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Today (3:17PM)  Kochi Metro work lags behind schedule (www.deccanchronicle.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 222502     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
Kochi: Civil works of the Kochi Metro Rail, which have to be completed by the end of this year, are lagging behind schedule.
The contractors were supposed to finish piling along the Aluva-Maharaja’s college stretch before the onset of monsoon, but they say that works have been hit by heavy summer rain and shortage of workers. If civil works are not completed by December, the systems and signalling works will be delayed.
Though a high-level meeting chaired by the chief minister recently had instructed the Metro agencies to increase the workforce, the contractors have not done that. The L&T was asked to recruit 1,500 more workers and Soma 600.
Sources at Delhi
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Metro Rail Corporation said that the contractor agencies were recruiting more labourers in a phased manner as it was not easy to identify experienced workers within a short period.
“The existing number of workers can’t take up the huge volume of works at the Metro sites on a daily basis. It is difficult to meet the deadline even after working round the clock,” sources said.
The agencies also face depletion in the existing workforce as several migrant workers have moved out in search of jobs in their own states.
Meanwhile, there are complaints that the Metro contractors have deliberately slowed down the works.
According to DMRC sources, there are several other reasons for the slowdown of construction. Works at the recently acquired land from Seematti and at another plot on MG Road have been stalled as the landowners are not permitting to demolish the structures in the area.
However, according to Kochi Metro Rail Limited authorities, demolition of the building on MG Road is underway and there were no such issues on the land owned by Seematti
  
Today (3:16PM)  Technical snag slows down Metro along Blue Line (www.millenniumpost.in)
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Commentary/Human InterestDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 222501     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
Delhi Metro commuters on Monday faced a tough time when a technical snag affected services on a line, causing trains to run slow for several minutes at many stations, affecting the overall speed of the metro network. Operations on the Blue Line from Dwarka Sector 21 to Noida City Centre/Vaishali were affected. The metro service was affected for around 40 minutes, causing trains to run slower.
“Metro services from Dwarka Sector 14 to Dwarka Sector-21 on the Dwarka-Noida City Centre line were briefly affected on Monday due to a technical problem with a train after it departed from the Dwarka Sector-14 platform towards Noida at 3.30 pm. Signal problems, restricted the speed of the metro movement,’ said a metro official.
The official further said that because they were not peak hours,
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commuters did not suffer too much. Normal services were restored by 4.10 pm. Nearly seven lakh passengers travel daily by the Blue Line on an average.
Earlier, the Delhi Metro halted its services for two to five minutes following fresh tremors in the Delhi NCR on Sunday afternoon. Senior Delhi Metro officials said that teams from electrical, civil and operations department were deployed to check if there was any kind of damage to overhead electrification, civil structures of the elevated track as well as tunnels, stations and signalling system of the network.
Trains operated at a slow speed and stopped for more than 3 minutes at stations in order to ensure safety of passengers. The aftershocks measured 6.7 in the Richter scale according to United States Geological Survey, the epicentre was Kodari, around 80 km east of Kathmandu.
  
Today (3:15PM)  'Over 400 commuters died of heart attacks, suffocation in trains last yr' (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestML/Mumbai Local  -  

News Entry# 222500     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
THANE: If one thought that commuting by train is the best way to travel in a fast-pace city like Thane, then this has its cons too. The number of trains currently catering to the immensely large population is not sufficient and this has lead to many train-related deaths not only by falling off them but also due to natural causes.
According to the Mumbai railway police records, in 2014, 468 commuters died due to natural causes like suffocation and hearth attacks. Out of these figures, 410 were men and 58 women. At 92, Kalyan recorded the highest number of such deaths, followed by Kurla which recorded 59 and Thane which saw just three fatalities.
In 2013, the figures were higher as 557 people were reported dead due to natural causes,
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out of which 496 were men and 61 women, the records stated.
Doctors claim commuters suffer from heart attack, brain hemorrhage and hypoxia due to overcrowding of trains. The trains are packed to the brim leading to very little or almost no breathing space for commuters.
Commuters and activists have been complaining since years for increase in the number of trains, especially during peak hours. Commuters who have a heart problem or are ailing suffer the most. A railway official from the city said that he has attended to many cases where commuters have fainted on the platform itself.
"Commuters from far off suburbs like Kalyan and Dombivli have to board the already-crowded trains as there is no other alternative. Problems arising due to travelling in these trains during peak hours and lack of breathing space is the major cause for such deaths," said a railway official.
Suburban railway compartments are often filled beyond capacity with coaches carrying nearly twice their actual capacity. A 12-car train ideally should carry 3,504 passengers. But during peak hours, the passenger volume is double.
"I prefer travelling during the non-peak hour slot rather than risking my life by travelling in the overcrowded trains. Ventilation in most coaches is also poor, except in the new rakes," said Mihir Patel, a businessman who travels daily between Thane and Masjid.
When contacted, a senior railway official said there are various reasons contributing to the numbers. "Many people, including those with previous ailments travel to Mumbai daily and it would be wrong to say that commuting in crowded trains contribute to the high numbers," he said.
  
