Sep 24, 2013

Railway body wants CVC to review decade old case

Federation of Railway Officers Association (FROA) wants the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to review its advice recommending ‘minor penalty charge-sheet’ against Northeast Frontier Railways general manager RS Virdi and three others in a ten-year-old case involving purchase of automatic fresheners for AC coaches.

The CVC advised major penalty charge-sheets in the case against DC Sharma (a serving officer), besides two retired officers: S Dhasrathy and PN Garg. “The shock of the CVC’s indictment was so harsh on Garg that he had a stroke and passed away the next day”, Dhasrathy said in his September 21 letter to railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

Until the CVC’s latest advice, Virdi was considered the top contender for the post of full-time CRB after Vinay Mittal’s retirement on June 30. Significantly government rules do not permit vigilance action against officers who have been in retirement for more than four years.

Junior railway minister visits Nagpur: He came, he saw and he just went away

NAGPUR: With Indian Railways running into losses to the tune of Rs 26,000 crore, minister of state for railways (MoSR) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday although did not give any concrete assurance on fulfilling host of demands, his commitment to set up third line between Nagpur and Wardha was the only silver lining.

"The third line will not be discarded at the cost of Nagpur-Nagbhid broad gauge proposal," Chowdhury made it clear.

Chowdhury, accompanied by his family, was on a maiden visit to Nagpur at the behest of Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar. He briefly visited Ajni colony and station, besides Motibgah workshop and diesel loco shed and Nagpur station. He also took some time out to visit state EGS minister Nitin Raut's residence in North Nagpur.

Amid divergent views, Muttemwar wants Ajni station to be developed as world class instead of Nagpur. He is also pushing for an Railyway over Bridge (Rob) over Ajni station on a cost-sharing basis between Centre and the state.

"As the existing Rob is over 125-year-old, a new one estimated to cost Rs36 crore will come through on 50:50 cost sharing basis," said Muttemwar.

The seven-time Congress MP wanted Nagpur to be upgraded as a zone and Motibagh Diesel Loco Shed and workshop be upgraded to broad gauge in the advent of narrow gauge being phased out.

He also complained that Vidarbha continues to be neglected when it comes to upgrading railway network and infrastructure.

Chowdhury, an MP from West Bengal, did not agree with Muttemwar and recalled Bengal-Nagpur's 126-year-old association when Bengal-Nagpur Railway (BNR) was formed in 1887.

"Nagpur is state's third largest city and looking into its genuine demands I agree that small hammers should be replaced with big ones. Diesel locos should go as it is we have to import 80% of the diesel. Of the Rs23,000 crore railways fuel bill, Rs15,000 crore go towards diesel," said Chowdhury. More focus is now on electrification, he added.

"With more demand and scarce resources, I sometimes feel like a BPL mantri," Chowdhury said in lighter vein.

"Hence, I cannot fulfil people's all the expectations, but at the same time I promise that Vidarbha will not be neglected," he said.

On precarious finances, the minister said there are two railway divisions here. To earn Rs100, railways spend Rs158. "The operating ratio here is 158% which otherwise should be 80%. We will try to bring it down," he said.

This was the second time Muttemwar invited an MoSR to the city to review development. A similar visit of ex-MoSR KH Muniappa was initiated by him two years ago, but promises remained unfulfilled.

In the evening, while addressing a gathering of traders at Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce(NVCC), Chowdhury reiterated that railways was passing through a tough time as projects worth Rs4.50 lakh crore were already in progress.

"Yet, I will talk to Railway Board officials on all the genuine demands raised here," he said.

Although the visit seem to generate some electioneering mood ahead of  Lok Sabha polls, at the end of the day sans any major announcements it looked as if - "he came, he saw and he went away."

However, Muttemwar was optimistic. "Chowdhury at least could understand our genuine demands. The Rs36 crore Ajni ROB proposal was agreed in-principle. Besides, upgradation of Motibagh workshop from narrow gauge to broad gauge will also come through," said Muttemwar.

"With more demand and scarce resources, I sometimes feel like a BPL mantri," Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, minister of state for railways, said.

Chowdhury at least could understand our genuine demands. The Rs 36 crore Ajni ROB proposal was agreed in-principle

What the minister touched upon

Third Line: The Rs 300 crore project will not be shelved, even as there were two different opinions of officials. Unanimous decision will be taken in the project's favour.

Motibagh Workshop & Diesel shed: Minister said workshop needs to converted into broad gauge with narrow gauge on the way out. Diesel locos should go. Will consider the demand of mass transfers of loco shed staff to Nainpur and elsewhere

Itwari-Kalamna doubling: 75% work has been completed and remaining will be taken up soon. The Rs23-crore project has been stalled for five years due to vote bank politics.

