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Anewtech Systems Pte Ltd launch tough applications of Train Communication Network

Hyderabad:  In their recent visit to India, M/s.Anewtech spokesperson mentioned that their company have plans to target India rail market and industry with their range and repertoire of products.  “Since 1999, our company grew to become one of the most successful integrated platform solutions provider in S.E. Asia.  Today we have expanded into Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, providing the region’s industries with highly reliable industrial computing platforms.  With our extensive product ranges and customer-centric design services, Anewtech Systems is one of the most trustworthy partner to empower numerous innovations to propel your business forward.  “Our Professional Product Development include System Design, Software Design specialization in providing innovative and cost-effective industrial and embedded computing solutions to Railway Systems across the world. We contract manufacture customized rackmount industrial computer for telecommunications, broadcast, semicon production test equipment, storage servers, network appliance for firewall and panel PC for versatile applications. Our range of high-quality, highperformance industrial computer boards, systems and peripherals has been implemented in thousands of applications and all recognized for its reliability” he said.

To meet the rising demand of Train Communication Network, Anewtech presents the EN50155-certified (and EN50121-certified) industrial-grade Transporter products for tough applications of TCN. Products include: EN50155 Ethernet switches, EN50155 wireless access points, and EN50155 wireless cellular VPN routers.

Application1: On-Board
- Passenger Information System
- Passenger Entertainment System
– Rolling Stock Video Surveillance
– Wireless Network and Internet Service

Application 2: Station (train-to-ground)

Application 3 : Trackside
- Video Surveillance

- VoIP System
- Wireless Connection
- Signaling System
- Train Status Monitoring
- Train-to-ground Wireless Communications

Transporter Series industrial networking products feature constant high-speed connectivity, swift wired and wireless network redundancy, vibration-proof casing and connectors, wide operating temperature range, and fast wireless roaming.

Key Products: EN50155 Series Ethernet Switch and Router


Serbian Railways appoints Huawei Digital Railway solutions

huawei-logo-480x480Huawei to provide ZS with digital railway solutions that feature end-to-end design and delivery to cope with the existing railway network and business plan of the Serbian Railways

SHENZHEN, CHINA: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, announced that the company has signed a framework agreement with the Serbian Railways Corporation (ZS, Zeleznice Srbije) recently. Under this agreement, Huawei will provide ZS with digital railway solutions in the next five years to help the railway transportation company achieve infrastructure modernization of the Nis-Sid railway line of the Pan-European Corridor X for efficiency enhancement.

Measuring 444 kilometers in length, Nis-Sid railway line crosses the main axis of the Pan-European Corridor X, making it one of the most important lines of the Serbian railway network. Based on Serbian Railways’ long-term infrastructure modernization plan, this line will be the nation’s first railway line equipped with modern telecommunication features including GSM-R and optical transmission system and the first to provide Level two of the European Train Control System (ETCS-L2) in Serbia.

According to the agreement signed between Huawei and ZS, during the first phase of the modernization process, Huawei will provide ZS with digital railway solutions that feature end-to-end design and delivery to cope with the existing railway network and business plan of the Serbian Railways, serving the railway company’s needs to achieve efficient traffic control, security monitoring, office collaboration and enhanced passenger services.

Huawei will provide ZS with its signature GSM-R solution that enables reliable and secure transmission of voice and train control data between on-board and ground based entities, Huawei’s intelligent video surveillance system, which will cover public areas and key facilities along the railway line, will ensure operational security and passenger safety. Huawei’s VoIP system will provide a collaborative office environment for ZS staff for facilitating effective road network resources allocation and management. Besides other, the frame contract supply of high performance DWDM, MSTP and IP/MPLS network solutions to improve wired backbone network bandwidth and achieve data, voice and video multi-service access.

Huawei’s digital railway solutions can be integrated with various subsystems such as Passenger information systems and public announcement systems to, provide reliable, secure and flexible services for transport management, freight & passenger services and internal coordination system. With a business-oriented end-to-end design, the solutions provide a full set of high-usability, easy-to-maintain and upgradable telecommunication network to fulfill railway network operations and future business development needs of ZS.

Sangrur MP flags off Dhuri-Bathinda train

members_486Sangrur:  Sangrur MP Vijay Indersingla on Sunday early morning flagged off a passenger train at Dhuri railway station for Bathinda. The passenger train will pass through Barnala, Tapa, Rampura to reach Bathinda in 2.25 hours.

Vijay Inder said after being elected MP from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency, I had consistently raised the demand for Introduction of new trains services, extension and increase in frequency of existing services, demand of stoppages, New Rail connectivity links, ROB’s, Modernization and up-gradations of railway stations for his constituency.  Vijay Inder Singla in past with his constant efforts has got many trains like Moga/Ludhiana to New Delhi Shatabdi express via Sangrur, Dhuri to Delhi, Sri Ganganagar to Hazoor sabh, Amristar to Ajmer.
4847 Dhuri Station Vijay SinglaTrain no. 54765 Dhuri- Bhatinda passenger train would start from Dhuri daily at 4.00am and reach Bathinda at 06.25 am via Barnala,Tapa, Rampura Phul. On its return journey, the train no. 54746 would start at 7.35 pm and reach Dhuri at 10.15pm.

Indian Railways to come under the Energy Efficiency norms of BEE

The scheme is unique in many ways, particularly from a developing-country’s perspective since it creates a market for energy efficiency through tradable ESCerts

For the first time in its history, India may see some energy efficiency norms for its Railway sector and possibly aviation too.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is mulling options to include both railways and aviation, along with a few other large energy-intensive industries, in its second cycle of “Perform, Achieve and Trade’ (PAT) scheme set to begin from 2015 onwards. A final decision on whether both aviation and railways would be a part of the scheme would be taken by the beginning of the next financial year.

PAT, launched under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency which is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), has set separate energy efficiency targets for various industries. Those fail to meet this will have to face the penalty. The first cycle which started in 2012 will end in March 2015.

It includes energy intensive sectors which accounts to about 40% of the country’s primary energy consumption — like thermal power, aluminium, cement, fertilizer, iron and steel, pulp and paper, textiles and chlor-alkali. When asked about the second cycle, BEE Director General Ajay Mathur said, “We are looking to add sectors like airlines, railways, roads, bus companies, petrochemicals, refineries, sugar and electricity transmission companies for the second cycle beginning in 2015. Selection will depend on criteria like total energy use, and easiness to measurement.”

According to BEE, private airlines would also be a part of this, if aviation sector gets included. “As far as energy efficiency is concerned there are no rules in India for aviation is concerned. By the beginning of the next financial year, we will finalise on what are the sectors that we would have to expand,” Mathur added.

“The Ministry of Power should consider adding civil aviation to the list of 8 focus sectors under the PAT scheme. The Energy Savings Certificates (ESCerts) would help shore up the bottomline of the industry players which is currently under deep financial distress,” Amber Dubey, Partner and Head-Aerospace and Defense at global consultancy KPMG, said.

The scheme is unique in many ways, particularly from a developing-country’s perspective since it creates a market for energy efficiency through tradable ESCerts. These certificates can be issued by any of the 478 industries in the first cycle, who are able to exceed their respective notified target. These industries can trade the ESCerts at Indian Energy Exchange and Power Exchange India at market price.

The norms would be vital for aviation sector because based on fuel data consumption collected directly from the seven Indian scheduled passenger airlines and one cargo airline, the carbon footprint of Indian scheduled airlines to/from domestic destinations was 6,755,000 tonnes of CO2. In the first cycle, the designated consumers account of 478 units to about 165 million tonnes oil equivalent of energy consumption annually.

“This would make most of these sectors energy efficient because the current norms have penalties attached to it. It is calculated on the basis on the achieved target and cost of energy. We will be finalizing the penalties for current units six months after the term ends on March 2015,” Mathur added.

