Dec 20, 2014

CAG exposes irregularity in Indian Railways' freight management

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has exposed major irregularities, compromise and violation of rules in Indian Railways’ management of freight business, providing insight into why the country’s largest goods carrier might be losing freight volumes to other modes of transport.

The auditor’s Performance Audit Report on Management of Goods Trains for 2008-2013 period, placed in Parliament on Friday, suggested railways’ rolling stock procurement for freight was not in line with the required assessment, and railways suffered a 36 per cent shortfall in wagon supply from its production units.

Also, the funds provided for wagon procurement were not utilised in any of the five years, except 2011-12; projects for wagon design were plagued by delays; railways lost Rs 1,635 crore due to delays in inducting 15,865 wagons during the period; and over 32 per cent wagons suffered from average detention time of 24 hours. CAG also observed that more than half the times trains were running at an average speed of less than 20 km per hour.

Further, of the 45,563 wagons initially rejected during 2008-13 by Neutral Train Examiner, 39,853 were subsequently passed locally without being certified as fit by Neutral Control Organisation, and put in service. “This was irregular and in contravention of rules and a compromise with the safe running of freight trains,” CAG said in its report, adding more than 50 per cent of goods trains started late, for want of locomotives and because of a deterioration in efficiency parameters, such as wagon turn round, hot axles, detachment, train parting, spring breakage and poor brake power.

Indian Railways carries more than 35 per cent of the country’s total freight traffic and around two-thirds of its total annual revenue of Rs 1,44,000 crore comes from transportation of goods traffic.

The scathing audit observations by CAG have come at a time when Indian Railways has announced it will join the select club of global railway systems that carry more than one billion tonnes of freight annually.


‘Mentally unsound’ man ‘ransacks’ railway ticketing office

A “mentally unsound” man created a ruckus at the Kalyan railway station at midnight on Thursday. He barged into the railway ticketing office and allegedly ransacked it.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) officers detained the man, but did not arrest him due to his alleged mental condition.

The incident triggered panic and fear among the commuters who were waiting to board a train from the Kalyan station.

The employee manning the ticket counter, identified as JP Thomas, suffered minor injuries while trying to control the man when he attacked him.

According to witnesses and police officers, Pune resident Gangadhar Kamble was waiting to board a train when suddenly he picked up a heavy object and threw it at the ticketing window.

After the glass was shattered, he went inside the office and ransacked the chairs and computers there.

The officers from GRP reached the spot after 15 minutes and tried to control the man. One of the constables overpowered and detained him.

He was taken to the railway police station and the police officers handed him over to his family on Friday morning.
Source-indian express

Pollution on tracks: NGT asks Railways to penalise violators

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has taken strong objection to pollution on railway tracks and directed the Railways to impose fine on those responsible and act against them effectively and expeditiously. 

A bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also slammed the Railway authorities while asking the General Manager, Northern Zone to file a statement on the number of offenders booked so far and take all effective steps to p .. 

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PM Modi to inaugurate railway service to Arunachal- CM Nabam Tuki

Nabam Tuki informed that the Railway ministry has consented to introduce Rajdhani Express to link national capital New Delhi from next year.

ITANAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh for the first time in February next, is likely to inaugurate the railway service here, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said after inspecting the Naharlagun railway station. Tuki inspected the Naharlagun railway station yesterday and took keen interest in the ongoing finishing works and directed to accelerate the process besides verifying the counter for issuing inner line permits and the police check gate set up wit .. 

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China, Thailand ink $10.6 bn railway pact

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (center L) and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (center R) attend the signing ceremony of two memoranda of understanding on railway cooperation and farm produce trade cooperation in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 19, 2014 [Xinhua]

China and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on railway cooperation in Bangkok to boost connectivity in the Asian economy.

Following a bilateral meeting, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha witnessed the signing ceremony at the Thai Government House on Friday.

The project is estimated to cost some $10.6 billion.

The agreement stipulates that China will invest in two dual-track rail lines in Thailand that will span 867 km (542 miles) and connect northeast Thailand’s Nong Khai province, Bangkok and eastern Rayong province.

The Chinese Premier has indicated there could be expansion plans for the project at a later stage to aid neighbouring countries.

“The new railway will also benefit neighboring countries if extended to other places of the region,” Li said.

“This is the expansion, extension and further confirmation of the previous agreement that the Chinese and Thai governments reached last year,” said the Chinese Premier.

The two countries also signed another MoU on cooperation in trade of agricultural products.

China will now double its purchase of Thai farm products on the basis of the volume the two sides agreed upon last year, said the Chinese Premier, which translates to about 2 million metric tons of rice and some 200,000 tons of rubber.

This would help both China and Thailand to resist risks of international market fluctuations, said Li.

“Only China has such a big market and a huge purchasing power which could consume the big agricultural production of rice, rubber and others of Thailand,” said Li.

Li arrived in Bangkok on Friday to attend the 5th summit of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation.

The GMS Economic Cooperation Program, which was started in 1992 by six countries along the Mekong River — Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, aims to link these countries through improving infrastructure, promoting trade and investment and stimulating economic growth.
Source-the brics post

Dec 19, 2014

Indian Railways to Undertake 102 Sites for Commeercial Development

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

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

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

source - pib

China Identifies Two Indian Railway Stations for Developing with Modern Amenities

Two railway stations, Baiyyappanahalli (Bengaluru) and Bhubaneswar/New Bhubaneswar are identified for undertaking prefeasibility studies by the Chinese Railways at their cost under a Memorandum of Understanding dated 18.9.2014. The development is envisaged at no cost to Railways by leveraging land and air space in and around the stations. Train operations would remain with the Railways and only identified services would be provided and managed by private agencies. Moreover, while the stations are planned to be equipped with modern facilities and amenities, these would cater to all classes of passengers. 

