Feb 3, 2014

Mumbaikars turn in a large number for maiden mono rail ride



Mumbaikars gave an overwhelming response to the first day today of Mumbai Mono Rail as they turned in a large numbers at all stations between Wadala and Chembur. Amidt rising crowd, the mono rail missed the deadline of 7 am and was delayed by an hour.

Ticket windows were full to their capacities as commuters were standing in a long queuewith an hope for their maiden journey in an air conditioned coaches.

For majority of the commuters of Mumbai life line-the Central Railways, Western Railways and Harbour Railways, it was altogether a different experience as the space was limited compared to their EMU (electric multiple unit) trains.

This apart, the doors were opened and closed automatically. The four coach train has a capacity of 560 passengers though some of them were making efforts in vain to find space. However, they were stopped by the security personnel to avoid over crowding. 

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is a town planning body and a nodal agency for city's infrastructure up-gradation projects, had to swing into action in view of the burgeoning crowd.

MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said: "MMRDA has closed all the mono rail stations on 8.93 km Wadala-Chembur route today at 2.30 pm. However, those who were standing in the queue at ticket counters in station area were issued tokens for travelling. The train operations were extended up to 5 pm. MMRDA would like to appeal to the public that mono rail services will resume as usual at 7 am on Monday. Mumbaikars are requested to cooperate and enjoy the ride responsibly.''

He said over 30,000 passengers travelled in 61 trips on the first day today. The day's collection was over Rs 3 lakh. 

Kawathkar made it clear that the trains will be operated during 7 am and 3 pm from tomorrow onwards .

Maharashtra Security Force personnel had a tough time to control the crowd while maintaining the security at all stations.

On Saturday the mono rail's operations were formally launched by the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. During February, MMRDA has already declared that mono rail will run between 7 am and 3 pm and after taking into account the response the second shift will be launched in March.

MMRDA said currently four tains will operate which will increase to six after March to have 19 hours of operation per day.

Source..Business-Standard

‘Metro Rail will boost older parts of city’



It’s time for better connectivity for all, says Hyderabad Metro Rail MD N.V.S. Reddy

The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project will rejuvenate commercial establishments in older parts of the city, HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy said on Sunday.

As cities expand, the older parts start decaying, as people tend to move away from them. The only way to save older establishments is to bring consumers back by providing them better transportation, he said, adding that Metro Rail was the best way to ensure this connectivity.

Mr. Reddy was addressing traders and members of the Rajasthani community at a function organised by Rajasthan Graduate Association.

“By providing skyways to commercial complexes and establishments, consumers can be encouraged to patronise shops and establishments that are otherwise not easily accessible,” he explained. Mr. Reddy also spoke about various other benefits that the Metro Rail would bring to the city by way of providing avenues for redesigning the city.

Once the main work is completed by the concessionaire, L&T Metro Rail Limited, the HMR will construct skywalks to connect Metro stations with surrounding apartment complexes, commercial establishments and educational institutions in terms of requirement, Mr. Reddy explained.

“We are receiving several representations from people requesting extension of the Metro Rail to their areas, and these requests will be incorporated in the next phase,” he said.

The requests include extension of the Metro Rail line from L.B. Nagar to Vanasthalipuram, Miyapur to Patancheru and Jubilee Bus Stand to Alwal.

Reiterating that the HMR will not give extra space to the concessionaire, Mr. Reddy pointed out that utilising the available space for commercial use was necessary to strengthen public-private-partnership.

“There are about 200 metros in the world, of which only half a dozen are making profit. The passenger fare component of the revenue covers hardly 50 per cent of the total cost, so the rest of the burden should be fulfilled by using the available space for commercial purposes and advertisements,” Mr. Reddy explained.

He also said parking spaces were currently being constructed at 20 Metro stations, and that officials were exploring options to create space in the available government land at other Metro stations.

