Oct 23, 2013

Special meals for diabetic, ailing passengers on Rajdhani, Shatabdi trains

The Indian Railways will provide special meals on demand for diabetic and ailing passengers travelling on Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.

This was stated in a communique from the railway ministry to Jagat Prakash Nadda, Rajya Sabha member of parliament (MP) from Himachal Pradesh.

Nadda had in February written to the railway minister seeking provision of special meals for travellers suffering from diabetes or cardio-vascular disease (CVD). He raised the issue through a question in the Rajya Sabha in August.

He was told that necessary guidelines have been issued to all railway zones to provide special meals on demand to diabetic and ailing passengers travelling on these trains.

The ministry said Jain food will also be provided on demand.

In a communication to the MP, railways executive director-health S.K. Sabharwal said instructions for provision of the special meals have been issued to all concerned.

Director-traffic and commercial K.P. Yadav has directed chief commercial managers of all zonal railways that punitive action would be initiated against the concerned officials if special meals are not served.

“Diabetic and CVD passengers are served butter, sugar, jam and pickle that they cannot consume, resulting in food wastage. Special meals on demand will help such passengers,” Nadda said.

Source..Rail News

Youth arrested for copying in Railway Exam

MUMBAI: A man has been arrested by the Samta Nagar police for malpractices at the all-India railway recruitment exam. The accused, Suresh J (21), had appeared for the exam on Sunday.

“Suresh was receiving text messages which had complete answers to the questions. He had also stored some study material on his handset. The supervisor caught him cheating,” said Praveen More, senior inspector of Samta Nagar police station.

Suresh’s phone has been seized and his call records are being scrutinized. The accused was remanded in judicial custody.

Source..Rail News

Ernakulam-Kollam track doubling will take 20 years at this pac

“Only Rs 70 crore was allotted in the 2013-’14 budget, though the demand was for Rs 250 crore,” a senior official said

Morsel of fund in railway budgets for completing track doubling in the Ernakulam-Kollam stretch has thrown works off the track.

“We need at least Rs 300 crore each year for the next three years to complete track doubling through Kottayam and Alappuzha. Only Rs 70 crore was allotted in the 2013-’14 budget, though the demand was for Rs 250 crore,” a senior official in the railway’s construction wing said.

He was doubtful of meeting the revised track doubling deadline of 2017.

“By the present pace, it will take another 20 years for track doubling. The paltry fund allocation has already increased the cost of land acquisition and doubling to Rs 1,100 crore,” he said.

Slowing trains

“MPs from the State — eight of whom are Ministers in the Union Cabinet — must jointly demand the State’s rightful share for doubling works since express and other trains that pass through Kerala are much slower than those in other States,” he said. The inordinate delay in doubling has also held up introduction of new trains due to non-availability of free tracks.

For example, officials said Rs 100 crore was required exclusively for land acquisition in Kurupunthara-Chingavanom stretch. But the railways had set apart only Rs 20 crore in the last budget. At present, most hassles for executing doubling works to Kottayam, except the tunnel near Kottayam, have been overcome. In Alappuzha, a few bridges have to be built. “Sufficient and timely handing over of funds is crucial for works to gather pace,” sources said.

In Ernakulam district, doubling the Mulanthuruthy-Piravom track is expected to be over by January.

Land acquisition
Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) of Southern Railway Dani Thomas said land acquisition hassles were almost over in both the Kottayam and Alappuzha routes. “Land owners are getting market rate fixed by district-level purchase committees as compensation. There is also a relief and rehabilitation package.”

Mr Thomas spoke of how problems associated with sourcing and transporting mud (red earth) for track doubling persist despite the State government convening three meetings.

Obtaining permit for sourcing earth is tough while opposition from people in many localities is hampering transportation of mud.

Source..Rail News

Southern Railway to run more Express/Passenger Trains for Deepavali

Chennai: In addition to six Deepavali trains announced by the Southern Railway, another six have been introduced to meet the festival rush.

