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Today (7:25AM)  Ration rice seized (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278196     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Personnel attached to the Government Railway Police-Jolarpet on Thursday seized 500 kg of ration rice that was being smuggled in the Arakkonam-Bengaluru Express.
According to the police, a team led by an inspector boarded the train at Jolarpet and found 20 bags in one of the coaches.
Each bag contained 25 kilos of rice.
They travelled in the train up to Pachur and seized
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the bags. No arrest was made, police sources said.
  
Today (7:25AM)  ‘Tiruvottiyur ROB to be completed by Nov.’ (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278195     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
By November, Tiruvottiyur and Manali residents will be able to use the road overbridge at Maattu Mandhai.
The railways and highways department have expedited work to complete the Rs. 47 crore project which will replace level crossing 3.
Sources in the Highways Department said that the Southern Railway has set a deadline of October after which one more month of work would be required to connect both places.
The
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department has completed all the spans of the 13.2 metre-wide, 550 metre-long, two-way facility and has commenced work to fill earth inside the retaining walls of the approach from Manali.
Buildings on the Tiruvottiyur side that were located on land belonging to temples have been demolished making way for the approach for the ramp. The ROB was supposed to have been completed by October last year but was delayed due to the railways shifting its deadline and also, due to delays in land acquisition.
“The railway officials had said they will finish work by March this year but now they have pushed the deadline to October,” a source explained. A total of 1,640 sq.m. was required on the Manali side and 2,619 sq.m. on the Tiruvottiyur side.
Residents have been demanding speedy completion of the work. “There have been times when absolutely no work has been done. There are two more railway gates in Tiruvottiyur that need to be closed and ROBs constructed. “We can only hope the departments concerned do not delay the project further,” said M.K.Ramanan, a resident.
Even last month, the Communist party members had stuck posters stating thousands of workers employed in companies on the Manali side were put to undue trouble. “If this project were in the heart of the city someone would have raised the issue. But we are in north Chennai,” pointed out R. Jayaraman, former Municipal chairman.
Work was to end in October last year but got delayed due to the railways changing its deadline
  
Today (7:24AM)  Woman railway employee attacked during track patrolling (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278194     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
A young woman railway field staff was allegedly attacked by an unknown man while she was carrying out track patrolling near Tiruchi on Wednesday. The injured employee Puja (23) was admitted to the Divisional Railway Hospital at Ponmalai here.
Railway sources said Puja was carrying out track patrolling between Kumaramangalam station and Tiruchi on the Tiruchi – Pudukottai broad gauge section when the unidentified person pushed her down and flung a stone causing injury to her.
The Government Railway Police, Tiruchi, has registered a case under IPC sections including 332 (voluntarily causing hurt
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to deter public servant from duty).
  
Today (7:24AM)  Facilitators help increase ATVMs use (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 278193     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
The appointment of facilitators by the Railways is enhancing the use of automatic ticket-vending machines (ATVM) introduced at important stations across the Mysuru Division of South Western Railway.
The ATVMs were mooted as a solution to reduce crowding at the current booking counters during peak hours, and 23 such machines were introduced in the division, including five at the Mysuru station in October last year.
However, they are smart-card based and hence there were not many takers even among regular commuters. Besides, the poor patronage was attributed to the perceived complexity of operating
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the touchscreen kiosks. As a result, ATVMs remained underutilised all these while.
The authorities have now introduced facilitators on a full-time basis who swipe their smart cards at the ATVMs and hand over the tickets to the commuters.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager T. Anil Kumar told The Hindu that two facilitators had been appointed at the Mysuru station and they receive a commission for each ticket issued.
This obviates the need for commuters to buy a smart card besides overcoming the hassles of operating the kiosk. Nearly 1,500 tickets are being issued daily at the Mysuru station following the appointment of the facilitators, said Mr. Anil Kumar. Nearly 20,000 to 25,000 passengers use the city station every day and hence there was scope for higher usage of the ATVMs, he said.
So far, only about 525 smart cards have been sold by the authorities at the Mysuru station and nearly 1,200 across the division, but the number of tickets being generated by the machines has increased, thanks to the appointment of facilitators who are retired railway employees.
The ATVMs have been installed at nine stations across the Mysuru Division — Shivamogga, Hassan, Arsikere, Harihar, Haveri, Birur, Bhadravati, Davanagere, and Mysuru, and facilitators will be appointed at all stations.
The ATVMs were introduced to decentralise ticketing and complemented other initiatives such as appointment of Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks and opening destination-specific counters to ensure faster queue movement at counters.
ATVMs were set up to reduce crowding at current booking counters
  
