Celebrating 12 years of Delhi Metro – a review

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Come December 25, Delhi Metro shall be completing 12 years of its spectacular journey that started in 2002 when it opened its first corridor between Shahdara and Tis Hazari. Needless to say, it has truly been a joy ride for the dwellers of this amazing city.

For it has changed the way Delhiites travel to their offices, schools, colleges, and places of tourist attraction. Those who have travelled in the killer red-line buses would second this without batting an eyelid. It is economic, safe, comfortable, environment-friendly, and frequent. You live in Gurgaon and want to have paranthas at Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk in next one hour? No problem, because ‘Delhi Metro hai na!’

There are many reasons why Delhi Metro has been ranked second among 18 international Metro systems – including Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Singapore – in terms of overall customer satisfaction in an online customer survey.

Today we bring you top five reasons that make the Delhi Metro stand out from the crowd. It has more than one strings to its fiddle, literally.

1.      It’s exceedingly CHEAP!
When it comes to fare, the Delhi Metro is the least expensive in the world. Let us show you how. In Delhi Metro minimum one-ware fare is merely Rs.8 while maximum is Rs.40. Now let’s see how much one-way journey costs in some of the biggest cities around the world. In London Metro minimum one-ware fare is Rs.453.91 while maximum is Rs.565.09; in Hong Kong Metro, one has to shell out minimum Rs.35.70 and maximum Rs.387.68 for one-way trip; in Berlin Metro its Rs.136.07 and Rs.272.38 respectively.

2.      It’s environment FRIENDLY
Did you know that Delhi Metro has helped to reduce pollution levels in the city by 6.3 lakh tons every year thus helping in reducing global warming? For this reason, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation won the award for Best Clean Development Project at Urban Mobility Conference in 2011. Today, about 18 lakh people travel by Delhi Metro, which is completely non-polluting and environment-friendly. In its absence, all these people would have traveled by cars, buses, two/three wheelers etc which would have resulted in emission of greenhouse gases.

3.      It’s SAFE
At the bottom of the escalators, the commuters are thoroughly frisked by armed guards and their bags are scanned. Besides, with so many cops around, it’s very safe for women.

4.      It’s CLEAN
Delhi Metro stations are more or less litter and garbage free, unlike Indian Railways stations. For in the last 12 years, its cleanliness has remained intact. In fact, it has set high standards for others to follow.

5.      It’s FREQUENT
Have you missed a Delhi Metro train and getting late for office? Don’t worry and be happy because, lo and behold, another has already arrived in your service.

That’s the beauty of Delhi Metro; it really understands the value of your time.

Super Freight moves 2 new Rail mounted Ship-to-Shore Cranes to JNPCT

मुंबई Mumbai: It is reported that Super Freight has moved the 2nd and 3rd new rail mounted ship-to-shore cranes from Pipavav to JN Port’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal.

It had brought the first crane to the terminal in November.

The Super Post-Panamax cranes have a height of about 115 metres and weigh around 1,500 tonne.

The movement by barge from Pipavav and the discharge at JN Port were meticulously planned and executed by Super Freight, which it does with all its projects. This is yet another job successfully handled by the company.

Founded in January 2000, Super Freight is a privately-owned international freight and project forwarder. With its global network of competent partners, it offers comprehensive multimodal end-to-end transport and forwarding solutions for every cargo, tailored to specific customer requirements. Its team of highly experienced professionals is committed to deliver flexible, proactive and reliable service to clients.

China officially unveils country’s first Design Specification Standards for High-speed Rail

बीजिंग Beijing: National Railway Administration yesterday officially unveiled the country’s first design specification standards for high-speed rail links.

“These specifications are fundamental and important technical requirements,” said the NRA in a statement.

The NRA laid down standards for nearly 20 fields involved in the design and construction of lines for bullet trains running at a speed of 250-350 kilometers per hour.

Safety is among the top priorities. Railway construction firms were also asked to reduce pollution and to work in a more “greener” way.

The NRA’s specifications come from domestic experience as well as advice from foreign experts.

China has seen rapid development in the construction of high-speed railways and it is now eyeing selling equipment and technology it has developed to foreign markets.

Last week, China and Thailand inked a memorandum of understanding on railway cooperation, agreeing to jointly build Thailand’s first standard-gauge railway line, set to run over 800 kilometers.

Driven by its “go abroad” ambitions, Chinese railway firms are seeking more opportunities abroad.

Taking effect on February 1, 2015, the specifications will help railway firms to explore overseas, the NRA said.

Rail Design Code puts Safety first – Pollution control, conservation of resources among the key points

China has released its first design specification standards for high-speed railways, which experts say will help improve safety and boost exports.

The standards, drawn up and published by the National Railway Administration, govern nearly 20 fields involved in the design and construction of lines for bullet trains running at 250 to 350 km per hour.

“These specifications are fundamental and important technical requirements,” the railway administration said in a statement.

“They will provide a systematic technical foundation for the nation’s development of its high-speed railway network and its efforts to export high-speed railway technologies and products.”

The standards, which take effect on Feb 1, place the top priority on safety, stipulating that only multiple-unit trains, rather than traditional push-pull ones, can run on high-speed lines, the administration said.

Yang Hao, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University who researches rail transportation management, said China had planned to adapt these traditional trains to high-speed lines to maximize the lines’ efficiency, but the results of tests and trial runs were unsatisfactory.

“The standards treat safety as the top principle, ruling out the possibility of freight trains using high-speed lines, which can be dedicated to passenger transportation,”Yang said.

Designers and contractors have been asked to adopt a host of safety measures listed in the standards, which are stronger than the ones currently in use.

Railway construction firms have also been asked to reduce pollution and to save resources.

The standards state that designers must consider factors including the environment and transportation requirements when planning newlines.

Li Hongchang, an associate professor of transportation economics at Beijing Jiaotong University, said a set of standards is essential for supervision of high-speed rail projects.

“Without specific standards, it would be very easy for local governments and contractors to circumvent the central government’s supervision,” he said.

Yang said publication of the standards will also substantially help China’s high-speed railway exports.

“They (foreign countries) can now check our standards and measures and know we are serious about safety, environmental protection and technological innovation,” he said. “But it will take some time for foreign nations to accept and recognize our standards.”

China has seen rapid development of high-speed railways construction. By the end of 2013, it had a network stretching for more than 10,000 km, the most in the world and larger than the entire European Union network, the World Bank said in a report in July.

Premier Li Kegiang has told government leaders, railway planners and company executives in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe that China’s high-speed railway technologies are safe, reliable and economically competitive. Largely due to his promotional efforts, Chinese enterprises have been selected to build several high-speed lines overseas.

Chinese Railways’ launch ‘Tour by train with your Cars’ during National holidays

Chinese Railways tourism promotionबीजिंग Beijing: Ren Ran, a Beijing resident, plans to visit Hangzhou for the upcoming National Day holiday.

He has booked a rail ticket and even shipped his car, also by rail, to his destination.

The Beijing Railway Administration launched the country’s first “car-transporting train for tourists” to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, onSunday.

Travelers who shipped their cars on Sunday will leave for Hangzhou on Tuesday from Beijing South Railway Station and pick up theircars on Wednesday at their destination.

They are charged from 3,000 yuan ($490) to 4,000 yuan, round trip, for transportation of their cars.

“Renting a car in Hangzhou costs about 400 to 800 (yuan) a day during the holiday,” said Ren. “But it will be more comfortable travelingwith my own car.”

Pune commuter groups want more Trains towards North

पुणे Pune: City based commuter groups have urged rail administration to operate additional trains and increase frequency of existing trains to various destinations in northern parts of the country.

A delegation of Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad, Maharashtra recently met general manger of Central Railway S.K.Sood and presented a memorandum of demands. Sood was on one day visit to the Pune division to inspect ongoing works.

