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News Entry# 33137  

Today (3:56PM)  Aditi Phadnis: Suresh Prabhu's two-track challenge (www.business-standard.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 202119     
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Posted by: rdb**  89537 news posts  
Revamping the railways is only one of the new minister's challenges: it's the politics in and of his ministry that he must learn to parry too
In 2002, when he was power minister, a delegation of German businessmen called on Suresh Prabhu enquiring about the possibilities of investing in India's power sector.
Prabhu explained at length the government's moves to streamline processes in the sector.
The India-based German interlocutor in their group was more familiar with India's ground realities and less impressed than the delegation at the minister's obvious grasp of his subject. She asked Prabhu why, if India was so keen to invite investment, it had extended the power purchase preference agreements with the state-owned generators of powers like NTPC for another
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two years. "Surely this does not send the right signals - it means that though India wants to open up the sector, it will continue to favour state-owned entities…," she said.
She was expecting another discourse from the minister on the co-existence of the private and public sector in India. She was pleasantly surprised, she said, when Prabhu readily agreed with her and said that decision was taken "for other reasons".


This candour and openness has always been the hallmark of Suresh Prabhu's working style. Eventually, it cost him his job: largely because he had done it too well - a trend that is well known to good managers who have insecure bosses.
If ever there was a wrong man in the wrong party, it was Suresh Prabhu in the Shiv Sena. A chartered accountant, lawyer and expert on climate change, he was first minister for environment, later chemicals and fertilisers and after Rangarajan Kumaramangalam's death, appointed minister of power during the last tenure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In all three tenures, he had to "resign" at least once. That was par for course. Balasaheb Thackeray ran the Shiv Sena with an iron hand and on one occasion, when the party with 15 MPs, felt it didn't have enough ministers, all three ministers resigned and returned to Mumbai, awaiting further instructions - not from Prime Minister Vajpayee but their party boss Bal Thackeray. Then Home Minister L K Advani had to dash to Mumbai to soothe ruffled feathers. The leader may have changed, but not the party - as we learnt in 2014 when Anil Desai narrowly escaped being a minister and was a no-show at the Cabinet expansion because he was asked to return home from the airport following orders from Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena's new boss.
In his past tenure, what was disappointing was that despite Vajpayee's affection and respect for Prabhu, he was unable to stand up to the Sena's hectoring and had to drop him. Narendra Modi has no such compulsions. But even so, Prabhu obviously felt he'd had enough and opted to move from the Sena to the BJP. So the Sena continues to be an anathema, a complicated system of family-based networks of patronage, with the Thackerays (the latest being Uddhav's son, Aditya) deciding on MLA-ships, MP-ships and posts of corporators like the rajas of yore who used to grant principalities and jagirs, so that they could promote themselves from raja to maharaja.
Prabhu is needed because he is an experienced minister in a government that isn't exactly brimming over with administrative talent. The prescriptions for reform of the Indian Railways are well known: revamp the bureaucracy, change the financing models, dismantle administrative empires that are the principal source of corruption.
But here, Prabhu will face pressures of a different kind. The previous railway minister, Sadananda Gowda, was replaced partly because he was too much a Mr Nice Guy; and also because he was too straight to take on an entrenched railway bureaucracy (those in the railways who want to get ahead have discovered godfathers in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and are leveraging those ties unashamedly, something Gowda could not fight). Prabhu is a new entrant into the BJP and will be even more vulnerable to pressures from these quarters.
But there are high hopes from him. As a reformer, many in the system view him as a soft-spoken version of P Chidambaram. He has the ability to instantly go to the heart of issues and deconstruct them. There are enough reports on how to set railway finances right: but it is the politics - both in and of - the ministry that he has to comprehend.
Officials in the railway ministry have already noted that when the prime minister returned from Australia, Prabhu drove directly from the airport to Rail Bhavan in his rumpled pullover, walked into his new office and immersed himself in work. He would be well advised not to give into the compulsion of proving he is now a loyal BJP worker (in other words, avoid giving what the prime minister calls "rashtra ke naam sandesh": namely, discourses on who a good Hindu is) and just get on with revamping Indian Railways: God knows, India needs it.

