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News Posts by rdb**

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Today (8:03AM)  Last-mile connectivity continues to be a problem (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 256839     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
Delhi today accounts for more cars than any other Indian city and the prime reason for that is the lack of a robust public transport system.
In the last decade, the Delhi Metro has changed the way we travel and the mass rapid transit system carries more than 26 lakh commuters every day across its network spread over 200 kms in Delhi NCR. Despite all its comfort and dependability, a large section of Delhiites still prefer private transport because the important question of last-mile connectivity still remains unsolved.
The metro provides a safe,
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efficient and comfortable journey but the trouble begins once you step out of its sanitised environment. Not much thought has gone behind providing an equally dependable support system that would help commuters reach the metro station from their homes and offices and vice versa.
The issue of last-mile connectivity has been a challenge for successive governments and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had made it a major promise in its manifesto.In the year since, the government has tried to regulate the unorganised system of last-mile connectivity but is yet to taste success.
When it comes to poll promises regarding transport infrastructure, ‘Effective Last Mile Connectivity’ was on top of the list. The party had claimed it would provide effective last mile connectivity in Delhi’s public transit system, which, apart from providing a seamless travel experience to commuters, would also play a role in reducing the number of crimes against women.
The plan included an effective combination of shared autos, metro feeder services and e-rickshaws for last mile connectivity by fixing and delimiting routes. This, AAP had promised, will be synced with metro and bus timings so that there is a working connection to each neighbourhood from nodal points.
Shared auto rickshaws from Metro stations such as Anand Vihar and INA have become a reality but not due to the government’s intervention. For instance, INA metro station to the popular Sarojini Nagar market has become a popular route with auto rickshaw drivers charging Rs. 10 per passenger and plying with four to five passengers at a time. Similar connectivity can be seen between Anand Vihar and Dilshad Garden metro stations.
This arrangement, however, is result of demand and supply and remains unorganised. The AAP’s promise to provide more auto rickshaw stands and bays, particularly near metro stations is yet to be fully realised, primarily due to paucity of land.
The functioning of the Delhi Metro feeder services remains a blot on the illustrious transport system. The government, however, plans to soon introduce 500 'midi' buses with the help of the DTC to fill the feeder service gap. There are plans to induct more such buses by the middle of this year. The government has also floated a global Expression of Interest tender for the procurement of feeder buses which are expected to be deployed on routes where last-mile connectivity is a major problem based on the findings of an ongoing route rationalisation exercise.
At most Delhi neighbourhoods, e-rickshaws have come to occupy the place of the most affordable and comparatively faster modes for last-mile connectivity. The government has tried to regularise this sector by bringing in standardisation and a simplified procedure for registering of e-rickshaws.
With work on synchronising ticketing system and time tables of different modes of transport, hopefully using public transport could become a more reliable and comfortable experience by the end of this year.
  
Today (7:55AM)  DMRC semi-renames six of its stations, more changes coming in second phase (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 256838     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
With the first batch under the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) plan of semi-renaming metro stations completed, the public transporter has now chalked out a second phase in which several stations located only in the National Capital Region will be put up for branding.
The move, which according to the DMRC was the “need of the hour” in the absence of any fare revision, seems to have received a mixed response in the market.
Out of the nine stations that were opened for bidding, it did not get any bids for two stations
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— Botanical Garden and IFFCO Chowk. The two stations will now be put up for bidding along with others in the next phase.
According to the DMRC, this method of revenue generation is not permissible in Delhi which is why no station in the city except those in the Airport Express Metro Line (AEML) has been semi-renamed. “We can only open bids for metro stations in NCR as Delhi’s policy does not allow DMRC to change names of stations for branding or simply put, revenue generation. But, there is no such restriction in the policies under Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments,” said an official.
So far, five stations in NCR and one from Delhi have already been re-named. For example, MG Road station in the Yellow Line will be rechristened as Syska LED MG Road, Guru Dronacharya has been changed to Indigo Guru Dronacharya, Vaishali to Dainik Jagran Vaishali station.
While the DMRC has issued Letter of Approval (LoA) for the remaining two stations – Sikanderpur and HUDA City Centre – the advertising agencies are yet to finalize the companies that would be put up. Sources said the DMRC earns over Rs 2 crore per annum per station under this branding model.
In Delhi, Shivaji Stadium station on the Airport Express Metro Line (AEML) has been semi-renamed as ONGC Shivaji Stadium.
“The advertising network of AEML is handled by JCDecaux and not by us. So, in Delhi the airport line is the only one where this can be done,” the official added.
For the next phase of bidding, the DMRC has chalked out a list of stations where five will be from the Violet Line (ITO-Escorts Mujesar), four from the Blue Line (Dwarka Sector 21- Wave City Centre Noida) and one from the Yellow Line (HUDA City Centre-Samayur Badli).
Some of the stations which will be opened for bidding in the next phase are Mewla Maharajpur, Neelam Chowk Ajronda, Badkhal Mor, Noida ector 15-16 and so on.
The contract will give the private firm marketing rights for the next 10 years and also 500 square metre of advertisement space within the station.
  
