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News Posts by rdb**

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Today (7:28AM)  Skywalk at railway junction likely to be delayed (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 226431     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
The installation of the skywalk to help commuters reach the platform 1A at the Coimbatore Railway junction from the State Bank Road is likely to be delayed.
Division Railway Manager (DRM), Salem Division, Shubhranshu told reporters here on Wednesday that a tender for Rs. 2 crore has been floated for installing the skywalk with escalators.
“It will be stopped if the mosque authorities do not give the consent within a week,” he said.
The DRM said that the work would be completed by the end of this year if they receive the consent of the mosque. He said that more than 20,000 commuters use the junction everyday and about 90 per cent of them use the front entrance.
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“The skywalk will help reduce sharing crowd thronging the junction,” he said.
He said that four more escalators have been sanctioned for Coimbatore junction – two for the skywalk and two for the subway. The existing two escalators at the subway operated only from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. would be soon made operational round-the- clock.
After inaugurating two Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) for booking unreserved tickets at the junction as part of the Railway User Facilitation Fortnight, which is observed from May 26 to June 9, he said that the facility could be used by commuters to book tickets using a smartcard for Rs. 100. This includes Rs. 50 for the card and Rs. 50 for booking unreserved tickets.
There is a proposal for a separate counter to help commuters recharge the smartcards. Retired railway staff will help commuters without smartcard to get tickets from these ATVMs.
A technical snag was detected on the newly completed electrification of Coimbatore North to Mettupalayam by the Commissioner for Railway Safety, Southern Railways, during his inspection recently. “The repair works will be completed this weekend and the Commissioner will once again conduct an inspection before giving green signal for the electric line to be made operational,” the DRM said.
Mr. Shubhranshu said that Coimbatore Corporation has come forward to contribute Rs. 42 lakh for extension of the platform at Thudiyalur Railway Station.
The DRM said that they are awaiting funds for the Podanur to Pollachi gauge conversion and completing it was among the priorities of the division.
  
Today (7:27AM)  Govt. to speed up railway bridge projects in city (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 226430     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
In a move that could end long waits at railway crossings, the government has decided to speed up implementation of over 15 road over-bridge (RoB) and road under-bridge (RuB) projects in the city.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had a first-hand experience of being stuck at a railway crossing during his recent city rounds, convened a meeting of State government and railway officials on Wednesday and agreed to release Rs. 26 crore for the first phase of projects.
Speaking to presspersons after participating in the meeting, Minister for Infrastructure Roshan Baig said the Chief Minister had asked the authorities to release Rs. 26 crore of the Rs. 57 crore sanctioned for the Railways.
RuB and RoB projects taken up at Byappanahalli, Jakkur, Kengeri, Allalasandra,
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Kodigehalli, Mutyalammanagar and other locations were being delayed because of problem in land acquisition, as well as delay in depositing the funds promised to the Railways, Mr. Baig said.
Completion of the RoB at Byappanahalli was delayed because of a problem in transferring defence land and delay in depositing Rs. 5.20 crore to the Railways, he said. These delays have led to motorists waiting for more than 20 minutes to cross railway tracks near Byappanahalli. On an average, 50 trains pass through this railway level crossing on a daily basis.
Similar is the plight of people waiting for the completion of Allalasanda RoB off Bellary Road. The problem, according to Mr. Baig, is in acquiring 1,761 sq. m of land in the area. The work on Mutyalammanagar RoB was halfway through, and the problem there lay in acquiring 3,639 sq. m of land. The government was yet to release Rs. 34.59 crore to complete work on RoBs in Jakkur, Kengeri and Kodigehalli railway bridges, he said.
Rs. 26 cr. to be released for the first phase of projects
  
