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News Posts by rdb*^

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Today (7:27AM)  MP urges Railways to improve facilitiess (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272167     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Richard Hay, MP, has taken up with Railway authorities proposals for railway development and for improving amenities for passengers in the region.
The Anglo-Indian MP hailing from Thalassery in a representation to Railway Board chairman Ashok Mittal raised various matters including those relating to new railway projects, electrification and passenger amenities, a press release issued by the MP here informed.
The demand for conducting survey of the long-pending Thalassery-Mysore railway line topped the list of proposals included in the representation.
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also demanded that the Thalassery railway station be given a facelift as the station had been neglected by the Railway authorities over the years.The MP also urged the Railway Board chairman to expedite the track electrification works from Cheruvathur in Kasaragod to Mangalore.
Train to Guruvayur
He also proposed the sanctioning of a train to Guruvayur from the North Malabar region.
Also proposed was the provision of an island station at Shoranur to connect trains running in the Chennai-Thrissur route. This would help Malabar-bound passengers, he said.
Mr. Hay also said that compartments and railway stations should be made disabled- and senior citizen-friendly.
In stations having no escalators, ramps should be constructed instead of providing concrete steps, he added.
Ticket counters should be set up at both platforms in all A-grade stations, he demanded. He also proposed the installation of digital display boards in compartments of all long-distance trains to display names of the approaching stations so as to ease the anxiety of night-travelling passengers.
The MP said that complaints were received from Ernakulam and nearby areas about shifting emergency quota facilities from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram. The shifting was said to have put the people in the Ernakulam region into difficulties, he said demanding the quota facility be restored at Ernakulam.
The MP raises issues of new railway projects, electrification and passenger amenities
  
Today (7:24AM)  Simhadri passengers at their wits’ end (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestECoR/East Coast  -  

News Entry# 272166     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Last-minute change in platform numberleaves them gasping for breath
The unexpected change of platform and last-minute announcement of the same resulted in passengers, who had to board Visakhapatnam-Guntur Simhadri Express at Duvvada Railway Station on Monday morning, gasping for breath as they hurried down the Foot-Over-Bridge (FOB) along with their luggage.
Simhadri Express (17240) normally arrives on PF-1 at Duvvada. As usual, a large number of passengers were waiting for it on PF-1. A goods train was parked on PF-1 from around 6.45 a.m. and the passengers were under the impression that it
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would leave and Simhadri arrive on PF-1 as usual.
About 10 minutes before the arrival of the train around 7.50 a.m., an announcement was made on the public address system that the train would arrive on PF-2.
The waiting passengers were at their wits end. A large number of women with children, senior citizens and others had a tough time in scurrying up and down the FOB with the luggage.
When the goods train had to be detained for a longer time, it could have been allotted to PF-2 or on the loop line to allow the Simhadri Express on PF-1. “There are no lifts and porters are not available at Duvvada, which was identified for development as an ‘Adarsh Station’ long ago,” says Duvvada Railway Users’ Association secretary K. Eswar.
He SMSed the problem immediately to the Divisional Railway Manager and the Senior Divisional Operations Manager. DRM Chandralekha Mukherjee promptly replied; “There is an LC (Level Crossing) gate failure at Anakapalle in South Central Railway (SCR). Hence, trains got detained at Duvvada, because of which PF-1 was blocked. Inconvenience regretted.”
East Coast Railway (ECoR) jurisdiction ends with Duvvada and the technical problem occurred a few km away at Anakapalle, which is under SCR. The ECoR officials would have got the information immediately. They should have acted promptly to keep PF-1 free for Simhadri Express, instead of parking a goods train there.
“The late announcement on the change of platform caused untold hardship to passengers. Some crossed below the parked goods train, risking their lives as they did not want to miss their train. Some others crossed from over the couplings of the wagons,” Mr. Eswar said.
The taxi aggregators in Visakhapatnam are taking passengers for a ride. Last week (June 19), a resident of Maharanipeta booked an Ola cab from Visakhapatnam Airport to Maharanipeta. At the parking gate, the taxi driver asked the passenger to pay the parking fee. After dropping the passenger, the driver collected Rs. 305 as shown on his mobile.
Only after he received an email from Ola a short time after the taxi left, which showed that the break-up of the fare as Rs. 250.37 as the base fare and taxes and parking fee as Rs. 55, the passenger realised that he paid the parking fee twice.
On June 11, when he went to the airport to board a flight, driver of the Ola cab he has engaged has asked the passenger to pay Rs. 55 in addition to the Rs. 196 registered as fare on the mobile. When the passenger asked the driver why he should pay parking fee as he was only dropped at the airport and parking fee is not collected for the “drop and go” vehicles, the driver said “parking fee is collected from us”.
  
