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News Posts by rdb*^

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Yesterday (22:22)  PM reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors (pib.nic.in)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 300876     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Tuesday reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors including roads, railways, airports, ports, digital, and coal. The review meeting, which lasted for about four and a half hours, was attended by top officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and all infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India.
In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, it was noted that remarkable progress has been made in several areas and infrastructure sectors. In a broad overview of the progress in the roads and railways sectors, the Prime Minister called for a consolidated approach to existing projects, and working towards their completion within strict timelines.
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highest ever average daily construction rate of 130 km, has been achieved for rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. This has led to an addition of 47,400 km of PMGSY roads in 2016-17. 11,641 additional habitations have been connected with roads in the same period.
Over 4000 km of rural roads have been constructed using green technology in FY17. The use of non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag is being pushed aggressively.
The Prime Minister directed efficient and stringent monitoring of rural roads construction and their quality. For this, he emphasized on use of space technology in addition to the technologies already being used, such as the “Meri Sadak” App. He called for expeditious completion of vital links which will connect the remaining unconnected habitations at the earliest.
The Prime Minister directed the use of new technologies in road construction also. He asked NITI Aayog to examine global standards in the application of technology for infrastructure creation, and their feasibility in India.
In the highways sector, over 26,000 km of 4 or 6 lane national highways have been built in FY17, and the pace is improving.
In the railways sector, 953 km of new lines were laid in 2016-17, as against the target of 400 km. Track electrification of over 2000 km, and gauge conversion of over 1000 km was achieved in the same period. More than 1500 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated in 2016-17. Among measures to enhance customer experience, Wi-Fi access was enabled in 115 railway stations, and 34,000 bio-toilets added. The Prime Minister called for speeding up of work related to redevelopment of Railway Stations, and greater creativity in the generation of non-fare revenue.
Progress of important projects in the roads and railways sectors, such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Char Dham Project, the Quazigund-Banihal Tunnel, the Chenab railway bridge, and the Jiribam-Imphal project was also reviewed. In the aviation sector, the Regional Connectivity Scheme will connect 43 destinations, including 31 unserved destinations. The passenger capacity in the aviation sector has reached 282 million passengers per annum.
In the ports sector, under the Sagarmala project, 415 projects have been identified with investment of Rs. 8 lakh crore, and projects worth 1.37 lakh crore rupees have been taken up for implementation. The Prime Minister stressed on better outcomes for turnaround time of ships and clearance for Exim cargo. The highest ever capacity addition of 100.4 MTPA in major ports has been recorded in 2016-17. All 193 lighthouses are now powered by solar energy. Digitization of land records has been completed in all major ports.
In the digital infrastructure sector, 2187 mobile towers have been installed in districts affected by Left Wing Extremists, in 2016-17. Progress of the National Optical Fibre Network was reviewed. The Prime Minister emphasized that the emerging digital connectivity network, which will connect thousands of Gram Panchayats within the next few months, should be backed up by appropriate governance steps, so that it can lead to better quality of life, and greater empowerment of people in the rural areas.
In the coal sector, rationalization of coal linkages and movement yielded an annual saving of over Rs 2500 crore in 2016-17. Noting the decline in coal imports in the last year, the Prime Minister asked for even more vigorous efforts towards coal import substitution, and application of new coal technologies including gasification technology.
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AKT/HS
(Release ID :161300)
  
