Nov 30, 2013

YatraChef helps rail passengers order food online

KOCHI, NOV 30: Next time when you opt to travel by train, do not be concerned about getting food on time during the journey. A start-up company is here to help you in getting food at respective stations by making an online order.

Redefining the traditional food services available on trains, the Kochi-based 11th Hour Innovations Pvt Ltd has launched YatraChef, a facility that helps the passengers of Indian Railways to order food of their choice while on the move.

The company has been set up by three young entrepreneurs Arun Rajan, Rameez Ashraf and Suchithra Sumadevi.

Multilingual call centre, chat support

Passengers can order food through a Web site or with the help of the company’s multilingual call centre and chat support.

The eatables will be delivered at the respective passenger seats during the journey through a networkof clients, says Arun Rajan, CEO, 11th Hour Innovations.

Revenue-sharing model

Rajan, who did his Masters in Logistics and Operations from the University of Sydney, said that the business is a revenue-sharing model by making tie up arrangements with restaurants, food plazas, fast food chains and caterers within 2 km radius of the railway stations. This is to ensure an unhindered and speedy delivery of food to passengers.

Completely automated process

The ordering process is completely automated considering the convenience of passengers.

Passengers can visit the Web site and enter their journey details/PNR in the required field. The system will automatically generate their travel route and help deliver the packets in their seats.

All the passengers have to do is, to choose the station, check the menu, place the order and wait for the food at the select stations. Manual assistance would also be given to passengers through the company’s multilingual call centre and chat support.

The system also tracks the train in real time, which help the company to precisely coordinate thedeliveries done by the client restaurants thereby eliminating the error rate in the delivery system, he said.

Payment mode

According to Rameez Ashraf, the customer has to pay the bill amount at the time of delivery without any extra payment. The price list will be available on the Web site. There are also plans to launch online payment shortly.

He pointed out that the pilot run, which started last month, had received tremendous response by serving more than 100 orders.

However, the need of the hour is to create greater awareness about the service through social media to boost the business as well as inclusion of more hotels and high-end restaurants in the network.

There are also plans to make available three hotels per station for the customers. The service has been launched on a pan-India basis and at present, it is available in more than 100 stations, which would be doubled within the next six months, he added.
Source..the hindu business line         

