Delay in land acquisition holds up laying of Rayadurg-Tumkur Rail line

Only 48.26 acres of land has beenacquired by the Karnataka government

The work on constructing a new rail line between Rayadurga and Tumkur has been lagging owing to the delay on the part of the State government in completing the land acquisition process and handing over the land required for laying the track.

Petition filed

A writ petition was filed by 14 social and voluntary organisations as well as prominent individuals from Ballari and Hosapete.

The organisations, including Ballari District Railway Action Committee, D.R.K. Rangasiri, Ballari, District Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Hosapete Bar Association, sought a direction to the Railways to expedite the construction of the new railway line between Rayadurga and Tumkur.

They also demanded the introduction of additional train services. The petition came up for preliminary hearing recently.

‘No delay’

The Railways, while submitting its arguments before the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court, has clarified that there has been no delay from its side.

The Railways, in its submission, pointed out that the land acquisition process had not been completed in Karnataka.

The Rayadurga and Tumkur line is a cost-sharing project on 50:50 basis between Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the Railways since December 9, 2010 and September 14, 2011 respectively.

The Railways has also said that it developed a number of infrastructure facilities for Ballari, including the doubling of track between Guntakal-Ballari-Hospet, connectivity to Chickjajur and plans for electrification of railway lines. This apart, the number of coaches of the Hampi Express was increased. There were also plans to introduce other trains from Hubballi/Bengaluru/Mysuru connecting Ballari to Howrah, Shirdi, Jodhpur and Ajmer among other places, the Railways said.

The bench was informed that Andhra Pradesh has completed acquisition of 433.38 acres, out of the total requirement of 981.23 acres and handed the land over to the Railways in October. The work was going on in Andhra Pradesh.

Acquisition submitted

In Karnataka, though the land acquisition application was submitted in March, 2010, so far only 48.26 acres of land has been acquired, out of the total requirement of 1,342.51 acres.

The work could not be started due to agitation by land owners for non-payment of compensation by Government of Karnataka, though the Railway had already deposited Rs. 44.41 crore with the Special Land Acquisition Officer.

Detailed estimate

The project was sanctioned during the year 2007-08. Subsequently a detailed estimate was sanctioned by competent authority on July 21, 2009.

After that the Railways applied for land acquisition to both the States — Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka — on October 21, 2009 and on March 18 2010 respectively.

‘Persuade government’

“The grievances of the petitioners are apparently met with, as can be deciphered from the Statements of Objections of the respondents. In view of the matter, there is no more to be decided, except for the railway authorities to persuade the Karnataka government to ensure acquisition of land for the purpose of laying the railway line,” the bench, consisting of Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, noted, while disposing off the petition.


  • The total length of the project is 206.53 km

  • 102.63 km falls within Karnataka

  • 103.90 km falls within Andhra Pradesh


Central Railway awaits approval for using Gujarat power

Mumbai: The Central Railway (CR) is yet to get a final approval from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) about getting electricity at a cheaper rate from Gujarat, which it had applied for about 40 days ago.

The CR has already signed an MoU with the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) in a bid to save money. MSEDCL charges approximately `10 per unit while GEB will charge only `5-6 per unit, said the officials. This would be a big boon for CR trains that run around 1,619 services. An official, on condition of anonymity, said, “We’re slated to convert our electrical system from 1,500 volts to 25, 000 volts between CST and Kurla. This would mean that we are going to incur huge costs if we continue to use electricity generated in Maharashtra.”

The CR consumes around 160 million units of electricity per month, therefore the money amounts to Rs 144 crore a month.

After CR converts from Direct Current to Alternate Current, the expense per month would increase by 16 times. “We will have to end up paying around Rs 23,000 crore per month. We just don’t have the money to pay that much,” added the official.

MSEDCL PRO Ram Dotonde said, “Usually if someone wants to buy power from another body, they have to pay a surcharge to get the approval. I will have to check if the procedures have been fulfilled.”

SP MLA, BSP Leader booked for inciting communal violence at Kandhla Railway Station in UP

Kandhla Railway Station on Delhi Division

The Kandhla Railway Station on the Northern Railway’s Delhi Division where it all began

Kandhla (KQL): Tension prevailed in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh after a violent mob clashed with the police force at Kandhla police station, leaving 17 injured, including 16 policemen. The protesters also torched 12 vehicles parked on the police station premises and damaged furniture and other property. The sole protester who was injured received gunshot injuries.  However, police claimed they had used only lathicharge and rubber bullets to control the mob and denied firing. They also said they had recovered three .315 bore empty shells from the violent protesters.

An angry muslim crowd from Kandhla, a Muslim majority town, blocked the rail track on Saturday protesting against the alleged ill-treatment of a few Tablighi Jamaat volunteers on a local train near Badaut, in Baghpat.

“The injured, Deen Mohammed, has been referred to Meerut,” Ajay Chauhan, the in-charge of Kandhla police station, said. Shamli had been among the worst-hit areas during the 2013 riots in western Uttar Pradesh.

Meerut Zone IG Alok Sharma said the men had attacked the Kandhla police station following mere rumours that three of the people staging a protest on the tracks near the Kandhla railway station had been killed in police firing. The railway track protest was being held over the alleged assault on Friday on five members of the Tablighi Jamaat travelling on the Janata Express from Delhi to Saharanpur for a religious gathering.

The IG said the protest had led to halting of two trains, and police had to use lathicharge as the demonstrators, numbering around 5,000, started pelting stones at trains.

Local SP MLA (Kairana area) Nahid Hasan had joined the demonstrators on the railway tracks. His aide said he had gone there to pacify the mob.

Social Media and local Whatsapp Groups abuzz with messages claiming another Godhra like situation emerging in Kandhla Railway station area

Days after Muslims in the Kandhla area of Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh clashed with the police over alleged assault of Tablighi Jamaat workers, the social media and local Whatsapp groups were abuzz with messages claiming a Muslim conspiracy to perform “another Godhra” in Shamli.

An angry crowd from Kandhla, a Muslim majority town, blocked the rail track on Saturday protesting against the alleged ill-treatment of a few Tablighi Jamaat volunteers on a local train near Badaut, in Baghpat.

The crowd threw stones at trains at Kandhla after which the Railway Police had to resort to lathi charge.

Muslims at Kandhla Railway Station on Delhi DivisionAfter the clash, hundreds of social media users, mainly from western Uttar Pradesh, and led by those ideologically affiliated to the right of centre, alleged that Muslims in Kandhla captured and detained Hindu passengers at the railway station in an attempt to portray the incident as “another Godhra”.

Mass messages were circulated mainly by numbers originating in western Uttar Pradesh claiming that “another Godhra” was enacted by Muslims at the Kandhla railway station on Saturday and alleged that the police and the media remained silent.

The messages also claimed that the police did not take any action against the “Muslim protesters who allegedly misbehaved with the Hindu passengers”.

Muslims stopping a passenger train at Kandhla Railway Station on Delhi DivisionShamli SP warns rumour-mongers

Shamli Superintendent of Police Vijay Bhushan, however, rejected the rumour mongering and claimed that action was taken against the protesters at the Kandhla police station.

“Thousands of Muslims in Kandhla have stopped the 04735 Bikaner-Haridwar express and have captured and detained several Hindus. Where is the media and where are the political leaders,” claimed a Whatsapp message accessed by this correspondent.

“Muslim rioting mob is looting trains on Saharanpur-Delhi route. The Samajwadi Party MLA Nahid Hasan is leading the mob,” claimed another Whatsapp message.

Shamli remained tense on Sunday with markets in Kandhla remaining closed.

The conspiracy theories which were rejected by the authorities found endorsement on Twitter. Social media users with rightist leanings used the hashtag “GodhraAgain” which was trending on Twitter on Saturday.

Protesting muslims atop a passenger train engine at Kandhla Railway Station on Delhi Division“Why media is silent on Shamli incident. Are they waiting for something worse and big to take place. #GodhraAgain,” tweeted Rohit Chahal, national secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the BJP.

The Shamli Superintendent of Police said the police were maintaining a watch over rumour mongers and would take action against them.

Virender Singh, BJP leader in western Uttar Pradesh, alleged that “there was a clear directive to the police and the administration not to act against Muslims who were manhandling Hindu passengers at Kandhla railway station.”

“If you want justice for the alleged misbehaviour of Jamatis you should also apprehend those who misbehaved with passengers at the Kandhla railway station. And if the police can’t do justice then we will do justice on our own,” Mr. Singh warned.

‘Clear bias’

“This is clear bias and discrimination against Hindus and Jats. It only Vehicles torched by protesting muslims near Kandhla Railway Station on Delhi Divisionhelps them nurse grievance against Muslims and will get expressed in a big retaliation when their patience crosses its limits,” he said.

A day after a violent mob belonging to a minority community clashed with police in Shamli district leaving 17 injured, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Sunday registered an FIR against Samajwadi Party MLA Nahid Hasan and 2,000 unidentified people.

Inspector Ajay Kumar of RPF police station in Shamli said a case against Hasan — MLA from Kairana in Shamli — and 2,000 others was lodged on a complaint filed by Traffic Inspector Pawan Kumar under Section 174 of the Railways Act (obstructing running of train, etc). Two other FIRs have also been lodged at Saturday night.

A mob clashed with the police at railway tracks and later at the Kandhla police station on Saturday. Near Kandhla railway station, a crowd had held a protest over the alleged assault on five members of Tablighi Jamaat on Saharanpur-bound Janta Express. The protestors were demanding the arrest of miscreants who had assaulted the Tablighi Jamaat members.

Deen Mohammed (22) had received gunshot injuries in the protest — which had halted two trains on the tracks. The Shamli police, however, has claimed that it had only fired teargas and resorted to lathicharge.

