DHANBAD: The Federation of Dhanbad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a memorandum to the General Manager of Eastern Central Railways has demanded the extension of Dhanbad-Patna Ganga Damodar Express till Buxar and conversion of Dhanbad-Jainagar express into a daily train.
“There should be a direct train from Dhanbad to Raipur, Surat, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi and more quota should be provided in the Sealdah and Howrah Rajdhani express for Dhanbad passengers,” said Rajiv Sharma, president of the federation, who is also a member of the zonal railway advisory committee.
Railways has finally selected two firms for installing the much awaited Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), the safety mechanism to prevent accidents, in the 200-km-long Vikarabad-Bidar section as a pilot project.
Medha Servo and Kernex Microsystems were selected among six contenders, including a few multinational companies, by the Research, Designs and Standard Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways on behalf of the Railway Board, a senior Railway Ministry official said.
The pilot project, which aims at preventing accidents, is estimated to cost about Rs 18 crore while the trials on Vikarabad-Bidar section in South Central zone are expected to be completed in about eight months time by February 2014.
A safety device designed to prevent train accidents, TCAS is based on a combination of railway signalling data with radio communications, global position, radio frequency identification devices, software and logic.
The indigenously developed TCAS is a combination of Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), an European technology which protects trains against signal passing at danger, and Konkan Railway-developed anti-collision device which avoids collision in mid-section.
“TCAS is developed in RDSO and it is very cost effective for us. While TPWS cost about Rs 70 lakh per km, TCAS is just about Rs 10 lakh,” said the official.
Fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), the device would automatically activate the brakes if it detects any problems on the track.
After a successful trial in the South Central zone, TCAS will be deployed all over the country, said the official.
TCAS is equipped to control railway stations, signalling systems and trains including suburban, long-distance and goods trains.
The official further said that whenever TCAS has to bring the train to a halt, it will first reduce it’s speed and identify the nearest signal within the range of 200 metres with the help of RFID.
“It will then ensure that the train stops close to this signal.
Mymemsingh, July 19: Bangladesh Railway is going to introduce two special trains named Kangsha Express and Mymensingh Commuter Train Service. Kangsha Express will run from Mohangonj (Netrokona) to Dhaka via Mymensingh and the Mymensingh Commuter Train Service with Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) will run from Mymensingh to Joydevpur (Gazipur) to enhance smooth and better services for the passengers of Netrokona, Mymensingh and Gazipur districts — before Eid-ul-Fitr. Sources said the Mymensingh Commuter Train Service would be launched formally on July 21 at Mymensingh Railway Station.
The proposed 168-km Dahanu-Nashik railway line is completed and the report is under finalisation, a communique from the Central Railway said here today. Talking to mediapersons here, the National Council Member of the BJP Om Prakash Sharma, said just undertaking the survey of the routes with no result was of no use as such.
The things have been going on since several years and the citizens suffer and hence the Railways should act fast, he demanded. Besides, the Central Railway has undertaken survey and initiated action on other rail routes for which it has earmarked an expenditure of Rs.8.56 crore. In reply to a query under RTI by Mr Sharma, the Central Railway General Managers office has stated that in the last five years the CR had undertaken work on doubling and new lines on seven routes.
The line includes 5th and 6th Line between Kurla-Thane and Diva-Kalyan,Thane-Vashi and Turbhe-Nerul Double Lines, Panvel-Apta Doubling,Puntamba-Shirdi New line, Badnera-Narkher New Line and Badnera Chord Line, Miraj- Latur Guage conversion and Latur-Latur Road New Line and Amravati-Narkhed New BG Line. The report regarding the gauge conversion on the preliminary engineering cum traffic survey report for the conversion NG to BG of Achalpur-Mutjapur- yavatmal and Pulgaon-Arvi 225 kms at the project cost of Rs 1553.16 crore has been submitted to the Railway board and it was under the boards consideration. The survey work for the new line between Kalyan-Ahmednagar (240kms); Kolhapur-Rajapur (120kms) Pune-Lonavala 3rd Line(64kms); Karad-Belgaum via Nipani (200 kms);Shirdi-Shanisingnapur (80kms); Shirdi-Shahpur-Goti (175kms); Shanisingnapur-Ahmednagar(40kms); and new line between Belapur to Beed (165 kms) were in progress.
In addition to this the proposed Rs 3205.90 crore new line between Solapur and Jalgaon (452.80kms) has been submitted to the Railway board in August 2012,for its approval.
It has been a month since the controversy hit Indian Railways have got a new minister. In a recent interaction with media, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge emphasized that his priority is to speed up the pending work, ‘We are trying to fulfill our commitment and implementing budgetary provisions. Our priority is to take action on pending work’, said Kharge.
The Railway Ministry has also received additional Rs 400 crore for projects in the North East from the Finance Ministry. Sources added that many projects in Karnataka like doubling of Mysore-Bangalore have also gained momentum after Kharge took charge.
There are also proposals in the ministry about possible tie-up with the MNREGA scheme. The surplus labors from the MNREGA scheme could be used to build new railway lines.
Nanded rail line in Maharashtra is expected to be the pilot project with 50:50 partnership between Ministry of Railways and Maharashtra government.
The ministry is yet to come up with a final plan.
Breathing new life into the rail connectivity projects, PM has recently given a nod to additional Rs 400 crore to complete connectivity rail lines to Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
These states would be connected to the rest of the country for the first time through railways.
Three projects were identified in the XI and XII plan period have got the funding. Railway line between Harmati- Naharlagun (20 KM) will provide the rail connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh. Dudhnoi- Mehdipathar (20 KM) project will connect Meghalaya.
Along with that Rangapura- North Lakhimpur gauge conversion project in Assam will also receive share in the additional funding. The ministry has set the deadline of January 2014 for first trial runs and a completion date by March, 2014.
