Railway Ministry successfully implements 39 Budget proposals in just 36 days

New Delhi: n an unprecedented pace of meeting promises made in the Railway Budget 2015-16, the Ministry of Railways has already implemented 39 announcements – ranging from passenger amenities system improvements to infrastructure development.

The Ministry of Railway announced yesterday that it has implemented 39 proposals made in the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the past 36 days since the beginning of the current financial year on 1 April. This was made possible by use of E-Samiksha, a software which tracks and monitors initiatives including projects and schemes.

“Ministry of Railway is next only to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Ministry of Human Resource Development to have this kind of online monitoring mechanism,” rail ministry said.

Immediately after the presentation of the Budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu directed the Railway Board to put in place a mechanism to implement the budgetary announcements in a time-bound way. The entire machinery of the Indian Railways is geared up to implement the budgetary proposals.

“Under the implementation strategy, comprehensive action plans were formulated on all budget announcements. Both the ministers – Suresh Prabhu and Manoj Sinha (MoS) – have been personally monitoring the implementation and undertaking periodical review,” an release from the ministry said, adding that the monitoring and periodical reviews are also being undertaken at Railway Board, zonal railway and railway division levels.

A majority of the achievements listed by the ministry in a release were related to passenger amenities while others dealt with public-private partnership (PPP) projects for infrastructure creation and connectivity. The list included signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) to create SPVs for setting up coal evacuation infrastructure in Odisha and Jharkhand; initiation of the process for setting up a regulator and negotiations for financing rail projects through World Bank.

Other achievements included signing of an MoU with LIC for providing funding of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, approval of rail connectivity to Dighi port through PPP, committee for revamping of PPP cell, taskforce for drafting an Information Technology (IT) vision for Indian railways, formation of Kayakalp Council headed by Ratan Tata on innovation, and examination of pending recommendations by Kakodkar committee on safety.

The ministry also listed as achievements inauguration of a perishable cargo centre, instructions to Ticket Examiners to help senior citizens get lower berths, identification of trains for increasing number of coaches from 24 to 26, instructions issued for providing mobile charging facilities in general coaches, on-board entertainment started at Kalka Shatabdi, introduction of e-catering service and online booking of retiring rooms.

The ministry has created a new department for housekeeping, which will address the issue of cleanliness in a more integrated and coordinated manner. Also, on the lines of Swachh Bharat Mission, it has started disposable bags for garbage disposal as a pilot project in the Mumbai-Amritsar Punjab mail.
The ministry has made it mandatory that after May 1, all new non-AC coaches being manufactured in Integral Coach Factory would have dustbins. NIFT, Delhi, has been roped in to design bedroll, etc, the release said. “Three new mechanised laundries have been started at Kochiveli, Malda town and Santragachhi to supply clean linen taking the total of such laundries to 33. Twenty-nine more locations have been identified. Passenger and security helplines 138 and 182, respectively, are already functional. Also, an application and a portal to redress railway-related complaints have been developed, making the online tracking of complaints possible,” the release said.

AP Govt holds Emergency Meeting with SCR – Special Trains between various Destinations announced

Hyderabad: To review the transportation arrangements in view of Strike by APSRTC, Government of AP has convened  an emergency meeting. Shri R. Kishore Babu, Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare & Empowerment and Tribal Welfare & Empowerment, Shri IVR Krishna Rao, Chief Secretary, Shri Sambasiva Rao, MD / APSRTRC, Shri Sombabu, Principal Secretary, Transport, (Roads and Buildings) Govt. of AP and Shri Siva Prasad, Chief Passenger Traffic Manager, South Central Railway were present and discussed the issues related to running of special trains and other necessary arrangements in view of the strike. Further, Shri P.K. Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway, advised all the Divisional Railway Managers to be in touch with District officials and co-ordinate the transport needs of public.

In order to clear extra rush of passengers in view of strike by employees unions of APSRTC, SCR will run nine special trains  as per the following schedule:-

  • Secunderabad-Tirupati-Secunderabad Special Train (2 Services)

Train No. 07429 Secunderabad-Tirupati Special train will depart Secunderabad at 15:30 hrs on 7th May, 2015 and arrive Tirupati at  03:40 hrs o­n the next day.

In the return direction, Train No.07430 Tirupati-Secunderabad Special train will depart Tirupati at 12:45 hrs on 8th May, 2015 and arrive Secunderabad  at 03:30 hrs o­n the next day.

Enroute, these trains will stop at Kacheguda, Jadcherla, Mahbubnagar, Wanaparti Road, Gadwal, Kurnoor City, Dhone, Gooty, Tadipatri, Kondapuram, Muddanur, Yerraguntla, Kadapa, Nandalur, Rajampet, Koduru, and Renigunta.

These special trains will consist of 15 Coaches viz., o­ne AC III Tier, one AC II Tier, nine Sleeper Class, two General Second Class and two General Second Class Luggage Cum Brake Van Coaches.

  • Hyderabad-Kakinada Port – Hyderabad Special Trains:(2 Services)

Train No. 07005 Hyderabad-Kakinada Port Special Train will depart Hyderabad at 23:40 hrs o­n 6th May, 2015 arrive/depart Secunderabad at 00:05/00:15 on the next day and arrive Kakinada Port at 13:55 hrs.

In the return direction, Train No. 07006 Kakinada Port – Hyderabad Special Train will depart Kakinada Port at 15:30 hrs o­n 7th May, 2015 and arrive/depart Secunderabad at 04:30/04:40 hrs on the next day and arrive Hyderabad at 05:15 hrs.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Nalgonda, Miryalaguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Mangalagir, Vijayawada, Gudivada, Kaikaluru, Akivedu, Bhimavaram Town, Tanuku, Nidadavolu, Kovvuru, Rajahmundry, Dwarapudi, Samalkot, and Kakinada Town stations in both the directions.

These trains will have 14 coaches viz, one AC II Tier, one AC III Tier, nine  Sleeper Class, one General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

  • Guntur-Kakinada Port Special Train: (one Service)

Train No. 07643 Guntur-Kakinada Port Special Train will depart Guntur at 20:50 hrs o­n 6th May, 2015 and arrive Kakinada Port at 03:00 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Managalagiri, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Nidadavolu, Kovvur, Rajahmundry, Dwarapudi, Anaparti, Samalkot and Kakinada Town stations.  This train will have 13 coaches viz, eight Sleeper Class, two General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

  • Tirupati–Dharmavaram Special Train (one service)

Train No. 07274 Tirupati- Dharmavaram Special Train will depart Tirupati at 21:30 hrs o­n 06thMay, 2015 and arrive Dharmavaram at 09:00 hrs o­n the next day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Renigunta, Kadapa, Tadipatri, Gooty and Anantapur. This train will have 8 General coaches and two Second Class Luggage Cum brake van coaches totalling to 10 coaches.

  • Dharmavaram – Kadapa Special Train (one Service)

            Train No. 07273 Dharmavaram-Kadapa Special Train will depart Dharmavarm  at 15:00 hrs o­n 07th May, 2015  and arrive Kadapa at 00:00 hrs on the same day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Anantapur, Gooty and Tadipatri. This train will have 8 General coaches and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches totalling to 10 coaches

  • Tirupati–Guntakal Special Train (one service)

Train No. 07475 Tirupati- Guntakal Special Train will depart Tirupati at 23:00 hrs o­n 6thMay, 2015 and arrive Guntakal  at 10:30 hrs o­n the next day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Pakala, Madanapalli, Dharmavaram, Anantapur and Kalluru. This train will have 8 General coaches and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches totalling to 10 coaches.

  • Guntakal -Dharmavaram Special Train (one Service)

Train No. 07476 Guntakal – Dharmavaram Special Train will depart Guntakal at 14:30 hrs o­n 7thMay, 2015 and arrive Dharmavaram at 17:30 hrs o­n the Same day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Kallur and  Anantapur and. This train will have 8 General coaches and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches totalling to 10 coaches.

  • 24 Extra Coaches:

24 additional coaches of various classes have been attached to several popular trains originating from the twin cities of Secunderabad/Hyderabad today i.e., 6th May, 2015 providing 1,600 additional berths / seats.

  • Visakhapatnam–Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Tatkal Special Trains

In order to clear extra rush of passengers during Summer Season, two Tatkal Special train will run between Visakhapatnam and Secunderabad as per the following schedule:-

Train No. 02871 Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Tatkal Special Train will depart Visakhapatnam at 16:45 hrs o­n 8th & 10th May, 2015 and arrive Secunderabad at 05:30 hrs on the next day.

In the return direction, Train No. 02872 Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Tatkal Special Train will depart Secunderabad at 21:40 hrs o­n 9th & 11th May, 2015 and arrive Visakhapatnam at 10:25 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Nalgonda, Miryalaguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Rajahmundry, Samalkot, Annavaram, Tuni, Anakapalli and Duvvada stations in both the directions.