History of Dearness Allowance

History of Dearness Allowance 
Dearness Allowance 
Dearness Allowance is compensatory part of wages. In India, DA is being paid since the Second World War. During the War, DA became payable at various rates. It became payable as a result of different costs of living in different cities not known to each other. 
Originally, it was the textile industry in Bombay which introduced DA scheme firstly under the bipartite settlement and subsequently they took the shape of arbitration, adjudication and finally, after knocking  at the doors of industrial courts, got into awards, which is how in India DA scheme started. 
In other parts of the world too DA was paid depending upon the rise in the cost of consumer goods prices. Within 5‐10 years, the system of DA became a common system throughout the world but the basic principles remained the same. 
In most parts of the world, though not everywhere, common platform DA became payable though not  on the same rates. 
Ultimately, the question of DA became a subject‐matter of the Supreme Court. The court initially laid  down general principles for fixation of DA grant and the link with cost of living index. 
Slowly and gradually, Supreme Court gave effect to DA in terms of rise in the cost of living, higher prices  and higher cost of living. This gave rise in the whole country for Consumer Price Index which is linked  with rise in index in different cities in the country. 
Bombay was found to be the most expensive city in the country and sometimes even in the world. It  moves from time to time and so the atmosphere with it. At different times, each sphere had different  price level which is recorded regularly on price index. Each price index is differently numbered and differently marked in each state. 
In our country, this price index as Bombay Price Index, Delhi Price Index, Kolkata Price Index, Ahmedabad Price Index etc., and prices of each number in each city are differently made and known. 
This is preliminary of DA. 
The issue of DA has gone much ahead and now it is paid according to the standard of each city in the  country. With passing of time and cost of living going up, working class life became more and more miserable as a result of which every wage fixing authority had to view its point to the phenomenon and fortunately in our country the Government which is the biggest and model employer had to take cognizance of this fact and went on appointing pay commissions one after another after a lapse of five to 7 years and each pay commission gave thorough consideration to the problem of Dearness Allowance.
 Each pay commission not only increased dearness allowance of the Central Government employees and gave higher and higher benefits under the improved schemes. On the chapter on Dearness Allowance (DA), the fourth pay commission for the Central Government employees said that the “Dearness  allowance which is being paid at present is in the nature of a compensatory payment to employees for erosion in the real value of their salaries resulting from price rise. 
The allowance has been in existence for about four decades and now covers almost all employees in the organized sector. Accordingly, it has emerged as an important area of pay administration having  financial, economic and administrative implications. 
Over the years, there have been many changes in the policy for payment of dearness allowance, particularly with regard to coverage of employees, percentage of neutralisation for different categories, periodicity of payment, etc. 
The rates of dearness allowance provided a neutralization of about 95 per cent on the lowest pay and  the neutralization percentage went on declining for higher pay levels so that m respect of the employees drawing pay between Rs.1600/‐ and 2250/‐ per month it worked out to about 30 per cent or less. 
The Commission also recommended that on the price level rising above the 12‐monthly average of 272 (1960=100), government should review the position and decide whether the dearness allowance scheme should be extended further or the pay scales should be revised. 
Government decided on three occasions to treat part of dearness allowance as dearness pay for certain purposes more particularly to provide relief in the matter of death‐cum‐retirement benefits to retiring  employees. 
The state governments also compensate their employees for price rise in the form of dearness  allowance, which is granted by them more or less on the same pattern as followed by the central government, since the pay scales of state government employees are linked to different index levels, the actual rates of dearness allowance paid by them are different from those payable to central government employees. 
“We are also of the view that the compensation should provide full neutralization of price rise to employees drawing basic pay upto Rs.3500/‐, 75 per cent to those getting basic pay between Rs.3501/‐ and 6000/‐ and 65 per cent to those getting basic pay above Rs.6000/‐subject to marginal adjustments. This compensation may continue to be shown as a distinct element of remuneration. “We have recommended that compensation for price rise should be sanctioned twice a year. This would ensure that there would be no uncertainty in the minds of government employees in regard to the periodicity of grant of compensation. We realise that there may be situations when government may not find it possible to sanction the compensation for price rise according to the scheme recommended by us. We are of the view that in such situations, the restraint, if any, should apply to the entire organized sector including central government employees.”
