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News Posts by Soumitra Chawathe**

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Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)  Temporary Stoppage At Ghanpur Station for Two Express Trains (scr.indianrailways.gov.in)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  IR Press Release  

News Entry# 162717     
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Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)
Station Tag: Ghanpur/GNP added by Soumitra Chawathe**/301079

Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)
Train Tag: Sirpur Kaghaznagar-Secunderabad Intercity Express/17012 added by Soumitra Chawathe**/301079

Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)
Train Tag: Hyderabad-Sirpur Kaghaznagar Intercity Express/17011 added by Soumitra Chawathe**/301079

Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)
Train Tag: Secunderabad-Guntur SF Intercity/12706 added by Soumitra Chawathe**/301079

Jan 03 2014 (1:31PM)
Train Tag: Guntur-Secunderabad SF Intercity/12705 added by Soumitra Chawathe**/301079

Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
An additional stoppage will be provided for Tr. No. 12706/12705 Secunderabad-Guntur-Secunderabad Express and for Tr. No. 17011/17012 Hyderabad– Sirpurkagaznagar-Hyderabad Express at Ghanpur Station on Secunderabad–Kazipet section o­n an experimental basis for a period of six months with effect from 5th January 2014 as follows.
1.Train No. 12706 Secunderabad-Guntur Express will arrive / depart Ghanpur at 09 17 / 09 18 hrs. In the return direction, Train No. 12705 Guntur–Secunderabad Express will arrive / depart Ghanpur at 19 30 / 19 31 hrs.
2. Train No. 17011 Hyderabad–Sirpurkagaznagar Express will arrive / depart Ghanpur at 07 10/07 11 hrs. In the return direction, Train No. 17012 Sirpurkagaznagar–Hyderabad Express will arrive / depart Ghanpur at 14.17 / 14.18 hrs
Sep 19 2013 (9:35AM)  Nuclear energy to fuel Indian Railways in future? (www.daijiworld.com)
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New Facilities/Technology

News Entry# 149076     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Mumbai, Sep 19 (Mid-Day): Forget missiles and rockets, nuclear energy could soon be fuelling your local and long distance trains, if things go as planned. The Indian Railways (IR) is toying with the idea of using nuclear power to compliment their power system, and is in talks with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as well.
On September 13, the members from Railway Board, headed by Member Electrical Kul Bhushan, had a meeting with DAE officials. Sources in the railways said that they are keen on setting up a nuclear power plant in the future. “We want to look at the option of using nuclear power for our railway system and so discussed with DAE the construction of an exclusive nuclear plant in the future,” said a senior railway official.
The government
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is already facing vehement opposition from locals and anti-nuclear activists over land acquisition and the possible ill-effects of two major nuclear plants at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra and Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
The DAE has the authority to set up nuclear plants for the railways to generate power for its trains. Railway officials added that the nuclear plant could be set up in any state of India. In Mumbai, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) operates nuclear plants.
At present, railway lines across the country get their supply of electricity from a national grid where generated power is first pooled in and then distributed among different states. For nuclear energy to fuel trains, a separate grid has to be set up especially for the railways.
“Once the power is generated, it can be distributed through substations of Indian Railways which would then feed overhead cables that supplies electricity to trains,” explained a senior railway official, admitting that the cost of setting up these nuclear power plants and establishing an isolated, independent system would incur heavy costs.
SK Malhotra, head of the public awareness in DAE, said, “The railways has shown interest in a dedicated power plant. There have been meetings but no MoU has been signed yet. Sources claimed that they are presently checking the possibility of an in-principal agreement between the two and are identifying a suitable location for the plant.
Aug 19 2013 (1:55PM)  35 crushed to death under the wheels of train in Bihar (www.newsbullet.in)
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Crime/AccidentsECR/East Central  -  