PM has also directed the Finance Ministry to provide up to Rs 200 crore for the Lunching – Slichar gauge conversion and the Bogibeel Bridge.
PM has also directed the Planning Commission to call a meeting of all Chief Ministers from the North East and an empowered committee has been set up to monitor progress of the infrastructure projects.
The current ‘Pending Work’ in Indian Railways is a backlog of over 350 projects that are in need of funding, it is estimated that these projects would require Rs 2 lakh crore for completion. Most of the current projects are marred by slow speed and bureaucratic hurdles.
In a new low in the West Bengal politics, Minister of State for Railways and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday called Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a “mad elephant”.
Chowdhury was hitting out at the ruling Trinamool Congress when he made the derogatory remark on the party chief while campaigning in Murshidabad district for the ongoing panchayat polls in the state.
“In spite of being successful in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is in a mess at the moment. The chief minister is herself involved in a huge way in the entire mess. If the head of the house behaves like a mad elephant, what can be said about the party workers,” the minister said.
The Congress and the Trinamool Congress had contested the last general and Assembly elections as allies, but that does not stop them from making personal attacks on each other’s leaders.
The state has been witnessing violent clashes almost on a daily basis during the ongoing panchayat polls.
Railways will launch a pilot project in partnership with the Rural Development Ministry and Maharashtra government availing MNREGA funds for construction of broad gauge line between Nanded and Yavatmal.
Rural Development Ministry has agreed to notify certain works in the 191-km-long Nanded-Yavatmal section under the ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA.
“A pilot project on 50:50 model in Maharashtra will be launched. Railway officers, Maharashtra officials and Rural Development Ministry officials will work it out to implement the project in Nanded-Yavatmal section,” Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said here today.
The decision of the pilot project followed after meeting between the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Kharge yesterday at Rail Bhawan.
MNREGA funds are meant to be utilised for creation of national assets.
“We can create assets through MNREGA. Labour like earth excavation work is required for the new rail line. The work will provide employment opportunities in village Panchayats near the line,” Kharge said.
Though the Railways had sought MNREGA funds for rail projects during the tenure of the then Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Rural Development Ministry had reservations about the proposal.
However, it is learnt that the issues were resolved after the meeting of two ministers.
Asked about the strike threat of railway unions, Kharge said, “Whatever we could do we will do. But whatever is beyond our control we will discuss with them.”
MUMBAI: Fifteen years after a series of blasts in suburban trains and on railway premises rocked the city, the Bombay high court on Friday upheld the life sentence awarded to Pakistani national Javed Gulam Hussein and eight others.
While the court acquitted one accused for lack of evidence, the case against two others abated after they died during the pendency of the appeal.
A division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice Revati Mohite Dere said that the prosecution had proved the blasts conspiracy. Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik said the same type of material was used in all the blasts which pointed to a single conspiracy.
Between January 23 and February 27, 1998, four blasts were carried out in the city-on the railway tracks between Kanjurmarg and Vikhroli stations, in a train approaching Virar station, on the tracks between Goregaon and Malad stations and on platform no. 2 at Kandivli station-killing four and injuring 30 others.
According to the police, the conspiracy was hatched in December 1997, at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence to set off explosions on the city’s lifeline.
There were also two other accidental blasts, which gave the police the first few leads in the investigation. The first blast was in a toilet at Jama Masjid in August 1997, and the second one took place on February 27, 1998, when Santa Cruz resident Ashfaque Shaikh fell on a road in Golibar and dropped his bag, setting off a blast.
Ashfaque, who was left disabled after the blast, led the police to his brother and one of the main accused Aftab Shaikh, a resident of Golibar. Traces of the material that matched those used in the bombs were found at his residence, said the police.
On June 29, 2004, a sessions court convicted the accused finding them guilty of murder, attempt to destabilize the country and to create communal rift in the country, and senteneced them to life imprisonment. The trial court directed the authorities to lodge them in different jails considering the gravity of the offences committed by them.
The court rejected the prosecution’s plea to sentence a few of the main conspirators for death.
Ashfaque initially agreed to be an approver and was pardoned by the trial court. But later, he retracted his statement. Following this the court recalled its pardon order and charged him with conspiracy.
The prosecution’s star witness was a tailor, Shailesh (name changed), who worked for Aftab. Shailesh told the police that he had overheard Aftab and some of the co-accused planning the blasts. Despite intense cross-examination, Shailesh stuck to his statement in court. The HC said his evidence had emerged “unscathed” and could be relied upon to nail the prime accused. “The evidence of conspiracy is of sterling quality and despite the fact that there is no other corroboration, we find that implicit reliance can be placed on the testimony in respect of the criminal conspiracy,” said the court while upholding the convictions.
On June 29, 2004, a sessions court had convicted the accused finding them guilty of murder, attempt to destabilize the country and to create communal rift in the country. The trial court had gone as far as to direct the authorities to lodge the accused in different jails considering the gravity of the offences committed by them. The court, however, rejected the prosecutions plea to sentence some of the main conspirators for death.
The new General Manager of South Eastern Railway (SER) gave full marks to Tatanagar station on his maiden visit to the steel city on Friday.
After an inspection, G.C. Agarwal said: “The station is nice. I am impressed with it. It boasts a nice facade that very few railway stations have.”
Agarwal, who was accompanied by senior officials of SER and Chakradharpur division, further said there were plans to add more passenger amenities to Tatanagar station. “Among the many projects we have sanctioned, a new air-conditioned lounge will come up on the premises in the next two months. Refreshments will be available for passengers on the lines of the existing lounges in Bangalore and Chennai stations,” he added.
Referring to a query, the senior railway official said they had also given the nod for two escalators at Tatanagar, an A-category station under SER. One will come up on platform 1 and the other between platforms 2 and 3. “Orders for installing the escalators will be given soon,” he said.
Two lifts will also come up on platform 1 and between 4 and 5.
