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Today (7:29AM)  Cabinet to take a call on Light Metro (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 277975     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
To decide whether to go for direct negotiations or to adopt normal land acquisition proceedings
Key issues, including turnkey consultancy, debt funding source and mode of land acquisition, of the elevated Light Metro proposed for the cities of Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode is to come up before the Cabinet this week.
Besides, the administrative sanction for taking up the land acquisition for the 33 Light Metro stations in the two cities, the flyovers at the busy junctions of Sreekariyam, Uloor and Pattom in the capital, technical sanction for construction of flyovers and widening of
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Kazhakuttam-Uloor corridor of the NH 66 is to be taken.
The Cabinet will also have to decide on whether to go for direct negotiations or to adopt normal land acquisition proceedings. The decision on whether to entrust the work of flyovers to the Public Works Department or Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the interim consultant of light metro project, will also have to be taken.
The decision to expedite the ground work for the Rs. 6,728 crore light metro was taken following the meeting the Principal Advisor, DMRC, E. Sreedharan had with the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan here on August 1.
Mr. Sreedharan, the brain behind the Light Metro, has conveyed to the Chief Minister that the MRTS project can be executed without external borrowings.
The DMRC has finalised and handed over the designs of three flyovers along the proposed 21.82-km Technocity-Karamana elevated light metro corridor in the capital. The Rs. 104 crore flyover at busy Thampanoor has been finalised and is being fined tuned by the DMRC.
As much as 3.37 hectares of land has to be acquired for the four flyovers that will cost the exchequer Rs. 448.88 crore.
The cost of the land acquisition is Rs. 209.1 crore and the cost of the flyovers is Rs. 239.78 crore. As many as 213 buildings, including 92 in Sreekariyam and 50 in Thampanoor, will be affected.
The DMRC has insisted on the flyovers as the Light Metro has to move along the concrete deck which will come up on piles on the road median.
Not possible later
If these works are not taken up before or along with the Light Metro, it will not be possible to take up the work of flyovers later.
The 21.82-km stretch in the capital is estimated to cost Rs.4,219 crore.
The State has to acquire 8.55 hectares of government land and 1.58 hectares private land in Kozhikode for the 13.33 km Light Metro proposed from Medical College to Meenchanda at a cost of Rs. 2,509 crore.
  
Today (7:29AM)  State-wide rail bandh on September 23 (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 277974     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Kannada Okkoota has called a State-wide dawn to dusk rail bandh on September 10 to protest against the interim report of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal.
Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, okkoota president Vatal Nagaraj said: “Members of Parliament from the State should exert pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene a meeting involving Chief Ministers of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka and solve the dispute amicably.”
  
Today (7:28AM)  Farmers plan stir on August 30 (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 277973     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Yet another farmers’ outfit has announced its plan to stage a State-wide road as well as rail roko agitation on August 30 to press for release of water in the Cauvery by Karnataka to enable delta farmers take up samba paddy cultivation.
The Tamil Nadu All Farmers' Organisations Committee has given a call for the agitation on Tuesday to demand immediate constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, retrieving the rights of the State in Mullaperiyar and Palar issues and waiver of all loans availed by all farmers.
While farmers’
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unions affiliated to the Left parties staged an agitation only last Friday, the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee is planning rail and road roko on September 23.
  
Today (7:28AM)  Accessibility in metro corridor soon (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestBMRC/Bangalore Metro  -  

News Entry# 277972     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
A long-pending proposal to provide accessibility to Namma Metro stations is finally underway. A senior civic official said tenders had been invited to implement the project and are with the State government.
The estimated cost is Rs. 32 crore, which will be shared by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) and the State, which will use funds from the Nagarothana scheme.
“The elevated corridor will be covered under the project. Footpaths will be created or improved, but without shifting any utilities. Parking facility will be created wherever the road is wide enough. But
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most routes under the elevated stations are two-lane roads, which could make things difficult,” an official said.
  
Today (7:27AM)  Maharashtra CM okays railways’ idea of staggered work timings to reduce congestion (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestML/Mumbai Local  -  

News Entry# 277971     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Plan aims to strike a dialogue between railways, State, offices, corporates, markets and unions
The railways’ idea to direct private and public offices to stagger their work timings in order to reduce the footfalls and extend the peak commuting hours at the railway stations in the city has been accepted by the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday.
The plan, which is still in the ideating phase, will aim to strike a dialogue between the railways, the State government, offices of the State and the Central government, private
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corporates, markets, and unions to adjust their hours of operation so that the peak hour rush gets distributed, easing out the density of passengers in the trains and on the stations, both in the morning and evening. The duration of the peak timings as of now is 8 am to 11.30 am and 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The plan looks to extend these timings by over an hour.
The railway minister was addressing a media conference about addition of various amenities at the railway stations when he said: “Owing to the rush on railway stations, a joint action between railways and state government will be done towards staggering the timings of offices to give immediate relief to passengers."
He added that there is a need to manage the demand of railway services by commuters, as the supply of services provided by the railways has a limitation. “A supply side solution means we keep adding capacity, but everywhere in the world there is a limitation to that. So a demand side solution will come in the form of how you can manage the demand; the peak demand that causes all this rush,” Mr. Prabhu said. He also said Divisional Railway Managers and General Managers of both the Western and Central Railways will develop a transport development plan with city planners and the municipal corporation to focus on medium and long-term advancements in the city’s transport services.
The minister is also planning to hold a meeting with technical planners from various nations and the railway board on September 2 in Delhi, and the point of emphasis will be redevelopment of railway stations across the country’s rail network.
  
