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Nov 8, 2014
PATNA: They had almost finished their packing to go on pilgrimage and then suddenly learned, much to their chagrin, that the trip had been cancelled. The culprit? Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
At least 400 passengers, mostly senior citizens, had booked tickets on the 'Jyotirling Dharmik Yatra Special Train' announced by IRCTC. The train was scheduled to leave Patna on September 7 for Shirdi, Dwarka, Somnath and Ujjain and return to Patna on September 16. While a sum of Rs 13,950 each was taken from passengers for travel in sleeper class, a sum of Rs 18,900 each was collected for the journey in AC3.
"IRCTC took money from us to book our tickets, but said the coach and berth numbers would be provided later," said one such passenger who had booked two tickets for self and wife. A couple of days before September 7, IRCTC postponed the departure of train to November 7. "On November 5, I got a call inquiring how I spell my name," the passenger said and added he was told he was being refunded the fare through cheque as the train had been cancelled.
IRCTC public relations officer Sandip Dutta blamed it on East Central Railway (ECR). He said the trip had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the failure of ECR to make available coaches for the proposed train. "We would plan a fresh trip covering the same destinations sometime in February next year," he said and added the passengers booked in the cancelled 'Jyotirlinga' special train could be given preference in the train proposed for next year.
However, ECR chief public relations officer Arvind Rajak said IRCTC had notified its tour package on its own. "We had made it clear to IRCTC it would not be possible to provide coaches in November as we had to run special trains to clear post-Chhath rush from Bihar," he said and added IRCTC cancelled such a trip from Bihar earlier this year due to inadequate bookings.
Sources said the 'Jyotirlinga' special train was proposed to have 18 coaches, including brake vans and pantry car. At lest 700 berths were on offer, but IRCTC could get only 400 and odd takers, the sources said and added IRCTC might have thought it to be a loss-making venture and hence cancelled it.
"IRCTC should at least pay interest on our money which it kept for over two months, if not compensation for hurting our religious sentiments," said another passenger who booked his ticket in August.
Source-times of india.
HYDERABAD: To clear extra rush of passengers, the South Central Railway will extend the running of special trains between Secunderabad-Vijayawada via, Guntur and Nalgonda for four more services.
Secunderabad-Vijayawada special train will depart from Secunderabad at 11:15 p.m. on November 21 and 28 (Fridays) and arrive in Vijayawada at 05:45 a.m. the next day. In the return direction, the train will depart from Vijayawada at 11:00 p.m. on November 20 and 27 (Thursdays) and arrive in Secunderabad at 05:40 a.m. the next day.
To clear extra rush of passengers for the Railway Recruitment Cell (RRC) examination, eight Jansadharan (RRC) special trains with all general second class coaches will operate between Santragachi (Kolkata) and Secunderabad.
Santragachi (Kolkata)-Secunderabad Jansadharan (RRC) special train will depart from Santragachi at 6.00 p.m. on November 7, 14, 21 and 28 (Fridays) and arrive in Secunderabad at 9.20 p.m. the next day.
Source-new indian express
KOCHI: Railway officials at Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations had their hands full on Thursday, when Kochi hosted the first home match of Kerala Blasters against FC Goa.
The special squad, formed by railway authorities with the support of railway protection force (RPF) and Kerala railway police, had a field day booking passengers who had come to watch the match. Many of them were found travelling in trains without tickets on Thursday night.
"We kept announcing that those who were travelling without tickets and entering the station without platform tickets would be fined. But passengers, mainly youngsters, were trying to travel in trains without tickets. We directed a majority of them to the ticket counter and fined the remaining ones who had already entered the trains even after repeated warnings. We will consolidate the total number of penalized passengers on Saturday," said an officer who was part of the ticket inspection squad.
Officials said the number of passengers had tripled and revenue doubled on the day.
"The maximum number of passengers came to Ernakulam Town railway station as it is close to the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. Our drive aim was aimed at increasing the window collection and ensuring that no drunken passenger entered the train," said an RPF officer.
Railway authorities usually carry out similar drives when the city hosts major events such as cricket and football matches and meetings of political parties. On Thursday, authorities selectively picked people clad in the yellow jersey of Kerala Blasters. Many clubs in northern districts had distributed free tickets of the match to football enthusiasts.
Railway authorities have decided to conduct similar drives in the coming home matches of Kerala Blasters.
Source-times of india
NAGPUR: At a time the Indian Railways is passing through financial crisis, Nagpur division of Central Railway (CR) and South East Central Railway (SECR) are facilitating financial benefit to an individual contractor on land earmarked for staff welfare.
In September 2013, Central Railway's personnel branch invited applications from retired railway staff to facilitate security of employees' vehicles parked in the DRM office premises. It then appointed retired employee BN Kosamkar, a resident of New Republican Nagar, Indora, to man all the parking lots in DRM office. The SECR too offered the contract to Kosamkar in June 2014.