Later, the mob attacked the Kandhla police station following rumours that three protestors had been killed in police firing on railway tracks. Protestors torched 12 vehicles at the police station and damaged property.

SP MLA Hasan claimed he has been wrongly named in the case and had gone to the railway track to pacify the mob on the request of the police. “I went there as the Shamli police requested me to pacify the mob,” Hasan said over phone.

Shamli SP Vijay Bhushan said police had registered two FIRs on Saturday night itself. “In both cases, former chairman of Kandhla Nagar Palika, Haji Islam, has been is named. No one has been arrested,” he added.

“In the first FIR, registered in connection with the arson at the police station, Haji Islam and around 150 unidentified people have been booked. The second FIR is related to the protest at the railway tracks where miscreants pelted stones on the police. Six persons, including Haji Islam, have been booked along with 2,000 unidentified people,” said Kandhla SHO Ajay Kumar Chauhan.

Despite repeated attempts Haji Islam could not be contacted. District BSP president in Shamli, Arvind Kumar, said Haji Islam is an old leader but was currently not holding any position in the party.

Meanwhile, Deen Mohammed underwent an operation on Sunday in a Meerut hospital. A native of Kairana, Deen is a daily wage labour. His elder brother Aash Mohammed said Deen had gone to the protest site along with other locals. “Doctors have removed bullet from his body. He is stated his to be stable,” he added.

IG (Meerut Zone) Alok Sharma said it will be investigated how Deen suffered a bullet injury during the protest. “The police are collecting photographs and video footage from media houses to ascertain the identity of the accused involved in violence at both railway tracks and police station,” he added.

On Saturday night, Shamli police had transferred the probe into alleged assault on Tablighi Jamaat members to GRP in Badaut. A case, against six unidentified miscreants, was initially was registered with Kandhla police on Friday night.

Inspector (GRP Shamli) Sunit Dutt said: “We will seek help of locals to identity miscreants. We suspect them to be daily passengers.”

Delhi Metro turns 21, celebrates 21st Foundation Day

New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today celebrated its 21st foundation day here felicitating 43 of its employees for their performance in 2014-15 on Sunday.

Urban Development Secretary and DMRC chairman Madhusudan Prasad, who was the Chief Guest at a function here on the occasion, presented awards to 43 employees for their outstanding contribution to the metro rail service that has transformed commuter travel in the national capital region.

“Delhi Metro has changed the course of public transport in India. DMRC has maintained the reliability and punctuality of Metro services. The punctuality of the trains during 2014-15 remained 99.88 percent,” he said in his address at the function at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi cantt.

To commemorate the occasion, a photo exhibition on the activities of the Delhi Metro was organised.

In his address, DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh said: “The scale of activity in the present phase of metro construction in the National Capital Region (NCR) has been enormous.” During the event, Singh listed the achievements of DMRC during last year and said the Corporation is taking additional efforts on the indigenisation of technologies involved in Metro operations in sync with the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

“On the operational front, additional statistics are now being taken not only for peak hour traffic but peak of peak hour traffic owing to the ever increasing ridership. Also, additional efforts are being made to stress on the indigenization of the technologies involved in Metro operations in sync with the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the government of India,” he said.

On the occasion, the Central Secretariat metro station was declared the “best metro station”.

A statement from the DMRC said that Mahesh Kumar received the metro person of the year award while Renu Dhillon was awarded the metro woman of the year award.

Popular music composer and singer Anand Raj Anand enthralled the audience with a cultural programme.

“Also, additional efforts are being made to stress on indigenisation of technologies involved in Metro operations in sync with the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the Government of India,” Singh said adding over 90 per cent of Rolling Stock procured by DMRC had been manufactured in India.

Singh said even as DMRC undertakes large scale development activities, the Corporation was committed to ensure the works do not add to pollution levels.

Prasad said Delhi Metro has “changed the course of public transport in India” and lauded DMRC saying it has maintained reliability and punctuality of services, which reported last year was 99.88 per cent.

Meanwhile, the corporation adjudged Mahesh Kumar (one of its station managers) as “Metro Person of the Year”, while “Metro Woman of the Year” award was given to Renu Dhillon. The Central Secretariat Metro station was named ‘Best Metro Station’.

Besides, 41 other employees including those from Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were felicitated.

WR rejects demand for three-bogey train

Bharuch Jn (BH): The Indian Railways has rejected Bharuch Citizens’ Council (BCC) demand to run a three-bogey train between Bharuch and Ankleshwar. BCC had demanded this small train for daily commuters who get stuck up in frequent traffic jams on Sardar Bridge and Golden Bridge. In a reply to BCC representation, the railways said that it was technically not feasible to run this train due to lack of space on either side to accommodate extra bogeys during non-use hours.

The railways said that the distance between the two towns is just 9.24km and there is ample road transportation available.

Jivraj Patel, vice-president of BCC said the council was disappointed with the rejection.

“Maybe the western railway doesn’t know the situation of road transportation between the two towns. We will peruse the matter with railway minister and explain our plight.”

At least 50,000 people commute between the two towns daily.

Heavy Tunnel boring machine to start underground operations near Kempegowda Underground station area

Bangalore (SBC): The much-awaited vital machine part from Italy for Namma Metro has finally reached Bengaluru. After a nearly one-year lull in the operations, a mammoth machine that was waiting for this part will start underground operations near the Kempegowda Underground station area (formerly Majestic station) shortly.

This tunnelling work is crucial to complete the ongoing work in the 24.2-km Green Line of the Metro from Nagasandra in the north to Puttenahalli in the south.

The cutter head for the tunnel boring machine ‘Godavari’, reached the capital city two days ago on a trailer truck from Chennai, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, told. The vital component had reached Chennai harbour a fortnight ago from Italy, he added.

“The 70-tonne cutter head was transported as two pieces, each weighing 35 tonnes,” Kharola said. It now needs to be attached to the 450-tonne Godavari.

In July 2014, Godavari was boring 60 feet under the ground to drill a tunnel from Mantri Square Sampige Road Metro Station to Kempegowda station when this component rammed into hard rocks near Lakshmanapuri slums and developed massive cracks. Godavari had completed a 350-metre stretch,  and 615 metres remained to be completed, an official said.

The new part, costing around Rs.5 crore, had to be imported from Palmeiri company in Italy as the cutter head from the other three tunnel boring machines — Krishna, Cauvery and Margarita — did not match Godavari. The cost for the spare part is borne by underground tunnel contractor M/s Coastal-TTS.

Godavari was originally supposed to restart tunnelling by February-end, but the shipment could not be procured from Italy on time due to winter storms in Europe. Finally, it took till the end of February just for the shipment to be despatched.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday had made a reference to stopping the work in the tunnel.

Since the work in the tunnel was causing a huge delay in completing Phase-I of Metro, Siddaramaiah suggested that the work be stopped and the deadline be pushed to March 2016.

Shaft Getting Ready: Kharola said that the broken cutter head has to be extricated from the machine first. “A shaft (passageway) is now being readied to reach the machine stationed underground to remove the damaged part. After removing it, the new cutter will be fitted onto it.” It could take a minimum of 15 days for the shaft to be put in place and then the  cutter head would be transported, he said.

Underground Metro Rail vibrations rattle Green Park residents in Delhi

New Delhi: Several residents of the South Delhi’s Green Park area living in vicinity of Gurgaon-Delhi yellow Metro line have written to the Union urban development ministry as well as Delhi Metro chief Mangu Singh, expressing concern about increased ground vibrations due to passage of trains which are affecting the foundations of the nearby buildings as well as disturbing the people living in the area.

“The increased low frequencies of vibrations due to underground Metro passing through Green Park in the last couple of years is a cause of concern for the residents of A-Block, Green Park, as these vibrations have a deep negative impact on man-made structures, foundations of buildings, sensitive equipment as well as causing human annoyance. This underground track was commissioned five years ago, but it did not create so much of a problem at the time,” said K.K. Kapila, an affected resident of A-Block, Green Park, who is also a well-known road safety expert and heads an engineering consultancy organisation.

“The use of underground Metro trains as fast and safe appropriate alternative for passengers is well-known worldwide. However, passage of trains with appropriate speed and train wheels rolling on rail create vibrations that are transmitted through the track support system into nearby structures. This could cause fatigue in the materials of ground and structure, cracks in walls and other related difficulties. The vibrations need to be controlled urgently lest they continue to damage the abutting structures with slow vibrations and making them weaker every day against possible calamity like earthquake” Vandana Lakhanpal, another resident of the area, said.

“Worldwide various technical solutions are suggested and used for controlling the vibrations — these include installing mass spring system (track bed isolation) technology, reducing of sleeper spacing use of soft pads/mats under sleepers, use of friction enhancing rail fasteners and softening of suspension systems of the trains. This should be mandated for all the ongoing and future underground Metro works,” added Mr Kapila.

Hyderabad Metro to open up Mettuguda-Secunderabad metro rail stretch next year

Hyderabad: Metro rail works between Mettuguda and Secunderabad will be completed early next year, HMRL Managing Director N.V.S Reddy said on Saturday.

He also clarified that no date has been fixed for operation between Mettuguda and Nagole, the first eight kilometre stretch ready for operations.

Mr. Reddy, who accompanied Union Minister for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya during an inspection tour of the Nagole and Uppal overhead stations on corridor-three (Nagole-Shilparamam-Raidurg) and the adjacent train shed facility, said that 50 per cent of the works were completed, physically and financially, as 36 km of viaduct has been installed.

The Union Minister on his part assured that all cooperation is being extended by the Central government to the metro rail project.

He also assured support to farmers of Uppal area who had represented to him about delay in obtaining compensation for land they had given up for the metro rail development. The Minister was accompanied by Malkajigiri parliamentarian Ch. Malla Reddy and Uppal legislator N.V.S.S Prabhakar.

