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Yesterday (11:47PM)  Railways to have innovative funding strategy: Suresh Prabhu (www.vishwagujarat.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210885     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
The railway budget for 2015-16 would spell out an innovative strategy to fund its infrastructure projects, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said Thursday.
“The new strategy will involve pooling in funds from the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, state governments and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the private sector for our various projects,” Prabhu said at a function here.
After flagging off four new trains from Bengaluru to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Patna, Tatanagar in Jharkhand and Kamakhya in Assam at the city station, Prabhu asked the Karnataka government to set up Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to channelise funds for completing the ongoing railway projects across the state.
Prabhu, who joined the Modi government Nov 9, will present his maiden
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railway budget next month.
Union Law and Justice Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, from whom Prabhu took over, urged the latter to initiate the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru high speed project and a day train between Bengaluru and Mangaluru to meet the growing public demand in the two cities and enroute.
Prabhu also said he would soon discuss with the state government on the feasibility of introducing suburban services on the Bengaluru-Mysuru and Tumakuru-Bangarpet routes in the state’s southern region.
  
Yesterday (11:46PM)  GRP personnel must be present at railway stations 24x7: HC (www.punemirror.in)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210884     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
The Bombay HC on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that the Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel are present round-the-clock at the suburban railway stations, so that the railway accident victims can be taken to the hospital without any delay. The court also directed the railways to consider giving the power to the station masters to have the victims shifted to the hospital in the absence of police.
Adivision bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka was hearing a PIL filed by the activist Samir Zaveri about the large number of deaths on tracks and delay in providing medical assistance to accident victims. The bench issued the directions after it took into account an incident in November about a delay in shifting an injured passenger at the Sandhurst Road station to the hospital as no GRP personnel was present.
  
Yesterday (11:45PM)  Odisha farmers demand higher price for land; hold up work on railway project (odishasuntimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestECoR/East Coast  -  

News Entry# 210883     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
Jajpur : Farmers in Odisha’s Jajpur district have stalled work on the ongoing railway line project between Haridaspur and Paradip alleging discrimination in rates for payment of compensation for their lands acquired by the railways.The protesting farmers held a meeting at Nalipur under Barchana block in Jajpur district, which was attended by the president of the state unit of BJP Mahila Morcha Srimantini Jena and several other BJP leaders, on Thursday. Farmers and BJP workers stopped work on the project and demanded appropriate price for their acquired land.
The BJP Mahila Morcha president said that farmers would not withdraw their agitation till they get appropriate price for their land and their other demands are fulfilled.
“The railway line passes through three districts Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur. For the same type of land
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the government has paid different rates and the difference is glaring. The government has paid Rs 5 lakh in Jajpur district per acre, Rs 25 lakh in Jagatsinghpur and Rs 30 lakh in Polei village in Jajpur district itself. Moreover, the overbridges that are being constructed are so low in height that vehicles carrying straw and jute are unable to pass through them,” said a protesting farmer.
“Land owners who have land that are ten feet apart have got different rates for their lands. May be because of their connections or for some other reasons, they have managed to get higher rates for their land. They should get appropriate price for their land, besides jobs. Work on the project will remain stalled here till the state government and railways jointly decide on it and pay them appropriate price for their lands,” said Jena.
The local tehsildar, however, has said that since the farmers have got their payments, their agitation is illegal.
“They have taken their money; nothing is legally due to them. If they are dissatisfied they can move the courts. They are resisting a national project which they should not do. It is leading to law and order situation. We are requesting them to desist from it,” he said.
  