The SECR and CR clearly stated in its notification that manning parking lots was purely a welfare measure on 'no profit, no loss' basis. However, TOI has found that in blatant violation of rules, the parking lots are being used by people other than railway employees and general public, who frequently travel to nearby stations.
Moreover, the parking contractor is using Indian Railways logo on his receipts, indicating that entire business is being run by the railways, though it is not benefiting the railways in any manner.
Also, the railway land earmarked for welfare activities is being commercially exploited. Railway sources said welfare land under the DRMs is purely for staff amenities, and should not be given to any private individual to earn money. It is the duty of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) men to guard the premises and railway property from antisocial elements.
Earlier, parking spaces in both DRM offices were run by employees credit cooperative societies at Nagpur. However, the Railway Board directives were flouted and both societies have been left without financial support, even as an individual railway ex-employee, who already gets pension benefits, is making money.
Sources said that considering the huge existing and retired railway staff, their relatives and regular visitors coming for official work, the daily collection of the contractor crosses around Rs50,000. The DRM office is allowing the man to earn money without charging for its land.
For outsiders, parking charge for two-wheelers is Rs10 for 6 hrs and Rs5 for 3 hrs, and for four-wheelers it is Rs20 and Rs10. For railway staff, Rs50 and Rs100 per month is collected.
Central Railway's senior divisional personnel officer (SrDPO) BK Panigrahi denied that Kosamkar was a contractor. "Kosamkar is just a facilitator operating on 'no profit, no loss' basis to take care of employees' vehicles. There is no commercial exploitation of welfare land," said Panigrahi.
He added that if outsiders are found parking their vehicles inside the premises action will be taken. "To check outside vehicles menace, we will issue stickers," he said. On employees society not being handed over the parking job, the SrDPO said the society is defunct and the issue is before the registrar.
Talking to TOI, Kosamkar admitted that after deducting salaries towards parking stand staff, he earns a profit of around Rs6,000 a month. He denied that outsiders are being allowed to park vehicles, but he was also not sure whether general public was parking vehicles under the guise of railway staff.
The SECR too did not consider employees society for the task. SrDPO Hafiz Mohammed refused to comment and asked TOI to talk to DRM Alok Kansal. The latter did not respond to calls.
In the meanwhile, the Parcel Porters Sanghatana has also moved the deputy chief labour commissioner against unlawful activity, as Kosamkar has engaged 10-12 contract labourers on a monthly wage of Rs3,500-4,000 without registering as a contractor.
Kosamkar says he is not a seasoned contractor and hence has not registered. The National Railway Mazdoor Union (NRMU) too had opposed the Central Railway move to allot him work.
Source-times of india
RAJAHMUNDRY: The Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is organising special package tours to Puri, Sabarimala and Goa for the benefit of spiritual tourists.
The special train no 17016 to ferry passengers on pilgrimage to Jagannath Temple at Puri will begin at Secunderabad on Nov 22. The train will pass through Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam. The package includes five nights and six days. In return, the train starts on Nov 29 and returns on Dec 5. A discount of 5 per cent will be offered on tickets.
For Goa tour, train no 17603 starts from Kachiguda on Nov 19 and return on Nov 24. The train passes through Mahaboobnagar, Kurnool, Done, Guntakal and Bellary. The fare per head is Rs 10,669.
The Swarna Jayanti Express, which embarks on pilgrimage to Sabarimala, starts from Vijayawada on Nov 15 and reaches Ernakulam on Nov 16. From there, the pilgrims will reach Vykam by road. After visiting the local temples there, they reach Pamba and have the ‘darshan’ of Lord Ayyappa.
Later, the pilgrims will visit Trisur, Guruvayar and other places. They will return to Vijayawada from Trisur railway station. This tour comes with a package of four nights and five days. Second class ticket fare for the tour is Rs 4,178 and for air-conditioned class it is Rs 6,698. The train passes through Guntur, Tenali, Ongole, Gudur and Chittoor. A discount of 5 per cent on tickets is being offered.
Source-new indian express
In order to clear extra rush of passengers in connection with Railway Recruitment Cell (RRC) examination, eight Jansadharan (RRC) Special trains with all General Second Class Coaches will be run between Santragachi (Kolkata) and Secunderabad.
In a release here today, the SCR said Train, 08045 Santragachi (Kolkata) - Secunderabad Jansadharan (RRC) Special trains will depart Santragachi at 1800 hours on November 7, 14, 21 and 28 (Fridays) and arrive Secunderabad at 219- hours on the next day.
In the return direction, Train 08046 Secunderabad - Santragachi (Kolkata) Jansadharan Special Train will depart Secunderabad at 1835 hours on November 9, 16, 23 and 30 (Sundays) and arrive Santragachi at 2200 hours on the next day, enroute Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Khurda Road, Brahmapur, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam, Anakapalle, Tuni, Samalkot, Rajahmundry, Nidadavolu, Tadepallegudem, Eluru, Vijayawada, Guntur, Sattenapalle, Pidugurala, Miryalaguda, Nalgonda and Moula-ali stations in both the directions. UNI VV RSA AN2344 NNNN
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