Yesterday (17:57)  No end to chaos at Doon railway station (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 300859     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
DEHRADUN: Travel plans of city residents and tourists have been mired in utter confusion with 16 major Dehradun-bound trains operating from Haridwar, giving a hard time to passengers who are forced to undertake a 53-km road journey to board a train in Haridwar.
Owing to prevailing chaos and misinformation at the Dehradun railway station many have cancelled their holiday plans, complaining to the railways about inconvenience caused to them. Despite that many passengers throng Dehradun station every day to board trains, which are now being operated from Haridwar. However, the railways have arranged for free buses from Haridwar to Dehradun for Shatabdi passengers, and are trying to ensure that the construction work at Dehradun station completes well-within time or even earlier than
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the May 22 deadline to restore train services.
For 36 days, from April 17 to May 22, as many as 16 major trains - including New Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi, Indore Dehradun Express, Ujjaini Express, Madurai-Dehradun Superfast Express and Howrah-Dehradun Upasana Express - will not operate from Dehradun.
Tech savvy travellers/tourists have taken to social media questioning the timing of construction work during peak summer time. They want the railways to inform passengers in advance about the status of trains operating from Haridwar instead of Dehradun. One of them tweeted on Tuesday, "@sureshprabhu @RailMinIndia Dehradun Shatabdi is not going till Dehradun. But there is no formal announcement. Passengers are left confused." Lack of information led one user to tweet, "@sureshpprabhu any specific reason why Dehradun shatabdi is not going till Dehradun?"
Misleading information floating on internet - such as the station has been closed and all trains to Dehradun are being terminated for almost a month - forced many travellers and tourists to change their plan to visit Dehradun for a vacation. Anuja Joshi, a Mumbai resident, said, "I was on an official tour to Delhi, and had a plan to visit Dehradun and Mussoorie, but I cancelled my ticket after I read online that all trains to Dehradun would remain terminated. I did not know that selected trains are still operating on the route. There is clearly a misinformation."
Many trains such as Janshatabdi Express, Mussoorie Express and Janta Express among others are still operating from Dehradun, but there is no proper dissemination of this information, depriving travellers of these services.
Divisional railway manager (DRM), Moradabad division, under which jurisdiction the Dehradun railway station falls, Pramod Kumar said, "We have given strict orders to complete the construction work at the Dehradun railway station well within the stipulated time or even earlier to ensure that the passengers do not face much trouble and the train services are restored, at the earliest. We are providing free bus services to Dehradun from Haridwar for Shatabdi passengers. "
  
Yesterday (17:57)  Bridge widening to begin soon (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWR/Western  -  

News Entry# 300858     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
VADODARA: The widening of the Subhas Chandra Bose railway over-bridge at Vishwamitri may eventually see the light of the day. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) will be acquiring land for the widening work.
The work order for the widening of the bridge was given in 2014, but construction has not commenced yet. VMC will be razing some cabins and rooms in the tractor manufacturing company as well as a homoeopathy college there along with some slum dwellings.TNN
  
Yesterday (17:56)  Ex-railway officers win epic promotion battle after 19 years (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 300857     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
HIGHLIGHTS
Most of the beneficiaries of the long-drawn litigation are in their late sixties and early seventies
The case arose out of anomalies in IV pay commission recommendations in 1984
CHENNAI: A 19-year legal battle bore fruit to 69 retired railway officers, finally, with the Supreme Court asking the railway administration to disburse notional benefits to the officers, without any arrears. It means, though
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they may not get any lump sum monetary benefit, they could get one or two notional promotions, accompanied by upwardly revised pension.
Most of the beneficiaries of the long-drawn litigation are in their late sixties and early seventies, and four of them have died. The case arose out of anomalies in IV pay commission recommendations in 1984. A circular issued in that year failed to fix the inter seniority of Group-A junior scale officers and its effect was that these people had to retired with one or even two promotions less.A retired railway security commissioner, Sony C Vargheese, is one among the railway senior officers, who knocked the doors of the court in 1998, for denying promotions against the IV pay commission recommendations of 1984. They wanted the court to direct the management to grant promotion to them under the Railway Protection Force (Group-A post) Recruitment Rules, 1994. They also demanded promotions with retrospective effect besides all consequential benefits.
On June 12, 2012, the then Chief Justice of Madras high court MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam said that `even though many of the petitioners have retired and only three are in service, this court is on the opinion that relief must be given to all the petitioners since at the time of filing of the writ petition, they were very much in service.' Allowing their petition, the bench directed the management to reconsider the seniority list within a time frame and dismissed the petition filed by the railway department.
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Deepak Gupta, judges of the Supreme Court of India, passed their orders on April 18, marking culmination of a 19-year battle. The bench ordered the railway management to disburse benefits to them notionally without any arrears.
While they can now proudly alter their last posting in their profile, they will not get any lump sum salary arrears due to the win.
  