The organization in its memorandum has demanded two additional trains to Agra and Ayodhya besides increase in frequency of Pune-Lucknow and Yeshvantpur-Nizamuddin express trains. A demand also has been raised to augment additional coaches to trains to clear rush of passengers in the holiday season.

Members of the delegation said that the meeting with the general manager was satisfactory. “We have urged him to start more trains as existing trains are running to full capacities all through the year. People are not able to find reservations in any train running to northern destinations for last two months”, the members said.

The members also said that despite repeated follow ups, rail ministry has ignored demands for additional trains.

Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Hadapsar said that there was a need to increase non reserved coaches to trains to Lucknow, Patna and Howrah. All these trains originating from Pune should run daily. None of train is a daily train, Kumar said.

Places along China border identified for Rail connectivity: Govt

Indian Railwaysनई दिल्ली New Delhi: Four strategic places along the Sino-India border have been identified by the Defence Ministry for rail connectivity in the first phase, Lok Sabha was informed today.

They are Missamari-Tenga-Tawang (378 km), Bilaspur-Manali- Leh (498 km), Pasighat-Tezu-Rupai (227 km) and North Lakhimpur-Bame-Silapathar (249km), Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said.

In a written reply, he said, “The Railway Ministry has requested the Defence Ministry to convey approval to carry out final location survey at a cost of Rs 345 crore and provide the necessary funds.”

The time of completion and cost, however, cannot be ascertained till completion of the final location survey and detailed geo-technical studies and consequent sanction of the project, he added.

To a related question, he said no strategic line along Pakistan border has been identified by the Defence Ministry in the first phase.

Kochi Metro Rail signs MoU with NPCIL’s RuPay

कोच्चि Kochi: Kochi Metro Rail Limited and National Payment Corporation of India have signed MoU to be associated with the roll-out of a common mobility card for greater Kochi area through the use of NPCI’s RuPay specifications for cards and payment terminals and other payment modes.

Elias George, Managing Director, KMRL and A P Hota, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NPCI signed the MoU at a function held at KMRL office today.

This is the first time any metro in country is taking an initiative to create a smart card, which will enable its commuters to do commercial and service transactions beyond the metro transit system, a KMRL release said here today.

NPCI is the brand owner of the ‘Rupay’ payment network system and also the agency responsible to consolidate and integrate the multiple systems with varying service levels into a nation-wide uniform and standard business process for all retail payment systems.

Centre wants NGOs to adopt, guard unmanned rail crossings

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: The government today came up with a unique solution to prevent deaths on India’s 11,563 unmanned railway crossings – get NGOs, industrial houses and religious societies to adopt each of these crossings and guard them.

The solution was voiced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour today that the government was going to put out advertisements to invite NGOs, industry and religious heads to adopt railway crossings and man them for safety purposes.

“We plan to put out ads to this effect,” he said responding to concerns of members around an increasing number of deaths on unmanned crossings each year. This year alone, 18,725 people have died on such crossings with 5,527 of these in north India.

So far as solutions go, the government did not make any commitment on the proposal of the Anil Kakodkar committee on rail safety which had called for bridges in place of crossings. The Railway Minister instead said he had now with him a report of another committee and the government was working on solutions. “We will have finances for this task in the next Budget,” he said.

Besides, the government is also planning to task the technical institutions of the country, including ISRO, the Remote Sensing Centre and IITs, to come up with safety solutions for the rising fatality on unmanned railway crossings. Another plan of the government is to put up hoardings around such crossings to warn the people of the potential dangers of crossing an unmanned line without caution.

The statement of Prabhu came days after schoolchildren were killed in an accident at an unmanned rail crossing in UP’s Mhow.

Why Rail Passengers may not Benefit from Diesel Price cut

According to the railways’ announced policy, fare and freight revision linked to fuel and energy cost are being done twice a year

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Reduction in diesel price is unlikely to be passed on to rail passengers as the cross- subsidisation burden on passenger service is still hovering around Rs.26000 crore (Rs.260 billion).

“It is true that diesel prices have come down two/three times in the last few months but it has not happened beyond that in the entire year.

“Passengers are already getting benefits as passenger fare is subsidised,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday when asked whether reduction in fuel cost will reflect on the next fuel adjustment component- linked fare revision.

“Freight earning is 2/3rd of total railways earning and 1/3rd is from passengers.

“Passenger service is cross-subsidised from freight earning,” Prabhu said during an informal interaction with reporters in New Delhi.

FAC-linked fare revision, which was due in December, will now be effected in the upcoming Rail Budget in February.

However, though diesel cost has come down, the energy bill has gone up by more than four per cent due to the hike in power tariff by state electricity boards.

The decision on FAC-linked fare revision is based on both diesel and power cost for that particular period.

According to the railways’ announced policy, fare and freight revision linked to fuel and energy cost are being done twice a year.

The last revision was done in June wherein passenger fares were revised by 4.2 per cent and freight rates by 1.4 per cent.

Prabhu gave details of the challenges being faced by the railways, including its deteriorating financial situation and possible solutions to bring the ailing public transporter on the track.

He said efforts are on to reduce the power consumption in the railways by maximising the use of renewable energy.

“We are doing energy audit to know the details of energy consumption as well as ways to reduce energy cost also.

“We are trying to maximise use of renewable energy like solar power, wind power and other alternative source for supplementing the conventional energy sources,” he said.

Low fuel rate may not cut Rail fare; Passengers unlikely to benefit from diesel price reduction

Reduction in diesel price is unlikely to be passed on to rail passengers as the cross- subsidisation burden on passenger service is still hovering around Rs 26,000 crore.

नई दिल्ली New Delhi:  “It is true that diesel prices have come down two/three times in the last few months but it has not happened beyond that in the entire year. Passengers are already getting benefits as passenger fare is subsidised,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday when asked whether reduction in fuel cost will reflect on the next fuel adjustment component (FAC) — linked fare revision.

“Freight earning is 2/3rd of total railways earning and 1/3rd is from passengers. Passenger service is cross- subsidised from freight earning,” Prabhu said during an informal interaction with reporters here.

FAC-linked fare revision, which was due in December, will now be effected in the upcoming Rail Budget in February. However, though diesel cost has come down, the energy bill has gone up by more than four per cent due to the hike in power tariff by state electricity boards.

According to the railways’ announced policy, fare and freight revision linked to fuel and energy cost are being done twice a year. The last revision was done in June wherein passenger fares were revised by 4.2% and freight rates by 1.4%.

Prabhu gave details of the challenges being faced by the railways, including its deteriorating financial situation and possible solutions to bring the ailing public transporter on the track. He said efforts are on to reduce the power consumption in the railways by maximising the use of renewable energy.

“We are doing energy audit to know the details of energy consumption as well as ways to reduce energy cost also. We are trying to maximise use of renewable energy like solar power, wind power and other alternative source for supplementing the conventional energy sources,” he said.

Gurgaon Metro Rulebook for Safe Travel of Women Commuter

गुडगाँव Gurgaon (GGN): From maintaining a strict deadline and always arranging a pick-up at stations to never arguing with autowallahs, female Metro commuters in Gurgaon have their own strategies to make their travel safe.

For the working women of Gurgaon, the unsafe tag on the city’s Metro stations has moved on from being just a news headline to a reality they live with. Girls who take the Metro regularly, have their own safety checklist which includes basic points like ‘don’t take a shared auto’, ‘get someone to pick you up from the station’ and ‘no crossing the road after 9pm’. A recent audit conducted by a safety app, Safetipin, revealed that Gurgaon Metro stations are more unsafe and secluded compared to those in Delhi. We spoke to women commuters at three prominent stations – IFFCO Chowk, Sikanderpuri and HUDA City Centre – where everyone agreed with the audit result and shared their strategies for travelling after dark in Gurgaon.

