May 3, 2013

No new metro, monorail routes till 2021?

It has been a long wait, but 2013, the year before the polls, may have something good in store for commuters in Mumbai.

Come August, you can travel in the country’s first monorail, from Chembur to Wadala, or hop into the air-conditioned Metro from September (this is the first phase of both projects, and the full rides will take off in 2014).

Now, here is the bad news. These will be the only metro and monorail routes you can access till 2019 or even 2021, when the next metro corridor — the underground Colaba-Seepz line — will be completed.

In fact, the next monorail ride may never happen. State planners are unsure whether this feeder system with its low passenger carrying capacity is feasible for our megapolis.

Even the second metro corridor from Charkop to Mankhurd, which was to be completed next year, faces uncertainty because of environmental clearances and tiffs with the concessionaire.

“Nine corridors were planned for the metro system in Mumbai. But after nine years, we have completed only one small phase of the first corridor. At the rate we are going, all the corridors will finish only in 2050,” said Narinder Nayar, chairman for Mumbai First, initiative of corporates that is partnering with the state for city’s makeover. “There will be little benefit to the city if only one metro line is completed.”

Poor planning, execution 

A look at the top transport projects shows that Mumbai’s much-talked about multi-crore makeover has been hit by poor planning and slow execution, which eventually stems from lack of vision and political will.

For instance, the Western Freeway project envisages connecting the entire west coast from Nariman Point to Borivli via sea links. But after the Bandra-Worli sea link was thrown open to public in 2009 — five years behind schedule and at 400% cost overruns — the remainder of the freeway project is stuck.

While chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is keen on construction of a coastal road, the Congress’s ally, the Nationalist Congress Party, wants the sea link. Also, the Union environment ministry is unlikely to amend its laws easily to allow reclamation necessitated for the coastal road.

In the meantime, motorists zip from Bandra to Worli within minutes only to get stuck in traffic snarls jams at Haji Ali and Peddar Road.

Over emphasis on big-ticket projects 

Transport experts slam the over-emphasis on big buck steel and cement projects rather than a comprehensive transport, mobility plan for the city.

“Smaller policies and projects that could change the way the city commutes - restraining cars, parking policies, Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) - are ignored. There is also lack of political will, a vision and uniform or nodal authority to take the Mumbai makeover forward,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert.

In fact, the state has, despite prodding by the high court, shied away from introducing any kind of restraint on number of cars plying on roads.

At least two former studies have said that the BRTS, which costs one-third of a metro, is feasible on city's arterial roads, but the CM recently announced that it was not the right system for congested Mumbai.

Too many agencies, no accountability 

According to a senior bureaucrat, the fact that multiple agencies are involved leaves room for errors and zero accountability. “Various agencies, such as the BMC, MMRDA and MSRDC seem to be running on different tracks without any comprehensive plan in hand. Efforts to have a nodal authority for the makeover have come to a naught in the past five years,” he said.

For instance, the state government set up a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority to co-ordinate all transport projects, but that is now defunct.

In 2004, a post of secretary (special projects) was created as a nodal officer for the makeover project, but over the years it has been given no importance.

The empowered committee on the makeover, chaired by the chief secretary, includes representatives from corporate houses and bureaucrats, but it has little mandate to implement suggestions and decisions taken.

The need of the hour, say experts, is to set up an authority at the state-level to oversee and push all makeover projects.

UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner, termed the slow decision-making and planning as 'teething problems'. “Our next big-ticket projects will move faster. There is uncertainty while executing such projects because there are diverse opinions about everything,” he said.
Source - hindustan times

Shri Mahesh Kumar Takes Over as Member Staff Railway Board

Shri Mahesh Kumar has taken over as Member (Staff) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India. Prior to this posting, Shri Mahesh Kumar was General Manager, Western Railway (WR) (Headquarter:  Churchgate,Mumbai). 
             Shri Mahesh Kumar graduated in Electronics & Communication Engineering in 1975 from University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee). He belongs to the 1975 batch of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE). Mr. Kumar has extensive technical, project related and administrative experience in Railways having worked in several challenging assignments such as Executive Director/Signal, Railway Board, Executive Director/Telecom, Railway Board, Divisional Railway Manager (Bangalore), Chief Administrative Officer, Indian Railway Project Management Unit, Delhi & Additional Member (Signal), Railway Board. 

