin by September. The shortlisted companies who fit the technical requirements will be assessed on the basis of financial bids and the lowest bidder will bag the project.

Highlighted as the development model of Samajwadi Party, the metro project will be taken up in two phases- North South (N-S) Corridor from Amausi airport to Munshipulia (about 23 km) and East West (E-W) Corridor from Charbagh railway station to Vasantkunj in the second phase.

LMRC’s former MD, housing secretary, Rajiv Agarwal was removed from the post to bring a technocrat with experience in railway projects.

Railway Minister lays Foundation Stone for RUB at Mangalore

मंगलौर Mangalore (MAQ): Speaking after laying foundation for the RUB near Mangalore Railway Junction on August 16, Union Minister for Railways D V Sadananda Gowda said that the long-pending demands of the people of Padil, Bajal is to be realised shortly.

Heavy traffic flows through the road and closure of the level crossing gates were causing inconvenience to the people. He promised that the road under bridge (RUB) in place of level crossing on Padil-Bajal road will be completed by February 2015. The estimated cost of the RUB is Rs 5.61 crore. The project is being initiated on 50:50 cost sharing by the State government and the Railways. The State government had paid Rs 2.28 crore as its share. The MCC has paid Rs 51 lakh. The barrel length of the RUB is 23 metres.

Stating that the railways have given priority to safety, security and service, the minister said any proposal to the railways from Mangalore will be given priority. The Railway budget has earmarked Rs 1,400 crore to Karnataka.Gowda said that mechanised laundry will come up at Mangalore Central Railway Station. Two escalators will be installed shortly at the Central station.

MLA J R Lobo said that the Railways should give permission for laying a road from Kulshekar to Kannagudde. If the road is laid, then residents of Kannagudde, Melthota, Saripalla, Nooji, Kandevu, Sooryanagara, Niddel and Ummikhan will be benefited. Without road, no vehicles ply to these areas. Railway over bridge should be constructed at Jeppu Mahakalipadpu road beteen Mangalore Central-Nethravathi bridge B cabin. A railway under pass should be constructed at Jeppu Kudupadi. The Railways must allow the MCC to develop kutcha road from Kulshekar to Kongur mutt. The road has been used by over 400 families. He also urged the Minister to sanction a railway crossing at Balluru gudde The Bollurugudde is unapproachable without the crossing. In case of emergency, people have to carry patients to a distance of three kilometre to reach the main road. People residing at Kodaikal, Nooji and Kannagudde require an underpass near Shri Vaidyanatha Daivasthana to reach their residence.

District-in-Charge Minister Ramanath Rai said that when it comes to the railway projects in Dakshina Kannada, he will impress upon the government to release 50 per cent of the cost of the project. Mayor Mahabala Marla, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLCs Capt Ganesh Karnik, Ivan D’Souza, Zilla Panchayat President Asha Thimmappa Gowda, Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Misra among others were present a midst a large local gathering.

PRESS MEET : Later, speaking at ‘Meet the Press’ organised by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists Association, Union Minister for Railways D V Sadananda Gowda has said that the budget has earmarked Rs 150 crore to the Shravanabelagola–Bangalore railway line. By March 2016, the Mangalore-Bangalore train will ply directly via Shravanabelagola. He said this railway link via Shravanabelagola will reduce the travel time to reach Bangalore from Mangalore. The Shravanabelagola–Bangalore link would also boost trade as well.

The Minister said that a high-level committee will be formed to give suggestions on policy formation, resource mobilisation, cleanliness and FDI. Stating that the Cabinet has given approval from FDI in railways, Gowda said that the government has to chalk out a policy for the FDI in railways. The FDI will be only for infrastructure development and will not enter into the operating system.

Bio toilets : The rail track has traditionally been open for defecation causing a very hazardous situation particularly at rly stations. The conventional toilets on trains allow discharge of excreta on the tracks. Hence, to check it, the railways will install 25,000 bio-toilets in coaches during the year. The bio-toilets ensure that human waste does not fall on the track. Human waste discharged into the toilets is acted upon by anaerobic bacteria that convert the waste mainly into water and small amount of gases.

To improve quality of food served, the government has initiated third party audit of caterers. In the last one week, penalty of Rs 1 lakh each was slapped on 11 caterers for poor quality of food, he said. The Indian Railways plans to go for paper-less operation in the next five years. The process of digitisation will be completed in the next five years. The Railways will introduce biometric attendance system shortly.

To a query on Railway University, Gowda said that with an aim of providing railway-oriented education, the government is considering setting up of a Railway University for both technical and non technical subjects. “We have already written to the HRD ministry seeking guidelines for the formation of an university. The proposal will get a final touch by December.

World class station : On world class station in Mangalore, he said that KITCO Ltd has prepared a project report on developing Mangalore Central Railway Station as worldclass station, at an estimated cost of Rs 215 crore. It will be developed on PPP mode. The railway staff have been made to learn regional languages to communicate with the people. The language classes will be held twice a week in all the stations across the country.

Separate Mangalore Division : To a query on Mangalore division, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda said that for now a division like atmosphere will be created in Mangalore, to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the citizens. Solution will be found for the problems faced by the people in this part of the region and all matters will be looked into.