The metro rail project is being built on three corridors with the other two being – Jubilee Bus Station to Falaknuma (Corridor two) and Miyapur to L.B. Nagar (Corridor one)

No Privatization of Railways; it will continue to be Owned & Managed by GOI: Suresh Prabhu

New Delhi: Notwithstanding recommendation by government panels, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has outrightly ruled out privatisation of the public transporter, saying it was a “bogey” being raised by those who do not want any change or by those who do not understand the importance of change.

He further said the concept of privatisation gives confusing signals and envisages the possibilities of ownership transfer of an enterprise to a different entity or management which was not possible in railways.  “Indian Railways will continue to be owned by government of India, managed by government of India, he said while further adding, “we want change not for the change in ownership. We do not want change for somebody to run the precious assets of railways. We want to bring in private capital or technology to improve the functioning of Indian Railways so that railways become more valuable and run into profits,” Prabhu told in an interview. Citing an example, Railway Minister told, “if you want to buy, revamp or carry out some renovation activity to a dilapidated house owned by you, which is about to collapse any time, and you do not have sufficient money in hand to reconstruct the house, then what will you do?  You will either go for borrowing money from some Banks or from other Financial Institutions and try reconstruct the house in time to avoid further damage. And you start repaying the loan amount through EMIs. In the same manner, the Government of India is considering FDI and PPP models to reconstruct the antiquated and financially bankrupt Indian Railway system. Importantly, India chose FDI and PPP model because we need Technology as well, alongwith funding, in which case, the funding organisation cannot bring in technology and the technical firms cannot act as Banks. Hence we are keen to FDI / PPP models, which is one of the most practiced models across the developed worlds.  So why someone who doesn’t understand the meaning of the FDI or PPP initiatives are resorting to undue cry?  Why those people have not raised their voices when the previous Governments have conveniently killed the mighty Indian Railways and drove it to great financial bankruptcy for their political agenda?  he asked.

Prabhu’s remarks come in the backdrop of raging debate on the privatisation of railways with the government-appointed committee headed by economist Bibek Debroy recommending corporatization of the loss-making public transporter and suggesting that the ministry of railways be only responsible for policymaking and private players should be allowed to run passengers and freight operations.

According to the latest CAG report on Railways, the Indian Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger and other coach services and there was a loss of Rs 23,643 crore in the same during 2011-12 and is about to land in huge bankruptcy.

Asked about the reasons for opposing privatisation, he said, “Unfortunately this type of nomenclature is an ideological debate. This is unnecessary and unintended confrontation. What is meant by us is that we want to improve quality of service of railways.”

“So whatever brings better quality of service, better technology, better profitability has to be done with whatever means possible. If we can do it ourselves in-house then we should do it. If we realise that we cannot do it in-house then we must get it outside capital, outside technology and outside agency” but not with the transfer of ownership.

Privatisation, he said, “is a bogey being raised by those who do not want change” even if it is for improving performance and facilities.

Bandaru insists more Employment Opportunities given for locals in Hyderabad Metro

Hyderabad: Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Saturday said he wished for more employment opportunities for the local youth in the Hyderabad Metro project.

He also asked the Telangana government to speed up the completion of metro works by clearing hurdles for the land acquisition.

The Minister for Labour and Employment (independent charge) also inspected Nagole Metro station and Metro Depot and expressed happiness over the progress of the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) works.

“I wish the Metro project would be launched as early as possible and the local youth get more employment opportunities here,” he said.

L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH), the concessionaire, is developing the 72-km elevated metro rail project here with three corridors and 66 stations. The project cost was originally estimated at Rs 14,132 crore.

Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) is a first project built under the public-private partnership model in the country and world-class technology is also being used here by the L&T Company, the Minister said.

“The metro mode is essential to reduce air pollution and is affordable for the urban people. The eco-friendly transport mode will be a boost for the ambitious Swachh Bharat mission,” he said.

To get the ‘Universal City’ tag, Hyderabad needs such types of projects, Bandaru said.

Malkajgiri MP Malla Reddy, Uppal MLA Sri NVSS Prabhakar and HMR MD N V S Reddy and other metro officials were among those who took part in the inspection.

Jaipur Metro completed in record time, but limping in commercial run

Jaipur (JP): Much has been said on the delay of Jaipur Metro, which got the final safety certification on Friday. But the officials of Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) on Saturday said the Jaipur Metro Project (Phase I) was completed in a record time.

Since its inception, it took the authorities four years and one month to complete the whole work including getting the required sanctions.

However, it lags behind other Metros in starting the commercial run.

Since March this year, the officials and staff of JMRC were burning midnight oil to get the safety certification from the Commissioner, Metro Rail Safety (CMRS).

On the completion of Metro projects in other parts of the country, Ashwini Saxena, project director, JMRC, said, “The construction work for Delhi Metro was started on October 1, 1998, and its commercial run started on December 24, 2002. It means it was fully completed in four years and two months. The work on Bangalore Metro project started on April 15, 2007, and its commercial run began on October 20, 2011. Thus, it took around four-and-a-half years.” He added, “As far as we are concerned, we started the construction work in February 2011 and were ready with the project in March 2015. This means we completed the project in four years and one month. We are only waiting for the date of commercial run.”

When asked about the likely date for Metro’s commercial run, Saxena said, “The ball is in the court of the government. However, we need to do certain things including three more load tests as suggested by CMRS Chetan Bakshi. We are hopeful of getting the date within this month to start the Metro’s commercial run. We need this fortnight to complete a few tests. In the third or last week of this month, we would be fully ready to handle the commercial operations.”

Before dedicating the service to the public, the JMRC needs to conduct three load tests on the double elevated tracks. It also needs to install signages at a few curves on the tracks, he added.

On the USP of Jaipur Metro, Saxena said, “We completed the work in a record time. We were ready in the month of March itself. However, the CMRS, during his visit in March, needed more time for inspection, so we got the certification in May. Likewise, we have constructed a double-storey elevated road and Metro track for the first time in the country. Similarly, the project also includes construction of stations on a single pier using segmental construction technique, the first-of-its-kind in India.”

Anti Touting Squad nab Persons manipulating with IRCTC ticketing system with malicuous software at Surat

Surat (ST): Why you can’t book e-tickets on IRCTC site? The answer lies is in a specially made software that touts use. Anti touting squad of Mumbai Railway Crime Branch and Navsari RPF team raided Master Mind school in Sachin area and caught Narsinh Ramolu Somaiya Das Hari and Suraj Narsinh Ramolu Das Hari who had a software to book 72 tickets in 1 minute on IRCTC website. Ramolu brothers who run school were active in this business for last four years. Railway squad recovered 182 railway e-tickets purchased by Ramolu brothers through this software for 860 passengers. 12 rubber stamps, 60 hologram sheets, 2 CPU ad 1 printer are also seized.

This is not first such instance in Surat. Recently another tout was held using similar software. He had told Railway squad that he had purchased this software online from some Anand(central Gujarat) based unidentified person who used to communicate only through internet.

Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya asks Telangana, L&T to iron out differences

Hyderabad: Urging the state government, Larsen & Tubro and Hyderabad Metro Rail to sort out their differences over alignment, Union minister of state for labour Bandaru Dattatreya stated that they must complete the project soon.

After inspecting the Metro Rail’s Uppal Depot on Saturday morning, Mr Dattatreya stated that the project was world class and it must be completed soon so that the city gets the tag of ‘universal city’.
He said, “If required I will speak to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and ensure that there are no delays. The completion of this project will bring more investments to Hyderabad and make it the most sought-after city.”
HMR managing director N.V.S. Reddy said there was no chance of inaugurating the Metro Rail this year. The date of the inauguration will be decided by the Chief Minister, he said.
“The government wants the Metro Rail benefit to be experienced by a large section of the people. It is not possible this year but maybe early next year,” he said.
The issue of employment opportunities at HMR has become a bone of contention between some agencies and L&T. While L&T has outsourced the employment to another agency, it is very strict about meeting the norms. Mr Dattatreya urged that local youth must be given employment opportunities so that there will be overall growth of the region.

New firm for better Rail connectivity at Major Ports to be registered soon

New Delhi: The Union shipping ministry’s plan for a company to work on enhanced port-rail connectivity is to bear fruition soon. The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in this regard is likely to be registered by the end of next month.

The 12 major ports and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL, an arm of the railways ministry) will pool resources for the formation. Details of the first tranche of projects to be undertaken by the SPV are being discussed between the major ports and the  ministry. The initial projection is of at least Rs 200 crore. RITES, the government-owned engineering consultancy company, specialising in transport infrastructure, has been brought in to work on some of the feasibility reports for the potential projects.

It will be registered under the Companies Act, with an initial authorised share capital of Rs 100 crore, divided into a million equity shares of Rs 1,000 each. The initial capital will be Rs 500 crore, with further provision to raise the cap. The 12 major ports are to contribute Rs 90 crore of the Rs 100 crore, each having equity shares. RVNL will contribute the remaining Rs 10 crore.

“The SPV will undertake modernisation of rail infrastructure at ports, raise financial resources for handling port-related railway projects and also operate and manage the internal port railway systems,” said a ministry official.

In 2013-14, about 28 per cent of the total cargo handled by major ports was transported by Indian Railways, to and from the hinterland. Non-major ports handle 60-90 per cent of their cargo volumes through the rail network.

