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News Entry# 71792  

Today (6:09AM)  Modi may lay foundation of Agartala-Akhaura rail link (bdnews24.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNFR/Northeast Frontier  -  

News Entry# 202193     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
The Tripura cabinet has decided to request the visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone for the proposed Agartala-Akhaura railway track project, according to a senior minister.Modi is scheduled to visit the state during the last week of this month to inaugurate the second unit of the 726 Palatana power project from which India has promised to sell 100 MW power to Bangladesh in recognition of the help the latter provided in transporting the over dimensional cargoes of the power project’s turbine via water and land.
“Today (Saturday) during the cabinet meeting we have decided to request Prime Minister Modi to lay the foundation stone of the 15-km long Akhaura-Agartala rail track," state Information minister Bhanu Lal Saha said.
The entire cost for laying the track to connect Bangladesh
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would be borne by the India’s external affairs ministry.
Meanwhile, the survey for Akhaura-Agartala rail track has been completed and the land acquisition on both sides will start soon.
Modi will start his maiden three-day visit to the north-eastern region from Tripura on November 29.

Today (6:08AM)  Seawoods station complex may get 2-yr extension (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestML/Mumbai Local  -  

News Entry# 202192     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
Navi Mumbai: While residents and commuters cry foul over the inordinate delay in the ongoing Seawoods Station Integrated Commercial Complex, Grand Central, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) is reviewing a two-year extension for the project. The first deadline for the project expired in 2013.
Cidco is considering to extend the deadline till 2015, taking the tally to seven years from the date of signing the deal in 2008.
Commuters use an illegal route to the west side of Seawoods station beneath the newly built flyover over the railway track, as the original road has been blocked for more than six years now, due to the ongoing construction work. "People are risking their lives while rampantly crossing the tracks. A major mishap is waiting to happen as the route
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is dark and there is no security personnel present," said Anil Lala, a local.
Cidco attributed the delay to global recession during the initial stage of construction. "The project is four times bigger than the one at Belapur, leading to slight delay," said a senior Cidco officer, adding that construction major L&T, who is in charge of the project has the freedom of disposal which implies marginal relaxation in time limit for completion of the complex.
"Cidco will impose delay charges on L&T at the time of approving occupancy. Due to recession, we have given concession in time and by end of five years, 50% work was completed. Issues like space for disposal road cropped up which consumed some time. Our focus is to complete the station project, which is of larger public interest, at the earliest rather than commercial complex," said Cidco sources.
However, L & T vice president D Morada told TOI, the project is progressing well and is on schedule. "We have already completed the major part of the structure and external glazing and atrium roof work will be visible shortly. We are confident of handing over the space for fit out work to users as committed," he said.

Today (6:07AM)  Cidco slams CR for remark on Seawoods-Uran rail link project (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestML/Mumbai Local  -  

News Entry# 202191     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
NAVI MUMBAI: Countering the Central Railway's allegation that the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) is responsible for a delay in the Seawoods-Uran rail project as the latter had not released its share of funds, the city planning body claimed that it has enough funds to give the ambitious project a push. In fact, Cidco officials said that they are trying to resolve the land acquisition hurdle for the stalled 3-km stretch at Uran and is in talks with other government departments to expedite the process.
''Funds have never been a problem for us. Cidco has successfully carried out suburban rail projects on a cost-sharing model with the Central Railway. The Nerul- Belapur-Seawood-Uran project is currently underway on a cost sharing model with the Central Railway at a 67:33 ratio,'' said Mohan Ninawe, chief public relations officer of Cidco.
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According to sources, the funding of Cidco's share has been as per the procedures agreed with the Central Railway. ''Since, the utilisation of funds provided by Cidco was not being carried out up-front by the railways, an account on the expenditures incurred could not be made. Due to this the funds have not been released. Cidco has discussed this matter with the Central Railway's general manager,'' said Ninawe.
He further added that the Central Railway had assured to utilise the funds released by Cidco and submit a fund utilisation statement so that the next payment can be released. ''This was discussed in a meeting held with the Central Railway officials on October 21. A statement of the expenditure incurred till October was also submitted. Cidco is now all set to release the next payment to the Central Railway,'' said a Cidco official.
''We are trying to speed up the land acquisition process with the Raigad collector, additional collector (land), Panvel and forest department, Uran. No funds have been held up and we are committed to complete and commission the project at the earliest. The comments of the Central Railway are misplaced as all the issues are being resolved at weekly meetings conducted by the general manager of Central Railway,'' said the official.
TOI had, in its November 19 edition, reported that Central Railway had threatened to stop work as Cidco has not released Rs 78 crore for the current fiscal.