Provide land for pending Railway projects, Kharge tells Karnataka

Asks Karnataka to contribute its share of funds, as the State has contributed Rs. 30 crore of its share of Rs. 671 crore.
Marikuppam function 2

Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge has said that the Centre will cooperate with the State in executing the pending railway projects if the latter contributes its share of funds and provide land. Of the Rs. 671 crore that the State has to contribute, it has so far contributed only Rs. 30 crore, according to the Union Minister.

He was speaking after flagging off the inaugural special Bangalore City-Marikuppam-Bangalore City passenger train at the Marikuppam railway station in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) on Saturday. The new train has the capacity to carry 2,500 passengers on each trip.   Shri Kharge said there are 368 Railway Projects to be cleared in the country out of which 178 are new projects.  To complete these projects, Rs.1,78,000 Crores are needed.  He said, instead of announcing new projects, the completion of existing projects will benefit the people and for this, the State Governments and the public should co-operate. He said many of the schemes brought out by the government are for the poor and benefiting all class of people across the country.

He announced to sanction Rs.40 lakhs for opening two new halt stations at Chinna Kote and Khidu Kuda out of which Rs. 20 lakhs will be from his MP fund and 20 lakhs will be from the MLA fund of Shri Naseer Ahmed.
Marikuppam function
Pending projects

At present, 378 railway projects across the country are pending and among them are 171 new projects. To complete all the projects, Rs. 1.78 lakh crore is needed, Mr. Kharge said. Referring to a demand for the Kolar-Mulbagal railway line, Mr. Kharge said that the project would be implemented if the State contributed its share of land and funds.

On the Kolar-Chickballapur gauge doubling project, Mr. Kharge said that a major part of the work is over, and now it is for the elected representatives to take necesarry steps to ensure that it is completed. Mr. Kharge underlined the need to increase the revenue of the Railways. As of now only 27 p.c. of its income is from passenger fares, he added.

Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises K.H. Muniyappa, legislators Y. Ramakka, K.M. Narayanaswamy, D.S. Veeraiah and Nazir Ahmad were present.

General Manager of South Western Railway Ashok Kumar Mital, Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar Agarwal and Railway Board Chairman C. Narayanaswamy were among the railway officials present on the occasion.


1000 Cops to keep Vigil in Bihar, Spl focus on Rly Network & Passenger Trains

PATNA: Security has been beefed up around the city landmarks, Railway stations, airport and bus and auto stands for Independence Day. The district and police administration held a meeting on Saturday to review the preparations and the final rehearsal would be done on August 13 at Gandhi Maidan where chief minister Nitish Kumar will unfurl the national flag.

Presiding over the meeting, Patna district magistrate (DM) N Saravana Kumar said all important landmarks like Mahavir Mandir, Takht Shri Harmandirji Patna Sahib and the Patna airport would be under constant police vigil. Around 1000 policemen, both in uniform and mufti, would be on duty at various points. Quick reaction teams along with sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads will also remain on standby around the Gandhi Maidan.  A special Task Force has also been deployed in Railway areas at all important stations, he added.  Further, all the CCTV cameras have been tested and a special watch on all the movements is kept on 24*7 basis.

All the vehicles entering the city would have to undergo a three-layer checking on the I-Day. The vehicles would be checked first on the district borders, then on the city borders and finally near the Gandhi Maidan. Vehicular traffic would be banned from Income Tax roundabout towards Gandhi Maidan from 7am till the function ends.

“Patrolling across the state capital has been intensified to ward off any trouble. Multistoreyed buildings around Gandhi Maidan have been put under surveillance,” said Patna SSP Manu Maharaj.

Hotels are also being checked for anyone looking suspicious, including Maoist or terrorists who may enter the city to cause trouble during the Independence Day celebration, officials said. Even private vehicles are under police scanner.

According to the joint order issued by the Patna district administration, all the police stations have been put on maximum alert and patrolling has been intensified. Armed police personnel would be deployed at high-rise private and government buildings around Gandhi Maidan. “All the DSPs, stations officers and sub-inspectors have been deputed to ensure foolproof security to the VVIPs at Gandhi Maidan where a large number of people assemble to watch the function,” the SSP said.

Tight security in place at Visakhapatnam Railway Station

Visakhapatnam:  The district police made elaborate security at the Visakhapatnam railway station and surrounding areas due to a proposed Samaikhyandhra group’s rail blockade agitation against the UPA’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

The city police did not allow agitators inside the railway station and clamped Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code at the railway station as well as railway tracks under city limits, banning unlawful assembly of people, to avoid any untoward incidents.

Delhi Metro train moves with commuter hand bag stuck between doors

delhimetropardaphash-91592New Delhi: A Delhi Metro train left the Central Secretariat station on Tuesday afternoon with a bag of a commuter who could not get in stuck between the doors.

As the doors of the Delhi University bound eight-coach train closed at the station, a young man who had tried to board it tried desperately to pull out his bag.

Others on the platform tried to help him, while those inside the coach tried to push out the bag.

But the train took off even as the startled commuter began running with it on the platform.

One passenger contacted the driver through the emergency speaker system but the train didn’t halt — and the bag remained stuck between the doors till the next station at Patel Chowk.

Rlys to introduce Water Purifiers in Passenger Trains

New Delhi: In an effort to spruce up passenger amenities, Indian Railways has decided to install water-purifiers in coaches to improve the quality of drinking water and hygiene in trains. “The first coach with water purifier facility is being readied at the Jagadhri railway workshop in Jalandhar and it will soon be part of a long-distance express train as a pilot project,” said a senior Railway ministry official.
Unknown“Trains get its water supply from stations and because of the prevalence of iron impurities in certain areas, quality of water also gets affected,” he said.

Currently, luxury trains are being equipped with water purifiers. Pantry cars of many trains including in Rajdhani and Shatabdi already have water-purifiers.

“Our aim is to provide clean water in trains and we are beginning with the facility in LHB coach first and later on conventional coaches will also be equipped with water purifiers,” the official said.

Besides, in view to improve the standards of cleanliness and hygiene in coaches, On-Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS) scheme has been introduced in all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and important long distance Mail/Express trains.

Under the scheme, a set of housekeeping staff travels on-board and ensures cleanliness in compartments and toilets.

Railways has also decided to allot two berths in each train for OBHS who have been entrusted with the job to maintain cleanliness in trains.

Megablocks on CR, WR

MUMBAI: Brace for megablocks on Main line, Harbour and also Western Railway. On Main line, there is a rail block on the Down fast line from Thane to Kalyan till 3.30 pm. The Dn fast line services leaving Thane will be diverted on Dn Slow line between Thane and Kalyan stations and will halt at all stations between Thane and Kalyan.

These locals will halt at Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund stations in addition to their respective scheduled halts and will arrive destination 20 minutes behind schedule.

There will also be a block on Up and Down lines between Kalyan and Ambernath station from 2 pm to 3.30 pm.

However, shuttle services will be run between Badlapur and Karjat during the block period. On Harbour line there will be a rail block between CST and Kurla on Down line and between Vadala Road and Bandra stations till 3.10 pm.

The Dn Harbour line services for Panvel/Belapur/Vashi leaving CST from 10.52am to 3.13pm will run via main line till Kurla and further will be diverted on Dn Harbour line.

These trains will not halt at Chinchpokli and Currey Road stations. Harbour line passengers for Bandra/Andheri are permitted to travel Via Main line and Western Railway till 5pm.

On WR, there will be a jumbo block on the slow line between Borivli and Goregaon stations till 3.35 pm. Some of the trains will be cancelled today on WR due to the rail block, officials stated.