Bonhomie marks Golden Jubilee of Vizag Diesel Loco Shed

Member (Mechanical) of Railway Board Hemant Kumar unveiling a pylon to mark the golden jubilee of Diesel Loco Shed in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. General Manager of East Coast Railway Rajiv Vishnoi and DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee are seen

Member (Mechanical) of Railway Board Hemant Kumar unveiling a pylon to mark the golden jubilee of Diesel Loco Shed in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. General Manager of East Coast Railway Rajiv Vishnoi and DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee are seen

Visakhapatnam (VSKP): Bonhomie and a spirit of camaraderie marked the golden jubilee celebrations of Visakhapatnam Diesel Loco Shed (DLS) here on Saturday evening.

Retired officers recalled the glorious days, as they took a trip down the memory lane, and their collective efforts to put the DLS on the path of progress and their pride in the shed becoming the largest one in the country with a capacity of 231 locomotives.

Member (Mechanical), Railway Board, Hemant Kumar, appreciated the workmanship of the DLS employees in making a model of a diesel locomotive and a commemorative plaque with a worker holding aloft the ‘golden jubilee’ emblem.

Addressing a huge gathering at the valedictory of the two-day golden jubilee celebrations of the Visakhapatnam Diesel Loco Shed (DLS) here Saturday, Hemant Kumar said that with a mere fleet of 13 locos with a capacity of 2,300 horse power, the shed had grown manifold to handle 231 locos and High Horse power locos of 4,500 hp. “It is the commitment and dedication of the staff and officers that realised these achievements,” he said. He appreciated the innovative model of the pylon inaugurated to mark the occasion.

He also commended the workers for their efforts in putting the shed back on track within 48 hours of the severe cyclone Hudhud devastating it in October 2014.

He was optimistic that India would be able to develop super sheds with the help of the CRIS software. This would, perhaps, help in overcoming the line capacity constraints. Mr. Hemant Kumar announced that the Chairman of Railway Board had approved an award of Rs.1.5 lakh to the DLS, Visakhapatnam, on its achievements in the golden jubilee year. He also announced Rs.50,000 each to the locomotive model and the memorial made by the employees. General Manager of East Coast Railway Rajiv Vishnoi said that the contribution of the DLS, Visakhapatnam, was immense in making E Co R as the number one railway zone in Indian Railways.

Describing ECoR as a ‘freight loading railway’, he said that more HHP (High Horse Power) locos were required and said that Visakhapatnam DLS already had 20 HHP locos and was likely to get 50 more in the near future. Executive Director (Mechanical), Railway Board, Vivek Kumar, recalled his days at DLS, Visakhapatnam, as Senior DME during 1995-97. “I have visited other sheds in the country but the work culture here is par excellence.” DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee and Senior DME (Diesel) M. Srinivas spoke.

Loco Management System for Platforms in the Offing

Mr.Hemant Kumar said that CRIS had developed software for efficient locomotive management. Loco Management System enables platforms to carry long haul trains in difficult terrains.  The pilot project was implemented in Northern Railway and the same could be used by the DLS, Visakhapatnam, as the shed had crossed the optimum level of 100 locos for efficient management of locos as given in the ‘white manual’ of loco sheds. He informed that the Diesel Loco Shed (DLS) is prepared for more reliability and increased efficiency to reach new heights in the future.

Contribution of the DLS, Visakhapatnam, is immense in making ECoR number one railway zone in Indian Railways – Rajiv Vishnoi, ECoR GM

Ten bogies of Duronto Express derails; Trains on Konkan route cancelled, diverted

Panaji : Ten bogies of the Lokamanya Tilak Terminus-Ernakulum Duronto Express derailed near Balli railway station in South Goa today, but no casualties have been reported so far.

‘Ten coaches of the train derailed at 6.30 am near Balli station. No passengers were injured,’ Konkan Railway Corporation Limited spokesman Baban Ghatge said.

The train had left Lokmanya Tilak Terminal in Mumbai and was heading towards Ernakulum. Ghatge said that trains on Konkan.

Railway routes will be delayed due to the derailment, while work is on to salvage the bogies which went off the track.

The Railways announced cancellation and diversion of some trains on the Konkan route following derailment of 10 coaches of Lokmanya Tilak—Ernakulam Duronto Express near Sarzora Tunnel between Madgaon and Balli stations in Karwar region.

Train No 12015, Madgaon—Ernakulam express, scheduled to leave Madgaon at 2130 hrs today has been cancelled.

Trains which have been diverted include Train No. 16337, Okha—Ernakulam Express scheduled to reach Ernakulam at 22.20 hrs today, Train No.02065, Mumbai CST—Ernakulam Premium special train scheduled to reach Ernakulam at 3 AM tomorrow morning, Train No.22634, Nizamuddin—Thiruvananthapuram central Weekly superfast express via Alappuzha scheduled to reach Thiruvananthapuram central at 02.30 am tomorrow and Tr.No.11097,Pune—Ernakulam express, Scheduled to reach Ernakulam junction at 04 am tomorrow.

Following the mishap, train No 56640 Mangalore-Madgaon and Train No 10216 Ernakulam-Madgaon will remain cancelled on Monday. Train number 22635 Madgaon-Mangalore; 70101 Madgaon-Karwar; 10215 Madgaon-Ernakulam and 56641 Madgaon-Mangalore and  Train No. 12224 Ernakulam junction – Lokmanya Tilak Express were cancelled on Sunday.

Trains that were partially cancelled are: Train No 56640 Mangalore Central – Madgaon; Train No 12133 Mumbai CSTM- Mangalore Junction Express; Train No.12134 Mangalore Junction – Mumbai CSTM  Express.

Train No 16337 Okha – Ernakulam; 02065 CSTM-Ernakulam; 22634 Nizamuddin-Trivandrum;  11097 Pune-Ernakulam and 16312 Kochuveli-Bikaner were diverted. Konkan Railway officials are working on war footing at the affected site for bringing about an early restoration. As many as 155 labourers and about 100 KR officials, including Director (Operating and Commercial) Sanjay Gupta – and the Principal Chief Engineer – Rajesh Agarwal, are at the site to attend to re-railment of coaches and restoration of the track under the guidance of CMD/KRCL, Bhanu Prakash Tayal.

Meanwhile, the passengers in the 10 coaches of the derailed train continued their journey by the unaffected coaches of the same train and buses as well. The Konkan Railway had arranged five buses for passengers and paid Rs 2,56,255 in refund to the passengers who did not wish to continue their journey by train. Though partial refund is admissible for remaining part of the journey which has been cancelled, the KRCL as a special gesture, has permitted full refund of the fare to the passengers.

Passengers may contact 022–27587939 for train inquiry. Train positions on the route can also be viewed on www.konkanrailway.com

GERMAN-DESIGNED COACHES PREVENT CASUALTIES

High-end coaches, manufactured with German technology, en sured there were no casualties on Konkan Railway (KR), when 10 compartments of the Kurla-Ernakulam Duronto Express derailed in a tunnel on Sunday. The commissioner of railway safety had, in October 2014, warned KR to improve safety standards after the derailment of a goods train. KR officials took up the task and later said they fixed all flaws, but Sunday’s mishap is the second major derailment on KR this year.

Hundreds of passengers on Sunday escaped when, at 6:24 am, the Duronto derailed in Sarzora-2 tunnel, near Balli station, south of Madgaon. Railway officials said there were no casualties though the train was travelling at 100 kmph as the German-designed coaches did not capsize due to their unique coupling method, which holds all coaches tight during such instances. “The savior of the day was the driver, who heard the noise and halted the train within 400 metres,” an official said.

This is the second major derailment on KR in 2015, after three coaches of Mangala Express derailed at Pen on March 1. In fact, following investigations into the derailment of a goods train near Chiplun in October 2014, Commissioner of Railway Safety Chetan Bakshi said that “passenger trains on Konkan Railway were a danger to public”. He drew up a detailed programme that capped the speed of trains to 75 kmph, after finding flaws in the manner the Ultrasound Flaw Detection (USFD) was monitored. USFD machines x-ray rails and reveal flaws in joints, wear and tear, etc. He said KR’s USFD operator did not have knowledge of the manual, and that officials signed USDF test reports without verification.

Following this, KR officials said they worked hard to fix all problems. Giving details, an official said that USFD testing was taken seriously and the entire route was tested by trained personnel who replaced all defective rails welds. Round-the-clock patrolling was done and charts detailing movement, direction and timings of patrollers were countersigned by station masters, cabin men, or gatemen. Each patrolman covered a 2 km stretch, inspecting the rail for fractures, gaps, etc. Precautions were also taken in tunnels and bridges. A high-level committee examined the implementation.

In December 2014, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu also ordered a safety audit of the entire 760 km route. This was done and after a satisfactory inspection, the speed restriction of 75 kmph was lifted by end 2014. Bakshi told Mirror on Sunday that KR had fulfilled all conditions.

Konkan Railway chairman and managing director Bhanu Pratap Tayal said that the commissioner’s remarks had been taken seriously. “We followed all guidelines and later conducted a safety audit, which showed there were no issues on KR,” Tayal told Mirror. “The cause of the derailment is under investigation,” he added.

A KR official said restoration of the line was top priority. “A team of 250 labourers and officials are busy restoring the line,” he said.

Haryana to enter into SPV with Indian Railways to strengthen the Railway Network in the State

Chandigarh (CDG): Haryana government today announced that it will enter into a partnership with Indian Railways by forming Special Purpose Vehicle to strengthen the rail network in the  state. A MoU in this regard will soon be signed between both  the Stake holders.

The Chief Minister was addressing the mediapersons on the completion of six months of the present BJP Government in the  State here today said that “he had met the Union Railways Minister, Suresh Prabhu twice and requested him to complete all the pending rail projects in the State be it the start of new trains, electrification of existing railway lines and construction of Railway Over Bridges (RoB) and Railway Under Bridges (RuBs).”

He said that under the Central Government’s new Land Acquisition Act, barring defense projects, affordable housing, infrastructure, industrial corridor, railways etc, no land would be acquired without the farmer’s consent.