The trains are No. 06748 Madurai–Chennai Egmore Superfast Special which will leave Madurai at 11.55 p.m. on October 31 and arrive at Chennai Egmore at 8.55 a.m. the next day, No. 06747 Chennai Egmore–Tirunelveli Special which will leave Egmore at 10.50 a.m. on November 1 and arrive at Tirunelveli at 2.30 a.m. the next day, No. 06749 Tirunelveli–Chennai Egmore Superfast Special which will leave Tirunelveli at 6.15 p.m. on November 4 and arrive at Egmore at 6.05 a.m. the next day, No. 06626 Coimbatore–Chennai Central Superfast Special which will leave Coimbatore at 12.30 a.m. on November 1 and 4 and arrive at Chennai Central at 8.30 a.m. the same day, No. 06625 Chennai Central–Coimbatore Superfast Special which will leave Chennai Central at 12.30 p.m. on November 1 and arrive at Coimbatore at 9 p.m. the same day, No. 06752 Tirunelveli–Chennai Central Special which will leave Tirunelveli at 5.45 p.m. on October 31 and arrive at Chennai Central at 7.45 a.m. the next day, and No. 06751 Chennai Central–Tirunelveli Special which will leave Chennai Central at 10.30 a.m. on November 1 and arrive at Tirunelveli at 12.30 a.m. the next day.

Advance reservation for the trains will begin on Thursday.

Source..Rail News

NF Railway enter semis

GUWAHATI, Oct 22 – The NF Railway team has eneterd the semifinal of the 7th All India Inter Railway Football Championship. They will face Central Railway, Mumbai in the semifinal.

In the quarterfinal played at Patna today, NF Railway beat East Coast Orissa 1-0. After a barren first half, Shankar Sil scored the match-winning goal. Anticipating a flag kick from Manash Halder, Sil headed home in the 75th minute, stated a press release.

NFR in basketball final: NF Railway sailed into the final of the All India Basketball Championship beating North Western Railway 87-70 in the semifinal at Kapurtala today, informed Nripen Bhattacharyya, PRO, NF Railway in a press release.

Source..Rail News

Three ‘Heropanti’ actors had a close shave with death on Railway Track

Patiala: Actors of an upcoming film narrowly avoided being mowed down by a train after an accident on railway tracks

What could have turned into a catastrophe was averted at the last minute, with three actors from Heropanti having a close shave with certain death. The car they were travelling in turned turtle in the middle of a railway track in Patiala. However, quick action prevented the cast members from being mowed down by a train.

The actors had been shooting in Patiala for their film and were returning to their hotel around midnight after wrapping up the day’s work. Onlookers say the SUV vehicle they were travelling in overturned when one of its tyres burst, sending the car hurtling on to the tracks. Says a unit member, `The drive back from the sets to their hotel room should have lasted 45 minutes. But it turned out to be a nightmare for them. It could have turned into a major accident.`

Actor Vikram Singh, who was sitting in the front seat of the car escaped unhurt, while his co-star Arun Verma received 12 stitches in his head. The other actor, Prashant Singh suffered from some internal injuries on his hand, while the SUV’s driver Vicky suffered from a major fracture in his hand.

Says Vikram, `We were all talking in the car and suddenly it happened. The car flipped over, banged on an electric pole and went flying onto the tracks. There were no lights on the road and I immediately informed the others about what had happened.” Fortunately, for them, another car from the sets was enroute the hotel, which drove them straight to the hospital. “Director Sabbir Khan reached the spot along with other crew members. After a day’s break, we resumed work.”

Source..Rail News

Tainted firm accused of duping Railways again

A Kolkata-based company, which has already been accused of duping the Railways of over Rs 1,000 crore in freight charges, is now facing fresh trouble, with Odisha Vigilance registering a case against it for ferrying iron ore worth Rs.6.28 crore on fake permits over a period of 18 days. 

The Odisha Police have arrested two government officials in this case. Owner of Rashmi Metaliks, Sanjaya Patwaria, also an accused, is still on the run. Superintendent of Police (Vigilance) S D Mishra told from Cuttack that the owner is an “influential” man who managed to evade the police despite two raids in Kolkata last month. Patwaria could not be contacted for his comments.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had, in 2011 and 2012, registered two cases in Kolkata against the company for allegedly causing a loss of Rs.1015 crore to the exchequer by availing discounted rates from the Railways for transporting iron ore on the pretext that it would be put to domestic use, while actually exporting some of it to China.

After this incident came to light, the Central Vigilance Commission ordered a thorough probe, and it was found that thousands of crores of rupees were siphoned off by private companies with the help of Railways officials.

According to the third FIR by registered by the Vigilance Wing of the Odisha Police on September 11, the company is said to have illegally transported 33,079 tonnes of iron ore from Odisha over 18 days in August 2008 using fake permit passes. It “obtained a pecuniary benefit” of Rs.6.28 crore in the process, it said.

Source..Rail News

DMRC-National Book Trust (NBT) tie-up to give 15% Discount on Books for Metro Commuters

New Delhi: In a bid to promote reading habit among commuters, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has collaborated with National Book Trust (NBT) to provide books at discounted rates to Metro commuters and employees.