Today (7:52AM)  Now, toilets outside stations too (www.thehindu.com)
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New Facilities/TechnologyDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 256837     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
With all its survey results indicating the need for cleaner and additional toilets, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has now taken up the project of installing additional public toilet utilities even outside its station premises.
To begin with, the Delhi Metro has constructed three toilet blocks outside the Badarpur, Udyog Nagar and Nangloi metro stations.
The facilities can be utilised by locals even if they do not use the metro.
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the initial phase, we have installed three six-seater toilet blocks for males, females and the differently-abled. The unit at Badarpur station is already functional,” said a DMRC spokesperson.
All the units will be maintained by Sulabh International Social Organisation.
Under the Phase-III project, the DMRC has planned to focus more on easy access to public convenience units.
Delhi’s existing metro network has a total of 162 public toilet utilities (PTUs), all of which are located in the unpaid area of the stations.
An unpaid area is one where thoroughfare is allowed without swiping a smart card or token through the AFC gates.
The good news is that in the upcoming stations, people will be able to use PTUs even after they have swiped their cards for taking a metro which, according to officials, is going to be a first in the Delhi metro. “In all the stations coming under the Phase-III project, toilets will also be opened in the paid area of the stations. So, commuters will be able to use the facilities quite near to the platforms from where they board the metro,” said Anuj Dayal, Executive Director (Corporate Communications), DMRC.
Besides, the Delhi metro also recently added 30 new toilet blocks in its existing stations apart from renovating 20 others.
Facilities in stations like Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, Kanhaiya Nagar, INA station, Rajouri Garden, Patel Nagar, Janakpuri East, Pragati Maidan, Noida Sector – 15, Noida Sector – 16, Noida Sector – 18, Vaishali, Dilshad Garden, Noida City Centre, Moti Nagar, Race Course, Jhandewalan and Ramesh Nagar have received a facelift recently.
  
Today (7:51AM)  Trial for next Metro stretch in March (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestCMRL/Chennai Metro  -  

News Entry# 256836     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
The stretch runs between Little Mount and Nanganallur Road; stretch may be open in six months
The trial run for the next stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail service between Little Mount and Chennai airport may start early next month.
This trial run is crucial, as after it is adequately carried out, the stretch can be thrown open for public use, which is expected to happen six months from now.
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to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), though the trial run between Little Mount and Nanganallur Road had started in November, it was stopped owing to some technical problems.
But, they plan to now conduct the trial run on this stretch and extend it up to Chennai airport too.
“Also, we will carry out the trial run beyond Alandur to the next station, St. Thomas Mount. We will soon finish the technical work required before carrying out the trial run and start early next month,” he added.
The work on stations along Little Mount to Chennai airport is in full swing and expected to be completed soon, he added.
Soon after the trial run is over, the officials will invite the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRL) for inspection and only after the clearance is given can operations commence from Little Mount to Chennai airport. The same procedure will be followed for extension up to St. Thomas Mount. The first service of Chennai Metro Rail between Koyambedu and Alandur was launched only in July.
In Chennai Metro Rail, being built at a cost of Rs. 14,600 crore, only 10 km between Koyambedu and Alandur has become operational.
After the trial, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety will inspect the stretch
  
Today (7:49AM)  Metro trains now sport wrapper ads (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestCMRL/Chennai Metro  -  

News Entry# 256835     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
Advertisements will also be put up at stations
Chennai Metro Rail has started having wrapper advertisements on its trains as part of its initiative to draw more revenue.
Sometime ago, it began with a wrapper advertisement on one of the trains. More such advertisements may be seen on other trains too.
Of the 42 trains for Chennai Metro Rail, nine are currently running along
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the stretch from Koyambedu to Alandur.
According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), they had given a contract to a firm for putting up advertisements at stations and trains along the corridor from Koyambedu to Alandur.
“The space at stations will also be looked at by the firm and advertisements will be put up at the stations,” an official said.
Chennai Metro Rail had already started commercial exploitation of space at its stations by having food joints at some of them, including Alandur station, to attract more commuters.
Improving traffic
“Initially, we have to take these initiatives like having advertisements and eateries in stations to get more revenue as the passenger traffic is not much now on this limited stretch. Such steps will also play a great role in improving the traffic,” an official said.
The first service of Chennai Metro Rail between Koyambedu and Alandur, a distance of 10 km, was launched only in July.
Currently, the average passenger traffic on this stretch is about 12,000 a day.
Officials said such steps were taken to raise revenue as passenger traffic was not high yet
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Today (7:49AM)  Rail zone: Vizagites’ hope soar (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestECoR/East Coast  -  