During the inspection, Agarwal directed the railway officials to install big fans at a few specific points for the benefit of passengers. The local railway authorities were told to ensure that complaint book was available on the station premises.
Agarwal further said due to safety-related issues, it would take some time for converting the abandoned overbridge into a footbridge. According to him, work on this particular project was expected to be over by March 2014.
Referring to the contentious issue of parking outside the station, he said efforts were being made to resolve it.
Pune: After an agonising wait of two and half years, Central Railways has finally given its nod to the Pune Municipal Corporation’s demand to erect a foot overbridge (FOB) near Khadki railway station.
The civic body shall commence the work for the Rs 97 lakh project within the next few days.
The PMC’s Standing Committee approved the FOB at Khadki in December 2010 and thereafter the civic administration approached the railways for permission.
However, the approval for the project got delayed for different reasons.
At one point of time, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak had shot off a letter to the erstwhile Central Railway General Manager SK Jain urging him to expedite the process of approval for the project.
Additional City Engineer (Projects) Srinivas Bonala said that the Central Railway had approved the design of the project last week.
“We shall kick off the project immediately,” he added.
The PMC has already completed the tendering process for the project.
The proposed FOB, connecting the Pune-Mumbai road on one side to the Range Hills Road on the other side, would be constructed over the rail tracks near the Khadki station.
Provisions have also been made for passengers to access the platforms using the FOB.
The project is important one since at present the local residents, pedestrians and railway commuters put their lives at risk in crossing the busy Old Mumbai Pune Highway and tracks in absence of any overbridge connecting both sides of Khadki station.
Pune: The diesel loco shed of Pune division of Central Railways, a known bastion of the male fraternity, is silently witnessing a revolution – an increasing number of female staffers are becoming an inseparable part of the department.
In the last couple of years, about 35 female staffers have joined the department. The strength of the male workers is 703.
“Earlier women were not very forthcoming when it came to technical work. However, in the past couple of years, a lot of women are seen opting for technical jobs,” said Railways officials.
All these 35 women have passed out from various ITIs and have taken examinations conducted by the Railways to get a job.
Vandana Sathe (25), one of the youngest among the female workers at the diesel loco shed, stated that many people assume women do not like technical work. “However, all 35 of us are thoroughly enjoy our work,” she said.
She added, “I work in the electrical section and have to check the wiring in various components of the loco when it comes for maintenance. This work is very critical and important.” Divisional Mechanical Engineer Sandeep Verma stated that women at the diesel loco shed work from 8 am to 5 pm.
Kolkata: Barely 400-450 encroachers, that too on land owned by the railways or the government, are holding up a project that will not only benefit thousands of people but lead to development along the city’s northern fringes. This is what the Metro Railway will discuss with state government officials at a meeting next week.
“These encroachments on the alignment between Noapara and Dakshineswar are turning out to be the greatest hurdle for the project. Actually, this project is the easiest to complete. From the day the encroachments are removed, we will require barely two years to complete the project. We shall discuss this matter with the state government next week. Work has started at the Dakshineswar-end. In fact, we have started work wherever land is available,” Metro General Manager Radhey Shyam told.
The problem with the stretch between Noapara and Dum Dum Cantonment is the same. According to Shyam, there are about 800 encroachers between Noapara and Dum Dum Cantonment. There are an additional 31 squatters close to Jessop Siding. According to him, the stretch to the airport will also be completed as soon as this problem is taken care of.
“Encroachment is the only problem along these stretches. What makes it worse is that these people are squatting on government land. We are not trying to acquire private land. We should at least be allowed to construct the pillars. It is a known fact that the encroachers will return to the spot once construction is completed. We are also holding out hope that the committee set up to decide on the use of land belonging to the ministries of finance and defence for the Joka-BBD Bag stretch will find a solution to the problem. There is a severe crisis near the Alipore Mint due to the two flyovers. We can’t carry out construction unless we are granted some land by the Mint. We are also facing trouble acquiring land for the car shed at Joka. It is time that people start cooperating, considering the larger public interest,” Shyam said.
According to the GM, several measures have been taken to improve the quality of services. A special security drive has been undertaken and Metro officials have requested Kolkata Police to be alert. More equipment for the Integrated Security System (ISS) is coming in and it is likely to be in place before Durga Puja.
“The GSM-R technology will also be in place by August. This is primarily meant for better communication between train staff, the stations and the control room. However, we shall lease out any spare capacity that we may have to private agencies. They may use this to offer mobile services to commuters inside the tunnel. Our Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) should also be in place by December,” he said.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) will launch two special rail tour packages during the Onam season. The first package is to Kashmir and the other to Himachal Pradesh (Shimla- Kullu-Manali).
According to the IRCTC, it is for the first time that they are launching such trains from Kerala to these places and an exclusive train consisting of both Sleeper Class and 3A Class along with pantry car will be launched for the purpose.
Both the 15 day tour plans offer four specially designed packages – budget, standard, comfort and deluxe. These packages also cover Agra, Delhi, and Amritsar.
“These packages are specially designed keeping in mind travelers who wish to avail of LTC tours during Onam holidays,” said an IRCTC official.
The Kashmir Valley tour package is priced Rs.24,410 per person, while it is Rs.26,520 per person for Shimla-Kullu-Manali tour. The price is all inclusive, said the IRCTC officials.
The package includes non-AC sleeper or 3AC rail tickets, AC/Non-AC accommodation, transportation for sight-seeing, on board and off-board catering service (vegetarian food), travel insurance and services of full-time tour escorts and security on-board. Along with the special Onam package.
Its Tirupati tour is priced at Rs 4,635, while Velankanni tour package comes at Rs.3,145 and for Thanjavur and Kumbakonam, it is Rs.4,255.