Today (3:14PM)  Chandy vows not to delay Light Metro project (english.manoramaonline.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestKMRC/Kochi Metro  -  

News Entry# 222499     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
Thiruvananthapuram: The Light Metro project proposed for the state will not be delayed owing to any dispute, Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on Tuesday said.
He was speaking to reporters after DMRC chief E. Sreedharan met him at his official residence to discuss the issue. A final decision on the proposal to start Light Metro in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram will be announced soon.
A high-level meeting of officials including the Chief Minister and DMRC chief E. Sreedharan will be held here at 7 pm on Tuesday.
The government is in a dilemma because of the trust in E Sreedharan and mistrust in the DMRC and the dilemma is only making things worse. Sreedharan has said that he might not be interested in continuing with
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the project unless norms prescribed by the DMRC are implemented. The meeting that he is having with the CM on Tuesday is expected to break the impasse.
The government cannot think of replacing E Sreedharan because of the trust he enjoys from the public. On the other hand, the Finance department is of the view that it cannot handle charges including consultancy fees because it is too high. When the conflict became controversial, Finance Minister K M Mani issued a statement saying that the ministry had no conflict with Sreedharan.
The new controversy cropped up after the Finance Ministry suggested in a report that a global tender may be placed so as to involve the private sector with the view of reducing overall costs. Since the DMRC is opposed to involving the private sector, the two entities have found themselves at loggerheads with each other. The DMRC is peeved that the Kerala Finance Department is talking about technology, about which it might not be qualified to speak.
The department however feels that the report, prepared by Additional Chief Secretary K M Abraham, an engineer who holds a post graduate degree in Transport Engineering Network and Doctorate in Urban Planning, is technically sound. Abraham feels that the Light Metro proposal could be replaced by a project that involves public-private funding as in the case of Kochi Metro.
The gist of the report is that some parts of the project could be funded by the government while others need private funding. While technology considerations could be postponed, other activities such as land acquisition and construction activities could go ahead, the department suggested.
According to the proposal of the DMRC, IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of the project would be 8.02 per cent without private participation and 2.07 per cent if private participation is allowed. Private investors might not be willing for meagre revenues of 2.07 per cent, it added.
According to Sreedharan, the government should consider proposals for 18 per cent IRR with the sole aim of providing the metro to the public and not with an eye on returns. For this, the government would need to fund the project fully. The Finance Department is however sceptical about the feasibility of such a proposal for Thiruvananthapuram.
According to the Finance Department, land acquisition, floor planning, R&R package, multi model traffic integration etc could be funded using government funds through the Kerala Mono Rail Corporation. Private investment could be sourced for coach, signalling and station construction etc. If the project is moved in such a manner, it would generate profits. According to experts in the Finance Department, the proposals of the DMRC can never be profitable.
  