  Fifth Pay Commission also said Dearness Allowance (DA) is a compensatory payment to the employees for the erosion in the real value of their salaries, resulting from price increase. While the First and Second CPC’s suggested payment of DA at flat rates for employees in different pay scales for different levels of Consumer Price Index (CPI): the 3rd and 4th CPC’s while linking DA to both the CPI and pay‐ scales, recommended DA as a percentage of the basic pay. While DA was made payable automatically by the first CPC once a specific level of Consumer Price Index was attained, the 2nd CPC did not favour automatic sliding scale adjustments and recommended that the Government should review the position and consider the case for an increase in DA, each time the index increased by 10 points. This they felt was necessary as allowing an automatic increase, each time prices rise, without going into the reasons for price rise, would tend to fuel inflation because of a wage‐price spiral. Price increase, fuelled by a fall in production levels or due to hike in indirect taxes should not merit compensation. 
The absence of a precise scheme of DA revision, however, resulted in a situation where two high‐ powered bodies had to be appointed in the intervening period between the 2nd and the 3rd CPC for the payment of DA because of the continuing upward trend of prices. 
As a result, the 3rd CPC partially reversed the recommendations of the 2nd CPC by making DA payment  automatic each time the CPI rose by 8 points over the index of 200, up to the level of 272. DA until the 2nd CPC had been imagined to be a temporary expedient and was intended to deal with the phenomenon of a temporary rise in prices. It was precisely for these reasons that the pay structure then had to have three separate components: basic pay, dearness pay and dearness allowance. While basic and dearness pay represented the irreversible components, DA represented the component which could be reversed in the case of a price fall. 
“We have received several demands on Dearness Allowance. These range from uniform neutralization at all levels, to an alternative Consumer Price Index and the use of a monthly. 3‐monthly or 6‐monthlv average instead of a 12‐ monthly average of CPI. 
The merger of DA with basic pay when it comes to be 25% of the basic, pay and the exemption of DA from tax are some other demands. “It has been strongly urged that a uniform neutralization of DA at 100% should be given to employees at all levels. We see merit in this demand. The erosion in the real value of salary at the highest level, has been the most severe, beginning from 1949 followed by other Group A officers down the line. In contrast, a comparison of the index of real earnings for the peon between 1949 and 1996 shows that the peon was more than fully neutralized for inflation and was in real terms paid 53% more than his salary in 1949. The Secretary on the other hand was not even paid full neutralization for inflation and consequently his real salary has eroded to the extent of 72% as compared to the position in 1949. 
“Accordingly we, recommend that inflation neutralization be made uniform @ 100% at all levels.” 5 So far as the newspaper industry is concerned, it normally followed the patterns of Central Paycommissions from time to time. Scheme of DA in the newspaper industry is as per recommendations of the wage boards. During the last four wage boards, dearness allowance in newspaper industry was paid as follows. 
Dearness allowance through successive Central Pay Commissions 
The Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC) has devoted fourth chapter of the report to the subject of  Dearness Allowance (DA) payable to government servants. The sanction of Dearness Allowance is at present based on calculated six monthly increase in the All India Consumer Price Index (Industrial Workers) (AICPI‐IW) with base year 1982=100. 
At the time when the scales granted by Fifth CPC came into existence (1st Jan.1996) this index stood at 306.03. Fifth CPC started with calculation of DA @ 0%, from 1st Jan.1996 . In the month of April 2004 the rate at which DA was admissible had crossed the figure of 50% and therefore based on recommendations of the Fifth CPC 50% DA was merged in the basic pay . This addition to basic pay was known as Dearness Pay. 
Thereafter every increase in DA was calculated on (Basic Pay + Dearness Pay). It has been observed that  since after the merger of dearness pay with basic pay the base for calculation of increase in AICPI was not changed the neutralization in cost of living was presently being done at a rate higher than 100%. 
The Pay Commission has pointed out that the present method of calculation for increase in cost of living  takes into account the price rise in a group of identified commodities. It has compared the relative merits of “chain based” and “fixed base” methods of calculation of estimated growth in cost of living. 
The AICPI as stated above is based on the increase in cost of a basket of identified commodities. In the fixed base method the calculations are based on the assumption that consumer would adjust his  consumption needs in relation to increase or decrease in prices of the constituent commodities. The chain based method takes into account the possibilities of change in consumption pattern due to  availability of wider range of consumption goods and the improvement in the quality thereof due to economic growth. The latter methodology has been considered to be more relevant in today’s economic scenario. However the basic data for the pattern of consumption in respect of several essential commodities would have to be compiled through a detailed all India survey if this methodology is to be adopted . 
The previous Pay Commissions had different views on this matter. The Fourth CPC favoured evolution of a separate index for calculation of cost of living for the government servants. The Fifth CPC however felt that such index would also suffer from imbalances since consumption patterns of various categories of employees would be different.
 The Sixth CPC has suggested a sample survey through National Statistical Commission for evolving an index based on consumption pattern of government employees. Till this exercise is completed the present methodology of calculating the increase in cost of living and calculation of DA would continue. 