My Gurgaon Metro deadline is 7pm, in Delhi, it’s 10

Many office-goers shared the massive difference between their Delhi and Gurgaon Metro deadlines. Gunjan Sharma, who works near IFFCO Chowk, says, “I come to work early and maintain my timeline so that I’m out of the office by 7pm and reach the station by 7.30pm max, I have never taken the train beyond that. I have to travel to West Delhi, so by the time I get off at my station, it’s usually 8.30-8.45pm. But those stations are in market areas and I am comfortable taking a rickshaw from there even at 9pm, but I can’t imagine doing that in Gurgaon.”

Ruksar, who works in hospitality in DLF Phase 5, adds, “I usually try to leave Gurgaon by 8pm and get dropped till the station from office when I’m late. My strategy at Gurgaon Metro stations is to just quickly get off from the car, face all covered, cross the road quickly and just rush inside the station. Station ke andar safe hai and entry pe lights bhi hain. But apart from that, the entire stretch is completely empty after 7.30 pm. I don’t feel this scared or insecure at the station near my residence in Delhi and I have taken a rickshaw at even 9.30pm.”

I make sure there’s someone to pick and drop me from the metro station

According to the Gurgaon commuters’ Metro rulebook, one needs to have their pickups and drops to the station coordinated well in advance to avoid being stranded or left haggling with the autowallahs. Vinita Sharma*, 24, an interior decorator by profession, was waiting for her friend to pick her up at the IFFCO Chowk station and told us, “I don’t mind waiting in the station premises for 20-30 minutes. But at 8pm, I will not go down and try to argue with the autowallahs. And it’s not even about the money. On the route I take, the street lights don’t work and it ends up being very scary in an auto. So I have to make sure that someone is available to pick me up from the station before I even take the Metro.”

Colleagues Deepti and Mishma, who travel to their home in south Delhi from their Gurgaon office daily, depend on their office shuttle to reach the Metro station. They tell us, “We have shuttles from office starting from 6pm at intervals of 30 minutes to drop employees to the station. We have used that ever since we’ve been working here. In fact, our office has a rule that women employees can’t take the shuttle after 7.30pm. We’ll have to take cabs which directly drop us home. So there is no question of commuting using Gurgaon’s non-existent public transport system. You always need the shuttle.”

You know the auto wallahs are overcharging you but at 8pm there’s no choice

For those who don’t have the luxury of the pick and drops, the scary autowallahs and rickshaw bhaiyas are the only options at hand. And dealing with them is a quality worth putting on a CV, say these girl commuters. Parul, who is a dance instructor at a studio in Sector 43, told us, “Reaching the Metro station is usually easy for people, but for me it’s difficult both ways. In the evening no auto is willing to go the Metro station even though that’s the busiest area of the city. I have to stand on the road for at least 20-30 minutes before any auto agrees to go. And at 8pm, your bargaining skills go for a toss because you’re just so helpless and tired you agree to pay whatever price is being quoted. On any other day, if the autowallah even reduces by `10, I am ecstatic because this is usually the biggest battle of my day.”

Simran Kaur, who works in Hauz Khas and was returning home to Gurgaon at 8pm, adds, “I usually get off at the Huda City Centre station because that is the most populated station here. And after struggling for months with the autowallahs, now I am prepared to deal with them and just drop the fight. They all crowd over you and if one person says no, then everyone will refuse. They have a union of sorts and the customer, her safety, her problems don’t matter to anyone. So at 8pm, when all I want is to get back home ASAP, I just agree to the fare being quoted by them even though I know they’re overcharging.”

Even if there is a police station outside of the metro station, I won’t go in there to complain alone

On our visit to the Metro stations, we found some police presence outside the Sikanderpur and HUDA City Centre stations, which when we inquired was a development that came about after this survey was released. While IFFCO Chowk has a Metro Police Station just a few hundred meters away, there wasn’t any official posted on any of the exit points. Sheetal Khanna, who works with an IT company, told us, “I honestly didn’t even know about this police station before. It is also located away from the Metro exit point so I don’t think that’s going to save us from any harassment of any sort. Plus if I ever get into trouble, say my purse gets snatched or some guys tease me, I don’t think I will dare to go to the station alone to report a complain. The need is to bring police officials at the exits so that the autowallahs and the biker dudes and other such rowdies get scared. But I don’t know when that will happen.”

Have increased deployment at stations: police

Deepak Saharan, DCP (East), Gurgaon, says, “After this survey came out, we have increased the number of the lady cops deployed at the Metro stations. We have even stepped up the deployment of the male cops on the Metro stations. The duty hours of the cops have also been increased and each and every step is being taken to ensure the safety of women. The survey also highlighted the fact that there is not sufficient lighting around the Metro stations. This is something which we also found while patrolling the areas and we have written to the concerned department to look into this issue.”

DMRC invites applications for Recruitment

New Delhi: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) has invited applications from eligible candidates for recruitment to various positions.

Vacancies:

  1. Asst Manager/ Electrical- 11 Posts
  2. Asst Manager/ S&T- 05 Posts
  3. Asst Manager/ HR- 04 Posts
  4. Asst Manager/ Finance- 06 Posts
  5. Asst Manager/ IT- 02 Posts
  6. Asst Manager/ Operations-05 Posts
  7. Asst Manager/ Fire- 02 Posts
  8. Asst Company Secretary- 01 Post
  9. Asst Manager/ Corporate Communication- 01 Post
  10. Asst Programmer- 28 Posts
  11. Stenographer- 25 Posts
  12. Junior Engineer (Civil)- 50 Posts
  13. Junior Engineer (Electrical)- 20 Posts
  14. Junior Engineer (Signal & Telecom)- 27 Posts
  15. Legal Assistant- 02 Posts

Eligibility: For details on eligibility criterion candidates must visit the official notification.

Salary: Asst Manager/ Electrical- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ S&T- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ HR- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ Finance- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ IT- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ Operations-20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ Fire- 20600-46500/- Asst Company Secretary- 20600-46500/- Asst Manager/ Corporate Communication- 20600-46500/- Asst Programmer- 13500-25520 Stenographer- 10170-18500 Junior Engineer (Civil)- 13500-25520 Junior Engineer (Electrical)- 13500-25520 Junior Engineer (Signal & Telecom)- 13500-25520 Legal Assistant- 13500-25520

Selection Process: Eligible candidates will be selected on the basis of three-stage process – Written Test (two papers), Group Discussion & Personal Interview followed by Medical Examination in Executive/Technical or non technical category as mentioned against each post.

How to Apply: Interested and eligible candidates should fill the application online in a prescribed format and submit it to the official address.

Important Date: Last date to apply online- January 14, 2015

Standing Committee directs Railways’ to review Pending Railway Projects

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Pulling up the Railway Ministry for a long pending list of projects, some as old as 30 years, a parliamentary panel has asked it to review all of them on the basis of their economic viability and critical importance, and prepare an action plan to implement them in a definite time frame.

The Standing Committee on Railways expressed disappointment that as on April 1, 2014, the ministry had a throw-forward of 362 projects – 154 new lines, 42 gauge conversions and 166 doubling.  The financial throw-forward stood at  `182,224 crore.

“In the past  10 years, out of sanctioned 99 new line projects worth `60,000 crore, the ministry has been able to complete only one project. There are four projects, which are as old as 30 years and still not completed. It is a matter of grave concern, which does not reflect positively on the performance of the Indian railways,” the committee observed.

Directing the ministry to prepare an action plan to expedite completion of these projects, the committee said there has been a tendency for the past many years to keep unrealistic targets which resulted in a slow and tardy progress of the projects due to non-availability of sufficient resources, adversely affecting  the performance of the railways.

The parliamentary panel observed that usefulness of any project would be lost if there were inordinate delays in its implementation.