These trains will have 15 coaches viz, one AC II Tier, three AC III Tier, five Sleeper Class, four General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

  • Tatkal Special Trains Between Secunderabad – Visakhapatnam; Special Trains Between Hyderabad-Kakinada Port & Guntur-Kakinada Port

In order to clear extra rush of passengers in view of strike by employees unions of APSRTC, seven special trains will be run as per the following schedule:-

  • Visakhapatnam–Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Tatkal Special Trains:

Train No. 02871 Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad Tatkal Special Train will depart Visakhapatnam at 16:45 hrs o­n 8th & 10th May, 2015 and arrive Secunderabad at 05:30 hrs on the next day.

In the return direction, Train No. 02872 Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Tatkal Special Train will depart Secunderabad at 21:40 hrs o­n 9th & 11th May, 2015 and arrive Visakhapatnam at 10:25 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Nalgonda, Miryalaguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Rajahmundry, Samalkot, Annavaram, Tuni, Anakapalli and Duvvada stations in both the directions.

These trains will have 15 coaches viz, one AC II Tier, three AC III Tier, five Sleeper Class, four General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

  • Hyderabad-Kakinada Port – Hyderabad Special Trains:

Train No. 07005 Hyderabad-Kakinada Port Special Train will depart Hyderabad at 23:40 hrs o­n 6th May, 2015 arrive/depart Secunderabad at 00:05/00:15 on the next day and arrive Kakinada Port at 13:55 hrs.

In the return direction, Train No. 07006 Kakinada Port – Hyderabad Special Train will depart Kakinada Port at 15:30 hrs o­n 7th May, 2015 and arrive/depart Secunderabad at 04:30/04:40 hrs on the next day and arrive Hyderabad at 05:15 hrs.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Nalgonda, Miryalaguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Mangalagir, Vijayawada, Gudivada, Kaikaluru, Akivedu, Bhimavaram Town, Tanuku, Nidadavolu, Kovvuru, Rajahmundry, Dwarapudi, Samalkot, and Kakinada Town stations in both the directions.

These trains will have 14 coaches viz, one AC II Tier, one AC III Tier, nine  Sleeper Class, one General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

  • Guntur-Kakinada Port Special Train:

Train No. 07643 Guntur-Kakinada Port Special Train will depart Guntur at 20:50 hrs o­n 6th May, 2015 and arrive Kakinada Port at 03:00 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Managalagiri, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Nidadavolu, Kovvur, Rajahmundry, Dwarapudi, Anaparti, Samalkot and Kakinada Town stations.

This train will have 13 coaches viz, eight Sleeper Class, two General Second Class and two Second Class luggage cum brake van coaches.

24 additional coaches of various classes have been attached to several popular trains originating from the twin cities of Secunderabad/Hyderabad today i.e., 6th May, 2015 providing 1,600 additional berths / seats.

Indian Railway revenue earnings up by 17.63% during April, 2015

Indian Railways carried 1.14 Million Tonnes of Freight during April 2015

New Delhi: The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis in April 2015 were Rs.14125.15 crore compared to Rs.12008.56 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 17.63 per cent.

Indian Railways have carried 89.81 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April 2015. The freight carried shows an increase of 1.01 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 83.68 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 1.14 per cent.

The total goods earnings were Rs.9552.51 crore in April 2015 compared to Rs.8174.94 crore in April 2014, showing an increase of 16.85 per cent.

The total passenger revenue earnings in April 2015 were Rs.4013.66 crore compared to Rs.3353.12 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 19.70 per cent.

The revenue earnings from other coaching amounted to Rs.348.96 crore in April 2015 compared to Rs.323.98 crore during the same period last year, showing an increase of 7.71 per cent.

The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during the month of April 2015 were 658.29 million compared to 684.32 million during the same period last year, showing a decrease of 3.80 per cent. In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the numbers of passengers booked during the month of April 2015 were 344.23 million and 314.06 million compared to 361.40 million and 322.92 million during the same period last year, decrease of 4.75 per cent and an increase of 2.74 per cent respectively.

TN CM urge Railway Minister to move adequate Rakes to Vallur Power Plant to resolve Coal shortage

Chennai (MAS): As the temperature goes up each day during summer, the power demand is also increasing in Tamil Nadu. Though there are several new thermal plants in the state due to which there is no power shortage, the three units at Vallur with a capacity of 500MW each is facing coal shortage.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O.Panneerselvam wrote a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday, asking him to instruct the concerned authorities to arrange adequate supply of rail rakes to ensure uninterrupted supply of coal to NTECL Vallur Thermal power plant to manage the peak power demand during summer.

“NTECL has a 1,500MW (3x500MW) coal-based power plant at Vallur in North Chennai. All the three units have declared commercial operation. Tamil Nadu has been allocated about 1045MW from this power plant. Although the plant is capable of generating 1500MW of power at present, the generation from the station is restricted on account of short supply of coal from the Mahanadi Coal field, Talcher in Odisha due to the limited availability of empty railway rakes at Talcher coal mines,” said Panneerselvam.

“I am given to understand that the Ministry of Railways is not able to provide enough number of empty railway rakes at Talcher Coal Mines. As a result, one of the units at Vallur is always under shutdown. Augmentation of coal supply to NTECL Vallur Plant would greatly help the state to meet the state’s power demand during the summer,” the chief minister said.

“Augmentation of coal supply to NTECL plant would greatly help Tamil Nadu to meet the state’s power demand [now] during summer.”

Requesting the Minister’s personal intervention, he urged him to instruct the authorities to arrange for adequate supply of railway rakes to ensure uninterrupted supply of coal to NTECL Vallur power plant to manage the peak power demand.

General Manager/SCR Calls on Divisional Engineers to Improve Passenger Amenities

GM/SCR Mr.Srivastava releasing a book on Monsoon 2015 at the Sr Divisional Engineers Conference held at Secunderabad on 7th May 2015

GM/SCR Mr.Srivastava releasing a book on Monsoon 2015 at the Sr Divisional Engineers Conference held at Secunderabad on 7th May 2015

Secunderabad (SC): P.K.Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway called upon the Divisional Engineers of the Zone to gear up themselves in improving the Passenger amenities at the earliest.Ministry of Railways in its recent budget has given major push by giving substantial funds for the betterment of passenger & staff amenities and hence there should not be any delay in this regard, reiterated Shri Srivastava while addressing the inaugural session of two day Senior Divisional Engineers Coordinator’s Conference held today i.e., 7th May, 2015 at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad.

Shri P.K. Srivastava appreciated the entire team of Divisional Engineers and staff involved in ensuring track availability and track maintenance besides reducing rail and weld failures o­n the Zone. Reduction in rail and weld failures is the major factor that got appreciations from the Railway Board and achieved National level Civil Engineering Efficiency Shield from the Ministry of Railways to SCR, he added. This year the Railway Board has enhanced the loading target by 10% for the Zone. Optimising track availability is the need of the hour.This can be achieved by reducing rail and weld failures, better terminal management, improving speeds, better controlling, efficient use of the train crew, better asset management and better signalling, said the General Manager.

Earlier, Shri P.K. Srivastava released a book titled ‘Monsoon 2015’ an action plan for cyclone-weather warnings brought out jointly by Engineering, Operating & Electrical departments. Shri Umesh Singh, Addl. General Manager, Shri S.N. Singh, Principal Chief Engineer and other PHODs of the Zone were amongst the Officials present.

Later, senior civil engineers of the Zone presented their papers o­n various subjects such as eliminating weld failures, closure of unmanned level crossings etc.

GM SCR addressing the Sr.Divisional Engineers Conference held at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad on 7th May 2015

GM SCR addressing the Sr.Divisional Engineers Conference held at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad on 7th May 2015

Nokia Networks in GSM-Railway network deal with OSE

Nokia Networks will upgrade the GSM-Railway (GSM-R) core network for OSE, Greece’s Railway Operator. The modernized Communication System will increase the operational efficiency of the Greek National Railway, which will provide safer, reliable train travel in the country.

Nokia Networks’ GSM-R solution provides reliable communications than older analogue systems for railway operators and train drivers across national and transcontinental journeys while also enabling the transmission of rail maintenance data in real-time. Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R) is a proven digital platform that is now the standard for railway-specific voice and data operational services on five continents including Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South America.

With the advanced communication network, railway operators can reduce operational costs, improve safety and ultimately offer more dependable travel services for passengers.

GSM-R core network, Subscriber Data Management products One-NDS (Network Directory Server) and NT-HLR (Home Location Register), and NetAct 8 network management solution will be part of the network deal. Nokia Networks will also be responsible for network planning, end-to-end system integration and implementation.

The spokesperson of the company said, “This modernization project will put in place a system for future expansion and integration for ERGOSE.” With this deal, we are not only getting a clear trust message from our customer, we are confirming our position as the leading company in the railways business.’