Views of earlier Pay Commissions 
Successive Pay Commissions have made changes to the DA formula, suggesting their own methodology 
for determining the quantum and frequency. 
Fifth CPC recommendations 
The Fifth Central Pay Commission recommended uniform neutralization of DA at 100% to employees at all levels; conversion of DA into Dearness Pay each time the CPI increases by 50% over the base index with Dearness Pay counting for all purposes including retirement benefits; and Dearness Allowance including Dearness Pay being paid net of tax. The Commission did not favour the option of employing separate indices for each category of employee because of the sheer impracticality of the task and, therefore, recommended using the 12 monthly average of All India CPI (IW) with base 1982 for calculating DA. 
The Government of India presently calculates the level of inflation for purposes of grant of dearness allowance to Central Government Employees on the basis of the All India Consumer Price index Number for Industrial Workers (1982=100) (AICPI). The twelve monthly average of the AICPI (1982 base) as on 1st January and 1st July of each year is used for calculating the Dearness Allowance (DA). Increase in DA is calculated with reference to the AICPI (IW) average (base 1982=100), as on 1st January 1996 of 306.33. The compensation for price rise is admissible twice a year i.e. on 1st January and 1st July of each year. Only the whole number component of the percentage increase in prices is adopted for estimation of DA. The Government merged 50% of the DA with basic pay w.e.f. 1.4.04 and the dearness allowance continued to be calculated with reference to the AICPI (IW) average as on 1st January 1996 of 306.33 without changing the base consequent to the merger. 
Accordingly, DA at following rates was sanctioned by the Government from 1.7.04 till 1.7.07:‐ 
As a consequence, salaries of Government employees are being neutralized more than hundred per cent. Demands made In the demands made before the Commission, it has been suggested that the existing DA formula continue with the following modifications:‐ 
• Instead of revising the DA once in six months, it should be revised once in three months. 
• The principle laid down by the 5th CPC for merger of 50% of DA with the Pay as DP should be modified to 25% to remove distortions in the pay structures. 
• DA should be paid net of taxes on the same line as recommended by the 5th CPC to make the concept  of 100% neutralization somewhat meaningful.
 Determining the level of inflation methodology While considering the issue of the quantum of DA admissible, the Commission considered at length the procedure for estimation of inflation. Presently, inflation as determined by the AICPI (IW), is estimated using the Laspeyere’s Fixed base methodology. The inflation index 6using this methodology captures the cost of buying a basket of goods (fixed in the base year) at current prices relative to the cost of buying the same basket of goods at base year prices. 
Economic theory postulates that, generally, if the price of a commodity rises vis‐à‐vis other goods, the consumer adjusts his consumption basket to buy less of the goods the prices of which have increased relatively and more of those goods the prices of which have fallen relatively. This envisaged shift in consumption pattern should be considered for calculating inflation. A ‘chainbase index’ captures the inflation taking into account the changes in quantities purchased consequent upon changes in the relative prices. Moreover, it also considers new products in the consumers’ basket as well as quality of the existing products improving every year. Therefore, inflation captured using ‘Chain‐base’ technique would generally tend to be lower than the ‘Laspeyre’s price index’. [Under certain circumstances, however, the chain‐base index could be higher than the Laspeyer’s index, i.e. if there is an increase in the price of basic items, which are necessities, having low substitutability and which form a sizeable chunk of the consumption basket. The increase in prices of such goods would result in less than proportionate reduction in quantity, thereby translating into higher expenditure in value terms. 
Therefore, the weightage (calculated in terms of percentage value of total consumption expenditure) attributed to these items in the construction of the composite price index would increase. This would result in the chain base price index being higher than the price index estimated using the fixed base technique. 
Analysis India is on the growth path. Growth leads to wider choice with enlarged availability of substitutes. Such availability of substitutes would impact the price‐demand relationship. Given this backdrop, the feasibility of developing chain base index was explored by the Commission. It was observed from the Reports of the National Sample Survey Organization on Consumer Expenditure Survey, that while expenditure data in value terms was generated through the survey, its breakup in terms of quantity and price was available only for a few items under food, clothing, bedding, etc. Data on durables consumed poses a problem as consumption of individual items is very infrequent and reporting irregular. This issue gets compounded when aggregation is attempted at the All India level. 
Recommendation on chain base index 
The feasibility of developing a Chain based index is dependent on the availability of time series data on both prices and the corresponding quantities demanded of each item. While there is merit in developing a chain based index for capturing inflation, this would be feasible only if the Consumer Expenditure Survey generates time series data, on both quantity consumed as well as value of expenditure for fairly large list of items in the consumption basket providing the possibility of substitution over short time span. 