Central Railway (CR) will operate a mega block on up slow line between Kalyan and Thane from 11 am to 4 pm Sunday for maintenance. Trains leaving Kalyan between 10.34 am and 3.54 pm will be diverted to the fast line up to Mulund and will halt at Dombivali and Thane. All down fast line services leaving CST between 10.08 am and 2.40 pm will halt at Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund in addition to scheduled halts and up fast line locals leaving Thane between 10.50 am and 3.08 pm will halt at Mulund, Bhandup, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar and Kurla in addition to scheduled halts and arrive at destinations 15 minutes late. Up slow line services will not be available at Thakurli, Kopar, Diva, Mumbra and Kalwa. The CR public relations office said passengers boarding from these stations can travel via Kalyan and Dombivli.
NEW DELHI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has sent a letter to Northern Railways for dumping railway material next to Mughal era Nila Gumbad in Nizamuddin area while conservation plans for the monument are underway. ASI has also requested the railways to honor an agreement signed between the parties to facilitate construction of a bypass connecting Nila gumbad to the Humayun’s Tomb complex under which Railways said it would demolish an abandoned room adjacent to the structure which has not yet been done.
The letter, sent earlier this week, talked about an agreement between ASI and Northern Railways on a redevelopment plan of the area around Nila Gumbad. “The agreement incorporates demolition of a small abandoned room of the Railways next to the garbage dump to facilitate construction of the bypass road. This has not been done. Stacking of railway material along Nila Gumbad also continues in spite of the understanding that this would be stopped,” says the letter by director-general Pravin Srivastava to the divisional railway manager. Officials say about 50 truckloads of malba and over two dozen trucks of concrete sleepers have been dumped near the monument.
The conservation work at Nila Gumbad began some weeks back after the Railways approved ASI and Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s (AKTC) proposal to realign the road presently segregating Nila Gumbad and Humayun’s Tomb.
A special court hearing the December 16 gangrape case was today told by the railways that it cannot provide the CCTV footage of the platform from where one of the accused claimed to have left Delhi in a train prior to the sexual assault of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus here.
Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna had yesterday directed the Northern Railways to produce the CCTV footage of December 15, 2012, in the court after accused Akshay Thakur sought that the footage of New Delhi Railway Station be ordered to establish that he had left Delhi on that day by Maha Bodhi Express.
However, the railway authority told the court that it only preserves the CCTV footage for 30 days, so it cannot provide the same.
“In pursuance of my order on July 18 for procuring of CCTV footage of the platform departure of Maha Bodhi Express. Railway Police Force (RPF) have not preserved such records as such is done for only 30 days,” the judge, while referring the report from railway authority, said.
Besides this, the recording of statement of the defence witnesses on behalf of Pawan Gupta did not take place due to failure of his counsel Vivek Sharma to turn up with witnesses.
The plea of Pawan for calling seven defence witnesses to prove his innocence was allowed by the court yesterday.
Due to the absence of defence counsel, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan requested the judge to close the recording of defence witness’ statements on behalf of Pawan.
“Though Special Public Prosecutor objects and says defence witness be closed, I have given two days each to accused Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur.
“In that case, tomorrow he (Pawan’s counsel) should produce all the defence witnesses, if any,” the judge said while directing Pawan’s advocate to conclude on his behalf by tomorrow.
The Railway Ministry can proceed on projects in Karnataka only after receiving Rs 445 crore from the State government, said Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday.
“The state has to give the Railways Rs 445 crore. Unless they give us this amount, we can not proceed,” he told reporters. “Karnataka is one of the few states which have agreed to implement pending rail projects by sharing 50 per cent of the cost. It has also agreed to give free land,” he said.
AHMEDABAD: A Gujarat government decision allowing railway tracks within 700 metres of Thol bird sanctuary has ruffled many feathers.
The state forest department has recently approved a proposal to allow tracks for a dedicated freight corridor, a move environment activists say will disturb the safe haven for winged visitors that throng the lake from across the globe.
Officials say the decision is a violation of Supreme Court order and a notification of Union ministry of forests and environment. As per a SC judgment, no new infrastructure projects can be allowed within 10 km of a sanctuary till the state government earmarks an eco-sensitive zone.
The state government has in-principle decided to have an area of 2 km around the sanctuary marked as eco-sensitive zone. Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Corporation of India has undertaken the project to create additional rail infrastructure to provide an efficient, cost-effective transport system. The DFC will significantly reduce freight costs and with the shifting of freight trains on DFC it would generate line capacity for additional passenger trains.
A member of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) Prerna Bindra has in her report pointed out that the land use around Thol is changing rapidly with large residential and commercial complexes coming up in the vicinity. Bindra has suggested that eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act must be demarcated for the sanctuary prior to sanctioning the project.
A study commissioned by NBWL was carried out recently to gauge the nature of threat and disturbance that the project might cause to the birds in Thol. Every year the sanctuary hosts cranes, geese, flamingos, pelicans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, ducks and whistling teals.
The Railway Ministry has cleared high-level appointments to posts which were lying vacant because of the cash-for-appointment scam, which led to the resignation of erstwhile railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. The ministry has also expedited appointment of Railway Board members. It is expected to make crucial appointments to the posts of General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers by next week. The order for posting of GMs and DRMs will be issued in two-three days, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Friday. Making the announcement, he said: “We would run the Railways as a well-administered and well-governed institution. We immediately needed these appointments.” “We have to elevate the image of the Railways,” the minister asserted.
According to ministry sources, at least, five general manager posts are lying vacant including those for the Central, Western, South East Central and South Eastern Railways and for the coach factory in Chennai. Besides, the posts of Chairman, Member Traffic, Member Staff and Financial Commissioner are to be filled up as these are crucial for Railways. Member Mechanical Arunendra Kumar is holding additional charge of Chairman Railway Board.
Besides, the Bangalore bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has stayed the appointment to the post of Member, Traffic, following a petition by Chief Operating Manager of South Western Railways N C Sinha. He said keeping in view his seniority, he should be considered for the post.
