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Trains in the News    Stations in the News   
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Today (7:31AM)  Passengers should be able to buy tickets within five minutes: Railways (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 272607     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
The Railways is focusing on improving infrastructure and augment services at stations to bring down the maximum time taken for buying a ticket at counters to five minutes.
The Ministry of Railways aims at ensuring time-bound delivery of services. A citizen’s charter has been made mandatory for all zones. They have been asked to display it on their website and at stations by August 15, officials said.
An official said it is desired that a passenger should not have to wait for more than five minutes to buy a ticket from ticket windows.
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“Similarly for reservation, we are putting a time limit.
For that we will have to improve the infrastructure and augment services where queues are long,” the official said.
As per a “suggestive” charter circulated by the Ministry, at A1 and A category railway stations, authorities have been asked not take more than 15 minutes to attend to the complaints of the passengers.
Similarly, on board housekeeping service (OBHS) should attend to the complaints within 20 minutes. Besides, timelines have been suggested for various other services.
For ensuring women safety, the official said, Railways is planning to install CCTVs at 1,000 stations for which Rs 500 crore will be provided from ‘Nirbhaya fund’.
The official said it has been decided to give the facility of OBHS on more trains. An app ‘Clean My Coach’, launched recently, is being made operational.
- PTI
For ensuring safety of women, the Railways is planning to install CCTVs at 1,000 stations
  
Today (7:30AM)  Killer with a backpack triggers Chennai’s biggest manhunt (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272606     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
100 policemen knock on doors, scour CCTV files
The eight-day old murder of 24-year old Swathi in centrally-located Nungambakkam railway station has triggered Chennai’s biggest manhunt.
With no new leads in the case, the 100-odd policemen assigned to the investigation in different locations are desperately sifting through several pieces of CCTV footage from various sources, and questioning hundreds of people.
Choolaimedu, chock-a-block with shops
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and houses and abutting the station, is the focus of the search. The man who murdered Swathi escaped into this labyrinth. Police are going literally door-to-door here, asking questions. Other teams are at Paranur, the railway station 40 km to the south, near Swathi’s Infosys offices. Personnel have been making inquiries at her office for days now.
City Police Commissioner T.K. Rajendran formed a special team headed by an Additional Commissioner, and comprising a Joint Commissioner, several senior officers and Inspectors. There are now 10 teams with about 10 members each and progress is reviewed daily by the top city police brass.
In Choolaimedu the men display a small photo of the suspect to residents, hoping to unearth a credible witness. “They start work early in the morning and continue till afternoon. After a small break they resume the search,” said an employee of a bank in Choolaimedu.
The Crime Branch CID is giving technical support, while Railway Police is participating, informally. There has been intensive questioning of the victim’s colleagues and friends. About 100 pieces of CCTV footage are being viewed, and details of thousands of phone calls made in the region before and after the crime are being analysed.
A senior police officer said, “Policemen have expanded the search to neighbouring areas of Nungambakkam and Kodambakkam. Phone information and CCTV footage from houses, hotels, banks and commercial establishments are being studied,” he said.
  
Today (7:29AM)  Hope and support for Mohd. Shahid; Railways to fund expenses (www.thehindu.com)
News Entry# 272605     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
A stinging comment by former India captain Dhanraj Pillay and a sustained effort by friends in the hockey fraternity as well as the media has raised a ray of hope for the ailing Mohammad Shahid.
The hockey legend is battling liver and kidney-related issues at a private hospital in Gurgaon, with no assistance coming from any quarter until the Union Sports Ministry stepped in on Friday.
According to Sports Ministry sources, Shahid will be provided the best medical help. “The quantum of the financial assistance will depend on the report provided by the
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hospital,” said the source.
Railways to fund expenses
The Indian Railways, for whom Shahid played in National competitions, said it would take care of his medical expenses. “The formalities and paperwork are complete. Shahid’s full treatment will be taken care of by the Indian Railways,” said a senior source in the RSPB.
Earlier, Dhanraj had pleaded with the Prime Minister to intervene. “I appeal to our honourable Prime Minister, Sports Minister, all sports associations and everyone else to please take note of Shahid bhai’s condition and provide all help possible. We are also trying to mobilise all support from our end,” he said.
“He is a legend, an icon, and someone who made India proud internationally. Indian hockey was known all over the world because of players like him,” said Dhanraj.
  