Slogans for Mangalore Division : Demanding the creation of aseparate Railway division for Mangalore, Paschima Karavali Railway Yatri Abhivridhi Samith President Hanumantha Kamath shouted slogans against Union Minister for Railways D V Sadananda Gowda at the foundation ceremony. Though he had planned to waive black flag at the Minister, his efforts went in vain as the police took hold of the flag. The feeling is that the new divn may not happen soon.

3 Bogies of good trains were derailed between Ambala &Dhulkot stations

धुलकोट Dhulkot (DKT): Over a dozen express and passenger trains running on Kalka-Delhi line were delayed after three bogies of a goods train were derailed between Ambala and Dhulkot stations last night.

The track remained blocked for about six hours and the rail traffic was restored early in the morning.

The loaded goods train was on its way to Chandigarh when the accident occurred. On learning of the incident, higher authorities including the DRM Ambala rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operations which was completed after more than six hours.

The DRM said the cause of derailment would be confirmed after investigation. However, from the preliminary inquiry it seemed to have occurred due to defect in the track around this point.

Major Railway Projects will become operational soon: DRM, Madurai

मदुरै Madurai (MDU): Electrification work on the Virudhunagar-Vanchimaniyachchi-Tutcorin-Tirunelveli section was in full swing, and overhead equipment installation work had been completed, an official of Madurai Divisional Railway said today.

Participating in the 68th Independence day celebrations here today, Ajai Kant Rastogi, Divisional Railway Manager(DRM) said on completion of sub-station work at Kovilpatti, the entire Virudunagar?Tuticorin-Tirunelveli section will be commissioned.

Regarding gauge conversion of Sengottai-Punalur section, the DRM said major works are in progress in this section and on completion of yard work at Pollachi, this section will become operational after getting clearance from Commissioner of Rail Safety, Bangalore.

Owing to intense marketing efforts by Railways with support from major customers and transportation of imported fertilizer and coal consignments the division touch a record revenue through freight, he said.

Madurai Railway division has won the Overall efficiency shield of the Soutern railway as well as the Commercial Publicity Shield for 2013-14, Ajai Kant Rastogi said.

Agencies for installation of Lifts and Escalators at Mangalore, Palakkad, fixed

मंगलौर Mangalore (MAQ): Agencies for undertaking the civil work for installation of lifts and escalators at Palakkad Junction and Mangalore Central stations have been fixed, said Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager Anand Prakash, who reviewed the performance of the division during the period April to July 2014 on Friday.

Pointing out railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda will be laying foundation stone for Road Under Bridge in lieu of level crossing No. 146-B on Padil-Bajal Road at Kankanady at Mangalore Junction Railway Station on Saturday, the DRM said non-vegetarian restaurants have been opened in Platform No.2 at Palakkad Junction, Shoranur Junction, Kozhikode and Mangalore Central stations with instructions to provide hygienic service of food.

He also said a 10-bed non-AC dormitory at Mangalore Central station had been allotted for the use of Women passengers. A separate section of the waiting hall at Mangalore has been set apart exclusively for child care and for lactating mothers.

Regarding the performance, he said Palakkad division recorded Rs.391 crore as total earnings in the first four months of this year as compared to Rs 350 crore which is more than Rs 41 crore of previous year.

The number of passengers carried during this year so far, is 2.62 crore as compared to 2.58 crore previous year which shows an increase of 1.55%. This was the highlight of the speech of Palakkad DRM Anand Prakash during Independence Day celebrations. His speech reviewed the performance of the Division during the period April to July 2014.

He said passenger earnings saw an increase of 14.53% amounting to Rs.197 crore as compared to 172 crore last year.

In Goods traffic, the Division’s earnings during the period April to July 2014, increased by 4.75%, to Rs.165 crore as compared to Rs.157 crore of four months in the previous year.

He said 11 Passenger Reservation Centres under the ‘MP-PRS scheme’ have been commissioned in Palakkad Division, showing a daily earnings of Rs.3.7 lakhs The PRS at Kasaragod alone recorded an average daily earnings of Rs.14,000.

The punctuality of Mail/Express trains during 2014-2015 was 95.1% and that of passenger trains was 96.8% as against the target of 95%. This was slightly less than last year’s achievement, needing more efforts to ensure 100% punctuality of trains, he said.

The Division has achieved highest ever loading of 8.146 MT, surpassing the previous best loading of 7.082 MT in 2013-2014, which is an improvement by 14.88%. Coal loading was 6.364 MT as against 5.428 MT recorded last year. Loading from Panambur area was 7.456 MT which contributed to 91.64% of overall loading of the Division.

At Kozhikode station, lifts and escalators have already been commissioned, tender for civil engineering works is being finalized for installing escalators and lifts at Kannur.

110 Rail Roko incidents occurred on CR in the last seven months

मुंबई Mumbai: Rail rokos have become quite common with 107 such incidents having occurred on Central Railway (CR) in the last seven months.

Alok Bohra, CR’s divisional security commissioner, said, “We are trying to curb the number of such incidents by stationing our men on stations where we expect trouble. But these people are aware that stopping a Mumbai local gets the media’s attention to highlight their issues.”

“Under the RPF if anyone takes part in rail-rokos and any other disrupting activities such as cutting of copper wires to stop local trains, they will be considered as offenders,” added Bohra.

Within the last seven months, the CR has collected fines to the tune of Rs 1.27 and has jailed 17 persons accused of taking part in disruptive incidents.