News Entry# 145400     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Patna: At least 35 people, most of them pilgrims, were crushed to death under the wheels of Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express at Bhamara Railway Station in Bihar this morning.
The victims, mostly kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva), were standing on the railway tracks at the station when the Rajya Rani Express hit them at the station under Samastipur division of East Central Raiway.
"According to information received till now 35 people are dead & around 25-30 people have been injured," Dinesh Chandra Yadav, MP Khagaria.
Additional Director General of Police S.K. Bhardwaj confirmed the death of 35 Hindu pilgrims (Kanwariyas) when the Rajya Rani Express train mowed them down while they were trying to cross the rail track at the Dhamara railway station
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on the Saharsa-Mansi route of the East Central Railway (ECR).
The death toll may increase because detailed information is yet to come from the accident site, he said.
At least 12 of them died on the spot after being run over by the speeding train, officials said.
Bhamara station where the accident took place falls in between Saharsa-Mansi section of Samastipur division.
The train reportedly ran over some people boarding another passenger train on an adjoining track.
Soon after the incident, angry pilgrims and locals set ablaze six bogies, including one AC coach, of the train and attacked railway officials.
Train services have been suspended on the route following the accident, officials said.
In the month of Shravan (July-August), thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit a temple in Deoghar, Jharkhand, where they offer holy water from the Ganga river to Lord Shiva at an ancient temple.
Kanwariya pilgrims in Bihar collect water from the Ganga in Sultanganj in Bhagalpur district. They carry this holy water in "kanwars" (a single pole, usually of bamboo, with two water pots dangling from opposite ends) and cover 105 km on foot to reach the temple.
After offering the holy water, they return to their native places in vehicles or trains.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief at the incident and asked railway officials to launch rescue operations and arrange proper treatment for the injured.
Aug 19 2013 (1:49PM)  Speeding Rajya Rani runs over several Kanwarias, kills at least 35, train driver beaten to death (daily.bhaskar.com)
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Crime/AccidentsECR/East Central  -  

News Entry# 145398     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Khagaria (Bihar): Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express train crushes several people to death, most of them Kanwarias (Shiva devotees) near Bhamara Ghat railway Station in Bihar on Monday morning. Following the incident, the mob turned violent and beat the train driver to death.

The incident happened at around 9 am when a speeding Rajyarani Express train ran over good number of Shiva devotees, who were crossing the railway track between Badla Ghat and Bhamara Ghat railway station under Samastipur division of East Central Raiway.

According to the sources, the pilgrims were going to Katyayni temple to offer morning prayers when the inciident took place. An angry crowd of Kanwarias set the train to
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fire after pelting stones on it.

Arun Malik, DRM, Samastipur informed that several people were died. A relief van had rushed to the spot.

Several people have been held captive at the station by the devotees, train services have also been suspended on the route following the accident, he added.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha MP from Khagaria, Dinesh Chandra Yadav said that the incident was unfortunate. He stated that 35 people were killed and nearly as many injured.
Aug 19 2013 (1:47PM)  Rajya Rani Express crushes 35 pilgrims to death in Bihar (www.indiatvnews.com)
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Crime/AccidentsECR/East Central  -  

News Entry# 145396     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Saharsa (Bihar): At least 35 people, most of them pilgrims, were crushed to death under the wheels of Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express at Bhamara Railway Station in Bihar this morning.
The victims, mostly kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva), were standing on the railway tracks at the station when the Rajrani Express hit them at the station under Samastipur division of East Central Raiway.
Angry locals and pilgrims set ablaze two bogies, brutally assaulted the train driver and took railway officials hostage.
ADG law and order S K Bharadwaj confirmed the death of 35 Kanwariyas when the Rajya Rani Express train ran over them as they were trying to cross the railway track at the Dhamara railway station on the Saharsa-Mansi rail route of
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the East Central Railway (ECR).
The train was travelling from Saharsa to Patna when the accident took place between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. The express train does not have a scheduled stop at Dhamara station.
"The accident took place when pilgrims were trying to cross the railway track after alighting from a local train," he said.
Soon after the incident, angry pilgrims and locals set ablaze two bogies, including one AC coach, of the train and attacked the railway officials.
"Some angry people attacked the train driver and seriously injured him. They beat him up mercilessly. Besides, some railway officials have been held hostage by them," a police official said.
Chief Public Relation Officer of ECR, Amitabh Prabhakar told IANS over telephone from Hajipur, its headquarters near Patna, that the situation is nearly out of control at the railway station following the incident as hundreds of angry people have been agitating.
"The railway officials are not in a position to visit the accident site...," said, adding that there is a lot of "confusion".
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed sadness and asked top railway officials to launch rescue operations and arrange proper treatment for the injured.
Aug 19 2013 (1:45PM)  20 dead as Rajya Rani Express runs over them, mob assaults driver (ibnlive.in.com)
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Crime/AccidentsECR/East Central  -  