Today (6:06AM)  At 160kmph, trains to save 2 hours of Mumbai-Ahmedabad travel time (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWR/Western  -  

News Entry# 202190     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
MUMBAI: The Western Railway (WR) has prepared a Rs 1,100 crore plan to reduce travel time between the city and Ahmedabad, the busiest Indian Railways corridor, by at least two hours. The WR has plans to increase the speed of some trains on the corridor to 160 kmph.
For this, the WR will have to undertake improvement of tracks, barricading of vulnerable locations and regulating the over head equipment (OHE), among other things.
"We have submitted initial estimates for the speed improvement project to the railway board for approval," WR chief public relations Sharat Chandrayan said.
If the initial estimates are approved, a detailed estimate will be prepared and tenders invited.
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"The entire exercise can be completed in a year," a senior official said. "We can complete the infrastructure improvement work on the 493 km corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in five to six months after the contractors are appointed."
On a regular train, it takes between seven and to eight hours to cover the distance between the city and Ahmedabad and two hours is a substantial saving in time if it happens.
The railway board has selected nine corridors to run trains at the "semi-high speed" of 160 kmph. The Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes are among these.
"In the first phase, only the trains that run with LHB type fully air-conditioned coaches like Shatabdi, Duranto and Rajdhani will be able to attain the speed of 160 kmph," a railway official said. "The increase in speed in other trains will be done in the second phase."
The WR has already carried out successful trials to run the trains on the corridor at 130 kmph.
"We are awaiting clearance from commissioner of railway safety, after which some trains can run at this speed and help reduce travel time by 30 minutes," Chandrayan said.
India's first bullet train is also expected to run between the city and Ahmedabad. For this project, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is expected to submit its final feasibility study report by May 2015.
An interim study ruled out bullet trains on the existing system because the line is saturated and the infrastructure incapable of handling high-speed trains.
The study said the bullet train fare would be 1.5 times the first AC fare. This will allow the high-speed system to generate Rs 80 million per day. As many as 40,000 passengers will be able to use the bullet train by 2023.

Today (6:05AM)  DMRC speeds up field work for Vijayawada metro (m.timesofindia.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 202189     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
VIJAYAWADA: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has speeded up engaging consultants to take up various field level studies for the proposed metro rail project in Vijayawada city.
The DMRC is believed to have already hired the services of a few experts in different sectors, including topographical survey, traffic analysis, geographical studies and water pipeline analysis. It plans to finalise the appointment of other consultants early to get the data ready by mid-January 2015.
The consultants are expected to be appointed to get clearances from different government agencies to kick-start the works. In order to fine-tune the subjects that have to be entrusted to consultants, DMRC managing director Mangu Singh, and director (business development) SD Sarma on Friday made a field visit to the city.
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However, the entire visit was kept under wraps in a bid to complete the field job smoothly. Sources said Mangu Singh visited all the routes inspected by DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan two months ago and took note of the key traffic junctions and alignments.