Yesterday (11:44PM)  Will trade turn brisk with Hassan-Mangaluru's 2nd track? (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 210881     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
New railway line across Ghat section expected to cut travel time by 75 minutes; railways conducting survey to study feasibility of project The doubling of the 55 km stretch of railway line in the Western Ghats, for which the Railways has already begun a survey, could well increase economic activity between Bengaluru city and the port-city of Mangaluru.The Railways has taken up a survey of the 183 km stretch between Hassan and Mangaluru to explore another track alongside the existing line, which connects Bengaluru to the coastal city.
The survey includes the most critical 55 km stretch between Sakaleshpur and Subramanya railway stations. "We are expected to suggest the tentative alignment, extent of land required, and approximate cost. We will submit our report to the ministry by August," a senior railway official said.
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Railway officials believe that doubling of track in the Ghat section is critical if Karnataka is to see a meaningful change in the rail transportation scenario between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. The Shiradi Ghat road between Sakleshpur and Mangaluru has currently been shut for repair works, and the poor condition of this road has often disrupted road traffic.
The railway authorities say the new Bengaluru-Hassan line will not bring about a major change in the rail traffic between Bengaluru and Mangaluru unless the state and the central governments simultaneously considered doubling of the track on the Sakleshpur-Subramanya section. "The new Bengaluru-Hassan line will at best cut the distance between the two places, but it will not help increase train service between Bengaluru and Mangaluru," a railway official said.
The two cities currently have two trains running between them -- one at night via Mysuru and another during the day via Tumakuru. According to AK Agarwal, divisional railway manager at Bengaluru, once the new Bengaluru-Hassan line is fully operational, the travel time between Bengaluru and Mangaluru will come down by 75 minutes for night trains.
There is good passenger demand for trains between Bengaluru and Mangaluru provided the journey is not circuitous and the travel time, too, is not long. But the single track Ghat section not only increases the travel time, but has also come in the way of introducing more night trains. "The speed allowed for trains on this section is only 30 km per hour and it takes two hours to cross this 55 km stretch." MP Shyam, director at Cauvery Ford and Advaith Hyundai, the car dealership with a presence in both Bengaluru and Mangaluru, a second railway line to the port city will boost export and trade besides creating new jobs. "In fact, one of the two rail lines should run right up to the port," he said. The Hassan-Mangaluru line is owned by the HassanMangalore Rail Development Company, a JV between Karnataka and the Ministry of Railways, and the Railway Safety Commissioner has allowed only 12 trains -- six on each side. The company, however, has limited passenger trains to only two on each side, and four goods trains move up and down.
  
Yesterday (11:44PM)  Will trade turn brisk with Hassan-Mangaluru's 2nd track? (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 210882     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
New railway line across Ghat section expected to cut travel time by 75 minutes; railways conducting survey to study feasibility of project The doubling of the 55 km stretch of railway line in the Western Ghats, for which the Railways has already begun a survey, could well increase economic activity between Bengaluru city and the port-city of Mangaluru.The Railways has taken up a survey of the 183 km stretch between Hassan and Mangaluru to explore another track alongside the existing line, which connects Bengaluru to the coastal city.
The survey includes the most critical 55 km stretch between Sakaleshpur and Subramanya railway stations. "We are expected to suggest the tentative alignment, extent of land required, and approximate cost. We will submit our report to the ministry by August," a senior railway official said.
...
Read more...
Railway officials believe that doubling of track in the Ghat section is critical if Karnataka is to see a meaningful change in the rail transportation scenario between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. The Shiradi Ghat road between Sakleshpur and Mangaluru has currently been shut for repair works, and the poor condition of this road has often disrupted road traffic.
The railway authorities say the new Bengaluru-Hassan line will not bring about a major change in the rail traffic between Bengaluru and Mangaluru unless the state and the central governments simultaneously considered doubling of the track on the Sakleshpur-Subramanya section. "The new Bengaluru-Hassan line will at best cut the distance between the two places, but it will not help increase train service between Bengaluru and Mangaluru," a railway official said.
The two cities currently have two trains running between them -- one at night via Mysuru and another during the day via Tumakuru. According to AK Agarwal, divisional railway manager at Bengaluru, once the new Bengaluru-Hassan line is fully operational, the travel time between Bengaluru and Mangaluru will come down by 75 minutes for night trains.
There is good passenger demand for trains between Bengaluru and Mangaluru provided the journey is not circuitous and the travel time, too, is not long. But the single track Ghat section not only increases the travel time, but has also come in the way of introducing more night trains. "The speed allowed for trains on this section is only 30 km per hour and it takes two hours to cross this 55 km stretch." MP Shyam, director at Cauvery Ford and Advaith Hyundai, the car dealership with a presence in both Bengaluru and Mangaluru, a second railway line to the port city will boost export and trade besides creating new jobs. "In fact, one of the two rail lines should run right up to the port," he said. The Hassan-Mangaluru line is owned by the HassanMangalore Rail Development Company, a JV between Karnataka and the Ministry of Railways, and the Railway Safety Commissioner has allowed only 12 trains -- six on each side. The company, however, has limited passenger trains to only two on each side, and four goods trains move up and down.
  