Subhash Gupta, a transport activist, said, “It’s unfortunate that people use the railways for their own personal issues and agendas,” he said.  ”Protesting during the fare hike in June was justified because they were directly related to the railways. I think it’s high time that more stringent action is taken against those who stop the trains because people in those packed trains are already suffering and are just trying to get to work on time,” Mr Gupta said.

Incidentally, the services at Central Railway in Kurla were disrupted for 15 minutes during peak morning hours on Thursday as well when members of the Dhangar community started a protest demanding their inclusion into the category of scheduled tribes (ST) for reservations.

RDSO officials applaud Quality and Safety measures adopted in Kochi Metro Rail project

Mr.Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director, Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), who is heading the Urban Transport and High Speed Directorate, is in Kochi for a three-day visit to check the quality adopted for Metro construction, inspected the Kochi Metro Rail project on Thursday and expressed satisfaction on the quality and safety measures adopted for establishing the project.

“Kochi Metro is a good blend of energy, ideas and experience. It is going to be one of the most modern metros in the country,” the official told media persons, adding that RDSO was more concerned about the timely certification of the project. Holding that the RDSO did not want any technical errors to delay the project, he said the agency would be exchanging ideas with the Kochi Metro team to improve aspects of its construction.

As part of the site inspection, the official supervised the launching of a U-girder at Pulinchodu near Aluva on Wednesday night. Following it, he also held discussions with Kochi Metro Rail Limited officials on various aspects of its safety certification.

As per Metro Railway Act 2009, Indian Railways have been given the responsibility of technical planning and safety to Metro System being implemented in India. Being the Technical Wing of Ministry of Railways, all the Safety Certification and Technical Clearance is done by RDSO.

Work on Hassan-Bangalore Railway line through Vijay Mallya’s stud farm under way

बंगलूरू Bangalore (SBC):The Hassan-Bangalore railway line is all set to cut across the historic Kunigal Stud Farm owned by Vijay Mallya despite the Southern Railway’s assurance that it would find an alternative route.

Work has begun on the 1.05-km line across the 425-acre stud farm after the Karnataka high court ruled that the railway line should not run through 70 acres of farm land of 300 farmers in Kunigal, which the Southern Railways had proposed as an alternate route.

Zeyn Mirza, managing director, United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders Ltd (URBB), and stud manager Dr NM Dinesh on Friday said with the train running through the farm, it would make breeding at Kunigal very difficult given the noise, pollution and lack of security and privacy for pregnant mares.

“We don’t have a choice now and therefore asked the railways to at least construct a 3-metre high safety wall on either side of the line. They have agreed to do it and it should provide some relief,” said Mirza.

Dinesh pointed out that over 35 trees, which are over a hundred years old, will have to be chopped down for the railway line. “The railway authorities said there’s no option and tree-cutting has already started,” said Dinesh, adding that the stud farm houses a couple of sandalwood trees too. In an effort not to disturb breeding, Southern Railway engineers provided Kunigal three underpasses to reach the other side of the farm.

One of the top three farms in the business, Kunigal was first identified and chosen by Tipu Sultan over 200 years ago for breeding horses for his cavalry. It now produces 80-100 horses every year, including Saddle Up who provided a leg-up for Indian race horses to contest on the international scene with wins in Malaysia and Singapore. The stallion Burden Of Proof consistently produced quality stock from the 100 broodmares at the farm.

The farm’s think-tank paid a king’s ransom to bring down top US stallion Air Support and its progeny will generate keen interest among big buyers in the game.

“We had a clear plan to improve our bloodstock but the railway line has proved to be a spanner in the works,” said Zeyn, adding that municipal authorities sanctioned a sewage treatment plant on the periphery of the farm and this is a big blow. “It will only lead to infections. We asked the municipal authorities to review the sanction and we hope they will understand the conditions required for breeding,” he said.

The railway authorities, it is learnt, have made it clear that the line could be open for traffic as early as December 2015, seven years before Mallya’s lease expires on the farm.

Rail link from Tripura to Brahmanbaria District in Bangladesh to be ready by 2015: MOSR

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Apart from the 15km Agartala-Akhaura railway connectivity, work on which is under way, Tripura is going to have separate railway connectivity with Bangladesh through Belonia subdivision in South district. This was disclosed by Union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha in reply to a query by West Tripura Member of Parliament Mr.Shankar Prasad Dutta on Friday.

The minister expressed the hope that railway connectivity between Belonia subdivision and Bangladesh would make progress on the basis of an agreement between the two countries.

Regarding the Agartala-Akhaura railway project, the minister said the 15km railway link between Agartala railway station and Akhaura railway junction in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh had been approved in the 2012-2013 central budget with an allocation of Rs.252 crore.

“In February 2013, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Bangladesh and till now Rs.10 crore has been spent. In the current year’s budget an allocation of Rs 100.crore has been made,” Sinha said.

He added that land acquisition for the 15km project had commenced and work was progressing “satisfactorily on both sides of the border”.

On the ongoing 110km Agartala-Sabroom railway link, the minister said the project was progressing and the total cost has been estimated at Rs.1,741 crore.

“Railways have already spent Rs.596 crore and in the current financial year’s budget, an allocation of Rs.500 crore has been made. The fund is being utilised for earth-cutting, construction of bridges and track-connection,” said Sinha.

