Dec 1, 2014

Mangalore Central railway station to get second entrance

The HinduThe Attavar-side entrance of the Mangalore Central railway station will soon become an authorised second entrance. Photo: H. S. Manjunath

The Rs. 11-cr. project to have ticket booking office, parking

Pending upgrading of one of the two Railway Stations in the city into world-class, the Mangalore Central railway station is set to get better facilities as the Southern Railway (SR) has proposed to build infrastructure at a second entrance to the station, from Attavar side.

The second entry at present provides unauthorised entry/exit to and from the station, even as hundreds of passengers make use of this route to avoid the congested main entrance. It is also said that many people use this point for unauthorised loading/unloading of parcels.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Palakkad Division, Anand Prakash told The Hindu that the Southern Railway headquarters had agreed to the proposal, which was now awaiting nod from the Railway Board. A full-fledged second entry would considerably ease the load on the main entry and would also benefit the passengers, he said.

To be taken up at a cost of about Rs. 11 crore, the second entry would have almost all the facilities required for passengers. It would have current ticket issuing counters, advance ticket booking counters, adequate circulating area and vehicle parking facility, he said.

A foot-over-bridge too would be built, equipped with escalators for easy movement of passengers from one end to the other, Mr. Prakash added. One more platform, in the form of an island platform, would also be constructed during the process, he said. The station has three platforms at present.

Describing the proposal as the one addressing a much-needed facility, social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath, said commuters in Mangaluru had been demanding these facilities for quite a few years. Besides plugging revenue leakage due to unauthorised entry/exit of passengers and parcels, the second entry would help people from the other parts of the city, he said.

Mr. Kamath alleged that the SR had been indifferent to augment facilities at the Mangalore Central railway station with the fear that it would have to operate more trains to and from Mangaluru. Constant persuasion had resulted in this new development, he said.

Source-the hindu

Rail zone: non-disclosure ofpanel report fuels speculation

The non-disclosure of the report of the railway zone committee, which had submitted its recommendations on formation of the new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh, is fuelling speculation among the people about the real intentions of the government.

The silence of the Railway Ministry though the D-Day is fast approaching, is adding to anxiety among people of the region, who have been waging struggles for the new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam for nearly two decades. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, during his recent visit to New Delhi, had reportedly prevailed upon Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on the need to establish the new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam.

A Railway Zone Saadhana Samithi was formed and all political parties, including the BJP and the TDP, had been demanding a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam for a long time.

MP Kambhampati Haribabu had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and the Minister of State for Railways had only said that the Committee, formed for the purpose, has already submitted its report and the same was under the consideration of the Ministry of Railways. He, however, did not make any commitment on it.

A decision on the new zone has to be announced by December 2, as per the AP Reorganisation Act 2014. Meanwhile, the frequent trips being made by the Odisha Chief Minister to Delhi and his meeting the Prime Minister and Railway Minister along with MPs and officials has led to the talk that Odisha was insisting on retaining Waltair Division in the East Coast Railway (ECoR).

Unions’ plea

Railway trade union leaders and Telugu employees feel that any such move would make them fall from the frying pan into the fire as they fear transfer to remote locations in Odisha. They appeal to the BJP and Telugu Desam MPs and leaders to understand the gravity of the situation as any laxity on their part would give an undue advantage to the Odisha leaders. Visakhapatnam has the required infrastructure to set up the headquarters of the new zone, they add.
Source-the hindu

Cheating in railway exam, 20 candidates caught using WhatsApp and Bluetooth with SIMs in Hyderabad test centre

Photo: ReutersFrom earphones to Bluetooth devices to WhatsApp messages: Mobile tools students are using to cheat in exams are changing fast.

At an All-India Railway Recruitment Board exam in Hyderabad, 20 candidates were caught on Sunday using instant messenger WhatsApp and Bluetooth devices embedded with SIM cards to answer questions, said a newspaper report on Monday.

According to police, this is how the system worked: The man who ran the racket would receive questions from candidates in the exam hall on WhatsApp. He would then send the questions to a team of experts. The experts would relay the answers on Bluetooth earpieces containing SIM cards which the candidates were wearing, reported The Indian Express.

