Mar 21, 2014

Services to remain affected as Mangalore rail division to undertake track maintenance

MANGALORE: Train services will be regulated as railway will be undertaking track maintenance work between Changanasseri and Chengannur stations for 15 days from March 24 to April 13, barring Fridays and Saturdays. The delay would be ranging from 80 minutes to 4.30 hours.

The trains are: Train No. 16629, Thiruvananthapuram - Mangalore Malabar express leaving Thiruvananthapuram Central at 6.30pm will be rescheduled to start at 11pm (4.30 hrs late); Train No. 16347, Thiruvananthapuram -Mangalore express leaving Thiruvananthapuram central at 8.40pm will be rescheduled to start at 10.45pm (2.05 hrs late); Train No. 56603, Thrissur-Kannur Passenger scheduled to leave at 5.55 am will be rescheduled to leave at 6.15 am(20 mts late); Train No. 16311, Bikaner - Kochuveli express of Thursday will be detained at Chingavanam or Changanasseri stations for 80 minutes and Train No. 19260, Bhavnagar - Kochuveli express of Monday will be detained at Chingavanam or Changanasseri stations for 80 minutes.
Source..times of india

Colaba to Andheri Mumbai Metro work to start in January

The construction of the project of 33 km long underground metro line from Mumbai’s southern tip of Colaba to SEEPZ in Andheri is likely to start in January next year, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) said.

The Mumbai Metro is currently doing test runs for its first segment from Versova on the western side to Ghatkopar on the East. The second phase will be from Charkop near Kandivali on the Western line to Mankurd in the East (near Ghatkopar) via Bandra. The dates for the second phase are yet to be finalized.

MMRCL, however, said dates for the third phase have been largely finalized. It will issue detailed tenders for Metro-3 by July 2014 and award the contract to the successful bidder by October 2014.

“Pre-qualification bids for the first underground metro in the country’s financial capital have evoked good response from all the consortiums showing great interest in Mumbai’s first underground metro. Presently we feel that the detailed tenders can be issued by July 2014”, said Mr.Sanjay Sethi, Managing Director, MMRCL and Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. The MMRCL is also confident of awarding contract by October, 2014 for the project to be undertaken on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

“We have tied up the funding for this project from Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Government of India and Government of Maharashtra through MMRDA”, said Sethi.

JICA will be funding 57% of the total project cost of Rs.23,136 crore. “The Government of India and Government of Maharashtra-through MMRDA will be bear the rest of the cost. The GoI will be provide 50% of Central Taxes as Sub-debt while the balance 50% shall be borne by the State Government. The GoM may also get a few exemptions from various local taxes – details of which are being worked out at present”, informed Mr. Sethi.

He further added that Rs.777 crore will also be borne by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), since the metro will pass through the MIAL areas.
The Colaba-Seepz metro will comprise of 27 stations; out of which 26 will be underground and one at Aarey Colony, Goregaon, will be at grade (ground level). Underground construction will be at a depth of 15 to 25 meters on an average. The construction of 32.5 km Metro will be carried out in 7 packages at 14 different locations.

“The state government has also given permission to acquire 30 hectare land in Aarey Colony, Goregaon for Car Depot. There will not be permanent acquisition of private lands of more than four hectares. However, temporary acquisition may be needed for casting yard and other construction purposes,” said Mr. Sethi.

The project will see state-of-the-art technology in underground tunneling, used for the first time in an infrastructure project in Mumbai. While the TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) technology will be used for the Metro Tunnels, the construction of stations will be either cut & cover method or NATM (New Austrian Tunneling Method) as per site requirements,” added Mr. Sethi.

The Colaba-SEEPZ Metro-3 corridor is expected to carry 39,000 commuters per hour per direction (13.9 Lakh commuters daily) in the year 2021 and 42,000 commuters per hour per direction (17 Lakh commuters daily) in the year 2031.

The 14 firms that responded to the pre-qualification bids invited by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) are – AFCONS-KMB, CEC-ITDCEM-TPL, CTCEG-PIIPL, Dogus-Soma, IL & FS-CR25G, J.Kumar- CRTG, L&T-STEC, MOSMETROSTROY-HCC, OHL-SKE&C, Pratibha-GDYT Consortium, Sacyr CMC ESSAR, Salin Impregilo-Gammon, STRABAG-AG-Patel and UNITY-IVRCL-CTG.