News Entry# 145395     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Patna: At least 20 people died as the Rajya Rani Express ran over them at the Dhamara station near Saharsa in Bihar on Monday morning. The death toll is expected to rise as over 40 other people were reported to be injured.
Following the accident, angry villagers reportedly took the Rajya Rani Express driver hostage and lynched him to death and set two trains ablaze. However, Arunendra Kumar, Railway Board Member (Mechanical) who is holding additional charge of Chairman, Railway Board, claimed that the driver was only injured.
The Railway Board Chairman also said that the train was running as per its scheduled route and some people were walking on the tracks at the time of the accident. "It's a three-track station. Two trains were already standing at the station. and the
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crowd was moving on the third track. A super fast train was coming on that track and they were run over," Arunendra Kumar said.
"The train was passing through line number 2 when it ran over some people. Angry locals have set the train on fire. They have not allowed officials to reach the site," said railway PRO Amitav Prabhakar.
The injured have been rushed to the hospitals in Saharsa and Katihar. The train ran over the people who were getting off a local train at the railway station to go to a local temple for worship. The local train has also been set ablaze by the angry locals.
The train was running from Saharsa to Patna and it did not have a stoppage at the Dhamara railway station and was running at full speed.
There is complete chaos at the accident site as people are not letting ambulances come in. Some railway officials have also been reportedly beaten up by the locals.
The Dhamara station lies in a flood prone area. Therefore, senior administration officials from Patna will face difficulties in reaching the station.
Administration officials have been trying to pacify the locals and trying to pursue them to help in the rescue operation.
Reacting to the accident, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, "What has happened is unfortunate. The driver of the train should have slowed down."
Jun 28 2013 (11:04AM)  खंडाळा घाटात एक्सप्रेसवर दरड कोसळली (onlinenews1.lokmat.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsCR/Central  -  