Today (3:12PM)  शनिचरी अमावस्या के लिए 2 स्पेशल ट्रेन - 2 Special Train -Patrika.com (www.patrika.com)
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New/Special TrainsNCR/North Central  -  

News Entry# 202118     
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Posted by: ankur_gupta0602  354 news posts   
ग्वालियर। शनिचरी अमावस्या के दिन 22 नवंबर को पहली बार दो मेला स्पेशल ट्रेन चलेंगी। रेल मंडल झांसी ने श्रद्धालुओं की सुविधा को ध्यान में रखते हुए सही वक्त पर स्पेशल ट्रेन चलाने का फैसला लिया है। पहली ट्रेन सुबह 4.30 बजे रवाना होगी।
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Today (3:10PM)  Delhi Metro runs train fully covered with advertisements (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 202117     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
NEW DELHI: A Delhi Metro train fully covered with advertisement on its exterior was run on Saturday to augment non-operational revenues, an official said.
"There is only one such Metro train now, but from next week another train will run on another line (Yellow Line)," a Metro official told IANS.
The six-coach train was run on the Blue Line between Dwarka and Vaishali stations around 11.00am.
On Friday, Delhi Metro had staged a trial run between Yamuna Bank in Delhi and the Noida City Centre station.
The official said they plan to induct 15 more such trains by the end of December.
Such commercial initiatives
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are not uncommon in public transport vehicles but this is the first time it is being tried on Delhi Metro.
Currently, Delhi Metro operates a fleet of over 200 train sets - with over 60 eight-coach trains and over 80 six-coach trains.
The advertising rights, given to two agencies, shall be valid for 10 years.
So far, Delhi Metro has allowed advertisements only inside the trains and at the station premises.

Today (3:08PM)  All set for India's first high speed train - Gatiman Express (zeenews.india.com)
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News Entry# 202116     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
Agra: The decks have been cleared for the launch of India's first high speed train that will link New Delhi and the Taj city of Agra -- in 105 minutes.
An official statement here said the coaches for Gatiman Express had reached New Delhi from Kapurthala in Punjab. Two successful trials have been held July 3 and Sep 11.
When the service starts, the train will leave the national capital at 8 a.m. and reach Agra Cantt railway station at 9.45 am. It will depart Agra at 5.30 pm. and reach New Delhi at 7.15 pm.
The coaches will have automatic sliding doors -- a la Delhi Metro.
An official told IANS that it
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was now for the railway ministry to decide the date for the inaugural run.

Today (2:54PM)  Konkan Railway continues checks against ticketless travelling (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 202115     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
MANGALURU: To create awareness amongst travelling public about purchasing proper journey ticket, Konkan Railway carried out surprise checks at Udupi railway station on Friday. During the checks, the following trains were checked: train 56640 Mangaluru-Madgaon-Mangaluru passenger; train 22636 Mangaluru Central Madgaon intercity express; train 16523 Bengaluru City Mangaluru Central-Karwar express; train 70105 Madgaon-Mangaluru DEMU; train 12133 CSTM-Mangaluru Junction superfast express; train 16333 Veraval-Thiruvanathapuram express; train 22149 Ernakulam - Pune express; train 12134 Mangaluru junction-CSTM express; train 12620 Mangaluru-Lokmanya Tilak Matsyagandha express; and train 70106 Mangaluru-Madgaon DEMU.
In all, 23 cases of ticketless travelling were detected and penalty of Rs 7,670 collected from the errant passengers. Besides levying penalty, passengers were sensitised about purchasing proper; journey ticket. Assistant commercial manager, Udupi, commercial supervisors, train ticket examiners, Railway Police Force personnel participated in carrying out the surprise checks.

Today (2:54PM)  Railway minister Suresh Prabhu meets Sena chief to 'clear differences' (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 202114     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
MUMBAI: Amid attempts of reconciliation by the BJP with its former ally Shiv Sena ahead of the winter session of the Maharashtra assembly, railway minister Suresh Prabhu met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence.
Prabhu, who broke his 18-year-old ties with Shiv Sena to join BJP before being sworn in as a Union minister on November 9, met Thackeray to "clear out differences" between them last night.
"Prabhu is an old colleague of ours. Now that he is also a railway minister, many things were discussed between him and Uddhavji regarding development of Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Also, if there are misunderstandings between two people due to any reason, it gets cleared when they meet. Knowing Uddhav ji's nature from a very
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long time, he will not keep any grudges against anybody," Rajya Sabha MP and senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, told PTI.
The meeting between the two leaders holds significance as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had last week said that doors for Shiv Sena to join the government still remain open before the winter session begins on December 8.
Talks of a revival of friendship between the 25-year-old allies had gained momentum after NCP chief Sharad Pawar had asked his party workers to be ready for snap polls, asserting that a stable government in the state was not NCP's responsibility.
"We have to be ready to face snap polls in the state. Having a stable government in Maharashtra isn't NCP's responsibility," Pawar had said, adding that his part was neutral during the trust vote.