Today (7:21AM)  Bank donates chairs to railway junction (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272165     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
City Union Bank (CUB) has donated 25 three-seater cluster chairs to Madurai Divisional Railway for the benefit of passengers at Madurai railway junction.
General Manager of the bank S. Balasubramanian handed over the chairs to Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Kumar Garg, in the presence of Senior Divisional Commercial Manager B. Guganesan and Divisional Commercial Manager R.P. Rathi Priya.
“The CUB has come forward to provide additional seating facility for the railway passengers under its corporate social responsibility,” Mr. Garg said.
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bank would provide 25 more similar type of chairs soon.
On the occasion, the DRM released a short film produced by the divisional railway to create awareness of the working and usage of automatic ticket vending machines and coin-operated ticket vending machines.
“The film to be telecast through the television network at the railway junction would help passengers know about the functioning of automatic ticket vending machines. Passengers can operate the machines by using railway-issued smart cards or coins on their own or seek the help of facilitators appointed for the job,” Mr. Garg said.
Passengers could buy train tickets and platform tickets without having to wait at the ticket counters.
Tamilnad Merchantile Bank sponsored the production of the film.
Madurai Station Manager N.D. Prem Kumar was present on the occasion.
  
Today (7:20AM)  Loco engine derails at South station; sabotage suspected (www.thehindu.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272164     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
A loco engine parked at the Ernakulam Junction Railway Station rolled over around 25 metres and derailed on Monday afternoon, giving rise to suspicion that it was part of a sabotage attempt.
Railway officials have sought a police investigation into the incident, since it is extremely rare for the wooden skid attached to the track to prevent engine/train from rolling away to fall off. The Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police have launched a probe.
The engine was meant to be attached to the Ernakulam-Patna Express and was parked between platforms
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five and six.
The derailed engine was put back on the track by 8 p.m. by a team from the Railway’s engineering wing, sources said.
Another possibility, though remote, is that the skid might have fallen off owing to constant vibrations on the track when trains moved along nearby lines which are interlinked.
The engine’s pneumatic brake cannot be relied on, since it might not be effective when air pressure falls after a few hours of parking.
Gradient to blame?
The steep gradient at the spot where the engine was parked made matters worse, and it rolled down when the skid fell off the track, sources said.
  
Today (7:19AM)  ‘Improve image of Railways’ (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 272163     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Of the above 40 complaints that the South Central Railway receives from users every day, 16 per cent pertain to frontline staff like ticket-checking staff, reservations/booking clerks, porters and uniformed personnel of Railway Protection Force (RPF), said General Manager Ravindra Gupta.
While complaints against such staff had come down in the first two months of the current fiscal, compared to the last, there could be no let-up. No dereliction of duty by the staff would be accepted when it comes to serving rail customers.
  
Today (7:17AM)  PCCF inspects human-elephant conflict zones in Coimbatore (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272162     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden V.K. Melkani on Monday inspected the human-elephant conflict zones in rural Coimbatore. The visit is in the wake of three elephant deaths in less than a week’s time in the district.
The PCCF visited Eluthukalpudur near Pilloor Dam where a 40-year-old injured tusker, which was tranquilised for treatment by the forest personnel in Kerala, had crossed River Bhavani and died.
He conducted a detailed inquiry on the incident and visited the elephant migratory paths on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border.
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path
Mr. Melkani also visited Anubav area in Thadagam Valley where elephants cross the road, the elephant migratory path on Anaikatti Road, and brick kilns at Maangarai area. He interacted with the villagers on the human-animal conflict incidents.
He also inspected the green fodder bank at Koodapatti near Periyanaickenpalayam, the hanging solar fence pilot project at Athikadavu and the efficiency of the trenches for preventing elephants from coming out of the forest.
Later that day Mr. Melkani chaired a meeting with officials and elephant experts about overcoming the conflicts.
Representatives from NGOs also met the PCCF and made a few representations such as filling up vacancies of field staff and appointing more veterinarians in the forest department, keeping in mind the increasing human-animal conflicts and deaths.
On Tuesday, Mr. Melkani and officials from Southern Railways will inspect the place where a 35-year-old female elephant was killed in a train accident on the Madukkarai - Palakkad track last Tuesday.
  
