Jan 3, 2014

South Central Railway to construct 17 road overbridges

Secunderabad (SC): The South Central Railway (SCR) plans to complete construction of 17 road overbridges (RuBs) or underbridges (RuBs) during the current financial year.

“The target is to complete 17 RoBs/RuBs during the current fiscal year. While work on four RoB/RuBs have already been completed, works at 13 other locations are on,” a SCR release said here today.

The decision was taken at a review meeting held by SCR General Manager P K Srivastava with officials of the construction department.

Srivastava reviewed current status of sanctioned projects, their progress during the current financial year and the action plan for work targets, the release said.

At present, there are 19 new railway line projects, four doubling or tripling projects, 37 RoBs/RuBs works as well as 19 traffic facility works, taken up by SCR’s construction wing.

As sanctioned projects require huge amount of resources, the General Manager has advised SCR officials to prioritise sanctioned projects, based on their importance and take up these works in a focused manner so as to enable their early completion, the release said.


Train to Vaishno Devi shrine likely by January-end

NEW DELHI: After much delay, train services up to Katra, the base camp for pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine, are likely to start from this month end.

The train connectivity to Katra is a part of the ambitious Kashmir rail link project and has been executed at an estimated cost of Rs.1050 crore.

While trains are already running up to Udhampur, Railways hopes to open the 25-km-long Udhampur-Katra section by the last week of January after obtaining the clearance from the Commission Railway Safety, sources said.

The train services would prove to be a boon for the pilgrims visiting the shrine who at present depend on road transport.

At times they also complain of being fleeced by taxis and other transport operators from Jammu.

Udhampur-Katra route was slated to be commissioned during October but it got delayed after a portion of a tunnel caved in. The agitation in the valley during last year also delayed completion of the section as the workers involved in the project left the site.

Railways carried out a coach running trial in the last month last week. “The trial was a success and now we are waiting for getting the clearance from the CRS to begin passenger train operation to Katra,” a source said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are scheduled to flag off the first train from Katra and commission the section.

Sources, however, said the section is yet to be inspected by Commissioner of Railway Safety but the process would be expedited soon.

To begin with, two trains – Delhi-Katra Express and Kalka-Katra Express – will run on the section. More trains would be added in the coming months, the sources said.

The 25-km stretch to Katra is an engineering marvel as the route has seven tunnels, 29 minor and nine major bridges with some of the bridges as high as 85 metres.

Katra station itself would boast of several facilities of an A-class station which includes a VIP lounge and a spacious parking lot. The four platforms could accommodate 26-coach trains.


Sunil Kumar Sood takes over as New GM, Central Railway

Mumbai: Sunil Kumar Sood has taken over as the new General Manager, Central Railway from 31.12.2013. Prior to joining as General Manager, Central Railway, he was Chief Mechanical Engineer, Southern Railway, Chennai.

Shri Sunil Kumar Sood is a graduate in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and joined railways in 1978. He worked o­n South Eastern Railway for eight years followed by eight years stint at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.

His administrative skills were o­n the forefront when he worked as Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Muradabad Division, Northern Railway, Chief Workshop Manager, Jamalpur, Eastern Railway and Divisional Railway Manager, Jodhpur Division, North Western Railway.

Shri Sood has also served in the Territorial Army up to the rank of Brigadier as Deputy Director General (TA). He has also undergone specialised training in Welding and Fabrication at Derby, UK and Strategic Management Training at Paris, France.


Railway Development Agitation Committee urge Kharge to expedite Kudachi-Bagalkot Rail line

Kharge assure fulfilling pending demands

Hubli (UBL): Railway Development Agitation Committee from Bijapur have urged Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge to implement railway projects pertaining to Karnataka on priority basis and also announce new trains for the State.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, president of the Railway Development Agitation Committee Kutubuddin Kaji, president of the Bijapur Railway Action Committee Vishwanath Bhavi, and vice-president Ashok D. Hallur and others complained that several railway projects of Karnataka had been pending for a long time, due to lack of political will.

Mr. Kaji said that although the State had come forward to share 50 per cent of the new railway projects, because of “official apathy” several State railway projects remained pending.

Although the 141-km-long Kudachi-Bagalkot rail project was initiated three years ago, till date only 15 km of rail line has been laid. He demanded that the work be expedited and the line be extended till Raichur. Mr. Kaji also wanted daily trains running to New Delhi and Mumbai via Gadag, Bagalkot, Bijapur and Solapur.

Mr. Bhavi and Mr. Hallur alleged that Mr. Kharge was only fulfilling demands of those regions represented by Congress MPs and was overlooking long-pending demands from other regions.

They later submitted a memorandum with their demands to authorities of the South Western Railway.


Kerala State Govt ready to share 72 Km Sultan Bathery-Nanjangud railway line’s cost

Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): Kerala has agreed to chip in with funds for the construction of the 72-km first-phase rail link between Sultan Bathery (Wayanad district) and Nanjangud (in Mysore), said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Chandy, in a letter to Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, has expressed the state’s willingness to share the project’s cost. He has also asked the railway minister to ensure that the first phase, estimated to cost Rs.641.78 crore, begins at the earliest.

The first phase of the proposed project is part of the 236-km railway line between Nilambur (Malappuram district) and Nanjangud, at an overall cost of Rs.4,266 crore.

At a meeting in August last year, the railway minister had said that the project would be more viable if the Karnataka and Kerala governments can together bear 50 percent of the cost of the project’s first phase.

Chandy’s decision comes at a time when a survey for the proposed rail line has recently been completed. The line is expected to cater to over 20 million people residing in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The line would pass through the districts of Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram (all in Kerala), the Nilgiris (in Tamil Nadu), and Mysore, Chamrajanagar and Coorg (in Karnataka).


Pradeep Kumar takes charges as New GM of NCR

ALLAHABAD (ALD): Pradeep Kumar took charge as the new General Manager of North Central Railway on Wednesday.

After graduating in civil engineering in 1977 from University of Roorkee, he joined Indian Railway Services of Engineers in October, 1978, with North Eastern Railway and has since continued to work on various zonal railways in various capacities.

Since August 2012, he has been working as Adviser (Projects), Ministry of Railways and is looking after all technical and safety-related issues pertaining to metro projects. Concurrently, he has also been working as Additional Member Civil Engineering, Ministry of Railways since March 2013, and is looking after all policy related matters pertaining to civil engineering. He has been deputed abroad many times on official assignments.

Ministry of Urban Development seeks suggestion on panel to look into Delhi Metro fares

New Delhi: The Urban Development Ministry has asked the Law Ministry to suggest names of high court judges to head a panel which will look into the issue of revision of Delhi Metro fares.

The UD ministry has in the past suggested names for the position of chairperson of the 4th Fare Fixation Committee on more than one occasion but they had not been accepted by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet ( ACC), sources told.

Delhi Metro has been urging the UD ministry the UD ministry that a Fare Fixation Committee should be constituted. The last hike in DMRC fares was in November 2009.

The sources said that the UD ministry has asked the law ministry to nominate three names for the panel head at the earliest as the constitution of the Fare Fixation Committee is already delayed.

According to Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, the central government has to constitute a Fare Fixation Committee.

As per the requirements, a person shall not be qualified for appointment as the chairperson of the Fare Fixation Committee unless he is or has been a judge of a high court. A sitting judge of a high court shall be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of that high court.

Apart from the chairman, the Committee should consist of two other members, one each appointed by the UD ministry and the Delhi government.






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