Today (2:49PM)  रेलवे स्टेशन से महिला चोर गिरफ्तार - Female thief arrested on the railway station -Patrika.com (www.patrika.com)
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News Entry# 202113     
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Posted by: ankur_gupta0602  354 news posts   
दलसिंहराय/समस्तीपुर। रेलवे स्टेशन पर ट्रेन पकड़ने के दौरान एक महिला ने महिला यात्री की बैग उड़ा लिया। बैग में जेवर व नगदी रखी हुई थी। दलसिंहसराय रेलवे स्टेशन पर यात्रियों ने बैग चुराने वाली महिला को बंधक बना लिया।
महिला समस्तीपुर में हुए शादी समारोह से लौट रही थी। जानकारी के मुताबिक मधेपुरा जिला के बिहारी गंज गांव की रहने वाली रागनी कुमारी अपनी बहन की शादी के लिए दलसिंहसराय आई हुई थी। See more at: click here

Today (2:39PM)  জওয়ানদের কামরা পুড়ল কী করে, ধন্দ (www.anandabazar.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsNFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 202112     
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Nov 22 2014 (2:39PM)
Station Tag: Ambari Falakata/ABFC added by জয়দীপ JOYDEEP जय़दीप*^/90119

Posted by: জয়দীপ JOYDEEP जय़दीप*^  167 news posts  
ভোটের কাজে সেনা জওয়ানদের নিয়ে যাওয়ার ‘ইলেকশন স্পেশ্যাল’ ট্রেনে আগুন লেগে পুড়ে যাওয়া কামরাটি।
ভোটের কাজে সেনা জওয়ানদের নিয়ে যাওয়ার বিশেষ ট্রেনে আগুন লেগে ভস্মীভূত হল একটি কামরা। শুক্রবার সন্ধ্যায় আমবাড়ি-ফালাকাটা স্টেশন লাগোয়া এলাকায় ট্রেনের একটি কামরায় আগুন লেগে যায়।
রেল সূত্রের খবর, ট্রেনটি ডিমাপুর থেকে জম্মু যাচ্ছিল। সন্ধ্যায় ট্রেনের ‘জিএস ০৯৪৫৯’ কামরায় আগুন লাগার ঘটনা টের পেয়েই চেন টেনে ট্রেন থামিয়ে দেন সেনা জওয়ানেরা। যে কামরায় আগুন লেগেছিল, সেটি ট্রেনের মাঝামাঝি ছিল। দাউদাউ করে কামরাটি জ্বলতে থাকায় আমবাড়ি এলাকায় আতঙ্ক ছড়িয়ে পড়ে। নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি স্টেশন থেকে আগুন নেভানোর জন্য দু’টি ইঞ্জিন ঘটনাস্থলে পাঠানো হয়। পাঠানো হয় উদ্ধার এবং চিকিত্‌সার বিশেষ ইঞ্জিনও। আগুন নিয়ন্ত্রণে আসতে অন্তত ঘণ্টাখানেক লেগে যায় বলে জানা গিয়েছে। রেল সূত্রে জানানো হয়েছে, কোনও হতাহতের খবর নেই। তবে সেনা জওয়ানদের বেশ কিছু বন্দুক-সহ অস্ত্র পুড়ে গিয়েছে বলে জানা গিয়েছে।