Today (7:15AM)  Last metre gauge line goes (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272161     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
74-km Karaikudi-Pattukotai line work split into two packages because of delay
Work on doubling of metre gauge into broad gauge (BG) work on Karaikudi–Pattukottai segment has been taken up in Aranthangi area. The entire old metre gauge track has been cleared at Aranthangi and work on constructing culverts has been taken up.
This was the last metre gauge section to be upgraded into BG section by Southern Railway, and the train was operated last on October 19, 2012 for facilitating the expansion work.
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current work, to a length of 74 km, is being executed in four packages — Pattukottai to Peravurani, Pattukottai to Ayinkudi, Ayinkudi to Aranthangi, and Aranthangi to Karaikudi.
“We have completed the work on construction of minor and major culverts between Karaikudi and Peravurani. We have fixed a four-month deadline for completing the work between Pattukottai and Peravurani,” sources told The Hindu at Aranthangi in Pudukottai district on Thursday.
The gauge conversion work on Pattukottai–Karaikudi segment forms part of the gauge conversion of 149-km Tiruvarur–Karaikudi section. The century-old metre gauge was laid by the British and the first train was operated on October 20, 1902. The Tiruvarur-Pattukottai line forms part of the erstwhile Mayavaram-Muthupettai segment that was established on April 2, 1894, by South Indian Railway Company. According to official sources, the gauge conversion work had been taken up at an estimate of Rs.1,400 crore, including Rs. 300 crore for Pattukottai–Karaikudi segment.
  
Today (7:12AM)  Railwaymen flay Centre (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272160     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Southern Railway Employees’ Sangh has flayed the lackadaisical attitude of the Centre in dealing with the Railway employees’ demand on removing the anomalies in the 7{+t}{+h}Central Pay Commission (CPC).
It’s general secretary, P.S. Suriyaprakasam, said that the 7th CPC had made the lowest recommendation for increment for the railway employees.
It was only 14.28 per cent in 7th CPC while it had been 27.6 per cent, 31 per cent and 54 per cent in the previous CPCs.
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it was illogical for the Commission to have recommended abolishing 52 allowances and advances the railway employees were getting for the last 40 years. He wondered when the minimum pay was fixed at Rs.18,000 a month for railway employees by the Centre while even State Government of Andhra Pradesh had fixed it at Rs. 26,000.
He warned that privatisation of railways would lead to three-fold increase of rail and goods fare. Besides, safety would be compromised when the huge organisation was privatised, he said.
He said that proposed indefinite strike by railwaymen from July 11 would be a success.
The sangh divisional president, M. Jeyapandi, was present.
  
Today (7:11AM)  Leaders rally behind techie’s family, term murder shocking (www.thehindu.com)
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PoliticsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272159     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Leaders of political parties on Monday expressed solidarity with the family of Swathi, an employee of information technology major, Infosys, who was hacked to death by an unidentified assailant, at the Nungambakkam Railway station here recently.
DMK treasurer and Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin was the first to call on the family of the deceased software engineer at her house in Choolaimedu and console her family members. “The family of Swathi is totally shattered,” he said in a statement issued later.
Mr. Stalin said that Tamil Nadu had witnessed a series of murders
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in the past one month after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assumed office for a second consecutive term. He alleged that most of these murders were committed by mercenaries. “The murders in the Capital city have shocked the people of the State,” he said, adding that Tamil Nadu has lost its past glory of being a haven of peace and its police could no longer be placed on a par with the Scotland Yard police.
The DMK leader said the State government should give a free hand to the police to crackdown on the mercenaries and provide relief to the people of the State.
Later in the evening, BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan also visited Swathi’s house and consoled her family members.
Meanwhile, PMK founder S. Ramadoss in a statement said the society should hang its head in shame as none of those who were present at the railway station came forward to cover the body of Swathi immediately after she was killed. “Would they have remained mute spectators if this had happened to their daughter or relative? Are we becoming a society without a conscience,” he wondered.
Mr. Ramadoss said as the motive behind the murder was yet to be established it was unethical to trivialize the death and attribute motives. “The police should ensure that such murders don’t recur in Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Govt. should give a free hand to the police to crackdown on the mercenaries, says Stalin
  
Today (7:11AM)  Techie murder case: Government denies reports of rift among officials (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272158     
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Posted by: rdb*^  118857 news posts
Responding to the Madras High Court's observation that there was no visible progress in the case relating to the murder of Swathi at the Nungambakkam railway station, Public Prosecutor S. Shanmugavelayutham denied that was any rift between the authorities.
He added that 25 police personnel are working on the case.
Expressing concern over the way the body of the techie was handled, the Division Bench of Justices S. Nagamuthu and V. Bhradhidasan said, “For over two hours, Swathi’s body was left lying without even being covered. Even a dead person has got right
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to dignity under the Constitution. Even after death, the girl’s dignity cannot be denied.”
When the Prosecutor informed the court that steps have been taken to install CCTV cameras in all railway stations, the judges said, “To induce one’s thinking, we made a person lay down her life.”
Adding that the court will be watching the progress of the probe for a couple of days, the judges said, “If we feel there is slackness, we will take suo motu proceedings after getting concurrence from the Chief Justice.”
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