The 27 stations on the Colaba-SEEPZ Metro corridor are – Cuffe Parade, Vidhan Bhavan, Churchgate, Hutatma Chowk, CST Metro, Kalbadevi, Girgaon, Grant Road, Mumbai Central, Mahalaxmi Metro, Science Museum, Acharya Atre Chowk, Worli, Siddhi Vinayak, Dadar Metro, Shitaladevi Temple, Dharavi, BKC Metro, Vidya Nagari, Santacruz, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport (Domestic), Sahar Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Marol Naka, MIDC, SEEPZ and Aarey Colony.

Arbritrator Appointed to Resolve Issues on Maytas-Govt Metro Rail Contract

Metro rail work, being executed by L&T Metro Rail (Hyd) Ltd, going apace at Nampally in Hyderabad. | 
As per the direction of the High Court, the state government has appointed justice V.Eswaraiah, retired judge of the High Court, as arbitrator to resolve the issues between Maytas Metro Project Ltd and the government on the Hyderabad Metro Rail project.

The state government had terminated the concession agreement entered with a consortium of companies _ Navabharat Ventures, Mayatas Infra, Italian Thai Development PLC and IL&FS _ for construction of Hyderabad metro rail on ‘develop, build, finance, operate and transfer’ basis in PPP mode on the ground that the concessionaire failed to furnish the performance security of Rs 240 crore.

They failed to achieve financial closure by the stipulated date ending March 17 and also forfeited the bid security (Rs 60 crore) and bid offer (Rs 11 crore) in accordance with the terms of the concession agreement.

Maytas Metro Project filed a writ petition in the High Court against the action of government and seeking refund of Rs 71 crore paid towards bid security.

The court, while disposing the writ petition on November 16, 2011, said the matter should be referred to an arbitrator by invoking the clause as mentioned in the concessionaire agreement, giving liberty to the petitioner to avail the arbitration remedy.

Maytas Metro appointed justice DSR Verma as its arbitrator and urged the government to appoint an arbitrator as envisaged in the concession agreement. The advocate-general has suggested the name of V.Eswaraiah as arbitrator on behalf of the government for resolving the dispute between the government and Maytas Metro Limited.
Source-newindian express

Hitachi switches global rail business to London

LONDON: Japanese electronics giant HitachiBSE -1.33 % will move its global rail business to London, as it seeks expansion in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, it said Thursday. 

The group appointed London-based Alistair Dormer, the former head of Hitachi Rail Europe, as the new chief executive officer of its global rail systems business with effect from April 1, it said in a statement. 
Source-economic times

IL&FS Engg soars 10% on getting Gurgaon metro rail order

Shares of IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company rallied as much as 10 percent intraday Friday after the company received a contract for construction of elevated depot com workshop for the Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon (phase II). The total value of the contract is Rs 69.97 crore and is to be completed within 24 months from the date of issue of letter of award. "The company is currently executing two contracts for Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon - phase II. One involves construction of double track elevated viaduct worth Rs 255.84 crore while the second is for construction of five elevated stations in Gurgaon worth Rs 84.3 crore," the company said in its filing to the exchange. At 11:43 hours IST, the stock climbed 7.23 percent to Rs 39.30 amid high volumes on the BSE. Posted by Sunil Shankar Matkar REL.
Source-money control

Five factors that can play party-pooper for the markets

The euphoria not withstanding, investors should be wary of various factors that can de-rail the market rally in the near future.

MUMBAI: The rise of benchmark indices to all-time highs is pleasing the market participants. There is optimism of recovery in economy and hopes of a stable government at the centre to boost a fledgling economic growth. 

Most brokerages expect the Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark Sensex to rally over 3000 points by December 2014. 

The euphoria not withstanding, investors should be wary of various factors that can de-rail the market rally in the near future. 
Source-economic times

Modi means business: Mumbai puts its money on BJP's PM candidate

When Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, decided that he would take Mumbai by storm in late December last year, the city unit of the party selected the massive ground at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
Modi means business in Mumbai

The last rally here, of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had turned out to be a damp squib, at least partly, because of the poor rail and bus connectivity to the ground. But it did not deter the BJP, flush as it was with logistical and financial resources.