Quarters at Motibagh & Ajni: Muttemwar says all the quarters are 80-year-old and have outlived. These needs to be rebuilt by newly set up Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA). Minister says the demand may be considered

Fare hike: Chowdhury says now Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority (RTRA) will largely delink passenger fares from political process. Populism practised by successive rail ministers has left the railways in the lurch.

Vacant posts: All the posts of GMs will be filled up soon. Besides, there are 1.49 lakh posts vacant across Indian Railways. It is an ongoing process which is continuing.

Security System: Nagpur already has a security system. Petty crimes are taken care of by GRP and RPF.

Train Stoppage: Minister agrees to Wardha MP Datta Meghe's demand to give stoppage to trains at Chandur Railway on Narkhed-Amravati railway line.

What he ignored

Nagpur-Delhi Duronto: The announcement was made by ex-railway minister Mamata Banerjeeon demand by Muttemwar 3 years ago. Chowdhury says Nagpur will not get the train immediately as already some trains have been given.

Nagpur Zone: In view of decentralization policy, Muttemwar demanded Nagpur to be upgraded as a zone due to its strategic location and revenue generation potential. Minister was not so forthcoming on the issue.

Ajni World Class: Muttemwar wants Ajni to be added to the list of 5 stations to be taken to develop as world class. Chowdhury didn't look keen.

Rly Medical College & Laundry: Both the projects were announced by Mamata Banerjee. Except for survey, nothing has been done. The minister did not touch the issues.

Caption: Minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Choudhury and Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar wave after inaugurating the new retiring room at Ajni railway station on Monday.

Roads watchdog to drive in soon; Tracks cleared for railway regulator

NEW DELHI: Top government officials on Monday said new regulators for roads and railways will be set up soon, the latest in a series of moves aimed at allaying investors' fears over policy logjam in the infrastructure sector.

The roads regulator is expected to get all required clearances by Decemberend, a senior roads ministry official said at a Ficci summit on infrastructure in the city.

The role of a roads regulator is the subject of an ongoing debate, with several officials, including those in the Planning Commission, saying that all aspects of a road project are decided in the concession agreement and no such regulator exists anywhere else. Roads Secretary Vijay Chhibber, however, said, "Just because it doesn't exist anywhere doesn't mean we don't need it. We have come to a stage where we have identified the role that should be assigned to the regulator."

The ministry has envisaged two broad roles for the regulator—adjudicatory and advisory. In the adjudicatory role, the regulator will address dispute resolution, renegotiation of future contracts and enforcement of contractual provisions. In the advisory role, it will look into renegotiation of existing contracts, setting of service standards, tariff structuring and toll mechanisms and project entry and exit options, among others.

In a sign of what foreign investors can bring in for the sector, Canadian High Commissioner Stewart Beck, a participant in the summit, said his country could bring in its vast pension funds to finance India's infrastructure projects. "We have one of the strongest pension systems in the world and are willing to deploy these in infra building," Beck said.

Meanwhile, the railways ministry, in consultation with Law Minister Kapil Sibal, has resolved the issue of Section 29 (O) of the Rail Tariff Authority Act, which would identify exceptional situations where the railways can supersede the policy directives of the RTA.

"Essentially, we want to ensure that in case the authority pushes a decision that we feel is not legitimate, the government would have the power to overrule it," said Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar.
Source..economic times

3 ट्रेनों के रूट से कटेगा इलाहाबाद, ज्यादा ट्रैफिक की वजह से बदले जाएंगे मार्ग

जबलपुर. इलाहाबाद स्टेशन में गाडिय़ों का ट्रैफिक इस कदर बढ़ गया है कि अब कुछ ट्रेनों के रूट में फेरबदल करने की नौबत आ गई है। तय किया गया है कि आने वाले दिनों राजेंद्र नगर-एलटीटी एक्सप्रेस, महानगरी और क्षिप्रा एक्सपे्रस इलाहाबाद तक नहीं जाएंगी।

इन गाडिय़ों को इलाहाबाद के ठीक पहले छिवकी स्टेशन से डायवर्ट कर दिया जाएगा। रेलवे का नया फेरबदल 15 नवंबर से अमल में आने वाला है। हालांकि काफी समय से ही इलाहाबाद स्टेशन पर गाडिय़ों का दबाव बढ़ता जा रहा है। जानकारों का कहना है कि सही वक्त पर चलने वाली गाडिय़ां भी इलाहाबाद पहुंचने के साथ ही प्लेटफार्म न मिलने से लेट हो जाती हैं।

