Nov 17, 2013

‘Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon’ metaphorically bridged Gurgaon’s Urban-Rural Divide

Rapid Metro officials said about 10,000 commuters travelled on the 5.1-km route on Day One
Gurgaon: Months of anticipation ended in loud cheers when the first Rapid Metro train rolled into the Sikanderpur station — the transit between Delhi Metro and Rapid Metro — on Thursday.

And soon, its coaches were filled with commuters — the clerk rubbing shoulders with an MNC CEO; the migrant labourer sharing a seat with a BPO executive, a college student and a homemaker.

Besides providing relief to thousands of commuters, the Rapid Metro metaphorically bridged Gurgaon’s urban-rural divide.

Mohammed Shaheed Khan, a security guard, was excited as he stepped into the brand new coach. “I work in Cyber City, but live in Chakkarpur near the station,” he said. Until Thursday Khan used to walk to work every day. “It usually took me 30 minutes to reach Cyber City. But with Rapid Metro, I can travel in comfort and ease and the rate too is affordable.

Travelling alongside him, Sanjeev Kumar, an operator with Oracle, said, “The autorickshaw has been struck off my commute now,” he said.

Sharing coach space with Khan and Kumar were some senior executives. “The traffic situation in Gurgaon is worsening by the day. Eventually, the working population will take to the public transport,” Rajat Batra, CEO, Stenum Asia, said.

The comparisons to the Delhi Metro were inevitable. “It has lesser coaches than the Delhi Metro. But in terms of services, Rapid Metro has made a good impression,” Shumika, an executive with KPMG, said.

Rapid Metro officials said about 10,000 commuters travelled on the 5.1-km route on Day One. They were seen collecting feedback from commuters. Pritam Kumar, Senior Vice President, IL&FS, said, “Some recommended that we reserve seats for the aged and women, while others said they were disturbed by the loud announcements. We will work on improving the Rapid Metro.”


Consortium of Banks send Notice to Airport Metro Express (DAMEPL) for Payment of Dues

New Delhi: A consortium of lenders led by Axis Bank has sent notice to Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL) for payment of loans which have turned into non-performing assets (NPA).

The banks and financial institutions, which have a total exposure of Rs 1,800 crore to the project, have served notices to Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recently for recovery of debt, banking sources said.

The original concessionaire of the project DAMEPL was Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.

DAMEPL, a special purpose vehicle of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, in July this year had said that they terminated the Concession Agreement with DMRC for the airport metro line nearly nine months back, vide its notice dated October 8, 2012.

DMRC about five months ago took over the operations of 22.7 km-long Airport Express link along with maintenance team of 100 officials.

According to sources, the loan was given to original concessionaire and termination of contract does not absolve Reliance Infrastructure Ltd from repayment of debt.

Besides Axis Bank, consortium include Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank and Canara Bank

IIFC (UK), a subsidiary of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) is also part of the consortium as it has given loan of USD 54 million (about Rs 350 crore) for import of rolling stock of the project.

The total ridership of the Airport express line during the peak of its operations was recorded at 21,000 per day.

The metro line was shut down July last year after problems arose due to defects in the civil structure, which were later rectified and it resumed operations in January this year.

Since then its ridership has been recorded about 11,000 per day on an average.


Kharge congratulates Legendary Crickter Sachin Tendulkar for Bharat Ratna Award

New Delhi: The Minister of Railways Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge has congratulated legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Professor C.N.R.Rao on being selected for the “Bharat Ratna Award.”

In a congratulatory message to Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Shri Kharge said that Sachin has been hailed as a true Ambassador of India in the world of sports and his contribution and unmatched achievements in sports will always be remembered. Shri Kharge said that Sachin won glory for India and his life and career will be a great source of inspiration for millions of youth in India and abroad. Conferring India’s highest civilian award on him will go a long way in promoting sports and encouraging sportspersons in the country, the Railway Minister added. Shri Kharge hoped that Sachin would continue to provide guidance to Indian cricket and budding cricketers in the years to come.

Congratulating Professor C.N.R. Rao, Shri Kharge said that Professor Rao is a well recognised international authority on solid state and materials chemistry. Professor Rao has enriched the scientific world through his thousand research papers and many published books. Professor Rao has been contributing immensely in his capacity as the current Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Professor Rao has many National and Internationals awards to his credit. “Bharat Ratna Award” to him will motivate and inspire scientists, researchers, academicians and students in a big way. This is also a moment of pride and honour for Karnataka, which professor Rao belongs to, the Railway Minister added.