Yesterday (17:51)  Passengers raise a stink over dirty platform at Charbagh (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 300856     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
LUCKNOW: Rodents feeding on trash dumped on every corner, tobacco stains on walls, unfit drinking water facility and unhygienic conditions to say the least, platform no. 7 of Charbagh railway station speaks volumes of the administration's apathy. Considered to be one of the busiest platforms, from where maximum passenger trains for Faizabad, Kanpur, Sitapur, Anwarganj and Hardoi originate, the large-size craters also pose a tough challenge to the passengers in a hurry to board their trains. Also, patches of leaking roof and spider webs in its corners can easily attract one's attention.
TOI spoke to a number of passengers on the problems they face and how the authorities choose to look the other way. Smriti O Jeevant, 58, said, "While boarding Begumpura
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express some time ago, I had almost lost balance after my feet got trapped in one of the potholes. I was lucky enough to escape that mighty fall had it not been for my family members who held me back." Worst to suffer are the elderly who find it difficult to walk on the uneven stretch. "In a hurry to board the train, I fell on my face after I slipped due to piles of trash lying unattended came on my way," said a commuter who is regular at the railway station.
Senior divisional commercial manager (Sr. DCM) of Northern Railway, said, "The contract for the revamp of the platform has been awarded, and work will begin soon."
  
Yesterday (17:50)  NITKians device a warning system for rly crossings (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 300855     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
MANGALURU: Students of NIT-K, Surathkal have developed a system that provides warning about the passage of trains at unmanned level crossings in advance, thus avoiding accidents.
Students along with faculty, who have been working for nearly a year for Indian Railways, have designed a device that can detect the presence of a train when it is at a fair distance (approximately 5 kilometres) from the location of the level crossing and provide an audio-visual warning so that people and vehicles avoid crossing the level crossings.
According to Saurabh Sachan, a student in the
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team, out of 28,607 railway level crossings across India, about 9,340 are unmanned. According to statistics, 40% of total train accidents occur at level crossings and most of them at unmanned crossings.
About the present status of the project, which they took up in association with Indian Railways, Saurabh said they installed the devise at a level crossing at Bondel near Mangaluru in January for field testing to determine the ruggedness and durability of the sensor and indigenously designed circuit.
"Barring certain faults during the initial few days, the device is working fine and it has been successfully sending warnings about the passage of the train at the level crossing. We have been receiving SMS whenever a train is detected," Saurabh told TOI.
Their next plan is to install this device at two locations on either side of the Bodel level crossing.Shubham Ingale, another student, explained that these three points will form a complete working system. When train crosses one of the two points, the device will trigger an alarm at the Bondel level crossing. Once the train crosses the Bondel level crossing, the alarm will be switched off. "We are conducting a survey of sites along the track to identify suitable sites for placing the outer nodes. One site that is deemed to be suitable is the Jokatte level crossing. We are now currently involved in the installation of the second sensor at this location," he said.
The team is also working on alarm sensors that can be installed in Palakkad division which witnesses elephant deaths on railway tracks. The sensor will detect the movement of elephants on tracks and send signals to the trains passing in that stretch so that accidents can be avoided, said U Sripati Acharya, head of department, electronics and communication, NIT-K, Surathkal.
  
Yesterday (17:47)  Metro work: Residents forced to share borewells (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestCMRL/Chennai Metro  -  