News Entry# 138762     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
लोणावळा,दि.२८- मुंबई-पुणे रेल्वे मार्गावर खंडाळा घाटात दुरांतो एक्सप्रेसच्या इंजिनवर दरड कोसळल्याची घटना शुक्रवारी सकाळी घडली.यात इंजिनचालकासह गाडीतील सर्व प्रवासी सुरक्षित आहे.
सकाळी साडे सहाच्या सुमारात पुण्याच्या दिशेने जाणा-या निजामुद्दिन-पुणे दुरांतो एक्सप्रेसच्या इंजिनवर खंडाळ्यातील मंकी हिल पॉईंटजवळ दरड कोसळली. सुदैवाने या दुर्घटनेतून इंजिन चालक बचावला असून गाडीतील अन्य प्रवासीही सुखरुप आहेत. मात्र यामुळे मुंबईहून पुण्याकडे जाणा-या एक्सप्रेस गाड्यांची वाहतूक खोळंबली आहे.दरम्यान, मदतकार्यासाठी रेल्वेच्या तज्ज्ञाचे मदत पथक लोणावळा येथे दाखल झाल्याचे वृत्त आहे.
Jun 26 2013 (9:08AM)  Tight security in Banihal: PM to inaugurate rail tunnel today (www.kashmirtimes.com)
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New Facilities/TechnologyNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 138505     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
JAMMU, June 25: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are scheduled to inaugurate 11-kilometer long rail tunnel between Banihal-Qazigund at Banihal tomorrow, tight security arrangements have been put in place at the venue i.e. Railway Station Banihal.
The whole venue and its suburbs have been thrown out of bound for civilians and it has been virtually converted into fortress. The vehicular movement in the area has been restricted while sharp shooters have been deployed at all sensitive points around the venue with three tier-security setup including that of police, RPF and CRPF.
Additional deployment has been made with backup of Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) at Banihal Railway Station. The venue has been thoroughly frisked using metal detectors. Sniffer dogs were also pressed into service and the whole area
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has been sanitized manually by the security forces. Security has also been strengthened along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
Singh and Gandhi will jointly flag off the first train at around 11.50 AM on the 18-km-long section between Banihal in Jammu and Qazigund in Kashmir, marking the start of the rail service to the Valley.
The 8-coach train will make regular operation from Banihal to Baramulla from June 27 after the inaugural run on June 26. The Banihal-Baramulla-Banihal train will make five trips daily beginning at 7.10 AM from Banihal and 7.35 AM from Baramulla.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah along with other central ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad are expected to be present on the historic occasion.
"We have seven pairs of trains to run between Banihal and Baramulla. Earlier there were five rakes only but now it has been increased," said a senior Northern railway official.
The Banihal-Qazigund section, which includes an 11-km-long tunnel, will reduce the distance from 35 km (by road) to 18 km. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1,691 crore. This rail section is very significant, as it will provide an all-weather link to Kashmir Valley that often gets cut off from the rest of the country due to snowfall during winters.
Meanwhile, with the first batch of the Amarnath Yatra scheduled to leave from the city on June 27, Police today said that they are taking "extra precautions" to ensure a safe and sound pilgrimage.
So far nearly three lakh people have registered for the annual yatra which will be flagged off from Jammu by Minister for Tourism G A Mir.
"Whatever is required from the security point of view is being done. Additional deployment has been made at Jammu Railway Station,” a senior police officer said.
With just one day left before the start of the 55 day long annual Amarnath pilgrimage the authorities here including security personnel regulating the pilgrim traffic may find it difficult to stop the minors and senior citizens of 75 years of age from accompanying their parents/children on the arduous yatra track.
Learning from its past mistakes the Shrine Board had issued strict guidelines this year disallowing all the children under 13 years of age, senior citizens above 75 years of age and women with six weeks of pregnancy not to undertake the yatra.
Ignoring all such guidelines a large number of pilgrims have started arriving here to undertake the pilgrimage. Several community halls earmarked for the Amarnath pilgrims have already started receiving pilgrims.
Surprisingly, several pilgrims have brought their minor children along with them to join the yatra without paying attention to the SASB guidelines.
When contacted the pilgrims, camping in Jammu said, "When we are coming for the yatra we cannot leave behind our children. It is up to the government and the authorities to see whether they can stop us from performing the pilgrimage because we have minor children".
The majority of the pilgrims were upbeat and were scared by the attack on the security forces in Srinagar or incidents of flash floods in Uttarakhand. We are here o perform darshan of holy Shivling inside the cave shrine of Amarnath and we are all set to join the first batch of pilgrims, head of the pilgrim group who arrived here from Allahabad said.
It may be mentioned that the age limit was fixed by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) after deliberating on the recommendations made by the National Disaster Management Authority and Nitish K Sengupta Committee.
Last year when over 100 deaths were reported along the yatra track the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had recommended that "no child under the age of 11 years, no person above the age of 75 years and no woman with more than six weeks' pregnancy should be allowed to undertake the pilgrimage." The yatra is scheduled to begin from June 28 and continue till August 21 this year.
According to the SASB, the fixing of age limit will help ensure that only physically fit people embark upon the arduous 55-day pilgrimage to the holy Himalayan cave shrine of Lord Shiva.
Jun 26 2013 (9:07AM)  दरड कोसळल्याने कोकण रेल्वे खोळंबली (onlinenews1.lokmat.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsKR/Konkan  -  