Today (7:25AM)  Metro contractors unlikely to bid for pending civil works (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 277970     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Even as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is set to open tenders in a month for civil works pending in Kochi metro’s first phase, it is most unlikely that any of the three existing contractors will bid for retender.
The pending works include constructing viaduct and stations on the Maharaja’s College Ground-South Railway Station stretch and the Kunnara Park-Pettah-Tripunithura stretch. The DMRC had during the past year partially dismissed two civil contractors, one for inordinate delay in completing works and the other for demanding 40 per cent extra to complete an extension work. Similarly, it imposed penalty on yet another firm for inordinate delay in constructing metro station buildings, following which a part of the work was retendered.
Sources
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in one of the firms said it could not afford to execute civil works at the rate agreed upon since there was delay in handing over land and subsequent cost escalation. “There were also major hassles in shifting utilities like pipelines and cables, following which work suffered. But we were threatened with penalty for delay. There will be delay of over five years in settling dues even if we opt for arbitration and demand a nominally higher rate. Thus, we are keen to wrap up pending works and move out,” they said.
Kochi’s narrow roads also forced contractors to deploy men and machinery to frequently shift barricades. “Still, Kochi metro is set to become arguably the fastest to be completed in India,” they added.
Responding to this, DMRC sources said there were many other competent civil firms that have pan-India presence. “We do not insist on any firm participating in any bid. They are free not to participate in the work. We are keen to get possession of land required so that pending works can start off,” they said.
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Today (7:24AM)  Parcel van with cash arrives (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 277969     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
With the policemen wielding AK-47 assault rifles providing security, boxes carrying Rs. 413 crore, which was received at Tirunelveli Railway Junction from Reserve Bank of India, Chennai, was taken to various banks here on Tuesday morning.
The parcel van with 279 cash boxes connected to the Thiruvananthapuram-bound Ananthapuri Express Train arrived here on Tuesday morning with 23 armed police personnel, led by Veeraputhiran, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Armed Reserve Police Force providing security to the whopping sum.
After the parcel van was detached from the express train, it was taken to the goods
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train track where the cash boxes were unloaded under the watchful eyes of gun-wielding police personnel and taken to the banks with the same police team, comprising 13 armed reserve police personnel and 10 government railway policemen, providing security to the van carrying the cash boxes.
After Rs. 5.75 crore was looted from the Salem – Chennai Express Train on August 8, security being provided to the cash being taken in parcel van has been intensified.
  
Today (7:24AM)  General strike on September 2 (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 277968     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Trade unions cutting across political lines have called for a national strike on September 2.
The Joint Trade Union Committee said on Monday that the lock down was in protest against the “anti-labour and anti-people” policies of the Central government.
Only hospitals, medical stores, milk distribution, and emergency services had been exempted from the 24-hour strike.
The committee decried the growing trend of contract
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employment in the private sector.
Private managements have systematically whittled down health, social security and pension benefits of workers by hiring them on contract. There was no job security anymore. The Centre and States were unabashedly anti-worker and pro-corporate.
Private investment
The Centre had allowed for unregulated private investment in defence, railways, insurance, banking, and small scale sectors. Crores of jobs were at stake. Both the Central and State governments were moving to amend labour laws that would empower managements and weaken organised labour.
Their policies would put lakhs of families on the breadline soon.
The government was loath to discuss the charter of rights put forward by labour unions.
The Centre had discussed the matter only with the pro-BJP BMS.
(The BMS has not backed the general strike).
State and Central government service organisations have backed the strike.
  
Today (7:23AM)  Special stoppage for trains at Aluva (www.thehindu.com)
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Temporary StopsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 277967     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Railways have provided one-minute special stoppage for eight trains at the Aluva railway station in connection with the Haj pilgrimage.
Train 12081 Janshatabdi express from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram will stop at Aluva from August 22 to September 5, 12082 Thiruvananthapuram-Kannur Janshatabdi express from August 28 to October 14 and 12695 Chennai- Thiruvananthapuram super-fast express till September 4.
Train 12696 Thiruvananthapuram Central-Chennai Express will stop at Aluva from August 28 to September 15, 19262 Porbunder-Kochuveli Express from August 25 to September 1 and 19261 Kochuveli–Porbunder Express from October 2 to 9.
  
Today (7:23AM)  Special trains (www.thehindu.com)
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New/Special TrainsSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 277966     
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Posted by: rdb*^  120599 news posts
Southern Railway will operate special trains in view of the Velankanni festival to clear the extra rush of traffic.
The Tirunelveli – Velankanni special fare special (Train No. 06006) will leave Tirunelveli at 3.25 p.m. on September 4 and reach Velankanni at 3.15 a.m. the next day. The Velankanni – Tirunelveli special fare special (Train No. 06005) will leave Velankanni at 5 p.m. on September 5 and reach Tirunelveli at 4.35 a.m. the next day. The trains will stop at Vanchi Maniyachchi, Kovilpatti, Satur, Virudunagar, Aruppukkottai, Manamadurai, Sivaganga, Devakottai Road, Karaikkudi, Pudukkottai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam. The Thiruvananthapuram – Velankanni special fare special (Train No. 06008) will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 10.45 p.m. on September 4 and reach Velankanni at 2 p.m.,
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the next day. The Velankanni – Thiruvananthapuram special fare special (Train No. 06007) will leave Velankanni at 6.15 p.m. on September 5 and reach Thiruvananthapuram at 7.30 a.m., the next day. The trains will stop at Neyyanttinkara, Kulitturai, Eraniel, Nagercoil Town, Tirunelveli, Vanchi Maniyachchi, Kovilpatti, Satur, Virudunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam. Advance reservations for the above trains are open, a press release here said.
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