Dec 4, 2012

I'm more popular than Nitish Kumar in Pakistan, says Lalu Prasad

Lalu Prasad and Nitish KumarRidiculing Bihar Chief MinisterNitish Kumar for allegedly seeking publicity after his recent Pakistan visit, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has claimed that he was more popular in that country than Kumar.

"The people and politicians in Pakistan still talk about me and my administrative capabilities," he told a public meeting during his 'Parivartan Yatra' in Bihar's Saharsa district on Sunday.

"My contributions as the railway minister is being effusively talked about in political circles in Pakistan even now," he said, referring to Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM) MP lawmaker Sajid Ahmed's statement last month that Pakistani railways be handed over to the former Indian railway minister for the revival of its fortunes.

The RJD supremo, who had also visited Pakistan as a member of the parliamentary delegation in 2003, claimed, he had left a lasting imprint on the minds of the people in that country and the words of praise coming his way from a Pakistan lawmaker proved that he was still being talked about positively in the corridors of power in Islamabad.

"Such visits are routine affairs," Prasad said and asked Kumar to concentrate on mitigating the miseries of the minorities in the state.

Criticising Kumar for his 'feeble protest' on the arrest of Muslim youths from Bihar by security agencies of other states on fake and fabricated terror charges, Prasad said he neither provided legal aid to the detainees to prove their innocence or consoled the aggrieved families.

"Let him (Kumar) prove me wrong," he said.

Prasad also questioned the secular credentials of the chief minister and alleged that the minorities, like the weaker and downtrodden sections of the society, had suffered various atrocities from the police and the communal forces during the NDA rule even as the latter 'looked the other way for convenience.'

The RSS and BJP have made significant inroads in the minorities-dominant border districts during the NDA regime fostering a sense of insecurity among the Muslims, Prasad claimed and charged Kumar with sitting on the 'lap of communal forces for political power.'
Source - India Today

Metro Rail’s model coach trundles into city

A representative image from CMRL, of the outer views of the metro rail coaches. Each coach costs CMRL Rs. 9 crore. Photo: Special Arrangement
Made in Brazil, the ‘mock-up’ will give CMRL an idea of what the actual train will look like

The first model coach of Chennai Metro Rail that was manufactured in Brazil has arrived in the city.

Soon, it will be taken to Sri City, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located near Tada in Andhra Pradesh, about 60 km north of Chennai. Manufacturer of the coach, transport infrastructure major Alstom, has a facility there. 

The model coach, or ‘mock-up’ as it is known in design parlance, is currently at the Chennai Port, according to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

It seeks to give CMRL an idea of what the actual train will look like. “The materials used to make this coach are not those which will be used in the actual metro coaches, but we will get a sense of the final product. Once we have a look at it, we might think about displaying it somewhere in Chennai, for public viewing,” said an official.
The seats will be by the windows on either side of the coach. Photo: Special Arrangement

Each coach costs CMRL Rs. 9 crore. Chennai Metro Rail is expected to operate 42 trains in all, with four coaches each. The trains will have a total capacity of 1,276 persons. The seats will be by the windows on either side of the coach, with room for passengers to stand in between. In addition to this, space will be earmarked for wheelchair-users, officials said. 

CMRL expects to have the metro rail operational along the elevated stretch from Koyambedu to St. Thomas Mount, part of corridor II of the mega project, in the first quarter of 2014. 

A set of nine trains, which will actually ply as part of the Chennai Metro Rail service, will arrive in Chennai in April 2013. The remaining 33 trains, to be manufactured at Alstom’s unit in India, will be modelled on them, CMRL officials said.

Chennai Metro Rail is coming up at an estimated cost Rs. 14,600 crore. Currently, considerable work along the elevated stretch has been completed, and track-laying work is on. Paralleled, underground tunnelling work is in progress at different points along the stretch from Thirumangalam to Egmore — through Poonamallee High Road — and Washermanpet to Saidapet, covering almost all of Anna Salai.
Source - Times of India





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