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এই ঘটনায় অসম এবং নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি রুটে ট্রেন চলাচল অন্তত ঘণ্টা তিনেক বন্ধ ছিল। কলকাতাগামী পদাতিক এবং সরাইঘাট এক্সপ্রেসও রানিনগর এবং বেলাকোবা স্টেশনে দীর্ঘক্ষণ দাঁড় করিয়ে রাখা হয়।
নিউ জলপাইগুড়ির স্টেশন ম্যানেজার (গেজেটেড) অজিতেশ দাস বলেন, “আগুনে একটি কামরা পুরো ভস্মীভূত হয়েছে। তবে হতাহতের কোনও খবর নেই। কী কারণে আগুন লাগল খতিয়ে দেখা হচ্ছে। কামরায় কোনও দাহ্য বস্তু ছিল কি না, তা-ও দেখা হচ্ছে।” ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত কামরা থেকে একটি দগ্ধ গ্যাস সিলিন্ডারও উদ্ধার হয়েছে।
প্রাথমিক তদন্তে জানা গিয়েছে, যে কামরায় আগুন লেগেছে, সেটিতে একটি গ্যাস সিলিন্ডারও মিলেছে বলে জানানো হয়েছে। কামরায় গ্যাস সিলিন্ডার কেন রাখা হয়েছিল, তা জওয়ানদের থেকে জানতে চাওয়া হবে বলে রেল জানিয়েছে। ওই কামরার জওয়ানদের খাবারদাবার সবই রেলের তরফেই সরবরাহ করা হচ্ছিল। তার পরেও কেন সিলিন্ডার রাখার প্রয়োজন হল তা নিয়েই ধন্দে পড়েছেন রেলের আধিকারিকেরা।
পুড়ে যাওয়া অস্ত্র দেখছেন জওয়ান। জ্বলছে কামরা।
ঝাড়খণ্ড, কাশ্মীর-সহ বিভিন্ন রাজ্যে ভোটের জন্য দেশের নানা এলাকা থেকে সেনা বাহিনী এবং আধা সেনা জওয়ানদের নিয়ে যাওয়ার কাজ শুরু হয়েছে। সেই কাজে রেলের বিভিন্ন ডিভিশন থেকেই বিশেষ নির্বাচনী ট্রেন চালানো হচ্ছে। নাগাল্যান্ড থেকে কাশ্মীরের দিকে যাওয়া তেমনই একটি ট্রেনে শুক্রবার আগুন লেগে যায়। হতাহতের কোনও খবর না পাওয়া গেলেও সেনা জওয়ানদের বেশ কিছু বন্দুক এবং নথিপত্র পুড়ে গিয়েছে বলে জানা গিয়েছে।
আগুন নেভানোর জন্য শিলিগুড়ি থেকে দমকলের দু’টি ইঞ্জিন এবং জলপাইগুড়ি থেকে আরও দু’টি ইঞ্জিন নিয়ে যাওয়া হয়। আগুন নেভানোর পরে ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত কামরাটিকে বাদ দিয়ে নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি নিয়ে আসা হয়। ততক্ষণে অবশ্য রাত ১০টা পেরিয়ে গিয়েছে। ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত ট্রেনটি না সরানো পর্যন্ত নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি থেকে অসম লাইনে দু’দিকেই ট্রেন চলাচল বন্ধ রাখা হয়। নিউ জলপাইগুড়ি স্টেশনে আটকে পড়ে অসমগামী অবধ-অসম এক্সপ্রেস ও বামনহাট প্যাসেঞ্জার। বেলাকোবা স্টেশনে আটকে পড়ে সরাইঘাট এক্সপ্রেস। কলকাতাগামী পদাতিক এক্সপ্রেস দাঁড়িয়ে থাকে রানিনগরে। শিলিগুড়ির এসআরপি দেবাশিস সরকার বলেন, “কয়েক জন সামান্য জখম হয়েছেন বলে জানতে পেরেছি। বিস্তারিত খোঁজ নিচ্ছি। গ্যাস সিলিন্ডার থেকে আগুন লেগেছে বলে শুনেছি।’’

