Jul 22, 2014

Indian railways to have bio-toilets in all trains by 2022

New Delhi: Seeking to provide a clean and eco-friendly travel to passengers, railways is planning to eliminate direct discharge type toilets from its entire fleet of passenger coaches and replacing the system with bio-toilets by the end of 2021-22.

Railways is envisaging to eliminate direct discharge toilet system from its entire fleet of passenger coaches by the end of 2012-12, the national transporter has said in a recent report to National Human Rights Commission.

Railways has assured the NHRC that it is making sincere efforts to overcome the problem of falling of human waste from train toilets on rail tracks.

The prevailing open discharge of human waste on tracks is not only corroding the rails, it is becoming a serious environment hazard for the railways.

According to a senior railway ministry official, corrosion costs railways over Rs.350 crore every year.

Continuing its efforts to provide a clean and eco-friendly travel to train passengers, railways has expedited the work of fitting bio-toilets in coaches with over 2,000 of them already installed so far. Railways have about 50,000 coaches.

Railways have installed bio-toilets in 2774 coaches till December 2013. The toilets have been fitted in Sleeper and AC coaches of premier and mail/express trains.

The green toilets not only prevent discharge of excrement on tracks and maintain cleanliness but will also help do away with manual scavenging.

The new-age green toilets have been designed by Railways along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) keeping in mind the requirements of Indian trains.

The bio-toilets are fitted underneath the lavatories and the human waste discharged into them is acted upon by a particular kind of bacteria that converts human waste into non-corrosive neutral water.


Railways could generate funds through ads on exterior of coaches: Cong

The Congress today suggested some innovative ideas to the government for improving services of the Railways and its battered coffers.

Participating in a discussion on Railways Appropriation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Rajiv Shukla suggested the Railways could generate funds by allowing advertisements on exterior of train coaches.

"There cannot be a better and wider space for hoardings other than train coaches. This will generate a lot of funds for the Railways," he said.

Shukla also suggested introduction of hourly shuttle service between an important station and a nearby place of pilgrimage.

"The shuttle services can be started between Delhi and Vrindavan, Chennai and Tirupati and Jaipur-Ajmer among others. This kind of service has the potential to generate a lot of revenue for the Railways," he said.

Questioning the source of funds for building the required infrastructure for flagging off bullet trains, Shukla asked whether such trains would remain within the reach of the poor people.

"If you answer that the project will be done through PPP model, I would say, being a former minister in the Planning Commission, that problems are a plenty with such projects," he said.

Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, his deputy Manoj Kumar Sinha and others, cutting across party lines, welcomed Shukla's suggestions with thumping of desks.

Oil-by-rail fight in Washington threatens California gasoline prices

VANCOUVER: California's chance to keep a lid on some of the nation's highest gas prices and join in the spoils of a domestic oil production boom is threatened by quickly growing opposition to a rail terminal in Washington state. 

The hitch in the long-planned project by Tesoro Corp exemplifies growing problems for moving crude oil on trains around the country after a string of fiery rail crashes. 

While the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is the marquee battle between pump price .. 

Mamata to continue movement against fuel price, rail fare hike

Kolkata, Jul 22 (IANS): Assailing the Narendra Modi government for hiking fuel prices and railway fares, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said her party Trinamool Congress would carry on with its movement to combat such policies.

"They said something before the elections and have done things diametrically opposite after the polls. Within a month of coming to power, they have hiked prices of fuel and railway fares," Banerjee said.

"We will continue our democratic movements and fight against these things," the Trinamool supremo said at a party rally here.

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to "foment riots" in West Bengal, she warned that there was no place for divisive politics in her state.

"They are trying to indulge in communal politics in the state. We will not let this happen. There is no room for communalism on the soil of Bengal," she said.

Wondering how the BJP could indulge in a massive campaign built on "lies" in the state by winning only one additional seat in the recent Lok Sabha polls, she prophesied that the BJP will be reduced to zero in the next general election.

"The BJP had one seat. They have gained one more seat. But the way they are campaigning and behaving, it seems as if they have achieved a lot. They now have two seats. It will never become three and will come down to zero in the next general election," Banerjee said at the massive rally held to commemorate the death of 13 youths in police firing on this day in 1993.

Originally observed as "Martyrs' Day", the Trinamool has now christened it as the "Maa Maati Manush Divas".

Ridiculing Banerjee's claim, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said in Delhi that the Trinamool supremo's comments showed she was "worried".

"She is worried as the BJP tally will go up to 22 in the next Lok Sabha polls," Lekhi said.