Nokia Networks claims that it has deployed 29 GSM-R networks globally, covering 70,000 kilometers of railways. Huawei and ZTE compete with Nokia Networks in the railway network space.

The spokesperson of the company further said: ‘The GSM-R core system modernization will provide future expandability to meet new European requirements, more up-to-date services to train drivers and traffic controllers as well as assure the maintainability of the system in the long term.’

Nokia Networks is the market leader in GSM-R technology with 29 GSM-R networks deployed globally, covering 70,000 kilometers of railways. GSM-R markedly improves the security, reliability and safety of rail services. In addition, network geo-redundancy allows for uninterrupted communication over the GSM-R network in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.

Delhi Metro to run on single line on Tis Hazari-Inderlok route

New Delhi: The Delhi Metro on Thursday said its services between Tis Hazari and Inderlok stations will run on single line for a brief period over the weekend due to maintenance and repair work.

Train services between the two stations, which fall on Line 1, operating from Dilshad Garden to Rithala, would run on single line on May 9 and May 10, a Delhi Metro release said.

On May 9, trains would run on single line from 6 am till 7.30 am, while on May 10, the trains would run on single line from 10 am till 12.30 pm, it said.

The frequency during this period would be approximately 18 minutes at the three stations that fall on the section “Pulbangash, Pratap Nagar and Shastri Nagar”.

“This is necessitated due to track maintenance work between Pulbangash and Pratap Nagar stations. However, normal train services will remain available on Inderlok-Rithala and Tis Hazari-Dilshad Garden sections of line-1″ during these timings, the advisory added.

Central Railway to run 8 Tatkal Specials between LTT-Madgaon in May

Mumbai:  Central Railway will run 8 reserved Tatkal special trains between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Madgaon to clear the extra rush of passengers.

This is the first time that a Tatkal Special is run on Indian Railway. Last week, he railway board allowed zonal railways to run holiday special train as Tatkal special.

CR spokesperson said, “There will be no dynamic fare on this reserved tatkal special trains. The bookings can be done both at computerized reservation centres and internet.

Train No. 1005 will leave LTT at 12.45 am on May 9 and May 16. It will reach Madgaon at 11.30 am the same day.

Train No. 1006 will leave from Madgaon at 12.30 am on May 9 and May 16 and arrive at LTT on the same day at 11.45 pm.

Train No. 1045 special train will leave LTT at 1.10 am on May 10 and May 17. It will reach Madgaon the same day at 12.30 pm.

Likewise, 01046 special train will leave Madgaon at 4 pm on May 10 and May 17. It will arrive LTT at 3.30 am next day.

CR said, “Both these specials will halt at Thane, Panvel, Roha, Mangaon, Khed, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Vaibhavwadi Road, Kankavali, Kudal, Sawantwadi Road, Thivim and Karmali.

The train composition includes one AC-2 tier, two AC-3 tier, seven Sleeper Class, six general second class and two general second class cum guard’s brake vans

The spokesperson said, “Bookings for both the trips will open on May 8.”

SCR to run DEMU & MEMU Special Trains to various destinations

Secunderabad (SC): In order to clear extra rush of passengers in view of strike called by APSRTC, South Central Railway is running DEMU & MEMU special trains on 7th May, 2015 to various destinations  as detailed below:-

Kacheguda-Nizamabad-Kacheguda DEMU Special Trains:

  1. Kacheguda-Nizamabad DEMU special train will depart Kacheguda at 07:40 hrs and arrive Nizamabad at 11:40 hrs.
  2. Nizamabad-Kacheguda DEMU special train will depart Nizamabad at 12:30 hrs and arrive Kacheguda at 16:30 hrs.
  3. Kacheguda-Nizamabad DEMU special train will depart Kacheguda at 17:00 hrs and arrive Nizamabad at 22:30 hrs.
  4. Nizamabad-Kacheguda DEMU special train will depart Nizamabad at 03:30 hrs and arrive Kacheguda at 07:15 hrs.

*These DEMU special trains will stop at all the stations.

Secunderabad-Kazipet-Secunderabad MEMU Special Trains:

  1. Secunderabad-Kazipet MEMU special train will depart Secunderabad at 09:15 hrs and arrive Kazipet at 12:30 hrs.
  2. Kazipet-Secunderabad MEMU special train will depart Kazipet at 13:30 hrs and arrive Secunderabad at 17:30 hrs.

*These DEMU special trains will stop at all the stations.

Probationers of various Indian Railway Services call on the President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee meeting with the Probationers of Indian Railways Traffic Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, Indian Railways Personnel Service, Indian Railways Stores Service, Indian Railways Service of Engineers & Railway Protection Force at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 6, 2015

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee meeting with the Probationers of Indian Railways Traffic Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, Indian Railways Personnel Service, Indian Railways Stores Service, Indian Railways Service of Engineers & Railway Protection Force at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 6, 2015

New Delhi: A group of probationers of Indian Railway Traffic Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, Indian Railways Personnel Service, Indian Railways Stores Service, Indian Railways Service of Engineers and Railway Protection Force called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (May 6, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated all probationers for having cleared what is universally recognised as one of the toughest competitive examinations in the world. He stated that the canvas, scope and breadth of exposure and responsibility that a career in Government offers, and that too at a relatively young age, is an experience and opportunity unlike any other.

The President told the probationers that they have joined one of the oldest Railway systems in the world, one which is a 162 years old. Indian Railways is one of the most important infrastructure systems anywhere in the world in terms of size, range of operations, and its reach and impact. It is the virtual lifeline of the nation with nearly 66,000 route kilometers. It runs more than 19,000 trains daily and carries 25 million passengers every day which is almost equivalent to Australia’s population. The Indian Railways has also now joined the select club of 1 billion tonnes plus freight loading Railways, globally being only the fourth to do so. It serves as one of the great unifiers of our country given its unparalleled reach and operational depth. He told that Railway finances were separated from general finances in 1924 and the practice of presenting a separate railway budget has been in vogue since then. The gross traffic receipts of the railways have also grown exponentially from Rs. 183 crores in 1947 to Rs. 1.59 lakh crores in 2014-15. The progress of the Indian Railways is unthinkable without the active involvement of each one of its vast number of employees.

The President said that probationers have to look after range of services from traffic operations to financial management, to manage human resource development and large number of employees, track renewal, safety, security and also improving quality of services in Railways. Opportunities which they have received in an important sector of Railways, which is lifeline of our economical life, is crucial. They should serve nation their best they can give from themselves. He called upon them to uphold the high standard and dignity which has been maintained over the years.

Survey of Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi Railway line works started

Kolhapur (KOP):  Industries in Kolhapur have high hopes after the start of the Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi railway line survey in Vaibhavwadi since May 4. The Mumbai-based company sent its officials to undertake the survey.

The surveying staff is at Sonale village in Vaibhavwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district. The staff has arrived at Vaibhavwadi on May 4 and has undertaken the survey work. The staff will record the land level, alignment, gradients and possible hurdles using its equipment. Every day, the staff moves towards the forest to record details for its reports.

This is the first such railway line that will connect the Central Railway and Konkan railway. It will also connect the central and eastern India with the costal railway line.

Railway officials confirmed that the survey is initiated so that railways will get a report before the monsoon. Once the report is made available before the monsoon, the railways can utilise the four months to make necessary preparations for the project. As the proposed railway line is crossing the Western Ghats and the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, it will face a major challenge of environmental clearances.

According to Narendra Patil, the Central Railway’s chief public relation officer, said, “A feasibility report was conducted in 2009 to connect with the Rajapur via Gaganbavda route. Now it is Vaibhavwadi station. The cost of the project was then Rs 1,012 crore for the 113-km long route. In the report, it stated that 834 hectares of land would be acquired for the project.”

The report was then commissioned by the Konkan Railway, he added, by hiring a Belapur based firm — Integral Infra Consultants Pvt Ltd.

One of the possible reasons behind this project getting preference is its connectivity with Jaigarh port, which is now expanding and set to become Asia’s largest port. The port already has two operating berths. Work on the other four is being commissioned in a phased manner. The Konkan Railway has already signed an agreement with the Jaigarh Port managing company for laying a railway line from the port to the Digni railway station. Once the goods train will leave from Jaigarh, it will join the Konkan railway route from Digni and from Vaibhavwadi, the train would take the route to Kolhapur.

Surendra Jain, chairman of Shiroli Manufacturers’ Association, Kolhapur said, “It is a welcoming move. Hope, the Union government will give priority to such projects and clear all the files for speedy completion. This line will not be only a passenger train line but a lot of goods will be moved through this track. It will be a major boost for economy.”

