Aug 18, 2015

Railways unveils new AC coach with CCTV cameras and improved safety features

NEW DELHI: To provide better amenities to passengers, Railways unveiled a new AC 3-tier coach here with state-of-the-art facilities including CCTV cameras, bio-toilets and improved safety features.
The interiors of the coach, with better security and comfort features, have been designed aesthetically, said Railway Board Member (Mechanic) Hemant Kumar.
While CCTV cameras have been installed at the entrance of the coach on both the sides to strengthen the security system, fire-retardant materials have been used to prevent fire as a safety measure.
Manufactured at the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the AC coach is equipped with wider stainless steel ladder with hand-holds for easy climbing to upper berths.
Besides, the coach has also been fitted with braille stickers for the convenience of visually-impaired passengers.
Asked about the cost of the enhanced features, Kumar said an additional Rs 7.2 lakhs were spent to upgrade the coach with better amenities.
For faster evacuation in case of emergency, the door of the coach has been made to swing both ways. The bi-directional swing door is a new feature which is likely to be a norm for all new coaches in future.
This new compartment is the 50,000th coach rolled out from ICF and is likely to be fitted in a train bound for the southern states.
Source Economic Times

Now, railway employees too demand OROP

Now, Railway employees too have raised the demand for One rank one pension , saying that they should not be ignored as like the defence personnel they also have dedicated their services to the nation.

The issue of OROP for railway employees was discussed in the Seventh Pay Commission and we will raise the issue again, Shiv Gopal Mishra, General Secretary of All-India Railwaymen's Fedration told PTI.

Currently there are 13.26 lakh employees working in the Railways.

"Railwaymen are performing dedicated service for the nation. Railway is the lifeline of the country. Employees are working round the clock across the country," Mishra said. He, however, said servicemen in defence forces should get OROP but the same principle should also be applicable to Railways.

"Our brothers in defence should get it as soon as possible. But at the same time we should also not be ignored," AIRF leader said. Expressing disappointment over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Red Fort speech, Mishra said "PM should have offered something concrete on the OROP issue. Though there were expectations for an announcement on the issue, nothing happened."

PM Narendra Modi, in his Independence day speech, said in-principle the government has accepted the demand for OROP but it is a long pending issues, and discussions are underway and in the last stages.

Taking on lawmakers, he said, "MPs are increasing their salaries whenever they want to increase. They even get full pension irrespective of their term or attendance."

Source - India Today

Seventh Pay Commission seeks one-month extension from finance ministry

Finance minister Arun Jaitley. The Seventh Pay Commission was supposed to submit its report and recommendations to the finance ministry on 31 August. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The Seventh Pay Commission, headed by justice A.K. Mathur, has sought a one-month extension from the finance ministry and is preparing to submit its report by the end of September. The commission is unlikely to recommend the lowering of the retirement age as rumoured earlier or push for lateral entry and performance-based pay.

The commission, set up once in every 10 years to review pay, allowances and other benefits for central government employees, was appointed by the previous government on 28 February 2014 and was asked to submit its report in 18 months, which falls on 31 August.

“There are some data points that are missing, which we hope to get by this month end. We are trying to submit the report by 20 September,” an official of the commission said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Sixth Pay Commission had submitted its report a little ahead of its deadline on 24 March 2008. The revised pay scales were implemented retrospectively starting 1 January 2006, while recommendations relating to allowances were implemented prospectively.

The finance ministry apprehends that salary and pension expenditure will both rise by around 16% in 2016-17 as a result of the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations. This may allow capital expenditure to grow by no more than 8% during the year, leaving little room to aggressively push for an infrastructure build-up.

“The Pay Commission impact may have to be absorbed in 2016-17. The phase of consolidation, extended by one year, will also be spanning out in this period. Thus, in the medium-term framework, the fiscal position will continue to be stressed,” the finance ministry said in the 2015-16 budget presented in February.

The official cited earlier said the Pay Commission report needs to be effective from 1 January 2016, or by April 2016 at the latest.

“It will be the government’s prerogative when to implement it. But beyond 1 January 2016, there will be arrears. But then, the government will be subject to criticism. Earlier, they had hidden behind Pay Commissions giving late reports,” he added.

However, the official said the commission is likely to maintain the status quo on the retirement age of central government employees, currently 60 years. “We are not going to either recommend lowering or raising the retirement age. If we lower the age limit, the pension burden will bust the government’s medium-term fiscal targets,” he added.

