Feb 20, 2014

Govt likely to increase and merge dearness allowance with basic pay

NEW DELHI: The government may increase and merge dearness allowance (DA) with basic pay with the Union Cabinet expected to include the proposal as part of the terms of reference of the 7th pay commission. 

The move will facilitate announcement of interim relief to more than 50 lakh government employees and 30 lakh pensioners by the newly-constituted pay commission before the code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls come into force. 

Central government employees unions have been demanding that besides raising DA to 100%, the government should revise the pay and merge DA with basic pay, considering market inflation and price hike of essential commodities.

As per practice, DA is merged with basic pay when it breaches the 50% mark. DA merger helps employees as their other allowances are paid as a proportion of basic pay. 

An official said if merger of 50% DA with basic pay was decided, it could lead to hike in salary by around 30-35%. He added that there were instances of announcing interim relief to employees apart from DA by a newly constituted pay commission prior to their implementation. 

Merger of 50% DA with basic pay was done in the 5th pay commission, but the 6th commission did not recommended it. 

The Centre is expected to announce next month a hike in dearness allowance by 10% which would make it 100% of basic pay. It will be the second double digit DA hike in a row as the government had announced a hike of 10% in September last year, effective from July 1, 2013. 

An official said hike in DA will not be less than 10% and would be effective from January 1 this year.
Source..times of india

Good News - Transport Allowance at double the Normal Rates to Deaf and Dumb Employees

Transport Allowance at double the Normal Rates to Deaf and Dumb Employees

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
North Block, New Delhi,
Dated: 19th February, 2014
Subject- Grant of Transport Allowance to Central Government Employees – Extension of benefit of Transport Allowance at double the Normal Rates to Deaf and Dumb Employees – Implementation of the Order of the Apex Court – regarding.
The undersigned is directed to refer to Order dated 12th December, 2013 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 107/2011 of Deaf Employees Welfare Association & Another v/s Union of India & Others, and to say that in compliance of the said judgement of the Apex Court, it has been decided to extend the benefit of Transport Allowance, as admissible to blinds and orthopaedically handicapped employees in terms of para 2 (i) of Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure O.M. No.21(2)/2008-E.II(B) dated 29th August, 2008, to deaf and dumb employees of the Central Government also, with immediate effect, subject to the condition that the recommendation of the Head of ENT Department of a Government Civil Hospital is received by the Head of Department and fulfilment of other conditions mentioned in Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure O.M.No, 19029/1/78-E IV(B) dated 31st August, 1978 read with O.M. dated 29.08.2008.
2. In so far as the persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department are concerned, this Order issues in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
(Subhash Chand)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India
Source: www.finmin.nic.in

Suburban trains partially cancelled on Thursday and Saturday on Chennai-Gudur section

Chennai (MAS): A few suburban trains will be partially cancelled on Chennai Central-Gudur section on Thursday and Saturday due to line block for engineering work at Tada yard.

Train 42407 Moore Market Complex (MMC) – Sulurpeta EMU local leaving MMC at 7.30am, train 42409 MMC – Sulurpeta EMU local leaving MMC at 8.30am, train 42406 Sulurpeta – MMC EMU local leaving Sulurpeta at 9.45am and train 42408 Sulurpeta – MMC EMU local leaving Sulurpeta at 11.10am will be partially cancelled between Tada-Sullurpeta on Thursday.

Train 42411 MMC-Sulurpeta EMU local leaving MMC at 9.55am and train 42412 Sulurpeta – MMC EMU local leaving Sulurpeta at 1.30pm will be partially cancelled on Saturday, according to release from the railways.


CCTV Surveillance & Monitoring: Maharashtra Home Dept slams WR to Beef up Security

Mumbai: The Maharastra state Home Department has hauled Western Railway over the coals like never before, just stopping short of issuing a red alert. Why? Because the issue at stake is the safety and security of passengers and visitors at railway stations across the state in the wake of possible terror attacks. In short, millions of lives are in danger.

Apart from the installation of high-definition CCTV cameras, the home department has raised a host of issues related to passenger safety as well as better functioning of the Government Railway Police (GRP).

is in possession of some letters shot off by the top brass of the CID, crime and railways as well as State Home Secretary SK Nanda to Western Railway officials between August and October.

The contents of these communications suggest that the home department is not at all happy with the lukewarm response they got from WR to improve the situation, which directly affects the functioning of GRP and making it difficult to handle crimes on rail stations as well as on trains.

