Jan 23, 2017

1st lot of railway safety fund may come in Budget

HIGHLIGHTS
  1. In its two-year report card, the Narendra Modi government had claimed credit for fewer rail accidents
  2. This time, three major accidents took place in a span of two months, killing close to 190
  3. The first allocation of the railway safety fund may come in this Budget

Railway accidents: Here's how Suresh Prabhu compromised on safety last year

There seems to be no let up in railway accidents taking place in last few months in the country, with the Hirakhand Express train mishap in Andhra Pradesh being the latest that claimed 39 passengers' lives on Sunday. Although railways has been hinting at a possible sabotage behind this mishap, the series of accidents in recent times also raises serious questions about the lack of thrust on improving safety.

First passenger train chugs into Madurai railway junction since Thursday evening



A girl takes selfie in front of the halted passenger train on the Vaigai river bridge in Madurai on Sunday. | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Police cleared rail blockade on southern side of Madurai railway station; Another train still stranded on Vaigai bridge

Woman clerk refuses to sing duet with railway officer, gets a harsh note



Indian Railways employee gets a notice after she refused to sing at an officer’s farewell party.(AFP file photo)

A woman railway clerk in Raipur was issued a notice for refusing to sing a duet with the general manager (GM) of the zone at his farewell “get-together”.

Anjali Tiwari was asked to sing a vintage Hindi movie song at the Railway Officers’ Colony on January 16 because she was “appointed under cultural quota”. Tiwari refused to sing along with Bilaspur zone GM Satyendra Kumar despite “clear instructions”, said a show-cause notice served to her by the divisional railway manager (DRM). The notice has now been taken back.

Time to revamp railways infrastructure, say experts

Frequent train accidents in the past few months have once again brought to fore issues of maintenance, infrastructure up-gradation and safety in the Indian Railways.

The issue of rail safety, however, took an unexpected turn, with Uttar Pradesh Police hinting at possible role of Pakistani spy agency -- ISI -- in the Kanpur derailment incident, that took place late last year.

Railway safety: Does India have a real solution?

Every time lives are lost in a train accident, investigations are ordered, compensation announced and dozens in authority condole the deaths and pray for the families. Does any of this ultimately contribute towards making the Indian Railway tracks any safer? Hundreds of lives have been lost to train accidents annually with no real solution to avert such tragedies emerging.

Engineer proposes elevated highway over railway line

Kozhikode: As a cost-effective substitute to the proposed widening of the national highway by acquiring vast area of private land, N.M. Salim, a city-based engineer, has come out with an innovative proposal for constructing an elevated highway over the railway line.

A preliminary report in this regard submitted to various departments suggests that the construction of a four-lane elevated highway over the railway line will help the State accomplish its dream of having a high-speed roadway with minimal investment and high safety standards.
However, Mr. Salim, who has been in the field for decades, says the construction of the 600-km-long road with a width of 45 metres in the existing circumstances does not sound workable owing to impediments including land acquisition. “We will have to wait for several years before carrying out such a huge undertaking, which involves mobilising the consent of land holders,” he points out.

The main advantage of the elevated highway, according to him, is that it hardly requires large-scale land acquisition. “A policy level decision can definitely usher in a change, where the government can bring down the expected cost of ₹34,000 crore for the construction of the widened national highway,” he says.

The proposal that describes the concrete road as a ‘white top road’ will be more vehicle-friendly and offer smoother and fuel-efficient ride. It will also help the government bring down the annual road maintenance cost, besides enabling travellers to save time.

Also, Mr. Salim points out that the State can project the enterprise as a milestone in its developmental history. “Such a highway above the railway line with proximity to the Arabian sea will be an asset to the tourism sector, and it can even claim a world-record for its uniqueness,” he adds.

Southern Railway cancels 31 trains



Southern Railway has announced cancellation of 19 trains.

CHENNAI: Southern Railwayhas announced cancellation of 28 trains departing on Sunday and three others departing on Monday. Though no reasons were given, it is understood that trains have been cancelled due to the disruptions caused by the ongoing pro-jallikattu protests.

Digital push hits railway revenues



New Delhi, Jan. 22: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), which handles online ticket bookings, is suffering a loss of about Rs 60 crore per month, following the government's move to push digital transaction.

"The non-charging of service charge and insurance premium have had a disastrous effect on our revenues. We are suffering a loss of about Rs 55-60 crore per month because of the discontinuation of service charge and insurance premium payment. We have asked the railway ministry to compensate for the losses," A.K. Manocha, chairman of the IRCTC, told The Telegraph.

Railways trains for concept selling



Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways is coming up with a ‘concept selling’ policy whereby companies can market their products in 13,000 trains. The policy will allow executives to sell products such as insurance policies and investment plans to passengers in trains.
The cash-strapped Railways has been banking on the non-fare revenue (NFR) sector for revenue. Some zonal railways briefly allowed companies to market sample products such as toothpaste, handwash, biscuits and shampoos in trains.

Railways to float Rs8,000 crore tenders for transmission network

Four transmission links will be set up through the PPP route, and two by Indian Railways, as part of a strategy to reduce electricity bills
The railway tenders for transmission links comes in the backdrop of it buying electricity directly from suppliers of its choice rather than state electricity boards. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Suresh Prabhu unveils Mission 41k energy plan for Railways


Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu

In a bid to revamp the Indian railways, Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday unveiled Mission 41k, a plan that would save Rs 41,000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system, reported Livemint.

In this initiative, railways will electrify 24,000 km of rail tracks over the next five years by doubling the annual rate of electrification from 2,000 km to 4,000 km in the next two years.

 

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