Agartala would be connected with Sabroom by 2016, he added.

The National Board of Wildlife (NBW) has sanctioned the alignment of railway line between Agartala and Sabroom across Trishna wildlife sanctuary in Belonia subidivision.

The director of transport department, N.K.Chakaborty, said, “On August 12, the NBW formally gave sanction to the utilisation of the land for setting up railway alignment. This has removed a major bottleneck as all the land disputes between Agartala and Udaipur have been settled already with payment of compensation to those dislocated because of railway track laying”.

India to restore Rail Link to Jaffna by Mid-Oct: Consul Gen

Colombo: India will be fully restoring the Colombo-Jaffna rail link by mid-October this year, said S D Moorthy, the Indian Consul General in Jaffna, in his Independence Day address at the North Sri Lankan Tamil town.

“Yal Devi”, the iconic train, which used to ply between Colombo and Jaffna till it was destroyed sometime in the 1980s during the war, will greatly ease travel between North and South Sri Lanka and will be an iconic for a new and vibrant chapter in the relations of India and Sri Lanka.

Moorthy, who hails from Manaparai in Tiruchy district, said that the rail tracks laid by the Indian public sector company IRCON will be of “international standard”, making travel a pleasure.

Addressing the largest gathering ever at an Indian independence day function in Jaffna, Moorthy said that India had helped build 14,514 houses for the Tamil war refugees, and by year end, a total of 19,703 will have been completed.

On the cultural front too, the Indian Consulate has been making contributions by inviting leading Tamil Nadu artistes to perform before, and interact with, the people of Jaffna for the third year in a row. Dancer Padma Subramaniam was there recently, and dancer Lavanya Anand and vocalist Ramprasad are due soon.

Moorthy told that for the first time, the guests were served home-made idli, vadai and kesari, to give the fare an authentic Tamil Nadu touch.

Northern Province Governor Maj Gen G A Chandrasiri and Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran had called to convey their greetings.

The Consul General said that 20 Tamil Nadu fishermen, held at the Anuradhapura jail, were released by a magistrate in Madu on Friday. Along with the 74 released from Jaffna on Thursday, they will be repatriated to India on Saturday.

SCR plan for Integrated Security System for 3 Railway Terminals

सिकंदराबाद Secunderabad (SC): To enhance passenger security, the South Central Railway is setting up an integrated security system at Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Tirupati — three high passenger density stations — at a cost of Rs.6.2 crore.

The system consists of specialised security features like CCTV surveillance, access control, baggage scanning, under-vehicle scanning and bomb detection & disposal system.

Speaking after unfurling the national flag at Railway Sports Complex grounds here on Friday, SCR general manager PK Srivastsava said SCR deployed about 280 RPF personnel for escorting 96 trains in identified vulnerable sections in addition to strengthening their presence at stations and vital installations.

In view of the safety risks associated with the unmanned level crossings, SCR has taken steps to deploy manpower, utilising internal and external resources, to counsel road users on safety. In this connection, the SCR has drawn up an action plan to eliminate all unmanned LCs by 2016-17. About 440 unmanned level crossings were eliminated during the last four years and 31 during April-July this year. The process of eliminating the remaining has been speeded up.

To meet the future traffic potential, it is enhancing the capacity on congested trunk routes and various de-bottlenecking works are being given major thrust. Works on projects like new lines, doubling, electrification, road over/under bridges and traffic facility works etc. are being monitored closely for their expeditious completion.

New Tibetan Rail line a boost for region: China

China-Xigaze-Railway-lineबीजिंग Beijing:  China has claimed that the newly built Tibetan Rail line will boost the economy in the region.  A modern railway linking the two largest cities in the Tibet autonomous region started operation on Saturday.  China also claimed that many Tibetans said the line will greatly improve their quality of life.

With an investment of 13.2 billion yuan ($2.1 billion), the 251-kilometer high-elevation railway, the second railroad in Tibet, will cut travel time between Lhasa, the regional capital, and Xigaze, the second-largest city in the region, from five hours (by bus) to about two hours.

Tickets for the new line became sought-after since going on sale on Thursday night. All seats on Saturday’s service had been booked before 3 pm on Friday.

The first passenger train was expected to leave Lhasa for Xigaze at 9 am on Saturday.

A ticket for the trip from Lhasa to Xigaze costs 40.5 yuan, while the best seats are 175.5 yuan.

The line, which began construction in January 2011, has 14 stations and a maximum train speed of 120 km per hour. It will be capable of transporting more than 8.3 million metric tons of cargo each year.

The opening of the Lhasa-Xigaze railway will “consummate the rail network in Tibet, reduce the region’s heavy dependence on road transportation, boost social and economic development as well as improve the lives of those from all ethnic groups living along the line”, said a statement from China Railway Corp, the national rail operator.

The new railway will enable travelers to set out from Lhasa in the morning and arrive at scenic attractions around the Himalaya Mountains, which are located south of Xigaze, before sunset.

In the past, travelers had no choice but to make the trip on the No 318 National Highway, which is said to have many safety hazards.

The average altitude of the Lhasa-Xigaze line ranges from 3,600 meters to 4,000 meters, so oxygen supply equipment has been installed under each seat to help passengers overcome altitude sickness.

