May 25, 2014

VAG metro line to begin in June?

The much-awaited mode of public transport in Mumbai the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro rail may soon be reality. According to sources, the Railway Board, under the Ministry of Railways, has cleared vital permission required to start the commercial run of the Mumbai Metro rail between Versova and Ghatkopar.

The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety has demanded that access area at the metro station of Jagruti Nagar be levelled and the quality of elevators and stairs be improved before starting the VAG route

The Metro rail was stuck because the Indian Railways had not finished inspecting the rolling stock that will be used during commercial operations. Railway officials said that the rakes and wheels used in the metro are of a new kind, with newer dimensions, and required close inspection.

They have been manufactured by a Chinese company, Nanjing SR Puzhen Rail Transport (NPRT). “The Railway Board in Delhi has signed the required approvals now, and will send to the Metro rail authorities here in Mumbai,” said a source.

The Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) spokesperson confirmed that they await the approval on the rolling stock from the Railway Board. “We submitted the required papers on April 22, 2014. We will open the line within seven days of approval.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety has demanded minor changes, such as levelling of access area at the metro station of Jagruti Nagar (towards Ghatkopar), and has asked the authorities to improve the quality of elevators and stairs.

These conditions must be accepted and incorporated before the metro begins operations. Mumbaikars can expect the VAG Metro rail corridor can be expected to begin operations by June 10, if things go according to schedule.

However, the delay carrying out work, which includes the delay in giving Right Of Way (ROW) at certain stretches, has resulted in cost escalation. The project cost of this 11.04-km metro line has touched R4,200 crore now.

SOURCE - .mid-day

RSPB organises camps for Railway employees

New Delhi: In order to nurture good sporting talent amongst the wards of Railway employees, the Railway Sports Promotion Board under the Indian Railways has launched a new initiative through organizing coaching camps for wards of Railway employees.

The summer coaching camps are held at Karnail Singh Railway Stadium, New Delhi. Around 150 children of different age groups are being imparted coaching in Badminton, Table Tennis and Cricket. Since inception in 1928, the Railway Sports Promotion Board has been rendering yeoman’s service fostering sporting talent in the Railways. The Board has organised competitions at both national & international levels of sporting arena.
SOURCE - FPJ

EMU manufacturing unit will continue to operate


KOLKATA: Not all work will cease inside the premises of Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara. A portion of the original factory that was acquired by Titagarh Wagons Ltd (TWL) to build EMU rakes for the railways will continue to operate. Sources in TWL said the company is even expecting more orders with the railways planning to refurbish and replenish its fleet of EMU rakes.

In April 2005, TWL acquired the Heavy Engineering Division of Hyderabad Industries Ltd within the Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara. The facility has a steel foundry, a fabrication-cum-machining unit and access to a rail siding. After taking over this unit, TWL indicated that it wishes to develop an EMU-manufacturing plant there and went in for a public issue to raise funds. The target of the company was to build two EMU rakes (of nine coaches each) at Uttarpara per month. The plant received necessary certification from the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways.

It was in 2007 that TWL received its first order for manufacture of an EMU prototype. In the next five years, the company built and supplied eight EMU rakes to the railways. TWL then received further orders for manufacture of EMU and MEMU rakes. The company is now exploring the possibility of manufacturing Metro coaches.

SOURCE - TOI

Intensive checking at railway station

ALLAHABAD: Intensive checking was done at Allahabad railway staton on Saturday.

Security personnel comprising Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) checked the luggage of passengers.

Bomb disposal squad was also pressed into service. The GRP personnel conducted checking at various points, including cloak room, parcel area, circulating area, city side and Civil Lines side of the station.

Dog squad and bomb disposal squad also joined the operation. The vehicles parked near the station were also checked. A GRP official sadi that it was a routine exercise to ensure safety of passengers.
Source-times of india

Railway Travelers Service Agents banned



The railway administration has stopped all bookings by authorised ticketing agents — that is, Rail Travelers Service Agents (RTSA) — and asked them to approach the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The administration has even banned the entry of agents into the computerised reservation centres. The agents are now resting their hopes on the new railway minister and plan to approach court as the last resort.