Harikrishna Ojha, Suresh Chandra Kabra, Ramesh Kumar Bhattad and other members of the association were present.
Source..Rail News

Rail Museum toy train gets vintage engine

The HinduThe engine, manufactured in England, was first used by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for toy trains in 1881. It was rebuilt at a workshop in Darjeeling in 1917 and finally withdrawn from service in 1957. File Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Celebrating its 37 years of existence, the National Rail Museum launched the service of a vintage locomotive for the toy train at the museum complex at Chanakyapuri here over the weekend. The engine, manufactured in England, was first used by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for toy trains in 1881. It was rebuilt at a workshop in Darjeeling in 1917 and finally withdrawn from service in 1957.

The coach attached with the train was also built at Darjeeling at a cost of Rs. 1,907 in 1902. It has a seating capacity of 16. The 4.360-metre-long coach was withdrawn in 1968, after being in service for about 66 years.

Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar dedicated the vintage engine hitched with eight coaches to the museum.

Mr. Kumar later took a joy ride with children and their parents. Talking to mediapersons he said the museum has now been put on the Delhi Tourist map. This will allow tourists to see and understand the history of the Indian Railways.

The museum has an annual footfall of 3.5 lakh.

The addition of Ho-Ho bus service is likely to increase its popularity.

Source..Rail News

Delhi Metro becomes world's first rail system to be awarded for energy efficiency

For its energy efficient measures, the Delhi Metro has become the first rail system in the world to be awarded the Gold Standard foundation -- a globally accepted certification standard for carbon mitigation projects, a statement said Sunday.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) registered for the certification as the energy efficiency measures undertaken in 51 of its stations in phase II qualified under the criterion verified by the auditors.

"The energy efficiency measures have been undertaken primarily in the heating, venting and air conditioning systems, lighting system and other energy efficient measures of station buildings," said DMRC statement.

"All these steps lead to tremendous amount of energy savings and is more efficient than phase I and thus results in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by at least 25 percent," it added.

Compared to the United Nations rate for one carbon credit (70 cents), the Gold Standard carbon offset carries a price premium (4-5 Euros).

In 2008, the DMRC was registered by the UN under the clean development mechanism which has enabled it to earn over Rs.9.5 crore as carbon credits through measures like regenerative braking, wherein the kinetic energy released from the application of brakes is used to accelerate the train.

With the Gold Standard registration, the DMRC is hoping to earn around 7,500 credits annually for the next ten years.

"We are also working on other projects to get them registered under Gold Standard," the Delhi Metro said.
Source..Rail News

21 year old women GRP constable shoots herself on duty in Thane



Thane (TNA): A 21-year-old woman constable with the Thane government railway police (GRP) shot herself in the head with a service pistol while on duty on Sunday morning due to “personal reasons”.

The Naupada police recovered an empty shell casing and a handwritten note near Vaishali Pingat’s body inside the computer room of the Thane GRP office. The note suggested that she was ending her life due to personal reasons, said an officer.

Her colleagues said she seemed “very happy”, especially after tying the knot with Vijay Lingayat (30), also a constable at the Thane GRP, last year. But according to her suicide note, Pingat was not happy snatching “someone else’s love”.

When she and Lingayat had tied the knot, he was already married and the father of a three-year-old boy.

“Pingat and Lingayat were in a relationship and decided to get married in September 2013. His first wife is believed to have given her consent for their marriage and even agreed to let her live with them in their Titwala home,” said M B Pawar, assistant commissioner, GRP.

“In her note Pingat has not blamed anyone for compelling her to take the extreme step. In fact, she has lamented on her being unsuccessful and a failure in life. She has written that she does not want to live with a sin of breaking a marriage and snatching away someone else’s love and sought forgiveness from her parents,” Pawar told.

“There seems to be no foul play. We matched the writing in the note with Pingat’s handwriting in the complaint book at the police station; it is the same. Prima facie, it appears to be an act caused by extreme depression due to personal reasons,” police sub-inspector Bhalsingh told.

The police said that Pingat was on the night shift and 15 minutes before she was to leave for home, she picked the keys to the cupboard where weapons and bullets are kept for the armed guards. She reportedly took a pistol from the cupboard, and shot herself in the head.

Her husband Lingayat, who was on night patrol duty, rushed to the police station on Sunday morning after hearing the news. He was in a state of shock.