“The line links Lhasa, the region’s center, with Xigaze, the most populous city in Tibet, and extends the current Qinghai-Tibet railway,” Galsang Drolma, a researcher at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing, said. “Its opening will significantly accelerate the speed of Tibet’s connecting with the inland transport networks.”

She said Xigaze is the biggest producer of grain in Tibet and grows many other agricultural products, but farmers have suffered from poor transport conditions and were unable to do business with buyers from afar.

“The line will help them sell products to the huge markets in Tibet and other provinces, thus increasing their income,” she added, noting the trains will also bring more tourists so local tourism will benefit greatly.

“In addition, more travelers are coming to remote regions in Tibet, and more local residents are going out, so this will definitely promote the exchange of different cultures and create more opportunities for local people.”

Her words were echoed by Rigzin, an elderly farmer from the Gephel village of Quxu county, who said he always wanted to travel to Xigaze with his wife to go to temples there but was kept from doing so by car sickness.

“Now the railway will make our dream come true. We will take the train to Xigaze after the harvest season,” he said. “We are very much looking forward to the trip because none of us has traveled by train.”

Buchung, general manager of the Rinpung Darawa Barley Wine Co Ltd in Xigaze, said the railway will reduce the company’s transport costs and enable it to expand its market share in Lhasa.

China inaugurates new rail link in Tibet, close to Indian border in Sikkim

China-Tibet Rail Lineबीजिंग Beijing: China on Friday inaugurated its second railway line in Tibet, built at a cost of $2.16 billion, close to Indian border in Sikkim, enhancing mobility of its military in the remote and strategic Himalayan region.

The 253-km railway line links Tibet’s provincial capital Lhasa with Xigaze, the second-largest city in Tibet and also the traditional seat of the pro-Beijing Panchen Lama — stated to be second important Monk in Tibetan hierarchy.

The new line near the Indian border in Sikkim is also close to China’s border with Nepal and Bhutan.

It reduces the travel time between Lhasa and Xigaze from the current four hours by highway to around two hours, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

It is the second railway line in Tibet and an extension of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world’s highest rail link connecting China’s mainland with Tibet.

Construction of the railway line started in 2010 with an investment of 13.28 billion yuan ($2.16 billion).

In addition to this, China last month unveiled plans to construct a new crucial railway line in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh, which Chinese analysts say could act as a “bargaining chip” during the border talks with India.

The construction of another railway line linking Lhasa to Nyingchi in the east is also expected to start soon, recent official media report said.

Nyingchi is located right close to Arunachal, the nearest area to the border. China claims Arunachal as part of Tibet.

The railway expansion will connect, Nepal, Bhutan and India by 2020, the report said.

The growing Chinese railway network in Tibet is likely to leverage Beijing’s claim over the disputed border region, experts claim.

It would also help Chinese military strategically by reducing the travel time to the remote southern Tibetan region, they add.

The construction of a railway connecting Xigaze with Gyirong county, close to Nepal, will be constructed under the five year plan ending 2020, an official recently said.

Gyirong county has a checkpoint connecting Nepal and Yatung county, close to Indian border near Sikkim and Bhutan, a trade centre bordering India and Bhutan.

Dadar, Kurla railway stations set for image makeover

‘Escalators, elevated roads, space for a bus terminus and hawker-free entry points will make these stations swanky’

dadar-station_3मुंबई Mumbai:  Elevated roads leading right up to the station, inter-connected foot over bridges (FOBs), mini-malls above platforms, escalators and swanky new ticketing counters — these are just some features that the Dadar and Kurla stations soon boast of, according to senior railway officials.

Here’s what will be on offer at both the stations:

Dadar to be remodeled at Rs 136 crore:  The new plan makes space for an elevated road especially for taxis and vehicles coming to Dadar station. This will come up on the east side of the station opposite Swami Narayan Temple. Inter-connected FOBs will also be constructed over a total of 16,150 sq metres. A new 1,955 square metre space will be created for shops above the platforms as well. Twenty-seven scalators will be constructed between platforms and at entry/
exit points.

Kurla to be remodelled at Rs.50 crore:  Railway officials are planning 10,460 square metres of interconnected FOBs at Kurla station. More ticketing space and a separate area for shops will also be created as part of the redevelopment plan. An additional plot of land will be created for a bus terminus. Like Dadar, 27 escalators will be constructed here as well.

Kurla and Dadar railway stations: Proposal for convenient inter-modal movement

Dadar: Proposed skywalk on central side for construction of trespass-free pedestrian movement
Kurla: Proposed skywalk on western side for easy passenger movement

Dadar: Hawkers to be removed from under the flyover on the western line
Kurla: Hawkers to be removed from the western area in front of the station

Dadar: Hawkers to be removed from the BMC FOB on southern side
Kurla: Hawkers to be removed from the BMC FOB at the north end

Escalator: The escalators are already part of few railway stations in Mumbai. As part of the redesign, these ‘moving steps’ will connect the platforms, the concourse above it and FOBs too

Dadar: The BMC FOB to be converted for passenger convenience

Dadar: Proposed interconnections between FOBs/decks to avoid trespassing

Shopping Centre: All the small shops will be replaced by bigger ones. The platforms will be given a breather and shops will be built on the concourse above, thus allowing people to shop and leave

New Platforms: These will be more open and fuller, thus giving more access for people to walk, replacing the existing congested ones. People only need to take the escalators and steps and then move out

Dadar: On the walls of the flyover in the western side, public artwork may be done to showcase the city’s culture and make the entry to the station more welcoming

Kurla: Over head equipment depot area proposed for dismantling on western side

Kurla: Traffic management for bus-stop on the eastern side for smooth passenger flow

Dadar: Proposed subway from parcel office to platform

Dadar: Proposed separate one-way taxi lane for accessing the terminus.