“There are issues in filling up vacancies and we are trying to resolve it. We want to do it for good governance. The filling up of top posts is necessary for good administration,” Kharge said.
The City Corporation will on Friday inform the State government of its willingness to supply around 3,000 tonnes of garbage to be used in the construction of a platform at Kadakkavoor railway station.
Mayor K. Chandrika will write to Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali informing the Corporation’s preparedness in supplying 3,000 tonnes of garbage, including waste accumulated on roadsides after the closure of the Vilappilsala garbage treatment plant.
Two days ago, Mr. Ali wrote to the Mayor seeking clarification on the quantity of garbage that the civic body would be able to provide for constructing the platform, V.S. Padmakumar, chairman, Works standing committee, said.
Immediately after the project was conceived following deliberations with Southern Railway, the Corporation had approached the Suchitwa Mission seeking funds to construct the 540-metre long, 0.84-metre high and 6.5-metre wide platform, he said.
It was estimated to cost around Rs.48 lakh, he said adding the project could be implemented with funds from the State government as sourcing such a huge amount from the civic body’s plan fund would hamper the implementation of other ongoing projects. The Southern Railway had informed its inability to fund the project, he added.
The civic body intended to construct the platform providing a polythene sheet at the base to prevent leachate from leaking out. The compacted garbage would be deposited over a layer of soil and clay which would be evenly spread to make a 35-cm thick coating. The garbage and soil layer would be capped and paved with interlocking tiles. Once government gave its approval, tenders would be floated to award the contract for construction of the structure, he said.
A 2008 report by a committee appointed by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) on augmentation of police dogs at railway station recommended one dog for every 8 trains. Pune Railway Station should at least have 18 sniffer dogs by that count. RPF has 2 sniffer dogs which are mostly overworked. According to sources, other sniffer dogs had died a few months ago and replacements are not been given. “While it is pertinent that each train leaving the station should be inspected by sniffer dogs, GRP and RPF inspect the station premises, waiting rooms and circulating areas only. They hardly check trains,” said a railway official. “A policeman has a shift of 8 hours but the dogs work 15 to 16 hours everyday. The dogs are also not given proper medical care and rest. We have reason to believe that overwork and neglect was responsible for the death of a dog recently,” Harsha Shah, activist said.
While Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) claim that security at the Pune Station has been stepped up in the wake of the Bodhgaya terror attack, a visit to the station reveals that these claims are not substantiated. Security bunkers have been raised at two entry points. But at least 10 to 12 entry points, including the most busy ones, remain unmanned. While railway officials maintain that securing the station was GRP’s responsibility, the latter blame the Railway Administration for lack of interest in setting up the security apparatus. Also Railways’ plan to install 42 new CCTV cameras at the station remains on the drawing board.
Following the Bodhgaya blasts, the GRP set up three police bunkers, one each at the main entrance, GRP station and Accounts Office Gate. The last one was dismantled. Similarly, though the entry points at the Comesum restaurant and Krishna restaurant have been plugged, several others remain open, especially the ramp next to the reservation center which is among the busiest.
The escalator is devoid of a jammer or police guard. Similarly the entrance at the reservation centre, current booking counters, parcel office, the one close to Maldhakka, the Tadiwala Road entrance, an entry point at Central Cabin, several entry points close to Alankar Bridge and the one at Loco Shed remain unmanned and can be used as easy access points by anti-social elements.
Similarly, the improved CCTV surveillance system planned for Pune station is nowhere in sight. Under the programme, the station is supposed to get 46 advanced CCTV cameras which will have better image and prove instrumental in improving vigilance at the station.
According to Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group, this lack of seriousness and blame game among different agencies may result in passengers losing their lives.
Nagpur: In a bid to double its freight carrying capacity, the Nagpur Division of Central Railway will go in for ‘Locotrol’ soon. Trials are being conducted at Ajni Loco Shed.
Locotrol includes two to four or so locos which can usually be coupled together to operate automatically, without any special provisions, with the crew manning only one of them.
Senior railway officials from Nagpur said that the three trials that were conducted have been partially successful. Ajni is one of the two sheds where this is being done. The other is Lallaguda in Hyderabad.
“There are some teething troubles and we will overcome them as engineers from Hyderabad are at work,” officials said.
The Nagpur Division of Central Railway is already into long-hauling for transporting coal, containers and box wagons. wherein two freight trains with 59 wagons each – coupled together have one loco in the front and another at the rear. Both the locos have crew.
However, officials informed that under the new Locotrol system, there will be two or three locos in the train one at front and one in middle and another at the rear. The middle one will operate by remote control from front loco, so no extra drivers will be needed. It will allow for trains to become longer.
Officials said WAG 7 locos are being upgraded for the purpose. It will allow the loco to start with slightly higher loads. Another plan is to making the loco heavy so that wheels don’t slip easily and the loco can pull more load.
Even as Locotrol is seen as the advantage, the flip side is that freight trains are slow. They get overtaken by passenger trains very often. So the freight trains have to be put on a side track called a loop line so that the train coming up behind can overtake.
However, the standard length of a loop line across Indian Railways these days is around 600 metres, which is the length of a standard freight train.
“If the railways run double length train, they will need a loop line that is around 1,400 metres long. But the railways don’t have that. So even if they have the remote control technology there are limitations to how much it can be used,” a senior officer said.
What is a Locotrol
The locos at the middle and rear of the train are radio-controlled by the crew at the head of the train
This system is used in some places for heavy freight sections
With multiple locos lashed up, there are cables that pass between successive locos, which carry the control signals between the manned loco and the others.
Lucknow: Commercial Tax Department of the Uttar Pradesh state government has slapped a fine on Railways after it defaulted to pay the tax. The fine of Rs.7.55 Crore has been imposed on the Rae Bareli Rail Coach Factory after the railways failed to pay the taxes on time. The delay in the payment of commercial tax has been treated as a “serious lapse” on the part of the Railways by the Commercial Tax Department. Railways it seems may not get an easy exit from the situation.
