Jan 23, 2014

Fog, rain slow air, road and rail traffic

JAIPUR: The spell of rain accompanied by early morning fog and mist for the second consecutive day affected the air, road and rail traffic.

Many authors and delegates of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) who were to catch a morning flight to Delhi from Jaipur airport had to take road route to reach Delhi. "They insisted because one flight was cancelled and others delayed. Since they had to catch their connecting flights from Delhi to avoid any further inconvenience they were sent by road," said Sanjoy Roy, the producer of JLF.

At least 200 persons including authors and delegates were returning after attending the festival and were to take flights to their countries from Delhi. "The worst part is that they had their connecting flights are from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Even after we took a decision of sending them via road many of them missed their flights from Delhi due to the delay," said a volunteer looking after the boarding, lodging and travel of the authors and delegates at JLF.

According to the officials of the Airport Authority of India, Jaipur a flight which takes off to Delhi at 8.30 am was cancelled and at least 4 early morning flights landed and took off as late as 3 hours. Not only the delegates of JLF many others faced inconvenience since the flight operations remained affected due to the early morning drizzles and fog till noon.

Likewise, thousands of passengers were seen at Gandhi Nagar and Jaipur railway station since majority of the early morning trains coming to Jaipur were running late. Serpentine queues were seen outside the booking counters of the Jaipur railway station due to the excessive delays in arrivals and departures of the trains.

"There has not been a proper response to our query on the departure and arrival of the train. My train is two hours late, thus I have decided to take a bus to Ahmedabad," said Ansh Hajela a passenger at the Jaipur railway station.

Trains including Howarh-Jodhpur, Sialdah express, Puja Express, Aashram Express were running late. Officials of the NWR however maintained that with the glowing sign boards, announcements and updates on 139 services were clearly mentioning about the delays various trains witnessed.

Similar conditions were seen at the Sindhi Camp bus stand, where the buses coming from Delhi and Agra were delayed up to 3 hours. Due to the early morning fog in Haryana and Bharatpur the buses coming from Delhi and Agra got delayed and people coming to take their passengers were waiting in numbers at the bus stand.

Source..Times of india

Bag with INR 5 Lakhs goes missing from Kandivli (West) Railway Ticket Booking Office

Kandivli (KILE): A bag containing nearly Rs 5 lakh went missing from the Kandivli west ticket booking office on Wednesday. No complaint has been registered so far.

According to WR officials, the booking supervisor of Kandivli West ticket booking office was tasked with headed to a bank depositing the ticket sale proceeds at a bank. The amount pertained to ticket sale proceeds from 10 counters of the Kandivali West booking office.

Around 1.30 pm, he placed the bag on a table inside the booking office and went to drink water from a common spout. Minutes later when he returned he could not find it.

Officials from the Western Railway commercial department reached the spot after they were informed about the incident. A senior railway protection force (RPF) official also spoke to the booking supervisor but he did not file a complaint. An inquiry will be conducted into the incident, sources said. Armed constables are supposed to escort the person tasked with depositing the cash and keep a vigil on it. No complaint has been registered at the time of going to press.

Source..Rail News

Railways decide to Slash 2013-14 Plan Outlay to INR 56000 Crore

New Delhi: Facing a shortfall of Rs 7,000 crore in passenger and freight receipts from the budget estimates, Indian Railways is set to cut its plan outlay by a similar amount, reports Rajat Arora in New Delhi. Sources said the national transporter has decided to slash its Plan outlay for 2013-14 to Rs 56,000 crore from Rs 63,000 crore estimated in the last rail budget. A 10% reduction in expenditure could hit the railways’ modernization and expansion projects, which were any under-provided for, owing to the high (and unhealthy) operating ratio of 88%. Sources say safety measures won’t be compromised but independent experts doubt this.

Source..Rail News

SER implements eComplaint System for Railway Quarters Repair Management

Kolkata: A new system of E-Complaint for railway quarters repair management has been commissioned by Radhey Shyam, general manager of South Eastern Railway (SER) recently. Prabhat Sahai, additional general manager and R K Agrawal, Principal Chief Engineer, were also present.

This innovative modern system of managing complaints regarding repairing of railway quarters will be of great benefit to 1200 residents of SERailway Colony at Garden Reach. Now the residents will be able to lodge complaints 24×7 through internet and track its status as well. They can also upload photos/videos of the defects. The probable date of repair, name of the artisan and report regarding completion of work will be intimated to the complainant through SMS. The introduction of the new system will help in redressal of grievances of railway employees regarding repair of railway quarters at the earliest and will ensure transparency in the entire process.