68th Independence Day celebrated by SWR Bangalore Division

बंगलूरू Bangalore (SBC): The 68th Independence Day was celebrated by the Bangalore Division of the South Western Railway at the Railway Institute Grounds in Mahatma Gandhi Railway Colony.

Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, unfurled the tri-colour and addressed the gathering. He said the Bangalore Division loaded 35.77 million tonnes of freight and carried 190 million originating passengers with gross earnings of Rs 3,840 crore during the last financial year.

In first four months of the current financial year, the Bangalore Division registered 23 per cent growth in passenger earnings, with total earnings of Rs 404 crore up to July, 2014. The overall earnings of the Division have also registered an improvement of 21 per cent, with earnings of Rs 512 crore up to July, 2014.

The Division’s overall punctuality is at 96 per cent and is well above the target fixed by the Railway Board. With a view of eliminating LCs (level crossings) and enhancing safety of train operations, 31 Road-Under-Bridges were constructed in lieu of LCs and 26 LCs were closed and the closure of another 16 LCs are planned, said Aggarwal.

Efforts are on to man a number of unmanned level crossings in a conventional manner or through the Gate Mitra Scheme (GMS) with participation of local bodies. Such proactive action has already been taken at 15 unmanned level crossings, he said.

On the security front, the Yeshwantpur railway station and the Bangalore city railway station are covered under security surveillance with provision of 40 and 70 new cameras at these stations respectively, and the installation of luggage and vehicle scanner are under process.

The Division attached 1,102 extra coaches, ran 1,300 special trains and augmented six express and six passenger trains to clear the extra rush. Regarding the track doubling work between Bangalore–Mysore railway route, the line between Maddur and Settihalli had been commissioned.

With this, the doubling work has now been completed for a length of 110 km. A balance of 28 km will be completed by March 2015, he said.

Lack of proper Crowd Management Plan led to Kumbh Mela Stampede last year: Panel

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO):  The one-member judicial commission appointed by the Akhilesh Yadav government to probe the circumstances leading to the stampede at the Allahabad railway station during the Mahakumbh celebrations in 2013 has indicted the railway authorities for gross mismanagement in the handling the crowd – mostly pilgrims — at the railway station premises and railway foot over bridges at platform number four and six. The stampede had claimed 38 lives and left 47 injured.

The report by the judicial commission headed by Justice (Retd) Onkareshwarnath Bhatt was submitted to Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Thursday. The Governor is expected to review the report before taking a decision to whether to act on it or recommend action to the state and the Centre. The state government had appointed the commission on February 17 last year and had given three months’ time to complete the findings on the circumstances leading to the stampede and submit its report.

The mandate of the commission was limited to probing the stampede within the “premises of the Allahabad junction railway station” and not beyond it despite the facts that there were reports of stampede at the mela site also before the major incident at the railway station of Allahabad. But it has not been probed .

Highly placed sources told that Bhatt Commission has primarily found a number of irregularities -

*That the crowd was beyond expectation of ailway authorities

* Allahabad railway station had turned into a sea of humanity and railway and the GRP personnel were outnumbered by the swelling crowds

* The railway foot overbridge at platform number four and six should have been one-way to avoid intermingling of the crowd. This was the main cause of the stampede. The deaths took place at the platform number four and six railway foot overbridge.

* On the railway foot overbridge, people began pushing each other, leading to the stampede.

* Medical facilities proved to be inadequate

* The surging crowd of pilgrims chose to catch trains, despite substantial presence of fleet of UPSRTC buses, to reach their destination from where they had traveled to participate in the Mahakumbh

The sudden stampede took place at the Allahabad railway station on Mauni Amavasya day on February 10, the main bathing day.

Police officers, who had manned the Mahakumbh in the past, were of the opinion that the railway authorities had limited space to accommodate passengers and hence the crowd should have been released in a controlled manner.

The commission, which had its office in the circuit house in Allahabad has interrogated more than 1,000 railway, medical, police and district administration officials.

Recently, CAG had blamed the state urban development department for wasteful expenditure and poor quality of work done by it at the mela site.

NFIR General Secretary oppose FDI, PPP in Railways

The Railways’ grand plans to pump in some much-needed funds into its depleted coffers through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) have already started facing the heat from unions.

M.Raghavaiah, General Secretary of the Congress-backed National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR), tore into the railway’s privatization policy in his speech at the 43rd World Congress of International Transport Federation being held at Sophia, Bulgaria. Raghavaiah told the gathering that his conglomeration of railway unions under the NFIR wouldn’t give up till the government rolls back the privatization plan in its entirety.

The NFIR and the Communist-backed All-India Railwaymen’s Fedeeration (AIRF) are the two largest unions in the railways. Both are expected to give the BJP-led government a tough time thanks to their parent parties being its bitter opponents.