Though the penalty will not affect production at the coach factory, it has put the railway officials in an overdrive to settle the matter. “It’s not at all an issue,” said a senior official at the coach factory in a bid to downplay the imposition of penalty, saying it has been imposed as railways failed to deposit sales tax deducted from the contractors’ bills.
Railways have decided to appeal against the penalty order of the commercial tax department. It is mandatory to deposit the commercial tax deducted at source by 20th of the month without fail. The department’s order says that the penalty imposed on this account is not waived usually if genuine delay is not proved beyond doubt.
“Railways are not defaulters. We have met the commercial tax officials and explained that we follow a system here which might have delayed the payment of tax,” said the official. If sources in commercial tax department are to be believed, the department has not found the reasons acceptable.
Railways accepted there has been technical delay due to financial closure of the month in May. But the commercial tax department did not buy the argument saying that all government departments are honestly complying with the commercial tax provision for depositing VAT by 20th of the following month.
The copy of the penalty was received by the coach factory on June 29. The department ordered to pay the penalty within 30 days time, or file an appeal before the appellate authority before July 22. Railway officials, however, said it’s not a big issue and “such matters are common between government departments.”
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala state Chief Secretary Mr.E.K.Bharat Bhushan on Thursday convened a high-level meeting in connection with land acquisition for railway projects, including construction of railway over bridges (ROBs), track doubling and a proposed wagon factory in Cherthala.
The meeting, convened at the state chief secretary’s committee hall, was attended by railway authorities led by Mr.Rajesh Agrawal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Thiruvananthapuram and collectors from various districts.
The DRM informed the state chief secretary that 31 ROBs were sanctioned for Thiruvananthapuram division and 12 of them are under construction. He also assured that the railways will do everything possible to begin railway projects announced for the state and complete them in a time bound manner.
Officers who attended the meeting said that the state chief secretary termed railways as the most important service provider for Kerala. He also promised that the state government would provide all necessary assistance to the railway authorities in carrying out developmental activities.
The meeting was attended by Jaykumar, chief engineer (construction), Ernakulam, Jyothilal, secretary-general administration and senior officials from Cochin port trust, public works department, transport department and National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC).
The first trial run of a train to connect Arunachal Pradesh will take place by January 2014, according to the Railway Ministry’s commitment at a meeting held here to review the status of infrastructure development in the North East.
At the meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister on Thursday, the Finance Ministry was asked by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to make available Rs.600 crore for providing rail connectivity to the North East.
The Finance Ministry will provide an additional Rs.400 crore to complete three critical rail projects before March 2014, an official release said.
The train links are Harmati-Naharlagun project to provide the first rail connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh, Dudhnoi-Mehdipathar project to connect Meghalaya and the Rangapura-North Lakhimpur gauge conversion project.
The Finance Ministry will also provide up to Rs.200 crore for two more projects — the Lunching–Silchar gauge conversion and the Bogibeel bridge, which is the longest rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra.
The meeting was attended by the Finance Minister, the Civil Aviation Minister, the Railway Minister, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, the Telecom Minister, the Minister for Power, the Minister for Development of North Eastern Region and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. The review covered the railway, road, airport, power, and telecom projects in the region. The focus was to speed up implementation of ongoing projects and also fill in the gaps to ensure full physical and electronic connectivity to and in the North East.
The railways has cautioned train passengers from traveling on roof-tops in Delhi-Saharanpur and Delhi-Shamli section, the electrification work of which is in progress.
While traveling in roof-tops across the country is prohibited and is a punishable offense, the warning has been issued especially in this section to inform the passenger about the dangers posed from the overhead wires.
“Traveling on roof top of trains on this section is dangerous as there is live current in the overhead electric wires on Delhi-Saharanpur section which can be fatal also.
“Similarly, cantilever which have been fastened to the masts besides the tracks on Delhi-Shamli section can also cause fatal accidents. In the past there have been accidents due to roof top traveling which unfortunately have on some occasions been fatal also,” said a railway statement.
New Delhi: The Ministry of Rural Development is learnt to have agreed to notify some works connected with the railways like afforestation and construction of approach road for crossings under its ambitious rural job scheme MNREGA.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is understood to have agreed to bring works such as construction of embankments, developing waterways, constructing pathways, clearing vegetational growth, afforestation and construction of approach roads for railway crossings under MNREGA.
Ramesh today discussed the issue of convergence of schemes with Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.
Kharge had requested Ramesh to resolve the stiff conditions that prevents application of the rural job scheme in executing railway infrastructure development projects.
Ramesh has already made it clear that no mechanical work like maintenance of railway track could be included in the job scheme.
During his tenure as railway minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal had said deployment of rural population in schemes under MNREGA was quite similar to the requirements of railways for such specified works.
The railway ministry had sought cooperation of the rural development ministry on a number of railway projects that require unskilled labour force.
The ministry had suggested that these works can be undertaken in remote rural areas under MNREGA.
Indian Railways, with a huge network spread across the country, traverses through thousands of kilometres of rural and backward areas.
The volume of cargo carried on China’s railways declined 2.8% year on year during the January-June period as economic activities slowed.
Chinese railroads transported 1.94 billion tonnes of cargo in the first half of the year, down 55.07 million tonnes (mt) from the volume seen in the same period previous year, according to statistics from China Railway Corporation.
The drop came as China’s economic growth slid to 7.6% during the January-June period, the weakest first-half performance in 3 years.
The China Railway Corporation previous month announced its plan to revamp its cargo transport business, including simplifying rules and tailoring transportation to customers’ wants, in a bid to better tap the logistics market.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today asked the Railway Ministry to expedite implementation of pending rail projects in the state to improve connectivity and spur economic growth.