As per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two organisations today, DMRC and NBT will share each other’s premises to carry out promotional activities like joint advertising on its premises, discounted sale of books to Metro commuters and employees, establishment of book shops in selected metro stations, promotional sale of metro smart cards during book fairs or exhibitions among others.

The MoU was signed between DMRC Director (Operations) Sharat Sharma and NBT Director M A Sikandar in the presence of Managing Director, DMRC, Mangu Singh.

As part of this pilot project, ‘NBT Metro Book Shops’ will be opened at Kashmere Gate and Central Secretariat Metro Stations, tentatively on November 14.

Similarly, NBT will display important publications in English, Hindi, Urdu and other prominent languages at the ‘NBT Metro Book Shop’.

NBT will offer a discount of 15 per cent on sale price of books to all genuine metro commuters on showing their metro smart cards at the proposed ‘NBT Metro Book Shops’ at Kashmere Gate and Central Secretariat Metro Stations.

NBT will also offer Book Club Membership to interested employees of DMRC.

Among a host of book promotional activities under the MoU, DMRC will identify and allot spaces at prominent metro stations, subject to availability, for display of publicity materials on special occasions like National Book Week, World Book Fair and book exhibitions.

DMRC will arrange distribution of printed materials of various events of NBT regarding book promotion or New Delhi World Book Fair, through its selected ticket counters.

Recently, DMRC and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for jointly promoting tourism.

For the latest information regarding both the corporations, NBT will arrange to link its website www.nbtindia.Gov.in with that of DMRC.

Delhi Metro at present runs its services on seven Lines spanning around 190 kilometers, including Airport Express Line and carries around 25 lakh passengers on weekdays.

Source..Rail News

Chennai Metro Rail: Planners should expand outward & reach areas where growth is rapid

About a fortnight ago, when oil minister Moily decided to convey the importance of public transport and the need to save precious fuel, he chose to use the Delhi Metro Rail as an example, and not the bus.

Though a large number of people still use the bus, the shining Metro has become the face of public transport and the icon of Delhi. The Chennai Metro Rail too, must be thinking that it is only months away from similarly being in the spotlight and becoming the next big success story. But that may not happen. Chennai cannot repeat the success of Delhi.

Chennai Metro Rail is a welcome addition to the city, but it does not have the potential, at least not yet, to make a significant impact and ease traffic on the roads. Expectations about Chennai Metro Rail have to be lowered, and here are the reasons for it.

The Delhi Metro Rail is spread over 190 km and serves about 23 lakh passengers every day. By 2016, when the second phase is completed, it will have a 140-km network and by 2021, it will reach 400 km, making it one of the largest networks in the world.

In comparison, Chennai, which is only 45 km long, neither has the spread nor the connectivity to match Delhi’s. But the Chennai Metro planners are optimistic. They project that passenger trips per day will reach 7.74 lakh in 2016, and 12.85 lakh in 2026. Their reasoning is that the lines run through well-developed parts of the city and connect major transport nodes. However, in their enthusiasm, they have overlooked lessons from Delhi.

In 2003, despite its plans for an extensive network, the Delhi Metro Rail had to scale down its ridership figures from 31.85 lakh passenger trips per day to 22.6 lakh. Even this figure appeared inflated in 2007, when about 65 km was completed and ridership was only 29 per cent of what was projected. Steep ticket prices, poor connectivity to stations and lack of integration with the surrounding areas were cited as reasons.

However, the critical point was that the network was not fully developed. Ridership increased as the network expanded and connected areas such as Badarpur which are away from the city centre. Delhi Metro Rail now carries more than 23 lakh passengers per day. This cannot be repeated in Chennai. The two Metro lines run parallel to three well serviced roads – Anna Salai, Poonamallee High Road and Inner Ring Road.

Second, there are no indications that this network will expand to link future growth hotspots such as Poonamallee and Sriperumbudur. The Chennai planners may argue that if their proposal for two additional corridors — Ambatur to Thiruvanmiyur and Porur to Kutchery Road — is implemented, things will improve. The fact is that the government has shelved them. Even assuming that the monorail network will substitute these projects and add to the Metro Rail usage, ridership figures will not touch the desired level.

Probably realising this, the Metro planners are pushing the CMDA to permit more built-up area along the Metro lines and thus help ridership – a move that would work at cross purposes and congest the roads.

Instead, what the Chennai Metro Rail planners should do is expand outward and reach areas where growth is rapid. As seen in the case of MRTS – where the ridership figures increased when the lines reached Velachery, connecting the suburbs is critical. The Metro has the potential to shape urban pattern and produce high-density nodes around stations. It could infuse organised development into the suburbs, something the city badly needs.