Mr Khattar said that the State Government would announce its new Industrial Policy within next 15 days which would spur growth in all districts of the State and also generate ample employment opportunities for youth. The new industrial policy would aim at the growth of all industries especially Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

While referring to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBM), he said that the first meeting of Sub Group constituted for the implementation of this programme headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on the SBM has been held yesterday at New Delhi which was also attended by him.

He also said that on his request, the next meeting of this Sub would be held at Chandigarh in the month of May where Ministers and Chief Ministers of about ten States would participate. He said that to inculcate the spirit of cleanliness among the children, the State Government is considering to start one period on Swachhta in schools from first to 10th standard.

Now, officials who ‘fudge’ train status data to pay ticket refunds

New Delhi: In a new policy directive issued to zonal railways, officials found fudging data on train punctuality will now pay from their salaries if Railways has to give refunds to passengers thanks to trains being late by over three hours.

The Railway Ministry seeks to weed out the menace of “wrong reporting” of punctuality data in an attempt to paint a rosy picture of train performance in the system. The move will come into effect from June 1, sources confirmed. An order to this effect was issued this week.

As per rules, if a train reaches a station late by over three hours, or its departure is delayed by over three hours, passengers can claim a full refund without traveling. Policymakers decided that simply fudging punctuality data to show that a train is running on time does not insulate the transporter from refunds.

Officials in the traffic control offices, who physically log the running of trains and update the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) — the time-keeper for punctuality in real time; accessible to the public – have been found to be doctoring data.

Now, the Ministry order says that if a passenger gets refunds based on the NTES timings, and upon investigations it is found the data was incorrect, the money will go straight out of the pockets of the officials concerned.

The strong, and potentially unpopular decision, seeks to be a deterrent against data-fudging. Before starting the new system, Railways will hold counselling sessions for its officials and monitor operations for May.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to award Gold Medals to VTU Rank Holders

Suresh Prabhu, Hon'ble Minister for Railways

Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Railways

Belgaum (BGM): Visvesvaraya Technological University’s (VTU) 14th convocation is scheduled on 9th May at Jnana-Sangama campus of the varsity in Belagavi. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will be the Chief Guest of the programme.

Railway Minister will confer medals to the 1st rank holder students in the presence of Governor Vajubhai Vala and Higher Education and Tourism Minister R V Deshpande.

Addressing the media persons, Vice-Chancellor Shri H Maheshappa said VTU will be awarding BE degrees to 50,528 students, besides B Arch degree to 138 students, MBA to 5,284, MCA to 3,401, M Tech to 6,650 and M Arch degree to 14 students. This apart, 109 students will receive PhD and 20 students will receive M Sc (Engg) degree. Varsity has achieved 79.75% passing result in BE/B Tech.

Because of government direction, this year, varsity is not awarding honorary doctor of science (DSc) degrees to the prominent personalities. However, it has recommended 18 names to the committee formed under K Chidananda Gowda, former Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University. Committee finalize three names and send them to the Raj Bhavan, he said.

Golden Boys:

Ahad Tarade of Gogte Technological University (GIT-Belagavi) has won highest 13 gold medals, for securing 1st rank with highest marks and highest aggregate marks in all eight semesters of BE Civil Engineering. Gold medals comprise 12 endowments and 1 VTU medal. According to Vice-Chancellor, this is the highest medals won by any students in the history of VTU.

Abhilash A S of Bangalore Institute of Technology has won seven gold medals for having secured 1st rank with highest marks in BE Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Three students have won each five gold medals they are – K R Satyajit of RNS Institute of Technology, Bengaluru for securing highest marks in BE Electronics and Communication Engineering, Akash Kumar R of Bangalore Institute of Technology for securing highest marks in BE Computer Science and Engineering and Vidyasagar R of Reva Institute of Technology and Management, Bengaluru for securing top rank in BE Mechanical Engineering.

List of B E, B Tech Rank Holders:

Aeronautical Engineering:- Karthik CH of MVJ Bengaluru (90.58%), Automobile Engineering – Anoop Desai of DSCE Bangalore (86.87%), Bio-medical Engineering – Prajna Ramesh Desai of KLECET Belagavi (84%), Biotechnology – Malavika A of New Horizon Bangalore (89.94%), Chemical Engineering – Dwani V Gowda of DSCE Bangalore (87.86%), Computer Science and Engineering – Akash Kumar R of BIT Bangalore (86.43%), Construction Technology and Management – Saurav Singh of DSCE Bangalore (90.52%), Civil Engineering – Ahad Tarade of GIT Belagavi (93.28%), Electronics and Communication Engineering – K R Satyajit of RNS Inst Bangalore (87.59%), Electrical and Electronics Engineering – Abhilash A S of BIT Bangalore (89.25%), Environmental Engineering – Poojashri R Naik of VVCE Mysuru (87.39%).

Industrial Engineering and Management:-  Vidya K of DSCE Bangalore (88.43%), Industrial and Production Engineering – Abhijit Shetra of BIET Davanagere (81.71%), Information Science and Engineering – Harshita M of Acharya Inst Bangalore and Abhijit Udupa of Reva Inst Bangalore (84.17%), Instrumentation Technology – Pratima TJ of BIT Bangalore (88.38%), Mechanical Engineering – Vidyasagar R of Reva Inst. Bangalore (88.81%), Medical Electronics – Prithvi PM of DSCE Bangalore (85.16%), Mining Engineering – Karthika R of Dr TTIT KGF (79.77%), Mechatronics Engineering – Sourav Mohanty of Acharya Inst Bangalore (90.61%), Telecommunication Engineering – Kavi Priya R of BIT Bangalore (84.49%), Tool Engineering – K Deepak of GT & TC Bangalore (82.32%) and Textile Technology – Tulasi Bai BR of Govt SKSJT Bangalore (88.18%).

Bachelor of Architecture:- Architecture – Sushma of DSCE Bangalore (79.23%). M Arch: Urban Design – Prathima N of RVCE Bangalore (72.73%). Master of Business Administration: Keerthana PK of RNS Inst Bangalore (79.64). Master of Computer Applications:- Nisha G of Acharya Inst Bangalore (88.13%).

Colleges bagged highest ranks are as following:

Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE) bagged 58 ranks including 12 first ranks, while Bangalore Institute of Technology of Bengaluru stood runner-up with 22 ranks with 5 first ranks. PES Institute of Technology of Bengaluru stood third place with 20 ranks including 4 first ranks. Other institutes bagged maximum ranks are – Department of PG Studies (VTU)-19, Acharya Institute of Technology, Bengaluru – 17 and RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru – 17.

Jaipur Metro gets final Safety Nod, may start in May end

Jaipur (JP): Jaipur’s much-awaited Metro will soon get operational as Phase-I corridor (Mansarovar to Chandpole) has been given the safety nod from Commissioner Metro Rail Safety (CMRS). However, the CMRS while giving the final sanction in the form of a authorization letter has put few conditions before opening the corridor.

It is expected that commercial operation will begin by end of May. Project director, Ashwani Saxena, informed, “We have received authorisation today for commencing services between Mansarovar to Chandpole, but with some conditions. The JMRC will fulfill these conditions and it is expected Metro will start commercial run in May end.”

“But before throwing it open for public, the JMRC will conduct a load test on three spans at double elevated track as per the directions. Also, the CMRS has directed to install speed restrictions signage’s at few curves on the track,” Saxena added.

Receiving a safety certification in one go is an big achievement for the Jaipur Metro as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has experimented with several new civil designs for the first time in the country.

With state-of-art technology, Jaipur Metro is unique in many aspects. General Manger , DMRC , Atul Gadgill said , “The DMRC has constructed double-storied elevated road and Metro track project for the first time in the country. Similarly, the project also includes construction of stations on a single pier using segmental construction technique, first of its kind in India.

Moreover, for the first time in the country, a sharp curve of 120 metre radius are been given by the DMRC. “We have constructed curves of 120 metre radius between Ram Nagar and Shyam Nagar stations and the railway station and Sindhi Camp,” added Gadgill.

The (CMRS) on Sunday concluded his inspection of the Metro rail. He tested the train by running it at its maximum speed with 600 passengers onboard. A mock drill for emergency exist was also performed between Chandpol and Sindhi Camp Railway Station.

Prior to this, the Railways’ research arm (RDSO), had issued necessary approvals for city’s first Metro corridor from Mansarovar to Chandpol. A top speed of 80-kmph has been set for the Metro, said officials.

The average speed of the Jaipur Metro on the 9.25-km route will be 32 kmph. “The Metro trains will not be allowed to cross 42 kmph at curves,” the officials said.

Faridabad Metro to scale up the Realty

Faridabad (FDB): After the first trial run of the metro, Faridabad residents and the ones travelling to and from Faridabad are waiting for the commencement of its services. Let us take the case of RL Verma working as a banker in Faridabad and living with on rent in a 3BHK apartment paying Rs 30,000 per month. Along with Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida, Faridabad is another city which encircles Delhi and is an important part of the NCR (National Capital Region). The city is taking large strides towards overall development in physical and social infrastructure. With metro that aims to bring an improvement in the city’s infrastructure by connecting the entire city from Badarpur to YMCA Chowk, Faridabd is all set to become the next city after Gurgoan to witness real estate boom.

As per the experts the real estate in Faridabad will undergo a significant uplift once the metro becomes operational. According to Sushil Kumar from Faridabad Properties & Consultants, “before the metro link there was hardly any demand or transaction in the real estate along the metro route but with the coming of the metro suddenly it is bustling with activity”.