News Entry# 138504     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
ऑनलाइन टीम
रत्नागिरी, दि.२५- संततधार पावसामुळे कोकण रेल्वे मार्गावर रत्नागिरीजवळ दरड कोसळल्याने कोकण रेल्वेची वाहतूक खोळंबली आहे. मंगळवारी सकाळी ही घटना घडली.
कोकण रेल्वे दरवर्षी पावसाळ्यात दरड कोसळण्याच्या घटना घडत असतात.यंदा दरड कोसळू नये यासाठी पुरेशी काळजी घेतल्याचा दावा कोकण रेल्वेने पावसाळ्याच्या सुरुवातीला केला होता. मात्र मंगळवारी सकाळी रत्नागिरीजवळील विलवडेजवळ रेल्वे रुळावर दरड कोसळली. यामुळे कोकण रेल्वेची वाहतूक ठप्प पडली. याचा फटका नेत्रवती, मांडवी, जनशताब्दी एक्सप्रेस या गाड्यांना बसला आहे. घटनेनंतर कोकण रेल्वेचे पथक घटनास्थळी रवाना झाला असून मातीचे ढिगारे रेल्वे रुळांवरुन बाजूला काढण्यासाठी शर्थीचे प्रयत्न सुरु आहेत. मात्र यासाठी नेमका किती वेळ लागेल हे अद्याप स्पष्ट झालेले नाही.
Jun 26 2013 (9:00AM)  अब और भारी पड़ेगा रेल टिकट कैंसिल कराना (business.bhaskar.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 138499     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
अब और भारी पड़ेगा रेल टिकट कैंसिल कराना
नई दिल्ली. पहली जुलाई से रेलवे का टिकट वक्त रहते कैंसिल नहीं कराना और महंगा पड़ेगा। रेलवे ने 15 साल बाद रिफंड नियमों को सरल बनाने के बहाने मुसाफिरों पर और बोझ डाल दिया है। अब अनरिजर्व टिकट हो या रिजर्व, कैंसिल कराने की नौबत आने पर जल्द से जल्द ऐसा करने में ही समझदारी होगी। अनरिजर्व टिकट कैंसिल कराने के लिए अवधि का निर्धारण अब ट्रेन की रवानगी के बजाय टिकट खरीदने के वक्त से किया जाएगा। अब ऐसे टिकट तीन घंटे के भीतर कैंसिल कराने पर क्लर्केज शुल्क (20 रुपये) काटकर बाकी किराया रिफंड होगा। यदि ऐसा टिकट काफी पहले खरीद लिया गया है तो सफर के 24 घंटे पहले तक कैंसिल कराने पर क्लर्केज शुल्क काटकर बाकी किराया रिफंड के रूप में मिलेगा।
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(विस्‍तार से पढ़ने के लिए आगे के स्‍लाइड्स पर क्लिक करें)
Pl. visit link to see full story...
Jun 26 2013 (8:58AM)  'Rise in station master vacancies taking a toll on railway safety' (newindianexpress.com)
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IR AffairsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 138498     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
The increasing number of vacancies in the posts of station masters poses a grave danger to the safety of Railways and its services, said office-bearers of the All India Station Masters Association during a hunger strike by the Chennai division of the association on Tuesday.
The association claimed that the Chennai division of the Southern Railways had 190 vacancies among the 928 positions as of December 2012.
There will be a further increase of 45 vacancies by next year by way of retirement, said John Vincent Kumar, national president of the All India Station Masters Association.
“These huge vacancies will have a direct bearing on the functioning and safety of the Railways. As per norms, station masters are to work only for eight
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hours in normal areas and six hours in high intensity areas owing to the stress levels involved. But as of now, most of us are forced to work for 12 hours at a stretch, and even a weekly day off is denied to us. This will affect the station masters and their ability to ensure the proper safety to the passengers,” he said.
The station masters also alleged that this year, the number of summer special trains was reduced by 10 per cent owing to shortage of drivers and station masters.
“The Central Government has put a blanket ban on government recruitments. Though drivers, station masters and guards are excluded from this, the government continues to follow the same policy here too,” claimed N Shanmughasundaram, president of the Chennai division of the All India Station Masters Association.
The association pointed out that the largescale vacancy was a result of the mass recruitment that had taken place in the late 1970s and early 80s.
“That whole batch is retiring in the next few years and this would lead to mass vacancies.
“If the government does not take proactive steps to fill the vacancies, it will lead to multiple problems,” said Shanmughasundaram.
The union demanded that the Railway Board relax recruitment processes to facilitate filling up of vacancies and also to create a body on the lines of the employment exchange to meet the current crisis of mass retirements.
Jun 26 2013 (8:58AM)  Byappanahalli station to be coach terminus (newindianexpress.com)
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New Facilities/TechnologySWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 138497     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
The proposed world-class railway station at Byappnahalli will now be converted into a greenfield coach terminus.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural function of a photo exhibition organised at Venkatappa Art Gallery to commemorate the 160th year of the Indian Railways, South Western Railways General Manager Ashok Kumar Mittal said, “The proposed Byappanahalli railway station would be developed as a greenfield railway coach terminus. Two pit lines have already been constructed. Some more facilities will be developed soon to develop it as a coach terminus.” The railways has proposed to develop a world-class railway station at Byappanahalli on public private partnership mode and the state government has offered the required land for the project.
“As the private investors were not forthcoming, the Railways has now decided to develop it
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as greenfield coach terminus,” he said. Mittal also said nearly 50 per cent of the work on Bangalore-Hassan line is complete and the state government is yet to acquire 160 acres of land, including the one belonging to a stud farm near Tumkur.
“The Railways and the state government are collectively spending `600 to 700 crore on railway projects every year and have resolved to complete at least 120 kms of new railway line,” he said.