In a meeting with Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Sarkar sought immediate release of funds for laying of new tracks between Agartala and Sabroom and the Lumding-Silchar- Agartala gauge conversion project.
He also asked the Railway Minister to ensure expeditious implementation of the project to link Agartala with Akhaura in neighbouring Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh had signed a MoU on May 21 for the project. Of the 15.054 km railway track, only 5 km fall in Indian side and the rest is in Bangladesh.
During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January 2010, the two countries had agreed to lay the tracks between Akhaura and Agartala.
Sarkar told Kharge that Bangladesh government had already started the land acquisition process while the same was yet to start on the Indian side.
He also demanded setting up of a Railway division office in Tripura.
Tripura government officials said Kharge told Sarkar that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would soon hold a meeting with his ministry to take stock of implementation of various key railway projects.
Acting chairman of Railway Board Arunendra Kumar, who was also present in the meeting, said the ministry was working on the Agartala-Akhaura Railway link project.
The Prime Minister chaired a meeting to review the status of infrastructure development in the North Eastern region. The meeting was attended by the Finance Minister, the Civil Aviation Minister, the Railway Minister, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, the Telecom Minister, the Minister for Power, the Minister for DONER and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
The review covered the railway, road, airport, power, and telecom projects in the region. The focus was on speeding up implementation of ongoing projects and also fill-in gaps to ensure full physical and electronic connectivity to and in the North Eastern region. The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission emphasised that on the Prime Minister’s direction a special section was for the first time included in the XI Plan document on North Eastern Region which has accelerated the growth process in the North Eastern States. This section is continued in the XII Plan. He reported the eight states of the region grew at 9.95% during the XI plan period, well above the national average of 8%.
At the meeting, it was agreed that the Finance Ministry will provide an additional Rs. 400 crores to complete three critical rail projects before March 2014. These are i) the Harmati- Naharlagun project to provide the first rail connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh. ii) the Dudhnoi- Mendipathar project to connect Meghalaya and iii) the Rangapara- North Lakhimpur gauge conversion project. The Ministry of Railways committed that the first trial runs will begin on these lines in January 2014. The Finance Ministry will also provide upto Rs 200 crore for two more projects i) the Lumding – Silchar gauge conversion and ii) the Bogibeel bridge.
It was also decided to provide additional funds from the NLCPR for Intra- State Transmission line networks in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The Ministry of Power will expedite work on many hydro-projects which are held up due to various reasons. Priority will be given to building strong transmission capacities to transmit power from this potential power rich region, both in hydro and gas based power.
An Empowered Committee will be set up to monitor progress on all infrastructure projects in the North East region.
The Prime Minister has also directed the Planning Commission to call a meeting of all the Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States to improve inter-state coordination for speedy completion of the Infrastructure projects.
Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the eight states of the region grew at 9.95 percent during the 11th plan period, well above the national average of 8 percent.
GUWAHATI, July 17 – Capitalising on Navajyoti Club’s poor defence, NF Railway Sports Club posted a facile 4-1 victory in the first semifinal of the Guwahati Sports Association organised Premier Agro Bio-Tech 9th NN Bhattacharya Football Tournament.
After a barren first session at the Nehru Stadium here today, all the goals were scored after switching over.
Substitute Sibra Narzary gave his team the lead in the 49th minute with a 30-yard drive. Jelendra Brahma set the ball for Sibra who fired home with a left footer (1-0).
Chayaram Basumatary enhanced the margin in the 71st minute off a move which was initiated by Bijoy Das from the right flank. Bijoy found Sibra inside the box who made a square pass to Chayaram and the latter took no time to deflect the ball into the Navajyoti goal (2-0).
However, making a counterattack, Navajyoti substitute Ishak Sangma reduced the margin with a beautiful header in the 74th minute. Railway custodian K Bijen Singh failed to read the ball which came off a floater from Jessy Vanlalmuama and Ishak beat him at the far post (2-1).
Stung by the reverse, the Railway boys romped into attack mode and struck twice within two minutes to complete the rout.
Chayaram netted his second goal, the team’s third, in the 75th minute with a header anticipating a flag kick taken by Jelendra (3-1). Just after two minutes, Shankar Sil made it 4-1 off a pass from Sibra.
Navajyoti should have gone ahead in the 18th minute but their vice-captain Asian squandered an easy scoring opportunity.
Navajyoti defenders were in a poor shape today as Jelendra, Sibra and Chayaram blasted them with their speed and well combined moves. Navajyoti midfielders also failed to support their attackers and defenders. They were lacking in stamina and as a result the NF Railway players overpowered them in every department in the second session.
On the otherhand, NF Railwag completely dominated the middle third of the pitch. Samar Paul, Bapa Biswas and Shankar Sil combined very well and they initiated all the moves using both the flanks where Jelendra and Chayaram acted properly.
AHMEDABAD: Driving trains will soon become a comparatively cushy job in the near future. For the first time, diesel engines are set to get a complete makeover in terms of aesthetics and ergonomics. The National Institute of Design (NID) in collaboration with Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi, is redesigning the interior and exterior of the engines from the drivers’ perspective.
The changes aim to make train driving a cool affair. For the first time in the history of Indian Railways, the drivers’ cabins will be air-conditioned and kept warm during winters with heaters. “Loco pilots operate in extreme conditions and through new design, we intend to provide them comfortable working conditions ,” said Praveen Nahar, senior faculty , NID.
The focus will be on providing better visibility to the drivers and better inner ambiance. “Visibility is the most important factor. We aim to minimize visual obstructions and increase leg space,” added Nahar.
The engines will also get brighter colours , new toilet design and windshield. “Providing better working environment and a new colour scheme are among the main changes,” said Balaji Rangarajan, faculty, NID and head of the project.
It was fatigue among the drivers that prompted DLW to go for complete renovation . “Sometimes, loco pilots work under very stressful conditions. They have to deal with vibration, noise, heat…” said Amit Kumar Agarwal, chief designer , DLW. “I have been a driver myself. The decision for a makeover was taken after many consultations with loco pilots.”