The metro link, starting from Badarpur will cover Sarai Khwaja, NHPC Chowk, Badkal Chowk, Old Faridabad, Neelam Chowk and YMCA Chowk. The areas covered under these locations include almost every prime location of the city such as sector 1,2,8,9,10, 15, 15 A, 28, 29, 37 Ashoka Enclave Part 1, 2, 3, IP Colony, Greenfield and Springfield, thereby connecting the entire Faridabad through the metro as told by another city based realtor Uday Singh Chauhan from Realty Constructors and Builders. The entire metro line is planned to be completed by 2014.

This has pushed the developers to come up with their projects in the city. A number of residential and commercial projects are also being developed. Projects such as Omaxe Heights, Piyush Heights, and BPTP’s Princess Park are among the ones that are expected to be benefitted most with upcoming metro. According to Sujeet Singh, property dealer at Singh Associates, “these projects are fetching attention of buyers and investors and are available with premium of more than 30%.”

Even though still under construction, the metro link has had such a positive impact that the demand in the real estate has shot up by 50-60%. Presently the values are 20 to 30 times more than those of the last four months and are expected to rise further as confirmed by Kumar.

According to Rajiv Bhatia, property consultant at V3S Properties, “Faridabad’s proximity to Delhi and Gurgaon, improving connectivity by upcoming metro and prevailing lower values is attracting working professionals for long term investment as well as for buying a house.” He further added creation of demand and supply in city’s real estate can be attributed to the metro. The advent of metro has presented the realty sector with an opportunity to fully explore its potential in the city.

In the next five years city’s real estate development will be at par with that of other real estate hotspots such as Noida and Gurgaon making Faridabad one of the most suitable destinations for middle class and hence making it a real estate hub as anticipated by city based realtors.

“I have my own spacious 3BHK apartment in Vasundhara where my son and grandchildren live. However, due to the lack of transportation mode to Faridabad, I had to rent an accommodation in the locality. With the first trial run of the metro, I am expecting the services to start soon which will reduce my hassle of travelling to Faridabad and many other people like me.”

Some quick facts:

  • The Badarpur-Faridabad metro corridor is a fully elevated 14 km-long stretch which is expected to be operational by June 2015
  • Violet line is an extension of the existing metro line from Mandi House -Badarpur which will cater to the sub-city colonies of Faridabad
  • This extension line will run fully elevated for 13.87 km and further will comprise of 9 stations which are Sarai, NHPC Chowk, Mewla Maharajpur, Sector 28, Badkhal MOR, Faridabad Old, Neelam Chowk Ajronda, Bata Chowk and Escorts Mujesar

“With the metro line connectivity to be operational anytime soon, prices and demand of residential properties are expected to rise in Faridabad. Further, Faridabad is well connected via. public transports like bus, local train and auto. School, hospital, bank and other day to day conveniences are available within the locality,” says Karan, a local real estate agent in the locality.

Kara continues, “Once the metro is functional, it will significantly reduce the problem of traffic and congestion on the roads which the commuters battle everyday while travelling to and from Faridabad,”

Housing options available: Capital value of a 2BHK apartment ranges from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore with sizes varying from 700 to 1400 sq ft. For a larger unit like a 3BHK, you would have to pay capital value between Rs 24 lakh to Rs 2.2 crore with sizes varying from 900 to 2500 sq ft.

Connectivity:

Faridabad is located strategically between Delhi to its North, Noida to its North East, Greater Noida to its East and Gurgaon to its West. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is at 35 km diatnace which can be reached via National Highway 2.

With the commencement of metro operations in Faridabad, it will not only help daily commuters to travel more conveniently but will also scale up the realty.

MEGA to carry out Feasibility Study of Surat Metro Rail soon

Surat (ST): The ground work for metro rail project is expected to begin in the city shortly, ending a wait of nine long years of the people of Surat. Metro-link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Government of Gujarat and Government of India (GOI), would soon be carrying out a feasibility study and a detailed project report (DPR) on it in the city.

Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) sources said, “Once the feasibility report and DPR are prepared by MEGA team, they would be sent for clearance to the Union ministry of urban development.” Delhi Metro Rail Corporation would be the technical partner for the metro project in the city.

The National Urban Transport Policy had said in 2006 that every city having a population of 20 lakh should have metro rail as one of the means of mass transportation. Since then Kochi, Jaipur and Nagpur had made some progress on this regard, but Surat failed to come up with any concrete plans.

Municipal commissioner Milind Torwane said, “This is a capital intensive project and needs expertise and time for implementation.” Surat Metro rail project is likely to be funded by World Bank.

“Surat’s population will be around 80 lakh by 2022. Therefore, metro would be needed for mass transportation,” said Jatin Shah, city engineer, SMC.

“Metro project is going to be a vital mass transport service in Surat in future. We are positive about the project and have already made provision for initial ground work for it in our budget,” mayor Niranjan Janjmera said

2013 Chennai Central blasts: Still seeking closure

A nation-wide search is on for three members of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)

Chennai (MAS): A year after a low-intensity blast killed a young woman passenger and injured many others on the Bangalore – Chennai – Guwahati Express at Chennai Central Station, investigators are still on the hunt for the prime suspects.

While two of the five suspects were killed in an encounter with the Telangana police last month, a nation-wide search is on for the other three – members of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

CB-CID sleuths had managed to identify five suspects — Aijajudeen, Mehboob Guddu, Zahir Hussain Sadiq, Amzad and Mohammed Aslam — after some passengers of the train recalled spotting at least two of them in a reserved compartment a couple of hours before the blast.

In October 2013, they had escaped from a Madhya Pradesh prison and were involved in a bank robbery and dacoity. On April 5, Aijajudeen alias Aizaz and Mohammed Aslam alias Bilal were gunned down by the Telangana police in Nalgonda district after they shot dead a police constable and attempted to flee. Police are having a tough time tracking down the other three suspects.

Trajectory of TerrorThe blast was an eye-opener for the security agencies and Southern Railway too. Southern Railway announced that the first working day of May will be observed as ‘Swathi Day’. Rakesh Mishra, then general manager, had said the day should inspire railmen to rededicate themselves to passenger security.

The blasts also led to the stepping up of security measures at Central and other important stations. Security arrangements at all entry points have been intensified and the luggage of most passengers is now screened. “We ensured that commuters entered the premises through one door frame metal detector and got out through another. Dog squads were brought in to detect explosives. We will add 50 more CCTV cameras in the station. As of now, there are over 80,” an official said.

DRM/Vizag kicks off Vizag Diesel Loco Shed Jubilee Fete

DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee visiting the stalls at the inaugural of the golden jubilee celebrations of VDLS in Visakhapatnam on Friday

DRM Vizag Chandralekha Mukherjee visiting the stalls at the inaugural of the golden jubilee celebrations of VDLS in Visakhapatnam on Friday

Visakhapatnam (VSKP): Waltair Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Chandralekha Mukherjee Friday complimented the officers and staff of the Visakhapatnam Diesel Loco Shed (DLS) for their commendable service to achieve exemplary results. She recalled the commitment and devotion of the DLS staff who overcame hurdles and worked hard in the aftermath of cyclone Hudhud that ravaged the DLS premises.

Inaugurating the two-day golden jubilee celebrations of the DLS here Friday, Chandralekha Mukherjee said that since its inception on May 2, 1965, with a mere fleet of 13 WDM1 type locos, the DLS had grown to become the largest in the Indian Railways with a fleet of 231 locos.

“The Diesel Loco Shed was ravaged during Hudhud. But the staff overcame all these hurdles and performed remarkably to help the East Coast Railway restore operations fast,” she said.

ECoR chief motive power engineer Arjun Mundia, the guest of honour, said that the Visakhapatnam DLS had great fortune with its technical workforce including dedicated women employees who were devoted to their duties.

M Srinivasa Rao, senior divisional mechanical engineer (diesel), gave an account of the journey of the loco shed from its nascent stage to the number one spot in the Indian Railways. Officers, staff and their family members gathered to participate in the celebrations.

Prizes were distributed among the winners of sports events conducted to mark the occasion and merit certificates were given to the staff who had shown devotion to duty in an innovative way.

Seminar today

A technical seminar on “Best maintenance practices on HHP Locomotives” by various sheds will be held at the DLS from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Member (Mechanical), Railway Board, Hemant Kumar will participate as chief guest and ECoR General Manager Rajiv Vishnoi will be the guest of honour at the golden celebrations to be held at the shed later in the evening.

Assam Chief Minister reviews Metro Rail project for Guwahati

Guwahati (GWH): A special review meeting on the proposed metro rail project for Guwahati was held at the Chief Minister’s official residence here yesterday.

The meeting discussed various aspects related to the first phase of the project including expected cost, routes, rail stations, overbridges and construction technology, said an official statement. It also discussed issues related to passenger amenities and how to make the proposed project a people-friendly initiative.

RITES Ltd made a power-point presentation on various aspects related to the project during the meeting.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stressed use of the latest technology so that the best service can be provided to commuters.

He said that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) should be submitted at the earliest.

The meeting decided that the DPR should be ready by October at the latest. It also gave approval for the routes selected for the first phase of the project.

Besides Gogoi, the meeting was also attended by Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla, Additional Chief Secretary MGVK Bhanu, GMDA CEO Anurag Singh and other senior officials. The concept paper and terms of reference for rail-based MRTS at Guwahati was approved by the Union Ministry of Urban Development in July, 2013.

The concept paper enumerated a feasibility study for 196 km of track and preparation of DPR of 65 km under Phase I of the project covering a metropolitan area of 2,205 sq km to cater to a population of 24 lakh.

Noida gives DMRC Rs.411 Crore for Sector-62, Kalindi Kunj Links

Noida: The Noida Authority on Thursday cleared funds of Rs 411 crore for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the construction of two Metro corridors in the city. The link from Noida City Centre to Sector 62 has been sanctioned Rs 262 crore and the Kalindi Kunj-Botanical Garden corridor, Rs 149 crore, officials said.