The ministry officials, who deposed before the committee, said, “The slippage in deadline are primarily on accounts of delay in obtaining clearances in the process of land acquisition and handing over of land to the railway authorities for execution of work, law and order issues and lack of sustained flow of funds.”

The committee  disagreed with the reasons furnished by the ministry and said the blueprint of project should take into account all issues relating to land acquisition, implementing agencies and the project should be formulated accordingly.

“Delays and bottlenecks point to poor and inadequate planning, resulting in huge cost escalations, besides hindering timely completion of projects,” the committee said in response, adding that a mechanism should be put in place to eliminate all impediments in the initial planning stages of a project itself. Pitching for allocation of sufficient funds to the railways to complete pending projects, the committee said that there would be cost over-run in these projects due to delayed completion.

Tatkal Tickets for 80 Popular Trains to be more expensive henceforth

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: In order to increase the revenues, the Indian Railways has decided to sell Tatkal tickets at a higher rate. Passengers buying Tatkal tickets for the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani and 80 other trains will have to shell out more henceforth.

Half of the tatkal tickets on 80 trains have become costlier with the railways deciding to partially implement the dynamic fare system under which charges will depend on demand.

The decision, clearly aimed at mopping up more revenues by the cash-strapped railways, comes in the midst of festival season when there is a big rush of train travellers.

“It has been decided that 50 percent of the existing tatkal quota ticket shall be sold under dynamic fare scheme,” said a senior Railway Ministry official Thursday.

As per the scheme, 50 percent of tatkal quota tickets would be sold under the existing system and the subsequent 50 percent under ‘premium tatkal’ quota of dynamic pricing.

It will mean more the demand, more the cost.

The ‘Premium Tatkal Ticket’ scheme will be applicable to 80 trains from October one and like Premium train, the scheme will be available online only.

Railway Board Member (Traffic) D P Pandey said, “The Premium Tatkal ticket scheme has been launched for 80 popular trains. All zones have been asked to identify five popular trains in their respective zone.

“We will see the response and then we will decide on extending the scheme to other trains.”

He emphasised that only 50 percent of the tatkal tickets will be sold under the dynamic fare system while the rest will be sold on regular tatkal fare basis.

There is tremendous rush for tickets during the festive season as passengers prefer to travel to their home towns for celebrating Dusshera and Diwali.

However, railways has described the scheme as a preventive measure to deal with the menace of touts.

“There were reports of genuine passengers being fleeced by touts. This will help facilitating needy passengers to get tickets,” the official said.

The scheme, applicable on selected trains, will increase the prices of tatkal tickets and as an end result the train fare.

Northern Railway has identified five trains including Saptakranti Express, two Mumbai Rajdhani trains and Vaishali Express to implement Premium Tatkal scheme.

Some trains which have been identified for implementation of the scheme are Hyderabad-New Delhi Andhra Pradesh Express, Hyderabad-Hazrat Nizamuddin Dakshin Express, Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express, Kacheguda-Bangalore Express and Secunderabad-Patna Express.

The tatkal scheme currently covers around 2677 trains.

According to railway figures, around 1.71 lakh seats, of the 11.57 lakh available, are up for booking under the tatkal scheme.

It is also a prominent source of income for the Railways, raking in about Rs 1000 cr last year.

“The scheme has been launched to deal with the problem of touts. There were reports of genuine passengers being fleeced by touts. This will help facilitating needy passengers to get tickets,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The scheme, applicable on selected train, will increase the prices of tatkal tickets and as an end result the train fare.

Railways is also running 50 premium trains on dynamic fare system, like flights.

It had increased tatkal charges last year in April by ten percent of the basic fare for reserved second class sitting and 30 percent of basic fare for all other classes.

NDA government has increased train fares of all classes by 14.2 percent on June 25.

Goa to benefit from Railway Minister’s revamp of Konkan Railway

मडगांव Madgaon (MAO): While union railway minister Suresh Prabhu goes about the task of turning around the fortunes of the Konkan Railway, the Goan flavor will carry its indelible mark on the makeover moves. Literally so, believe the sources in the know of things.

Importantly, the spill-over effect of the development projects is expected to benefit Goan economy.

From providing Konkan cuisine at the railway stations along the route, to training taxi drivers and motorcycle pilots in the state to serve as tourist guides, and from upgrading the Tivim railway station to developing the Sawantwadi station into a terminus, sources said that Prabhu’s focus has been in developing passenger amenities at the stations while also intensifying community participation in the development of the Konkan Railway.

A sense of optimism reigns high among the commuters of the Goa and Konkan region following Prabhu’s taking over of the railway ministry. Not without a reason, though. It is the first time since the commissioning of the Konkan Railway in 1988 that a person from the Konkan belt has become a railway minister.

Prabhu was four times member of parliament from the Rajapur (now Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri) constituency, though he did not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said that Prabhu’s qualifications as a chartered accountant would enable him to have a better grasp of the Konkan Railway’s corporate accounting affairs and steward its fortunes.

Prabhu’s Goa connection— his wife hails from Ribander—has also served in rubbing that sense of cheer among the Goan commuters as well, sources said.

Sources in the Konkan Railway are also hopeful that its two important projects—double tracking of the line from Roha to Mangalore and its electrification, will soon take shape. Electrification of the 741 km route is estimated to cost 700 cr, while 1500 crore is needed for doubling the line, sources said.

It is also believed that these two projects have the potential to alter the dynamics of the Konkan Railway. Once it switches over to electric mode of train movements from the current diesel-based operations, the Konkan Railway is expected to translate into a savings of 100 crore per year for the KRC.

The doubling of the track will help increase the capacity of the railway line from the current 68 trains (freight and passenger) per day to nearly 120, sources said. Doubling of tracks will also mean creating new stations and converting the 28 stations with two lines into those with a third line. A third line will allow trains to pass each other much faster at stations.

Sources said that it is imperative for the Konkan Railway to get cracking on the electrification project, as any delay would pose a major operational challenge for the railways. Electrification work on Southern Railway’s Shorannur junction in Kerala to Mangalore is being fast tracked and is expected to be completed by March 2015. The doubling of the Panvel-Roha line by Central Railway is also expected to be completed by this financial year and its electrification by 2017.

“As either ends of the Konkan Railway would then be electrified, it would require trains to switch over from electric locomotives to diesel powered ones before entering the Konkan Railway zone at both ends, Roha and Mangalore. The Konkan Railway would definitely like to avoid such a prospect,” a source in the know said.

Railways’ can float new PSU to tap Rs.10000 Crore Advertisement Market: RITES

New Delhi: The cash-strapped Railways has potential to earn Rs.10000 Crore a year just by selling space for advertising in train coaches, on wagons, stations and even tickets to premium brands, an audit report said.

Soon after assuming charge, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu asked Railways’ engineering firm RITES to do the first-ever professional assessment of how much money the Railways could earn from selling the ad-space. A detailed report has been presented to Prabhu in this regard, which also suggested that Ministry of Railways can even float a PSU only to tap the potential market from Advertisement, media and entertainment.

The assessment has broken down the earning potential into different categories of rolling stock Railways has. The target audience in premium trains like Rajdhanis and Shatabdis are perceived to be different from that in ordinary mail/express trains. Similarly, wagons will attract different type of clients, so the branding and the rates will also be different. It calls for Branded Train Scheme, Branded Station Scheme and Freight Wagons Sponsorship.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a similar suggestion to the Railways to use wagons as a means for earning advertising revenue — money that was considered as good as lying unclaimed by the national transporter.

From 26 Rajdhanis, 20 Shatabdis and 32 Duronto trains alone, the Railways could earn Rs 780 crore per year by selling advertisement space. These trains combined offer advertisers “four lakh captive eyeball contacts of passengers, plus 80 lakh casual eyeball contacts in addition to premium branding rights”, the report said.

A similar assessment has been given for 500 other superfast mail/express trains, 2,000 passenger trains, 100 local trains and 1 lakh wagons.