The Government may explore this possibility. In the meantime, the Government should keep revising  the base year in the existing fixed base index method as frequently as feasible.  Use of AICPI(IW)for estimation of DA
Presently, the estimation of DA for Central Government Employees is based on the movements in the AICPI (IW) (1982=100). The Fourth Central Pay Commission, while considering the issue of suitability of the AICPI, opined that the Government should examine whether a more suitable index could be prepared for Government employees taking into account their consumption pattern and other relevant factors. This recommendation was based on the view that the AICPI does not truly represent the consumption pattern of all central Government employees. On the other hand, the Fifth Central Pay Commission took the view that consumption patterns of Group A,B,C,D employees within Government are 7bound to be different due to different income levels and hence a suitable index based on consumption pattern for Government employees as recommended by the Fourth Central Pay Commission is likely to suffer from the same set of problems which the AICPI(IW) suffers. 
The Fifth Central Pay Commission opined that even though the option of employing separate indices for each category of employees did exist, it was devoid of merit because of the sheer impracticality of the task as well as needless suspicion such an arrangement was likely to arouse between various groups. 
Therefore, they recommended that the AICPI (IW) should continue to be the index used for calculating  DA for Government employees. 
The Fifth Central Pay Commission, observed that for the purpose of estimation of AICPI (IW) by Labour Bureau, the coverage of ‘Industrial Workers’ extended to 70 selected centres in seven sectors namely Factories, Mines, Plantations, Railways, Public Motor Transport Undertakings , Electricity Generation and Distribution Establishments, and Ports and Docks. 
A Working Class family was defined as one where one of the members worked as a manual worker in any of the seven sectors and which derived one half or more of its income through manual work defined on the basis of classification of occupations and jobs involving sufficient physical labour but at the same time not requiring much of educational background in the field of general, scientific, technical and other areas. 
The Fifth Central Pay Commission also observed that in the Family Living Survey, which is the basis for estimation of the AICPI (IW), the design of the monthly family income classes is open ended, ranging from ‘less than Rs.750’ to ‘Rs.5000 and above’. The Working Class family Income and Expenditure Survey (1999‐2000) for Delhi points to the fact that 53% of the families fall in the income class ‘less than Rs.5000 per month’, which is less than the minimum earning of a Government employee in Delhi. This implies that a composite price index generated from this survey may not adequately represent the price index for Government employees. This is because consumption pattern of the Government employees vis‐à‐vis the ‘Working Class Family’ sample selected in the Family Living Survey would be considerably different. Recommendation The Government of India has set up the National Statistical Commission to serve as a nodal and empowered body for all statistical activities of the country; to evolve, monitor and enforce statistical priorities and standards and to ensure statistical coordination among different agencies involved. The Commission is mandated to evolve standard statistical concepts, definitions, classification and methodologies in different areas of statistics and lay down national quality standards on those statistics. The Commission is of the view that the National Statistical Commission may be asked to explore the possibility of a specific survey covering Government employees exclusively, so as to construct a consumption basket representative of Government employees and formulate a separate index. Meanwhile, the Government may continue to use the AICPI (IW) for estimating the DA, subject to the modifications proposed in the subsequent paras. 
Revision of Base of AICPI (IW) for calculation of DA 
The Fifth CPC had adopted the AICPI (IW) using the 1982 series for estimation of DA. The Government has developed a new series with base 2001, with effect from January 2006. It impossible to generate the back data series with base 2001, with the help of the stipulated linking factor of 4.63. The 2001 series has an extended coverage of 78 centers compared to the 70 centers in the 1982 series. The weightage emerging from the series with 2001 base, being recent, is more representative of the current consumption basket. The Commission, therefore, recommends that the AICPI (IW) with base 2001 may, henceforth, be used for the purpose of calculating DA till it gets revised. As mentioned earlier, the base year should be revised as frequently as feasible. The Commission also looked into the weightages assigned 8to various components of consumption and the manner in which the Labour Bureau conducts the survey. The examination has revealed a direct correlation in the movement of the price index for housing and the movement of the HRA rates of Government employees. If a representative sample is used for construction of the price index for housing, there should not be such a direct correlation keeping in view the fact that for industrial workers, the escalation in rental should not be so steep for various obvious reasons. Since housing has a large weightage in AICPI (IW), there is a possibility of substantial distortion in DA calculations. 
The Commission recommends that the Government take expeditious steps to rectify these noticed distortions in the construction of the current AICPI (IW) series. The National Statistical Commission may also take these factors into consideration while evolving a separate index for Government employees.
Source - CG Staff news & irtsa