This is the second funding round for the 3.9km Botanical Garden link, construction for which began in December 2014. Additional CEO of Noida Authority P K Agarwal said they had earlier sanctioned Rs 149 crore.

The 6.675km Sector 62 corridor, an extension of the Blue line, has been sanctioned Rs 262 crore in its first phase. “Construction of this track will start from June 15 this year,” said Agarwal.

The two Metro routes had received the green signal from Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in September last year. Eighty percent funding for the two corridors will be done by the Noida Authority.

“We will review the progress of both tracks twice every month. The first review meeting has been scheduled for May 7,” Agarwal added.

The Botanical garden route, part of Delhi Metro Phase 3, will start from Janakpuri in west Delhi and will be 36km long. It is expected to be ready by 2016. The Kalindi-Kunj-Botanical Garden section of this track will be elevated and will cost Rs 845 crore. Around 48,500 commuters are expected to use this route everyday.

The City Centre-Sector 62 link will cost Rs 1,816 crore. The line will be routed over the central verge of the Master Plan road-III from sector 32 in Noida, giving relief to those commuting within Noida and going to Ghaziabad.

The proposed route will have six elevated stations. It is expected to be comeplete in three years.

Financial bids for the Metro link proposed between Noida and Greater Noida may also be finalized this month, officials said.

Metro Rail planned in 9 more Cities: Venkaiah while inaugurating Reach-3B of Namma Metro

MUD NaiduBangalore (SBC): Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu has said that there were proposals to introduce metro services in nine cities including Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune and Vijayawada.

Speaking at the inauguration of Reach 3B of Namma Metro here on Friday, Naidu said that the new projects provide metro connectivity for a distance of 223 km and are estimated to cost Rs 83,000 crore. With this expansion, the demand for rolling stock is set to go up and hence the government had been encouraging production of metro coaches the country, he added.

At present, metro coaches are made indigenously at three facilities – Beml in Bengaluru (150 coaches per year), Bombardier  in Gujarat (350 coaches) and Alstom’s unit in Chennai (120 coaches per year). “Out of the 2,100 coaches that Delhi metro needs for its three phases, 1,850 are being indigenously manufactured,” Naidu said. Bombardier has signed a contract with Australia for exporting 450 metro cars.

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, along with Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, travel in Metro train after flagging off, Green Line of Namma Metro reach 3 B, between Peenya Industry station and Nagasandra station in Bengaluru on Friday

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, along with Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, travel in Metro train after flagging off, Green Line of Namma Metro reach 3 B, between Peenya Industry station and Nagasandra station in Bengaluru on Friday

The delivery will begin by the end of this year. Similarly, Alstom will supply 132 metro cars to Australia beginning August, 2017.

One of the key objectives of smart cities initiative is to put in place an efficient and reliable public transportation system enabling easy mobility. Special status will be granted to 500 cities having a population of more than a lakh, under the newly launched Amrut scheme, he said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who spoke on the occasion, said that the Mekedatu project if implemented, would help Karnataka impound up to 35 tmc of water which could be utilised for potable purposes.

“I led an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. I have told Modi that Tamil Nadu’s

opposition to the project is politically motivated,” Siddaramaiah said. He reiterated that the State government was committed to implement Mekedatu project.

Alstom Transport commissions Bangalore Metro’s new section from Peenya Industry to Nagasandra

Bangalore (SBC): Alstom Transport successfully commissioned the signaling and control system for the new section of Bangalore metro (popularly known as Namma Metro) starting from Peenya Industry to Nagasandra station. This section, which is 3.5kms long with three stations and is an extension of already opened section of the green line of Bangalore Metro, entered commercial service on 1st May 2015. The section was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. Siddaramaiah and Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu at Peenya in Bangalore.

Alstom Transport has successfully carried out the design, supply, installation and commissioning of signalling and train control system on this section. Alstom and its consortium partners, were awarded the contract for providing the control and signaling system for the Bangalore metro, in 2009. The overall scope for the contract covered design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of modern signaling train control and telecommunication systems for two corridor lines (42 km, 40 stations). It also included the supply of two depots, one Operation Control Centre (OCC) and one Back up Operation Control Center (BCC).

Alstom especially supplied its Automatic Train Control System “Urbalis”. A global urban network management solution, Urbalis automatically controls train movements, optimizing traffic flows and intervals between trains, guaranteeing passenger safety and improving the commercial efficiency of the line. It ensures optimal safety, flexible operations and heightened passenger comfort. This fully proven solution has been successfully deployed in many cities in the world. In India, Alstom has supplied the same solution to New Delhi metro line 1 and 2 and their extensions.

This milestone is a clear illustration of Alstom’s commitment to develop India’s urban transport infrastructure as the country embarks on its rail expansion initiatives. It also showcased Alstom’s highly competitive and dedicated engineering team in Bangalore, capable of executing global projects for urban & mainline signaling.

Metro Rail service from Sampige Road to Nagasandra open amid loud Cheers

Bangalore (SBC): A May Day outing with the family, quick access to Malleswaram’s shopping spots, and the thrill of travelling by a Metro train from a neighbourhood station. There were reasons aplenty for Nagasandra residents to board the first train opened to the public from their station at 4 pm on Friday.

As the train approached Nagasandra station, there were whistles, claps and loud cheers from those waiting on the platform. “I was the first to set foot inside the train when the doors opened,” said Girish, all animated. He claimed that he had done so when Namma Metro began operations from Peenya Industry on March 1 last year as well, and came to the station hoping for a repeat.

Mythili Dinakar and her husband were all smiles as they dashed into the train. The couple, who live just across the station in Shoba Apartments, had many of their neighbours for company. “I cannot tell you how excited I am. I was looking at my watch all morning and waiting for it to touch 4 pm.”

Shopping was at the top of this homemaker’s mind. “It used to be a nightmare to head to Malleswaram crossing Jalahalli Cross by car. From today, I will use the Metro. What a big relief that I do not have to depend on my husband to take me around,” she said. To this, her spouse Dinakar added good-naturedly, “See, leaving me behind makes her happiest!”

Senior citizen M Panchakshari and his wife had come from Jayanagar for a housewarming ceremony in Nagasandra. “I read about the train in the morning paper. We decided to hang around at our relative’s house till 3.30 pm to board it. We are so lucky it started today. We can now get down at Mantri Mall Sampige station and take an auto or a bus to our house,” Panchakshari said.

A Family Affair

While helping his 65-year-old mother S R Lalithamma disembark the train, commuter M S Ramesh told Express that his extended family comprising 17 more members had come to be part of the historic ride.

Kshithij, a kindergarten student at National Public School, Yelahanka, too was among the commuters. He had come with his  grandfather Ningaraj.

For some, the biggest lure of the Metro is the escape from pollution and traffic, while for others, it is the cheap ticket rates. “It just took us exactly 26 minutes to reach Sampige station from Nagasandra. I used to spend one-and-a-half hours to cover this distance by car,” said Parameshwar S K. “Now, I can avoid the stress of driving too.”

Parameshwar is not alone in this line of thought. Businessman Madhusudhan travels to his office near Majestic by car every day. On Friday, he parked his car at Nagasandra station to check if he could use the train and then take an auto for a short distance from Saturday. “I spent `30 on the ticket and `32 on an auto, which works out cheap for me. I hate to drive the long hours.”

Meanwhile, youngsters were busy capturing the moment for posterity with selfies. Some even uploaded them online before the end of the ride. “It is really nice” and “we love the ride” were the most repeated comments from those aboard.

IRCTC now offers Mumbai Darshan joy ride on a Helicopter

IRCTC ParAirMumbai: Tourists can now get a birds-eye view of the city and its landmarks as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched a Mumbai Darshan by Helicopter package. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative, in association with a private helicopter operator.

The service was launched two days ago. IRCTC’s Region Director Virender Singh said, “The helicopter joy ride is available for Rs 5,580 per person.”

Tourists can take the helicopter ride from Juhu Aerodrome. An IRCTC official said, “There are two packages available, each for a duration of 15 minutes.”

The south Mumbai route is scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays. It covers Juhu, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Haji Ali and back. The north Mumbai route is slated for Mondays and Saturdays and the ride will cover Juhu, Versova, Malad, Gorai, Pagoda, Essel World and back.”

Singh said, “It is going to a breathtaking experience as the helicopter will fly 1000 feet above sea level.”

IRCTC plans to extend the trips to more days in a week if the response turns out to be good.

Parvathy Iyer, chairperson of ParAir said, “We offer three-seater charter flights for Rs 20,000 for a joyride north of Mumbai for 15 minutes.”

The bookings can be as low as 3,999, depending on the duration of the trip. However, the tour is not available on a daily basis. She said, “We need to undertake at least 30 trips per days to make it profitable.”

Mumbaikars have welcomed this initiative. Shashank Rawal, a Navi Mumbai resident, said, “It’s a good concept and people would like to take a ride, if the rates are affordable.”

IRCTC Ticket Booking now powered by PayTM Wallet mode of payment

IRCTC PayTMNew Delhi: Mobile centric marketplace and payment enabler Paytm has announced a partnership with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer the Paytm wallet as a payment option on online train ticket booking. The move will enable users to use wallet instead of plastic based cards while booking railway tickets.

This is a big deal for Paytm which got an approval from the Reserve Bank of India last year to float a semi-closed wallet. Over the next six months, the Noida-based company is looking at 25,000+ tickets in a day using Paytm wallet on IRCTC platform.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will now offer Paytm wallet as an option to pay for train tickets online. Through this partnership, Paytm will be able to expand its reach to Tier II and Tier III markets where trains form the primary mode of long distance travel and IRCTC the default train booking platform.