Source..Rail News

Western Railway launch Awareness on filing Claims in accident cases

Ahmedabad (ADI): The Western Railway (WR) has started a campaign to spread awareness among the general passengers and the passengers involved in any type of rail incident and accident for filing their claim cases in the Railway Claims Tribunal within one year of the incident.

The passengers falling under the western region including Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad who are entitled to get competition from the railways for the accidents could file their claims with the Railway Claims Tribunal at Mumbai.

The applicants need to file an application for competition payable under section 124 and 124A of the Railway Act 1989 before the bench having territorial jurisdiction over the place from which the passenger obtains or purchases his pass or tickets or where the accident or untoward incident occurs etc.

Besides Mumbai, the other Railway Claim tribunals over Western zone are at Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Jaipur where the claims can be filed. It is important to file an application before the Claims Tribunal for competition for the loss of life or personal injury to a passenger, in the stipulated time frame.

If claims are filed after one year, the claimant has to submit a condonation application along with his case with suitable reason for the delay.

Source..Rail News

Forum directs Rlys pay INR 60000 towards Punitive Damages for changing confirmed Berths

The Railways have been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs.60,000 as punitive damages to a retired High Court judge and his family for the “hardship” faced by them due to shifting of their seats to another coach without informing them.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said that the facts show the Railways attempted to accommodate some other persons in place of the reserved seats for the complainants, resulting in “avoidable hardship, inconvenience, humiliation and harassment to the judge”.

The forum also noted in its order that the Railways “resorted to falsehood” to defend their conduct instead of expressing regret immediately.

“Facts clearly show an attempt inside the Railways to accommodate some other persons in place of reserved seats for complainants (the judge and his family) for whatever reasons, resulting in avoidable hardship, inconvenience, humiliation and harassment to a Judge, who is not used to such hiccups and inconvenience in journeys during his career.

“We hold opposite party (Railways) guilty of deficiency and award punitive damages for resorting to falsehood to defend rather than straight away expressing regrets,” a bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

The order came on the complaint of Justice Dilip Raosaheb Deshmukh, a former Chhattisgarh High Court judge as well as Chairman of Company Law Board, who underwent the hardship while travelling from Datia, Madhya Pradesh to Bhopal by train with his wife and daughter.

The coach in which his and his family’s seats were reserved was closed from inside when they tried to board the train and on enquiring with the ticket checker it was found that their seats had been shifted to another coach, the judge had said in his complaint.

The Railways in their reply contended that the seats were shifted as the same was booked under VIP quota and as per a 2005 circular if a male VIP is accompanied by women, their seats are clubbed together.

The seats were, therefore, changed as the initially booked seats of the judge and his family were not close together, the Railways had submitted before the forum which rejected the contention.

Source..Rail News

Angadippuram Railway Overbridge – Compensation for Landowners revised

Angadippuram (AAM): The government has revised the compensation for the land to be acquired for constructing the Angadippuram railway overbridge ( ROB) on NH 213 near Perinthalmanna.

The work of the bridge was delayed for several months due to the delay in reaching a final decision regarding the compensation amount for landowners. A meeting convened by district collector Biju on Tuesday decided to revised the amount.

Landowners will formally hand over their consent letter to revenue officials by January 31. Landowners had, in December, refused the initial offer of Rs 3.32 lakh and Rs 2.71 lakh for the two categories of land in the area. A total of 46 cents owned by 40 persons are to be acquired for the Rs 16-crore project.

Source..Rail News

30 year old FOB at Indore Railway station pose a great danger – accident waiting to happen

Indore Jn (INDB): The 30-year-old foot over bridge (FOB) between platform number three and four at Indore railway station is an accident waiting to happen. In absence of an escalator, scores of passengers cross over the bridge daily and chaos after the arrival of a train is a common sight here. Stampede-like situation on this bridge calls for police help every now and then.

Main Express trains like Malwa Express, Indore- Nizamuddin Express, Avantika Express, Shanti Express, Indore- Rajendra Nagar of broad gauge generally arrive on platform number three and four and a grid-lock situation arises when passengers jostle on the bridge and the stairs attached to it. Chances of any major accident too cannot be ruled out completely.

An official of the railways told that many a times, they have to intimate the RPF personnel to handle the crowd. According to sources, the FOB is very old and cannot take extra passenger load for long.

Manju Jain, who works at the Income Tax office in Indore and travels daily from Ujjain, said that on Monday evening it was no less than a stampede as people pushed each other near the stairs.