Yesterday (11:44PM)  Will trade turn brisk with Hassan-Mangaluru's 2nd track? (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 210880     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
New railway line across Ghat section expected to cut travel time by 75 minutes; railways conducting survey to study feasibility of project The doubling of the 55 km stretch of railway line in the Western Ghats, for which the Railways has already begun a survey, could well increase economic activity between Bengaluru city and the port-city of Mangaluru.The Railways has taken up a survey of the 183 km stretch between Hassan and Mangaluru to explore another track alongside the existing line, which connects Bengaluru to the coastal city.
The survey includes the most critical 55 km stretch between Sakaleshpur and Subramanya railway stations. "We are expected to suggest the tentative alignment, extent of land required, and approximate cost. We will submit our report to the ministry by August," a senior railway official said.
...
Read more...
Railway officials believe that doubling of track in the Ghat section is critical if Karnataka is to see a meaningful change in the rail transportation scenario between Bengaluru and Mangaluru. The Shiradi Ghat road between Sakleshpur and Mangaluru has currently been shut for repair works, and the poor condition of this road has often disrupted road traffic.
The railway authorities say the new Bengaluru-Hassan line will not bring about a major change in the rail traffic between Bengaluru and Mangaluru unless the state and the central governments simultaneously considered doubling of the track on the Sakleshpur-Subramanya section. "The new Bengaluru-Hassan line will at best cut the distance between the two places, but it will not help increase train service between Bengaluru and Mangaluru," a railway official said.
The two cities currently have two trains running between them -- one at night via Mysuru and another during the day via Tumakuru. According to AK Agarwal, divisional railway manager at Bengaluru, once the new Bengaluru-Hassan line is fully operational, the travel time between Bengaluru and Mangaluru will come down by 75 minutes for night trains.
There is good passenger demand for trains between Bengaluru and Mangaluru provided the journey is not circuitous and the travel time, too, is not long. But the single track Ghat section not only increases the travel time, but has also come in the way of introducing more night trains. "The speed allowed for trains on this section is only 30 km per hour and it takes two hours to cross this 55 km stretch." MP Shyam, director at Cauvery Ford and Advaith Hyundai, the car dealership with a presence in both Bengaluru and Mangaluru, a second railway line to the port city will boost export and trade besides creating new jobs. "In fact, one of the two rail lines should run right up to the port," he said. The Hassan-Mangaluru line is owned by the HassanMangalore Rail Development Company, a JV between Karnataka and the Ministry of Railways, and the Railway Safety Commissioner has allowed only 12 trains -- six on each side. The company, however, has limited passenger trains to only two on each side, and four goods trains move up and down.
  
Yesterday (11:41PM)  Railway Minister says Industry Needs to be More Competitive (www.newindianexpress.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210879     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
BENGALURU: More than 600 delegates and thousands of students attended the inauguration ceremony of the International Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) here on Thursday. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the conference.
The theme of the threeday conference is ‘Building Global Competitiveness; Accelerating Growth’. Delegates from various states and many from international branches of ICAI are speaking on different topics during the conference.
At the inaugural ceremony, Prabhu, himself a CA, said India needs to concentrate on creating jobs. “China is one of the few countries that has benefited from globalisation. India needs to accelerate its growth and rid itself of the problems of low growth, high poverty and high unemployment,” he said. “Indian markets and industries need to be more competitive and also ensure global competitiveness,” he
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added.
The conference, being held at the Bangalore Palace, will have lectures and discussions for students on topics like professional opportunities abroad, cyber security and also for industry professionals on empowering small and medium enterprises and attracting foreign direct investment to India.
Former union minister K Rahman Khan, who is also a CA, said the professionals need to focus more on upgrading the government accounting system.
Prabhu also said the Railways has taken a step towards changing its accounting system.
  
Yesterday (11:40PM)  Railways to have innovative funding strategy: Prabhu (www.business-standard.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210878     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
The railway budget for 2015-16 would spell out an innovative strategy to fund its infrastructure projects, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said Thursday.
"The new strategy will involve pooling in funds from the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, state governments and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the private sector for our various projects," Prabhu said at a function here.


