Aug 1, 2013

Kerala to press for railway zone

Government asks MPs from State to mount pressure on Centre to concede demand

The State government has urged the MPs from the State to mount pressure on the Centre for carving out an exclusive railway zone for the State, Rural Development Minister K. C. Joseph has said.

Briefing reporters about the deliberations at the MPs’ conference held here on Tuesday to discuss the issues to be raised at the monsoon session of Parliament, Mr. Joseph said that there was no dispute over the headquarters of the zone and it will be set up at a place acceptable for all. The Central government has not yet got the report of the committee appointed by the government for setting up railway zones. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who chaired the session sought the MPs’ cooperation to take up the issue with the Centre.

The import duty on rubber has been fixed at 20 per cent or Rs. 20 per kg whichever is less. The meeting resolved to urge the Centre to fix the duty at 20 per cent itself. The State government had sought Rs. 607 crore to overcome the damage caused by the monsoon. Though the State was eligible only for Rs.403 crore, the meeting decided to seek assistance as per the report and also include compensation for sea erosion and deaths due to lightening strike in the Central norms.

Steps for expediting work on the Kanjikode coach factory was yet another demand set by the State government. The delay in starting the work was a matter of concern. The hurdles thrown up by the banks in the State in waiving the interest on the education loan of students with an annual income up to Rs.3 lakh will be raised in Parliament. Since road works under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana in the State have been completed, the State will demand for inclusion in the second phase. The issue of granting central assistance for the kole farmers in Thrissur too would be taken up, he said.

Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K. V. Thomas who attended the meeting explained the significance of the Food Security Act and said that there will be no cut in the Central grain quota to the State.

Steps for distributing food and providing medical care to the tribes of Attapady too were discussed. Except Union Ministers A .K .Antony, Shashi Tharoor and E.Ahamed and M.I.Shanavas, MP, all UDF MPs were present. LDF MPs boycotted the meeting.
Source the hindu

Free wi-fi at Chandigarh railway station soon

CHANDIGARH: Very soon you will able to download your favourite movie or song, play online games, or just simply surf the Net while you wait for a train at the Chandigarh railway station. And, that too without shelling out any money. Free wi-fi connectivity is all set to chug into the station in a few weeks.

Parveen Kumar, superintendent, UT railway station, said, "All this is being done to make the railway station hi-tech and to provide better facilities to the passengers. More such user-friendly measures would be undertaken so that the railway station presents a new look. The free wi-fi facility will benefit passengers as they will be able to use their laptops. Workaholics can also finish their office work while they wait for their trains."

Students were excited about the move. Pooja Sharma, a medical student, said, "I have to take entrance exams out of Chandigarh and have to go for counselling. This facility will of great help to me as now I will be able to research and study online while sitting at the station."

Vaibhav, a MA student in Panjab University, says "I am fond of using apps on my smart phone and play online games, but whenever I reached the station, the signals of my network would go weak. But now, I would be able to use my phone even while I wait for a train."

It will help me check the status of the train, so that I am aware about its exact arrival time. What's more, it will all be free of cost
Poonam Arora | Sector 38 resident

Network of some connections do not work well in the station. But now we will be able to use the internet without any trouble
Swati Goel | MA student

Rather than waste time while waiting for a train, this system will help me conduct my business transactions online
Bharat Anand | Sector 36 resident

Source times of india

Railway opens self tatkal counters on trial basis

MANGALORE: One passenger reservation counter will function as self tatkal counter at Mangalore Central, Kannur and Kozhikode railway stations from August 1 to 10 as a trial measure.

These counters will function from 10am hrs to 11am. The passenger's identity check will be conducted at the time of forming the queue. While bifurcating the queue it will be ensured that all self tatkal passengers will be directed to this special counter. Separate tatkal reservation application form should be used for tatkal reservation.

Source times of india

Central Railway plans to build 700 metre-long moving walkway to link LTT & Kurla stations

MUMBAI: LokmanyaTilak Terminus, considered to be the city's worst face presented to a visitor, is on track for a facelift. Central Railway has decided to build a travelator to linkLTT and Kurla suburban railway station, to ease commuters' woes.

CR plans to initiate the bidding process for the project after the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road, scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, is opened. LTT is considered to be the city's most inaccessible station because of its poor road and suburban rail connectivity and a large number of auto and taxi drivers outside it who are infamous for fleecing and even assaulting commuters.

CR's divisional railway manager Mukesh Nigam said, "We plan to build a 700m-long moving walkway to connect LTT to Kurla station. Passengers will then be able to cover this distance with luggage in tow in 5 to 7 minutes. But we will able to firm up plans only after the SCLR project is complete." Work on the travelator can only begin after railway land is cleared of construction material and debris from the much-delayed SCLR project, and a proper vehicular traffic pattern is established.

Though built as a modern terminus, travelling to and from LTT is a commuter's nightmare. Commuters, especially women, have had nightmarish experiences at LTT. In November last year, a starlet was taken for a "long ride" by auto drivers from LTT and assaulted before she managed to escape. "A cartel of drivers is in cahoots with local police and RTO. It is difficult to break the cartel unless the RTO launches a drive to weed out unscrupulous elements," said activist Anil Galgali. He said several autos fleece passengers with pre-decided fares and don't ply by meter. Principal secretary (transport) Shailesh Sharma said, "We plan to streamline the auto service outside LTT by introducing a prepaid stand." But a prepaid taxi service started at LTT a few months back hasn't deterred rogue cabbies, sources said. A L Quadros, whose union manages the prepaid taxi service at LTT, said, "There is chaos . We have complained several times to the transport department and railways, but the situation has not changed. The RTO and traffic cops too have done precious little to keep the notorious drivers at bay." An activist said, "Passengers arriving by early-morning or late-night trains have no option but to depend on autos and taxis. They are often gullible victims for rogue drivers who even enter the platform premises."

A senior CR official said, "Though final estimates are yet be prepared, the project is likely to cost Rs 9 crore." CR also plans to increase platforms at LTT to 12 from the existing five.
Source times of india





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