May 31, 2013

Railway bribery case: CBI quizzes board Chairman

The CBI has recorded the statement of Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal in connection with the alleged bribery scandal involving former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla and the then Board Member Mahesh Kumar.

CBI sources said Mr. Mittal was examined for nearly three hours on Thursday evening where he was asked about promotion of Mahesh Kumar from General Manager (West) to the Board and also about allowing him to retain additional charge of Western Railway even after his elevation.

The sources said MR. Mittal is not an accused in the case registered by the agency on May 3 this year in which Mr. Singla and Mr. Kumar are the main accused.

Mr. Bansal had to resign as Railway Minister early this month after his nephew and a few other persons were arrested by the CBI in a case involving alleged payment of bribe for fixing a top-level Railway Board position.

The case relates to reported aspirations of Mr. Kumar for his elevation as Member (Electrical) in the Railway Board for which he allegedly contacted Mr. Goyal, a close associate of Mr. Singla. Mr. Goyal allegedly demanded Rs. 10 crore for it.

Mr. Kumar was in between elevated from GM (West) to Member (Staff) in the Railway Board, a post which he was apparently not very interested in. He then allegedly asked Mr. Goyal to help him retain the additional charge of GM (West) for which the middleman demanded Rs. two crore as immediate payment.

The agency alleged that a part payment of Rs. 90 lakh was delivered to Mr. Singla after which it carried out searches at their premises and recovered the bribe amount.

Thr CBI has so far arrested eight persons in connection with the case.

Source - The Hindu

Joint study on high-speed railway line



India and Japan have decided to co-finance a joint feasibility study on a high-speed railway line on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.

A joint statement at the end of the summit level meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here on Wednesday said that Dr. Singh noted Japan’s interest in supporting the introduction of high-speed trains in India and appreciated its high level of expertise in designing and implementing high-speed railway (Shinkansen) systems.

He also conveyed that India would plan such projects based on its infrastructure priorities, commercial viability and financial resources.

Shinkansen or ‘Bullet Train’ is a network of high-speed railway lines operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tôkaidô Shinkansen (515.4 km) in 1964, the network has expanded to 2,387.7 km of lines with maximum speeds of 240–320 km per hour.

The statement said the Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Notes for yen loan totalling 71-billion yen ($0.7 billion) for the Mumbai Metro Line-III project.

Dr. Singh appreciated Mr. Abe’s pledge for the Campus Development Project of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (Phase-2) for 17.7 billion yen.
Source - The Hindu

Bullet trains set to come to India



India is seen set to use Japanese bullet train technology for a high-speed connection between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, a report said.



The Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail line would stretch 500 kilometres (312 miles) at a cost of up to one trillion yen, the Nikkei said, adding the two governments plan to finish technological reviews and costings by March 2014.

Philippe Lorand, vice president, business development, SNCF, the French National Railways which is assisting the Indian Railways to develop the techno-feasibility road map of the over 534-km corridor - one of the six proposed high speed railway lines - told HT that the exercise is in the final stages of completion.


Building the high speed corridor is expected to cost R60,000crore at present day prices. And once work starts it will take 10 years to complete it.

“We are in the final stages of completing our study and hope to submit our report by October. The railways will take a final call on the specifications recommended by us before inviting bids. We expect that this process would start early next year,” he said.

Considered one of the oldest operators of high speed trains, SNCF has 850 bullet trains - called TGV - that run at an average speed of 320 km per hour
Source - yahoo news

 

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