Oct 29, 2013

Completion of Rail Projects hinges on Funds Release by State: Kharge

Karnataka has to provide Rs 700 crore for cost-sharing projects -Kharge

Gulbarga: Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said speedy completion of railway projects in the State was fully dependant on the periodical release of funds with regard to cost-sharing projects by the state government.

He urged chief minister Siddaramaiah to ensure timely release of funds for these projects. Kharge was speaking after laying foundation stone for the construction of 1.5 km-long tunnel costing Rs.60 crore on the new Bidar-Gulbarga railway line at Maragutti village near here.

The minister said allocation of funds for the cost-sharing projects in the State has been doubled from Rs 350 crore, as provided in the Railway budget for the current fiscal, to Rs 700 crore. Accordingly, the State will have to release Rs 700 crore. So far, the State has given sanction for Rs 250 crore while it has actually released only Rs 150 crore.

CM’s Assurance

“While reviewing the railway projects of the State a month ago, Siddaramaiah had promised to release necessary funds on time. The chief minister had also given instructions in this regard to finance secretary and chief secretary. I hope Siddaramaiah will keep his words and help expedite the long pending projects’’ Kharge said.

Pointing out that Karnataka was not the only state which was sharing the cost of railway projects apart from giving necessary land, he said several other states have also agreed for the same.

“The Planing Commission and the Planning department are very strict in this matter. Even after states agreeing for giving land and sharing the equal cost, they are not easily permitting new projects,’’ Kharge said. State’s cooperation was very crucial in the speedy execution of rail projects, he added.

Allocation Hiked

He said that for the new Bidar-Gulbarga railway line, only Rs 10 crore was provided in the Railway budget and, after he took over as the Railway Minister four months ago, the allocation has been increased to Rs 60 crore. The State has also given Rs 60 crore for the project. With the availability of Rs.120 crore, the project has been comfortably placed, he said and hoped that it will be completed in the next two to three years.

Former Chief Minister and Bidar MP N Dharam Singh, Municipal Administration Ministers Qamar-ul-Islam, Minister of State for Medical Education Dr Sharan Prakash Patil, South Central Railway General Manager A K Mittal and Railway Board Member (Engineering) Subodh Jain were present.

Source..Rail news

Three Gangman mowed down by Speeding Train



KANPUR: Three railway gangmen, who were working on the tracks near Karbigwan railway station in Maharajpur area of the city, were mowed down by a speeding Chauri-Chaura Express train on Monday.

All the three gangmen died on the spot. Vimlesh and Mahendra Singh, of Allahabad and Indrapal of Kaushambi were working on the down tracks at the pole no: 985/18 near Karbigwan railway station on Delhi-Howrah route. Chauri-Chaura Express stopped and, the GRP and railway staff rushed to the spot to take note of the situation.

“It was while they were working on the down tracks, Jodhpur-Howrah train coming from Delhi arrived on the scene following which they got panicked and ran towards the up-tracks but around the same time Chauri-Chaura express arrived there and hit the trio,” an investigating GRP official said.

Their badly severed body were strewn all around the railway tracks. “Their body parts were later collected and dispatched to mortuary for post-mortem examination,” said GRP inspector SP Sonker. The GRP has registered a case, he added. Sonker further said that preliminary inquiry has indicated that the accident was a result of the mistake of the gangmen, who didn’t notice the train approaching them. Railways has ordered a probe in this regard.

Source..Rail news

Kharge orders inquiry into RRB Exam Malpractice



Gulbarga: Union Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge has ordered an inquiry into the alleged malpractice during the written test for Group D posts in South Western Railway in an examination centre in Hubli.

Referring to reports appearing in the press in this regard, Mr.Kharge said he had taken a serious note of the reported incident and if it is found to be true, corrective steps will be taken. Asked whether re-examination would be ordered for the students appearing in the examination centre where the alleged malpractices took place, the Minister said: “Let the inquiry be completed and we will take all steps to ensure that the genuine students are not affected.”

Mr. Kharge said the Railways conducted the recruitment examination in a very transparent and fair manner without giving any room for complaints of irregularities or favouritism. To a question, Mr. Kharge said the direct rail connectivity between Hyderabad-Karnataka region and the Mumbai-Karnataka region would soon be a reality with the proposed Gadag-Wadi new railway line getting approval by the Railways. Work of the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been ordered. Later, the DPR of the Gadag-Wadi railway line would be presented to the Planning Department for financial assistance. If financial assistance was not forthcoming this year, the Railways would consider taking up the project with available funds this year itself,” Mr. Kharge said. A sum of Rs. 10 lakh has been earmarked for the project this year in the budget.