Asked whether government has sent any directives to the commission on the kind of hike it can afford, the official said the message it has got broadly is to keep the hikes low. “Merge the basic with dearness allowance, don’t stretch it beyond—that is the message. But that is a good message for the government to send. But there is no pressure otherwise. In fact, there is a lot of cooperation,” he said.

The official said merging basic pay with dearness allowance, which is mandatory, would itself mean a 155% rise for central government employees. “We have to decide how much to give above that. So, it will look good if you compare basic to basic,” he added.

On whether the commission will recommend performance-based pay bands, he said it will make some feasible recommendations, though he couldn’t guess if the government would accept them. The Sixth Pay Commission had also recommended performance-based pay revisions, but the government is yet to implement them.

“Eighty-eight percent of central government employees are industrial and non-industrial workers working with railways, post, paramilitary and army. So, performance-based pay revision is the wrong instrument for them. Biggest growth in government services is in paramilitary forces, where staffs in Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force have gone up by 75-80% in the last 10 years. By the time we have dealt with them, the bureaucracy is an afterthought. It does not affect anything,” he added.

D.K. Joshi, chief economist at rating agency Crisil Ltd, said the government is expected to be restrained in its pay hikes this time around, given the low inflation level and tepid growth momentum. “The last two Pay Commissions had significantly bumped up demand and fiscal deficit. But the government is unlikely to be populist this time. It has already showed restraint in the hike in minimum support prices for farmers,” he said.

However, Joshi said the Pay Commission will have a permanent income effect as well as a one-time impact through the payment of arrears, which will lead to increase in demand for consumer durables.

Source - livemint



Good news for passengers !! It has been decided to run following Suvidha Express special trains on Konkan Railway route to clear extra rush of passengers during feast of Our Lady of Good Health at Velankanni festival between Vasco-Da-Gama & Velankanni in co-ordination with South Western Railway.  The details are as under :-
1) Train no. 02715 / 02716  Vasco – Velankanni -  Vasco  Suvidha Express Special


Special Trains for Durga puja 2015

Puja festival and holiday season for 2015 through Kolkata for various destinations.  All the trains are weekly specials unless otherwise mentioned. Opening of reservation for these trains will be announced later.
Durga Puja Specials Between Kolkata/WB and the North East
02261/02262 Kolkata Sealdah – Guwahati Kamakhya – Sealdah AC Superfast WeekendPujo Special (ER)
02261 AC special from Kolkata Sealdah SDAH to Guwahati Kamakhya KYQ will run on Saturdays October 17, 24, 31, November 07, 14 2015.
Timings: Departs SDAH: 00.30 (Sat), MLDT: 06.20, NJP: 10.30, NBQ: 16.10, arrives KYQ: 19.00 (Sat).
02262 AC special from Guwahati Kamakhya KYQ to Kolkata Sealdah SDAH will run on Saturdays October 17, 24, 31, November 07, 14 2015.
Timetable: Departs KYQ: 2030 (Sat), NBQ: 2302, NJP: 0245 (Mon), MLDT: 0650, arrives SDAH: 1230 (Mon).
Composition: 01 AC First Class, 03 AC 2 tier, 10 AC 3 tier, 02 AC Pantry Cars, 02 EOG (18 coaches), Rake of the 12259/60 Sealdah Duronto.
Route and Stoppages: Malda Town, Kishanganj, New Jalpaiguri Jn., New Cooch Behar Jn., New Bongaigaon Jn., Goalpara Town.
03059/03060 Kolkata Howrah – New Jalpaiguri – Howrah Puja Special (ER)
03059 special from Kolkata Howrah HWH to New Jalpaiguri NJP will run on Wednesdays October 21, 28, November 04, 11 2015.
Timetable: Departs HWH: 23.55 (Wed), BWN: 01.10 (Thu), MLDT: 06.20, KNE: 08.33, arrives NJP: 10.10 (Thu).
03060 special from New Jalpaiguri NJP to Kolkata Howrah HWH will run on ThursdaysOctober 22, 29, November 05, 12 2015.Timings: Departs NJP: 1235 (Thu), KNE: 1348, MLDT: 1610, RPH: 1829, arrives HWH: 2250 (Thu).
Composition: 01 AC First Class cum AC 2 tier, 01 AC 2 tier, 03 AC 3 tier, 11 Sleeper Coaches, 01 Pantry Car, 03 General Unreserved, 02 SLRs (22 coaches).
Route and Stoppages: Barddhaman Jn., Rampurhat, Malda Town, Barsoi Jn., Kishanganj, Alaubari Road.
03129/03130 Kolkata Chitpur – Alipurduar – Kolkata Puja Special (ER)
03129 special from Kolkata Chitpur KOAA to Alipurduar APDJ will run on Sundays October 18, 25, November 01, 08, 15 2015.
Timings: Departs KOAA: 22.45 (Sun), BWN: 00.13 (Mon), RPH: 02.10, MLDT: 05.20, KNE: 07.26, NJP: 09.32, SGUJ: 09.47, NMZ: 10.35, BNV: 11.42, arrives HSA: 12.15 (Mon).
03130 special from Alipurduar APDJ to Kolkata Chitpur KOAA will run on Mondays October 19, 26, November 02, 09, 16 2015.
Timetable: Departs APDJ: 16.50 (Mon), HSA: 17.32, BNV: 18.05, NMZ: 19.22, SGUJ: 2125, NJP: 22.00, KNE: 23.08, MLDT: 02.15 (Tue), RPH: 04.47, BWN: 06.57, arrives KOAA: 08.45 (Tue).
Composition: 01 AC 2 tier, 02 AC 3 tier, 06 Sleeper Coaches, 06 General Unreserved, 02 SLRs (17 coaches).
Route and Stoppages: Barddhaman Jn., Rampurhat, Malda Town, Kishanganj, New Jalpaiguri Jn., Siliguri Jn., New Mal Jn., Binnaguri, Hasimara.