State BJP president Rahul Sinha said Banerjee should be more "worried" about what was going to befall her party in the assembly polls two years from now.
Source..daiji world

Central Railway's shoddy CCTV camera work at Dadar

CCTV cameras installed for surveillance at Dadar railway station, especially on the Central line, seem positioned to avoid capturing people or suspicious movements. This renders them completely useless and raises questions about whether there is any supervision and whether cameras are deliberately mis-positioned

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are meant to enhance public safety and play a major role in identifying suspects or strange behaviour. However, our attempt to track the movements of our recently deceased colleague, Abhishek Rajak turned into a learning experience. After spending several hours poring over the footage at Dadar station, we found that most of the cameras on the Western line only captured the backs of people, while the cameras on the Central line, were turned away from the most crowded platform 4 and the GRP office as well. 

Dadar is one of the most crowded stations on Mumbai's rail network and yet, CCTV recording and camera positions, especially on the Central Railway (CR) line needs a close scrutiny by the authorities.

Our colleague, Abhishek Rajak was found dead on the rail tracks on 17th July. The reason for our effort to trace his movements was that on the 17th, two people were told that Abhishek had been detained and let off. The police later recanted and claimed there was no detention at all. An hour after the phone calls, Abhishek's body was apparently discovered between Diva and Mumbra stations, about 40-45 minutes distance from Dadar. His phone, which was off for several hours was mysteriously switched on and working. His last call known to us, was from the station to office, when he called to inform of some corrections in articles he had uploaded. 

While scrutinising the tapes, we found him on two cameras on the Western Railway side, one walking on the staircase on the middle foot over bridge (FOB) and second walking towards Central Rail line. The second camera on which we spotted him keeps rotating (for reasons only God may know), but luckily that day (on 17th July) there was some issue and it had became stationary. We saw his back and recognised him only by his clothes and backpack. We tracked him in the video footage up to the middle bridge leading to the Central Railway line after which there is nothing. We could not spot Abhishek in any of the cameras installed by CR Railway Protection Force (RPF) in their area of the middle FOB. Moreover, the cameras are positioned in such a way that it covers the staircases only halfway and that too you can see only the backs of commuters.
Platform no. 4 of CR at Dadar is one of the most crowded platforms on the network, from where commuters board fast locals going towards Thane and Kalyan. However, during our inspection, we found that not a single camera was aimed at this platform. The two-three cameras installed on this joint platform (platform3 and 4) were pointed towards platform no3, where commuters travelling on slow locals going South alight. 

Another point is most of the CCTV cameras at Dadar station on both Central and Western line do not capture faces of commuters because of the high angle of the cameras. So what you get in the CCTV footage is either side profiles or backs of commuters moving around the station. 

(Images for representation only Source: www.cr.indianrailways.gov.in)

In addition, there is no proper lighting on all platforms. This means, all CCTV videos captured during night is dark and is of little use. And this is applicable to both Central and Western lines.

The CCTV cameras and recording are under the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and they provide footage on request, when sent in writing to the Government Railway Police (GRP) for investigations.

In addition, the quality of video, especially in area under the CR's jusrisdiction is highly questionable. The videos at most crowded locations are not even clear and are of poor quality. In comparison, there was one camera installed on platform no. 6 (CR) near the CCTV control room, which not only shows clear videos but also the 'greenery' between platform 5 and 6.

Even the difference in attitudes of RPF personnel in the CR and the WR was poles apart. The RPF personnel from the WR side were very cooperative, either in identifying the right location and camera or showing the stored footage several times over. On the other hand, the RPF on the CR side were not only rude and adamant but also reluctant to show the footage. The major hindrance with RPF on CR side was that they need an operator to operate the CCTV system, and the operator from the company that installed the system comes only when one gets a permission in writing from RPF headquarters at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Only after speaking with two seniors and with help from one person from the Force, we were able to see the footage of that particular time. But as discussed above, it turned out to be a complete waste of time, due to wrong camera positions and poor lighting.

We could not take any pictures at Dadar station as it requires special permission from the authorities. Especially, when there were both GRP and RPF personnels along with us all the time, it was not appropriate to take photos.

To recapitulate, Abhishek reached Dadar station at around 7.45pm on 17th July using the entrance near the Suvidha shop. There he climbed the centre FOB (towards CST) to board the 7.47pm Kalyan fast (15 coach) from platform no. 4 on Central Railway. However, he never reached home and later his body was found on the tracks between Mumbra and Diva stations. Abhishek was a stickler and always boarded the fast local while commuting between Dombivali (his home) and Dadar (his office).
Source..money life

Dutch say train with victims' remains to leave Ukraine rail station

(Reuters) - The head of a Dutch forensic team said on Monday a train, carrying the remains of victims from the Malaysian airliner crash, should set off later on Monday to a place where "we can do our work".

"The train is going. We don't know the time and we don't know the destination. We got a promise: today it is going," he told reporters at the railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Torez.

"I just want the train to go to a place where we can do our work. And that is in the interest of everybody, especially the families of the victims." (Reporting by Peter Graff, writing by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Timothy Heritage)





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