Source..Rail News

Railways to cut down on Expenses to tide over Funds Crunch

NEW DELHI: Funds crunch is hitting railway operations as revenue shortfall has slowed down work related to safety, including repair and replacement of assets.

The state-run transporter’s shortfall in revenue has widened to Rs.4000 Crore in September, forcing railways to cover it by slashing expenditure even on projects related to track renewal, signal upgrade and other repair work.

After Finance Ministry’s ‘big NO’ for additional funds, the transporter is left with little scope of bridging the revenue deficit in the remaining period of the fiscal, forcing it to cut down spending on normal operations.

“It is not a good thing, but we have to go slow,” said an official, adding that signaling work, track renewal and repair work would suffer.

However, newly-appointed Railway Board Finance Commissioner Rajendra Kashyap said, “We can’t cut down on train operations and safety so all the peripheral things have to take a back seat.”

The spending on soft areas such as staff amenities, which includes refurbishing their residential premises, would be cut to meet the shortfall. “As the internal generation is below expectations, we are trying to cut down expenditure to avoid deficit situation,” Kashyap said.

According to latest data, the transporter is around Rs.3000 crore behind the targeted revenues in the passenger segment and Rs.1000 crore in freight.

Low passenger tariff continues to bleed railways as the loss on this segment will remain around Rs 26,000 crore despite two fare revisions. Another reason for the shortfall is due to ticketless travel which has increased due to the recent hike in fares.

“The shortfall in passenger segment cannot be bridged but we have been able to stabilize it,” Kashyap said, adding that railways is working on better utilization of assets by running trains with more coaches on busy routes to earn more.

He said, “In freight segment, the loading is better than expectations but the lead (average distance per train) has come down. Still we are hopeful of doing better than the budget estimates.”

The transporter has set a plan outlay for Rs.63363 crore for the current fiscal and expects to generate Rs 14,260 crore from internal generation. This year’s total revenue target is Rs.1.43 lakh crore out of which Rs 94,000 crore will come from the freight segment.

Source..Rail News

Kochi Metro to receive Loan from French agency by February

The total project cost of the Metro Rail is Rs 5,537 crore and KMRL is looking for an external borrowing of Rs 2,170 crore

Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), the French financial agency, is expected to provide the first instalment of loan for the Kochi Metro Rail project by February 2014. The final appraisal mission of the French agency that visited the city last month had given its nod for the funding. The total project cost of the Metro Rail is Rs 5,537 Crore and KMRL is looking for an external borrowing of Rs 2,170 Crore for it.

Of the total external borrowings, KMRL is looking for a loan to the tune of Rs 1,500 Crore from AFD. It is also learnt that KMRL had reached a consensus with a nationalised bank for the remaining part of the external borrowing.

Out of the total project cost, the Centre and the state governments will pump in Rs 753.73 Crore in the form of equity shares. The subordinated debts will come up to Rs 672 Crore while the reimbursement of taxes will amount to Rs.497 crore. So far, Centre and state governments have given Rs 449.25 Crore as subordinate debt and equity share.

The total cost of land acquisition for the project is estimated at Rs.1110 Croe. The authorities concerned have already reached a consensus with HUDCO for a loan of Rs 538 cr for meeting the land acquisition requirements.

Source..Rail News

Railways cut down Expenditure on Repairs, Replacement of Assets

Faced with shortfall in earnings, railways is cutting expenditure in non-core operations like repair and replacement of assets and staff amenities to tide over the situation.

However, the public transporter is expecting Rs 600 crore more as budgetary support from the government for carrying out national projects in the northeast.

There is a shortfall of Rs.4,000 crore from the revenue target during April-September this year and steps are being taken to match the expenditure with earnings, Railway Financial Commissioner (FC) Rajendra Kashyap said here today.

Despite the hike in passenger fares, there is a shortfall of Rs.3,000 crore in the earnings due to decrease in number of travelling passengers during the six-month period in the current fiscal.

In addition, the earnings from freight also dropped by Rs.1,000 crore during the period because of decline in goods movement in the long distance segment.

“We are going slow on certain areas such as repair and replacement of assets. However, the core operation is not affected and the expenditure cut is applicable only on peripheral operation,” Kashyap, who assumed charge yesterday, said.

Repair and replacement of assets include track renewal and replacement of signalling system.