Jun 26 2013 (8:56AM)  Railways tightens ticket refund rules (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 138496     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
NEW DELHI: You can no longer cancel a train ticket 24 hours before your journey and still claim a full refund.
The railways ministry, which comprehensively revised ticket refund rules on Tuesday, said the move was aimed at stopping touts from selling cancelled tickets at high prices at the last moment and at giving waitlisted passengers a little extra time to comprehend whether they could undertake their journey.
The new rules will come into effect from July 1.
The railways said it had also reduced the time wherein a passenger could claim back 75 per cent of the booking amount. For this, passengers will now need to cancel tickets six hours prior to departure, two hours fewer than earlier.
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If a ticket is presented for cancellation within six hours before the train's scheduled departure and up to two hours after the actual departure, the cancellation charge will be 50 per cent of the fare, subject to a minimum charge. Exiting rules allow the cancellation of tickets up to 12 hours after the train's departure if the journey distance is 500 km or more. Under the new rules, no refund will be granted on a reserved ticket surrendered for cancellation two hours after the train's actual departure.
The time for the filing of refund claims in case of unforeseen circumstances like a strike or any natural causes such as floods has also been reduced from 90 to 10 days of the train's departure.
According to the new rules, even those with waitlisted or RAC tickets will have to cancel their tickets three hours before actual departure to get a refund after the deduction of a clerkage charge of Rs 30.
No refund will be allowed two hours after the train's departure. Existing rules permit cancellation till three hours after departure.
Justifying the revision, the railway ministry said: "Railway Passengers (cancellation of ticket and refund of fare) Rules, 1998, have not been substantially revised in the last 15 years, during which a large number of changes have taken place in the ticketing system of Indian Railways."
Apr 18 2013 (10:08AM)  City Beautiful to move a little closure to Ludhiana! - The Times of India (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 130097     
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
LUDHIANA: If everything goes according to the plan, Ludhianvis travelling by train will reach Chandigarh 30 minutes early from April 19. The railways have made all arrangements to start a new rail link that will reduce the travel time between the industrial city and Punjab capital.
The authorities say the train (Amritsar-Chandigarh SF Express) on new route could be chugged off on April 19 provided railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is available for the flag-off function at Chandigarh.
A senior officer at the Ludhiana railway station says, "We have made preparations for the train's inauguration of the new route. For the purpose, we have sought the consent of the railway minister to flag off the train on as early as April 19."
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Commission for Railway Safety completed the inspection of the last portion of the rail link on April 15. The speed trial was also conducted on the route".
Northern Railways chief public relation officer Neeraj Sharma also said the tentative date to start the train on the new route is April 19.
"The departure of the train from Chandigarh will be 6.50 pm whereas the train's arrival time at Amritsar is 11.15 pm", says Sharma.
Presently, the superfast express train No 12241/12242 between Chandigarh-Amritsar via Morinda-Sirhind will be routed via New Morinda-Sanehwal-Ludhiana on the newly constructed railway line. The timing of the said train will also be revised. Residents who frequently travel between Ludhiana and Chandigarh expressed their happiness.
With the train playing on the new route, the distance between Chandigarh and Ludhiana will be reduced by 21 kms.
Till now the train's departure time from Amritsar is 5.20 am. It reaches Ludhiana at around 7.15 am and reaches Chandigarh at 9.45 am.
The proposal for construction of the 112-km stretch was approved in 1997-98 whereas the work on it started in 2000.
The project was divided into three phases --- Chandigarh-Morinda, Morinda-Sahnewal and Sahnewal-Ludhiana. Two of the phases are already functional. In the first phase, the 45-km track was completed between Chandigarh-Morinda. In the second phase, 17-km stretch from Sahnewal to Ludhiana was completed. It was 51-km track between Morinda and Sahnewal that took authorities years to complete.
Apr 18 2013 (10:02AM)  Subways to come up at 7 level crossings in division - The Times of India (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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PUNE: The Central Railway (Pune division) has planned to eliminate seven level-crossing gates on the Pune-Miraj section and a few more on the Daund-Baramati section.
The gates on Satara-Koregaon, Koregaon-Rahimatpur, Bhilvadi-Kirloskarwadi, Rahimatpur-Taragaon and Taragaon-Masur sections will be replaced by subways at a cost of Rs 4 crore. They will enable people to cross the tracks safely, restrict accidents and reduce the waiting time for people during train crossing, officials said.
A Pune railway division official said the administration had closed three gates last year and replaced them with subways or overbridges. While steps are being taken to eliminate level crossings, efforts are on to man the existing level crossings in the division, the official added.