IRFC raises $400m via. Overseas Bonds

IRFC logo
New Delhi: Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the financing arm of the ministry of railways, has taken the lead in mobilising overseas debt in line with a government directive aimed at strengthening dollar inflows to wade through the expected tapering of the US government’s bond-buying programme next year. While others are still making early plans, the IRFC has mobilised $400 million as syndicated loans from three overseas banks and is now planning road shows to complete the balance debt raising plan of $600 million in January by issuing quasi sovereign bonds in overseas markets.

The Power Finance Corporation and IIFCL are still at a planning stage to complete their quotas ($1.5 billion each) of overseas bond issue.

In fact, PFC has not even confirmed that it would raise money from abroad in the form of quasi-sovereign bonds.

In August, the finance ministry mandated the IIFCL, PFC and IRFC to raise a total of $4 billion through quasi-sovereign bonds and asked banks and PSUs to raise NRI deposits and external commercial borrowings to help prop up the rupee and finance the current account deficit.

“The $1-billion target for us necessarily may not be all quasi-sovereign bonds. We have completed deal for $ 400 million in the form of loan of 5 years and depending on coupon rate we get, we will decide on overseas bonds for balance $600 million,” a senior official of IRFC told FE.

The first tranche of overseas lending has been committed by a consortium of three Japanese banks, including Mizuho Bank, SMBC and Bank of Tokyo and the State Bank of India. The official did not spell out the rate at which the loan has been offered but said it has got a very good deal. “The money under this loan will start coming in over next few weeks so our bonds issue will be between January and March next year in at least two tranches,” the official said.

The company intends to start road shows for its bonds issue later in December and will also look at tapping Sovereign Wealth Funds in Asian and European markets for its issue.

Chairman Railway Board Inaugurates Indian Railway Pavilion at India International Trade Fair – 2013

The Chairman Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar releasing a Souvenir at the inauguration of the Indian Railway Pavilion, at India International Trade Fair (IITF-2013), in New Delhi on November 14, 2013. 
 The Secretary, Railway Board, Shri H.K.Jaggi is also seen.

Shri Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board inaugurated the Indian Railways pavilion at the India International Trade Fair – 2013 in New Delhi today. The Railway pavilion has pristine appeal and a futuristic outlook. It traces the connection of the Railways with the people of the entire country. Rail in India has touched millions of Indians from all parts of the country. The Railway Pavilion showcases its important units through static and working models for the visitors to get a realistic feel of the vast organisation and its vast-operation. 

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Indian Railways has contributed to the development of all the regions it touches. The pivot of Indian economy, Railways lays equal emphasis on the movement of essential goods and on the comfort and well being of its passengers from the time of booking of tickets to the moments of travel. A pillar of Indian economy, Indian Railways has recently gained membership of the Select One Billion Tonne Freight loading Club joining other Railways like the U.S., Chinese and Russian Railways. Dedicated Freight Corridors for freight trains and High Speed Corridors for passenger trains shall take care of the growing economic needs of India. 

Indian Railways now connect India as never before. With the opening of the Pir Panjal Railway tunnel, Indian Railways has paved the way to an all-weather all year round connectivity in to the Kashmir Valley. This tunnel is the longest in India and the third longest in Asia. Granting of various concessions to the needy, to introduction of modern technology in passenger and freight business, and keeping in mind the needs of modern India, Indian Railways takes care of all. 

Also present on the occasion among others were Shri H. K. Jaggi, Secretary, Railway Board, Shri Arvind Khare, Additional Member Production Units, Railway Board, Delhi , Sh. A K Sachan, DRM, (Delhi) Northern Railways ,Ms. Seema Sharma, Director, Information & Publicity, Railway Board, and coordinating official of the Railway Pavilion at IITF. 


A.K.Mital takes over as Member Staff, Railway Board

Shri A.K.Mital has been appointed as Member Staff, Railway Board and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. Shri Mital assumed the charge of Member Staff Railway Board today i.e 13th November 2013. Prior to this new posting, he served as General Manager of South Western Railway-SWR (Headquarters Hubli) since 26-12-2011 and was also looking after the additional charge of South Central Railway- SCR (Headquarters Secunderabad).

Born on 7th July 1956, Shri Mital is a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.). An Officer of 1976 batch of Indian Railways Service of Stores (IRSS), Shri A.K. Mital has worked on various important posts on Indian Railways. He was Director/Stores, Executive Director/Vigilance and Executive Director/Stores in Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. He has worked as Chief Material Manager in Northern Railway. 

He was Divisional Railway Manager of Izzatnagar Division in North Eastern Railway and Controller of Stores in South Central Railway/Secunderabad and Diesel Locomotive Works/Varanasi. Before joining Railway Board as Member Staff, he was General Manager of South Western Railway/Hubli. He has also held additional charge of three major Railways viz., Southern Railway, South Central Railway and Central Railway as General Manager for more than 12 months. Shri Mital has undergone training in USA and France.

Source - PIB





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