“For the study to be a realistic assessment, the RITES took into account practices applied in the current advertising industry to assess worth of branding, and references from present market rates,” said a senior official.

Advertising has never been a successful avenue of earnings for railways as all efforts have in the past have been in piecemeal. The new report has recommended to Prabhu that a Comprehensive Commercial Publicity Policy be formulated by the ministry and a multi-disciplinary Task Force should be formed.

Indian Railways to have 5-6 grand Railway Stations like New York’s Grand Central

grand-central-us-flagनई दिल्ली New Delhi: India by 2017 will have five or six top-class railway stations on the pattern of monumental Grand Central Terminal, New York, or famed Gare d’Austerlitz terminus in Paris, a top Railway Board official has said. “We should be seeing something great coming up at five or six places in the country in next two to three years . This is in line with other stations all over the world. If you go to New York Central or Gare d’Austerlitz where you have top class terminal with facilities like mall,” Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar told PTI. Kumar said work on the projects would start soon and is likely to be completed within three years.

Grand Central New York“Station developments will come up very differently. It is one area which is constantly coming up that station must be the concept of a mall experience. We want to benchmark to global standards,” he said. These stations would attract passengers and facilitate business, he said.

Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia and the world’s second largest under one management, running 11,000 trains a day on its about 1,10,000 km tracks.

Grand Central Terminal New York CityKumar said apart from station modernisation, port connectivity was another area of focus for railways with Rs 16,000 crore worth of projects underway. “We are paying real emphasis to port connectivity. We have had good amount of progress this year. We have given clearance to about seven projects worth Rs 16,000 crore and we can do even more based on the request we get,” he said.

He said FDI has been opened in ten sectors of Railways which covered almost all areas of its working. “We have displayed our intentions and also identified the projects that can be taken up under FDI and in case industry needs more projects that they would like to fund we would consider that. Anything which improves the movement of passengers, their convenience and has impact on the growtGrand Central Terminal New Yorkh of Indian economy, that we will accord priority,” Kumar said.

FDI assumes significance in the context of high speed trains too, he said adding “the High speed line study is being done on Mumbai to Ahmedabad route. This thing is going to be a game changer. Wherever high speed has come it is not only railway but society as a whole has gone a complete change.”

He said mammoth investments were required in high speed trains as laying of tracks cost Rs 100 crore per km in comparison to Rs 10 crore a km for normal trains. “Government has made its intentions clear… Delhi Chennai route has been offered to Chinese to study and come back,” he said, adding that it takes about nine to 10 years to flag off such trains.

Indian Railways is the growth engine of Indian economy, he said adding, “So far whatever constraints we have, Indian Railways has never been in the reds. It has always been making profit though we subsidise heavily.”

Indian Railways plans Private Funding to reduce dependency on Public Finance

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu said here today that private funding would be attracted to reduce dependency on public finances.

“There is no proposal to privatise railways. But there is a proposal to optimise the utilisation of all value assets in a way to supplement the public investment in railways,” Prabhu said on board a special train from Karmali station to Thivim station.

“Private capital helps to reduce burden on public finances which is generated by taxing people through income tax or indirect taxations. It will help railways to provide better services and income will also increase,” he said.

“Passengers often complaint about lack of upgradation of stations. If we continue with the current pace then it will require 150 years for us to complete them. That is why we have decided to chalk out the plan.”

He said that “We will upload the details on website and anyone interested in the upgradation work (of stations through private funding) can submit us the plan.”

Emphasising on bringing transparency in functioning of the Indian Railways, he said they have requested former CAG Vinod Rai to help Railways in this regard. In an important step, Prabhu said he has issued directives that none of the tender would be referred to the minister.

Parliamentary Panel seeks Blueprint for Advanced Railway e-ticketing System

Indian Railways has envisaged a better system which would work seamlessly even during high traffic when Tatkal booking begins

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has asked the Railways to submit a blueprint for its plan to implement the new generation advanced e-ticketing system under which seven lakh tickets could be booked per day.

The public transporter has envisaged a better system which would work seamlessly even during high traffic when Tatkal booking begins.

Taking note of the roll-out plan, the Public Accounts Committee has asked Railways to spell out additional resources and expenditure which may be involved and the timeline by which the programme could be achieved.

“The committee would, therefore, like the Railway Ministry to submit a detailed master plan or a blueprint as to how it envisages to implement the new generation advanced e-ticketing system,” it said in its report tabled in Parliament last week.

The committee has also slammed Railways’ move to sell half of its Tatkal tickets under dynamic pricing mechanism, recommending reducing the premium on such tickets to a “minimum essential level” as the system was “legitimising inequality”.

“It is high time Railways institutionalise the concerns of the poor. The committee would, therefore, like the Ministry to reduce premium on tickets of Tatkal reservation to a minimum essential level,” it said in its report.

It observed that those who can afford to pay premium as well as those who have access to Internet are getting their confirmed berths without any hassles whereas those who cannot are not getting the tickets.

The panel also felt that the percentage of advanced reservation is enhanced and that Tatkal reservation should be reduced to a feasible and sustainable level in the greater interest of the travelling public.

“The system was legitimising inequality,” the committee said.

The committee suggested that a certain quota restriction should be put on ticket reservation bookings by Internet so as to provide a better equitable opportunity for the poor, disadvantaged and the deprived classes of the society having no access to Internet.

Shivamogga Nagarika Hitarakshana Vedika demands improvement of Rail connectivity

शिवमोगा Shivamogga: Members of the Shivamogga Nagarika Hitarakshana Vedikegala Okkuta staged a protest here on Saturday demanding upgrading of the railway connectivity in the district.

Addressing the protest meet, K.V.Vasanth Kumar, secretary of the vedike, said that the Union government had announced in its budget that the rail link between Shivamogga and Harihar would be established. The survey on this route had also been completed. The commissioning of this project would provide the people of Malnad region with an easy access to the north and central Karnataka. He urged the government to release funds necessary for taking up the work on Shivamogga-Harihar railway project at the earliest.

The survey work on providing rail link between Shivamogga-Shikaripur-Rani

bennur and the doubling of the track between Shivamogga and Birur should be completed.

The Railway Ministry should announce that the rail link between Talaguppa with Konkan Railway and introduce a direct train between Shivamogga and Tirupati and between Shivamogga and Chennai in the next railway budget, he said.

To ensure hassle-free vehicular movement between Shivamogga and Holehonnur along National Highway 13, a railway underpass should be constructed near the Tunga bridge in the city. The approach road to Shivamogga railway station was in a bad condition owing to recent heavy rains here. The Department of Railways should release funds for road repairs, he said. The protesters formed a human chain near Lakshmi theatre. As a result, the vehicular movement was paralysed for some time.

Functionaries of the vedike S.S. Jyotiprakash, Ashok Yadav and T.R. Ashwathnarayan took part in the protest.

Realty gets booster shot with Lucknow Metro Rail

Immediate benefits would be felt in periphery of metro stations being planned on Lucknow-Kanpur highway

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): The Lucknow Metro Rail, a flagship project of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, is all set to boost the local realty space. After a long delay, the Metro Rail project has gathered steam with actual groundwork, taking off near Lucknow Airport. While the metro project would impact realty sector in the city, the immediate benefits would be felt in the periphery of metro stations which are being planned on Lucknow-Kanpur highway.

“The project has its influence zone spanning the metro route and the connecting stations. It would give a special push to real estate on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway and the adjoining areas,” Paarth Infrabuild Promoter-Director Pradeep Misra.

His company is also launching a housing project over 80 acres, he informed.

It is estimated that projects spanning almost 2,000 acres could be launched near metro routes, in the next five years, to cater to the rising demand for residential and commercial properties. Misra noted the project would spur local realty prices by almost 20 per cent depending upon the distance from metro stations and route. “Areas near metro stations would see tremendous demand and price hike both in terms of residential as well as commercial projects,” said Alok Chandra, director, Chandra Modern Builders.