Man allegedly rapes 7 year old girl on train, gives her Rs.10

Bilaspur:  A seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped on Howrah-Kurla Express near Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh by an unidentified man who gave her a Rs 10 note after committing the crime before dumping her at the railway station, police said on Sunday quoting her.

However, police are trying to verify the girl’s claim whether she was sexually assaulted on the train or elsewhere as she was spotted in serious condition in the market area of the city near Kotwali police station. The girl was found near Bhakt Kanwarram Market at Kotwali police station. She was seriously injured and profusely bleeding, following which she was admitted to Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences hospital yesterday morning, said Bilaspur SP Ratanlal Dangi.

He said the medical examination of the minor has confirmed that she was sexually assaulted. Police said the girl told them that she was travelling in Howrah-Kurla Express on Friday night. When she went to toilet in the wee hours on Saturday, an unidentified man followed her there and brutally raped her. Later, he gave her a Rs 10 note and dropped her at Bilaspur railway station.

“Though police have not been able to record her statement because she was seriously injured, the girl narrated a few things to Kotwali police when she was being taken to the hospital,” the SP said, adding it was not immediately known whether the girl was travelling alone or accompanied by somebody at the time of the incident.

Police said she was unable to tell them how she managed to reach the city from Bilaspur railway station. The case has been handed over to Government Railway Police (GRP) and efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the girl, the SP said.

Meanwhile, GRP has announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for providing information of the accused and are scrutinising CCTV footage of the railway station. Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Bilaspur Railway, B Ramakrishna said the condition of the girl was critical. “We will be able to talk to her only after two days when her condition may improve”.

Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Bhubaneshwar Express train extended to Puri

MUMBAI: The railways has decided to extend 12145/12146 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Bhubaneshwar Express (weekly) to Puri with effect from today.

After extension, the new service will leave LTT every Sunday and will leave Puri every Tuesday (from August 13), an official said. He stated that the halts have been extended to Khurda Road. “There is no change in composition of the train,” he stated.

As per the timetable, the train will depart LTT 8.35 pm on Sundays, arrive Bhubaneshwar 5.35 am on Tuesday and subsequently reach Puri at 7.45 am. During the return journey, the train will depart Puri at 9.25 pm on Tuesdays, arrive Bhubaneshwar station at 11 pm the same night and subsequently bring passengers to Mumbai (LTT) at 7.45 am Thursday, the official added.

Goods train derails at Vadodara railway station

Vadodara: Two bogies of a goods train carrying oil to Mumbai from Gujarat Refinery derailed at Vadodara railway station today, briefly affecting the movement of trains on Mumbai-Delhi route.

Nobody was injured in the mishap, the police said. It, however, caused large amount of oil spillage on tracks, the police said.

Meanwhile, Vadodara BJP MP Balkrishna Shukla has demanded a probe into the derailment.

“About 1.30 lakh litres of oil spilled over the tracks and surrounding areas because of the derailment. It is a very serious matter and the guilty should be punished,” he said.

Gujarat Refinery, located at Koyali on the outskirts of the city, is owned by Indian Oil Corporation.

CR to run four special trains for Velankanni festival

MUMBAI: The railways will run four special trains from Mumbai to Velankanni to clear the extra rush of passengers for the Velankanni festival.

A CR official said, “A special train will leave CST at 11.30 am on August 26 and will arrive Velankanni at 7.15 pm the next day. “Another special train will leave Velankanni at 1.35 pm on August 28 and will arrive CST the next day at 11.40 pm.”

The halts will be at Dadar, Thane, Kalyan, Lonavla, Pune, Solapur, Gulbarga, Wadi, Raichur, Guntakal, Gooty, Kadapa, Renigunta, Puttur, Tiruttani, Katpadi, Vellore, Arni Road, Tiruvannamalai, Tirukkovilur, Villupuram, Cuddalore Port, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi, Mayiladuthurai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

The train will have one AC first cum AC 2-tier, one AC 2-tier, two AC 3-Tier, 12 sleeper class, four reserved second class seating and two General second class cum guard’s brake vans.

A third special train will leave LTT (Mumbai) at 12.05 am on August 27 and will arrive Velankanni at 6.45 pm the next day. And, the fourth special train will leave Velankanni at 1.35 pm on August 29 and will arrive LTT in Mumbai at 11.45 pm the next day, officials said.

Rail infra works in northern Karnataka put on fast track

Bangalore:  “With a new Railway Minister from Karnataka, major rail projects pending in the State have been revived,” S K Jain, Member (Engineering), Railway Board, said.  “Rail infrastructure in the State will be taken up expeditiously, thereby the rail network will be developed within a reasonable timeframe, which is expected to help tourist traffic towards Goa,” he added. 

The Railway Board sanctioned the track doubling of Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat line at a cost of Rs 2,127 crore in 2010-11, considering potential traffic in the region. Railways has taken up track doubling work on the Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat section of Bellary-Hospet-Vasco route (407 km). This route was converted into broad gauge in 1997. Railways expects the track doubling to be completed by December 2015.

“In order to improve connectivity in the region, and to decongest Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat section track doubling is planned. When complete, it will increase the number of passenger trains connecting important tourist destinations such as Goa in the west to the world heritage site of Hampi in the east and help in promoting tourism in North Karnataka,” Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge recently said in Hubli. 

Kharge said, “Already about Rs 300 crore has been allocated for the phase I of the project to improve connectivity in north Karnataka and Goa this year and for the next year, Rs.300 crore more will be sanctioned.”  Along with tourist connectivity, the Railways is targeting the exports and imports potential of the region. Iron ore is an important export commodity, which is now transported mainly through ports in Goa.

“The work of Hospet-Tinaighat (245 km) is being taken up under Phase-I at a cost of Rs 928.85 crore. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and is being implemented by Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL),” said Kharge.

Nila Gumbad work off track

NEW DELHI: Conservation of early Mughal-era monument Nila Gumbad has hit a wall with Northern Railway using part of the earmarked land to store material. While work inside the monument continues, that on the exterior settings has been stopped till the land is cleared, ASI Director General Mr.Praveen Srivastava has written to the railways.

The project is being undertaken by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) with co-funding from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Officials said the railways continued to dump material at the site of the monument owned by ASI, so the exterior settings cannot be worked upon. “Removal of of pink plaster layers, applied here as recently as 2003, has revealed original ornamental patterns that are being carefully restored by art conservators trained during the Humayun’s tomb conservation,” said an AKTC official.
panorama011The Nila Gumbad is named after the turquoise blue tiles used by the Mughal builders to cover the dome. Many of the tiles have fallen due to vibrations caused by trains. As part of the project, efforts will be made to insulate the monument from the jerks caused by poorly maintained railway tracks. “The restoration will make sense only if the road bifurcating Nila Gumbad from Humayun’s tomb is shifted, as agreed upon by the railways in a 2010 MoU with the ASI. This will allow millions of annual visitors at the tomb to visit this marvel and to avoid sanctions from Unesco,which were imposed on the Hampi world heritage site over a bridge bifurcating the site,” said an official.

Srivastava wrote to the DRM/Delhi, Northern Railway requesting that a 2010 agreement be adhered to and AKTC be allowed to continue works as planned. In response, say ASI sources, the railways have requested recently re-built enclosure walls be demolished. “This while the railways have built ugly, tall concrete fencing within the prohibitied zone of Humayun’s tomb without any permissions,” said officials. “The determined effort of the Railways to continue to vandalize a world heritage site is shocking. Especially since in lieu of the proposed development, alternate structures have already been built for the railways,” said project director, AKTC Ratish Nanda.

Conservationists are hoping the issue is resolved soon. With the blue tiles already being prepared in kilns at Humayun’s tomb, Nila Gumbad will hopefully soon stand proud once again in all it’s Mughal grandeur, claimed ASI officials.