Source..Rail News

Prestigious Gold Standard Foundation award for Delhi Metro for carbon mitigation projects

Delhi Metro registered with Gold Standard Foundation for energy efficiency measures

The Delhi Metro has become the first ever Metro and Railway system in the world to be registered with the prestigious Gold Standard foundation, which is a globally accepted certification standard for carbon mitigation projects. DMRC’s Project- ‘Energy Efficiency measures in DMRC Phase II stations’ was registered for this award-winning certification as the energy efficiency measures undertaken by Delhi Metro in 51 station buildings of Phase II qualified under the criterion verified by the Gold Standard auditors, DMRC said in a statement. The energy efficiency measures have been undertaken primarily in the heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting system and other energy efficient measures of station buildings.

The measures adopted at HVAC system result in reduction of electrical energy consumption, in comparison to that for a station building forming a part of Phase I of Delhi Metro with similar size and architectural perspectives. The various energy efficient measures adopted include Tube lights with 67 lumen/w efficacy, water-based cooling tower, Maximum utilisation of daylight in stations, implementation of sun film and energy efficient operating strategies.

All these measures lead to tremendous amount of energy savings.

Source..Rail News

Better Connectivity for All – Hyderabad Metro to boost older parts of city

It’s time for better connectivity for all, says Hyderabad Metro Rail MD N.V.S. Reddy

The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project will rejuvenate commercial establishments in older parts of the city, HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy said on Sunday.

As cities expand, the older parts start decaying, as people tend to move away from them. The only way to save older establishments is to bring consumers back by providing them better transportation, he said, adding that Metro Rail was the best way to ensure this connectivity.

Mr. Reddy was addressing traders and members of the Rajasthani community at a function organised by Rajasthan Graduate Association.

“By providing skyways to commercial complexes and establishments, consumers can be encouraged to patronise shops and establishments that are otherwise not easily accessible,” he explained. Mr. Reddy also spoke about various other benefits that the Metro Rail would bring to the city by way of providing avenues for redesigning the city.

Once the main work is completed by the concessionaire, L&T Metro Rail Limited, the HMR will construct skywalks to connect Metro stations with surrounding apartment complexes, commercial establishments and educational institutions in terms of requirement, Mr. Reddy explained.

“We are receiving several representations from people requesting extension of the Metro Rail to their areas, and these requests will be incorporated in the next phase,” he said.

The requests include extension of the Metro Rail line from L.B. Nagar to Vanasthalipuram, Miyapur to Patancheru and Jubilee Bus Stand to Alwal.

Reiterating that the HMR will not give extra space to the concessionaire, Mr. Reddy pointed out that utilising the available space for commercial use was necessary to strengthen public-private-partnership.

“There are about 200 metros in the world, of which only half a dozen are making profit. The passenger fare component of the revenue covers hardly 50 per cent of the total cost, so the rest of the burden should be fulfilled by using the available space for commercial purposes and advertisements,” Mr. Reddy explained.

He also said parking spaces were currently being constructed at 20 Metro stations, and that officials were exploring options to create space in the available government land at other Metro stations.

Harikrishna Ojha, Suresh Chandra Kabra, Ramesh Kumar Bhattad and other members of the association were present.

Source..Rail News

No increase in Nilgiri Mountain Railway fares – GM/SR tells in IRFCA Convention

Udagamandalam (UAM): The Southern Railway is not in favour of hiking fares on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) line, said Rakesh Misra, General Manager, Southern Railway here on Saturday.

When asked whether an increase in fares would be considered to reduce the losses incurred in maintaining the NMR, Mr. Misra replied, “It will make no difference.” It ferried only about 150 people on each trip.

To another question, he said that there is no proposal to run a Summer special during ensuing season as, “We do not want to increase the risk.”

Pointing out that at some places the track and bridges were unstable, he said that the slopes also posed a threat.

Stating that efforts are on to upgrade the bridges, he said that safety nets were being installed to reduce damage caused by boulders. Stray elephants have become a problem at places like Runnymede. It was not necessary to form a separate body to maintain the NMR.