Today (7:27AM)  Railway passengers to take e-route (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 226429     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
With the Indian Railways increasingly embracing information technology and making use of the scientific advancements, passengers have a lot of newer avenues to choose from.
As part of the ‘Railway Passenger and Customer Facilitation Fortnight’, the railway authorities distributed pamphlets to the passengers and explained the electronic options available to them such as e-catering, e-booking of tickets, e-complaints, e-retiring rooms and etc.
Technology can be used even for inquiry as one can dial 139 to get details on train arrival or departure, seat availability or PNR status,” K. Satyanarayana, Liaison Officer of SCR explained to the passengers. He appealed to the passengers to use the complaint system by dialling 81212 81212 or 138 for complaint management system.
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Today (7:19AM)  Raw tobacco seized at Tirunelveli railway junction (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 226427     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
Though the bags were to be unloaded at Coimbatore
The Government Railway Police (GRP) on Wednesday recovered 29 bundles of raw tobacco, which had been lying at Tirunelveli Railway Junction since Monday.
Came from Delhi
GRP sources said the bundles reached here from Delhi by a train. Though the item was to be unloaded at Coimbatore, the consignment had been mistakenly brought to Tirunelveli.
On noticing it, the police recovered it and informed Department of Food Safety officials.
When Designated Officer Karunakaran and Food Inspector A.R. Sankaralingam inspected the bundles, they found that the raw tobacco was not a banned item as per the present
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norms.
While Dr. Karunakaran was keen on seizing the bundles, Mr. Sankaralingam explained to him that the raw tobacco sample should be sent for analysis and action could be taken only by the Designated Officer of the Southern Railway.
Finally, the GRP took the tobacco under its custody to be handed over to the Designated Officer of the Southern Railway.
  
Today (7:16AM)  208 trains cancelled since May 21 due to Gujjar agitation (www.ahmedabadmirror.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWCR/West Central  -  

News Entry# 226426     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
New Delhi: At least 208 trains have been cancelled and another 109 diverted on alternative routes on the Kota-Mathura track until Wednesday due to Gujjar community's agitation in Rajasthan.
Railways authorities said the track bears the major traffic between south and north zones of the Indian Railways.
Train cancellations and diversions have led to an unprecedented level of cancellations of reservations, revised reservation requests and enquiries, said the authorities.
"It may be noted that since the agitation started (on May 21), more than 1.9 lakh cancellations are being done daily against 1.1 lakh cancellations being done normally by IRCTC website (railway booking website)," they said in a statement.
The IRCTC website reported malfunctioning due
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to the sudden surge of traffic. The number of hits between 10-11 am which are normally in the range of 10 million had went up to 22.3 million since the beginning of the agitation and touched the peak at 30 million on May 22.
"IRCTC website is not geared for such abnormal increase of traffic and hence the reported problems," the statement said.
  
Today (7:16AM)  Rs42cr spent on train passenger amenities: GM (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestECR/East Central  -  

News Entry# 226425     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
PATNA: East Central Railway (ECR) spent Rs42 crore on improving civic amenities during 2014-15, said ECR general manager A K Mittal on Wednesday.
He said various steps were taken to improve passenger amenities at all big and small stations falling under the ECR's five divisions of Danapur, Mughalsarai, Dhanbad, Sonepur and Samastipur during 2014-15.
Mittal said DRMs and senior officials of all the five divisions interacted with passengers aboard trains and those waiting for trains at different stations in the zone on Wednesday. These officials tried to know the passengers' problems by interacting with them and solved most of the problems on the spot, he said adding ECR is directly monitoring performance of each division under the passenger facilitation drive which would continue till June 9.
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The GM said cleanliness is the first priority in ECR and it has already introduced a clean train scheme (CTS) to maintain hygienic condition inside the coaches of long-distance passenger trains. While 79 passenger trains have so far been brought under the CTS system at Mughalsarai, coaches of about 23 passenger trains are being cleaned at Barauni station, he said.
Bio-toilets are being given priority in railways these days to maintain cleanliness in and around station areas. About 130 coaches of passenger trains originating from ECR have been converted into bio-toilets so far. This facility is a step towards improving passenger amenities and to keep railway tracks neat and clean, Mittal said.
Patna Junction, a hub of passenger trains, is coping with about 10% total load of passengers in the ECR. Keeping this in mind, a third exit point has been given at Karbighaiya side of Patna Junction to take off passengers' pressure from the platforms. Railways has already built new waiting halls at platform number 10, he said adding platform sheds, repairing platform surfaces and improving circulating areas of big and small stations at different places under ECR have been completed by railways.
The ECR has opened 100 'janata ticket booking' (JTBS) counters at various places while ticket booking facility is now available at three post offices too. The number of passenger reservation system (PRS) counters has gone up to 122 in the ECR while the number of PRS cum unreserved ticket booking system (UTS) counters is now 63, the GM said.
Mittal urged members of Parliament to contribute their funds in the development of passenger amenities on railway platforms. He said two MPs from areas falling under Samastipur division have already announced contribution of Rs1 crore each from their MPLAD funds to boost passenger amenities in their respective Lok Sabha constituencies.
  