Cost-sharing

He said the State government had sanctioned Rs. 250 crore out of a total of Rs. 700 crore as its share for railway projects taken up on cost-sharing basis in Karnataka. Of the sanctioned amount, Rs. 150 crore has been released. “The State government had promised to release its share and I am confident it will stand by its assurance,” he said.

Many States have come forward with proposals for taking up railway projects on cost-sharing basis. A few of them have even offered to share 75 per cent of the cost, Mr. Kharge said. “Not all these proposals have been accepted by the Planning Commission. Fortunately for Karnataka, all the projects proposed by it were accepted by the commission,” he said.

MNREGA funds

To another question, Mr. Kharge said Maharashtra was the only State to propose using MNREGA funds for railway projects taken up on cost-sharing basis. “Since the MNREGA funds cannot be released directly to Railways, the Railways will mark out the works that are to be taken up using MNREGA funds by the State government.”

The Minister indicated that there would be a slight delay in inaugurating the push-pull train between Bidar and Humnabad as the Commissioner for Railway Safety, who inspected the new railway line, had pointed out a few defects and South Central Railway officials have been given three weeks to set right the defects.

Source..Rail news

Railway information on Smart Phones now

New Delhi: Over 25 million rail passengers can now find useful information regarding their train routes and stations at the click of a button on their smart phones.

RailYatri.in has launched a National Railyatri Alert System (NRAS) – an information system that helps passengers find information on their route, train or destination on their internet enabled phone.

To get alerts, passengers need log on to m.railyatri.in on their mobile phone browser and click on the National RY Alerts System, a release said here Monday.

NRAS includes a comprehensive database of major recurring events like religious, community gatherings or which are known to result in heavy rush at specific locations, and warns users in advance if their travel takes them through one or more hotspots, the release said.

Source..Rail news

Poster war on Train Gangs in Festive season


Hajipur: Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel have begun offering safe travel tips to passengers on trains passing through the Dhanbad division of East Central Railway.

The move comes in view of the huge rush of Bihar-bound passengers for the upcoming festivals of Diwali and Chhath, making them more susceptible to drug-and-loot gangs.

Special posters mentioning dos and don’ts have been pasted on the compartments of important trains as well as the station premises. They urge the passengers not to accept eatables and prasad from unknown people and be cautious of fellow travellers.

“We are also distributing pamphlets mentioning in detail the modus operandi of these nasha khurani gangs on trains. We are talking to passengers individually, telling them how such criminals often offer seats to passengers to strike a conversation, gain their trust and later rob them of their valuables,” officer-in-charge of RPF in Dhanbad D.K. Singh told.

Helpline numbers of RPF control room at East Central Railway in Hajipur (06224-223580 and 09771425418) and Government Railway Police (09473197668) are also mentioned on the posters to report any such suspected activity on the trains.

The focus is primarily on three trains — Ganga-Sutlej Express (13307) running between Dhanbad and Firozpur in Punjab, Ganga-Damodar Express (13309) between Dhanbad and Patna and Howrah-Mumbai CST Mail (12321), which passes through Dhanbad.

A large number of people hailing from Bihar, working in different localities in the coal town, return to their native towns and villages during the festivals via these three trains.

“We further advise passengers to immediately inform the RPF escort party on the train or coach attendant or TTE if they find any co-passenger behaving suspiciously,” Singh added.

The jawans are also recording videos and photographs of passengers, mainly in the general compartment, so that they can easily track down the gangs in case of any robbery. Intensive checking is being carried out in all trains with the help of sniffer dog.

Source..Rail news

Maharashtra GRP Website to guide people on reporting Crime



MUMBAI: The Government Railway Police (GRP) in Maharashtra will finally have its own website, complete with crime statistics, helpline numbers and information to help people report crimes and lodge complaints.

The move comes more than a year after the Mumbai wing of the GRP launched a site, Shodh, to help establish the identity of railway accident victims.

The state GRP site will have links to ‘Shodh’ and the sites of railway police commissionerates in the country.

“Commuters usually seek information on where and how to lodge a complaint,” a top GRP officer said. “The site will have a map explaining the jurisdiction of every railway police outpost in Maharashtra. It will have contact numbers of the officer in charge and also explain police hierarchy.”