One of his most remarkable feats has been gaining entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for commissioning the ‘Largest Route Relay Interlocking’ in the world at Old Delhi Railway Station in shortest possible time of 36 hours, only Officer from Indian Railway to have achieved this. Besides, he has many firsts and innovations to his credit like commissioning of major doubling projects within 3-4 hours block, Modified Automatic Signaling for safe train operation during fog, termed innovation of the year 2010-11, commissioning of Passenger Reservation System through satellite, commissioning of first integrated Railways’ Call Centre using ‘139’ and commissioning of major yard remodeling within short blocks. 

As General Manager, Western Railway, Shri Kumar has to his credit the completion of mammoth project of conversion of electric traction from 1500 Volts DC to 25000 Volts AC in the Churchgate-Virar section of Mumbai Division, the busiest section with dense suburban as well as long distance traffic without affecting the running of trains. The extension of suburban section up to Dahanu Road and introduction of EMU rakes in this section has been one of the other major achievements as General Manager. 

He has been the recipient of several awards including awards from Hon’ble Minister & Railway Board several times. He has undertaken visits to study Advanced Railway Technology & Operations to several countries viz. U.K. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Australia, France & Malaysia.
Source - PIB

चौथी रेलवे लाइन का काम शुरू

जासंकें, फरीदाबाद: न्यू टाउन व बल्लभगढ़ रेलवे स्टेशन के बीच चौथी रेलवे लाइन का काम शुरू हो गया है। शुक्रवार को रेल अधिकारी व कंस्ट्रक्शन कंपनी के अधिकारियों ने दोनों स्टेशनों के बीच निरीक्षण किया और जनरल सर्वे का काम शुरू कराया। जल्द ही दोनों स्टेशनों के बीच फेंसिंग भी कराई जाएगी, ताकि मजदूरों को काम करते वक्त परेशानी न हो।
Source - Jagran

मेट्रो निर्माण को लेकर कवायद होगी तेज

संवाददाता, ग्रेटर नोएडा : एशियन डेवलपमेंट बैंक (एडीबी) की वार्षिक बैठक समाप्त होने के बाद ग्रेटर नोएडा प्राधिकरण मेट्रो निर्माण को अमली जामा पहनाने की दिशा में तेजी से प्रयास करेगा। इस माह होने वाली बोर्ड में मेट्रो का संशोधित डिटेल प्रोजेक्ट रिपोर्ट (डीपीआर) रखा जाएगा। प्राधिकरण की तैयारी है कि जुलाई तक मेट्रो निर्माण का रास्ता साफ हो जाए।

नोएडा से ग्रेटर नोएडा तक मेट्रो लाने को लेकर पिछले कई वर्षो से प्रयास चल रहा है। जनवरी में हुई बोर्ड बैठक में प्राधिकरण ने मेट्रो निर्माण का जिम्मा दिल्ली मेट्रो रेल कॉरपोरेशन (डीएमआरसी) को सौंपने का निर्णय लिया था। डीएमआरसी ने मेट्रो का संशोधित डीपीआर तैयार कर ग्रेटर नोएडा प्राधिकरण को पिछले माह सौंप दिया था। डीपीआर प्राधिकरण के बोर्ड बैठक से मंजूर होना है। एशियन डवलपमेंट बैंक की तैयारी के चलते प्राधिकरण के अधिकारी मेट्रो निर्माण की तरफ ध्यान नहीं दे पाए। एडीबी की बैठक समाप्त होने के साथ प्राधिकरण मेट्रो निर्माण को लेकर कवायद तेज करेगा। इस माह के अंतिम सप्ताह में प्राधिकरण के मुख्य कार्यपालक अधिकारी रमा रमण व डीएमआरसी अधिकारियों के साथ बैठक होगी। बैठक में निर्माण को लेकर चर्चा होनी है। डीपीआर बोर्ड बैठक से पास होने के बाद शासन को भेजा जाएगा। शासन से प्रस्ताव को केंद्रीय शहरी विकास मंत्रालय को जाएगा। केंद्र से प्रस्ताव मंजूर होने के बाद मेट्रो का निर्माण कार्य शुरू हो जाएगा। मेट्रो निर्माण में नोएडा व ग्रेटर नोएडा प्राधिकरण का कितना पैसा खर्च होगा इस पर इस पर इस माह फैसला हो जाएगा। निर्माण के लिए नोएडा प्राधिकरण सबसे पहले पैसा रिलीज करेगा। मेट्रो निर्माण का रूट पहले ही निर्धारित हो चुका है। नोएडा के सिटी सेंटर से होकर नोएडा सेक्टर 49, नोएडा-ग्रेटर नोएडा एक्सप्रेस-वे होकर नॉलेज पार्क, परी चौक, 105 मीटर चौड़ी सड़क से होकर मेट्रो बोड़ाकी रेलवे स्टेशन तक जाएगा।
Source - Jagran