Ladharam Nagwani, a member of the BJP's national executive committee, said that RTSAs were appointed after a Supreme Court ruling in 1985, and there are around 1,265 such agents across the country. "Each of these agents cater to around 500-600 passengers per day, and as many as 25,000 to 30,000 employees are working for these authorised agents across the country. More importantly, in Mumbai alone there are around 72 agents and they book tickets for 60,000 passengers per day in the city, doing a service to those who are unable to stand in the queue and book their tickets. The RTSAs have separate counters at all the Computerised Reservation Centres. Suddenly, about two days ago, they tell us that we have to shut shop and approach the IRCTC," said Nagwani.

"This is completely unacceptable; there are several complaints against the IRCTC and its agents. How can they tell us to approach the IRCTC when it has problems with its software. The IRCTC came up with its own agents in 2007. But the railway administration should not have changed its policy suddenly, when a new government is taking over the reins of the railway administration," he said.

According to Nagwani, the Central Railway earns around 15 lakh through the authorised agents, while the Western Railway earns around Rs8 lakh per day and it is losing out on this income because of the ban on RTSAs.

"We have approached the Railway administration, but nobody is giving us any valid explanation on the reasons for the ban. Even the chairman of the Railway Board is out of the country. We are resting our hopes on the new railway minister and the last option would be the courts," said Nagwani.

An official has claimed that the RTSA agent system has been rendered redundant by online booking while Railway Board Member (Traffic) DP Pande said "The scheme has been discontinued some time back and the agents had moved the court too. It is just that the zonal railways are implementing it now."
Source-dna india

Railway, NGO join hands to rehabilitate street children


JHANSI: They can be termed as children of the God since it is the blessings of the Almighty that these hundreds of street children spent their nights and days on streets and railway platforms without proper safety and security. There are around fifty such children dwelling on Jhansi Railway Station and another 2,500 roam around the streets.

Some have left their home because of family problems, others are made to work by their family members. Recently, after the intervention of the Delhi High Court on a writ petition filed against Indian Railways for disowning these children, Railways have decided to form a committee at every railway station to monitor such children.

To help the railway authorities in their mission, Chetna, a Delhi-based NGO has come forward. It has been working on such projects for more than a decade and rehabilitated hundreds of children in the past.

ADRM Ashok Kumar Verma said it had been decided to work in two committees for which the officials and NGOs have been roped in. One will monitor only for those children, who accidently get separated from their parents or who run away from home. It will be ensured that they are reunited with their parents. The second committee will look after the welfare of children, who have permanently settled on the station. "We have to ensure that they (children) are given proper treatment and join the mainstream of the society," he added.

A provision is also being made to provide shelter to them by converting a vacant house as a hostel. Provisions are also being made for assistant booths on each platform for such children. Posters and banners will also be displayed with helpline numbers.
Source-times of india
District programme coordinator of Chetna hoped that the efforts will bring positive results for these children.

Railway officials hope new MPs from Mumbai look at big picture, push vital projects

MUMBAI: In a city that depends heavily on an already overwhelmed suburban railway network, the decisive mandate for the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha election has raised hopes that vital projects rather than populist measures will be pushed by the new MPs.

Waiting in the wings are at least four big-ticket projects aimed at capacity augmentation on the suburban corridors. All six MPs from the city and even those from the metropolitan region are from the NDA and railway officials hope they can form a pressure group to give a fillip to the stuck projects.

These important projects are the Western Railway Elevated Rail Corridor, the fifth and sixth lines on the Central Railway, the Airoli-Kalwa Trans-Harbour Link and the CST-Panvel High-Speed Corridor. Lack of enthusiasm in the railway ministry and absence of state support are holding these up.

"The MPs should fight for these projects instead of trying to take credit for minor works which have already been sanctioned before their election," an official said.

A WR official said elected representatives should overcome the hurdle posed by the presence of different political formations ruling in the state and at the Centre.

"The state government is not keen on the WR Elevated Corridor project as it feels the public-private participation [PPP] model through commercial exploitation of land will accrue windfall gains to the concessionaire," the official said. "The project can be taken forward only if the state approves FSI good enough to attract bidders. CM Prithivraj Chavan has been wary about this model after the Adarsh scam."

The railways has also let approval for crucial projects hang fire for lack of funds.

The official said the state government was more keen on the CST-Panvel corridor than the WR corridor.

The fifth and sixth lines project on CR includes building a terminus at Parel. It will help segregate long-distance and local services.
Source-times of india

 

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