Nov 16, 2013

PRIME MINISTER FORWARDS GS/NFIR's LETTER ON RECTIFICATION OF 6th CPC ANOMALIES




PRIME MINISTER FORWARDS GS/NFIR's LETTER ON RECTIFICATION OF 6th CPC ANOMALIES TO SECRETARY, RAILWAY BOARD. ISSUES INCLUDE:


1. Merger of Technicians-II with Technicians-I in GP Rs 2800/-
2. Revision of Entry Grade Pay of Station Masters to Rs 4200/- (PB-2)
3. Replacement of Grade Pay Rs 4600/- with Rs 4800/- (PB-2)
4. Allotment of entry Grade Pay of Rs 5400/- to Group 'B' Gazetted Staff.
5. Revision of Grade Pay of Loco Pilots (Mail) and Guards.
6. Placement of JAG officers in PB-4




Source - NFIR

Rajahmundry’s Havelock Bridge to be a Tourism Spot; confirms Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi

Rajahmundry: The abandoned railway bridge, which is popularly known as Havelock bridge, across Godavari river will be developed as tourism centre similar to the development taken up to a bridge in New York.

Union minister of state for tourism K. Chiranjeevi inspected the Havelock bridge during his visit here on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion, he said that a Government of India enterprise, Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES), was entrusted with the task to study the present status of the bridge and also to recommend as to what steps should be taken to develop it as a tourism centre by the union ministry of tourism and added that the agency would submit its report in 45 days.

Referring to the proposed auction of the bridge as a scrap by the railway authorities earlier, the minister said that the union ministry was ready to pay whatever the amount the railways would fix in order to take it over.

He said that though earlier union railway ministers including Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mamata Banerjee did not respond positively to hand over the bridge to the tourism authorities, the present railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge was responding positively to do so. Added to this, the union minister said that Rs.5 crore was sanctioned to develop nurseries at Pitchukalanka as ecopark and added that they were going to sanction Rs 50 crore to develop a mega tourism project between Papikondalu and Konaseema. Turning his attention on the proposed bifurcation of the state, the union minister Chiranjeevi said he was a staunch supporter of united state and said that it would be unwise to go ahead with the bifurcation of the state without addressing the serious concerns of the people on several issues.

Source..Rail News

GM/RWF takes Additional Charge as GM/SWR


Bangalore: The General Manager of Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) at Yelahanka, Rajeev Bhargava, took additional charge as General Manager of South Western Railway here on Wednesday.

Mr. Rajeev has been given additional charge as the previous General Manager of South Western Railway A.K. Mital has been appointed as the Member (Staff), Railway Board, New Delhi.

Source..Rail News

Rajesh Kumar Singh takes over as Incharge GM of South Central Railway

Rajesh Kumar Singh, General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction), Maligaon (Guwahati) has taken over as Incharge General Manager of South Central Railway o­n 13thNovember, 2013.

Earlier, he worked as Chief Electrical Engineer, East Central Railway, Hajipur. Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh, belongs to Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE of 1976 batch).

Rajesh Kumar Singh graduated from IIT/Roorkee and started his career in Indian Railways as Assistant Electrical Engineer, Kurla Car Shed, Central Railway in September, 1977.

During his distinguished career, Rajesh Kumar Singh, held various important positions as Additional Divisional Railway Manager / Varanasi, North Eastern Railway; Divisional Railway Manager / Chakradharpur, South Eastern Railway; Executive Director / Railway Board, Chief Electrical Engineer / Jabalpur, West Central Railway; and Chief Administrative Officer / Madhepura Workshop, East Central Railway.

He has dealt with several facets of Electrical Engineering o­n Indian Railways. He has been also Deputy Railway Advisor, Embassy of India, Germany.