Today (7:13AM)  Khulna-Mongla rail project overshoots budget 121% in five years (bdnews24.com)
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News Entry# 226424     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
The estimated cost of Khulna-Mongla rail project, to be financed by the Indian government, has more than doubled in last five years.
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The project cost was estimated to be Tk 17.21 billion when it was first approved in 2010.
But ECNEC on Tuesday revised the cost to Tk 38.02 billion, 121 percent more than its first estimate.
India will extend Tk 23.71 billion in loan and the government will fund the rest 14.31 billion for the project.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National
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Economic Council) meeting.
Bangladesh Railway will implement the project by June 2018.
After the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave reasons for the cost overrun.
“A 717-metre rail bridge has to be constructed on the river Rupsha due to change in the alignment of the rail tracks. The length of the rail track has increased by 12 kilometres,” he said.
“Apart from that, some more land has to be acquired.”
The minister said around 65-kilometre broad-gauge rail tracks and 21-kilometre loop-line would be constructed.
Of the total outlay, Tk 22 billion will be spent on construction of the rail tracks and bridge, Tk 10 billion on acquisition of 678 acres of land and the rest will be incurred on other heads.
The ECNEC meeting also approved a project for construction of rail tracks from Kulaurha to Shahbazpur in Moulvibazar with financial support from India.
Kamal said the government had decided to resume rail links between Kulaurha and Shahbazpur, and for that, the Tk 6.78-billion project had been approved.
According to the project paper, the Indian government will provide Tk 5.56 billion in loan for the implementation of the project while Bangladesh will arrange the remaining Tk 1.22 billion.
New Delhi had signed a deal with Dhaka during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in 2010 to give Bangladesh $1 billion in loan at 1 percent interest rate.
The loan money is being spent on 15 projects, including two in the railway sector.
The Indian government has endorsed use of $200 million of the loan package in construction of the Padma Bridge.
India has also agreed to give Bangladesh another $62 million in loan as more money is needed for completion of the projects under implementation.
  
Today (7:09AM)  Clear blockade on NH, rail route, HC tells govt (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWCR/West Central  -  

News Entry# 226423     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday directed the government take immediate steps to clear the blockade on Jaipur-Arga National Highway and the Delhi-Mumbai railway route due to the agitation by Gujjars.
The court has also summoned the chief secretary and state director general of police on Thursday at 8 am with report about steps taken to clear the Jaipur-Agra national highway and Delhi-Mumbai rail route for regular traffic.
The single bench of Justice R S Rathore gave the direction during the hearing of a contempt petition pending against Gujjar leaders, including Kirori Singh Bainsla during their first agitation in 2008.
The court directed, "The court deems it proper to direct the authorities, including the collectors of Bharatpur, Dausa, Karauli
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and Sawai Madhopur to immediately take steps, in accordance with law, and ensure that all blocking of the highway or railway are immediately cleared for traffic. Inspector generals of police, Jaipur range and Bharatpur range are also directed to immediately proceed and ensure that traffic on National highway from Jaipur to Agra is cleared today itself."
The court also asked the divisional railway manager (DRM), Kota to appear before the court on Thursday along with the complete information with regard to the cancellation of trains on the route from Delhi to Mumbai, diversion of trains and the total damage caused to the department by the agitators till date.
The court said it is rather strange that the officers of the state had given permission to hold condolence meeting at Sikandra, a prominent place on the Jaipur-Agra national highway instead of doing their duties of ensuring the safety and security of the public. The court observed that this has rather encouraged glorification by permitting condolence meeting on highway of those who had died in similar agitation earlier. Now the situation has deteriorated to the lowest level.
It is reported that a number of routes, buses had to be stopped due to the agitation. Public have been put to great difficulty when the temperature has gone up to 47 degrees Celsius and many tourists have been made to wait for hours together on roads due to the blockage. The court said tourists going to Ranthambore and Ajmer which are international tourist destinations were not allowed to proceed and the tourist circuit of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi has been badly hit by the agitation.
The court said the agitators have proceeded to village Pilukapura in Bharatpur district despite the imposition of Section 144 by SDM Bayana and the agitation took a violent turn May 21. The condemners took law in to their hands by blocking road and rail traffic and indulging in violence and destroying public and private properties. The court also noted that this is the fourth time the Gujjars are indulging in violent agitation with utter disregard to the inconvenience caused to the general public.
  