Railway Board gave misleading facts to 7th Pay Commission claimed by Federation, this has been claimed by NFIR, Federation of Indian Railway employees.

National Federation of  IndianR ailwaymen

The Secretary,
Seventh Central P ayCommission,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhawan,
IIFT, Block B(B-14IA)
Qutub Institutional Area,

Sub: Information pertaining to Allowance payable to Officers/Staff of Railways
Para-wise views – reg.
Ref: Railway Board OM No. E (P&A) ll-20l4lMrisc.3l76 CPC dated 20.10.20t4.
Kindly refer our discussions 0n the subject of Pay Element and Running Allowances payable to Running Staff during the course of tendering oral evidence before 7th Pay Commission on 14th April, 2015.

We have explained in clear terms that the issues of Pay Element and Running Allowances have been dealt through bilateral negotiations between the Railway Ministry and Federations’ since the last several decades and hence the 7th CPC need not look into these aspects, although Railway Ministry has sent cetain details in this regard.

In this connection, the Federation furnishes below its comments on Railway Board’s OM dated 20/10/2014 for the appreciation of 7th CPC.

We also invite the kind attention of 7th CPC to the following minutes of PNM meeting of NFIR held with the Railway Board on 20th/21st December, 2014.

“NFIR PNM 8/2011: The staff side requested to withdraw the reference on Running allowances sent to 7th CPC as the Federation raised certain objections to the contents thereof”.

We therefore request the Hon’ble VII CPC to leave the Pay Element and Running Allowances subject to be dealt by Railway Ministry through discussions with the Federations.

                                                       Thanking You.

Yours sincerely

(Dr M. Raghavaiah)
General Secretary/NFIR

Souce: NFIR


Delhi Metro plans to open 106 new kiosks at stations

The kiosks will come up at 74 stations across all six corridors of metro, including the Airport Express Line.
Delhi metro File Photo
Commuters can now look forward to grab a bite or buy stationary items while travelling on the Delhi Metro, as the network plans to open more than 106 new kiosks at different stations, in one of its biggest property development initiatives.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has attributed the move as a major revenue augmentation step in the face of the delay in "long overdue" fare hike, in spite of rising operational costs and a spike in power tariff over the last five years.
The kiosks will come up at 74 stations across all six corridors of metro, including the Airport Express Line. Even smaller stations will have such outlets now, a metro official said. "It gives sustainable additional revenue to the corporation while facilitating commuters by providing one stop solution for their needs and also provides incentive for private sector participant developers," the official added.
Currently, such shops are seen only in major stations such as Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat, Mandi House, MG Road among others. Metro's busiest corridors, Line 2 (Yellow Line)--that connects Jahangirpuri to Huda City Centre--will have 23 new kiosks while Line 3/4 (Blue Line connecting Dwarka to Noida) has 38 in its share.
The 193-km DMRC network has been looking for newer avenues to rev up its coffers even as it expands deeper into the NCR region. Its fares were last revised in 2009, when the minimum fare was raised from Rs 6 to Rs 8 with the maximum fare going up to Rs 30 from Rs 22.
Source - DNA