A key aspect the website will address is commuter safety and awareness.

“Different modus operandi used by conmen on trains, such as spiking a commuter’s meal and robbing him, will be explained,” the officer said. “Commuters will be made aware of the fact that a complaint can be lodged on a running train [long-distance] with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel escorting it.”

The GRP also intends to upload photographs of habitual offenders.

An officer said a separate section will be dedicated to the helpline, 9833331111, and the work done by its staff.

“Between November 2008 and July 2013, the helpline attended 5.34 lakh calls from commuters in distress,” the office said. “They have helped retrieve Rs 21.53 lakh in cash, 1.2 kg of gold, 5,600 handbags, 273 laptops and 154 cellphones.”

The domain name registration has been done. Email addresses of senior GRP officers will be generated on the basis of this domain name.

“The site will be designed on the lines of the Nagpur railway police commissionerate site, which is very comprehensive. Shodh will also be revamped,” the officer said.

Source..Rail news

Foundation Stone for Lucknow Metro likely to be laid next month



Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to launch its ambitious Lucknow Metro rail project from next month. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has directed the state chief secretary Javed Usmani to complete the regularity process at the earliest so that the project could be launched next month. To end all the hassles and complete the formalities, Mr Usmani has convened an important meeting of the high powered committee of Lucknow Metro comprising concerned departments and officials here tomorrow.

The meeting could also fix the date for laying the foundation stone for the project and launch of the construction of the first phase between Amausi airport and Charbagh railway station of about 7 kilometers. The government is said to be in a hurry to launch the Metro project due to the coming Lok Sabha elections. It is also expected that after the launch of the Metro, the Samajwadi Party government in a boost to the urban transport system could announce similar projects in other cities like Kanpur and Agra.

The CM has directed the officials to expedite the completion of the process after a high level team of the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited headed by its CMD and four directors met Mr Yadav last week, claimed advisor to the UP government on Externally aided projects department with a state minister status Madhukar Jatley here today. ” The CM is very much concerned over the problems of the city transport system in the state capital and want to bring Lucknow in the world Mass Road Rapid System map”, he said.

Source..Rail news

Taking no chances against fog, Northern Railway to cancel 6 trains



Chandigarh: Thousands of passengers from various cities of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi will have to look for options in the coming months as Northern Railway has decided to cancel six trains – three pairs – of this region due to foggy conditions in the winters.

Claiming that north India remains severely affected due to fog in the winter season and safety of passengers is vital, railway officials said that a decision has been taken to cancel the trains for a month and a half.

These trains originate from Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ajmer — Amritsar-Ajmer Express 19612, Amritsar-Ajmer Express 19614 and Jalandher City-New Delhi Express 14682 – and cater to thousands of passengers across major cities of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan.

“These trains not only run late, but also create hindrance in the designated routes of other trains during winters. These will remain off track from December 28 to February 15, 2014,” a Northern Railway official said.

Anil Saxena, Additional Director General (Public Relations), Union Ministry Railways, said, “A list of 20 trains has been released as per initial information based on fog in winters. More may be added in future depending on weather conditions.”

Neeraj Sharma, central public relations officer, Northern Railway, said, “There is also an option with us to withdraw cancellation of these trains if weather remains good during that period. But such chances are remote. Therefore we are sending alerts in public interest.”

Sources said that the situation becomes difficult in foggy weather in winters due to which, trains run many hours behind scheduled timings.

Trains that will remain off track

Stations covered

Amritsar-Ajmer Express 19612

Amritsar, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Hisar, Bhiwani, Rewari, Alwar, Dausa, Jaipur

Amritsar-Ajmer Express 19614

Amritsar, Ludhiana, Dhuri, Jakhal, Hisar, Charkhi Dadri, Alwar, Rajgarh, Baswa, Jaipur

Jalandhar City-New Delhi Express 14682

Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ludhiana, Doraha, Khanna, Ambala City, Ambala Cantt, Barara, Jagadhri, Saharanpur, Deoband, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut Cantt, Meerut City, Ghaziabad, New Delhi.

Source..Rail news

Maharashtra Govt allocates Mega Budget for Railway projects in State



Mumbai: At a press conference on Sunday, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan announced that the State Government is coming up with a central policy where the State Government will pay 50 per cent of the amount for the railway projects.