Kharola appointed BMRCL MD

05bg_bgimg_bmtf_06_1322480gIn a significant bureaucratic reshuffle, the government on Saturday appointed Pradeep Singh Kharola, a 1985-batch IAS officer, as managing director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), replacing N. Sivasailam, who is also of the 1985 batch.

Mr. Sivasailam’s transfer comes at a crucial time when BMRCL is gearing up to throw open Reaches 3 and 3-A of Namma Metro Phase 1 between Peenya and Sampige Road station on the north-south corridor. BMRCL has also been under fire from the public over the alignment of the proposed Namma Metro Phase 2, particularly on the stretches of Byappanahalli–Whitefield and R.V. Road terminal to Bommasandra.

Mr. Kharola had been the chairman of Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation from May this year; Mr. Sivasailam has not been given any posting.

Mr. Sivasailam was stewarding BMRCL since June 12, 2008, after the then managing director V. Madhu was abruptly transferred.

A release from BMRCL said Mr. Sivasailam relinquished charge on Saturday and Mr. Kharola will take over on Monday.

Mr. Kharola was managing director of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation when it was formed in 1997. He was also the managing director of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. He was on Central deputation between 2001 and 2009 and on his return, he held, among others, the post of Principal Secretary to Chief Minister (Jagadish Shettar).

BMRCL Sivasailam is Out, Karnataka Government appoints new MD

04BG_SIVASAILAM_CI_1540075fThe Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director N. Sivasailam has been shunted out of the BMRCL without any posting, following allegations of alleged ‘unfriendly’ behaviour with the public, coupled with delays in executing the Namma Metro project and for his supposed unilateral decisions regarding the realignment of Phase 2.  Apart from this, there is severe criticism in the recent past on the project progress and planning.  The government issued an order on Saturday, shunting him out of the BMRCL.

Bengaluru:   Sivasailam, who had held the position of BMRCL MD for five years, has been replaced by Pradeep Singh Kharola. There have also been allegations that BMRCL has ducked many vital queries sought through Right To Information (RTI) Act.  Sivasailam’s responses to queries raised during a recent public interaction has not gone down well with citizens of Bengaluru, who have expressed their displeasure at the government level. It has been alleged that this is not the first time that Sivasailam has replied bluntly to the public and to the media.

Apparently, Siva­sailam had dismissed public queries at the interaction organized by MP Ananth Kumar on August 3, telling disgruntled citizens to take their issues to court. At the interaction, he also claimed that his technical knowledge surpasses that of the public and that his actions can only be questioned in court.
Many of his decisions were reportedly not transparent either, except for one-sided information posted on the BMRCL’s official website. Also, Sivasailam himself has admitted that the project is lagging behind at least by six months.

Another serious allegation levelled against him was that he had failed to resolve the issues pertaining to land acquisition, be it government or private property.

The Karnataka Infor­mation Commis­sioner (KIC) has pulled up Sivasailam for failing to furnish information sought through RTI.

RTI activist Narasimha Murthy said that the officers who hold the position of MD, BMRCL must be transparent, said Murthy.

He should have been shunted out earlier and replaced by an honest and efficient officer. The successors must be transparent and not delay the project which will have an impact on the state’s exchequer, he added.

BMRCL MD instrumental in project: officials Bengaluru: Officials in BMRCL,  remain loyal to the former MD, claiming that Sivasailam was instrumental in taking the Namma Metro project forward. The progress of the Namma Metro Phase 1 was just 2% complete when he took over. Reach 1, between MG Road and Byappanahalli was flag­ged off during Sivasailam’s tenure.

Sources attributed the delay of the project to land acquisition and the obtaining of clearances from various departments to run the metro train for commercial operations.Kharola refused to discuss his new role until he gets an official order. He will assume his charge as MD BMRCL on Monday.

Sivasailam posted on a networking site, “My last tweet as MD of NammaMetro. My successor is my colleague & friend Pradeep Singh Kharola.He reports on Monday.Thank you Best Wishes.” (sic)

BMRCL studies market value of acquired land

The BMRCL’s Phase II is mired in controversy, with many residents and tech park owners opposing the project. However, it has been learned that BMRCL has started assessing the market value of properties and has has sought a private real estate consulting agency to assist the corporation in evaluating their value.

For the 72 Metro line under Phase II, BMRCL requires 180-200 hectares of land, covering 1,500-2,000 properties that will be demolished.

Members of the Jayadeva Interchange Metro Victims’ Forum have urged the state government to take steps to avoid acquisition of private properties. Many tech park owners have also opposed the project, saying land acquisition and the subsequent demolition will badly affect their business.

The BMRCL plans to launch phase II of the Metro project soon, with four extension lines, two new lines and 61 stations. The four extension lines are expected to provide last-mile connectivity to commuters.
The BMRCL, which is identifying the land and structures for the project, will appoint private real estate consultants to assess the market value of land proposed to be acquired. The consultants will evaluate the value of properties, but the BMRCL Land Committee will take the final decision on what compensation is to be paid to affected parties.

Sambalpur gets new DRM

DANDADebaraj Panda, an officer of 1985 batch of the Indian Railway Traffic Service has joined as New Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) in Sambalpur Division of East Coast Railway. Prior to this new posting Panda was serving as Chief Freight Transportation Manager (CFTM) of East Coast Railway at Bhubaneswar.  Thereafter, he has worked in various important capacities in Adra, Waltair and Khurda divisions of South Eastern Railway and East Coast Railway.  He worked as Chief Vigilance officer in East Coast Railway Head quarters office. He also served in IRCTC as Group General Manager at Kolkata and as Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM) of East Coast Railway head quarters office. Apart from the above, he has also undergone training in strategic Management at Paris and Johannesburg.

Rebel training on cards for RPF

TY23COMANANDO_1092702fDhanbad, Aug. 10: The new chief security commissioner of East Central Railway, A.K. Pathak, is planning to groom Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel under his jurisdiction into a formidable force that can take on Naxalites.

Pathak, who took charge on August 7, said that he was committed to reining in rebel attacks in his zone. “We will co-ordinate with state police, CID and top government officials to ensure that the railways remains safe,” he said.

The senior railway official also said that RPF personnel would be trained like paramilitary troops and bomb disposal squads would be constituted in many areas. This apart, he promised to upgrade RPF gear during his tenure.

“Unless security personnel are equipped with latest gadgets and arms, they cannot fight criminals and Naxalites, who target railways from time to time,” said the chief security commissioner.

He added that tenders to revamp RPF gear were floated in the past, but were never executed.

After taking commando training in 1992 at BSF camp in Hazaribagh, Pathak went on to join engineering services and later moved to RPF.

Staff shortage hits GRP hard

GRPAt a time when Maoists are targeting passenger trains and railway tracks resulting in loss of lives and properties, the Government Railway Police (GRP) remains hamstrung because of manpower shortage.

“At present, we have a sanctioned strength of around 800 GRP personnel, which is grossly inadequate for round-the-clock patrolling of the 2,217 km of railway tracks in the State. Moreover, 15 per cent of this strength is not available all the time because of various reasons,” a senior official in the State’s Department of Home said. “Protecting the vast railway network and so many trains in a Maoist-affected State is always a difficult task. Inadequate manpower makes it more formidable,” he added.

The GRP is responsible for prevention and detection of crimes, maintaining law and order and providing security to railway stations and trains. This includes guarding vital bridges and patrolling tracks. Around 200 trains crisscross both the railways districts of Cuttack and Rourkela in the State every day. A shortage of manpower in the railway police means more than half of these trains go unescorted while others have only four or five armed police personnel on board.

“Under these circumstances, passenger safety remains a major challenge. We escort the few important trains which we feel are vulnerable and leave others unescorted,” the source admitted. The Department of Home has moved the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard as the number of trains is increasing every year and the railway tracks are spreading fast in the State while the sanctioned strength of the GRP has remained the same for the past two decades.