क्रेक ट्रैक से गुजरीं हिमाचल व जन शताब्दी एक्सप्रेस


जागरण संवाददाता, रूपनगर : रेलवे की सरहिंद सेक्शन के अंतर्गत पड़ते मियांपुर-कुराली रेल ट्रैक के टूटने की खबर से वीरवार को रेलवे विभाग में खलबली मच गई। यह तो गनीमत रही कि मियांपुर के एक की-मैन की चौकसी से समय रहते रेल ट्रैक के टूटने के बारे में पता चला, अन्यथा कोई बड़ा हादसा हो सकता था। क्योंकि जिस वक्त ट्रैक के टूटने के बारे पता चला, उस समय तीन सवारी गाड़ियों के आने जाने का समय था। जबकि कई माल गाड़ियां भी उस समय ट्रैक पर थीं। यही नहीं, सुबह बरेली से चलकर दिल्ली के रास्ते अंबाला, सरहिंद, रूपनगर, नंगल डैम होते हुए अंब अंदौरा (हिमाचल प्रदेश) तक जाने वाली हिमाचल एक्सप्रेस के अलावा ऊना से चलकर रूपनगर चंडीगढ़ के रास्ते दिल्ली तक जाने वाली जन शताब्दी एक्सप्रेस तथा दो अन्य सवारी गाड़ियां ट्रैक के टूटे होने का पता चलने से पूर्व इस लाइन से जैसे-तैसे गुजर चुकी थीं।
यह तो गनीमत रही कि जिस वक्त उक्त गाड़ियां ट्रैक पर से गुजरी थीं, उस समय ट्रैक केवल क्रेक ही हुआ था जो सुबह 10 बजे गुजरी एक माल गाड़ी के बाद पूरी तरह से टूट गया। इस बारे में उस समय पता चला, जब मियांपुर रेलवे स्टेशन पर तैनात की-मैन छोटे लाल ट्रैक की रूटीन जांच करता हुआ ट्रैक से गुजरा। उसने जब ट्रैक को टूटा हुआ पाया तो तुरंत अपने अधिकारियों को सूचित किया। बस फिर क्या था, रेलवे का पूरा सिस्टम हरकत में आ गया तथा जहां जो भी गाड़ी ट्रैक पर थी उसे रोक दिया गया। सूचना मिलते ही कुराली-अंब अंदौरा रेलवे के यातायात निरीक्षक (टीआई) अनिल अग्रवाल तथा स्टेशन सुपरिंटेंडेंट नरेश विज पूरे दलबल के साथ मौके पर पहुंचे तथा सारी स्थिति का जायजा लेने के बाद तुरंत रिपेयर का काम शुरू करवा दिया। टीआई अग्रवाल के अनुसार इसके पीछे कोई साजिश नजर नहीं आती है। इस ट्रैक पर पूरा दिन भारी लोड वाली गाड़ियां आती-जाती रहती हैं। कई बार ऐसे ट्रैक क्रेक हो जाते हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि इसीलिए गैंग मैन तथा की-मैन हमेशा ट्रैक पर रहते हुए ट्रैक की जांच करते रहते हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि अगर हमारा स्टाफ सतर्क न होता तो जरूर हादसा हो सकता था। वह अपनी डयूटी को लेकर सतर्क की-मैन छोटे लाल के लिए रेलवे के उच्च अधिकारियों से इनाम की सिफारिश करेंगे। उनके अनुसार ट्रैक के टूटने के कारण की जांच शुरू कर दी गई है। उन्होंने बताया कि रेल ट्रैक की रिपेयर आधे घण्टे में पूरी कर ली गई थी तथा यातायात सुचारू बना दिया गया है।
Source - Jagran





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