रेलवे के अधिकारियों ने इस पर प्रस्ताव तैयार किया और आखिरकार रेल मंत्रालय ने राजेंद्र नगर-एलटीटी एक्सप्रेस, महानगरी और क्षिप्रा एक्सप्रेस के रूट से इलाबाद को कट करने का निर्णय दे दिया।

मुंबई के लिए पूजा स्पेशल दुर्गा पूजा और दीवाली के विशेष अवसर पर रेलवे ने मुंबई के लिए स्पेशल ट्रेन चलाने की तैयारी कर ली है। जानकारी के अनुसार जबलपुर और छत्रपति शिवाजी टर्मिनस के बीच साप्ताहिक सुपरफास्ट 5 अक्टूबर से 30 नवंबर तक चलाई जाएगी। यह ट्रेन जबलपुर से प्रत्येक शनिवार तथा मुंबई से हर रविवार को छूटेगी। स्पेशल ट्रेन को 21 कोचों के साथ दौड़ाया जाएगा।

चेन्नई स्पेशल 28 को यात्रियों की भीड़ देखते हुए रेलवे जबलपुर तथा चेन्नई के बीच 28 सितंबर को स्पेशल ट्रेन चलाने वाला है। यह ट्रेन 17 कोचों के साथ सफर करेगी, जिसमें 8 सेकेंड स्लीपर, एक चेयरकार, 6 सामान्य श्रेणी तथा 2 एसएलआर कोच होंगे। खास बात यह है कि इस ट्रेन को एकतरफा रूट पर ही चलाया जाएगा। मतलब साफ है कि ट्रेन जाएगी तो लेकिन लौटेगी नहीं...!

नागपुर-जयपुर एक्सप्रेस 26 से शुरू, 28 स्टेशनों पर रुकेगी

उज्जैन. रेल बजट में घोषित साप्ताहिक नागपुर-जयपुर एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन 26 सितंबर को नागपुर से चलेगी। ट्रेन संख्या 11203 नागपुर से प्रति गुरुवार सुबह 11.55 बजे चलेगी। जयपुर से शुक्रवार को 14.05 बजे रवाना होगी।

ट्रेन इटारसी, भोपाल, उज्जैन, कोटा, चित्तौड़गढ़, अजमेर समेत 28 स्टेशनों पर रुकेगी। भोपाल में यह शाम 19.04 बजे आएगी और 19.15 पर जाएगी।

Tough days ahead for railway passengers

KANNUR: With the non-interlocked (NI) works at Shoranur station and the construction of the new platform in Shoranur scheduled to begin on Wednesday, traffic in the Malabar region will be badly hit as several trains along the route have either been canceled or rescheduled. The works will be carried out in connection with the line doubling between Shoranur and Karakkad railway stations.

Though railway officials claim that alternative arrangements are in place to address passengers' difficulty, passengers in Malabar will most likely have a tough time for the next three weeks.

"Steps have been taken to address passengers' concerns," said James Sebastian, public relations officer of the Palakkad division of Southern Railway.

The railways has introduced special bus services between Ottappalam and Shoranur and between Thrissur and Kuttipuram, as some trains will be terminated at these stations.

A special passenger train will also run between Kuttipuram and Mangalore Central

during this period. The train will leave Kuttipuram at 2pm and reach Mangalore Central at 8.25pm, he said.

Though intercity express trains along the route

have not been cancelled, cancellation of the Thrissur-Kannur passenger and Kannur-Shoranur Jn passenger trains will inconvenience passengers, especially for those with season tickets. Many services will also be delayed.

"The railways' arrangements are only for reservation passengers. The problems of those without reservation and season ticket holders have been ignored," said P K Baiju, secretary of Kannur Railway Division Passengers' Assruociation.

No trains were cancelled during the doubling works at the Mangalore-Kasaragod section nearly six months ago, he pointed out. However, the railway authorities said they have been compelled to cancel services due to yard works at Shoranur, including the extension of some platforms and the construction of a new one.

As part of the work, rains between Nilambur and Shoranur will also be cancelled. While some trains will be cancelled from Wednesday, others will be cancelled from October 6 in the Nilambur Shoranur route.

If the KSRTC has any difficulty, district authorities should take measures to issue special permit to private buses to address passengers' woes, said the association.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Malabar Rail Users' Association will meet transport minister Aryadan Muhammed on Tuesday and submit a memorandum requesting the transport department to make immediate alternative arrangements.

"The passengers are already in deep trouble as KSRTC has reduced its services after the diesel subsidy was cut. Cancellation of trains will worsen the situation," said C E Chakkunny, general secretary of the association. To address this problem, the transport department should take measures to start chain bus services linking Palakkad, Ottappalam and Shoranur as well as Thrissur and Kuttipuram. More bogies should be added to trains along these routes, he demanded.
Source..times of india





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