Jan 11, 2014

Railway underpass all set to come up in Sadar

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Cantonment Board recently gave its approval for the construction of much-awaited railway underpass in the vicinity of Sadar Sabji Mandi. As per reports, the underpass was initially planned near the Sadar railway crossing, but owing to existence of some houses, the location of the proposed underpass was shifted, and it was finally decided that the underpass would be connecting Sadar Sabji Mandi and Dada Miyan Mazaar. Residents of Sadar feel that once the underpass in complete, it will streamline the connectivity of Cantonment area with that of Lucknow city. 

Confirming the developments to TOI, vice-chairman of Lucknow Cantonment Board, Suman Vaish, said, "The proposed underpass would be connecting Sadar Sabji Mandi and Dada Miyan Mazaar. However, what would be the actual length and dimensions of the proposed underpass is yet to be finished. Similarly, how much fund has been earmarked for the project is not known at this point of time." She further stated that as far as the proposed underpass is concerned, there is no question of security threatemanating from it, and added, "The aspect of security threat was discussed threadbare in the meeting." 

The participants of the meeting also gave their nod to the proposal pertaining to installation ofsteel railing at Nehru Road. Apart from this, permission was also granted to allot shops in the apartment located opposite to Cantonment Hospital. The rate fixed for such shops has been fixed at Rs 15 per square foot. For Anita Memorial Hospital, located in Topkhana, the chairman & chief executive officer observed that doctors should operate in two shifts - from 9.00 am to 12.00 noon and from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm. 

The Rs 4 lakh given by Rita Bahuguna Joshi, senior Congress leader and MLA of Lucknow Cantonment would be used to construct public toilet in Cantonment area. The members present at the meeting gave their opinions about the location of the public toilet. However, it was decided that the public toilet would be decided by mutual consent. The meeting also witnessed angry scenes, when the question of giving employment to 31 dependent family members of the deceased employees as against the 64 vacant posts. Members including Ratan Singhania, Ranjita Sharma, Ashfaq Qureshi and Rupa Devi strongly registered their protest on the issue.
Source..Rail News

Railway conducts surprise ticket checking drives

VADODARA: The Vadodara railway division ofWestern Railway had started conducting surprise ticket checking drives on railway stations under its jurisdiction. 

According to officials of the railway division, a surprise ticket checking drive was conducted by the officials at Anand-Dakor, Anand-Khambhat section and an ambush check was done at Karamsad railway station recently. During this drive, 150 cases of ticket less travel were detected and penalty to the tune of Rs 38,105 was collected.

A similar surprise ticket checking drive was conducted by the division officials at Vadodara railway station wherein 110 cases of ticket less travel were detected. From the drive at Vadodara railway station, penalty to the tune of Rs 38,635 was collected. 

"Similar, ticket checking drives are being planned in ensuing days. We are requesting passengers to travel with proper tickets so that they are not penalized," a railway official said. 

It is worth mentioning here that the railway division has also started special drives to check the menace of touts. Recently, a joint check was conducted by the commercial inspector and the railway protection force of Vadodara with staff at the passenger reservation office on Vadodara railway station. 

During this special drive, three persons were found with blank forms in the queue meant to procure 'tatkal' ticket. All of them were handed over to the railway protection force.
Source..Rail News

Government likely to seek 100 per cent FDI in Railways

Indian railways suffered a loss of about Rs.26,000 in 2012-2013.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion ( DIPP) is likely to move a Cabinet note on Monday to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country's railways.

A top DIPP official told Mail Today that comments from the Ministry of Home Affairs have now been received and thegovernment has fast-tracked the proposal. The railway and finance ministries had already given the go-ahead on the issue.

The official said the proposal allows for 100 per cent FDI through the special purpose vehicle ( SPV) route in railway projects to provide last mile connectivity to ports, mines, industrial units and power plants. New services in suburban areas and high- speed tracks are other segments that will be thrown open to foreign companies.

However, existing passenger and freight operations of the railways will not be open to foreign investors under the initiative, which is aimed at removing last- mile bottlenecks that have crippled the system, he explained.

The proposal is expected to take forward the public-private-partnership ( PPP) mode of investment which has failed to take off. The SPV is also expected to go in for joint ventures with Indian companies that manufacture rolling stock and track equipment.

"The key to success lies in good concession agreements and the government aims to attract up to $ 10 billion (6,20,80 crore) of foreign investment over the next five years,"he added.

The official said companies such as Canada's Bombardier, General Electric of the US and Germany's Seimens have already shown interest in investing in India. In fact, Bombardier already has a factory in Gujarat that produces coaches for the Delhi Metro. Chinese companies such as CSR Corp Ltd and Japanese manufacturers that already supply hi-tech equipment to the railways are other potential investors that the government has on its radar.

Railways have been running short of cash as the populist polices of the government do not permit any increase in passenger fares while the number of loss-makingpassenger trains is increased every year to win votes. For 2012- 13, railways posted a loss of about 26,000 crore.

Main earnings of the railways come from its freight operations which crosssubsidise the losses on running passenger trains.

However, goods trains are made to wait to let passenger trains pass as there are not enough tracks to accommodate such a large number of trains. As a result, the average speed of a goods train has come down to 25 km per hour.

While the railways had a market share of 65 per cent in the goods movement of the country in 1986- 87, this has now come down to 30 per cent while that of the road sector has gone up from 34 per cent to 60 per cent during this period. A mere 25 per cent of the investment in the railway budget is financed through internal revenues of the vast organisation. The rest of the investment comes from government handouts and loans.

The vast network of railways is therefore, in desperate need of more funds.

India has the world's fifth largest rail network, after US, Russia, Canada and China. However, it is lagging behind the others and has deteriorated over the years due to heavy congestion of the tracks and the failure to modernise.

Source..Rail News





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