According to the first letter sent by Ashish Bhatia, who was Additional Director-General of Police, CID, Crime and Railways, in August 2013, GRP officials were facing problems while doing duty. A line in that letter read: “Time and again, the problems faced by GRP are discussed at various meetings and letters. But, the situation has remained the same.” This missive was sent to RC Agrawal, the General Manager of Western Railway, on August 6, 2013.

In his three-page letter, Bhatia raised several points that called for immediate attention of the railway authorities. The most important point was, of course, the location of GRP stations. According to him, GRP stations should be located on platforms so that police personnel can reach the crime scene easily. Bhatia, however, claimed that many GRP stations were situated outside the stations. “Railway being a soft target of any terrorist outfit, police stations have to be situated on the platforms,” he insisted.

Two other important suggestions included installation of 51 HD CCTV cameras and 18 scanner machines at the Ahmedabad railway station to keep watch on every movement. He also asked the railway officials to pay immediate attention to building a boundary wall on uninhabited stretches leading to stations to block the unauthorised entry and exit of criminals.

Taking the matter ahead, Nanda wrote a letter to Vinay Mittal, chairman of the Railway Board, on October 30, last year. He, too, issued a reminder about installing CCTV cameras at stations. Nanda pointed out about the GRP station at Vadodara station. According to him, platform 1 was the ideal place for a GRP station. “Instead, a food plaza is coming up there while the police station takes a back seat,” read the letter.

After these communications, a joint meeting was held on November 26, 2013, between top WR officials and state home department to implement the action plan. The agenda included a comprehensive plan to improve security at railway stations as well as providing basic amenities to GRP, such as barracks for night stay after patrolling and renovation of old police stations.

According to Jitendra Kumar Jayant, senior public relations officer of Western Railway in Ahmedabad, many of the suggestions had already been accepted while some would take time. “We have already finalised the installation of 51 HD CCTV cameras in and around Kalupur station. However, the installation of body scanners will take time. We are also planning to build a permanent concrete wall around the station,” he said.


Fire extinguishers in all Kolkata Metro coaches by end March: GM

KOLKATA: Fire extinguishers will be installed in all Metro coaches by the end of March, General Manager Rajeev Bhargava told on Wednesday. This is one of the several measures that the Metro is taking to improve safety for commuters. All air-conditioned rakes being operated by the Metro are also being fitted with the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) that won’t allow motormen to overshoot red signals or run trains at speeds higher than the stipulated time.

“We started fitting the AC rakes with the TPWS from January 31. Till now, 12 rakes have been fitted with the system. The last rake will get the system by Thursday. On an average, it took us less than two days to install the system in a rake. This will enhance safety and bring down sole dependence on human activity to a large extent. Even if a motorman makes an error in judgement, the system will ensure that the train is safe,” Bhargava said.

The TPWS is directly linked to the signaling system. It watches out for signals. In case there is a caution (a yellow light) and the motorman fails to slow down on time, the brakes will automatically work to bring down the speed of the train. If the signal is red, the TPWS will halt the train at once just in case the motorman fails to react on time. In other words, the system will see to it that the motorman never overshoots a signal.

“We floated a tender for fire extinguishers. Within the next few days we hope to finalize the agency that will supply the fire extinguishers. By the end of March, all coaches will have fire extinguishers,” the general manager said.

According to Bhargava, Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) through Global System for Mobile Communication for Railways (GSM-R) technology will be implemented by March 31. This will allow train crew to communicate directly with stations and control rooms through the railways’ own mobile network. It will allow motormen to send emergency messages immediately. Spare capacity will be leased out to mobile service providers to increase Sundry earnings.


Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committees of Assam submit Memorandum to MOSR

Hailakandi (HKD): The Silchar-Lumding Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee and Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee of Tripura demanded immediate completion of the ongoing gauge conversion works of Lumding-Silchar, Arunachal-Jiribum, Badarpur-Kumarghat-Agartala and Silchar to Bairabi.

A two-member delegation comprising Sushil Paul of Silchar-Lumding Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee and Malin Deb Barman of Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee of Tripura met Union Minister of State for Railways Adhir Choudhury on Tuesday in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Union Railways Minister M Mallikarjun Kharge demanding early completion of the gauge conversion work.

Pointing out in the memorandum that the Silchar-Lumding gauge conversion national project was initiated by the Union Ministry of Railways in 1996-97 with a promise to complete it within 2010, the organisations expressed displeasure that hardly 60% of work has been completed after the lapse of 18 years.

In the meantime, many dates were announced with regards to the completion of the project.