It was announced in Railway Budget 2014-15, to develop at least 10 major stations of Metro Cities and important junctions to international standards on the lines of newly developed airports. Six stations, viz., Habibganj(Bhopal), Chandigarh, Bijwasan(New Delhi), Shivaji Nagar(Pune), Anand Vihar(Delhi) and Surat are entrusted to Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd.(IRSDC). Gandhinagar station has also been taken up by Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). 

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

source - pib

362 Major Ongoing Railway Projects at Various Stages of Execution on Indian Railways

As on date, there are 362 major ongoing projects consisting of 154 new lines, 42 gauge conversion and 166 doubling projects in various stages of execution in the country. 

Indian Railways have a huge throwforward of ongoing projects and limited overall availability of funds. Therefore, it is not possible to allocate adequate funds to these projects on a regular basis which is a pre-requisite to fix time lines. The other reasons are (i) delays in land acquisition, environment, forestry and wild life clearances (ii) adverse law & order condition and other market forces (iii) failure of contracts etc. 

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

source - pib

Railways’ Green Energy Initiatives

Indian Railway has plans to convert Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMUs) and diesel locomotives to dual fuel mode (natural gas and diesel). Contracts for conversion of 50 Driving Power Cars (DPCs) of DEMUs to dual fuel mode have been awarded. Presently, four DPCs are running on dual fuel with CNG and more Driving Power cars (DPCs) are under conversion. 

CNG is restricted to DEMUs and not extended to mail/express trains. In comparison to diesel engine DEMUs, a saving of 6% has been realised by use of CNG engines in dual fuel mode but there is no saving in comparison to electrical engines. 

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

source - pib

Indian Railways to Run Three More Pilgrim Special Tourist Trains

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a public sector undertaking of Ministry of Railways, have operated seven Pilgrim special tourist trains from 25.10.2014 to 19.12.2014 and further three trains are planned till 12.1.2015. IRCTC plans to continue operating these trains in 2015-16. New pilgrim destinations covered are Bijapur, Solapur, Badami, Melmaruvathur, Vaitheeswarankoil, Thiruvenkadu, Keelaperumpallam, Thirunallar, Alangudi, Surianarkoil, Kanjanur, Thirunageshwaram, Thingalur, Parasnath, St. Francis Xavier (Old Goa), Mecca Masjid (Hyderabd), Nanded Sahib, Nanak Jhira Gurudwara, Sri Patna Sahib, Kanchipuram etc. 

Indian Railways promotes tourism by providing connectivity through trains to tourist destinations across the country. In addition, exclusive tourist trains/packages are also operated. 

Promotion of tourism by linking tourist places with tourist trains is a continuous process based on market demand, operational feasibility and availability of resources. 

Pilgrim special tourist trains were announced in Railway Budget 2014-15 with the purpose of connecting various pilgrim destinations across India. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha
source - pib

Indian Railways Install 229 CCTVs at Various PRS Locations

Instructions have been issued by the Railway Board to all Zonal Railways to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTVs) at identified major computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) centers to keep a watch on the activities at reservation counters. At Present approximately 229 CCTVs have been installed at various PRS locations on Indian Railways. State-wise details of CCTVs installed are not maintained. However, on East Coast Railway and South Eastern Railway, which serve the State of Odisha, Closed Circuit Television Cameras have been installed at two locations and eight locations respectively. 

Instructions have been issued to zonal Railways to monitor the footage of CCTV cameras on a regular basis and also on a daily basis during peak rush periods by staff concerned designated specifically for this purpose. Reports of the CCTV footage are required to be submitted to nominated officer for taking necessary remedial action. In case any irregularity is noticed, immediate remedial action is taken. Touts detected indulging in malpractices are taken up under the extant provisions of Railways Act 1989. 

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

source - pib

Work Progress on Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

The 1839 Km. long Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni in West Bengal has been sanctioned and implementation taken up. This Corridor is being developed to augment the rail transport capacity to meet the growing requirement of movement of freight traffic on the route. 

The Eastern DFC (excluding Sonnagar-Dankuni Section) is likely to be commissioned by 2019. Civil construction works of Khurja-Kanpur Section (343 km.) of Eastern DFC have commenced and approximately 25% of work has been completed. Works on 122 km. Mughalsarai-Sonnagar Section of Eastern DFC are also progressing well.

A total of 3861 hectare of land out of 5550 hectare required for the Project have been notified for land acquisition under Section 20 F of the Railway Amendment Act 2008. 

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

source - pib

Railways to Plan Seven More Premium Trains

At present, Indian Railways is running premium special trains on 21 popular routes. Further the following additional premium special trains have been planned to run on seven new routes. 

1. Mumbai-Chennai 

2. Pune-Karmali

3. Hyderabad-Mumbai 

4. Hyderabad-Bangalore 

5. Hyderabad-Chennai 

6. Jaipur-Bandra Terminus 

7. Jaipur-Ernakulam 

These additional premium special trains have been planned to meet the Christmas rush as well as to fill the void created by the recent cancellation/reduction in flights. 


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