Vilas Patane, executive chairman of the Ratnagiri Education Society, said, “The Union government is already setting up a sub-centre of the Chennai-based Indian Maritime University. With the survey, it is certainly good news for industries and traders. The existing goods import export is taking place through JNPT near Panvel or through ports in Gujarat. Jaggery, raw sugar, steel products and textile industry in western Maharashtra will no longer remain dependent on the Gujarat ports but get their own port at Jaigarh. There are a couple of more ports coming up in Ratnagiri, which will also benefit from the railway line connectivity.”

The surveying staff is at Sonale village in Vaibhavwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district. The staff has arrived at Vaibhavwadi on May 4 and has undertaken the survey work, where the staff with its equipment will record the land level, alignment, gradients, and possible hurdles. Every day the staff moves towards the forest for recording the details for its reports.

This is the first such railway line that will connect the Central Railway and Konkan railway. It will not only connect both the railway lines, but also connect the central and eastern India with the costal railway line.

Officials in the railways have confirmed that the survey is initiated so that railways will get a report before the monsoon. Once the report is made available before the monsoon, the railways can utilize the four months to make necessary preparations for the project. As the proposed railway line is crossing the Western Ghats and Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, it is going to face a major challenge of environmental clearances.

According to Narendra Patil, chief public relation officer, Central Railway said, “A feasibility report was done in 2009, when Kolhapur was proposed to be connected with Rajapur via Gaganbavda route. Now it is Vaibhavwadi station. Then the cost of the project was Rs 1,012 crore for 113 km long route. For report has stated that 834 hectares of land would be acquired for the project.”

The report was then commissioned by Konkan Railway, he added, by hiring a Belapur based firm–Integral Infra Consult Pvt Ltd.

One of the possible reasons behind this project getting preference is its connectivity with Jaigarh port, which is now expanding and set to become the Asia’s largest port. The port already has two berths operating and work of other four is commissioned in a phase manner. The Konkan Railway has already singed an agreement with Jaigarh Port managing company for laying a railway line from port to the Digni railway station. Once the goods train will leave from Jaigarh, it will join the Konkan railway route from Digni and from Vaibhavwadi, the train would take the route to Kolhapur.

Surendra Jain, chairman of Shiroli Manufacturers’ Association, Kolhapur said, “It is a welcoming move. Hope, the union government will give priority to such projects and clear all the files for speedily completion of the project. This line will not be only a passenger train line but a lot of goods will be moved through this track. It will be a major booster for the economy.”

Vilas Patane, executive chairman of Ratnagiri Education Society, said, “The union government is already setting up a sub-centre of Chennai based Indian Maritime University to facilitate the shipping industry. With such development of survey, it is certainly good news for industries and traders. The existing goods import export is taking place through JNPT near Panvel or through ports in Gujarat. I think, sugar, jaggery, raw sugar, steel products and textile industry in western Maharashtra will no longer remain dependent on the Gujarat ports but they will get their own port at Jaigarh. There are couple of more ports coming up in Ratnagiri which will also benefit from the railway line connectivity.”

UT against PPP for Chandigarh Tricity Metro Project, Centre told

Both Punjab and Haryana, which are equal stakeholders in the project, have so far been silent on the funding of the Metro project

Chandigarh (CDG): The future of the Chandigarh Metro project now rests with the Centre. In a recent communication, the Chandigarh Administration has once again conveyed to the Union Ministry of Urban Development that it is against undertaking this capital intensive project through public-private partnership, as proposed by the ministry, and wants changes in the draft memorandum.

However, both Punjab and Haryana, which are equal stakeholders in the project, have so far been silent on the funding.

“We have made our stand clear to the Centre that this projects needs to be undertaken with government funding. We expect some clarity once the ministry’s response is received, which is likely soon,” said UT Finance Secretary Sarvjit Singh, who is the nodal officer for the project.

The project, which requires an investment of more than Rs 10,000 crore, is held up for several years due to shortage of funds.

A draft memorandum of understanding, which was to be signed by UT, Punjab and Haryana for constructing the metro in Tricity in a phased manner, was first sent by the Urban Development Ministry in June, 2013.

It was soon sent back by the Administration which opposed the clause for the project’s execution on PPP mode, saying the project was ill-suited for private investment. But the clause remained unchanged in the revised memorandum sent by the ministry in February, 2014.

In its letter now, the Administration has stressed that the experience of private-public partnership is such projects, be it in Delhi or elsewhere, has not been very encouraging because private investors look for profit within a few years, which a public transport project does not offer.

In such a scenario, the private partner is driven to exploit the print of the voluminous contracts so as to siphon off the potential of the associated real estate, thus putting the project in jeopardy, reads the letter.

With the letter, the Administration has attached the responses of Punjab and Haryana to the revised draft memorandum. Both have only said that the managing director of the project must not be imposed by the central government, but must be chosen in consultation with the board of directors.

An agreement on the draft memorandum is necessary for the formation of the special purpose vehicle that will execute the project. The stakeholders have, however, agreed to name the SPV as the Greater Chandigarh Transport Corporation (GCTC).

Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti urge Maha CM to share details of Pune Metro Rail project before taking final call

Pune: Members of the Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti have urged chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to share details of the metro project submitted to him by the state-appointed committee led by Girish Bapat before taking a final call.

The citizens’ group has written to Fadnavis saying that “In the interests of transparency, we request you to share all proposals submitted to the committee with the public through the government website”.

The committee, which was formed to study alternative alignment for metro corridor-II between Vanaz and Ramwadi, recently submitted its report to the CM. In March, Fadnavis had said the state will immediately start work on corridor-I, which would connect Pimpri-Chinchwad and Swargate. The work on the second corridor is expected to start once the CM approves the committee report.

In its letter, the citizens’ group has stated, “We understand that the committee has submitted its report to you and that various proposals were submitted to the committee. As per reports there was no consensus view. We request you to not rush through with any decision and to take a studied view taking into account the opinions of all stakeholders, town planners and traffic and transportation experts from Pune.”

According to the citizens’ group, over the past two years, there has been an outcry against the DMRC’s metro proposal for the second corridor, which passes through over-populated areas of Deccan Gymkhana and Karve Road. The floor space index (FSI) notification in the metro-influence zone will lead to more congestion, they added.

RITES tasked to report on Kolkata Metro-Airport link

Kolkata (KOAA): While the route realignment between Sealdah and Mahakaran is awaiting the railway board’s nod, the state asked RITES, a government of India PSU, to study feasibility of its extending the arm till the Dum Dum airport. If the extension is carried out, a lot of airport-bound people from the suburbs will greatly benefit, with the East-West Metro touching upon both Howrah and Sealdah as well.

As of now, Sector V is the terminal station on the eastern end of the corridor. It is a dead-end since Sector V is not connected with any railway link. After acquiring the majority stake (74%) of the East-West Metro, the railways wanted to connect it with other networks. Ideally, a railway network should be linked with another railway for greater connectivity.

After a recent meeting with RITES, principal secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay asked the agency to prepare a feasibility report of such an extension.

The extension would save people the trouble of travelling from suburbs to catch airport-bound trains from Howrah or Sealdah. The ridership would increase because of the 6.5km extension, said a transport department officer.

In fact, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had earlier studied the airport alignment for the east-west corridor. Even Japanese consultants had submitted a report in favour of the alignment. But later, the extension plan was shelved owing to cost escalation.

The elevated stretch might run along the Bagjola canal, go underground from near the airport hotel and finally terminate below the integrated terminal building. Metro commuters will need to use escalators to reach the security-check zone on the surface.

However, the gauge difference between East-West Metro (standard gauge) and other Metros (broad gauge) would prevent convergence of the alignments.

Delhi Rail Division plans Children’s Steam Train ride to celebrate its 150th Birthday

New Delhi: The sprawling Delhi junction will hog the limelight as the Delhi division of the Northern Railways gears up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the advent of railways in the Capital.

The railways plans to preserve the temporary two-room structure at the railway station as a heritage site. It was from here that the Delhi division started functioning in 1864.

According to officials, Delhi Junction, commonly known as Old Delhi station, was constructed in April 1864 to cater to 100 passengers.

“It is beyond imagination that a station designed to deal with 100 passengers a day is catering to over three lakh passengers. We have decided to preserve the old structure as it reminds us of the advent of railways in the Capital. The first train had arrived here from Howrah via Ghaziabad,” Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi Division Arun Arora said. 

Similarly, the first structure at the station, built in 126, will also be preserved by railway officials. Arora said the station started operations from a single room.

“Officials have been asked to preserve a wall of the room to enable showcasing the legacy of railways to the maximum number of people,” the DRM said.

Likewise, original structures at other stations, including Hazrat Nizamuddin and Sarai Rohilla, will also be showcased as part of the celebrations, which begin on May 7.

To commemorate the arrival of the first train to the Capital, officials are planning to roll out a special train with a steam engine from Safdarjung to Old Delhi. The train will carry children and some dignitaries.

“The idea is to commemorate the historic event and spread awareness among children,” Arora said.

The present station, whose construction began in 1890, was built in Mughal style and resembles both a fortress and a mosque.

