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Jan 2, 2015
A.K.Mital took charge Thursday as chairman of the Railway Board and ex-officio secretary to the government of India.
According to an official with the Indian Railways, Mital succeeds the erstwhile incumbent Arunendra Kumar who retired on Dec 31st December 2014 from Railway Services.
Prior to this appointment, Mital was serving as member staff, Railway Board and ex-officio secretary to the government.
Earlier, had also served as general manager of south western railway, headquartered at Hubli and was also looking after the additional charge of general manager, south central railway.
Mital who holds a bachelor of engineering degree, joined the railways as an officer of 1976 batch of Indian Railways Service of Stores (IRSS).
Mital is being succeed by Indian Railway Services of Engineering of 1977-batch officer
Prior to this appointment, Kumar served as general manager, north-central railway along with additional charge of general manager, northern railway.
The Indian Railways also elevated Navin Tandon as as member electrical, railway board and ex-officio secretary to the government.
Tandon was serving as general manager, south eastern central railway (SECR) before the current appointment.
Earlier, Tandon who is an Indian Railways Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE) 1976-batch officer worked as additional member (electrical), Railway Board.
The most exciting 'project' for the railways to look forward to this year is not a new bridge or station or the sort, it is what the Bibek Debroy committee is expected to do with the railway board. The bets are on everything from keeping the board as it is to completely dismantling it.
"The committee has been given a one year term which means that in all probability the report will be submitted by the end of this year. Among all levels of the 13 lakh staffers, the talk is on what will be done with the railway board," said a senior official.
The debate has so far centered around the railway board because of the first time ever, then railway minister Sadanand Gowda dropped a hint during his July 8 railway budgetspeech last year. Gowda had told Parliament: At the moment, the railway board, due to overlapping roles of policy formulation and implementation, has become unwieldy. Therefore, I propose to separate these two functions."
While constituting the Bibek Debroy Committee, the railway ministry had on September 22, 2014 announced that the former's mandate included "reorganizing and restructuring the railway board and subsequently the department so that policy making and operations are separated, the department does not work in silos, policy making focuses on long-term and medium-term planning issues and operations focuses on day-to-day functioning of the organization".
A senior official said, "The Railway Board today is unable to coordinate properly with state governments nor has it been able to push the railway's agenda with the states. It needs the intervention of big ministers or even the prime minister for coordination and to get big-ticket projects."
Another official said, "The board's structure, with members of various streams of engineering, finance and traffic all behaving as protectors of their own fiefdoms, has failed. Hopefully the government will come up with a better structure."
Picture for representational purpose
Chennai: Are women ever going to be safe in our country? Will they ever confidently say they aren’t afraid of walking or travelling alone after sunset? Well, for now, and maybe for much longer, the answer is going to be no. These questions come to light as another recent chain snatching incident forces us to stop and think whether our mother, daughter, sister or any other female family member, who is perhaps sitting beside us right now, is really as safe as we believe her to be.
On Monday, a chain snatcher pushed a woman, N. Muniswari, out of the ladies’ compartment of an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train near Fort station, which led to her fracturing her shoulder. Three days after the alarming incident, when other women travelling on the same route were asked to describe their experiences pertaining to railway safety, Deccan Chronicle received mixed reactions from them. Revathy S, who works in a private firm, said, “I travel a very short distance between Guindy and Pazhavanthangal which involves only two stations. Though there is a crowd, certain stations look deserted, especially at night. Guindy is much safer than Pazhavanthangal.”
Another MNC worker, Rajalakshmi, who travels between Tambaram Sanitorium and Chetpet, said that she travelled by train after 9 pm very often. “I stay in Tambaram Sanitorium and usually take the 9.40 pm train from Chetpet. Sometimes, I have taken the 10.45 pm train too. But I have always felt safe. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is always there at night. But some stations after Tambaram are deserted,” she said.
“More than the train, some stations are especially scary, especially the ones after Perungalathur, towards the Chengalpattu route. Though I don’t frequently travel beyond Tambaram, the few visits to stations after Tambaram have made me feel unsafe,” said Rajalakshmi, who crosses about 12 stations twice a day.
According to women who are frequent night travellers, all stations after Tambaram, till Chengalpattu, and the two stations after Chennai Park – Chennai Fort and Chennai Beach – are unsafe as the stations as well as the trains are deserted. D. Ramalingam, deputy manager, commercial, at Tambaram railway station, said, “The crowded stations usually don’t face a problem. Stations like Potheri and Paranur have had incidents of chain snatching. Despite the fact that the RPF and the Government Railway Police (GRP) are on duty, such incidents happen in these deserted areas.”
K.V. Thomas, MP and MLAs Hibi Eden and Benny Behanan at Ernakulam Town railway station.
Passenger amenities at the two main railway stations in Ernakulam and railway stations at Edappally and Tripunithura must be augmented prior to Kochi Metro’s commissioning in June 2016, K.V. Thomas, MP said.