News Entry# 256834     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
MP Haribabu says the process of zone formation with city as headquarters is already on
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu seeking an expeditious decision on creation of the new railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam has pepped up the spirits of the people.
The Chief Minister called on Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi on Tuesday and submitted a representation seeking early creation of the new zone and completion of pending development works in the State.
Notwithstanding
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the assurances given by the Chief Minister in the past, there were apprehensions among the people of the region, as dissenting voices were raised by TDP leaders from Guntur and other parts of the State on the choice of the headquarters.
Union Minister Sujana Chowdary’s announcement that the Centre has already given in-principle clearance to the establishment of the zone in Visakhapatnam and a formal announcement would be made after the Union Cabinet gave its nod, has revived the hopes of various groups, which have been agitating for creation of a new zone in Visakhapatnam for nearly two decades now.
‘50-year-old dream’
“It is a 50-year-old dream come true for me. The Railway Board should immediately form a Technical Committee to demarcate the jurisdiction of the new zone and give a name to it. All the Telugu-speaking areas should be brought under the jurisdiction of the new zone with the least possible inconvenience to the staff,” said East Coast Railway Shramik Union (E Co RSU) president Chalasani Gandhi, who had led various agitations in the past against the merger of Waltair Division in E Co R.
While thanking the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Visakhapatnam MP K. Haribabu for their initiative, he expressed happiness that the election promise was being fulfilled by the government. He wanted appointment of an OSD immediately so that the project work could begin right away.
“An OSD was appointed and foundation stone for E Co R was laid way back in 1996 though the zone had actually started functioning from 2003,” recalls R. Rama Rao, a retired railway employee, who has been championing the cause of a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam for over a decade.
“Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are in favour of location of the headquarters in Visakhapatnam. The process of zone formation is already on,” Visakhapatnam MP Kambhampati Haribabu told The Hindu when asked.
  
Today (7:48AM)  Railway strike ballot; SCR STAFF FAVOUR STRIKE (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 256833     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
Nearly 97.83 per cent (17,606) of the employees of Vijayawada railway division, who participated in the strike ballot conducted by South Central Railway Employees’ Sangh (SCRES) during the last two days, voted in favour of the proposed nationwide strike.
  
Today (7:47AM)  Funds will be granted for AIIMS in TS: Union Minister (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestMMTC/Hyderabad MMTS  -  

News Entry# 256832     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
Central to send a team for inspection of land soon, says Jagat Prakash Nadda
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said funds would be granted for construction of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in Telangana. “The Centre had committed to construct AIIMS in every State to provide better medical facilities for the poor. There would be no going back,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after offering prayers at Yadagirigutta temple here on Wednesday, Mr. Nadda said they have received proposals from the Telangana government for setting up
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AIMS at Bibinagar in the district. The Health Minister said that they would send a team for inspection of land shortly. Meanwhile, he also promised to extend all help to the Telangana government in developing Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta. Mr. Nadda informed that he would talk to Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on proposed MMTS line between Hyderabad and the temple town.
Local MP Bura Narasaiah Goud, Khiratabad MLA Chinthala Ramachandra Reddy and others accompanied him.
  
Today (7:46AM)  Marginal rise in booking rail tickets on mobile app (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256831     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
Since its launch ten months ago, the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) mobile app has registered a steady albeit slow growth as shown by the number of people that have been using this facility to book their suburban tickets.
In May last, 9,732 platform tickets were booked daily through the mobile app. In October, it rose to nearly 34,000. After this, the progress has been considerably slow.
Last month, it was about 42,000. As far as season tickets go, nearly 2,000 commuters on all suburban sectors had booked their season tickets through this mobile
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app this month.Users point out that fine-tuning the app and simplifying the procedures for booking tickets would make recharging easier, therefore attracting more commuters, say users.
Commuters attribute a host of factors to the slow progress being made by the mobile app.
“When I use the UTS app on the Tambaram-Chengalpattu line, it works. When I use it on MRTS, I face GPS issues,” said Venkat Raman, a commuter. Stating that booking tickets through the app was an ‘awesome experience,’
Sarvesh Anand, however, said there should have been provisions for recharging the ‘wallet’ (account balance) online, as otherwise the commuters would have to once again stand in a queue to recharge it.
A common complaint of commuters is issues with GPS and also the distance — users have to be 25 metres away from the railway line at the time of making the ticket booking.
  
Today (7:45AM)  “Operate special trains” (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256830     
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Posted by: rdb**  115342 news posts  
The Kanyakumari District Rail Users Association urged the railway authorities to operate special trains to Kumbakonam for Mahamaham festival.
In a release issued here on Wednesday, P. Edward Jeni, Secretary, KDRUA, special trains should be operated in the following routes: Kanyakumari – Chennai via Madurai, Kumbakonam; Kanyakumari-Tirupathi via Madurai, Kumbakonam; Kanniyakaumri – Reameswaram via Tirunelveli; Kanniyakaumri - Varanasi via Madurai, Kumbakonam, Chennai; Kanniyakaumari - Haridwar via Madurai, Kumbakonam, Chennai and Kanniyakaumri – Puri via Madurai, Kumbakonam and Chennai.
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