Every year, DLW manufactures 150 WDG 4 engines (diesel engines). Currently , there are 800 of these on the tracks and over 20,000 loco pilots operate them. With the new design, DLW also aims to attract customers from different countries and expand their export market.
Alot of research for the project has also been carried out at Drivers Training institute in Sabarmati.
Bhavnagar: Apart from introducing a daily passenger train from Bhavnagar to Surendranagar via Botad, the Ministry of Railways is introducing another local train between Bhavnagar and Palitana. Services of both the trains are scheduled to start from July 19.
At present, there is one local train connecting Bhavnagar and Palitana, which runs thrice a day at 7 am, 3 pm and 6 pm.
According to officials, the new train between Bhavnagar and Palitana will start its services at 10.15 am. It will leave Bhavnagar railway station by 10.15 am and reach Palitana by 11.30 am. It will start its return journey from Palitana at 12.30 pm and reach Bhavnagar by 2 pm.
HYDERABAD: Landmark buildings on the Begumpet main road are disappearing to make way for the Hyderabad Metro Rail project. Last week, it was the turn of White House, Lifestyle and Varun Motors, landmark buildings on either end of the Begumpet flyover, to receive the notices from the GHMC.
Although the demolitions will be partial, it is enough to change the contours of the city as its landmarks will not be the same as before. According to the notice, of the three blocks comprising White House, at least half of the first block adjoining the road will have to be demolished. Likewise, the open space belonging to Lifestyle building is to be acquired for the metro rail project leaving little space for passage and setback. As it would reduce the mandatory floor area ratio (FAR), there is a possibility that the Lifestyle building may have to forego one floor in order to comply with the building norms. And in the case of Varun Motors, more than half of the building would have to be demolished. Apart from these structures, Country Club has also been served with the land acquisition notice and will have to forego a major chunk of open space for the rail project.
The property owners of White House and Lifestyle received the land acquisition notice last week issued by the GHMC authority in-charge of the metro rail project. They have been given time till July 29 to file their objections and the owners are getting ready with the argument that the metro alignment has been designed with a sharp curvature near Begumpet just to save the chief minister’s camp office because of which their land is being taken away.
“Studying the metro rail alignment plan, it is clear that the curvature given to it is very sharp and not in line with the set standards. This has resulted in the taking away of our land in an unfair manner. We are dismayed that this is being done just to save the CM’s camp office building from demolition,” Suraj Prasad Agarwal, owner of White House building.
While the minimum radius of curvature allowed for the metro rail alignment is 120 metres at any turning, in the case of the one near the CM’s camp office, the radius of curvature has been relaxed to 100 metres because of which the train has to slowdown at that point before picking up speed again. The property owners rue that this deviation has resulted in a gratuitous demolition of the buildings which have been landmarks in Begumpet for almost two decades.
Hyderabad, Jul 19: The first eight-kilometre Nagole-Mettuguda section of the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) will be opened for commuter traffic in March 2015, a senior official said yesterday. The Nagole-Mettuguda section will be completed by the end of December 2014 and after the Commissioner of Railway Safety’s approval, it will be opened for commuter traffic in March 2015 on the ocassion of Ugadi, HMR Managing Director N V S Reddy said at a review meeting here, according to an official release.
Work on the project seeking to decongest three dense corridors with a 72-km elevated rail is on in different parts of the city.
Municipal Administration and Urban Development (Principal Secretary) S K Joshi reviewed the progress of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project and MMTS Phase-II works at Metro Rail Bhavan.
Depot works at Uppal and Miyapur are also progressing at a brisk pace, with the progress being at 80 per cent and 40 per cent respectively, Reddy said.
A plan is also being prepared to create about 200 skywalks and quality public space at metro rail stations, with street furniture, bicycle stations, bicycle tracks, footpaths and other pedestrian facilities, as part of an urban redesign programme, he said.
Earlier, making a detailed presentation, NVS Reddy said that despite heavy rains, metro rail works are progressing well and that all necessary monsoon precautions have been taken to protect work sites from heavy rains, the release said.
M.G. Road will be closed to traffic as part of the preparatory work for the Kochi Metro Rail on Saturday night.
The road will remain closed between 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to detect the underground sewage lines. This is crucial before launching the piling works in the stretch along the M.G. Road.
Though the district administration and the police have asked DMRC to complete the work within the allotted time, it may stretch beyond that if the rain plays spoilsport. DMRC has decided to press in extra workers and equipment for the time-bound completion of work, which may witness the excavation of medians. The work will be launched from near the Doraiswamy Crossroad.
Though DMRC had undertaken excavation along the eastern side of Padma Junction earlier this month, the water and sewage pipelines of the Kerala Water Authority remained elusive.
Meanwhile, labour dispute has raised its head in connection with the construction of the casting yard of Kochi Metro at Kalamassery. The contractor concerned had been unloading the loads using the crane much to the chagrin of workers affiliated to STU and INTUC who had been claiming the right to work. In between, the workers reportedly unloaded a consignment forcibly.
On Thursday after the contractor had unloaded a consignment of steel, the workers reached the site and demanded that they be paid for all the unloading done so far. Following this the contractor cancelled the arrival of three loads to the site scheduled for the day.
However, the STU-affiliated State Head Load and General Workers Federation in a release alleged the contractor of deploying migrant workers for unloading. The federation asked the authorities concerned to intervene, which it said amounted to denial of right of workers under the head load workers welfare board.
The federation claimed that the workers had unloaded 12 loads without even waiting for a decision on the wage out of good intention that the Kochi Metro project should not be disrupted even for a day. The workers had cooperated trusting the assurance to hold discussions about their wage.
However, the contractor violated this understanding by unloading the steel brought to the site on Thursday using migrant workers, the release alleged.