Overbridge collapse cripples Rail, Road traffic in Muzaffarpur

Muzaffarpur: Road traffic in the town went haywire on Thursday following the railway overbridge collapse at Maripur on Wednesday.

However, the accident relief train accompanied by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), launched an operation to clear the blocked tracks of Muzaffarpur-Hajipur and Muzaffarpur Narkatiaganj sections on a war footing. Train movement on the aforesaid sections remained crippled for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

Rail safety commissioner, East Central Railway, S. Nayak would arrive in Muzaffarpur to conduct a probe on November 29 and 30.

He will sit in the office of the station master of Muzaffarpur station between 10.30am and 6pm on Friday and between 9am and 12noon on Saturday. The railways have appealed people who have information on the accident to provide Nayak their version. Railway officials remained tight-lipped about the maintenance of the British-era rail overbridge. “All the facts about the bridge would come out during the probe by the commissioner of railway safety,” said a railway official.

On Thursday, the Divisional Railway Manager, Sonepur, Rajesh Kumar Tiwary, and the technical team of the civil engineering and building construction departments of the East Central Railway, Hajipur, monitored the restoration work and lifting of debris from the accident site.

Both the flanks of the bridge have been barricaded and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel have been deployed.

The DRM hopefully said trains would be restored on the said sections by late Thursday evening.

Engineers from the track maintenance team have also been pressed into service to replace the broken and damaged tracks on a 20-metre stretch. Derailed and damaged wagons are being lifted from the tracks. Debris is being cleared from the tracks.

The railways’ engineering cell has declared the remaining portion of the bridge risky. District magistrate Anupam Kumar, who inspected the wreckage site of the mishap, said he spoke to the top railway authorities, including East Central Railway, Hajipur, assistant general manager Ajay Shukla and the DRM (Sonepur) and stressed the need for constructing a new flyover at the site immediately.

“They have assured him that steps for constructing a new rail overbridge would be initiated after completing necessary formalities. At present, the traffic personnel are finding it difficult to regulate the traffic load on the two alternative routes,” said the district magistrate (DM).

“Nearly 110 personnel of Bihar Military Police 6 and the homeguard jawans apart from 70 traffic constables are at work in the township to regulate the traffic load. Traffic on Kalambagh road and Juran Chapra road has increased manifold owing to the bridge collapse,” said Shailendra Kumar, traffic officer. A revised traffic plan has been implemented to reduce the traffic load and avoid congestion on Bhagwanpur-Kamalbagh road and Barhampura-Juran Chapra road from the town’s western part. “About 50 dividers have been set up across the city with the help of nylon ropes to prevent traffic snarls. The roads are choked with encroachments and illegally parked four-wheelers,” said Ranjan Kumar, a businessman.

“The collapsed bridge had been a lifeline of the town, connecting its eastern and western parts. But now, the alternative routes are unable to cope with the traffic rush,” said Naresh Kumar, a student.

Source..Rail News

Railway Reservation System to be Shut for Maintenance on Sunday-Monday night for 8 Hrs

New Delhi: The Indian Railways Passenger Reservation System will remain shut for 8 hours for maintenance purpose. The non-availability will be during the intervening night of Sunday – Monday.

“The Passenger Reservation System will not be available from 19:00 hours of Sunday, (01/12/2013) to 03:00 hours of Monday (02/12/2013) i.e. during night falling between Sunday/ Monday for maintenance,” read a press note released by the Western Railway.

As the automated system will be shut, the Interactive Voice Response System, Current Reservation, Refund Counters and Coaching Refund Terminal will not function.

“Current booking and refund will be done manually at the ticket counters. Therefore, Internet Booking will also not be available during the same period,” informed a spokesperson.

Source..Rail News

Railways will take all possible Steps to improve Passenger Claims System: Kharge

Bangalore: Minister of Railways Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said that Indian Railways will take all possible steps to further improve the railway claims system so as to make it more passenger-friendly.

Addressing the consultative committee attached to his ministry in Bangalore, Kharge said the railways vision is to make its operation seamless and free of accidents.