Officials said the station was designed in such a way that it could be used as a hotel and shelter during emergencies.

The station will be illuminated to mark the event. The railways have also chalked out a decongestion plan.
Delhi Division devp works

IRCTC joins hands with Archaeological Survey of India for e-Ticketing

Patna (PNBE): The e-ticketing facility provided by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) through its website www.irctc.co.in has proved a boon for train travellers. IRCTC created a record on April 1 by booking about 14 lakh journey tickets on a single day, said IRCTC manager Sandip Dutta.

Encouraged by the transparency in the ticket booking system, IRCTC e-ticketing has taken a paradigm shift towards digitization even in remote locations across the country. Dutta said IRCTC, under the ministry of railways, continues to be the country’s largest travel and ticketing site. Recently, it joined hands with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the ministry of cultural affairs. ASI has awarded the work of e-ticketing at Taj Mahal in Agra and Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi to IRCTC which is likely to extend it to other monuments in the country, including those located in Bihar. ASI has 116 ticketed monuments across the country, Dutta said.

Now, ASI has planned to extend the experiment of e-ticketing at all its monuments in a phased manner. It has asked IRCTC to take over all gates of Taj Mahal in Agra and Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi for the successful management of e-ticketing from May 1. Now, e-tickets can be booked from IRCTC’s website www.asi.irctc.co.in and can also be bought from the e-ticket windows at monuments through computers, sources said.

Danapur Station revamp on cards – works to start for passenger comfort

Danapur (DNR): East Central Railway has planned to develop Danapur railway station’s southern end on the lines of the Karbigahiya end of Patna Junction to meet the rush of passengers.

As many as 18 express trains originate from the Danapur railway station, in the west of Patna, while 194 trains pass through it. One of the most important railway stations in the region after Patna Junction, 50,000-70,000 passengers use Danapur every day.

The passenger flow is expected to rise in the coming days as the railways plan to change the terminus of several trains from Rajendra Nagar to Danapur. The southern end of the station is, however, not in a good shape and needs attention.

Senior divisional commercial manager, East Central Railway (ECR), Amitabh Prabhakar told “We are working on a plan to develop the southern end of the Danapur railway station. Soon, the funds would be sanctioned for the work.”

The Karbigahiya end of Patna Junction was revamped last year. An escalator has been installed as has been a fountain and other facilities. The railways plan to develop the southern end of the Danapur railway station on the same lines. Work is expected to start in two months.

A senior ECR official said: “Both Patna Junction and Danapur railway stations are ‘A’ grade stations. A lot of work has been carried out at Patna Junction but any more work is not possible because of unavailability of land. A letter was sent to the Railway Board, stating that further development was only possible at Danapur railway station because land was available there. This is the reason that the railway’s focus has shifted towards developing the Danapur railway station. The Railway Board has given the go-ahead.”

According to the plan, ECR will construct a new platform and a reservation counter at the southern end of the station. Gradually, facilities such as escalator, water cooler, retiring room, clock room, coach indicator, and digital timetable would be added.

The development of the Danapur railway station is significant because it would directly connect with the Patliputra railway station line. The southern end opens on the Khagaul road through which passengers access the station and the revamp work would be beneficial for the travellers.

Recently, the main entrance has been developed and a parking space and foot overbridge constructed.

The secretary of Bihar Daily Passengers’ Association, Shuiab Quraishi, said: “It is very important to develop the southern end of the Danapur railway station, as the passengers face a lot of difficulties. I hope the railway working honestly on this front.”

Passenger flow at the station would also increase soon, as the railways have decided to originate several important trains, including the Jan Sadharan Express, from the Danapur railway station instead of the Rajendra Nagar terminus.

The Jan Sadharan Express would depart from Danapur from May 20, sources said.

Jaipur Metro gears up for Load Tests

Jaipur (JP): Following the directions from the commissioner of metro rail safety (CMRS), the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) on Wednesday night started preparations for conducting load tests on the elevated track.

The load tests will continue till May 21. During this period, the traffic will be closed on the elevated road which connects Shyam Nagar crossing to Ajmer flyover.

Project director Ashwani Saxena said, “We have started preparations to conduct the load tests. The tests will be held at three points on the elevated road between Ajmer Road and Sodala.”

The official further said that during the tests, two loaded trains would be parked on the up-line and down-line on the uppermost elevated track. Beneath it, nearly six to 12 trucks will be parked. “One train will bear a load of nearly 1,300 passengers. The trucks will also be loaded to full capacity. After that, the behaviour of the pillars will be examined,” said the official.

The traffic department on Wednesday also issued a notice to close the elevated road for traffic. However, the traffic will remain open beneath the elevated road.

Recently, Jaipur Metro phase-I corridor (Mansarovar to Chandpol) had received the safety nod from the CMRS.

However, the CMRS gave his approval with a few riders, which mandated load tests.

Man who mentors Goods Thieves in Railway Yards held after 25 Years

Thiruchchirapalli (TPJ): The Tiruchy Railway Protection Force (RPF) trailing the mastermind of a series of property thefts for the past 25 years finally recorded success on Tuesday, with the arrest of the 45-year-old son of a retired railway employee.

A major breakthrough was made when 25 accomplices of  ‘Thuppakki’ R Ramesh (45), of Sangiliyandpuram, were nabbed last week while trying to escape with a van full of stolen railways property.

R.Ramesh alias Thuppakki Ramesh (46), a history sheeter involved in many robbery cases earlier, was also detained, arrested and remanded several times in the past earlier under the Goondas Act, he continued his criminal acts. He was detained under the Act to curtail his nefarious activities, a police release here said.

During inquiry, three of his aides had reportedly spilled the beans on Ramesh, who fearing arrest had moved the district sessions court for anticipatory bail, but in vain, sources said.

According to the RPF, Ramesh had been operating a specially trained gang, exclusively for stealing fish plates, iron materials and copper cables from coaches at the yard in Tiruchy railway junction and Golden Rock workshop for years.

On April 29, acting on a tip-off, the RPF had arrested 25 people while trying to make away with stolen railways property in a van. However, Ramesh had managed to give the personnel the slip then. Meanwhile, interrogation of the detenus exposed the identity of the kingpin and the force was on his trail since then. The RPF finally traced Ramesh to his relatives’s house and arrested him on Tuesday evening.

Interrogations showed that Ramesh was an accused in over 25 theft cases, including five in Karaikudi section and five in Tiruchy railway limit, said RPF inspector Packirisamy. Moreover, 15 cases were pending in Golden Rock and Palakkarai police stations against Ramesh, he added. Sources said Ramesh had first come up with the idea of stealing railways property while visiting the Golden Rock Railway Workshop with his father. He started by nicking iron nuts and bolts from the workshop. As his experience and confidence grew, he began pilfering cables and fish plates. He later began taking youngsters under his wings to train them in the art.

Ramesh was remanded in judicial custody. Son of a retired railway employee in Trichy, Ramesh allegedly trained more than 25 youths in Ponmalai, Sangiliyandapuram, Kajapettai areas to steal the materials attached to the railway tracks and condemned coaches. It was found that many of his recruits were graduates.

A slew of cases was pending in various instances like theft, robbery etc in RPF in Trichy and Karaikudi, Golden Rock police, Gandhi market and Palakkarai police and was previously arrested by the RPF and police. The accused was produced in a Trichy court on Wednesday which remanded him in prison.

DMRC to provide Wi-Fi facility on-board Metro Trains

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans to provide wi-fi facility onboard its trains as well as at the stations.

The DMRC has informed the ministry that it has planned to provide wi-fi facility in metro trains, Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo said in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Stations on the new line like Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar line and Janakpuri West-Kalindi Kunj line will also be covered under this facility.

DMRC had invited proposals from mobile operators in connection with providing wi-fi facility.

DMRC has floated a tender to explore the possibility of providing wi-fi facility for the existing metro rail network.

The tender envisages total investment and operational expenditure by the wi-fi system provider.

DPR of Vijayawada Metro raises doubts on the immediate viability of the project

Vijayawada (BZA): Notwithstanding the hoop and hoopla prevailed over the metro train chugging through Vijayawada city, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sowed the seeds of doubts about the very viability of the project without levying additional burden on the people. Academicians fear that government might choose to impose additional cess/surcharges to fill the viability gap even before launching the project.

Tax payers association has cautioned the government against rushing with the metro train project with the existing design as it is going to leave huge burden on the exchequer and also people. The Union urban development ministry, which promised to support the metro train projects in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, has cleverly escaped from the burden by routing its intension through DPR.

In the DPR, DMRC suggested that State and Central government should take 20 percent each burden and pool up remaining from the markets through loans. In fact, DMRC exceeded its brief on the issue of finances as it is not its job to suggest who should take how much burden. Its responsibility is to prepare estimated costs and leave the issue of mobilization of funds to the State government, which assigned the task to it. State government has lost an opportunity to bring pressure on Centre to grant of at least 50 percent of the cost due to the unwanted suggestion of DMRC on sharing of burdens.