Today (7:08AM)  Acquire land for rail projects under KIADB Act: CM (www.deccanherald.com)
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News Entry# 226422     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is understood to have, on Wednesday, directed the officials to explore the possibility of acquiring land for new railway projects under the KIADB Act by paying four times the market value.
The chief minister, who reviewed the progress of railway projects with senior officials of South Western Railways and the State government, directed the Industries and Commerce Department officials to explore the possibility of acquiring lands for new, cost-sharing projects of Gadag-Wadi and Kanakapura-Chamarajnagar under the KIADB Act.
The two projects, cleared by the Centre in 2013, have failed to take off due to inaction on the State government’s part to acquire land: It has neither finalised the rules for implementing the 2013 Land Acquisition Act (Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013) nor is it willing to adopt
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the new 2015 ordinance. The government has agreed to give land free of cost for these railways projects, besides sharing 50 per of their cost.
The Gadag-Wadi is a long-pending project, and it requires about 2,500 acres land. The project envisages providing direct railway connectivity between Hyderabad Karnataka and Mumbai Karnataka. Gadag-Wadi project is estimated to cost Rs 1,900 crore, while Kanakapura-Chamarajnagar project is estimated to cost Rs 1,300 crore.
Further, the Revenue Department officials informed the chief minister that the acquisition process under the 2013 Act involved social and environmental impact studies and implementing rehabilitation and resettlement package for the land losers. Officials of the Law Department also appraised the chief minister of the various facets of the legislation.
Later speaking to reporters, Minister for Infrastructure Development Roshan Baig said the issue of land acquisition was discussed at length in the meeting. Land acquisition is important for taking up many railway projects. The chief minister will soon take an appropriate decision in this regard, he said.
He said the non-cost-sharing project of Hubli-Ankola railway line had been delayed due to the land acquisition problem. The project has been waiting environment clearance from the Centre.
Marikuppam-Kuppam and Yelahanka-Channasandra projects, too, have been delayed due to land issues. Directions have been issued to the officials to expedite the acquisition process, he said.
Delay in the completion of cost-sharing railway projects has become a big burden on the State government.
This is because delay in project implementation results in cost escalation. So, the chief minister has urged the Railways to implement all 12 cost-sharing projects speedily, he said.
  
Today (7:08AM)  Gujjar agitation: Talks fail, High Court wants rail tracks cleared (indianexpress.com)
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News Entry# 226421     
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Posted by: rdb**  102193 news posts  
Calling the agitation “totally undemocratic”, the High Court slammed authorities for allowing the situation to deteriorate.
The second round of talks between the agitating Gujjars and Rajasthan ministers failed to yield any result on Wednesday, even as the High Court directed the state authorities to “immediately clear” railway tracks and highways blocked by the community members demanding five per cent quota in government jobs.
Hearing a contempt petition regarding its September 2007 order, passed during the first Gujjar agitation, the Rajasthan High Court ordered district collectors of Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Bharatpur, besides IGs of Jaipur and Bharatpur, to ensure that traffic on the Jaipur-Agra highway was restored “today itself”.It also ordered the Rajasthan chief secretary and the DGP, besides the Divisional Railway Manager, Kota, to appear before it on Thursday
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and apprise the court of the situation.
Calling the agitation “totally undemocratic”, the High Court slammed authorities for allowing the situation to deteriorate.
Kirori Singh Bainsla, leader of Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said he would go to Jaipur on Thursday to talk to the government.
Earlier in the day, an 11-member delegation of the Gujjars met the Rajasthan government’s cabinet sub-group, but there was no breakthrough.
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