The memorandum added that the entire northeastern region has remained backward even after 67 years of Independence; giving rise to a sense of neglect and thereby giving birth to a number of separatist and secessionist forces. For the inclusive growth of the region and to assuage the feeling of neglect among the people of the region it is of paramount importance to initiate developmental projects. The memorandum stressed the need of giving importance to the development of railways on a priority basis.

The organisations pointed out that the railway projects could soon become the lifeline for the States of Tripura, Mizoram, a part of Manipur and the three districts of Barak Valley. At present, the entire region is dependent on the dilapidated Jowai road which passes through Meghalaya.

There is a strong feeling among the people of this region that the 215-km-long Lumding-Badarpur BG line could not be completed even after the lapse of 18 years only due to the utter negligence of the Railways authorities.

The memorandum also hinted at the possible nexus of the transport lobby and high officials of railways causing the unexplainable delay in completion of the project. Reasons like insurgency problems, difficult hilly terrain, etc., are not at all tenable, as the 740-km-long Goa-Konkon railway project was completed within a period of seven-and-a-half years confronting much more difficult challenges compared to this project, the memorandum stated.

The memorandum also mentioned of a series of agitation from October to pressurize the Railways authorities to complete the Lumding-Badarpur section within the stipulated period. At the current pace of progress, it is highly unlikely that the project will be completed within the stipulated period.

The organisations also demanded early completion of other projects in the region, like the Bogibeel Bridge over River Brahmaputra, extension of broad gauge lines from Agartala to Sabroom, Silchar to Kolasib via Virengtee, Bairabi to Sareng, Guwahati to Burnihat, Rangapara to Arunachal Pradesh, etc. Works on all these projects are halted due to non-availability of funds.


Light Rail Transit System proposed for Pune to connect Hinjewadi, Talawade

Pune (PUNE): Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said the state government was contemplating Light Rail Transit (LRT) system connecting Hinjewadi IT Park and Talawade MIDC Technology Park to resolve traffic problems faced by professionals.

Speaking after inaugurating Mahatma Phule Cultural Hall in Wanowrie, Chavan said the government was keen to resolve traffic issues in the city and LRT was part of the solution to mitigate such problems. Talking to reporters at Talawade MIDC later, Chavan said, “The proposal for light rail system is in its initial stage and the state government is checking the feasibility of the project. We are willing to take forward this project. The government is not considering metro rail on this line because of technical problems.”

He stressed on the Pune metro plan, which has so far failed to take off. “Considering the traffic problems in Pune city, the state and the Centre has approved metro project and the work on actual implementation will start,” he said, adding that the state government will make all efforts to facilitate work on ring road.

Chavan said that the state government was open for discussions on biodiversity parks (BDPs). “The decision to protect the BDPs was taken only after consultations and discussions with various stake holders. Now, if someone wants to discuss the issue, we are ready to consider their views,” he said.

The CM also discussed the toll collection issue, which has turned into a contentious subject following state-wide agitations and the government subsequently announcing a new toll policy. The CM said, “The Maharashtra government has already announced that the state will have a new toll policy and a new system where a common pass would be used by commuters. The concept of e-pass will make a difference.”

Chavan said the state continues to lead when it comes to foreign investment. “Of the total foreign investment India has got in the last few years, about 38% of it has come to Maharashtra. It is a reflection that Maharashtra continues to be one of the most developed states in the country,” Chavan said.


Train to play a key Character Role in upcoming Tamil Film

There have been times when cinema has used non-humans as characters. Birds, animals, cars and even trains have all played key roles in films.

Kannan’s Oru Oorla Rendu Raja (Two Kings In One Country) in Tamil – to soon go on the floors – will have a train as one of its characters. The director has hired a platform in Mayiladuthurai (earlier known as Mayavaram) railway station and a train for his movie.

Kannan said the train would be a “character”.

Of course, this will not be the first time that a film is going to have a non-human essaying a character. One of India’s most renowned auteurs, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, once said that a movie “is not just an actor’s performance. He is only one of the several elements…I take care to include animals or birds or even insects in my films. Man becomes truly complete only with the interplay of life forms around him, including plants and trees. This is what makes him one with Nature”.

True to this, “the street cat that strolls on the roof in Swayamvaram (One’s Own Choice), the naughty tuskers, and the black cow that chases Sankarankutty out of the shop veranda into lashing rain in Kodiyettam (The Ascent), different kinds of dogs and the hen that lays eggs in the attic in Anantaram (Monologue), the cranes, the crows, parrots, mynahs and a host of other birds, and the fish in the temple pond in Vidheyan (The Servile) are a few of these non-human actors which have made my movies richer with their presence and histrionics”.