IRCTC will continue offering other modes of payment along with the Paytm wallet but it might just be a convenient option for ticket bookers who know the infamous unreliability of the IRCTC platform. Also, IRCTC claims to process over 180 million transactions every year. Paytm, on the other hand, claims to have over 60 million wallet users.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm claimed that Paytm was the biggest consumer transacting platform, followed by the IRCTC. Paytm also claimed to have surpassed the volume of IRCTC transactions in November last year.

Paytm launched a semi closed wallet in January last year, almost 6 months after receiving a semi-closed prepaid wallet license, and five months after Mobikwik launched theirs. The closed wallet could only be used to purchase services provided on Paytm, and not to purchase third party goods and services.

In February this year, Paytm received a huge infusion ($575 million) of funds from Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services, which picked up a 30% stake in the company. Paytm was to use the funds to grow its mobile payment ecosystem, and on commerce user base acquisition. Late last year, online cab service Uber partnered with Paytm to enable users make use of Paytm’s prepaid wallet to pay for their tax rides.

IRCTC, in a debilitating move last week, introduced new rules which would slow down ticket booking for regular customers and agents. In March, it also implemented a new rule, that would allow only one ticket per user in one login session. The restrictions will be in place between the peak hours of 8am to 12pm, during which time users will be logged out automatically after making a single e-ticket booking.

It did, however, bring some joy to its users by introducing an EMI for train tickets last year and making available Pizza Hut and KFC meals along with Dominos Pizza to its travelers to their berths earlier this year.

At present, it does more than 60 million orders of various digital and physical goods every month. When asked about the number of wallet holders currently using it for booking train ticket, Vijay added, “We have just launched and it is early days yet. Over the coming month, we will launch multiple user communication initiatives to drive awareness of this feature.”

Paytm has been coming up with a string of updates. Last week, it joined in the hyper-local game by starting grocery delivery in Bangalore.

Most recently, Paytm came with the Seller App with a Zero Commission model. What this means is that sellers on the platform don’t need to give a commission to Paytm on sales. The move seems to be a game-changing deal for Paytm, and other marketplaces like Flipkart and Snapdeal will face the heat on the merchant acquisition front.

The partnership will also drive wallet users in tier II & III cities where plastic card adoption is not encouraging. “IRCTC is already recognised and trusted across the length and breadth of the country. This partnership will provide an additional use case to new/existing users across India to use Paytm wallet for their convenience,” stated Vijay.

Paytm-IRCTC partnership is a win-win deal for both parties. While IRCTC processes 180 million transactions every year, Paytm has a strong base of 60 million wallet users who can use its wallet instead of using credit/debit card details.

Prior to Paytm, telecom major Vodafone underwent strategic partnership with IRCTC to facilitate online booking of railway tickets through mobile phones with Vodafone M-Pesa as a payment option.

Now, buy Unreserved Tickets for long distance journey through ATVMs on WR

Mumbai: Passengers on Western Railway can now get Unreserved tickets of Mail / Express trains through smart card operated Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM).

WR spokesperson said, ” Mumbai Division of WR has taken the initiative to provide the non – suburban tickets through ATVM for which the “Non Suburban” option has been enabled in about 200 ATVM kiosks at selected locations.”

This facility is enabled in all the ATVM kiosks presently situated at Churchgate (15), Dadar (29), Andheri (39), Borivali (39), Bhayander (19), Vasai Road (15), Virar (19), Vaitarna (2), Saphale (3), Palghar (3), Boisar (3), Vangaon (2) & Dahanu Road (3) stations

On all these ATVMs passengers may get unreserved ticket for any Mail / Express or Passenger trains and may save his time for standing in a queue, he added

The ATVM Smart Cards has become a quick hit among the public and has gained tremendous momentum in its popularity with it’s varied advantages like easy availability, recharging facility (minimum of Rs. 20 and maximum upto Rs. 5,000), including benefits such as 5% bonus on each recharge and purchase of all types of tickets including Season tickets and Platform tickets and the added feature of printing tickets through “UTS App” from Android/ Windows based smartphone mobiles.

Reach 3B of Bangalore Metro Rail flagged off

The new stations added are Peenya Industry, Jalahalli Cross, Darasarahalli and Nagasandra

Reachg 3B Namma MetroBangalore (SBC): After months of delays, the largest industrial area in the city, and perhaps even South India, gets a spot on the Metro Map.

The services on the Reach 3B extension of Namma Metro between Nagasandra (Close to Bangalore International Exhibition Centre) and Peenya Industrial Area Phase I was launched here on May 1. The new stations added are: Peenya Industry, Jalahalli Cross, Darasarahalli and Nagasandra.

The addition of four stations along the 3.4 km extension will now see commuters able to travel 10.5 kms between Mantri Square on Sampige Road station and Nagasandra within 25 minutes.

After flagging off the services, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the entire 42.5km metro network will be thrown open by March 2016. “Moreover, tender bidding for works on 72-km under Phase II will be finalised within a few days,” he said.

Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the Union was placing emphasis on developing metro networks in cities across the country. “The eligibility for approval has been lowered to a city of population more than 10 lakh, instead of 20 lakh,” he said.

Protests

The formal programme at Peenya depot of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) saw a couple of protests interrupting speeches. Many held placards and shouted slogans against the project for having failed to provide “basic facilities” of toilets and drinking water at the stations.

“May Day” on November 1

Perhaps it was the incessant evening drizzle and cool nights that confused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. During the inauguration of Reach 3B of Namma Metro on Friday, the Chief Minister repeatedly referred to ‘May Day’ as being on November 1. “On November 1 today, we celebrate May Day, and we need to remember our pledge to labourers,” he said to suppressed laughter from the audience. Immediately there was another reference to November instead of May.

DMRC says not having Dustbins at stations prevents Terror Attacks; Delhi HC not convinced

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday told the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that not having dustbins on metro platforms due to fear of bomb blasts was a very myopic view of security since airports and even railway stations have garbage bins.

The court, which directed the DMRC to examine viability of having spittoons and dustbins on the stations, also asked whether drinking water and toilet facilities were easily available to commuters. “Don’t you have dustbins at airports and bus stations? Can you protect people by not having dustbins? This is a very myopic view of security,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher said.

The court then directed the DMRC to indicate on an affidavit how many toilets and drinking water facilities are available at the metro stations and whether the amenities are generally accessible to commuters. “Show me that the toilets are available and can be easily accessed. Not telling you to redraw your stations,” the court said to DMRC.

The court also issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the DMRC, seeking their replies by August 11, the next date of hearing. The orders and observations came on plea of Kush Kalra, a metro commuter who has sought directions to the DMRC to provide safe drinking water, toilets and dustbin facilities to the passengers of Delhi metro.

Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for Kalra, argued in court that if a commuter was only travelling with a metro card and no money, then he or she will not get a drop of water to drink at any of the stations for free and alleged this was discrimination between those who have money and those who do not.

The court also refused to accept the DMRC’s argument that the non-availability of toilet and water facilities at all stations is due to the reason that journey on the metro is for short duration.

Central Railway win battle of Railways in VCA Corporate Trophy

Nagpur (NGP): Central Railway derailed South East Central Railway by 63 runs in a battle between two Railway teams in the Corporate Cup (GK Kelkar Twenty20) Cricket tournament at the VCA Civil Lines ground on Thursday.

A belligerent knock of 66 from Amit Paunikar set up the win for Central Railway. Paunikar was well supported by Praveen Shetty (35), Sanjog Binkar (26) and Salil Agarkar (25 not out) as Central Railway posted a strong total of 166 for 7 on the board.

Chasing a stiff target, South East Central Railway were rolled over for mere 103 in 18.3 overs.

Axis Bank recorded their first win of the tournament defeating JSW Steel by 5 wickets in a close contest.

In other matches, Accountant General Recreation Club (AGRC) Maharashtra recorded a convincing 10-wicket victory over MOIL at the VCA Jamtha ground in the morning, while in the last encounter of the day at Jamtha, Nirmal Urban Co-Op Bank sailed to a comfortable 61-run win over Union Bank.

Brief Scores

Central Railway 166-7 in 20 overs (Amit Paunikar 66, Praveen Shetty 35, Sanjog Binkar 26, Salil Agarkar 25 not out; A Pawan Kumar 5-28, Rahul Sharma 2-48) bt South East Central Railway 103-9 in 18.3 overs (P Vivek 34, A Pawan Kumar 18, Mohd Irfan 16, Yogesh Chandurkar 12 no, Rahul Sharma 11; Salil Agarkar 3-25, Shailesh Harbade 2-8, Jadhav 2-15, Manish Rao 1-6, Vikas Yadav 1-22, Rahul Jadhav 2-15) by 63 runs.

JSW Steel 130-4 in 20 overs (Chetan Rangari 77 no, Shirshir Survey 22; Abhishek Chaudhary 2-25) lost to Axis Bank 131-5 in 16.5 overs (Varun Shrikhande 40, Abhishek Chaudhary 30, Amit Umang 22 no; Narendra Gokhe 2-23) by 5 wickets.

MOIL 55 in 16.5 overs (Dhanpal Dhuriyam 14, Rajkumar Goure 14; Samir Khare 5-14, Atul Waghmare 2-17, Aditya Sarwate 2-12) lost to AGRC 57-0 in 3.2 overs (Akshay Kolhar 20 no, Dharmendra Ahalawat 35 no) by 10 wickets.

Nirmal Urban Co-op Bank 137-9 in 20 overs (Anirudha Chore 44, Kunjan Patel 27; R Sanjay 3-24, Siddesh Neral 2-40) bt Union Bank 76 in 19 overs (Ankit Tiwari 20, Raj Chaudhary 20; Mangesh Joshi 3-9, Nihal Poreddiwar 2-8, Suniket Bhingewar 2-9) by 61 runs.