“I come from Avantika express and return by Indore- Nizamuddin Express. I was (on Monday evening) stuck badly among people and could not cross down the stairs to catch train stationed at platform number 3,” she recalls, adding she had to then go to the other platform and cross through another FOB at the opposite end.

Another passenger Sudesh Bansal, who arrived by Indore- Nizamuddin Express on Tuesday morning, said that the situation could turn dangerous for passengers someday.

Kota resident Preeti Sharma, who travels to Indore to her relative’s place, said it is very difficult to cross stairs with luggage and children when you have so many people struggling to reach their destination together.

Public relation officer of Ratlam division, Pradeep Sharma said that monitoring of the FOB is done by CCTV cameras and as and when it is required, police personnel man the passengers.

He said, “The rush would ease down with installation of escalators and work on it is expected to be completed by 2015. There is also a plan to construct new FOB after the gauge conversion project (on platform number 1 and 2) is completed.”

Source..Rail News

DRM/MDU inspects Dindigul Railway Station

Dindigul Jn (DG): A passenger train to Tiruchendur from Palani will be operated between February 15 and 25, said A.K. Rastogi, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railway (Madurai Division).

Talking to presspersons before inspecting gauge conversion of Pollachi-Palani section on Dindigul-Palghat track here on Tuesday, he said that the exact date of introduction of the new train service will be announced shortly after consultation with the railway ministry.

The gauge conversion work on Pollachi-Dindigul section was over up to Udumalpet. Erection of signal network was expedited.

When a section of passengers urged the DRM to change the departure time of Palani-Chennai Express to 8 p.m. instead of scheduled time of 6 p.m. as many pilgrims waiting for dharshan in the evening hours could not board the train, Mr. Rastogi ruled out any change in the departure time since this train could not be operated keeping in mind the interests of pilgrims alone.

“We had to consider interests and convenience of passengers in Dindigul, Karur, Rasipuram, Namakkal and Salem railway stations.”

Departure of Palani-Chennai Express at 8 p.m., from Palani railway station would affect passengers in other stations, he pointed out.

Operation of a passenger train between Madurai and Dindigul on Virudhunagar and Dindigul electrified track would be done after obtaining clearance from Commissioner for Rail Safety. Inspection was over and trial run was also completed. He inspected the gauge conversion work in Pollachi-Palani section.

Earlier, he inaugurated the rest house for staff at Dindigul railway station and went to Palani and checked basic amenities and facilities at the railway station there. Dindigul Railway Station Manager R. Murugan accompanied him.

Source..Rail News

Alok Kansal takes over as new DRM/Nagpur/SECR

Nagpur (NGP): Alok Kansal took over as new Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of South East Central Railway (SECR), Nagpur, on Tuesday afternoon.

Kansal, who took charge in absence of his predecessor S L Verma, caused flutter among railway staff. Verma is on leave till January 23 for his daughter’s marriage in Delhi.

SECR spokesperson BVR Naidu informed that formal handing over would

take place on January 24 after Verma returned. Verma’s posting order has not reached the division office yet.

Kansal, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Railway Engineering Service (IRES), was Chief Engineer (track machine) with Northern Railway before joining at Nagpur.

Source..Rail News

Rlys to book a Suo-moto Complaint against Drunken Passenger for molesting women passenger

Mysore (MYS): Molestation incident on Dharwad-Mysore night express train on Sunday night took a serious turn on Wednesday following South Western Railway (SWR) authorities deciding to file a suo-moto complaint with the Superintendent of Police (Railways), Bangalore seeking a legal process against the wrong doer.

Disclosing this, DRM/Mysore Mr.Rajakumar Lal said he had summoned the TTE of the concerned coach and asked him to file a complaint on this score with the SP Government Railway Police (GRP) at Bangalore. “Actually I was in New Delhi to attend a meeting and immediately after coming to know about the incident I have directed the TTE to book a suo motto case against the youth who misbehaved with the women passengers” he said claiming that Railway authorities cannot wait for the concerned women to file a complaint. He said in such cases of serious nature the Railway officials have to take act on their own without waiting for the victims to file the complaint.

“My concern is police should locate the youth and investigate the case and punish him if he is guilty,” he said and added: this would send a strong message across the society preventing the mischievous elements from indulging in unlawful activities on board trains. “This will also instill confidence among the lone woman passengers who travel on trains , especially during night time,” he said.

Referring to such incidents on the train and Railways initiation to prevent such incidents, Lal said Railway officials cannot remain a silent spectator to such incidents. “We have to act against such incidents,” he said terming the issue as the “domain” of the GRP Karnataka.