Today (7:21AM)  Swathi murder suspect held in Tirunelveli, tries to kill self (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272603     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
The accused has been identified as Ramkumar from Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli.
Making a breakthrough in the sensational murder of Infosys software engineer S. Swathi (24) at the Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai last week, the police late on Friday arrested her suspected killer in Tirunelveli in southern Tamil Nadu.
Confirming the arrest to The Hindu, a senior police officer, who is part of the investigation team, said, the accused Ramkumar, a 22-year-old engineering graduate from Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli, slit his throat with a sharp object when the police surrounded him. The suspect sustained
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60 per cent injury and was rushed to the Government Hospital in Tenkasi where he was given first aid. He was later rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital in Tirunelveli for treatment. Doctors who examined the gash said that the injury was not serious. “He is fine and will be shifted to the ICU ward after a minor procedure'' a doctor said.
On Friday last, Swathi was waiting at platform number 2 of the railway station to board a train to work, when the suspect hacked Swathi to death from behind.
The arrest ended Chennai’s biggest manhunt in recent years that began exactly a week ago. Police indicated that the accused had stayed for a few months in Choolaimedu, Chennai, where Swathi lived with her parents.
Earlier, 100-odd policemen assigned to the investigation in different locations were desperately sifting through several pieces of CCTV footage from various sources, and questioning hundreds of people.
Choolaimedu, chock-a-block with shops and houses and abutting the station, was the focus of the search as the murderer had escaped into this labyrinth. Police were going literally door-to-door there, asking questions. Other teams fanned out at Paranur, the railway station 40 km to Chennai’s south, near Swathi’s Infosys office. Personnel also made inquiries at her office for days.
Chennai Police Commissioner T.K. Rajendran had formed a special team, headed by an Additional Commissioner and comprising a Joint Commissioner, several senior officers and Inspectors. Ten teams with about 10 members each were on the job, and their progress was reviewed daily by the police brass.
The Crime Branch CID provided technical support, while the Railway Police participated informally in the manhunt.
About 100 pieces of CCTV footage were viewed, and details of thousands of phone calls made in the region before and after the crime were analysed. Police had also scoured CCTV footage from the major transport hubs - Chennai Central, Egmore and Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, before tracking him down in his native place.
Keywords: Swathi murder case, Ramkumar, Infosys employee murder, Tirunelveli, Chennai Police
  
Today (6:49AM)  New clues could help crack the case (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 272602     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
Eyewitnesses had confirmed the identity of the suspect, say police
After groping in the dark without any leads, the Chennai city police seem to be making some headway in the Swathi murder case.
Quoting an eyewitness, a senior officer investigating the case said the suspect neither had any conversation nor argument with the victim. He apparently came with the sole motive of murder. However, the information that there was no conversation or argument did not mean that the suspect was a stranger to Swathi.
“Going
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by the CCTV footage recorded outside the station, the suspect enters the premises at 6.31 a.m. and is seen walking out at 6.42 a.m. He spent just 11 minutes, which includes the time he took to walk to and from the crime scene to the surveillance camera location. Maybe, he spent barely two or three minutes waiting for the victim and attacking her...,” the officer said.
Parrying questions on fingerprints on the weapon, he said the ‘aruval’ had a wooden grip and had been sent to forensic experts.
Confirming that the suspect shown on the CCTV footage was the one who committed the murder, the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said eyewitnesses had confirmed the identity of the suspect.
On Thursday, the investigating team released an enhanced image of the suspect leaving the crime spot. The photo is being enhanced further by a team in Hyderabad, according to sources.
Suspect seen stalking victim
Investigators are also perusing some inputs that came in on Wednesday. While a caller informed that he saw the suspect in the same train that Swathi took on a couple of occasions, a fresh CCTV clip has reportedly emerged in which a person resembling the suspect was seen stalking the victim at one of the suburban railway stations.
Though surveillance cameras are installed at the Chennai Beach, Chennai Egmore, Mambalam and Tambaram stations, it is suspected that the visuals might have been recorded either in Tambaram or Mambalam, the sources said.
(With inputs from Vivek Narayanan)
  