The source said that increasing the GRP’s strength is always a tough call because both the State and Union Governments need to agree on salaries and other recurring expenditures. It was decided way back in 2007 to improve the strength of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the GRP to improve the security in the trains. At that point of time, it was decided to work a joint action plan with the States emphasizing filling up of the vacancies in the RPF and Government Railway Police (GRP) forces. In the meantime RPF strength has improved a lot with 2,000 personnel in the East Coast Railway Zone while the GRP strength remains 828 only.

A record 25 Lakh travel per day by Delhi Metro

de11_METRO_eps_1548209fThe Delhi Metro has registered the highest number of footfalls so far with 25 lakh people travelling by the transport system on Thursday.

“Delhi Metro recorded the highest ever ridership figure of 25,04,900 on August 8, which surpassed the earlier record set on July 29, when 24,25,897 people travelled by the metro,” said a spokesperson.

On Line 1, Dilshad Garden—Rithala, 3,60,512 people travelled, while 8,87,003 used the Jahangirpuri—HUDA City Centre Line, 9,81,252 passengers travelled on the Dwarka Sector-21—Noida City Centre/Vaishali Line. The footfalls on the Inderlok/Kirti Nagar—Mundka Line and the Central Secretariat—Badarpur Line were 90,669 and 1,85,464 respectively.

“In addition, the ridership of Airport Express link grew from 10,500 to 12,500 on the same day,” the spokesperson said.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to introduce the first ever eight coach train on Lines 3 and 4 by end of this month.

To cater to the growing ridership and tackle the problem of overcrowding in trains, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to introduce the first ever eight coach train on Lines 3 and 4 by end of this month. Two eight coach trains are currently being tested for commissioning into services and 24 eight coach trains are currently run on Line 2 (Jahangirpuri—HUDA City Centre).

The DMRC spokesperson said 68 trains are being converted to eight coaches.

‘Satisfied with progress so far’, DMRC Managing Director

Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Mangu Singh, says Phase-III will help reduce overcrowding on trains.  Excerpts from a conversation. 

What are the challenges faced during the ongoing construction of Phase-III?
Infrastructure projects of the size and magnitude of Delhi Metro Phase-III are bound to have hurdles and challenges. We always plan our construction work keeping in mind these issues. In the present phase of construction, we are facing minor hurdles related to land acquisition, tree cutting permissions, etc. But we are getting the required cooperation from all agencies concerned, and these issues will not have any bearing on the completion of the work. The progress made by us is satisfactory so far.

Are you planning to increase the number of trains in Phase-III?
Yes, the number of trains will be increased for the entire corridor. In 2016, the Mukundpur–Shiv Vihar corridor will have 52 six-coach trains, while the Janakpuri West–Botanical Garden corridor will have 29 six-coach trains.  The existing lines and their expansions will also get additional trains.

Do you intend to increase the fare after completion of Phase-III?
Delhi Metro’s fares were revised last time in 2009. Since then, our operational expenditure has increased due to rise in power costs. In order to maintain quality of services of Delhi Metro and also keep the organisation in good financial health, periodic revision of fares is a must. In any case, Delhi Metro’s fares are among the lowest in the world.

Do you think Phase-II has reached its saturation point as one hardly gets a seat on Metro any time?
We are working continuously towards tackling the issue of overcrowding in trains. With the objective of increasing the carrying capacity of the trains, we are now converting 68 of our trains into the eight-coach configuration.  Line 2 (Jahangirpuri–HUDA City Centre), Line 3 (Dwarka Sector 21-Noida City Centre) will have eight-coach trains soon.   After the completion of Phase-III, the problem will get reduced further as there will be many more Metro corridors and interchange hubs.

Stations are getting overcrowded. Are you doing something for crowd management under Phase-III?
The new lines to be constructed in Phase-III, that is the Mukundpur–Shiv Vihar and Janakpuri West–Botanical Garden corridors, will have platform screen doors at all stations. Besides these, some underground stations of Jahangirpuri–HUDA City Centre corridor will also have these gates. After the completion of Phase-III, the busy interchange stations of the network such as Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate will get decongested as more interchange stations are being constructed.

Overcrowding a major problem in Danapur Railway Division

PATNA: The Danapur division of East Central Railway (ECR) runs about 12 to 14 pairs of local trains to cater to the needs of passengers. However, passengers face numerous problems while travelling. Overcrowding is a major problem in these trains. The most crowded section is the Patna-Gaya (PG) route of the Danapur division. The railways have been running several pairs of MEMUs on this route from morning to evening to facilitate office goers, businessmen and others. The occupancy rate on this route has been enormously high causing a lot of rush in all bogies.

chhath rushIn some of the local trains running on the Patna-Gaya route, the rush of passengers is so much that they risk their lives by travelling on the footboards or rooftops. A local train (63244) on the PG route has a capacity of about 698 seats but the number of passengers travelling by this train is about 1200 to 1300. The condition in some other trains (63247-63288) is more or less the same. Passengers travel with great difficulty because of the overcrowded bogies. The commuter trains running between Patna and Buxar are also packed with no room for passengers.

B N Sahay, General Secretary, Bihar Daily Passengers Association, told “Commuters continue to be the most harassed lot in the division. Unfortunately, none of the local trains are running on time. Accidental deaths are being reported from different places in the division. Passengers fall down from running trains due to the overcrowded bogies.” Railways should either introduce more local trains or increase the number of bogies to accommodate more passengers, he said.

Despite frantic efforts, Danapur DRM NK Gupta could not be contacted for his comments on the problem. A railway official of the division, however, said the railway officials would look into the problems being faced by the passengers daily.

Delay in power switch dogs Central Railway

MUMBAI: Central Railway’s (CR) power-conversion project to change from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) has failed to gain traction although its deadline was extended on numerous occasions. Central Railway’s DC-AC power conversion project has failed to gain traction even though the deadline has been revised on numerous occasions in the past.

The switchover is the key to improving energy conservation and the performance of suburban and long-distance trains. While Western Railway (WR) effected the turnaround in February 5, 2012, CR stretches-Kalyan-Thane and Thane-LTT (fifth and sixth line)-are yet to be converted to AC.

The authorities have failed to get their act together. Commissioner of Railway Safety (Central Circle) Chetan Bakshi has insisted on implementation of a few crucial things before granting a clearance.” said a CR official. The then Union railway minister had announced that CR would be able to complete the DC-AC conversion by March 31, 2013 end of financial year 2012-13. However, four months after the March deadline passed, CR is struggling to switch to AC even up to LTT. Many officials concede that the railway board’s electrical directorate has done a botched job. Some officials also resent the intervention of the commissioner of railway safety (CRS), others claim that the queries raised by him are “relevant”.

“The CRS has refused to budge from his stand as he does not want to compromise on safety. His main concerns are lack of adequate gap between the overhead wire and the roof of foot overbridges, road overbridges and the Parsik tunnel. Many officials are also wary of undertaking the switchover work in monsoon,” a CR official said. For the stretch below the FOBS and ROB, CRS is happy to grant approval provided the CR authorities obtain clearance from the railway board. However, at Parsik tunnel, he has refused to grant approval unless adequate gap is maintained between OHE and base of the roof.

An official said, “A height of the 4.69 meter between the railway level and the OHE wire has to be maintained in AC section. CRS has found that the OHE wires at 70 meters in the tunnel are at an increased height. CRS has fears that Pantographs will graze against the tunnels surface, thus affecting operations and also safety

The only solution is to lower the tracks keeping into factor the maximum moving dimension of a train. His fears are not unfounded as 25 pantographs as many as 8 trains were damaged after grazing the tunnel surface for similar reason in May 2013.These trains were withdrawn from services, leading to major disruption on CR.