Lucknow_Metro_Route_Map_(Tentative).svgLucknow has been a preferred destination for real estate investors and developers due to good connectivity, infrastructure, industry, education and health care.

Chandra opined metro project amply showed Lucknow had arrived on the national map and, hence, the increase in interest for people living outside to invest in the city. Lucknow Metro is proposed in two North-South (NS) and East-West corridors. The 23-km NS corridor would be been undertaken in the first phase and is estimated to cost over Rs 7,000 crore.

Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) is targeting to complete the corridor’s railroad section, covering about 8 km between Transport Nagar and Charbagh railway station by December 2016.

Since, Assembly polls are due before May 2017, the ruling Samajwadi Party wants the metro project on track to showcase it as a success story.

The hitherto neglected Lucknow-Kanpur region is waiting in wings to soar on the realty boom on the back of Lucknow Metro and other infrastructure projects.

Railway Minister announces a slew of Reforms in Railway sector

पणजी Panaji: Promising “watershed development” of Indian railways, Union minister for railways Suresh Prabhu on Saturday announced a slew of reforms in the rail sector, including the introduction of remote sensing technology to improve safety, rail bookings on mobile phones and wi-fi at railway stations.

Prabhu was speaking after launching several new initiatives for Konkan railways in Goa, including laying of a foundation stone for a lake view resort near Carambolim railway station.

Prabhu said there were 11,000 unmanned level crossings in India where rail accidents were a possibility. He said he would get the help of ISRO to use remote sensing technology to overcome the possibility of accidents at unmanned level crossings.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the present system of sewage disposal in railways and said he would try to rope in IITs to come out with a scientific solution to the problem. Prabhu promised improvements in rail cuisine, laundry and linen and in signaling technology.

Prabhu said his ministry would plan improvement of every station and put up these details on a website. Rail bookings would be possible through mobile and wi-fi would be extended to more rail stations. Henceforth, tendering of projects would no longer come to the Union minister but would be finalized at the level of general manager. Doubling of railway lines where necessary, ordering railway food through mobile phone and improvement in quality of railway food are also on the cards.

Have Sought Vinod Rai’s Help to Make Indian Railways More Transparent, Says Minister Suresh Prabhu

Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has been requested by the Indian Railways to evolve a transparency mechanism for the functioning of the ministry and its operations.

“I have asked our former CAG Vinod Rai, whose integrity is well respected by all. I have requested him to come and guide us on ways and means to make railway functioning transparent,” Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

Mr Rai has been credited with unearthing the 2G spectrum allocation and coal allocation scams as CAG of India.

Mr Prabhu, was speaking at a function organized by the Konkan Railways at the Karmali railway station, a short distance from Panaji.

He also said the ministry would soon start a website which will work as an interface for the railway station development plan.

The website would host designs and models of railway stations prepared by the respective bidders in a bid to make the process more transparent and inclusive.

Railway Minister orders Safety Audit of Konkan Railway

पणजी Panaji: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said he has ordered safety audit of the Konkan Railway route to curb accidents and to make train travel safer for passengers.

“Safety of passengers cannot be compromised. I have asked the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) to conduct a very elaborate safety audit,” Prabhu told on board special train between Karmali-Thivim railway stations.

For Tripura residents, its via Bangladesh to the rest of India

अगरतला Agartala (AGTL): Hurdles in travelling to other parts of the country by road, rail and air are increasingly prompting the people of Tripura to go to other parts of India via Bangladesh.

Before the partition of the country in 1947, the routes of the then East Bengal (now Bangladesh) had been used to ferry men and materials to and from northeast India.

“For the people of Tripura, the Bangladeshi route is the only and secured option to go to Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of India as road, rail and air journeys from this hilly state now become impossible,” Tarun Chakraborty, an executive of a Kolkata-based private company posted here, told IANS.

“If you are keen to visit Tripura, then the Bangladeshi route is the solitary and secure alternative. I, along with my family, were stranded in Kolkata for three days. My leave has exhausted but I was unable to rejoin my office in Agartala as no air tickets were available . I returned to Tripura from Kolkata via Bangladesh,” he added.

Thus, “the periodicity of the Agartala-Dhaka and Dhaka-Agartala bus services is likely to be increased in view of the pressure of Kolkata-bound passengers,” said an official of Tripura government-run Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC), operator of the Agartala-Dhaka bus service.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation and TRTC operate the bus services.

The Agartala-Dhaka bus service started in September 2003. Before that, the Kolkata-Dhaka bus service was introduced in July 1999.

“By bus or by train from Kolkata to Agartala via Dhaka takes around 18 hours. The bus fare is around Rs.1,600 and the rail fare is around Rs.500,” Chakraborty said.

Several hundred passengers, including serious patients, job seekers, students, bridegrooms and tourists have been stranded in Agartala, Kolkata and Guwahati in view of the non-availability of air tickets for want of aircraft.

“Since last year, eight airlines, including Jet Airways and SpiceJet, in a phased manner, stopped their operations on the Kolkata-Guwahati-Agartala route, causing enormous problems for passengers bound for these cities,” a senior official of the Airports Authority of India told IANS.

“Exploiting the situation, travel agencies in Agartala were booking air tickets in fake names and selling these to passengers at exorbitantly high prices,” Superintendent of Police (CID) Sanjoy Roy told IANS.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Tripura Police has launched a probe into the hoarding of flight tickets and manipulation of their rates.

“Following reports of bulk-booking of air tickets by a section of travel agencies, our officers have raided the offices of six agencies and collected all relevant documents. No one has yet been arrested,” Roy said.

Currently, only IndiGo and Air India are operating flights linking Agartala, Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi.

Tripura Transport Minister Manik Dey told IANS: “People of the state have to largely depend on air travel because of the tenuous road and rail connectivity.”
Dey, along with the members of parliament from Tripura, wrote a series of letters to Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusupati to urgently intervene.

“Air tickets available for the Agartala-Kolkata route for Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 are now being sold for Rs.8,500 to Rs.15,000 per ticket,” a travel agent said.

Train services between Tripura, Mizoram, parts of Manipur and southern Assam and the rest of the country were stopped from Oct 1 due to gauge conversion of railway lines. The century-old railway lines are being converted from metre gauge to broad gauge.

“The 18-month-long gauge conversion work from Assam’s Lumding to Agartala would continue till March 2016,” a North Frontier Railway official told IANS.

The railway line is broad gauge from Assam’s main city of Guwahati up to Lumding (in southern Assam). From Lumding, Tripura’s capital Agartala and western Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam, the railway link with the rest of India was a single and 110-year-old metre gauge line.

Agartala came into the railway network in 2008.

The only other alternative is travelling in the horrific conditions of the mountainous National Highway 44, the lifeline that links Tripura to the rest of India.

In view of the closer railway services, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) recently ferried 10,000 tonnes of rice for Tripura in two phases from Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh via Bangladesh.

The FCI has taken steps to ferry another 35,000 tonnes of rice for Tripura via Bangladesh.

Earlier in 2012, Bangladesh had allowed state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to ferry heavy machinery, turbines and over-dimensional cargoes through Ashuganj port for the 726 MW Palatana mega power project in southern Tripura.

The transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a big factor for the mountainous northeastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China.

There is only a narrow chicken-neck land corridor to the northeastern region from India through Assam and West Bengal but this route passes through hilly terrain with steep gradients and multiple hairpin bends, making plying of vehicles, especially loaded trucks, very difficult.

For instance, Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2,637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 350 km.

Trains from north running Late by over 6 Hours

विजयवाडा Vijayawada (BZA): Most express trains from New Delhi and other northern states are running late by four-five hours due to heavy fog, railway officials said today.