Speaking after inaugurating an escalator at the first platform of Ernakulam North railway station on Thursday, he called for proper inter-modal connectivity between the metro and railway network so that commuters benefit.
Elaborating about the huge potential of the metro and suburban railway network, he said that Delhi Metro covers the Parliament House-New Delhi airport sector in 15 minutes time, compared to the two hours time taken by road. “Attention also needs to be given to speed up land acquisition for rail-track doubling,” he said.
Hibi Eden, MLA, lamented that platform one of the railway station does not have full roof cover for 26-cach trains. Even the existing roof is in bad shape. Thiruvanathapuram Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Bajpai said that the Railway will do the needful to augment passenger amenities, despite the paucity of funds. “Work on an escalator at the station’s second platform will begin shortly,” he said.
Titagarh Wagons Limited is one of the leading private sector wagon manufacturers in India. TWL is primarily engaged in the business of manufacturing Railway Wagons & EMUs (Coaches), Bailey Bridges, Heavy Earth Moving and Mining Equipment, Steel and SG iron castings of moderate to complex configuration etc. As an “Industry Partner” to the Defence Research and Development Establishment, Ministry of Defence (“DRDO”), TWL also manufactures certain products for the Indian defence establishment, such as special wagons, shelters and other engineering equipments.
According to news reports, Titagarh Wagons will now expand its global presence and tap the global metro, monorail and high speed market through its French subsidiary— Titagarh Wagons AFR. The company has now bagged an order from the French Railways for 400 hopper cereal wagons worth 39 million (nearly Rs 275 crore) and is also vying for a contract of 300 grain wagons.
In an interview with CNBC TV18, Umesh Choudhary, Vice-Chairman, Titagarh Wagons, said that this deal is not a joint venture. This is 100 percent subsidiary that was acquired by the company in France in 2010. Explaining more about Titagarh Fransce, he said, "The French company is into wagons and we are catering to various European countries for their requirement of wagon and using the design and technology from France. We are trying to get into the African market because many of the countries in Africa are francophone, so they use the same specification. As far as metro is concerned, what we are doing in India is we are already manufacturing the electrical multiple units (EMUs) and the passenger coaches. We got into metro refurbishment, we got a contract from Kolkata Metro and we would be attempting to move into the metro and monorail manufacturing".
The company is very hopeful from the upcoming Railway Budget. Talking about the expectations, he said, "After a considerable period of time we have a decisive government and railway minister who is from the ruling party and person of the stature of the current railway minister. So we are hopeful that there would be certain very forward looking announcements and statements made in the recent Make in India
conclave that was held. The presentation that was taken by the honourable Prime Minister three days ago, two or three ministries in their presentation mentioned about the requirement for additional railway infrastructure and in regional wagons".
He also highlighted the fact that as 40-45 percent of railway's traffic freight revenues comes from coal, so if coal evacuation goes up, transportation of coal essentially will go up.
Lastly, talking about the supply of wagons and estimate in 2015, he said, "If you look at the planning commission document or Vision 2020 by the railways, the estimated wagon requirement was between 25,000-29,000 wagon whereas the actual procurement on an annualised basis over the last three-four years have been 6,000-7,000 wagons. If the railways do catching up on that requirement then the overall
business will grow".
At 10:48AM, the stock of the company is trading up 0.79% at Rs. 317.
Konkan Railway has a lot of expectations this new year, more than any other railway unit, in fact. For long in the blind spot of the railways because of its confusing status as a company as well as a passenger train operator, KR may see some good news coming its way as the new railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, looks to solidify the railways.
Dna takes a look at why KR believes 2015 could be the year in which it finally makes the turnaround.
One of the busiest rail lines in the country, thanks to its strategic importance to Mumbai, the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, Goa, Mangalore and Kerala, every year has seen KR increasing its capacity. And every extra train – holiday special or freight train – it operates, is a strain on its resources, thanks to the ballooning diesel bills.
KR's diesel bills have been going up steadily. It was Rs 151cr in 2011-12, went up to Rs 205cr in 2012-13 and then to Rs 269cr in 2013-14. Current estimates show that by the end of this fiscal (March 2015), it might be in the range of Rs 325cr.
Electrification remains the best bet, say officials. A recent KR study showed that if all the trains – passenger and goods – that Konkan Railway had operated between between April 2013 and March 2014 were powered by electricity instead of diesel, its energy bill would have been Rs 134cr as against the Rs 269cr it had spent on diesel. A straight 50 per cent reduction in energy bills for a transporter that is creaking with mounting losses!
The good news is that on November 23 the railway minister cleared a KR proposal to electrify its 741km route between Roha and Thokur at a cost of Rs 720cr.
KR also expects the ministry to clear its Rs 1,500cr track doubling project, which will see a new line being laid (in addition to the current one) between Mangalore and Udipi in KR's southern tip, and between Roha and Karanjadi at the northern end.
KR board of directors approved the doubling survey on October 29, and it has been sent to the railway board.
Any new stations?