A CR official said, “We have taken a block on Sunday to lower the tracks so concerns raised by CRS are addressed. An inspection by CRS will be carried out in next couple of weeks.”

Officials feel they can clear the hurdles.

“We hope to switching to AC from Kalyan to LTT by August-end,” said CR public relations officer Atul Rane.

i. The project, the cost

CR has yet to switch to 25 KV Alternating Current between Kalyan-CST and Panvel-CST, spanning across 1,681-km tracks.

Cost: Rs 796 crore

ii. Original deadline

March 2012-13

Sept 2012: Kalyan-Thane-LTT stretch

iii. Revised deadline

May 2013: Revised deadline for Kalyan-Thane and Thane-LTT section.

iv. The problem

Since the section will switch to AC, adequate gap has to be maintained between base of the bridge/tunnel and the Over Head Wires. CRS, central circles wants this to be sorted out as he feels that inadequate height can lead to operations problems.

v. How it will improve your ride

Apart from energy savings, CR will be able to add more services because of improved speed while the maximum speed under the DC system is 80 kmph, AC-compatible rakes can clock 100 kmph.

Currently, AC compatible locomotives cannot ply south of Kalyan, while DC locomotive cannot run North of this station. Around 44 long distance trains that leave from LTT everyday have to spend 20 minutes on an average at Igatpuri or Bhusaval to change the locomotive. On switching to AC, mail/express trains will make savings of this many minutes.

- Courtesy: TOI

Security woes at Nashik’s only railway station

17958395NASHIK: The security of the Nashik Road Railway Station, the only railway station in Nashik city, which is 9 km away from it, and one of the most important stations on the Mumbai-Bhusawal route, is left in the lurch. There are no security persons stationed at the main entrance of the platform, the booking office or even at the third gate which is behind the reservation office. The fourth entrance that comes from the Bhusawal-end foot-over bridge also remains unguarded.

“There is hardly any security system in place here. There is absolutely no presence of police on any of the three platforms of the railway station. Just the presence of cops would be enough to deter anti-social elements,” said Sharad Rathi, a passenger.

Having spent over two hours at the platform, RailNews correspondence and photographer was not once asked about his identity, despite the fact that photography is banned the railway station. It was only when he clicked the photograph of the unmanned closed circuit TV room at the Railway Police Force (RPF) office was he asked to reveal his identity.

ThumbnailsPolice inspector, RPF, B D Ipper, however, rebutted that the security at the railway station was well-maintained by the staff, except for a few times when the staff may have moved from their place for recreation. “We have already told our personnel not restrict media persons from entering the premises and hence none of us cross-checked the photographer of his identity,” Ipper claimed.  There are several issues with regards to the amenities provided to the passengers as well. There no proper provision of drinking water at the station – either the taps are broken, or there is no water running from them, or they could not be closed at all causing wastage of water. The works at the waiting room have also been left incomplete for lack of availability of construction material, which the railway officials say would be made available soon and the work would be completed in time.

The administration has also not been able to prevent people from crossing railway tracks to move from one platform to another. Crossing the tracks is prohibited, but that doesn’t seem to deter the public. “We have conducted drives in the past to sensitize people about following rules at the railway station but it has helped much,” the railways officials said.

Security loopholes

  • The luggage scanner is seldom put to use due to frequent disruption in power supply
  • Commuters are seen crossing railway tracks from platform number two to one, thereby flouting rules
  • The unmanned staircase at one of the entry points of the railway station
  • The main entrance to the Nashik Road Railway Station and the Bhusawal-end staircase remain unguarded
  • The CCTV room at the railway station was unmonitored, although the authorities concerned claimed otherwise
  • The waiting room is yet to be constructed since the demolition of earlier rooms
  • Taps at the water tank of the station are either broken or cannot be closed, causing wastage of water
  • The road at the entrance of the railway station which was dug up by the local contractor for laying of lines underground remains unfilled, posing a threat to people

KRC will re-look skybus project, says Chowdhury

images (1)MARGAO: Minister of State for Railways Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, on Saturday,  assured to re-start the skybus project of the Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) by overcoming the financial problem.  Commenting  on the skybus project, which has been the failure, the minister said that “despite having financial implications,  the KRC had tried the new phenomena and later viewed  it as non-viable  for  it could not fetch the expected revenue  and that led to  the scrapping of the project.”

“I feel that the KRC should have a re-look at this phenomena as this is one of salient features of the KRC,’’ he opined.

Acknowledging  the  `wonderful’  service being provided by the Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC), the minister  said  it needs to emulated by the railway sectors.

Chowdhury, during his  first  Goa  visit as the minister, inspected the innovation of the KRC including the anti-collision device (ACD).

The Minister said that “though the KRC had financial  problems, the officials  tried to  give best of the services  to the commuters and they need to be praised for that.”

He visited the Margao railway station and later Verna station. He inspected the  ACD.

The managing director of KRC, Banu Tayal, informed that the management had added skybus to the urban transport act  to enable to  get  the necessary certificate for commencing the project.

“The  necessary changes are effected  in the  urban  transport act and the Railway Safety Commission  would see about it later,’’ he said  adding nearly Rs 100 crore are required for  the research works.

Tayal informed that the   Indian Railway  has already financed the KRC and urged the  state government “to pitch in for the KRC effective skybus project.”

Coach of EMU derails, no casualties

A coach of a suburban Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train derailed near Chennai Central railway station this evening, but there were no casualties, railway sources said.

The incident occurred at around 6.30 PM as the Electric Multiple Unit from Gumidipoondi was arriving at a platform. One of the wheels got dislodged from a coach near Basin Bridge and it derailed, they said.

Train services were disrupted for over an hour on the route due to the incident, the sources said.

Railway officials rushed to the spot to repair it, they said, adding that services would soon be restored.

Smoke Ventilation in Kolkata’s Metro Rail system – a Review

Kolkate Metro is the oldest metro line of India. The foundation was laid down in 1972. The stations and tunnels of Metro Railway, Kolkata are not equipped with effective emergency ventilation system. Recently M/s Mechartés Researchers Private Limited had conducted a comprehensive study on the smoke ventilation in Kolkata’s Metro Rail system.  The objective of this study is to design a retrofit ventilation system to avoid casualty and facilitate rescue in case of fire in subway station premises. The study was conducted for typical station (island type) and typical tunnel of Belgachia to Rabindrasarobar metro line.
Kolkata metro

The existing ventilation system is equipped to supply ventilation for human comfort and physiological requirements. The supply air is provided by air-conditioned inlet openings in the station. The exhaust is taken out from mid tunnel exhaust shafts and under platform exhaust fans. The platform exhaust air is circled back in to the station after being cooled down by the air conditioning system.

Design Approach

A comparative analysis was done of various design standard like Eurocode EN50126, NFPA 130, SIA etc. was done to arrive at the most suitable standard applicable for Kolkata conditions. Also local building code NBC was studied. NFPA 130 standard was largely used as a design guideline for the fire safety design of subway stations.

The various design options were arrived at with varying capacity and location of smoke exhaust grills as per the guidelines provided in the above stated standards. The CFD simulation was conducted for each configuration. The results of simulation were interpreted and checked whether the required safety standards are met or not.
Kolkata metro-3(1)
The image below shows the visibility level in one of the trials. The red area in this image has visibility more that 30mts. The small blue area is the source of fire and has almost zero visibility. The green and yellow zone has visibility varying from 2 to 5 mts. It can be interpreted from this image that this design is not acceptable since required visibility is not maintained through out the station.