As per the DMRC formula, the Centre and State governments would take about Rs.2400 crore (Rs.1200 crore each) burden and mobilse the remaining Rs.3800 crore of the total estimated cost of Rs.6200 crore from the markets. “Borrowing huge monies from the markets is nothing but penalizing the tax payers,” observed charted accountant M Subbarao. Projects like JNNURM and BRTS too have failed to give desired results and pushed the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation into deep debt burden even when the Centre took a share of 50 percent as the state government failed to release its share of 30 percent. “One could imagine the fate of the Metro project if the Centre confined to funding just 20 percent. Venkaiah Naidu seemed to have influenced the DMRC to come out with such a report as DMRC is working under his ministry,” alleged city congress president Malladi Vishnu. Interestingly, DMRC stated that the Rate of Return (profitability margin) of Vijayawada metro would be just around 3.07 percent against the minimum requirement of 16-20 percent.

“It is not only viable but not desired at the moment,” sad Tax payers association secretary MV Anjaneyulu. He said that proposed metro train project would make the city further congested instead of expanding the city horizon. Cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata required Metro as those cities were spread over 60-80km radius with a population of over one crore. On the other hand, Vijayawada city is not spread over even 20km with a population of just 10 lakh, said. He observed that it would take at least a decade for the city to add another 10 lakh population even after the location of the capital city.

Even in the limited city, DMRC proposed to take up just 12-13km stretch of metro, which would no way resolve the traffic woes of the people, said Anjaneyulu. “Metro should be focused on connecting interior areas with the city to make city grow. Do they want people to reside already thickly populated Bandar road and Eluru road areas,” asked urban transport expert Abdul Rehman. He said that it was unscientific to take the passenger traffic of APSRTC bus station and railway station to project the Metro train traffic. “A person from Ajith Singh Nagar who wanted to reach railway station, will continue to depend either on auto or bus service as he can’t catch Metro close to his residential area.

How can you account for all such people as possible metro passengers?” he asked. Instead of fancying for metro, government should be first try to connect the city with sub-urban with a train network to help the poor living in the outskirts enter city in search of work, said economics professor DAR Subramanyam. Tax payers secretary Anjaneyulu said that existing traffic woes of city could be eased with just 10 percent of the proposed cost of metro by completing the construction of flyover at Benz circle, Kanakadurga temple and widening of a couple of roads. “Metro is not right solution to ease traffic congestion at his particular juncture.

It will levy unnecessary burden on people,” he said. Most of the metro train projects in the country were running with deep losses despite having resources to pocked revenues through commercial spaces as the projects itself high cost intensive, said an engineering official at VMC. He said that private firm, which took the Airport to railway station stretch in Delhi on PPP basis, is struggling to manage its finances and trying to handover the project back to DMRC. In fact, metro project advisor E Sreedharan himself admitted that the concepts of BOT, PPP and Privatisation have all failed to take off in the country in Metro projects. Then, who is going to take the burden? Centre, State or People? Over to Naidu Square.

Railways told to hold more discussions before amending its Compensation norms

New Delhi: A Parliamentary Committee has asked the Ministry of Railways to hold detailed discussion with various stakeholders before introducing the amendments to the Railways Act 1989 to redefine ‘accidental falling’ in railway accidents and change the eligibility criteria for compensation.

The Standing Committee on Railways, headed by Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi, in its latest report, expressed “serious concern” over the proposed amendments and said detailed discussions with stakeholders should be held before making any major changes in the Act.

Though the proposed amendments involve public interest, these have been proposed without any kind of consultation process with the most crucial stakeholders such as Railways Accident Victims Associations, Railways Claims Tribunal Bar Associations and passenger associations, the panel said.

The Railway Ministry, through the Railways (Amendment) Bill, 2014, has sought to amend Sections 109 and 123 and to insert Section 124B in the Railways Act, to redefine ‘accidental falling’ in railway accidents and make changes to the eligibility criteria for passengers and their dependents to claim compensation in the aftermath of an accident.

As per the proposed amendments, railways is liable to pay compensation for injuries or death caused by train accidents. However, no compensation is payable in case of death or injury due to suicide or attempted suicide, self-inflicted injuries, criminal acts of passengers, acts committed by the passenger in a state of intoxication or insanity.

The parliamentary committee has stated that indisputably it is the railway users alone – the ordinary citizens of the country for whom the railways is the most affordable mode of transport that provides the maximum connectivity – who will be the most affected at the ground level if this bill is passed.

“It needs reiteration that ours is a welfare state and the entire government machinery and their actions are accountable to the public at large,” the report said.

The 31-member committee is, therefore, of the firm view that an organisation of the stature and standing of Indian Railways will not be able to formulate and implement a passenger-friendly policy without the active participation of various stakeholders concerned.

From the feedback made available to the committee, it is quite evident that very pertinent and genuine apprehensions of the stakeholders have remained unaddressed by the Ministry.

“The rightful course would have been for the Ministry to have discussed issues covered under the proposed amendment bill with them at the zonal railways levels,” it said.

However, to the “utter disappointment” of the committee, railways has regrettably failed to take the right initiative in this direction, the committee said.

The committee, therefore, recommend that before bringing any Bill before Parliament, especially if it involves public interest, various stakeholders should invariably be consulted before major policy changes impacting their concerns are effected by the railway administration.

It has recommended that in deference to the railway commuters who have lost their lives or who have become permanently disabled in railway accidents, the government should rework their priorities in respect of passenger safety.

On the issue of large number of cases piling up at the Railway Claims Tribunal, the committee said it is appalled to find that as on January 31, 2015, as many as 38,637 compensation claims are pending.

The overall position of pending cases in Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna benches of Railway Claims Tribunal is alarming at 7,831, 5,859, and 3,595 cases respectively, it said.

Though the reasons for non-resettlement of compensation claims could be manifold, but in the committee’s view the foremost reason for the rising number of compensation claims is the non-filling of vacant post of Member (Judicial), and member technical in the RCT Benches.

The committee has, therefore, strongly recommended that the ministry should re-work their priorities and ensure that all the existing vacant posts in the Railway Claims Tribunals are filled up expeditiously.

The committee has also urged the Railways to formulate a pragmatic policy whereby the Railways should anticipate the number of vacancies arising during the year and take proactive steps to fill up the same so as to ensure that in future the positions in the Railway Claims Tribunals do not remain vacant for a long time.

CIDCO, CR to jointly give presentation before CRS for trial runs on Nerul-Belapur route via.new Seawoods station

Mumbai: CIDCO, Central Railway (CR) will jointly table a presentation before the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) on May 12 to obtain the nod for trial run on the new rail corridor connecting Nerul to Belapur via the new Seawoods station. The new station is left to the existing station that will be dismantled to convert it to a junction for running trains to Uran at a later date.

With major works completed on the new corridor, the safety run approved by the CRS would ensure the new station gets functional for both harbour and trans harbour tracks as Thane-Panvel bound trains would also make use of the new corridor. But, with rains scheduled next month, stakeholders were trying to hurry up operations.

GM, CR held a coordination meeting Tuesday in which CIDCO participated and discussed the issue of throwing open the station to the people. The station made by infra giant, L & T is ready and some track connectivity work is yet to get completed. CIDCO said that the new tracks from Nerul to Seawoods and Belapur too have been laid but the CRS had to give the nod. A team of CRS and CR will be shortly visiting the site to check the physical aspects of track laid, signaling system, said CR CPRO, Narendra Patil.

GRP ups vigil in trains and Railway areas after Kandhla violence

Agra: In the wake of Kandhla violence in Shamli district on Sunday, Government Railway Police (GRP) has increased patrolling in trains passing through Agra division. According to sources, the move followed reports of Chinese-made pistols and crude country-made bombs being supplied to anti-social elements in the communally-sensitive areas with the help of drug peddlers.

On Sunday, more than 17 people were injured in clashes between police and a mob protesting against the alleged assault on five Muslim scholars from Maharashtra in a train at Kandhla railway station.

Senior Superintendent of Police (GRP) Gopeshnath Khanna said, “Illegal consignments of Chinese pistols and country-made revolvers are being supplied in communally-sensitive districts, such as Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Kasganj, Etah, Etawah and Manipuri.”

“The weapons are mostly carried by drug peddlers of Bihar and West Bengal. In the last one week, large amount of arms’ consignments have been delivered in western UP districts,” he said.

“The arms were supplied through two routes. One from Indore and Ratlam areas of Madhya Pradesh, while other from India-Nepal bordering areas, like Siddharthnagar and Balrampur, from where they are transported through trains in various part of Uttar Pradesh,” the SSP said.