Besides, there is a cut in the expenditure on staff welfare and amenities by the railways, he said.
Source..Rail News

INTERVIEW: RPF registered 50000 cases this year: Alok Bohra, Sr.DSC/Mumbai/CR

Alok Bohra is Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Sr.DSC) of the Railway Protection Force, Mumbai Division on the Central Railway. His jurisdiction extends over the network from Mumbai to Bhusawal, Lonavala and Roha. In an interview, Bohra discussed the RPF’s responsibilities and the problems it has to cope with. Excerpts from the interview:

Usually, commuters are not able to distinguish between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) and they are unaware about their responsibilities. Would you explain the difference between the two? 
The RPF works under the Ministry of Railways. Its principal duty, till 2003, was protecting railway property. Through an amendment to The Railways Act, the commercial, operations and vigilance departments have also been empowered to prosecute offenders with regard to railway property.

The GRP works under the state government. Law and order is a state subject and consequently the GRP has vast powers under the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Bombay Police Act, to ensure security on railway premises and trains. The RPF Act has also been amended to allow the RPF to assist the GRP in matters of railway property and passenger security.

Then, what happens to accountability? 
The GRP, RPF and ticket checkers are jointly responsible as they are all present in the passenger area and have overlapping responsibilities. For example, a case of nuisance on a train can be dealt with by the RPF under the Railways Act, or by the GRP under the IPC or Bombay Police Act. Every crime, or crowd presence has a law and order implication, particularly in a crowded suburban system like ours.

There seems to be a serious staff crunch in the RPF. What is being done about this? 
We expect the vacancies to be filled up next year. In the meanwhile, we have been redeploying staff according to priority and in coordination with the GRP and local police. More than 50,000 cases have been registered under The Railways Act this year alone.

Is CCTV footage shared with the GRP? 
When the GRP or any investigating agency requests for CCTV data with respect to some investigation, it is provided to them. We also request the GRP to monitor the CCTV coverage to maintain an effective check, facilitate quick action and better assistance in investigation.

Why are RPF personnel not deployed on every train? 
Due to a shortage of personnel we are constrained to depute escorts only on special suburban trains for women and during the night on select mail/express trains. Ticket-checking staff on the trains assist us in this regard.
Source..Rail News

Institute of Metro and Rail Technologies (IMRT) inaugurated in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: A first-of-its-kind specialisation institute for metro and railway technology was launched in Hyderabad yesterday to promote careers in the two rapidly-growing transportation services.

The Institute of Metro and Rail Technologies (IMRT), which has a sprawling residential campus in Hyderabad, was launched here by the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Sudhir Krishna. IRMT has been set up in association with Institute of Urban Transportation of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, Lloyds Rail Asia Ltd and the Reliability Engineering Center of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

IMRT aims at providing new career opportunities for fresh as well as experienced engineers who wish to make a career in the railway and metro railway industry.

“There are more than 19 upcoming metro rail projects in the country, all aimed at making commuting easy. However, we will need a large pool of skilled manpower… For the Mass Rapid Transit System projects,” Krishna said.

For professionals employed with metro railway systems, IMRT will also launch the country’s first professional course on ‘Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety’ (RAMS) in November in association with Llyods Rail Asia and the Reliability Engineering Centre of IIT-Kharagpur.

“IMRT will be known by the students we produce. We will mould the next generation of techno-managers who will create a positive impact in their work through learning,” said Gyan Prakash, the Director General of the institute.

The institute will offer a Post Graduate course for engineering students to produce ‘industry-ready rail managers’ well-versed in rail technologies through expertise which can be used globally, said Sunil Srivastava, an IMRT Governing Council Member.

Interested Candidates can reach IMRT at the below address:

Institute Of Metro and Rail technology
(A unit of Integrated Rail Services Pvt.Ltd)
1st Floor, 160 Patny Square,
Patny Nagar, Secunderabad-500003 India
Phone: +91 40 2790 3311
URL: http://imrtindia.edu.in/
Source..Rail News

Shri Rajendra Kashyap Appointed as Financial Commissioner (Railways)

Shri Rajendra Kashyap, IRAS, has been appointed as the Financial Commissioner (Railways) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. Shri Kashyap took charge of his assignment today, i.e., 21st October, 2013. Prior to this, Shri Rajendra Kashyap was holding the additional charge of Financial Commissioner(Railways) with effect from 1st July, 2013 in addition to his own duties as Additional Member(Budget), Railway Board. 

Shri Rajendra Kashyap, belongs to 1976 exam batch of Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS). He joined IRAS in 1977 and has worked in various capacities on the Zonal Railways and in Ministry of Railways and Deptt. of Personnel and Training, Government of India. He completed his MBA from University of Strathclyde, U.K. He held the posts of Director Finance and Managing Director, Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) during February 2002 to August, 2011.
Source - PIB





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