Today (6:04AM)  Shivraj Singh govt promises light metro service in Bhopal, Indore (www.indiatvnews.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWCR/West Central  -  

News Entry# 202188     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
Bhopal: Ahead of the forthcoming civic polls in the state, the ruling BJP on Friday promised to introduce India's first 'light metro' service in Bhopal and Indore, and to construct five lakh houses for the economically weaker sections. The party's manifesto for the local body elections was released by the state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan here in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and others. Metro will be introduced in Jabalpur and Gwalior too, for which feasibility study was underway, Chief Minister said. Congress regime spent Rs 650 crore in ten years on improving urban infrastructure while BJP regime had spent Rs 37,000 crore, he said, adding that Rs six thousand crore will be spent in this year alone. The Chief Minister also said that in view of shortage of houses in big cities, construction of high-rises would be encouraged. 1,500 new...
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buses would be purchased for expanding inter-city public transport in 16 main cities; multi-level parkings will be constructed, the manifesto promises. It also promises a number of green initiatives such as bicycle rental scheme and promoting construction of energy-efficient and environment-friendly buildings.

Today (5:42AM)  Venkaiah Naidu reviews metro projects, regularisation of colonies issue (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 202187     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
NEW DELHI: Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today reviewed various issues like regularisation of unauthorised colonies, drinking water problem in Dwarka area, land availability issues and metro projects.
Members of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi, Udit Raj, Parvesh Verma, Ramesh Bidhuri, Mayors and chief executives of municipal bodies and vice-chairman of DDA, and managing director of DMRC reviewed the urban matters during a two-and-a half-hour-long meeting.
According to a senior UD Ministry official about 40 issues were discussed during the meeting including regularisation of unauthorised colonies, drinking water issue in Dwarka area, provision of amenities in unauthorised colonies, night shelters for homeless and notification of 351 roads for allowing commercial mixed land use.
Extension of Delhi Special Provisions Act, decongestion of Delhi, allocation of about
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22,000 houses built under the JNNURM scheme, finalisatiion of simplified building bye-laws, land related issues, construction of foot over bridges, desealing of properties, construction of parking spaces by DDA, rehabilitation of transport workers were also taken up for discussion.
After taking stock of progress in respect of various issues, Naidu directed all the concerned to speed up works in respect of ongoing projects and put up firm proposals on issues requiring inter-agency consultations at the earliest for further discussion with Delhi's Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
Naidu was informed that Simplified Building Bye-Laws would be finalised by the end of December and will be submitted to the ministry for notification.
Allocation of houses built under JNNURM would begin in December and will be completed by February next year.
Naidu directed DDA and Delhi Jal Board to complete transfer of assets to DJB as soon as possible.
The issue of Munak canal will be taken up with Haryana chief minister, who would be in Delhi next week, the official said.
Naidu asked the Delhi Government to acquire buildings on rent if required, for sheltering the homeless during the winter season.
According to the official, he has asked the Delhi government and municipal bodies to implement 'Swachh Bharat Mission' with more vigour and enthusiasm.
Chief Secretary of Delhi Government, Secretaries of Urban Development and HUPA of central government, besides other senior officials of central and Delhi governments attended the meet.

Today (5:41AM)  Venkaiah Naidu Reviews Metro Projects, Regularisation of Colonies Issue in Delhi (www.ndtv.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 202186     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu today reviewed various issues like regularisation of unauthorised colonies, drinking water problem in Dwarka area, land availability issues and metro projects.
Members of Parliament Meenakshi Lekhi, Udit Raj, Parvesh Verma, Ramesh Bidhuri, Mayors and chief executives of municipal bodies and vice-chairman of DDA, and managing director of DMRC reviewed the urban matters during a two-and-a half-hour-long meeting.
According to a senior UD Ministry official about 40 issues were discussed during the meeting including regularisation of unauthorised colonies, drinking water issue in Dwarka area, provision of amenities in unauthorised colonies, night shelters for homeless and notification of 351 roads for allowing commercial mixed land use.

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Extension of Delhi Special Provisions Act, decongestion of Delhi, allocation of about 22,000 houses built under the JNNURM scheme, finalisatiion of simplified building bye-laws, land related issues, construction of foot over bridges, desealing of properties, construction of parking spaces by DDA, rehabilitation of transport workers were also taken up for discussion.
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After taking stock of progress in respect of various issues, Mr Naidu directed all the concerned to speed up works in respect of ongoing projects and put up firm proposals on issues requiring inter-agency consultations at the earliest for further discussion with Delhi's Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.