Final Design

CFD simulation was performed for various possible ventilation system configurations in the underground station and we arrived at the desired system which would effectively vent out smoke in case of emergency.  The final design had:

  1. Optimized Exhaust capacity using Over Track Exhaust (OTE) and Mid Tunnel Exhaust
  2. OTE openings exhaust equal amount of air.
  3. In emergency situation the supply air is provided with optimized capacity and location. An optimized capacity is also supplied through the natural openings in the station (Stairs & Ramps)
  4. The system is designed such as the recirculation of air is completely avoided in the system
  5. Fire Load capacity = 15 MW.

Kolkata metro-2


Optimization technique using CFD analysis was used to design the emergency ventilation system in the Kolkata metro railway to meet the fire safety standards like NFPA 130 in case of accidental fire. The optimized design system can effectively evacuate the smoke, reduce the contamination of poisonous gases and to improve the visibility level inside the underground station to provide assistance to fire fighters by providing a clear smoke free path to approach the fire location.

The design was challenging due to the consideration that its a retrofit job. The new system design could be installed with minimum modifications to the current system. Also it was further considered that the system shall be able to accommodate for air-conditioned coaches that are proposed to be introduced in future.
Kolkata metro-4(1)


DMRC ignored MUD suggestion on 7:3 Debt-Equity ratio in the Concession Agreement with Airport Metro – Observes CAG

New Delhi: Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled up Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRCL) for not following the Urban Development Ministry’s orders on debt-equity ratio for the Airport Metro project.  As a result, the operator, Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd. (DAMEPL), brought in a paid-up equity of only Rs.1.00 Lakh to operate the project, which had a cost of Rs.5,697 crore.

The Urban Development Ministry had asked DMRC to put in a condition providing for a debt-equity ratio of 7:3 in the concession agreement. But, DMRC did not do so, the CAG pointed out. Concession agreement is the contract between DMRC and DAMEPL.

The Airport Metro project in Delhi, the first metro to be implemented on public-private partnership basis, is under scanner after DAMEPL, a Reliance Infra special purpose vehicle, withdrew unilaterally from the project. Now, DMRC has been forced to operate the loss-making project.  “Audit observed that Ministry’s orders for maintaining debt-equity ratio of 7:3 were neither incorporated in concession agreement nor complied by concessionaire,” CAG said.

Airport Metro operator’s investments went to Reliance Mutual Funds

The CAG also pointed out that investments from DAMEPL’s escrow account went only into Reliance mutual funds, while multiple investments were permitted, including Government securities. These investments were listed in the procedure to operate the escrow account between DAMEPL and Axis Bank, said CAG. In effect, mutual fund schemes of Reliance received Rs.6.01 crore (2009-10), Rs.222.3 crore (2010-11) and Rs.0.55 crore (2011-12), CAG has said.

The audit body also said that DMRC failed to ensure the payments due to it and also withdrawals from escrow accounts, as per agreements.

CAG says DMRC gave undue advantage to Reliance Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd

The CAG has pulled up Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for relaxing payment conditions for Rs 448 crore owed by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) in lieu of construction work carried out on Airport Metro Line.

In its report, the auditor said that when the Airport Metro link was envisaged it was agreed that DIAL would pay upfront Rs 350 crore for civil work for the line inside the airport. An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had approved this plan, the report said.

DIAL then asked DMRC to build a station near National Highway-8 to serve its commercial areas for which it promised an additional Rs 98 crore to be paid in advance. Commercial rights of NH-8 and airport metro stations were given to DIAL.

The CAG observed that DMRC relaxed the terms and allowed DIAL to pay the amount in four instalments, which was in contravention of the government’s approval for the payment of construction costs upfront.

The report said that DMRC had eased the conditions on a request by secretary of the civil aviation.

The CAG also said that while the four instalments had to be paid on the first day of June 2009, September 2009, December 2009 and March 2010, DIAL did not make the payments as per the agreed schedule and an amount of Rs 54.43 crore was still outstanding as on February, 2013.

However, DMRC in its reply to the auditor in October last year claimed that there was no favour or undue advantage to DIAL, the report says it is not clear “why stage payments were accepted, when it was very clear from the conception stage of the project itself that this payment was to be made upfront.”

The CAG report has also found fault with the DMRC for having written a recommendation letter to the customs department which enabled, the Airport metro line operator – Delhi Airport Metro Express Private limited (DAMEPL) to get a benefit of Rs 29.56 crore.

157 year Old Royapuram station to survive Rly’s bid to wipe it off from Heritage List

RoyapuramThe Southern Railways’ plan to tear down the more-than-a-century-old Royapuram railway station will not fructify, as the State Heritage Conservation Committee is set to turn down its request to de-list the structure from the list of heritage buildings.

Sources in Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority told Express a decision to this effect would be made later this month when the heritage panel will hold a meeting. “We don’t want to set a precedent,” confided a CMDA source.  Built in 1856 during the colonial era by then Madras Railway Company, Royapuram was the first station that initiated railway services in South India. The list prepared by CMDA has described it as a Grade-1 heritage structure.
Original Station SceneSouthern Railways had planned to raze the Royapuram station and build a passenger terminal, adding two rail lines to connect stations in south Tamil Nadu with the rest of the country.

CMDA sources said the heritage panel would also discuss the first draft list of 79 heritage sites. After going through omissions and corrections, the list is likely to be forwarded to the State government for notification.

The Heritage Conservation Committee has identified 500 sites and so far details have been collected on only about 79 sites.

The Royapuram station, noted for its architecture, was the second to be built in India and it remained the main railway terminus in Chennai until 1907. However, due to lack of maintenance, the station is in a dilapidated condition and if the government does not notify it soon, the building would be consigned to the pages of history books.

About 16 trains pass through Royapuram railway station but none of the express trains stop here. However, the station serves local commuters from Arakonam, Gummidipoondi and Ponneri with 42 up and down train halts a day.

45 Catering-cum-Refreshment Stalls to come up on Thiruvananthapuram Division

In a bid to fulfil the light refreshment requirements of passengers boarding and alighting trains at railway stations, 45 stations under the Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division are getting new catering stalls. Of this, 39 stations are in Kerala.
74_bigStations coming under the lower income D, E categories and halt stations in the F category are getting the stalls. Ten stations are in the D category and 29 are in the E category. The only F station where the stall is being installed is in Tamil Nadu. All these stalls are coming up for the first time in the respective stations. In some stations stalls are coming up on two platforms.  Of this, permission has been granted to install stalls in 19 stations. Whereas in some stations, none has responded. “For the stations where no applications have been received, we would invite fresh applications,” said a railway official.

When some stations which have lowest income got no takers, the stations which witness large number of passengers too evoked no response. For all these stations, fresh applications will be invited, including the B category stations, the official said.

Railways to Lease-out Budget Hotel Complexes in 14 Cities

After several delays, the cash-strapped Indian Railways is finally set to open another revenue stream by monetising its land bank to fight its financial woes. The national transporter is leasing out multi-functional complex buildings (budget hotels with commercial space) at prime locations in 14 cities including Jodhpur, Haridwar, Jammu, Udaipur and Gwalior.

The multi-functional complex buildings have been constructed by IRCON, the construction arm of the Railways, and would be leased out for a period of 30 years. “The bids have been called for the commercial spaces and budget hotels we have constructed on railways’ lands at prime locations in these towns. We are looking for private players who want to furnish, operate and maintain these buildings. This is the first step towards commercialising railway lands,” a rail ministry official told RailNews.

“It will be too early to share the revenue projections. Let us wait for the response first. But since these are all prime properties, they should fetch us good revenue,” the official said. The railways is expecting budget hotel chains, such as IBIS, Lemon tree hotels, Ginger and Sarovar Portico, to bid for the multi-functional complexes, which would house restaurants, shopping centres and multiplexes.
5175d4b5b3fcThe ministry of railways has formed Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) for commercial use of land owned by it. RLDA has leased land to IRCON for development and sub-leasing of multi-functional complexes at various railway stations.