Source..Rail News

Rly Stations’ Development Corp to modernise 5 Stations, Real Estate smells Boom

Indian Railways Stations Development Corporation Ltd., identify five stations under the station modernisation drive – works to start shortly
New Delhi: Five years from now, boarding a train from Anand Vihar Railway station in Delhi could be a different experience. Like the airport, there will be a separate waiting hall at the concourse with restaurants, shopping areas. Check in counters where you could swipe your tickets and board the trains at the ground level, after passing through automated doors.
Indian Railways has identified five stations under the station modernisation drive. Costing about Rs.2500 crore, Railways expects to raise this money from the real estate development around the station.
The five stations identified are Anand Vihar and Brijvasan station in Delhi, Chandigarh, Habibganj in Bhopal and Shivaji Nagar Station in Pune. Brijvasan is a green field or a new station coming up, the rest of them are brown field or existing stations.
But complete reliance on real estate development for funding can present challenges ahead for the ambitious project. Although the real estate experts say that the prime location of these stations in the city centre can prove to be an excellent opportunity for Railways to generate money for this project.
Each station is expected to cost over Rs.500 crore and expects to develop areas around the station spread over 100 acres. Railways might have to acquire some of the land from local authorities around these stations.
The Business Model
Railways expects to raise the money to develop these stations through real estate development in and around the stations making this project a zero investment scheme. But the past Indian experience of infrastructure projects betting on real estate development for operational cost presents a tale of failures. In the case of station modernisation, Indian Railways expects to raise not the operational but the cost of construction which can prove to be a difficult task, according to experts.
To provide a boost to this project Station Development Corporation Limited (SDCL) was set up in 2012-13 with an equity of Rs 100 crore. SDCL is a joint venture of Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and Indian Railways Construction Company (IRCON).
“The idea is to build world class stations like the one in Beijing which has concourse above the station, different gates for arrival and departure. The station will also have a waiting area with eateries and shopping place,” said a senior Railway official associated with the project.
When asked about the financial model, officials close to the development recognised that it will be a challenge as it is a new kind of experience for Indian Railways. “We are working on various financial model, whether the real estate development should happen along with station construction or we might divide it into phases, “, said another official close to the development.
Experts claim that exploiting real estate potential in and near station terminals can prove to be good idea for Railways because most of the stations are located in the prime city areas. “In India many of our stations are located in midst of the cities and therefore have good potential that can be exploited to improve quality of passenger services. One can also use this model while developing new stations. However, I do not think it is good idea to first build real estate and then station,” said Vishwas Udgirkar, Senior Director, Deloitte India.
Experts also pronounce a note of caution arguing that the real estate potential itself will dependent upon passenger traffic so having real estate development before station development is not very logical. Most agree that real estate development should be complementary to station development and not otherwise.
“The model has been used at many places in the world. For example Honk Kong Metro that developed residential areas around and raised money”, says Mudassir Zaidi, National Director, Knight Frank India, which is also involved in making the business plan for the project.
These projects were announced in the budget of Dinesh Trivedi and had expected to target over 100 stations in five years.
The Challenges
Former Railway officials and expert say apart from the business model it’s the bureaucratic delays and lack of spirit from bureaucrats and officials that can dampen the prospects. Experts agree that the station modernisation projects are no one’s baby. “If you look at the past projects there is too much resistance to new initiatives. Considering that the Lok Sabha elections are near, I don’t think there is anything happening anytime soon,”says Akhileshwar Sahay, Railways expert.
The Past Initiatives
The past engagement of Indian Railways with private sector for station modernisation has been marred by bad planning and bureaucratic delays. In the budget of 2008-09, Lalu Prasad Yadav had announced the modernisation of New Delhi, CST, Mumbai, Patna, Secundrabad Railway Station and expected an investment of Rs.15,000 crore. But so far nothing has materialised for Indian Railways.
The Chatrapati Shivaji Station in Mumbai is stuck for want of clearance from the UNESCO, as the monument has been declared as World Heritage site. The plan for New Delhi station never took off. “The local authorities wanted us to only develop on the 50 per cent of the land that we have identified, we had to change the entire plan,” said an official close to the development. Similarly the Patna station faced issues of land acquisition and Secundrabad was never moved ahead from the planning stage.
Officials close the development say that the project can take off only after clearance from local authorities. No deadline has been set so far but the project work is has already with expected date of completion in five years, according to government officials.
Indian Railways has over 8000 stations across the country. Each year Indian Railway spends around Rs.1000 crore on station upgrading activities like waiting hall, bridges and other station amenities.
Source..Rail News

 

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