Female fury to keep men out of spl train

Khardah Station Turns War Zone
Women commuters reacted with fury when three coaches of the ladies' only Matribhumi Express were changed into `general' bogies on Monday , triggering a brickbatting battle with male passengers and police at Khardah sta ion and forcing a four-hour shutdown of suburban railway services on the busy SealdahRanaghat section.
At least 19 policemen were njured in the violence along with eight passengers, includ ng some women. Thousands of office-goers, students and traders had a harrowing time following the massive disruption in the suburban line.
The Matribhumi trains were launched by Mamata Banerjee as railway minister in 2009 and proved to be an instant hit with women commuters.
According to sources, when Matribhumi rolled into Khardah station, 16km from Kolkata, at 9am, women commuters were shocked to see men sitting in three coaches marked `general'. They were apparently unaware of the decision to open up three compartments for men from Monday .
Hundred of women who regularly travelled on those three coaches jumped down on the tracks and blocked the train.The blockade by women angered men, who wanted to show they could do one better. Hundreds of them blocked track No 2. Soon scores of trains were stranded all along the SealdahRanaghat section.
As shouts and abuses flowed back and forth between the men and women, violence was only a stone's throw away . Soumen Chakraborty , a chemical factory owner and Nimta resident, said: “I was sipping tea on platform No. 2 when some women passengers suddenly picked up stones from the railway tracks and attacked the men. The men retaliated. I and some other passengers ran for cover.“
Police had been informed of the track blockade but by the time they arrived, a fullblown battle was on. “The fight between male and female passengers made it worse,“ said a police officer. A large posse of RPF, GRP, RAF and Combat Force was deployed but both sets of protesters turned on the cops. Riot police tried to advance under cover of bamboo shields but they faced a barrage of stones from the endless supply of the track beds. Police had to fire tear gas and launch a lathi-charge. The fight swung back and forth on the tracks and platforms as hundreds of people scattered in panic. By the time police got the upper hand, 19 of them were left battered and bloodied. “We arrested four persons, including a woman, for being involved in the violence.We are looking for a few others,“ said Barrackpore commissioner Niraj Kumar Singh.
There are reports that many passengers fell ill on the stranded trains. The violent protest by women forced Eastern Railways to postpone the coach conversion on Matribhumi Express after an emergency meeting. “Several compartments on Matribhumi trains are often found empty even in peak hours. We see barely 30% occupancy in the entire ladies special, which is why it was decided to convert three compartments of a ninecoach train into general compartments where both men and women can travel. It was only an attempt to ease the huge rush of passengers on general local trains during rush hours. But we can't risk the conversion any more after the Monday's violence. All the compartments of Matribhumi will be ladies' only,“ a railway official said.
Source - toi

Passengers hope for ‘special’ extension

September 30 is the last date of running for special train to Bengaluru
Telugus from Visakhapatnam, living in Bengaluru, are worried about the fate of the Visakhapatnam- Krishnarajapuram-Visakhaptnam (02877/02878) Superfast Tatkal Fare Special bi-weekly. The last date of the running of this special train, being operated by East Coast Railway (ECoR), is September 30.
It is estimated that over 40,000 people from coastal Andhra Pradesh, working in IT companies, as also those employed in other sectors have settled in Bengaluru permanently. It may be recalled that on the plea of Telugus living in Bengaluru, the South Western Railway (SWR) authorities operated a special express from Bengaluru to Vizag for Sankranthi in January this year.
The special was a runaway hit and after fervent efforts ECoR launched a bi-weekly special. The special was run for three months and again extended by another three months in view of the huge demand for the train. The last run, if not extended, will result in huge shortage of berths just ahead of the Dasara season.
“The ECoR authorities should immediately announce extension of the train as passengers could book their berths before the holiday rush begins. The authorities should consider regularisation of the train in view of its high demand,” feels M. Pradyumna.
The high passenger demand between Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru can be gauged from the fact that Air Asia has launched a second direct flight between these two cities on August 14. Air Asia is already operating an evening flight and has now launched a morning flight.
The morning flight leaves Vizag at 6.15 a.m. to reach Bengaluru at 7.40 a.m. This flight will be convenient to people from Vizag, employed in Bengaluru, returning for work after their weekends or after a holiday to rejoin duty. The evening flight, which leaves at 6.40 p.m. and reaches at 8.10 p.m., will be useful to those from Bengaluru coming on a holiday to Vizag and returning home.
SpiceJet and IndiGo are operating two flights each and Air Costa is operating a morning flight between Vizag and Bengaluru.
“Both Air Asia flights are getting good loads,” said Airport Director Vinod Kumar Sharma when contacted on Monday.
Source - the Hindu





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