Hyderabad police has arrested 22 people including a railway official for running the racket in the all-India exam.

They recovered eight electronic devices with in-built SIM cards, two laptops, a printer, nine earpieces resembling Bluetooth devices and 27 mobile phones.

Police said the racket was operational in Hyderabad, Tirupati and some other places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The police had raided the exam centre and arrested 20 candidates with earpieces.

Source-india today

PM Modi announces Rs 28,000 cr package for new railway lines in Northeast

Kohima: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Monday, said the Centre will allocate Rs 28,000 crore for the establishment of 14 new railway lines in the Northeast.

PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Nagaland. He greeted the people on the 51st Statehood Day and the Hornbill Festival which is being celebrated across the state today.

"It is a great honour to be here. I greet you during this festive season. This festival seeks to promote, preserve and protect unique cultural diversity of Nagaland. After 50 years of statehood, look back, introspect and take stock of the ground you covered so far. I have seen the strength of your society," the Prime Minister said.

"I took charge as the Prime Minister six months back and I would like to mention the initiatives we have taken for the Northeast. A packaged of Rupees 28,000 crores will be allotted to establish 14 new railway lines in the Northeast," he said.

"People will come to your state for investment and tourism. They will do so because of your biodiversity and climate. Nowadays, if one wants to come to Nagaland from Delhi, it won't take more than a few hours, but a Prime Minister took more than 10 years to reach here," the Prime Minister said.

"There are Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in some parts of the country but here it is a NEZ-Natural Economic Zone. My priority is to tap this NEZ for the Northeast," he added.

Furthermore, he announced scholarships for students from the Northeast saying that 10,000 students will be beneficiaries of the same. He also announced a new scheme to help students and teachers gain exposure at premier educational institutes like the IITs.

PM Modi also announced that apparel manufacturing centres would be set up in each of the eight Northeast states starting with Assam, Nagaland and Sikkim.
Source-zee news

Rail Vikas Nigam to hold 10% in new ports infra entity

Government-owned Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) is to take 10 per cent equity in the new public sector unit (PSU) to be formed to enhance port connectivity through the railways.

As already reported in this newspaper, all 12 major port trusts ntend to jointly form the proposed company to be called Port Infrastructure Vikas Nigam Ltd (PIVNL). The PSU will be formed with equity stakes from all 12 major ports and RVNL, with a 90:10 shareholding pattern. The initial authorised share capital will be around Rs 100 crore, divided into a million equity shares of Rs 1,000 each.

The company will construct, operate and maintain rail and road infrastructure to facilitate connectivity for transportation of goods from ports in India or abroad. The special purpose vehicle is to be formed within a month of Cabinet approval. A draft note for the Cabinet was sent to, and been examined, by the ministries of finance, railways, law & justice and the Planning Commission.

RVNL is under the railways ministry. It was formed to undertake and implement railway projects. It has so far completed 11 port connectivity projects and has six pending. PIVNL has the specific objective of increasing the efficacy of the rail evacuation systems at major ports. End-to-end connectivity to the hinterland is an important factor in the efficiency and growth of a port. On that front, significant work remains to be done, a ministry official says.

In 2013-14, nearly 28 per cent of the total cargo handled by major ports was transported by Indian Railways, to and from the hinterland. A seven-year-old World Bank study says the optimal share of transporting goods through rail should be at least six percentage points higher. Non-major ports handle 60-90 per cent of their cargo volumes through the rail network.


Rail rules scrap fine for timely changes

RAIL passengers will from this week not be penalized for canceling or changing a ticket more than 15 days before departure, the Shanghai Railway Authority said yesterday.

A charge of 5 percent of the ticket price is scrapped under new national rules introduced on Wednesday.

The authority said returning a ticket more than 15 days before the travel has little effect on reselling.

However, passengers returning tickets between two and 15 days before the date of travel will still pay a 5 percent penalty.

And canceling tickets 24 to 48 hours before travel will still bring a 10 percent charge, while 20 percent will still be levied for returning a ticket less than 24 hours before departure.

Latecomers get a little more leeway under the new rules.