Today (7:23AM)  Union flays railways for forcing women to do track work alone (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278192     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Members of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union staged a demonstration here on Thursday condemning the railway administration for forcing women workers to go alone for keyman work along railway track away from railway stations.
Its Madurai divisional secretary J.M. Rafi said the violation of Railway Board’s order not to employ women workers in far off places for track maintenance led to a woman being assaulted by three outsiders in Pudukottai district. The woman who sustained serious injuries was admitted to a hospital in Tiruchi. The union sought action against the supervisor who forced the woman to work alone in a remote place even when male employees were available.
Members
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of All India Loco Running Staff Association staged a demonstration seeking rectification of anomalies in fixing pay under recommendations of Seventh Central Pay Commission.
Its divisional president M. Sivakumar said that while the Finance Ministry had agreed to take into account the pay element unique to loco running staff, the Railway Board had not taken it into consideration while fixing the pay. As a result, while the average increase in pay for all railway employees was around 14.2 per cent, it was only 12.19 per cent for loco running staff, he said.
  
Today (7:22AM)  Double line to be commissioned in 20 days (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278191   Blog Entry# 1972699     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
he newly-built electrified double line between Thiruvalla and Chengannur will be commissioned in 20 days, according to Sudarshan Naik, Commissioner for Railway Safety, Bengaluru Zone.
A train fitted with Operations Management Suite (OMS) was used for the speed test and the inspection was satisfactory, Mr. Naik said.
The inspection report would be submitted to the Railway Board soon, he added.
Railways had completed the
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fixing of the railway track on this stretch by the second week of June and had completed the electrification work by June 21.

  
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Today (7:23AM)
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Re# 1972699-1            Tags   Past Edits
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Today (7:22AM)  Test train touches 120 kmph on new track (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278190   Blog Entry# 1972698     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Doubled tracks in two sectors to help reduce delays for crossing
A rake comprising an electric engine and three coaches was run at 120 km per hour test speed on the second track in the Piravom Road-Kuruppanthara and Thiruvalla-Chengannur sectors, even as Sudarshan Naik, the Benagaluru-based Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS), inspected the two corridors on Thursday.
The design speed of the newly-laid tracks for normal train operations is 110 km per hour. The second track will be opened for service based on the report of the CRS.
Thiruvanathapuram
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Divisional Railway Manager Prakash Bhutani said the new tracks in the two sectors would lessen the need for trains passing through the Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam route being held up for crossings. The revised timings for trains in the sector will be announced in the next railway timetable, he said.
“The doubled track will also enable prompt execution of maintenance work, since trains can take the alternative track,” Mr. Bhutani, who accompanied the CRS, added.
“The speed test of 120 kmph is being attempted for the first time in the region, and it speaks volumes of the quality of the railway workforce,” Southern Railway Ernakulam Area Manager Rajesh Chandran said. Once ready, the fully-doubled track through Kottayam is expected to enable trains to save up to half an hour.

  
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will get 80 or 90
  
Today (7:21AM)  Engine snag hits train services (www.thehindu.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 278189     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Train service between Kannur and Kozhikode disrupted for two hours
Train services between Kannur and Kozhikode stations were disrupted for around two hours on Thursday following the engine failure of Kannur-Yeswantpur Express at Kottakkadavu, near Vadakara.
Police officers from Vadakara station said the engine stopped around 7 p.m. at Kottakkadavu interrupting the services of several trains on the route.
Another engine
Later,
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a separate engine was brought from Kozhikode station and the train resumed the journey around 9.25 p.m. Railway officials said they made timely arrangements at the Mahe, Thalassery, and Vadakara stations to ensure safe halt of other trains till the engine was shifted. Road traffic through the Kottakkadavu level crossing was also interrupted during the period.
  