The choice of BKC carried an underlying significance; with corporate and bank headquarters, consulates, diamond hub and five-star hotels, it represented the new business district of Mumbai.

BKC is the new Nariman Point and, by all reports, Modi made it his own space that evening. Modi’s connect with Mumbai, party leaders claim, is very strong. It could not be any other way given the wide-eyed admiration and unstinted support that has poured in for him from the country’s financial and commercial capital.

This was Modi’s second visit to BKC. The preceding one was barely two months before, when he addressed a specially-invited group of diamond traders in the Bharat Diamond Bourse.

The admiring audience cheered him throughout his speech, which, by then, was beginning to contain the staple ingredients: lamentable condition of India’s economy, policy paralysis, corruption and so on.

The general election was then a year-and-a-half away, but it did not matter to his audience.

“Businesses can remain healthy only if the economy is growing. We need hard measures, which Modi has shown the willingness to take. Diamond traders, especially a Kathiawaadi group, are ardent fans of Modi and his policies,” said Naresh Mehta, president of the Bharat Diamond Bourse.

Other trade and industry associations have followed suit with their own endorsements.

Gujarati, Kutchi and other related community associations have formed small support groups, willing to pull out all stops to have “aapno Modi” (our own Modi) in the prime minister’s chair. 

Youngsters in the community, in particular, have created online campaigns, Facebook pages, Friends of Modi clubs to lend energy to the campaign – not as much the BJP campaign as Modi’s.

Delhi, via Mumbai 
Modi’s march to 7 Race Course Road in Delhi had to pass via Mumbai, though BJP has been the second fiddle to its ally Shiv Sena here. Their best tally in the last four Lok Sabha elections was in 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee sought a clear mandate after his short-lived 13-month government.

The alliance had won five of the six seats in Mumbai. Its vote share in the last election was only 29%. “This time, we want to win all six and add a couple more in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region,” said an excited Devendra Fadnavis, state president.

The chant of Modi-for-PM has largely energised the party cadre. Top leaders believe that “Modi’s candidature and connect with Mumbai” will translate into an additional 10 to 15% vote for alliance candidates.

The euphoria was punctured a wee bit when former party president Nitin Gadkari dallied with MNS’s Raj Thackeray, but every opinion poll that projects a massive majority for the party and the overwhelming preference for Modi raises the excitement level back to dizzying heights.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, after a brief initial hesitation over his preference for Sushma Swaraj, quickly and whole-heartedly accepted Modi’s candidature. He did not have a choice. Modi could have been gracious in acknowledging the alliance partner and the Thackerays, at least late Bal Thackeray, in his BKC speech; he chose not to.

Instead, he wooed Mumbai a little more with grand assertions like, “For us Gujaratis, Mumbai is our second home”. In the carefully-selected audience, apart from the party cadres, were thousands of chaiwallas, retailers, traders and diamond merchants.

“There has been a political equation and equilibrium with the Sena all these 25 years, but Modi’s approach is different: he fixes a target and goes for it irrespective of everything else. That sense of purpose and determination is a bit new to us,” said a senior BJP leader.

The BJP has always enjoyed an admirable degree of financial and logistical support from the city. There’s an upsurge this time round, definitely in Mumbai even if it’s not as much outside, say leaders.

“You can’t win Delhi without winning Mumbai first, in a manner of speaking. Modi ‘won’ Mumbai – the financial nerve centre of the country – long before the party made him the prime ministerial candidate,” said Haresh Soni, chairman, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

The gems and jewellery trade has an annual turnover of Rs4 lakh crore. It’s a pointer to the clout the association commands. Other trade associations fall in the same league. That’s why the endorsement matters to Team Modi.

The minority factor
However, there’s a section of Mumbaiites who nurse apprehension bordering on fear about what the Modi-mania will bring — Muslims spread across the inner south and south-central Mumbai. “The Gujaratis in Mumbai are mostly the moneyed and/or upper-caste business families. They might have business relations with Muslims, but never social one. They won’t share food or become neighbours. It’s a communal society and Modi’s rise could embolden it,” explained Nagindas Sanghavi, a well-known Gujarati author.