Of the 179 level crossing gates in Pune
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division, 143 are manned. Plans are to reduce the number of unmanned gates and build subways or overbridges at each of them.
Pune-Lonavla and Pune-Daund are the busiest sections in the division for train operations and illegal crossing of tracks by citizens, but the crossings in both sections are manned. The 36 unmanned gates are in other sections including Pune-Kolhapur and Daund-Baramati.
"Every year, we eliminate some level crossings. We are working with the state government to build subways or overbridges at some crossings. Besides, steps are being taken to restrict entry of cattle on the tracks."
Foot overbridges have been built at important stations in the division to stop commuters from crossing the tracks.
Mar 13 2013 (7:48AM)  Four arrested with fake currency notes - Indian Express (www.indianexpress.com)
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The Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Western Railways Tuesday arrested four persons with fake Indian currency notes with a face value of Rs 6.8 lakh in Vadodara railway station.
Acting on a tip-off that four persons were reaching Vadodara Railway Station on Howrah-Ahmedabad Express Tuesday afternoon with fake currency, the SOG personnel laid a trap at the station and arrested them.
Initial investigations revealed that the four suspect were coming from Malda in West Bengal, from where they had sourced the money.
"The three belong to West Bengal and they were coming from Malda. The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) will conduct investigation jointly to find out the origin of the notes and where they were to be delivered," police inspector, SOG, Vadodara
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division, M N Vaghela said.
The arrested include Abdul Sheikh, Sharif Ali Sheikh, Amirullah Rehman Iftikar, and Mohammad Rafique Sheikh.
Mar 13 2013 (7:46AM)  Food court to replace Presidency gym - The Times of India (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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KOLKATA: A swanky gymnasium, that had become the talking point of the erstwhile Presidency College, will soon give way to a trendy food court after remaining in disuse for the past one year.
Built in 2009, when the institution was yet to become a university, it was looked upon as one of the cosmetic changes that symbolized the change. The state higher education department had spent nearly Rs 10 lakh to get the historical gymkhana of the college refurbished into a modern gym. But with the change of guard at the top level, the process of this upgrade got a new impetus and many of those things initiated by the previous regime started dying a slow death.
Students and faculty members of Presidency were extremely unhappy with the gym going out of
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bounds despite several requests to the authorities. Those who have been doggedly pursuing the cause have recently been told that the gym will be "shifted" soon and a food court will come up in its place. This is being planned as part of the university's cosmetic uplift especially because a private coffee and a food chain have decided to wind up their businesses.
As things stand as of now, the university authorities are almost in the final throes of bringing in a new vendor who'll set up shop in the gym-turned-food court. Soon, equipment will be moved out of the gym to make space for a trendy eating zone. Indian Railways' catering company, IRCTC, is likely to set up shop in this space.
"We already have two canteens. If the university authorities feel that these are shabby or do not meet the standards, they can be upgraded. Why should they compromise with the gym? This simply means a waste of money," fumed Rahul Saha, the cricket captain of the university.
Though no concrete history of the gym is available, it is generally believed that it came into existence in the late 19th century when many students, who were also part of the freedom movement, used it for body-building. "During those days, exercising in a gymkhana was part of the urban intellectual psyche as right from Swami Vivekananda to Rishi Auribindo and Netaji, everyone believed that only a fit body can harbour a fit mind," said a faculty member who had used the gym regularly along with students. Old exercising instruments from the British times, like the Roman Rings, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bar that were part of the old gymkhana, were maintained and kept in the refurbished gym. The new-look gym also had modern instruments like treadmills, exercyclers, rubber dumb-bells for women etc.
"Games and physical fitness are just as important as studies and since the university is positioning itself as a world-class institution, it should realize this. How can you keep a gym to rust for a year?" asked Indrajit Sengupta, vice-captain of the cricket team and a member of the state squad.
Registrar Probir Dasgupta, however, said the university has better plans with the gym. "While we would split the gym and send them to the boys and girls hostels. A part of the gym would also be kept at the girls' common room so that the day scholars can use them. We have plans to buy a lot more equipment. Once this is done, the existing gym will be turned into a food court. Yes, IRCTC is an option we have in mind because being a government initiative it will be beneficial to our students both in terms of quality and price," he said.
Mar 13 2013 (7:42AM)  BBC News - Undercover patrols make Calcutta Metro safer for women (www.bbc.co.uk)
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Commentary/Human InterestKM/Kolkata Metro  -  