“The railway ministry will have its hands full for the next few days trying to convince railwaymen that the FDI and PPP route is the only way out for a system which is spending 94 per cent of its earnings as working expenses and that the world’s fourth largest railways cannot survive by ploughing back just 6 per cent of its earnings,” said a senior railway official.

Railways minister V Sadananda Gowda highlighted a depressing assessment of accounts during his budget speech on July 8. The Railways, Gowda told Parliament, earned Rs 1,39, 558 crore, of which it spent Rs 1,30,321 crore as working expenses in the financial year 2013-14.

Conjuring dreams of high-speed trains connecting the major metros as part of the Diamond Quadrilateral Network, and a 350 kmph bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Gowda had said that these needed finances of a kind that the railways had never raised before. The Diamond Quadrilateral would require Rs 9 lakh crore, while the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train would require Rs 60,000 crore at current prices. Add to that another Rs 5 lakh crore over the next 10 years to complete ongoing projects.

However, commuter Satish Mehendale was not impressed with the unions’ stance. “When is the last time unions conducted a dharna or a morcha for passenger-related issues? It is always about bonus and pay hikes for its employees regardless of whether the railways is doing well or whether the commuters are travelling comfortably. I think the government should power ahead because if the railways needs money to give us a better ride, and if FDI is the only way, then so be it,” he said.

Konkan Railway passengers get Electronically generated Food Vouchers

मंगलौर Mangalore (MAQ): With effect from August 15, passengers on Konkan Railway trains have started getting electronically generated vouchers on purchase of food and snack items in the trains.

A Konkan Railway spokesperson said this will ensure that the food items are charged by the caterer as per the approved rates of Konkan Railway. The system will bring in more transparency.

Konkan Railway introduced the service in Mandovi Express and Konkankanya Express trains on its route with effect from August 15. The service will be tried out first in AC coaches of the two trains and later extended to other coaches and other trains depending upon its success.

The hand held compact and rugged Electronic Voucher Distribution machine, which has large memory, will print a system generated bill which will be given to the passengers on purchase of any food item. The bill will have name of the caterer and date and time of purchase.

Got complaints on Konkan Railway route, send SMS to 09004470700

Konkan Railway introduced SMS service to redress the grievances of passengers related to any service on Konkan Railway route. The service was commissioned on August 15.

The mobile number on which passengers can send an SMS related to any aspect of passenger service is 9004470700. The messages will be monitored round the clock by staff at Central Control at the Corporate Office of Konkan Railway at Belapur, Navi Mumbai. The number has only data facility and hence no voice calls can be made.

Konkan Railway said SMS service can be utilized by passengers for any passenger related issue faced by him/her in Konkan Railway jurisdiction from Kolad to Thokur only.

Also, Konkan Railway commissioned a new PRS centre (Passenger Reservation System) at Mangaon station on its route on Friday. The facility would be available for passengers from 8am to 2pm.

Mangaon being a Taluka place, with the opening of this PRS centre at Mangaon station, the demand of passengers for having facility of computerized reservation of tickets for various trains through PRS system would be met. With the introduction of this PRS centre, the total number of PRS centres on Konkan Railway will go up to 17.

Australia approves Adani’s $2.2 bn Rail line for coal project

Adani Mining Pty, the Australian subsidiary of Ahmedabad-based Adani Enterprises, has received approval for execution of the Galilee Basin rail line project

AdaniRailAdani Mining Pty, the Australian subsidiary of Ahmedabad-based Adani Enterprises, has received approval for execution of the Galilee Basin rail line project. The nod follows the Australian Federal government’s recent decision to give environmental approval to Adani Mining’s $16.5 billion Carmichael Coal Mine in Queensland. Earlier, in July, Adani had announced that it had signed an agreement with POSCO E&C, a subsidiary of the South Korean construction company, POSCO, as the EPC contractor and joint venture partner on the North Galilee Basin Rail (NGBR) project.

“The NGBR represents a significant milestone for infrastructure development in Queensland. The state’s first standard gauge rail line, it will underpin greatly expanded and vital export opportunities across the basin, providing a lasting legacy of infrastructure to this state beyond our already significant port and mine investments here,” said Adani Enterprises in a statement filed with the BSE.

Welcoming the decision, Patrick Suckling, Australia’s High Commission to India, said, “The 300-km rail line will be a key link connecting the Carmichael coal mine west of Moranbah to the port of Abbot Point.” The proposed standard gauge greenfield rail line will cost $2.2 billion and be able to transport 100 million tonnes of coal a year.

ECOR to become Highest Freight Loader zone on Indian Railways: ECOR GM

भुवनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS): In his Independence Day-eve message to the employees of the East Coast Railway (ECoR), its General Manager Rajiv Vishnoi on Thursday urged them to work hard to ensure that the ECoR goes to the top of the list of all Railway Zones in terms of freight loading. At the same time, passenger comfort and safety of everybody concerned must not be ignored, he said.

He provided statistics of loadings, revenue and operating ratio to underline the possibility that if the trend till date in the current year holds then the target would not be difficult.

Vishnoi’s message gave details of the steps taken for passenger comfort including additional stoppages provided to two trains, running of 366 special trains and augmentation of 1,310 coaches, provision of PRS at two locations, STBS at 18 locations, ATVM at six locations, UTS at one location, coach indication boards at two stations, FOBs at three stations, PF shelters at four stations, touch screen terminals at four locations and escalators at the Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam stations.