“RPF has no role to play in it, RPF is concerned about the protection of the Railway properties, law and order problems have to be dealt bye GRP,” he pointed out. “But this does not prevent us from protecting the life and property of the passengers,” he said revealing that he is writing to Karnataka DGP to intensify policing on trains, particularly on night trains. “I will urge the DGP to immediately initiate action against anti-social elements, especially who molest and misbehave with the women passengers on trains.”

Lal said he will follow up the incident with GRP who will take up the investigation.

Source..Rail News

FDI in Railways – $19 Billion worth Indian Railways is all set to improve land use, urban densification

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Railways is all set to improve land use, urban densification and transform $19 billion worth Indian Railways – opportunity crying to be seized to change the abysmal state of Indian Railways. Large-scale investment on cards to turnaround the moribund network!

Even as the new international terminal in Mumbai is being hailed for its unique design and space utilization, spare a thought for the 23 million harried passengers who use India’s moribund railway network every day. Indeed, if there is a campaign promise that Narendra Modi made in his speech to party delegates that desperately needs fulfilment, it is the one to do something about one of India’s last bastions of state-sponsored decay. So abysmal is the future of this vital piece of infrastructure that in its dying throes, even the United Progressive Alliance government is reported to be looking at opening the sector up to foreign investment.

It will need much more than drip irrigation by foreign funds though to turn this modern-day relic into anything remotely resembling a speedy and efficient means of commuting. To gauge how little our railway network has progressed consider this piece of trivia: On 16 April 1853 the first ever railway train in India, carrying 400 passengers, covered the 34km distance between Bombay and Thane in about 75 minutes, a speed of 28kmph. A 161 years later, in Mumbai a slow train runs at an average speed of 50kmph. Even our much-vaunted Shatabdis run at speeds that had already been achieved in pre-war Europe. The Berlin-Hamburg service was launched in 1933 and ran at an average speed of 124kmph. Peak speeds were 160kmph. That’s substantially faster than any Indian train today, 80 years later.

That crawl is a metaphor for the overall underperformance of this sector. In terms of the total infrastructure investment achieved in the 11th Five-Year Plan, railways underachieved by 25% while telecom, and gas and pipelines overachieved by 25% and 80%, respectively. If Indian Railways hasn’t collapsed much as Air India, it is because there has been no competition to it. A cadre of technically-trained officers who have nowhere else to go and have some sort of a culture of competence, no matter how devalued now, keeps the juggernaut’s wheels rolling. But that makes the opportunity loss even larger. It isn’t just operations and peripherals like the state of the stations that are a disaster. Such critical areas like research and development, and manufacturing are in equal state of disarray. By rights, given the size of the market (the fourth largest rail network in the world), India should have had the best signalling, engine and coach industries in the world. Instead, almost every major piece of technology has to be imported. When we need a world-class system like the Delhi Metro, using domestic technology isn’t even a thought.

And belying the efforts of such messiahs of the poor as Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad who have in the past worked as railway ministers, the poor have been ill-served in terms of additional railway lines. In the 66 years since independence, India has added 13,000km of new railway lines. China, says a report by Ernst and Young, added 14,000km just between 2006 and 2011 and China Railway Construction Corporation has announced plans to invest $104.2 billion in fixed assets in 2014. Nor is China the only one. Recognizing the significance of rail networks, there is a resurgence of investment in the sector the world over. In the last decade the Arabian Peninsula has become a preferred destination for railway investment. Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, is planning to spend €4-6 billion on modernization and renewals including maintenance.

It is something Indian Railways needs to do desperately as the hundreds of deaths in train accidents each year suggest. The high-level safety review committee in 2012 admitted: “The financial state of the Indian Railways is at the brink of collapse unless some concrete measures are taken. Passenger fares have not been increased in the last decade during which many passenger-carrying trains were introduced on the existing overloaded infrastructure. This has strained the infrastructure way beyond its limit and all the safety margins have been eaten up pushing Indian Railways to a regime of adhocism in infrastructure maintenance.”
Trains aren’t an anachronism in this era of flying. According to a 2011 study by Deloitte Access Economics, rail networks lead to “improved land use and urban densification, lower carbon emissions, reduced congestion and enhanced energy security.” The report indicates that, for passenger journeys, every trip made on rail rather than road can reduce costs to the society by between $3 and $8.50, depending on the city, while for freight the savings are estimated to be around 95 cents for every tonne-kilometre. The estimates were based on congestion, accident and carbon emission costs and the report suggested that there were additional benefits from social inclusion, reduced infrastructure maintenance costs and fuel security.
India’s railway system has an annual revenue base of $19 billion. It is an opportunity crying to be seized.
Source..Rail News





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