Mr Naidu was informed that Simplified Building Bye-Laws would be finalised by the end of December and will be submitted to the ministry for notification.

Allocation of houses built under JNNURM would begin in December and will be completed by February next year.

Mr Naidu directed DDA and Delhi Jal Board to complete transfer of assets to DJB as soon as possible.

The issue of Munak canal will be taken up with Haryana chief minister, who would be in Delhi next week, the official said.

Mr Naidu asked the Delhi Government to acquire buildings on rent if required, for sheltering the homeless during the winter season.

According to the official, he has asked the Delhi government and municipal bodies to implement 'Swachh Bharat Mission' with more vigour and enthusiasm.
Chief Secretary of Delhi Government, Secretaries of Urban Development and HUPA of central government, besides other senior officials of central and Delhi governments attended the meet.

Today (5:38AM)  Suresh Prabhu to talk rail reforms with MPs (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 202185     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
NEW DELHI: In a bid to take members of Parliament (MPs) on board, railway minister Suresh Prabhu would meet parliamentarians to discuss the progress of rail projects under implementation in their constituencies. The meet is aimed at ensuring speedy implementation as the state-run transporter is struggling with huge pendency of projects.
Prabhu, along with minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha, will meet all MPs in seven batches over dinner during the winter session of the Parliament session.
An official in railway board secretariat said Sinha has directed the board to submit the details of ongoing projects and other works across 17 zones. The railways have landed in a financial mess due to the long list of non-remunerative projects.
As
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per railway data, around 406 projects for constructing 43,982 km of tracks at a cost of Rs 1.85 lakh crore have been pending — some for over three decades. Soon after taking charge, the BJP government had issued instructions to general managers, asking them to draw up a priority list on pending projects, while indicating certain projects could be scrapped.
The meeting is also seen as railway minister's attempt to reach out to MPs before preparation of the rail budget. Railways are flooded with requests from parliamentarians on new trains, laying of new tracks and stoppage of trains at particular stations in their constituencies among other things.
The move is also seen as an attempt to take MPs into confidence before infusing radical reforms which could be politically unpopular and make them partner in revival of the state-run transporter, an official said.

Today (5:37AM)  Delhi’s first ‘ad Metro’ gets a warm welcome (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 202184     
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Posted by: rdb**  89625 news posts  
NOIDA : Hundreds of commuters started their day a little differently on Saturday by travelling on the first Delhi Metro train wrapped in an advertisement.
Many gave a thumbs up to the longest moving billboard covering approximately 6,500 square feet.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) six-coach train chugged into the Yamuna Bank Metro station at 11.45am with advertisements of a Noida-based realtor wrapped on its exterior. The first train to be covered in a high-quality vinyl wrap on its exterior was inducted into passenger service on the Dwarka-Vaishali route of Blue Line ie Line 3/4 (Dwarka Sector 21-Noida City Centre/Vaishali) towards Vaishali. On Friday, the Delhi Metro had staged a trial run between Yamuna Bank in Delhi and the Noida City Centre station.
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Reacting to the train wrap, a first for Delhi and Noida, commuters said that it was a pleasant surprise to see the train with a different exterior. "At first I thought the train was not for passengers but when I saw passengers alighting from it, I boarded the train too," said Rahul Sharma, a commuter who got into the train in Dwarka. "The designers of the advertisement seem to have paid close attention to the colour schemes and quality of the wrap, adding to the ambience of the train," said Himani Singh, another commuter travelling to Vaishali.
According to DMRC officials, 15 such trains will be inducted into service initially with seven on Line 2, ie Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre and eight on Line 3/4, which are the busiest lines of the Delhi Metro network. "Another of our trains will be inducted on Line 2 next week," said a DMRC official. "Initially only six-coach trains are being wrapped. Gradually, trains on other corridors will also be covered," he said.
Currently, the DMRC operates a fleet of over 200 train sets with over 60 eight-coach trains and over 80 six-coach trains. The 'train wraps' have been permitted on 10% of the total train sets available on the operational lines of Delhi Metro network.
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