Though many of the long time maintenance staff have retired, alternative arrangements have been made.

He added that the maintenance of the NMR was, “not only a science but also an art”.

Adverting to the manufacture of locomotives for the NMR at the Golden Rock Workshop of the Southern Railway in Trichy, Mr. Misra said that three have been delivered and the last one will reach this month.

Pointing out that all of them were oil fired engines, he said that coal fired locomotives would no longer be used for regular services. He added that there were no shortcomings in the oil fired engines.

While four of the coal fired engines in the NMR were 95 years old, four were about 65 years old. There was no demand to introduce freight services on the NMR.

Owing to the increasing demand, more public conveniences would be provided at the Mettupalayam station.

A complaint regarding poor maintenance of the Nilgiri Express would be looked into.

Earlier, inaugurating a two day convention of the Indian Railway Fan Clubs Association (IRFCA) Mr. Misra said that the railway authorities often benefit from the out-of-the-box ideas of the association. Their feed back is given due importance.

A delegate from Melbourne, Ian Manning, for whom Indian Railways has been a passion for several decades, said that the NMR is a very good tourist attraction.

Source..Rail News

L&T seeks waiver of Rs.200 Cr Impact Fee from GHMC



Hyderabad: Infrastructure giant and metro developer L&T plans to exploit 18.5 million square feet of built-up area without paying the necessary fees to GHMC. L&T is allowed to commercially exploit land at metro rail depots, stations and along the rail corridor, but it is seeking waiver of nearly Rs 200 crore on charges such as building fees, betterment charges and impact fees from the state government. The construction giant has also sought advertisement fee waiver for billboards to be erected at depots and stations.

Counting on the waiver to come, the L&T, which has already started construction of cellars for its multiplexes and malls at Punjagutta and Erramanzil, has not even paid the impact fee to the civic body despite the latter sending notices in June last year. GHMC officials said that L&T Metro Rail Ltd had sought permission for construction of basements 1 & 2 and the lower ground floors of commercial buildings at the two places a few months ago.

After the GHMC building committee met in April 2013, the officials sent a letter to L&T in June asking for payment of Rs 48,22,340 and Rs 68,00,960 respectively for the two sites. As L&T had proposed to construct only cellars and basements, the corporation had asked them to pay only the impact fees to get permission. The developer was also asked to submit documents like no objection certificates, a set of ‘in’ and ‘out’ ramps for the car parking area, letter surrendering the affected land of about 347 square metres in road widening as well as the change of name of the lower ground floor to the basement floor.

“As the metro rail works are progressing, L&T sought orders on waiver of fee and charges at the 13th Special Task Force meeting on metro rail project held last week,” a GHMC official said.

However, officials said there is no agreement on such an exemption. As per the concessionaire agreement entered into by the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) with the firm, L&T could commercially exploit about 18.5 million sqft built-up area, including 12.5 million sqft at terminal locations and six million sqft at adjoining metro stations. L&T wants to develop office spaces, malls, multiplexes, hospitals, retail, health care, convention centres, theme parks, entertainment zones and convenience retail outlets at these locations.

“There is no mention of exemption of municipal fees and charges in the concessionaire agreement. Even if the state government wants to give tax waiver and building permission fee, the exemption should not be given for city-level impact fee as the proposed development by L&T will have a great impact on the city’s infrastructure,” a senior city planner said.

L&T is also seeking waiver of advertisement tax from the corporation for erecting boards and leasing them out to private parties. Billboards would be erected on 18 portals, 2,700 piers of metro rail, 64 metro rail stations and all along the 72-km metro viaduct.

When contacted, GHMC chief city planner GV Raghu said L&T has sought permission for cellars and they have asked them to pay the impact fee. The decision on exemption has to be taken by the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department, he said.

V B Gadgil, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd Chief Executive and Managing Director, reportedly said they have requested the state government to waive various taxes. “We have sought certain clarifications from the government on tax exemptions, including property tax, as the property ownership is with the state government. Similarly, development will take place as part of the transit orient development (TOD), which is again one of the components of the metro rail project,” Gadgil told.
Source..Rail News

 

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