According to KR officials, the plan for doubling the tracks include creating some new stations and converting 28 of KR's present 58 stations – with two lines – into stations with a third track.
"KR has 58 stations on its 741km route, which means an inter-station distance of around 15km, which is higher than the ideal 10km. A few new stations will allow us to operate more trains," said an official.
What is the benefit?
"These two works can actually change KR's dynamics, taking its capacity from the current 68 trains (goods and passenger) per day to around 120 trains. Electrification alone will save fuel cost to the tune of Rs 100cr a year. It will change KR's fortunes," said a senior official.
Port of profit
Konkan Railway, which for some inexplicable reason missed out on Mangalore Port as part of its network after its boundaries were re-drawn in 1994 during the construction phase, is also looking at connectivity with Jaigarh Port, near Ratnagiri, to augment its income.
With Mangalore Port going to Southern Railway (SR), KR was left with very little freight traffic to supplement its loss-making passenger train operations. Jaigarh Port handles 15 million tonnes of cargo currently from its two berths, and promoters have plans to augment its capacity to 65 million tonnes from ten berths.
Memorandum of understanding
On December 1, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) for developing the 33.7-km Jaigarh-Digni rail link through PPP model at Rs 775 crore.
"The small profits we now make is from passenger traffic. Ports in Mumbai, Mangalore and Goa are saturated. Constructing newer ports will boost the fortunes of the state as well as Konkan Railway. It is a challenge we expect the railways, the state as well as the ministry of ports to take up," said the official.
KR in numbers
Total length of route: 741km
Total number of stations: 58
Inter-station distance: 15km
Ideal inter-station distance: 10km
Number of daily trains: 68
Cost of patch doubling: Rs 1,500cr
Electrification: Rs 720cr
2011-12: Rs 151cr
2012-13: Rs 205cr
2013-14: Rs 269cr
2014-15: Rs 325cr (estimated)
Mumbai: Lakhs of people who are dependent on the Central and Harbour line suburban rail services in Mumbai had a harrowing time on Friday after trains came to a grinding halt for close to 6 hours after commuters staged a 'rail roko' over frequent delays.
The train services have now resumed but it will be hours before the huge backlog created by the blockade is cleared.
The Ministry of Railways has decided that all the cases for acceptance of Works and Stores tenders, which as per extant delegations are to be referred to Railway Board by Zonal Railways and Production Units, will now be dealt with and finalized by Zonal Railways and Production Units. Full powers have been delegated to General Manages and Director Generals as tender authority in this regard.
In respect of Stores and Works tenders which are to be invited solely by Railway Board, it has been decided that for tenders upto Rs. 500 crore, Tender Committee will consist of concerned Executive Directors and will be accepted at the level of concerned Additional Members who will be the Tender Accepting Authority. For tenders valuing more than Rs. 500 crore, Tender Committee will be at Additional Member level and Tender Accepting Authority will be the concerned Board Member.
For the tenders being accepted at the level of Executive Directors and below the existing practice will continue.
HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy inspecting the automatic trial run of metro rail on Wednesday.- Photo: by arrangement
Two-way digital communication between train and trackside equipment used to control movement
Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project created a new technology record by successfully running a train in Automatic Train Operation (ATO) mode for the first time on Indian soil between Nagole and Mettuguda on Tuesday night.
From speedier WEH travel, better rail services to clutter-free roadsides, the city will see many key changes in 2015.
Domestic flights to take off from T2
Since January 1981, Mumbai airport has had separate terminals for international and domestic flights. But from July 2015, you will be able to board domestic flights at T2, the city's spanking new terminal that currently caters to only international flights. Vistara, a venture by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, will be the first carrier to operate domestic flights from T2. Legacy carriers such as Air India and Jet Airways will also shift their domestic operations from Santacruz to Sahar.
T2 will also mark another key event: its massive art installation, `Jaya He', will be completed by July. Jaya He occupies 80,000 sq ft of space and curves along the contours of the terminal. It will display nearly 7,000 artworks, making it India's largest art museum. Thirty per cent of the installation is already up.
Kherwadi junction flyover to ease snarls
Syllabi for professional papers for 70% Selection and 30% LDCE for promotion to Group 'B' posts of APO in Personnel Department of Railways/Production Units.
Information regarding selection for the post of JE/Sig GP 4200 against 40% PQ
Promotion order of Je/C&W GP 4200 for the post of SSE/C&W GP 4600
Accordingly the following ERS PB 9300-34800 + GP 4200 are promoted as CRS in PB 9300-34800 + Gp 4600
In continuation of this letter of even no. dt 15.12.14 he pay fixation of promoted MCM/Sig
Options r invited for the 10 post ( 10 ur ) of dresser in Gp 1900 under promotee quota by 28 jan 2015 from eligible gp d staff of medical having service of 3 years. Apply in EGRS cell
Options r invited for the 10 post ( 10 ur ) of dresser in Gp 1900 under promotee quota by 28 jan 2015 from eligible gp d staff of medical having service of 3 years. Apply in EGRS cell
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