New Delhi- Chennai grand trunk express, New Delhi- Chennai express, Hazrat Nizamuddin- Visakhapatnam link, New Delhi- Thiruvananthapuram Kerala express and many other trains arrived late by more than six hours today at the Vijayawada railway station.

“Most of the trains from Northern states are running late but we are managing to cover it to some extent,” a senior railway official in the operations division, told.

Passengers who have confirmed forward reservation are suffering due to the delay but railways officials are allowing passengers to travel in other train without charging them any additional fare.

AIRF bodies meet Railway Minister

गुवाहाटी Guwahati (GWH): The Union government has assured railway unions that all decisions regarding the working of the Indian Railways would be taken only in consultation with them.

This was stated during a meeting which was held earlier this week in New Delhi between the Railway Minister and the railway federations on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Indian Railways.

In the meeting, the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) was represented by Rakhal Das Gupta, president of the federation and general secretary of NF Railway Mazdoor Union.

“… (The) Honorable Minister of Railways, while welcoming the federations, assured that there would be no privatization of any activity in the Railways. He also mentioned that his system of working had been very transparent and he would try that each and every issue are discussed with the federations with full transparency. He said that the Indian Railways are passing through a economic crisis, and under these circumstances we have to invite private capital. He further said that he wants to assure that private capital would be used for expansion of railway infrastructure, but all the activities, right from production, maintenance and operation, will be dealt by the railway men only,” said a statement issued by the federations.

Das Gupta and leaders of AIRF opposed the FDI in the Railways and said that because of the propaganda, Railway men have been demoralised.

They reminded the Railway Minister about the circular issued by the Ministry of Commerce & Heavy Industry stating that 100 per cent FDI will be allowed in all the three sectors – production, maintenance and operation.

The Minister said that he would have another round of meeting with the federations after going through all the aspects but assured that no harm would be allowed to the existing Railway system.

Railway Minister to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister over Rail projects

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has called for a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and union Raod Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to work out a development plan for the railways in Mumbai, a city synonymous with congested suburban trains.

Speaking at a function at the Karmali railway station, a short distance from Panaji, Prabhu said the meeting would take place in the next few days.

“We are going to take a decision about whole Maharashtra and Mumbai development plan for railways.

“The Maharashtra government, central government and local authorities like municipality and police will work together in an integrated way to bring about relief to the over-burdened railway network in India,” he said.

Prabhu also said providing relief to passengers who “travel in overburdened railway network in India” was top priority for him.

Fast tracking the development of Mumbai and clearing its public transport systems from congestion was one of the poll promises made by the BJP in its state election campaign.

Railways likely to use idle Space for Advertisement: Official

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: In order to generate additional revenue, the cash-starved railways likely to use idle space in rail premises for advertising and publicity purposes.

The idle space in coaches, wagons, trains, stations, consumable items, utensils, beddings could be used for advertising, publicity and other purposes to generate additional revenue, said a senior Railway Ministry official.

The railways has constituted a Task Force to deliberate on this issue and it will submit a detailed report suggesting broad policy and operational framework and other relevant issues having a bearing in this matter.

The six-member Task Force under the Chairmanship of Member Traffic, Railway Board, consists of Advisor, Finance (Railway Board), General Manger, Central Railway, Adviser, Infrastructure (Railway Board), Chairman-cum-Managing Director, RITES (Railway PSU) and Managing Director, IRCTC (Railway PSU).

RITES had undertaken a comprehensive study and submitted a concept note to the Railway Board last week to leverage these resources last week. This concept note will be a key input for the Task Force.

The Task Force has been asked to submit its report by December 26, this year.

Railway’s Bomb Dispoal Squad conducts mock drill at Madgaon railway station

मडगांव Madgaon (MAO): As a part of its heightened security measures, the Railway police on Sunday pressed into service a bomb disposal squad (BDS) to conduct search operations at the Margao railway station.

Police sources said that the exercise was conducted to ensure a sense of “heightened alertness and quick coordination among security agencies in view of the general alert sounded in the country following the Peshawar terror attack”.

There was no specific threat of any kind, the Konkan Railway police stressed in light of the mock drill.

The drill led to some anxious moments for the passengers at the railway station, as rumours of a bomb scare did the rounds.

Earlier this month, a bomb scare had led to panic among railway officials after an anonymous letter addressed to the station master of the Margao railway station cautioning him about a planned bomb attack was found in the mail box.

The threat later turned out to be a hoax.

Indian Railways set up 13 Additional Mechanised Laundries

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: During the year 2013 and 2014 till date, 13 additional mechanized laundries have been set up. Mechanised cleaning, rag picking and disposal contracts are being awarded or ensuring cleaning of stations including platforms. More and more toilets are being brought under ‘pay & use’ scheme.

To improve upon the effectiveness of housekeeping schemes for trains like, On Board Housing Services (OBHS), Clean Train Stations (CTS) and Mechanised Coach Cleaning in coaching depots, Zonal Railways have been advised for close monitoring of cleaning operations, use of biometric attendance system for OBHS staff and evolve an evaluation system for CTS functioning.

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

Hadapsar Rail Terminus to come up in 40-acre land in Pune

पुणे Pune: The administration of the Central Railway Pune division is working on a proposal to construct a separate railway terminus in Hadapsar to operate long-distance trains. As per the primary study, the terminus would require about 40-acre land, said S K Sood, General Manager of the Central Railway.

“The proposal is moving ahead at a slow pace due to various factors. Availability of land for the terminus is the most crucial one. We have to work it out with the state government. Once we are sure about the availability of the land, the administration will discuss other factors like engineering, passenger amenities and planning of tracks,” he said.

The proposal has been under consideration of the Pune division for the last two years. Once built, the terminus would decentralize the rail operation and reduce the burden on Pune station. At present, more than 150 trains operate from Pune station every day. There is not much space to operate additional trains. As per the railway administration, long-distance trains originating from Pune to destinations in the northern states can operate from the proposed Hadapsar terminus.

Sood said the administration has also proposed construction of two additional foot overbridges (FOBs) at the Pune station, of which one which will connect platform numbers one and three. The construction of the small FOB will be completed in the next four months. The work on the other FOB, which will have landings at both ends outside the station, will take more than a year to complete.

“Over 104 rail overbridges (ROBs) are due to be built by the Central Railway. These bridges are particularly meant for vehicular traffic, an alternative for vehicles which otherwise use railway crossings to cross tracks. Of these, proposals for 15 ROBs are with the state government. Work will start after we receive a final nod,” he said.

Sood further said the administration has taken steps to appoint counsellors at all unmanned level crossings to create awareness on how to cross railway tracks safely. “The signal system between Pune and Lonavla will also be improved to accommodate more local trains,” he added.

Sood inspected various passenger amenities at Pune station and also checked the speed limits of train running between Salpa and Daundaj stations

Anand Vihar and Bijwasan Metro Stations to be developed as World-class infra: DDA

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Redevelopment of Anand Vihar and Bijwasan railway stations as world-class infrastructure and integration of 34 metro stations into a multi-modal transportion system were among the decisions approved by the DDA’s planning body UTTIPEC today.

The urban body, under the chairmanship of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung took the decision in its Governing Body Meeting of Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC), DDA’s planning body, at the Raj Niwas.

The proposal of Redevelopment of Anand Vihar Railway Station on the Indian Railway network was presented by Indian Railway Station Development Corporation.

Located in east Delhi, Anand Vihar is going to handle about 2.1 lakhs passenger a day, whole station complex will handle about 5,00,000 passengers a day when fully functional on capacity level.

The proposal outlines various state-of-the-art user facilities to access the station.

According to DDA, to handle the traffic load of the station complex, improvements for various road network are also proposed — additional road links and connecting loops are planned for efficient traffic dispersal.

“Provision of pickup/drop off bays for car, taxi, auto, bus and non-motorised transport has also been proposed.