Passengers who miss their service can still travel on a train leaving for the same destination on the same day.

Before, they had to take a train within two hours of and pay a charge of 20 percent of the fare.

But the new rules also reduce options for changing bookings. Passengers can change only to another train heading to the same destination within 48 hours after the previous departing time. Previously, they could transfer to another train within 20 days for free.

Clampdown on rail fare evaders nets over €900,000

IRISH RAIL are planning to step up efforts to clamp down on fare evaders after collecting more than €900,000 in fines in the first nine months of this year.

Bosses at the commercial semi-State have introduced a number of measures over the last year-and-a-half to catch offenders who refuse to pay including the redeployment of staff, liaising with the Department of Social Protection to target misuse of travel passes and pursuing fare evaders in court.

A spokesperson revealed almost 9,000 fixed penalty notices were issued up to the end of October. With a minimum fine of €100 in place, Irish Rail said they have collected around €900,000 in fines. Around 252 cases have successfully been taken to court.

However the company is now planning a further clampdown and has publicly tendered for "revenue protection monitoring surveys" to determine precisely how big an issue fare evasion is on services provided by Irish Rail.

The tender states that the company "is seeking proposals from suitably qualified and experienced companies to undertake Revenue Protection Monitoring Surveys to identify the level of fare evasion" on-board Iarnrod Eireann (IE) services.

The company intends to clamp down on the practice "by determining how many passengers are legitimately paying for their journey across all types of services, days of the week, times of the day and stations along the IE network and to identify gaps and assist with the determination of the IE revenue protection strategy".

A spokesperson for Irish Rail told the Irish Independent the company does not consider the problem "out of line" with other international operators, but added fare evasion was "a serious issue which must be tackled".

The company has also recently tendered for the provision of static and frontline security services as well as a major upgrade to its surveillance systems with the supply, installation and provision of a range of CCTV cameras.

However the spokesperson said the measures did not relate to fare evasion but were in order to establish a panel of suppliers to replace CCTV in stations and were "security focused".

China seeks to fund India’s first rail university, wants say in curriculum

China has proposed to co-fund India’s first Railway university and handhold the Indian Railways as it takes baby steps in making the centre for learning a reality. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently promised to set up four such universities in the country, and the government is set to start work on the first one.

After a formal visit to three universities in China last month — Beijing Jiaotong University, Tongji University and Southwest Jiaotong University — Railways Ministry officials submitted a report saying that China has offered its cooperation.

China’s National Railway Administration told the Indian delegation that apart from co-funding between Chinese Railway universities and the Indian Railways, they are interested in joint development of curriculum, design of the university campus and facilities, student and teacher exchange programmes, and offering latest learning technologies to India. The course design could also be such that one could pursue a dual academic degree, of which one part could be completed in India and the other part in one of the Chinese universities. “These programmes are to be collaborated at the graduate level, Masters level as well as the doctorate level,” said a senior government official.

As of now, the Railways is struggling with some teething trouble in its quest to set up the first university. EdCIL India, a PSU under the HRD Ministry, has asked for around Rs 60 lakh from the Railways to make a detailed project report, including drafting a bill required for the creation of the university. Taken aback by the steep quote to make just a report, the Railways has put it up for discussion before an internal high-level committee. An inter-ministerial dialogue is also expected on this.

The choice of location for the university, sources said, has been left with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who will take the decision with the help of the Railway Board. The only preference is the presence of an airport nearby so that movement of visiting faculty and others associated with the university does not become a problem.

The Railway university will teach courses on management, finance as well as specialised engineering courses. Although it will be run by the Indian Railways, there will be no job guarantee for graduates, who will have to go through the established competitive processes — a subject that has been discussed internally, sources said.

As of now, IIT Kharagpur has been roped in to start a railway engineering course in collaboration with the Railways. Chinese universities have also evinced interest to participate by way of visiting faculty and other forms of collaboration.

Seeking China’s help on this was a conscious decision because China started specialised railway-related institutes way back in the late 19th Century. Ever since then, big universities in China have rolled out railway-specific technical as well as non-technical courses.
Source-indian express.





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