In case of problems related to encroachment of slums for railway corridor projects, MMRDA projects and land development for airports, Chauhan said that the state government will give 50 per cent of the land plus budget. Chauhan mentioned that work on the third and fourth line between Virar-Dahanu road, fifth and sixth line between Borivali and Virar, third and fourth line between Kalyan-Kasara and Kalyan-Karjat have been proposed.

According to Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister for Railways, commuters complain that the railways should introduce more trains for the comfort of passengers at a lesser cost. “We will introduce more trains.

The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC) along with the introduction of first stainless steel EMU rake under MUTP-2 launched the Trespass Control Works on Mumbai Suburban Railway System at Dadar, Kurla, Kanjur Marg, Thane, Thakurli, Kalyan on Central Railway and at Dadar, Kandivali, Borivali, Bhayender, Vasai Road and Nallasopara on Western Railway.

According to Kharge, “The current problem of encroachment on slums for various rail corridor projects will be resolved through negotiation.”

Some of the salient features of the new EMU rake are: wider windows with polycarbonate louvers for panoramic view. Stainless steel luggage rakes with user-friendly improved profile. The new rake will save an estimated 35 per cent energy due to re-generating braking. The new rake is first of its kind stainless steel coach designed with stainless steel straight sidewall and stainless steel panel of roof. It has an aerodynamic profile of driving cab for better aesthetics and energy conservation. The roof is mounted with forced ventilation system which will supply 16,000 cubic m/hr fresh air to add to comfort of passengers.

The new rake has a Passenger Information System with double sided displays for enhanced visibility of on-board passenger information.

On Sunday, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chauhan and Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge flagged off 11201 LTT-Ajni( Nagpur) Weekly Express,11205 LTT-Nizamabad Weekly Express and 11017 LTT-Karaikal Weekly Express.

Source..Rail news

Metro to hit tracks in Faridabad next year: Hooda



The work on extension of Metro rail service to Faridabad city is on and will be completed by next year, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said today.

“Extension of Metro rail service is under progress at Faridabad city at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore which will be completed by 2014,” he said.

Hooda said that the Haryana government will spend about Rs 470 crore on the extension of Metro rail line from Faridabad to Ballabgarh.

“Also, the construction of Badarpur flyover has been completed at a cost of Rs 340 crore,” the chief minister said.

Hooda, who was addressing a public meeting in Faridabad, announced to give a grant of Rs 25 lakh to each of the 21 villages of NIT Faridabad constituency for their development.

He also dedicated two projects costing Rs 18.40 crore to the people of Faridabad.

The chief minister laid the foundation of Gaunchhi Drain costing Rs 13.40 crore, an official release said here.

Extending his best wishes to the people on the occasion of Vijay Dashmi, Hooda said that the government has launched various projects for the development of Faridabad.

He said that during the tenure of the previous INLD government, Rs 431.53 crore were spent on the development of Faridabad whereas during last 8 years the Congress government has already spent Rs 4167.95 crore on its development and projects costing Rs 437.42 crore are in progress.

Source..Rail news

Northern Railway scales up Train operations to manage Festive Rush



New Delhi: An unprecedented rush for railway seats this festive season has prompted Northern Railway to introduce a remarkably high number of trains. Railway officials said 174 special trains are already being run. Last year, 89 pairs, or 178 trains, the highest so far, were operational, but with Chatth and Diwali nearing, at least 2 crore passengers and several more special trains are expected in the next one month, setting a new record.

About 7.5 lakh people get in and out of railway stations in Delhi. Just before Diwali and Chatth, this figure has historically jumped by 70 per cent. Last year 35 lakh passengers arrived at Delhi railway stations to leave the city in just two days leading up to Diwali.

“We are anticipating quite a lot of passengers this season, well above the number of passengers that got in and out of our stations last year. All efforts are being made to ensure that no trains are cancelled at least during this period. So far we have managed to keep all the trains running and unhampered by fog or rain to accommodate the extra passengers,” Neeraj Sharma, Chief Public Relation Officer, Northern Railway, said.

Sharma added that 34.34 crore passengers have travelled on Northern Railway trains in last six months alone. Going by the trend the officials expect the coming month to set a new high in the number of passengers of Northern Railway and the visitors to its Delhi division.

Apart from the special trains, arrangements to add additional coaches to the existing trains have already created a record of sorts. While the highest number of coaches augmented to existing trains was 3687 last year, 4300 additional coaches have already been added to about 200 trains. The arrangements, say railway officials, are being done to minimise the number of passengers travelling without reservation.
Source..Rail news

 

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