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Aug 7, 2015
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government is investigating two railway projects funded and built by India and China as costs were found to be excessive and also probing other irregularities and corrupt practices in the transport sector, a spokesman said.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the corruption was uncovered by a Special Investigation Committee appointed to probe allegations against the former regime.
The cost for rebuilding the island’s northern railway line, which was destroyed in the ethnic war, was found to have been too high, he told a news conference.
He was referring to a project done with an Indian government soft loan by Ircon International Limited, an Indian government construction company.
The committee had probed the “enormous cost and issues regarding the estimates of the constructions of the northern railway line,” Senaratne said.
It also found the costs estimated for the construction of the southern Matara - Kataragama railway line to be high.
This project was funded with a Chinese loan and is being built by China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC).
In both projects, competitive bidding had not been done in selecting contractors.
The Internal Transport Ministry has also sought advice from the Attorney General's Department on taking legal action against institutions and people found responsible for irregularities, Senaratne said.
He said legal action has been instituted against politicians of the ousted Rajapaksa regime for not paying for the use of state buses during the January 2015 presidential poll.
The Ministry of Internal Transport is seeking to recover 142 million rupees for providing Sri Lanka Transport Board buses for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s publicity campaign in the presidential election. (Colombo/August 6 2015)
MUMBAI: Ministry of Railways are convening a meeting in Mumbai on Friday with representatives of Financial Institutions to sensitize the finance community of emerging investment opportunities in the Railway Sector.
This is a follow up on the Banks' and Financial Institutions' Conclave held in Delhi on July 21.
A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said , "The meeting of senior railway officials with Heads and CEOs of FIs and a few corporates is being organized at the initiative of the Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu who had in his maiden Railway Budget unveiled massive investment plans for strengthening and modernizing the key Railway infrastructure in the country."
Prabhu, Chairman, Railway Board and Financial Commissioner, Railways are scheduled to address the meeting.
The meeting is being held in Mumbai this time to increase exposure and visibility to the investment plan of Railways. The Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) which is the financial intermediary for the Railways is co-hosting the meeting.
Source - toi
K. Kasirajan, Travelling Ticket Inspector in Tirunelveli, would be doubly happy on Friday, his birthday. On reaching office, he will have a pleasant surprise — a birthday greeting from none other than Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu.
Kasirajan is not the only one to be greeted by Minister. All the employees and officials of one of the biggest organisations in the world would get greetings signed by Mr. Prabhu on their birthdays.
“This is one of the several initiatives the Railway Board has taken to encourage the railway men, even as several austerity measures have been proposed to make the organisation profitable,” an official said.
In the greeting, a print out of which would be handed over to the employee by their immediate boss, the Railway Minister wished him and said the birthday was a reminder that the best in him was yet to come.
Stating that railway men are the biggest asset to the organisation, he hints at the proposed transformational journey and says “We are setting direction for a long and difficult road ahead.”
However, exuding confidence in overcoming the challenges, Mr. Prabhu says with faith, courage and dedication, no dream is too big.
The Minister further says, “I hope that in realising this dream, you turn the challenges into opportunities, consider your weakness as motivation and polish your strengths into your uniqueness.”
Indian Railway has built a huge data base of the railway employees, including that of various railway units, in its portal, Comptran.
The employees whose personal or railway closed user group mobile numbers are registered in the database would get the greetings in the form of a short message service (SMS). And those whose numbers are not available, will get it in the form of a printout, the official said.
Source - the Hindu
Twenty-four hours before the twin train tragedy in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh, local administration had sounded a flood alert and was evacuating 24 villages in the vicinity of what turned out to be ground zero.
But the railways had no hint of the flood alarm or the rising waters near the bridge where the tracks were washed away on Tuesday midnight.
Harda collector Rajneesh Srivastava confirmed both evacuation as well as Met department's alert about the heavy downpour. On Monday , district administration had carried out rescue operations for the flood-hit in two dozen villages, but railway officials, who carried out routine inspections just an hour before the tragedy, said they were not kept in the loop.
“The district administration did not alert the railways about the situation as per protocol. The bridge was never part of the vulnerable sections identified during floods. The water level suddenly rose alarmingly and washed away the tracks,“ said West Central Railway (WCR) GM Ramesh Chandra. He also claimed railways was not made aware of any evacuation taking place near the site of the train accident.
The death toll was expected to cross 40 with 12 passengers still missing. On Thursday , eight bodies were identified by family members of the victims.
Source - toi
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