However, when some accidents occur, at such time, it is the endeavour of the railways that victims or their dependents are given quick medical and monetary relief. For stranded victims, the traffic commercialstaff play a crucial role at the accident site by dispensing ex-gratia to victim/dependents for theirimmediate needs, he said.

He further said that in the case of loss/damage of goods/parcels, obtaining compensation from the railways has become less problematic with the online registration of claims. He said that the railways has set up 21 railway claim tribunal benches in 19 major cities, and now the process of filing and settlement of claims have become more customer and user friendly.

Friday’s meeting was the first of the consultative committee constituted under the 15th Lok Sabhaoutside Delhi.

Minister of State for Railway Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and 16 Members of Parliament representing Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam, Railway Board members and other senior officers, attended the meeting.

The meeting is the third held during the current year and second under the chairmanship of Kharge.

Committee members gave valuable suggestions for further improve the railway claims system.
Source..Rail News

Kirloskar Electric Company bags Order worth Rs.4.16 Crore from Indian Railways

Railways places repeat order worth INR 9 Crores for 500Kva, 700V DG Sets for Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express Trains

Kirloskar Electric Company has received a prestigious order for supply of 500kVA, 750 Volts Diesel Generating sets worth Rs 4.16 crore from Indian Railways for execution on a turnkey basis for design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning to be used in power cars of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duranto trains.

This is a repeat order and has been received due to the impeccable track record of the company in terms of delivery and after sales service having supplied hundreds of sets for this application.

Kirloskar Electric Company is the manufacture, sales and services of diverse range of electrical and electronic equipment such as AC Induction Motors, AC Generators, DG Sets, DC Machines & Traction Equipment, Transformers, Switchgears, Control Equipments and Systems etc., The projects and system division of the Company has specialized in executing system packages for large industries like steel, fertilizers, cement, sugar and other core sectors.

Shares of the company are trading at Rs 21, up Rs 1.1, or 5.53% at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday at 1:37 p.m.

The scrip has touched an intra-day high of Rs 21 and low of Rs 19.95. The total volume of shares traded at the BSE is 7,029.

In the earlier session, the shares climbed 6.99%, or Rs 1.3, at Rs 19.90. Currently, the stock is trading down 24.32% from its 52-week high of Rs 27.75 and above 60.92% over the 52-week low of Rs.13.05.
Source..Rail News

Inflation hits Delhi Metro budget, cost escalates for the first time by about 10%

New Delhi: For the first time since its inception, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will face cost overrun for its 140-km Phase 3 project which is already running behind schedule. One of the reasons cited for the cost slippage is inflation. And if it fails to meet its March 2016 deadline, the cost may escalate further, which may further impact funding. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is one of the biggest financiers of the Delhi Metro and the cost escalation may impact its disbursement of funds.

The Phase 3 of the Delhi Metro cost was approximately Rs 35,000 crore. It has now increased by about 10%. According to Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC, this is due to the addition of some corridors in the original plan and a steep rise in the cost of raw materials. The Phase 3 project was initially planned to cover a 104 km stretch. But various amendments to the original plan extended the route to 140 km. Part of the increase in the cost can be attributed to the fact that the Janakpuri West-Palam section, proposed to be an elevated corridor, has been made underground which costs much more.

Due to the project cost escalation, the funding by JICA would need to increase by at least 5%-6%. Initially, the loan from JICA was about Rs 18,565 crore, and this has increased to about Rs 20,000 crore, a DMRC official told a national daily.

JICA representative Hiroshi Yoshida told the newspaper that the agency has agreed to bear the “affordable” additional burden. But in case the project cost further increases JICA may have to relook at its viability. JICA will soon release the second tranche of the loan to DMRC. In March 2012, JICA had signed an MoU with India to release the first tranche of Rs 7,922 crore. The balance of the soft loan will be disbursed in two equal parts.

Mangu Singh, DMRC chief observed that DMRC was able to complete construction of all previous phases within the sanctioned cost. But despite serious attempts to construct Phase 3 corridors under tight budgetary pressure, the project cost has increased due to unavoidable reasons.
Source ..Rail News





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