News Entry# 300854     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
Will help efficient use of groundwater
In times of drought, the residents of north Chennai will soon be forced to share water from their borewells, to help facilitate tunnelling work for the Chennai Metro Rail project .
At present, tunnelling work has started for phase I extension of Chennai Metro Rail project that runs from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar. Since a part of the project is underground from Washermanpet to Korukkupet, the tunnelling work started a few weeks ago. Usually, before the tunnelling work is carried out, the borewells falling within the alignment
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of tunnelling are closed.
The residents have the choice to get compensation for the closed borewell, or they could get Chennai Metro Rail drill a new one for them.
According to sources in Chennai Metro Rail project, this plan came up for those houses located in narrow streets where some residents were unwilling to receive compensation for closing their existing borewells. “Even water tankers cannot ply through them; so we decided, about 3-4 household will share a borewell. The residents also agreed to the plan. The borewell will be located at a common point. This plan will continue till the time tunnelling is completed in the area,” an official said.
Experts note, during drought, plans such as these will greatly help in using groundwater efficiently.
M. Soundararajan, former hydrogeologist at Chennai Metrowater said, “Some of the apartments in the city also have such measures in place. But it is a great idea to put it in use for independent households. If picked the right location with the right depth, it would work really well.”
Indumathi M. Nambi, environmental and water resources professor at IIT Madras said, on an average, each person consumes about 165 litres of water a day. In areas like north Chennai, good quality groundwater can be found between 80 feet to 100 feet; if they go beyond that, then there may be interference of saline water, she said. “Such plans must be carried out in villages too as it will greatly help farmers. The small time farmers suffer quite a bit as the open wells dry up, especially when some household nearby drills a borewell too deep. If this is carried out, then it will benefit several of them,” Ms. Nambi added.
But one thing that needs supervision is, the residents will have to be given separate meters to ensure there is no dispute, she said.
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Yesterday (17:44)  German team visits Water Metro sites (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 300853     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
Holds discussions with KMRL Managing Director, officials
A three-member team from German bank KfW, which has extended a ₹597-crore loan to fund the ₹819-crore Water Metro project in greater-Kochi area, on Tuesday visited the areas where major boat jetties are expected to come up.Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), which is spearheading the project, had a week ago short-listed Aecom Consortium as the project’s general consultant.The visiting KfW officials, Robert Valkovic, Felix Klauda and Angelika Zwicky, also held discussions with KMRL Managing Director Elias George and officials working on the project regarding steps to be taken to ensure prompt completion of the project by 2021. The first lot of boats is expected to be introduced in the latter part of 2018.The Water Metro
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project envisages the development of 16 identified routes, connecting 38 jetties across 10 islands with a total route network of 76 km.
  
Yesterday (17:35)  Work on lift at North station nearing completion (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 300852     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
Work on a lift on platform one and an escalator on platform two of the Ernakulam Town railway station are nearing completion, to help the elderly and handicapped people.
The Railway had installed two lifts covering platforms one, two and three in the Ernakulam Junction railway station a week ago. A senior official said that the lifts operate round the clock and can carry up to 13 passengers.
The lifts have been installed even as five platforms (all except the sixth platform) here have escalators. “Some unscrupulous passengers deliberately press the emergency stop
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button of escalators, bringing them to a halt. Their key is available only in the station master office and the electrical staff room. Restarting them thus takes time,” he said.
With complaints pouring in from commuters that they have to go to platform one for using toilets, the Railway is also constructing toilets in platform two and three of the station.
Chairs too are in short supply on platforms two to six. A few hospitals and banks that the Railway approached seeking sponsorship for chairs were not keen on setting apart their corporate social responsibility funds, it is learnt.
Food plaza
In the meantime, a prominent hotel group is expected to shortly begin selling food items at the station’s food plaza that was closed down a year ago. Kudumbasree too might pitch in with eateries at the two stations, considering their good track record in operating AC passenger waiting halls and parking lots.
Passengers’ demand
Paul Manvettom, president of All Kerala Railway Users’ Association, sought installation of CCTV cameras on platforms.
He also sought steps to restart the operation of the battery-operated vehicle that used to ferry needy passengers through the station.
  
Yesterday (17:21)  Woman and 3 daughters buried (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 300851     
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Posted by: rdb*^  128392 news posts
The bodies of a woman and three daughters found on the railway tracks in Kozhikode were buried at a public cemetery in A.R. Nagar panchayat, near Tirurangadi, on Tuesday. A large number of people, including district panchayat president A.P. Unnikrishnan and Vengara block panchayat president P.K. Aslu, paid homage to the dead. The bodies of Bhavana, 33, daughters Aiswarya, 12, Nandini, 10, and Vismaya, 8, were found on the railway tracks at Puthiyangadi in Kozhikode on Sunday. The family had been living at a quarters at V.K. Padi.
Ragesh, Bhavana’s husband who hailed from Thiruvananthapuram, had filed a complaint with the police on Friday saying that his family was missing. The voter ink mark on the finger of the woman helped the
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police identify them. She had voted in the Malappuram Lok Sabha byelection held on April 12.
The parent-teacher association of A.U.P. School, Irumbuchola, where the children were studying, met the expenses of the burial as the woman’s relatives refused to accept the bodies.
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