According to highly placed source in the local intelligence unit, the special task force (STF) had arrested a man from western UP with five pistols of Chinese origin, last month. During interrogation, he spilled the beans on the routes been used to transport these arms to various parts of the state.

Khanna said, “Disassembled parts of these illegal arms are carried by local men and women in general bogies of train, acting as carrier for mere Rs.2000 and transport weapons in sacks, bed-holdings and small boxes to pre-decided places of the violence.” Most of them are unaware of the key persons involved in this smuggling, but are aware that the weapons are being carried for Jihad.

“We have given high priority to Aligarh, Etah and Kasganj because they fall under category of highly sensitive areas,” he added.

Paper Boats to sail on Railways soon

Paper BoatsNew Delhi: Hector Beverages, the makers of Indian ethnic drink, Paper Boat, are planning to retail their products on trains.

The Gurgaon-based start-up, which started by former Coca-Cola employees Neeraj Kakkar and Neeraj Biyani in 2010, is now eligible to enter into a commercial contract with Indian Railways for retailing its beverages range. Neeraj the founder and CEO shares that “the Railways require companies to be operational for two or more years to be able to sell on their network. It is a very big opportunity for us, something that can bring huge volumes. We will initiate a discussion with them now.” The Paper Boat range comprises Aamras, Jaljeera, Jamun Kala Khatta, AamPanna, Kokum, GolgappeKaPani, Chilled Rasam and Iced Tea (in ginger lemon and tulsi flavours).

The buoyant Hector Beverages also simultaneously announced a distribution tie-up with Indo Nissin Foods, the maker of Top Ramen noodles, for tier-II cities and rural pockets of India.

Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd. are backed by Sequoia Capital, Footprint Ventures and N.R. Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures.

Move trucks over Railway lines to reduce Emissions in Delhi: Experts

New Delhi: Various government departments may not have been able to give suggestions to reduce air pollution in the Capital but two experts in the field of transport have come up with a plan to tackle the problem.

The two experts, Kailash Mishra and Himani Jain, have suggested using existing railway lines passing through Delhi to transport loaded trucks across the city in order to curb emissions.

Trucks on RailsThe applicant in the air pollution case being heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) filed an application outlining the suggestions on Tuesday.

As per the suggestions, Delhi could look at following the example of the Roll-on Roll-off service provided by the Konkan Railway where trucks are rolled on to flat train wagons at a set point outside a big city and are rolled off at the outskirts again.

Loaded trucks, therefore, don’t ply in the city and are still able to cross it. On the Konkan Railways lines where the system is in place, the transport is also faster.

According to the application filed before the tribunal, the Western Line between Alwar and Panipat could be used for the purpose as studies have shown it is underutilised. Trucks that don’t need to enter Delhi can be loaded onto this line and can bypass the city. The line passes through Rewari, Jhajjar and Rohtak.

The experts have also suggested that the feasibility of using the line between Palwal and Modinagar could also be assessed.

The bench issued a notice to the Railways Ministry and asked it for its opinion on the suggestion by May 18. The bench, however, was skeptical about how the plan will work.

“There are no trains for humans here and you are suggesting trains for trucks. We all know that no trains, unless they are Shatabdis or Rajdhanis, enter the station on time here,” the bench said.

Paradip Port to develop Rail Siding & build Warehouse at Balijhara on DBFOT basis to handle finished Fertilizers

Paradeep (PRDP): Paradip Port, in order to cater to the future growth in traffic, has decided to undertake Development of Railway Siding and Construction of Warehouse at Balijhara, Paradip Port for handling Finished Fertilizers, through Public Private Participation (“PPP”) on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (“DBFOT”) basis for an Optimal Capacity (in MT per Annum) of 2.5 MT at an estimated project cost of Rs.71.66 Crores.  Approximately 15 Bidders are in the race to respond to the RFP floated by Paradip Port Trust during January, 2015 which was extended for submission on 18th May, 2015.  The process is intended to carry out the bidding process for selection of the bidder to whom the Project is to be awarded.

The successful Bidder will be announced by the Paradeep Port Trust after completion of the bidding process in terms of Technical and Financial Bids evaluated by the Tender Committee.  The Tender Committee will examine the technical capacity, financial capacity, O&M capabilities of the Bidders and submit its recommendations/proceedings for acceptance of the Competent Authorities.  The successful Bidder may be awarded Concession by Authority to implement the Project shortly.

The Concessionaire shall be responsible for the design, engineering, financing, procurement, implementation commissioning, operation, management and maintenance of the Project under the Concession Agreement (CA) to be executed by the Concessionaire and the Authority.

The scope of work will broadly include construction, designing, engineering, financing, procurement, implementation, commissioning, operation, management and maintenance of Warehouse & Railway Siding for handling finished fertilizers also also increase the import traffic of finished fertilizers for defined concession period.

The Concessionaire shall be entitled to levy and charge a pre-determined user fee from users of the Project.

CBI set to file first FIR in multi-crore Railways freight scam

New Delhi: The CBI is set to file its first FIR in connection with the multi-crore Railways freight weighment scam it had unearthed last month.

According to sources, the FIR would be filed against some private vendors involved in the weighment process, Railway officials, as well as two cement firms that are suspected to be beneficiaries due to the scam.

The CBI, along with the Railways Vigilance department, had unearthed a “highly sophisticated” railway freight scam in which the software that automatically weighs goods on wagons passing over weigh-bridges was manipulated, causing “huge financial loss” to the government.

The scam is alleged to have been perpetrated through collusion of Railway officials, private vendors and freight operators.

The CBI had received inputs that the weighing system at several places had been manipulated in such a way that over-loading of a wagon was concealed and the weight shown to be within the permissible limit. The CBI then conducted checks at 65 Electronic In-Motion Weigh Bridges (EIMWBs) across the country in which systematic under-weighment at many locations, leading to the EIMWB recording a lower than actual weight, was found. At some of locations, the quantum of under-weighment increased with an increase in speed of the rake.

Railways invites Bid from top Global Consultancy Agencies to revamp IR: KPMG, E&Y, Deloitte & PWC in the race

New Delhi: The world’s top four audit firms would soon be in a race to bag the mammoth assignment of suggesting the country’s largest employer, Indian Railways, ways to revamp its age old policies on recruitment, appointments, management, and requirement of workforce. The idea of such an exercise has come from former CAG Vinod Rai, brought in by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier this year as an honorary adviser heading a “One man Committee” to bring in transparency in the internal process governing the transporter. Accordingly, the Railways is gearing up to float a tender inviting the four biggest audit firms — KPMG, Deloitte, Pricewater­houseCoopers, and Ernst and Young — to bid for the first-­of­-its-­kind contract offered by it. The aim is to get the process completed by the end of this financial year, so that the policymakers could take a call on refreshing the Railways’ recruitment and career ­progression norms under a new policy. The process of awarding the tender is likely to be over by June. Speaking on the need for involving a private player for the job as opposed to a government entity, Vinod Rai said the government set up does not have a professional body with a know­how or experience to carry out such a task. “The Railways does have the Indian Railways Personnel Service, but it does not have this kind of experience. I had advised to engage a firm that does this kind of work for institutions,” Rai told media. The terms of reference of the study by the audit firm include studying the functions of all the departments and outsourcing activities; estimating the requirement, role and functions of various Group A services; and suggesting ways to end anomalies in the system causing aberrations in career progressions.

New Delhi’s First Driverless Metro Line will be Equipped with Frauscher Axle Counting System

New Delhi: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) awarded Japan-based Nippon Signal Co. Ltd. with a contract to supply communications-based train control (CBTC) system for Line 8 – the capital city’s first driverless metro line, which is currently under construction. Nippon has chosen Frauscher Sensor Technology India Pvt Ltd as a partner for supply of axle counters for this project.

Axle Counter as fall back arrangement in CBTC system

In a CBTC system, as a fall back arrangement, axle counters are used as track vacancy detection system to locate the train in case of failure of primary radio communication. In order to facilitate this requirement, Nippon has chosen RDSO-approved Frauscher-make Axle Counter System ACS2000. The contract awarded to the company involves approximately 300 track sections and about 312 counting heads.

Ideal choice for DMRC metro project

“We are glad to be a part of the upcoming metro project of the country’s capital. Track vacancy detection forms an essential element for confirming track availability and conducting safe operations.

“Tested and proven Frauscher ACS2000 used along with Wheel Sensor RSR180 can be customised to suit unique requirements. Also, in case of mass transit applications, it is preferred not to drill holes on the track to fix axle counter wheel sensors.

“All Frauscher wheel sensors can be mounted on track using the patented rail claw without drilling. The absence of any electronics on the trackside location boxes, the quick installation process, and the product’s ability to function under extreme environmental influences, makes ACS2000 an ideal choice for this project”, said Alok Sinha, Managing Director, Frauscher Sensor Technology India Private Limited.