Modi has also not made a special effort to reach out to the minorities in the city yet. It would be erroneous to imagine a uniform and unanimous reaction from the community to the rise of the Hindutva hard-liner, but community leaders show some disquiet. “Of course, Modi has not expressed regret for the 2002 Gujarat riots, but see what he or his team have done…the Muzaffarnagar riot accused got tickets, which sends out important signals. Many see a rise in the threat level of the BJP if he becomes the PM,” said Sarfaraz Arzoo, editor of Urdu daily Hindustan and vice-chairman of All India Khilafat Committee.

A few kilometres away from the Khilafat House, the symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity, is Kalbadevi that houses, among other iconic structures, the Mulji Jetha and Mangaldas markets. These represented the city’s commercial and trade power when cloth was the currency that enriched the old Bombay.

In the heavily-guarded Mulji Jetha market, third-generation trader Harenbhai said, “We here didn’t want the AAP leader to canvass. Why waste our time when we know Modi is becoming the PM?” 

From Mulji Jetha to the BKC, there’s a Modi chant going around, but not all of Mumbai is a market.

The silent supporters
Narendra Modi has the support of the BJP in Mumbai and the rest of the state. But the Modi-for-PM campaign has been choreographed by non-political forces too, mainly trades and industries where Gujaratis, Kutchis, Marwaris and Jains dominate. Trade and industry associations have either declared support for Modi and the BJP, or have covertly assured them of logistical support. While industry captains’ endorsement of Modi is commonly heard, these associations prefer silent support. Here are some of them.

Mulji Jetha and Mangaldas markets 
These iconic wholesale cloth markets were the older version of the stock exchange when manufacture and trade in cloth and cloth-based products were the mainstay of the economy. The markets still command high respect and house the topmost traders and wholesalers today. They work in a close-knit fashion and have internally decided that they will support the BJP this time more than in the earlier years. As prime minister, Modi, they believe, will declare industry-friendly policies.

Dalal Street
Stock brokers, broking firms and market advisors are in a hurry to complete the election and have Modi as the prime minister. Brokers’ associations across the country appear united in the Modi-for-PM chant; representatives of the Uttar Pradesh brokers association have approached him already with a list of problems. It helps that Dalal Street has a preponderance of Gujaratis and Jains in different work functions. Among the subjects of their discussions this week was the level of the rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar, Rs40, ‘when’ Modi becomes prime minister.

All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation
The national federation of all gems and jewellery manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and exporters, the association has lakhs of members across the country. It routinely argues for fair trade practices and lobbies with governments for industry-friendly policies. For the last two years, the federation and its officials have petitioned the Centre to relax its rules on gold imports, which they say have severely hurt the industry. Its chairman, Haresh Soni, has made his preference for Modi clear while other significant members too are enthusiastic supporters.

Mumbai Diamond Merchants’ Association
Within days of being announced as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Modi was invited as the chief guest at the 100th anniversary celebration of the association last year. The association presented him with 80kg silver and Rs40 lakh, which he hastened to clarify was the industry’s contribution to the Statue of Unity, his grand project in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. A sizeable section of the diamond polishing industry and trade has moved or expanded to Surat in the past few years, but the Mumbai association retains its glitter – and clout.

The Bombay Bullion Association 
This is the apex association of all bullion and jewellery associations in India. Established in 1948 to consolidate the scattered small associations in a newly-independent India, the BBA now enjoys enormous power. It has open channels to the highest echelons of the Central government, with even Union finance ministers granting BBA delegations time and ears. Apart from lending support to Modi last year, the BBA’s president Mohit Kamboj formally joined the BJP in the presence of Rajnath Singh.
Source-hindustan times

Tentative CN Rail, union labor deal fails ratification

A tentative labor agreement between the Canadian National Railway and the train conductors union narrowly failed ratification, the two parties said late on Thursday.

The agreement failed to ratify by a vote of 891 to 852, with 64.2 percent of members returning ballots, according to a letter sent by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons that was seen by Reuters.

CN Rail said it was proposing binding arbitration to reach a settlement and requested a response from the union by the end of Friday, March 21. (Reporting by Solarina Ho and Susan Taylor; Editing by Paul Tait)





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