Today (12:12AM)  Development of Port-Rail Connectivity Projects approved under Sagarmala Programme (pib.nic.in)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 272600     
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Posted by: rdb*^  119005 news posts
The Ministry of Railways will be taking up 21 port-rail connectivity projects, at an estimated cost of more than Rs.20,000 Crores, as identified under the port-connectivity enhancement objective of Sagarmala, the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping. These projects are aimed at strengthening the rail evacuation network and the last mile connectivity to the ports. In addition, another six projects are being considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL).
The Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited (IPRCL), which has been incorporated by the Ministry of Shipping, would take up the projects after prioritizing them. IPRCL has already awarded 3 port connectivity projects for Vishakhapatnam and Chennai ports for quick evacuation of cargo, and another 19 projects are in the
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pipeline.
Many port-rail connectivity projects have been identified as part of the National Perspective Plan, April 2016, under the Sagarmala programme including development of heavy haul rail line from Ib Valley/Talcher to Paradip. The project will help in transportation of thermal coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to various coastal power plants in southern India via coastal shipping. Other rail connectivity projects to major ports like Tuticorin and non-Major ports like Dhamra, Gopalpur, Krishnapatnam have also been proposed.
These projects will enhance port connectivity to the hinterland and help in reducing logistics cost and time for cargo movement making Indian trade more competitive.
Sagarmala is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for promoting port-led development in India. It aims to achieve capacity expansion and modernization of sea-ports along India’s coastline, enhance port connectivity to the hinterland, facilitate port led- industrialization to promote trade and sustainable development of coastal communities.
The National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala Programme which was released in April by the Prime Minister identifies projects under the 4 major objectives of the programme - i) Port Modernization & New Port Development, ii) Port Connectivity Enhancement, iii) Port-led Industrialization and iv) Coastal Community Development. More than 150 projects have been identified which will mobilize investment of more than Rs. 4 lac crore and generate approximately 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lac direct jobs, over a period of 10 years. These projects are expected to generate annual logistics cost savings of close to Rs 35,000 crore and provide boost to India’s merchandise exports by $110 billion by 2025.
UM/AC
(Release ID :146700)
  
Yesterday (9:26PM)  Gurgaon to have ‘smart railway station’: How Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways is revamping it | The Financial Express (www.financialexpress.com)
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Rail BudgetNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 272599     
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Jul 01 2016 (9:27PM)
Station Tag: Gurgaon/GGN added by BhartiyaRailFan/1476716

Posted by: BhartiyaRailFan  7 news posts
ndian Railways is on a modernisation spree and one station that is set to become 'smart' is Gurgaon! Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways has been for the past one year working on revamping the relatively basic railway station in Gurgaon and several new passenger amenities have been added. According to Railways, Prabhu visited the Gurgaon station in January 2015 and found it wanting on multiple fronts. Over a time span of one and a half years, Indian Railways has sought to revamp the place, installing improved passenger amenities and aesthetically upgrading it. (Photo by Indian Railways)
  