First driverless train in Delhi

The Line 8 ambitious project of DMRC is the first driverless train operation system in Delhi. The project will be spread across 36.4km line, which will follow the outer ring road south of the city from Janakpuri West to Hauz, Khas, Kalindj Kunj, and botanical garden in Noida. The Line 8 will have 26 stations, 12 of them underground, and 19km of the route will be elevated or at grade with the remaining 17.3km in tunnels. The new line is a much anticipated solution for traffic congestion on roads, due to rapis increase of vehicles.

The first phase of Line 8 will open in June 2015 and services will be operated by six-car trains with peak headways of 2 minute 15 seconds, with a commercial speed of around 35km/h, and the hourly capacity being higher than existing Metro lines of DMRC.

Systra to design LMRC’s underground metro corridor

Lucknow (LKO):  French firm Systra in charge of designing Lucknow’s elevated metro track has been appointed as the detailed design consultant (DDC) of the underground metro corridor too. The construction of underground metro (3.5 km) from Charbagh to Hazratganj would begin in December, 2015.

LMRC board chaired by the chief secretary approved engagement of Systra to design the underground stations of Hussainganj, Sachivalaya and Hazratganj on Tuesday. LMRC said that Systra was already serving as DDC of elevated track (about 19 kms) of North-South corridor. “We have chosen one firm as the DDC for entire project so that there are no problems in coordination during construction of elevated and underground corridors”, said an LMRC official.

LMRC said since the project has to be completed in a tight time frame, it would be better to extend the contract of the existing DDC. His work would be to design civil, electrical and mechanical structures of the stations, corridor along the track. Following the Companies Act 2013, the board approved constitution of Investment and Audit committee of LMRC too.

Government had earlier asked LMRC to purchase private lands on mutual negotiation basis and had formed a committee to decide on rates. The board approved rates recommended by the committee for purchase of private lands on mutual negotiation basis too. LMRC said around 3 hectares of private land have to be purchased for metro project, out of which a majority (about 2.7 hectares) belongs to self-styled Godman, Asharam Bapu’s Ashram near the depot in Amausi. It said with board approving the rates, the land purchase process will speed up.

Tata Group’s Chairman Emeritus ‘Ratan Tata’ to chair Railways’ Kaya Kalp council meeting on May 12, 2015

Ratan TataNew Delhi: Noted industrialist and Tata Group’s chairman emeritus Ratan Tata will chair the first ‘Kaya Kalp’ council meeting at Rail Bhawan here on May 12.

Kaya Kalp, the new innovative council of Railways, has been set up by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to recommend innovative methods and processes for the improvement, betterment and transformation of the state-run rail network.

Tata was appointed as the council’s head on March 19.

The meeting will be attended by Prabhu and all Railway Board Members, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

Railway union leaders Shiv Gopal Mishra and M Raghuvaiah, who are also part of the council, will also be participating in the meeting.

“Since it is the first meeting, an overview of railways will be presented,” the official said.

The council is likely to find ways to attract private investment for capacity augmentation, expand rail network and improve passenger amenities through innovative means, he said.

Related Article: http://www.railnews.co.in/dr-ratan-tata-to-lead-railways-kaya-kalp-panel/

North-South Corridor of Bengaluru Metro still has a long way to go

Bangalore (SBC): Promises from the government and the BMRCL that Phase 1 would be complete by the year end might have brought relief to many. However, a lot more has still to be done as far as the north-south corridor is concerned.

Currently, the BMRCL is looking to complete at least one line in the north-south corridor so that just as in the east-west corridor in Reach 2, from Magadi Road to Mysore Road, a train can be pushed through the tunnels to reach National College and trials can be started till Puttenahalli.

The tunneling work from K R Market to Chickpet had been completed in 2014 end by TBM Kaveri. This was a major breakthrough for the metro.  Vasanth Rao, General Manager (Finance) says, “Now Krishna will be shifted to Chickpet where it will drill about 750 meters towards Majestic. This will take about 3-4 months.”

The cutter for the damaged tunnel boring machine Godaveri which was stuck between Sampige and Majestic has arrived. It will take a month and a half to fit the cutter and for the machine to roll out. Godavari has completed 335 meters and another 650 meters is balance.

Meanwhile, TBM Kaveri will start drilling from Chickpet to Majestic and start the second line. On the other hand, TBM Margerita is coming from Mantri side towards Majestic. 720 metres have been completed and another 220 meters is balance, which is likely to be over by July.

Vasanth Rao adds, “We are hoping to complete the entire tunneling work by mid-September, then by November we can start the testing. The trails will continue for two months through January and February. We hope to see the entire north-south corridor functional by March 2016.

In the meantime, we will enable at least one line and push the trains towards National College and start the line from National College to Puttenahalli. This means that at least the elevated section will become functional.”

Negligence shall not be tolerated in Metro construction works: Rajasthan CM

Jaipur (JP): Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje has said that negligence will not be tolerated in construction work of Jaipur Metro and the persons found responsible for negligence will not be spared. Smt. Raje was addressing the meeting of various agencies related to the construction work of Jaipur Metro here at CMO on Monday.

Smt. Raje directed the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation, Jaipur Municipal Corporation, JDA, District Administration and Police Commissioner to prepare a contingency plan to provide quick relief in case of any possible accident during the Metro construction work. She also directed that a rescue team should be available with resources at the construction site so that quick relief measures could be initiated in case of an accident.

She asked the officials of Jaipur Metro to ascertain that no sub- standard material was used in construction. If use of sub-standard material was revealed, action would be taken against the persons responsible, she said.

Smt.Raje directed the Metro officials to start restoration work in the building damaged during the construction on Sunday late night. She also directed that various agencies should maintain proper coordination in case of any accident on a Metro site so that relief works can be started quickly.

The Chief Minister said heritage structures found during the excavation were precious and it was needed to restore such heritage sites as done in France or Greece. She asked the local MLAs and other public representatives to create awareness among people about the restoration plan of the heritage structures found during the construction work.

Smt.Raje directed the officials of Jaipur Municipal Corporation and Jaipur Development Authority to repair damaged roads of the walled city area, remove encroachment from roads and start campaign to catch stray animals to ascertain smooth traffic.

Officials of Jaipur Metro informed that a part of crane had fallen over a residential building causing damages to one portion of it. They informed that officers of Jaipur Metro and the Police had reached the spot soon after the incident. The district collector informed that seven families affected by the accident have been shifted to nearby Maheshwari Sadan and arrangements have been made for their food and other requirements.

UDH Minister Shri Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Jaipur City MP Shri Ramcharan Bohra, MLAs Shri Mohan Lal Gupta, Shri Surendra Pareek, City Mayor Nirmal Nahata, Jaipur Metro CMD Shri N.C. Goyal, Jaipur Development Commissioner Shri Shikhar Agarwal, Jaipur Police Commissioner Shri Janga Sri Niwas Rao and district Collector.

Enhance Compensation for Rail Mishap Victims: Parliamentary Panel

New Delhi: Noting that that compensation offered to the victims of railway accidents had remained static in the last 18 years, a Parliamentary Panel has called upon the Centre to enhance the amount payable to the victims.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, headed by former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, which is looking into the Railway (Amendment) Bill, 2014, asked the government to urgently examine the Railway Accidents and Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Amendment Rules, 1997, so as to enhance the amount of compensation payable to the victims.

It, further, said that the Railways should also ensure that all the Zonal Railways should devise appropriate mechanisms for expeditious payment of ex-gratia relief in case of passengers admitted to hospitals as a result of train accidents.

The Ministry of Railways in 2012 had revised the amount to Rs 50,000 for death, Rs 25,000 for grievous injury and Rs 5,000 for simple injury.

According to the Panel, “The Bombay High in a case had also expressed displeasure over the quantum of compensation paid by the Railways, taking into consideration inflationary trends and the diminishing value of the Rupee”.

Instead of taking effective steps to ensure the safety of the passengers, reducing the cases of accidents and overcrowding on trains, among others, the Railways has proposed the Railway (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which, the panel notes, is against the interests and concerns of the travelling public.

and was  appalled  to find  that,  as  on  January 31,  2015,  as  many  as  38,637  compensation  claims  are  pending.  The overall position of pending cases in respect of Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna Benches is alarming.

The  Committee  looked  into  the  aspect  of  the  total  number  of  compensation  claims  pending  in  different  Benches  of  the  Railway Claims  Tribunal (RCT) and was appalled to find that as many as 38,637 compensation claims were pending before various Benches of RCTs as on January 31. And the overall position of pending cases in respect of Lucknow, Mumbai and Patna Benches is alarming, the Panel noted.

Now, draw pension from your bank

The Centre has decided to transfer central freedom fighter pensioners from SBI to other banks – authorised for the purpose, for disbursal of pension after certain irregularities, including paying pension to more than 3,000 people for many years even after their death. MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said pensioners have been advised to open account in any bank of their choice from the 19 banks, authorised for the purpose