News Entry# 125248     
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In the wake of the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapist on a Delhi bus in December, the focus in India has been on the treatment and safety of women across the country. There has also been an increase in security measures in public places like the metro in the eastern city of Calcutta.
Every day a team of 20 officers, 10 men and 10 women, patrol India's oldest metro to make sure that men keep their hands to themselves.
The team includes Radhika (not her real name) who since 26 January has been travelling across the city in its crowded underground carriages and watching how men behave.
Sometimes she is dressed in her police uniform, but often she is
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undercover, wearing a colourful salwar kameez (long tunic and pyjama) or a sari to blend in with the female passengers.
Keeping a close eye on what is going on around her, she tells me that this is not just a job - she feels it is part of a change that India has to go through.
As soon she spots someone who is going to cause trouble or whose hands are beginning to stray, she walks up to them and calmly asks them to get off the train.
Some protest their innocence but most are so embarrassed that they quickly walk off.
"Men are now scared to harass women on the train as they know we are travelling in plainclothes and they might get caught," she says.
'Cover to harass'
Passengers have welcomed the presence of policewomen on trains
Every day, more that 625,000 people use the Calcutta Metro and it is the cheapest way to get around the city with most journeys costing just six rupees (11 cents; eight pence).
That means its carriages are crammed full of passengers and it is impossible to avoid physical contact with the people around you.
"Getting a seat on an underground train is as hard as winning the lottery. It also gives some men the opportunity and the cover to harass women," says the metro deputy general manager Protyush Kumar Ghosh.
India has been debating the issue of women's safety since the murder and gang rape of the young woman in Delhi.
Since then, more and more women in Calcutta have come forward and talked about their experiences of travelling on the metro.
Mr Ghosh says "as complaints grew, we had to take action to make sure that India's oldest metro was also its safest".
'No accident'
So they came up with the idea of the undercover cops, and it seems to have had an impact.
In February, five men were arrested for harassing women and there were 30 other incidents reported.
That is a drop of around 50% from the previous month.
"Troublemakers are now scared that they will be caught and so they are changing their behaviour," Mr Ghosh says.
Radhika says she can tell as soon as a man boards the train if he is going to cause trouble.
When I ask her how she can tell, specially in carriages where it is impossible to avoid touching someone, she replies: "I am a woman - I know. When a man touches a woman twice or three times, then it's no accident."
Twenty-one-year-old Shristi Das uses the underground every day.
She tells me that her parents get worried when she comes back late on the metro after work and adds that she hates the way that some men leer at her and try to touch her.
Housewife Bhavana Mishra says she tries to stand in the "women's only" section but that is not always possible.
"I am not sure why we women have to go through this," she says.
Both are glad that female officers are now patrolling the underground and it makes them feel safer.
But, Ms Das sasy, "you cannot police the whole of the metro. We need men to change and that is going to take some time".
Until they do, Radhika and her colleagues will be keeping a close eye on them.
Feb 10 2013 (9:24PM)  Many feared dead, in stampede at Allahabad Railway station | NDTV.com (www.ndtv.com)
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Crime/AccidentsNCR/North Central  -  

News Entry# 119105     
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Allahabad: Many people are feared dead in a stampede that broke out at the Allahabad Railway station today evening. Sources say the stampede happened after a portion of a foot overbridge collapsed due to the heavy rush at the station.
Over three crore people were at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad today to take holy dip at Sangam on 'Mauni Amavasya', considered the most auspicious day of bathing during the 12-yearly Kumbh congregation here.
Two people were killed at a stampede at the mela, according to the Press Trust of India.
Jan 17 2013 (9:34AM)  Indian Railways carry 735.10 million Tonnes of Freight During April-December 2012 | Invest in India (investinindia.com)
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Posted by: Soumitra Chawathe**  191 news posts  
Indian Railways carry 735.10 million Tonnes of Freight During April-December 2012
Indian Railways have carried 735.10 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-December 2012. The freight carried shows an increase of 31.33 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 703.77 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 4.45 per cent.
During the month of December 2012, the revenue earning freight traffic carried by Indian Railways was 88.19 million tonnes. There is an increase of 1.42 million tonnes over the actual freight traffic of 86.77 million tonnes carried by the Indian Railways during the same period last year, showing an increase of 1.64 per cent.
16 January 2013
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