Yesterday (9:22PM)  7th Pay Commission report: Indian Railways to hike train fares? Suresh Prabhu parries questions | The Financial Express (www.financialexpress.com)
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IR AffairsNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 272598     
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Posted by: BhartiyaRailFan  7 news posts
7th Pay Commission report: The Indian Railways has not taken any decision to hike trains fares to neutralise the impact of increased financial burden which the ailing national transporter is going to face for implementing 7th Pay Commission for its employees. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu parried questions on the issue, but when asked about a hike in fare in the backdrop of implementation of pay panel recommendations, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters, “No decision on fare has been taken as of now.”
The 7th Pay Commission is likely to have an impact on the Indian Railways, one of the largest public sector employer in the country with over 1.3 million employees.
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the government accepting the pay- and pension-related recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission with a slight betterment of the commission’s package for specified cadres of armed forces, over 1 crore central government staffers and pensioners will get an additional Rs 84,933 crore as recompense in FY17 — 19.6% higher than in a business-as-usual scenario. The largesse, though much lower than in the generous 6th pay panel’s award (which brought about a hefty and historic 54% “real hike” in pay compared with the current panel’s 14.3%), would still provide some boost to consumption and savings, but policymakers said its inflationary impact would be minimal.
Also read: Everyone will get confirmed railway ticket by 2020: Suresh Prabhu
The minimum pay for the lowest level staff will now be Rs 18,000 per month (Rs 7,000 earlier); the apex pay (drawn by secretaries to the government) will be Rs 2,25,000 per month and the pay of the Cabinet secretary will be Rs 2,50,000 per month. While the 5th and 6th commissions had worked on the principle of reducing the differential between the remuneration of the government and private-sector employees, the latest pay commission acknowledged the fact that at the lower levels government staff are better paid.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Central Pay Commission’s recommendation for a 63% rise in allowances (which would have inflated the Centre’s and railways’ outgo by R29,300 crore) has been put on hold until a finance secretary-led committee reviews this along with the commission’s suggestions for an overhaul of the 196-odd such benefits. He said the fitment factor of 2.57 proposed by the commission for pay and pension has been accepted, while the index has been improved to 2.67 for brigadiers and additional stages provided for lieutenant colonel and colonel to bring parity with their counterparts in paramilitary forces. Annual increment has been retained at the current 3%.
  
Yesterday (9:19PM)  Indian Railways is taking care of Mohammad Shahid's medical expenses - The Economic Times (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 272597     
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Posted by: BhartiyaRailFan  7 news posts
NEW DELHI: Former national captain Mohammad Shahid, who is fighting for survival due to liver and kidney problems, will have all his medical expenses taken care of by Indian Railways.
The 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medallist, Shahid, 56, was admitted to Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon after a bout of jaundice and dengue made his condition worse. He was airlifted on Tuesday evening from Varanasi.
Indian Railways, for whom Shahid played in the National Competitions, today said they are taking full care of the medical expenses of the former hockey player.
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"The formalities and paperwork are complete. Mr Shahid's full treatment will be taken care by Indian Railways," a senior source in RSPB told PTI.
His condition is reportedly better than yesterday.
Indian hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay also today appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide assistance for Shahid's treatment.
Shahid was a part of India's last Olympic gold medal winning team. He was also a member of the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games squad which won silver and bronze respectively.
  
Yesterday (9:16PM)  Railways to take up Rs 20,000-crore port connectivity projects - The Economic Times (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 272596     
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Posted by: BhartiyaRailFan  7 news posts
NEW DELHI: Ministry of Railways will take up 21 port-rail connectivity projects, at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore, under the government's Sagarmala project to strengthen evacuation network and boost last-mile connectivity to the country's ports.
In addition, another six projects are being considered by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL).
"The Ministry of Railways will be taking up 21 port-rail connectivity projects, at an estimated cost of more than Rs 20,000 crore, as identified under the port-connectivity enhancement objective of Sagarmala," a Shipping Ministry statement said.
IPRCL
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has already awarded three connectivity projects for Vishakhapatnam and Chennai ports for quick evacuation of cargo and another 19 projects are in the pipeline.
Many port-rail connectivity projects have been identified as part of National Perspective Plan, April 2016, under the Sagarmala programme, including development of heavy haul rail line from Ib Valley/Talcher to Paradip.
The project will help in transportation of thermal coal from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) to various coastal power plants in southern India through coastal shipping.
Other rail connectivity projects like Tuticorin and non-Major ports like Dhamra, Gopalpur, Krishnapatnam have also been proposed.
These projects will enhance port connectivity to the hinterland and help in reducing logistics costs and time for cargo movement making Indian trade more competitive.
Sagarmala is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for promoting port-led development along India's 14,500 km long coastline.
"More than 150 projects have been identified which will mobilise investment of more than Rs 4 lakh crore and generate approximately one crore new jobs, including 40 lakh direct jobs, over a period of 10 years," the statement said.
These projects are expected to generate annual logistics cost savings of around Rs 35,000 crore and provide boost to merchandise exports by USD 110 billion by 2025.
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