Today (2:29PM)  Suresh Prabhu moots Railway reforms (www.niticentral.com)
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News Entry# 202111     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
A most awaited reform in the Railways seems to be in the offing with a proposal to replace sleeper coaches by chair cars for short distance trains. According to an Indian Express report, the Railways is contemplating to significantly increase the passenger carrying capacity of a few short-distance trains and also to make overnight travel more like a bus journey.
The report says that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu suggested the Railway Board to replace non-AC sleeper coaches of busy trains with reserved chair cars, so that more people could be adjusted in overnight journeys of up to 10 hours. The Minister has also reportedly proposed for more double-decker trains in shorter routes.
This is a welcome proposal as accommodation in trains has been a perennial problem given the huge population density in
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most of the main routes and proper management of crowd in sleeper trains has never been aptly addressed since many decades.
It is often seen that in sleeper coaches, the seats reserved for a particular person is often occupied by local passenger or the fellow passenger whose reservation is not confirmed. In this situation, if the sleeper coaches for the short distance trains are replaced by chair cars, more passengers can be accommodated without increasing the number of trains.
Moreover, it will also generate more revenue for the railway department which is already fund strapped and desperately needs huge investments for its modernisation.
Speaking on probability of implementing Minister’s suggestions, Bibek Debroy, who is heading the panel to revamp Railway Board said, “This kind of proposal can be implemented in either on the Inter-city trains or on the Shatabdi type trains. In fact, most of such trains already have chair-cars or alternatively can do it on the trains which are fast, but don’t take inordinately long lets have something that up to 15 hours.”
He also suggested that AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier coaches of short distance trains can also be replaced by the AC chair cars and make it more comfortable. However, this should be done in the trains depending upon the duration which they take in the journey, he suggested.
However, the report says, the Railway Board is assessing the feasibility of the idea. It has asked its zonal units to come up with relevant data to help the Board and the Minister to take a formal call in this regard.
The report has cited a departmental note which says, “As the energy consumption to produce a rail passenger-km is about twice that needed for freight, because passenger trains travel at higher speeds (energy increases exponentially with increasing speed) and because passenger trains tend to be less heavily loaded…Passenger traffic represents only 28.5 per cent of rail output, but somewhat over 44 per cent of rail energy use. So, we may use chair cars in passenger trains and double-deckers in short distance trains.”
Besides this proposal, it is also hoped that new Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is known for delivering good results, will also embark key reforms in Railways to revamp safety and security so that train journey could be made safe and pleasant for common people.

Today (2:23PM)  Nightmare on Central Railway to continue as power upgradation delayed (www.mid-day.com)
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24489 news posts  
Officials have been unable to carry out maintenance on the Kalyan-Thane stretch, as power lines are being converted from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC; this is delaying trains by nearly 8 minutes .
The terrible state of affairs on Central Railway (CR) is set to continue, as officials have missed the deadline to convert the overhead power lines from 1,500-volt DC to 25,000-volt AC supply. Due to this, maintenance work has been hampered, leading to delays in services due to technical glitches and failures.
Illustrations/Amit Bandre CR services have been marred with technical glitches of late, causing delays and cancellation of trains. Commuters have had to deal with overcrowded trains and erratic services. Senior CR officials said that since January this year, maintenance work on fast lines (lines 3-4) had taken a
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backseat between Thane and Kalyan. “We were supposed to complete work on upgrading to 25,000-volt by August,” said a senior CR official. The upgradation on the fast has been completed between Kalyan and Thane but only till Mumbra on the slow lines. Further south, trains still run on 1,500 volts DC. This means fewer trains can run on dual power supply. With the deadline breached, the suburban lines have taken a hit due to lack of maintenance. Over the last 4-5 weekends, due to constant technical failures, CR has been carrying out mega blocks mainly on the Thane-Kalyan slow lines, severely affecting services. Owing to the ongoing power work on the fast lines and recent derailments at Kalyan and Dombivli, CR authorities have placed a ‘caution order’ or speed restrictions of 40-50 kmph on straight lines and 15 kmph on crossovers (points where the trains change tracks). Normally, these lines can carry trains running at 100 kmph, with crossovers being able to sustain a speed of 25 kmph. Clipping the speeds has added to delays. Three level crossing gates at Kalwa, Diva and Thakurli worsen the situation as they require the trains to stop. Even long-distance trains have been affected because they have to switch engines at Igatpuri due to the varying power supplies. Problematic junction The situation is particularly acute at Kalyan; the station sees 950 train services every day. According to CR officials, 320 services are operated on the Kalyan-Karjat route and 250 on the Kalyan-Kasara route ever day. 380 services start or terminate at Kalyan. “We are running services beyond capacity. Moreover, there are 23 diamond crossings, which are the complicated ones, near Kalyan,” said another CR official. Over the past few days, CR authorities have been carrying out work of changing cement sleepers, replacing the rusted tracks, cleaning and replacing ballasts and stones, and removing old points and crossovers. Due to this, the trains are running 7-8 minutes late and the problem is compounded in case of a technical glitch. Local passenger associations at Kalyan have met the senior railway officials complaining of the same. “We met them asking to improve capacity of train services apart from completing several pending projects,” said Vishwanath Datrak, general secretary, Upnagriya Pravasi Railway Mahasangh, a commuters’ body. CR also introduced a new timetable from November 15, increasing distance covered by trains by 648 km on the suburban corridor. Many of these services have been added on the Thane-Kalyan section, but this has brought little respite. Mega block tomorrow Central Railway has planned a mega block on the Kalyan-Thane section between 11.10 am and 4.10 pm on Sunday.
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