After flagging off four new trains from Bengaluru to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Patna, Tatanagar in Jharkhand and Kamakhya in Assam at the city station, Prabhu asked the Karnataka government to set up Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to channelise funds for completing the ongoing railway projects across the state.
...
Read more...
Prabhu, who joined the Modi government Nov 9, will present his maiden railway budget next month.
Union Law and Justice Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, from whom Prabhu took over, urged the latter to initiate the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru high speed project and a day train between Bengaluru and Mangaluru to meet the growing public demand in the two cities and enroute.
Prabhu also said he would soon discuss with the state government on the feasibility of introducing suburban services on the Bengaluru-Mysuru and Tumakuru-Bangarpet routes in the state's southern region.
  
Yesterday (11:39PM)  Central Railway mobile ticket sales reach Rs 18,000 (www.asianage.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestML/Mumbai Local  -  

News Entry# 210877     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
The Central Railway (CR) has seen ticket sales worth Rs 18,000 via mobile ticketing since between December 27 last year and January 28 this year. The sales have been generated from 20 stations where mobile ticketing have been initiated after railway minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the initiative on December 27 at Dadar.
“Around 314 commuters have taken the R-wallet since it was launched and they have recharged the wallet 49,100 times,” said an official.
Officials said that they are still waiting for the initiative to pick up speed within the public and have been advertising mobile ticketing via jingles as commuters tend to listen to the radio while travelling. “The initiative will take time to catch on and once people get used to the application they will fully realise its benefits,” the
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official added.
The CR had started the initiative in CST, Dadar, Thane and Kalyan, and later added a number of other stations. It plans to implement the facility on all its stations, said CR chief commercial manager, R.D. Sharma. “We are gradually increasing the number of stations that have the mobile ticketing facility. We are hoping that within three months we will cover all the stations,” he added.
However, the R-Wallet does have its problems. One of them is that it requires a minimum balance of Rs 100. Deepti Khera, who travels from Kharghar to Sandhurst, said, “I tried the application at Belapur, but didn’t have a call balance of Rs 100. I think they should try to bring it down to Rs 50 at least.”
  
Yesterday (11:39PM)  Bedbugs welcome MLA on train, railways left red-faced (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestCR/Central  -  

News Entry# 210876     
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Posted by: rdb**  94362 news posts  
MUMBAI: Bedbugs in a Solapur train headed for Mumbai forced the railway administration to scurry for cover after former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's daughter and Congress MLA Praniti Shinde complained about their presence in her coach on Monday. Shinde did not lodge an official complaint, though.
As soon as Shinde boarded Siddeshwar Express's H1 coach at Solapur on January 26, she noticed bedbugs on the seat. A senior railway official from Mumbai said, "We too received a message about the MLA's complaint. As soon as the train arrived in Mumbai, we sent a team to the coach but were unable to find any bugs."
A thorough check could not be undertaken as the same train leaves as Udyan Express for Bangalore and its passengers had already boarded.
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The official further said, "The Solapur divison will carry out fogging of the coach with pesticides once the train reaches that station."
According to norms, fogging of AC coaches and pantry cars is done every 15 days and of non-AC coaches once every month.
For the fogging exercise, a coach is treated with pesticides and its windows and doors shut for 24 hours. There are times, though, when the process gets shortened by a few hours.
The official said complaints of bedbugs are rarer than those of cockroaches and rodents, which enter coaches in search of food. Bugs, on the other hand, he said, are carried into compartments by passengers themselves through their bags and bed sheets. It is difficult to spot them too, because they hide inside blankets, curtains or edge of seats.
Shinde, who represents the Solapur assembly constituency, was unwilling to comment on the issue. When TOI texted her for a confirmation of the incident, she replied, "Hello! There are bigger issues that need to be dealt with... I don't think such a ridiculous small issue should gain attention (even if I had raised it). We need to address larger problems... Don't you think?"
Railway activists, though, say elected representatives must openly air their opinion in such matters. Subhash Gupta of divisional rail user consultative committee said, "Let's face it. VIP culture exists in the country. If an important politician like Shinde raises such issues, howsoever small it may be to her liking, it makes a huge difference. The railway administration will start carrying out cleaning operations properly."
Central Railway general manager S K Sood said, "To tide over the problem of bedbugs, we will use the methyl bromide process to clean the blankets. If the problem does not get resolved, we will undertake fumigation of the entire coach with methyl bromide. However, for this process, the coach will have to be isolated for three days against 24 hours as per the existing procedure."
Methyl bromide is used to fumigate timber, farm products, containers and food stuff. It is effective in controlling insects at all stages, from egg to the adult stage because of its penetrating ability, rapid action and high toxicity to a broad spectrum of insects and pests.
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