About 700 car parking spaces for passengers and about 3000 parking spaces for visitors and commercial areas are planned at the railway station,” the DDA said in a statement.

The plan also proposes to connect the Anand Vihar complex with the proposed East-West Corridor for smooth traffic dispersal.

Among the other approved proposals is making Bijwasan Station in south Delhi into a world-class infrastructure.

The proposal plan seeks to transform the railway station with iconic buildings and modern amenities.

“Multi-modal integration for seamless connectivity to the Metro station, ISBT, arrival and departures are segregated to avoid congestion, ample parking space of 1200 lots, provisions for segregated non-motorised traffic movement, parking and pick-up/drop-off, in addition to all other modes,” the DDA said.

Among other proposals are provisions for a disaster management unit, a bus terminal and waiting facilities for at least 30 DTC buses within the station premises, it said.

Besides, the plan also calls for using sustainable features like renewable energy, waste management at the station.

“Around three-four additional railway under-bridges are provided on south-east side to connect between the existing neighborhoods and the proposed development, in order to minimize traffic on existing vehicular roads.

Assam MP demands Rail Link between Mahisashan to Kolkata via Bangladesh

सिलचर Silchar (SCL): Assam’s Karimganj MP Radheshyam Biswas has sought revival of the age-old rail connection between Mahisashan in Karimganj district of Assam and Kolkata, through Bangladesh.

Biswas, the AIUDF MP, met Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on Thursday and submitted a memorandum, saying that if train services on the route were resumed, it would improve connectivity of south Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram with the rest of the country.

Karimganj enjoyed railway connectivity with Kolkata via Mahisashan through Bangladesh till 1965.

The India-Pakistan war in 1965 snapped the services as Bangladesh was part of Pakistan at that time, Biswas added.

Mahisashan station is under India’s North-east Frontier Railway (NFR) near the Bangladesh border.

The railway tracks reach up to Sahbazpur station in Sylhet division on the other side of the international border. The track is divided simply by an iron bar.

If the two sides agree, removal of the bar will help resumption of train services between Karimganj and Kolkata through Dhaka.

The Karimganj MP told Prabhu that reopening of rail link between Mahisashan station and Kolkata was necessary for easy connectivity of south Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram and the rest of the country.

The present train services of the area through Guwahati and North Bengal is not only time-consuming, expensive and hazardous.

The pre-partition system will prove economic and hassle-free. It will have help develop this part of northeast, he added. If the route is reopened it will take only eight to ten hours to reach Kolkata from Assam’s Karimganj.

Earlier, railway minister of the-then UPA government Mukul Roy had said revival of the old rail link was being considered by New Delhi and Dhaka.

A source said in September 2011 the issue had been discussed at a bipartite meeting between the-then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Bangladesh counterpart Shekh Hasina in Dhaka. Both the countries agreed to reopen on the issue. Following this India’s external affairs ministry had sought project report from the concerned ministry in Bangladesh, the source added.

IndiaMART gets Ad Space on DMRC’s Jahangirpuri-Huda City Centre Yellow Line Route

Delhi-Metro-IndiaMARTनई दिल्ली New Delhi: IndiaMART has found advertising space on a Yellow Line Route (Jahangirpuri to Huda City Centre) metro. The fully wrapped metro features brand ambassador Irrfan Khan and the brand message ‘Kaam yahin banta hai’.

IndiaMART is the first company to join hands with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for a brand-wrapped metro on this key route. Another wrapped metro on the Blue Line route, from Dwarka to Noida was initiated today. Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing, IndiaMART is thrilled at being the first to do so. Metro’s popularity promises to create a high brand recall among people.

The Yellow line route includes important business hubs like Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar and Kashmere Gate, and Gurgaon, home to big corporate houses. IndiaMART is confident that this initiative would help reach out to a large pool of commuters.

The wrap features various contextual messages featuring Irrfan Khan, who connects with commuters by communicating about IndiaMART in an exciting manner. Bedi believes this will go a long way in creating a desirable impact in the minds of people. IndiaMART’s brand campaign is inclusive of varied mediums – TV, radio, online, and now OOH.

CR plans to Swap its too-tall Bombardier Rakes with Siemens ones on WR

मुंबई Mumbai: The Central Railway (CR) plans to swap its too-tall Bombardier rakes with the Siemens ones that ply on the Western Railway (WR), but some fear that the exchange may end up affecting the smooth running of services on both the lines.

The Bombardiers are unfit to run between CST and Thane as these are 4.29 metres tall when the maximum height for operation on the CR is 4.27 metres.

Of the 72 rakes with electrical fittings from Bombardier Transportation ordered by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, 40 were for the CR and the rest for the WR.

“The Bombardier rakes comply with the schedule of dimension (SOD) fixed by the Indian Railways,” a senior official said. “However, in Mumbai, the situation is peculiar because of the presence of century-old bridges over tracks. Neither the height of the bridges nor the railway tracks can be raised further.”

A WR official said that any new rake would face some teething problems.

“When Siemens rakes came around 2006, there were several malfunctions,” the official said.

WR officials fear they will have to iron out initial issues with Bombardiers too. Questions also remain about the performance of old rakes from the WR that will be put to use on the CR.

“The Siemens rakes, if these come from WR, will be 10 years old,” an official said. “These may have undergone a lot of wear and tear. Hence, it can pose operational problems.”

Another view in the CR was that the Siemens rakes would have been tried and tested on the WR. “These will be in fact more beneficial to us,” a CR official said.

The Siemens rakes are under 4.27 metres in height and suitable on the CR.

Delay in Wagon Induction causes Rs.1635 Crore Loss to Indian Railways: CAG

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Punching holes in the railways’ freight management, the Comptroller and Auditor General has found deterioration in the various efficiency parameters causing hindrance in smooth goods train operations and sought streamlining of the monitoring mechanism.

“Cases of excessive detentions of wagons at various activity centres affecting the availability of wagons, non- availability of locomotives for running the goods trains and deterioration in average speed of goods trains point towards a monitoring mechanism that warrants streamlining,” CAG has said in its latest report tabled in Parliament today.

Delay in induction of the 15,815 wagons in the railway system led to an avoidable loss of earning capacity of Rs 1,635.67 crore in seven zonal railways, it said.

Freight movement is one of the core activities of Indian Railways in terms of earning revenue as well as transport effort. Railways carries more than 35 per cent of the total freight traffic of the country and about two-third of its revenue comes from transportation of goods.

The operation of goods trains depends largely on the adequate availability of required rolling stock, crew and appropriate paths for movement of goods trains, maintaining the rolling stock in good condition by facilitating timely repair and maintenance and ensuring optimum utilization of locos/wagons by achieving reduction in turn-around time.

The national auditor, in its report covering performance of freight train operations during the period 2008-13, has found the requirement of rolling stock assessed did not have any input from the zonal railways, the ultimate user.

Further, the quantity procured during the review period was not in line with the requirement assessed, it said.

It was also observed that even the ordered quantity of wagons was not supplied in full by the railway production units and public sector wagon manufacturers and the shortfall in wagon manufacturing was 36 and 24 per cent respectively.

Funds provided for procurement of wagons were not utilised resulting in savings in all the years except for 2011-12. Principal lease payment of Rs 5514 crore made to Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) from capital led to the railways bearing an additional dividend liability of Rs 221 crore, the audit said.

Out of 77,639 new wagons allotted by the Railway Board to various zonal railways, 53,539 wagons (69 per cent) were inducted into the railway system with in a period of one year and the remaining wagons were inducted in the subsequent years.

Railways to Undertake 102 Sites for Commercial Development

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) of Indian Railways has been set up for commercial development of vacant railway land which is not required by Railways for its immediate future operational need.

102 sites measuring 916 hectare of Railway land has been entrusted to Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) for commercial development.

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