Similarly, activities regarding safety enhancement carried out by the ECoR include auto signalling of 7.6 Route km in Retang-Khurda Road section, panel interlocking at Tikiri and Junagarh Road stations, intermediate block signalling between Joranda Road-Dhenkanal, Kendrapara Road-Nergundi and Badabandha-Paradeep sections, replacement of 36 gates with limited height subways, manning of two level-crossing gates, arrest of more than 14,000 offenders, 7,233 mail/express trains escorted by RPF personnel and 42,285 ticketless travellers nabbed.

Major project works completed include a new line between Bhawanipatna and Junagarh (24.4 km) and doubling between Rengali and Lapanga(10.40 km).The Khurda-Begunia (32 km) section of the Khurda-Balangir new line work is almost complete and to be commissioned shortly. Also, during the year, two major bridges and 59 minor bridges were constructed.Vishnoi’s message also had a list of activities carried out for the benefit of the human resources of the zone.

ICF, RCF manufactured 905 Passenger Coaches between April-July, 2014

नई दिल्ली New Delhi:  Integral Coach Factory (ICF), and Rail Coach Factory (RCF), production units of Indian Railways, have produced 519 and 386 coaches during 1st April to 31st July 2014 respectively.

A new Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareli is being set up with an installed capacity of 1000 coaches. Production at Rae Bareli Coach Factory has commenced and turned out 130 coaches during 2013-14 and 41 coaches upto July, 2014.

The Production/Acquisition target of coaches for the year 2014-15 is 3658. Indian Railways does not import coaches to meet annual production/acquisition targets.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

14 RPF Personnel selected for President’s Police Medal Award

नई दिल्ली New Delhi:  Fourteen Railway Protection Force personnel have been awarded President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and Police Medal for Meritorious service on the occasion of Independence Day.

Bhupathi Mohan, Chief Security Commissioner of Southern Railway has been awarded President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, according to a release.

Indian Police Medal for Meritorious service has been awarded to 13 RPF personnel including DIG of South East Central Railway Munawar Khursheed and DIG of East Coast Railway Kanchan Charan.

ASI Ramkirat Yadav of North East Railway ASI N Shalem Raju of South Central Railway and Sub Inspector C Gireesh of Southern Railway are among others who got Indian Police Medal for Meritorious service, it said.

DMRC offer free ride for Commuters attending Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Those who want to attend the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort on Friday can avail of free metro ride.

Delhi Metro services will start as early as 4:30 am tomorrow and complimentary travel coupons will be provided to commuters from all stations to Kashmere Gate and Chandni Chowk who will be travelling to attend the Independence day function at the Red Fort.

“We aim to facilitate and encourage more and more people to be able to reach the venue in time and attend the Independence day celebrations,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

Complimentary travel coupons will be available with the customer care official and those commuters who will be taking the metro to reach the Red Fort can ask for this coupon for a free ride.

“These complimentary coupons will be made available for passengers getting down at Kashmere Gate and Chandni Chowk station to attend the Independence day celebrations at the Red Fort from 4:30 am to 8 am from all station except the airport line,” the spokesperson said.

Entry and exit from all stations will be as per usual schedule and no restrictions will be imposed. Trains will also be running as per schedule, starting from 4:30 am. However, metro parking lots will remain closed from 6 pm today till 2 pm tomorrow.

As part of Independence Day celebrations, DMRC organized quiz competitions for commuters at 10 metro stations, including Dwarka Sector 10, Barakhamba Road, NOIDA City Centre, HUDA City Centre, Central Secretariat, Kashmere Gate, Vishwavidyalaya, Shahdara, Tis Hazari and Lajpat Nagar on August 13 and 14.

The commuters were asked Metro-related questions with multiple answering options and given attractive prizes. More than 700 commuters received prizes for participation.

As part of the week-long celebrations, Delhi Metro also organized conducted tours for underprivileged and specially- abled children from various NGOs. Children from three NGOs Salaam Balak Trust, Prerna Niketan Sangh and Apna Ghar were shown the Metro Museum at Patel Chowk and taken on Metro rides.

MOS (Railways) submits the status of Indo-Bangladesh Rail Link Projects in Parliament

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: The details and the present status of Agartala-Sabroom and ongoing project between India and Bangladesh viz. Agartala-Akhaura new line are as under:-

Agartala-Sabroom (110 Km), New Line: The project, which falls fully in the State of Tripura, has been taken up at a cost of Rs. 1741 crore and an expenditure of Rs. 596 crore has been incurred upto March, 2014. An outlay of Rs. 500 crore has been provided during 2014-15. Earthwork, bridges & track linking works have been taken up.

Agartala(India)-Akahaura(Bangladesh) (15 km), New Line: Project was included in Budget 2012-13 at an anticipated cost of Rs. 252 crore. Memorandum of Understanding between India and Bangladesh has been signed in February, 2013. An expenditure of Rs. 10 crore has been incurred upto March, 2014 and an outlay of Rs. 100 crore has been provided during 2014-15 for this project. Land acquisition has been taken up.

This is the only project for which agreement has been entered into between India and Bangladesh for rail connectivity.

A Reconnaissance Engineering cum Traffic Survey for providing rail connectivity between Belonia (India) (which is a station on under-construction Agartala-Sabroom new line project) and Belonia (Bangladesh) has been taken up.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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