Today (7:21AM)  ‘Union govt. making Railways toothless’ (www.thehindu.com)
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News Entry# 278188     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Mallikarjun Kharge says the move is aimed at centralising power with the PMO
M. Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, recently slammed the BJP-led Union government’s decision to do away with the Railway Budget from next year. He described the move as yet another experiment of dismantling time-tested institutions and practices and said it would leave the Railways at the mercy of the Finance Ministry.
Addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi, Mr. Kharge, who was the last Railways Minister in the previous UPA government, said the NDA government has spent most
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of its two-and-a-half years in office experimenting with “unwanted new things” in governance.
No financial autonomy
He said the move was aimed at centralising all the power with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and posing hurdles for independent functioning of ministries.
Mr. Kharge said the merger of the Railway Budget with the Union Budget would take away the decision-making and financial autonomy of the Railways. On lack of commercial gains being touted as the reason for the move, he said, “Railways is not a commercial organisation, it is a public utility service. One cannot expect to make profit by running trains.”
He said the decision would make the Railway Board a toothless body that will be at the mercy of the Finance Department for allocations and sanctioning of new projects.
Gross Budgetary Support
He added, “Instead of doing away with the presentation of the Railway Budget, the Union government should have extended Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) to the Railways to tide over the financial shortfall in order to take up new projects.”
He said the previous government had done the same things, while the P.V. Narasimha Rao government had allocated Rs. 10,000 crore for the Railways’ ambitious Uniguage Project.
GBS was also provided to take up projects to provide connectivity to Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern states, etc.
To a question, he said he has not lost hopes of the early functioning of the Divisional Railway headquarters in Kalaburagi, which had been sanctioned during his tenure.
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Today (7:20AM)  After failed trials, railways pull chain on ‘life-sensing devices’ (www.thehindu.com)
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News Entry# 278187     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120661 news posts
Decides to seek the assistance of NDRF during relief and rescue operations
After ‘life-sensing devices’ on board Accident Relief Trains (ARTs) failed trials, the Indian Railways has decided to stop procuring the gadgets and instead seek the assistance of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) during relief and rescue operations.
According to railway sources, life detectors were purchased based on the recommendations of an expert committee to upgrade ARTs that are among the first to reach a scene of disaster.
Besides
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employees drawn from various departments to restore normal traffic, ARTs also move the rescue workers, paramedics and others to attend to the injured or dead.
The committee recommended 13 additional gadgets for upgrading the ARTs and the life sensing device was one among them. The Central Organisation for the Modernisation of Workshops (COMFOW), the designated organisation of Indian Railways for selection, procurement and induction of modern workshop technologies, was consulted and suitable life detectors procured for use in ARTs.
“The Railway Board has now informed that the life-sensing devices have failed trial tests and should not be used anymore. Of the two devices recommended for purchase, one has failed the test while the other has been found to be prone to theft or misuse by anti-social activities…zonal railways have been instructed not to purchase these devices. Where there is a requirement of life sensing, the railway would rope in the expertise of the NDRF,” a railway official told The Hindu on Wednesday.
In Southern Railway, ARTs are stationed in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Madurai, Palakkad and Tiruvananthapuram.
The trains with relief and rescue equipment move from their respective locations within 20 minutes of a disaster alert, the sources said. When contacted, NDRF Deputy Inspector-General of Police (South Sector) S.P. Selvan said the force used multiple systems for life detection in its operations. Specially trained dogs were found to be the most successful when it came to detecting survivors in crash sites.
NDRF’s Deputy Commandant Kapil Varman said besides doctors, paramedics and medical first responders, the rescuers also depended on temperature detectors, pulse analysers and thermal cameras as life sensing devices.
Webpage for accidents
In a related development, the railway has decided to launch a webpage to disseminate information regarding train accident, helpline numbers, details of the deceased, injured, hospitals and other relief arrangements.
The structured public information module was part of the Safety Information Management System (SIMS) developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). .
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