The announcement for building MFCs was made in the 2009 railway budget by the then railway minister Mamata Banerjee. Initially, these complexes were planned near 49 railway stations, but the railway board finally gave its nod for 24. “In phase one, we are leasing out 14 stations. The remaining 10 will done in phase II,” the official said. The railways targets to earn Rs.5500 crore by leasing out around 1,500 hectare of land.

More amenities at Kolkata Metro for Commuters before Puja

Metro Railway has taken lot of measures in different fields to provide added amenities for the commuters before Puja.  Two new counters have been opened in addition to 16 counters at Dum Dum Metro station to facilitate the passengers with a view to cope up with the rush.  Two escalators at Maidan, one each at Mahatma Gandhi Road, Shyambazar and Shovabazar are expected to be installed before Puja.  This arrangement will provide more benefits to the senior citizens, physically challenged persons and women commuters. Besides, additional water booths have been provided at different Metro stations.   Dum Dum and Noapara stations have been modernised by providing modern International signages.  Similar signages are going to be provided at Jatin Das Park, Masterda Surya Sen, Shovabazar, Belgachia and Rabindra Sadan Metro stations.  The work is expected to be completed before Puja festival.

Yard re-modelling work at Podanur Jn., train services between Mangalore-Coimbatore to be regulated

The Palakkad Division of Southern Railway has said that train services will be regulated in connection with yard re-modelling work at Podanur junction from August 10 to 26.

It said that train no. 16107/16108 Chennai Egmore – Mangalore – Chennai Egmore Express will be partially cancelled between Coimbatore and Mangalore during August 20-25.

Train no. 16107 Chennai Egmore – Mangalore Central Express will be regulated for 60 minutes at Coimbatore on August 11, 13, 14; and for 70 minutes on August 12, 15. This train will be regulated for 120 minutes at Coimbatore on August 16; for 60 minutes on August 17, 18 and 19; and for 70 minutes on August 26.

Train no. 16318 Jammutawi–Kanyakumari Express will be regulated for 105 minutes at Coimbatore on August 15, and for 105 minutes on August 22.

On August 16, train no. 12678 Ernakulam Junction – Bangalore Express will be regulated for 45 minutes at Madukkarai, and the train no. 13352 Alleppey – Dhanbad – Alleppey Express for 75 minutes at Madukkarai. On that day, the train no. 13351 Dhanbad – Alleppey – Dhanbad Express will be regulated for 60 minutes at Coimbatore.

On August 16, and the train no. 12660 Shalimar – Nagercoil Express will be regulated for 90 minutes at Coimbatore, it said.

‘Make Railways safer, ensure No Loss of Life’ says Railway Minister

NEW DELHI: According top priority to passenger safety, Railway Minister Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge has asked his officers to follow a policy of ‘no loss of life’.

However, ensuring that no lives are lost could prove to be a difficult task in view of the mammoth 1.42 lakh vacancies in safety-related posts in the state-run transporter. To stretch the already thin workforce, hundreds of new trains have been added in the last few years.

The Railway Board, the highest decision-making body which is responsible for operations of 11,000 trains every day and handles projects worth lakhs of crores, has been headless for over a month now. Besides, the board doesn’t have a full-time Member (Staff) and Financial Commissioner.

In a message to general managers, heads of zonal railways and divisional railways managers, Kharge said, “Safety should take priority over all other considerations. A policy of ‘no loss of life’ should be our motto.”

Safety-related posts lying vacant include loco running staff, drivers, station masters, guards, technology supervisors, control and yard staff, signal inspectors and maintenance employees who are crucial for railway operations. The shortage of loco pilots alone is around 20%.

The vacancies have put excessive strain on existing staff which is reflected in the increase in train accidents attributed to human error.

While railways maintains that an aggressive recruitment drive is underway to fill up vacancies, incidents of paper leaks in examinations have slowed down the process. The railways, incidentally, is the largest public sector employer in the country.

The recent ‘cash for promotion’ scam involving the nephew of the former railway minister had raised questions on the way senior level posts in railways board were filled.

Safety and Punctuality are my top priorities: ECR Danapur’s new DRM N.K.Gupta

PATNA: New divisional railway manager (DRM) N K Gupta of the Danapur division of East Central Railway (ECR) has said that safety of passengers and punctuality of trains would be his top priority. The division is facing several problems, posing a serious challenge to the DRM.

The division lacks proper infrastructure to maintain smooth run of about 200 and odd pairs of passenger trains either originating or passing through the division. It has Up and Down lines on the main line only, particularly between Mughalsarai and Jhajha. The proposal for the third line between Ara and Fatuha is still pending with railway ministry for sanction, sources said.

Though the third line is the need of the hour, railways has maintained silence on the issue for long causing unnecessary detention of mail and express trains at outer stations or signals. That apart, the division has no contingency plan to cope with heavy traffic. Patna Junction is a hub of passenger trains. About one lakh passengers move here everyday. Yet there is no proper planning to cope with passengers’ rush during peak hours. The entire concourse area is full of unauthorized people and vendors. As a result, it is very difficult to move freely with luggage.

The division transports a large number of daily passengers on the Buxar-Patna, Patna-Mokama, Patna-Gaya, Kiul-Gaya and Bakhtiarpur-Rajgir sections of the division. For them, the division has provided several pairs of local trains including MEMUs. But, barring MEMUs, none of the local trains is running on time causing hardship to passengers, mostly office-goers.

Illegal stoppage of trains, rampant alarm chain pulling, frequent attacks on railway property by miscreants, drugging menace and luggage lifting are some of the other problems faced by the Danapur division which have badly affected the normal movement of trains. The new DRM will have to work hard to ensure that all safety rules are strictly followed.

Cleanliness on railway platforms, not only at Patna Junction but at all major stations of the division, is another challenge for the new DRM. Punctuality of trains, at least for those trains originating from the division, would be another uphill task.

Kochi Metro agency sends SOS over trade union hassles

Unwanted interference from unions in metro work, say Contractors coupled with DMRC claim that unrelenting attitude of a section of head load and construction workers has delayed metro rail work.

Taken aback by hurdles posed by trade unions to the smooth progress of Kochi Metro’s works, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sought the intervention of the District Administration and the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).

This was after contractors — most of them players in the national level — expressed shock and dismay at the loss of man days because of the unrelenting attitude of a section of head load and construction workers. They took up the matter with DMRC officials, who in turn assuaged them. “Collector Sheikh Pareeth and KMRL’s MD Elias George have assured all help in tiding over the situation, since undue interference by trade unions is affecting the pace of piling and casting works. Yielding to their pressure will also increase the metro’s project cost,” metro stakeholders said.

Contractors are especially put off by demands raised by head load workers since most of the process is mechanised. Currently, casting works have almost come to a standstill because of unwarranted interference from regional-level unions. “Already the delay in undertaking works has led to loss worth many lakhs of rupees. Contractors fear that this would run into a few crores if damage control is not done at the earliest. If others fail, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John might have to intervene,” sources said.

Already, heavy rain has affected the pace of levelling the metro’s coach-maintenance yard at Muttom. Widening of narrow portions of the Aluva-Edappally stretch too has been affected. Still, excavation, trimming of trees and work to remove hoardings are on.


In the meantime, a 200-metre-reach near Aluva bridge is being barricaded for commencing piling on the Aluva-Edappally stretch. A rig has been positioned. Another rig too has been pressed into service on the stretch, for piling work. The fifteenth pile got over at the first piling site near Changampuzha Park, on the Edappally-international stadium stretch. L&T is building the viaduct and stations on the two stretches.

With work along MG Road set to commence after Onam, Soma Constructions is likely to begin piling on the Town Hall-Kacheripady stretch. Era Constructions will begin test piling at Vytilla Mobility Hub in a few days and soil test is under way at a few places on the South Railway station-Pettah reach.

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