May 4, 2015

Visakhapatnam Port Trust seeks funds for railway network

VISAKHAPATNAM: Close on the heels of the union cabinet's decision to form a special purpose vehicle for port-related railway projects, the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has submitted a proposal seeking funds for improving the port's internal railway connectivity.

According to senior officials, the Centre has allocated Rs 400 crore for the SPV on upgradation of railway networks in ports. The VPT has taken the lead by submitting the proposal. Eleven other major ports in the country are yet to submit their proposals for the central funds.

OFC link between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur railway stations commissioned

MADURAI: Almost month after commissioning the Optical Fibre Cable link between Virudhunagar and Tenkasi railway stations, Madurai Railway Division on Monday commissioned the next leg of OFC link between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur railway stations. 

The exclusive link for railways has enhanced communication at railway passenger reservation utilities. In future, it will enable Railways to provide WiFi facility even on moving trains. 

Additional member, signal, railway board, S Manohar commissioned the link in the presence of Southern Railway chief signal and telecommunication engineer A V Siva Prasad, Madurai Divisional Railway manager Sunil Kumar Garg, Southern Railway chief signal and telecommunication engineer/projects and planning T M Sridhar and senior officials at Tiruchendur railway station. 

Services on Konkan Railway resume, some trains delayed

(Representative image)

MUMBAI: Rail services remained affected on the second day on Monday as a number of trains have been cancelled and a few rescheduled after a train derailment incident near Madgaon on Sunday. 

Coal, Railway ministry and Jharkhand to sign MoU for coal evacuation

As part of the pact, a special purpose vehicle will be formed with Coal India holding 64% stake, Ircon with 26% stake and the state govt with 10%
Coal India’s production saw a growth of 10.7% in April 2015 against the same period last year. The state-run miner produced 41.52 million tonnes in April, exceeding its target for the month. Photo: Bloomberg
New Delhi: The Jharkhand state government will sign a pact on Monday with the coal and railway ministries to build a rail link for easy evacuation of coal from the mineral-rich state.
As part of the pact, a special purpose vehicle will be formed with Coal India Ltd holding 64% stake, Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd (Ircon) with 26% stake and the state government with 10%.
“Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between ministry of coal, railway ministry and Jharkhand government on 4 May to implement coal evacuation projects,” coal secretary Anil Swarup had tweeted on Saturday. Jharkhand is the third state after Chatttisgarh and Odisha to sign the pact.
While signing a similar pact with the Odisha government last month, energy minister Piyush Goyal called it a “win-win” arrangement for all stakeholders. “Coal India will increase production and make more money of what it produces while keeping its cost low,” he had said in the press meet.
Coal India’s production saw a growth of 10.7% in April 2015 against the same period last year. The state-run miner produced 41.52 million tonnes in April, exceeding its target for the month. The government plans to increase Coal India’s production to 1 billion tonne by 2020, effectively doing away with the need to import the fuel.
In an interview to Mint, coal secretary, Anil Swarup, had talked about Coal India’s expenditure plans. “Coal India doesn’t have shortage of funds. They are sitting on funds. They have a capex plan of Rs 30,000-35,000 crore over a period of next five years. They have identified 121 railway projects for evacuation. And these will be executed by the SPVs we are setting up in each state.”
In total, the government expects to move 300 million tonnes of coal through these three lines. The royalty from all the coal transported will be passed on to the state governments. This will be in addition to the money the states have received in the two rounds of coal auctions conducted so far. The next round of auctions is expected to begin later this month.
Source - Source - live mint

Pakistan Railway Minister Disqualified Over Rigging in 2013 Polls

Pakistan Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique

ISLAMABAD: In a setback for Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, an election tribunal in Pakistan today disqualified his confidant and Railway Minister for vote rigging in 2013 general elections and ordered re-poll in a constituency in Lahore from where he was elected.

The election tribunal announced the decision after hearing a case against Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique who was elected from NA-125 constituency in Lahore. His election was challenged by a rival from opposition leader Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

The court annulled the victory of Rafique over rigging in the elections and asked the Election Commission to organise fresh polls in the constituency within 60 days.

The disqualification of the minister, who had won the NA-125 seat with a majority of nearly 40,000, will give a huge boost to Khan who held violent protests last year against alleged rigging in the polls that were comprehensively won by Sharif's PML-N.

Rafique's constituency was among the four controversial constituencies where Tehreek-e-Insaf had been demanding the government to verify the elections.

The government has recently set up a judicial commission headed by chief justice of Pakistan to probe if the elections were rigged.

The three-member judicial commission is continuing its work and would complete it by the end of this month.

Reacting to his disqualification, defiant Rafique said he was being punished for the "incompetence" of election officials who were responsible for organising polls in a fair and free manner.

The election tribunal also annulled the victory of another PML-N candidate Mian Naseer Ahmad from Punjab province's PP-155 constituency and ordered re-election.

Ruling PML-N has not responded to the decision, but has the option to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court or accept it and let election commission organise new polls.
Source - ndtv

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