Even more incredible was Adoor’s decision to make a palm tree a character in Nizhalkkuthu (Shadow Kill), set in pre-independence India and during Gandhi’s Quit India Movement. It talks about a hangman in the princely State of Travancore (now part of Kerala) and his guilt-ridden existence.

There have been many others in Indian cinema who have used non-humans with great effect. Elephants and dogs have essayed major roles. The stone figures of gods and goddesses have replicated men and women with heroes and heroines talking to them, complaining to them – as if they were human beings.

Trains have been great leitmotifs in cinema – and they have been wonderful Cupids. Remember that song in Professor with Shammi Kapoor and Kalpana jumping in and out of the slow moving toy train as it chugs through the Ghoom Loop, near Darjeeling (Mein chali, mein chali…). Remember Rajesh Khanna in a Jeep with Sharmila Tagore in a train in Aradhana with the evergreen number, Mere sapno ki rani…. And some of you will certainly have not forgotten one of Mani Ratnam’s best works, Alaipayuthey (Waves, which was remade in Hindi as Saathiya with Rani Mukherjee and Vivek Oberoi) starring Madhavan and Shalini. Here the train acts as Cupid.

So, the train in Kannan’s Oru Oorla Rendu Raja may well be an engaging part of the narrative.

And trains have, since time immemorial, been so romantic. They have helped men and women meet, helped them to begin a love story. Nobody can forget David Lean’s great classic, Brief Encounter – where Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson fall in love in a rail station with the story playing out against the whistle of the engines and the clanging sound of the bogies till the affair disappears in the smoke of the locomotives.

Sometimes, an estranged man-woman relationship is repaired in a train station as we saw in Kora Kagaz with Vijay Anand and Jaya Bahaduri romantically reconciling with each other in a waiting room.

So, it will be interesting to see how Kannan will use the train to weave his tale of two kings in (maybe) one train.


Beware of Rise in Cases of Pickpocketing in Delhi Metro trains

New Delhi: Government on Wednesday said a spurt of more than 450 per cent has been registered in cases of pickpocketing in Delhi Metro trains in 2013 as compared to previous years. In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran informed the Rajya Sabha that 653 cases of pickpocketing were reported in Delhi Metro in 2013 as against 141 and 133 cases in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

Out of the total 653 cases reported last year, only 86 were worked out in which 89 men and 12 women were arrested. The alarming trend seems to be continuing in 2014; as many as 101 such cases have been reported this year in January alone. Police managed to work out only 11 cases so far in which 12 men have been arrested, the minister said.

Although, police has taken various steps like random presence in Metro trains, patrolling at Metro stations for detection and prevention of crimes and targeted checking of suspicious persons, cases of pickpocketing seems to be on the rise.

Delhi Police has arrested several people in the last couple of months including members of a ‘blade-maar gang’ which slash commuter’s bags and pockets using a blade and decamp with their valuables. Of late, there were reports that some women pickpockets were also active in Delhi Metro trains. In the last three years, as many as 33 women and 218 pickpockets have been arrested from Metro trains, the minister said.


Namma Metro gets Green signal to run metro service from Peenya to Sampige Road

With safety check complete, Namma Metro awaits government nod to commence operations - the 9.9 km stretch can be covered in 18 minutes

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) has issued safety authorisation to BMRCL to commission the Peenya Industry-Sampige Road Metro Station line.

While it would take anywhere between 45 minutes and 75 minutes to cover this stretch by road, by the Metro the journey can be completed in about 18 minutes.

CMRS S.K. Mittal told that he has permitted maximum speed of 80 km per hour on the section subject to speed limits at curves.Asked whether he had recommended any improvement regarding civil or technical infrastructure, Mr. Mittal said he had made certain minor observations, which BMRCL has to comply with before commencing operations. Otherwise, everything is fine, he added.BMRCL Director (Rolling Stock and Operation) D.D. Pahuja said the Corporation received the authorisation on Tuesday evening and brought the matter to the notice of the government on Wednesday morning. “Now, it is for the government to take a call on the date for commencing operations,” he said. But for some civil works in a few stations, BMRCL is prepared to commence operations. He said the existing facilities are adequate to operate three-car trains on the section and that pending works would be completed at the earliest.

The 9.9 km stretch has 10 stations. The Corporation expects at least 70,000 passengers to make use of the route every day. Fares are being finalised and would be published soon, he said.

The BMRCL had commenced passenger operations between M G Road and Byappanahalli (6.7 km) in October 2011.






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