Today (3:12PM)  Angry farmers clog tracks, train services hit (www.tribuneindia.com)
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Major Accidents/DisruptionsNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 222498     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
Leaders say government claims false on speedy wheat procurement, seek better compensation
Scores of farmers under the banner of the Kisan Sangarsh Committee (Satnam Singh Pannu group) blocked rail tracks near Jandiala, throwing train traffic out of gear. They were protesting slow pace of wheat procurement in grain markets.
Consequently, trains such as the Amritsar-Chandigarh Intercity Express and Amritsar-Nanded weekly train were cancelled and the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Jammu Tawi-Muri Express, Chhattisgarh Express and the Shan-e-Punjab was delayed by several hours.
The farmers managed to give the police a slip to reach the rail tracks even as the latter had put up nakas to foil their bid to block rail traffic. The rail blockade that started around 12.30 pm continued till the
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filing of this report.
While there were long queues of passengers outside the inquiry counters at the Amritsar railway station, almost all the platforms were packed to capacity as the rail blockade left thousands of passengers stranded. Three rounds of talks between the administration officials and the protesters yielded no result. Tarn Taran Deputy Commissioner BS Dhaliwal said the protesters were demanding that even damaged wheat was also purchased, which was not acceptable. Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said they had made efforts to pacify the agitating farmers, but the latter were adamant on their demands.
On the other hand, Satnam Singh Pannu said if the government did not respond to their "just demands" they would continue their dharna and would take a call on it tomorrow.
The farmers also blocked the Amritsar-Jalandhar highway outside the grain market in Rayya during the day, forcing the commuters to divert their vehicles to link roads to reach their destinations. The road blockade was lifted on the assurance that wheat procurement would start at 10 am tomorrow.
Addressing the protesters, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher alleged the state government was taking the farmers for a ride by claiming that wheat procurement had started. "Procuring a few heaps of wheat doesn't mean anything. The government agencies are befooling the farmers," he said,.
Tarn Taran:Admn officials face raw deal
A team of officials led by Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner R. Venkatratnam had to face the ire of farmers, labourers and commission agents at Tarn Taran grain market, forcing them to leave in a single vehicle. Their other vehicles were not allowed to move by the protesters who damaged one of the vehicles.
Jamhuri Kisan Sabha leader Rattan Singh Randhawa claimed 15 of the 17 farmers organisations had pulled out of the "rail roko" agitation and instead decided to stage protests at the grain markets. He said: "Farmer leaders from Malwa and Doaba felt that procurement was going on normally in their regions. Our leaders from Majha said disrupting rail traffic would lead to harassment of thousands of people visiting the holy city."
Barnala: 2 passenger trains affected
Farmers under the banner of the BKU (Ugrahan) today began a 28-hour-long "rail roko" agitation here. They started the dharna on the Bathinda-Dhuri rail track, near Kachehri Chowk here, at 12 noon. The dharna will continue till 4 pm tomorrow. Rail traffic on the Bathinda-Dhuri track was hit adversely as 20 trains, nine passenger and 11 express, will not be able to ply on the track till 4 pm tomorrow.
Tarun Kumar Srivastava, Station Superintendent, Barnala, confirmed that two passenger trains (Sriganganagar-Ambala and Ambala-Bathinda) could not ply on the track today.
Phagwara:Train passengers stranded
Rail traffic on the Phagwara-Jalandhar and Phagwara-Ludhiana rail sections remained disrupted for more than three hours. Though farmers did not block rail traffic at Phagwara, the UP Dadar-Amritsar Express Train remained stranded at the local railway station for more than three hours due to a blockade near Jandiala Guru.
Trains affected
Amritsar-Chandigarh Intercity Express
Amritsar-Nanded weekly train
Sriganganagar-Ambala
Ambala-Bathinda
Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express
Jammu Tawi-Muri Express
Chhattisgarh Express
Shan-e-Punjab
UP Dadar-Amritsar Express
Down Line Mail Express
  
Today (3:12PM)  Secunderabad - Hubli Express Rescheduled Today i.e., 28th April, 2015 (www.scr.indianrailways.gov.in)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  IR Press Release  

News Entry# 222497     
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Posted by: AC Duronto Express  775 news posts  
Train No.17320 Secunderabad - Hubli Express, scheduled to depart Secunderabad Station at 04:00 pm today i.e., o­n 28th April, 2015, is re-scheduled to depart at 06:30 pm on the same daydue to late running of its pairing train.
  
Today (3:12PM)  Nanded-Amritsar Superfast Express Cancelled on 29th April, 2015 (www.scr.indianrailways.gov.in)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  IR Press Release  

News Entry# 222496     
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Posted by: AC Duronto Express  775 news posts  
Train No. 12421 Nanded- Amritsar Superfast Express scheduled to depart Nanded o­n Wednesday i.e., 29thApril, 2015 is cancelled.

The cancellation is o­n account of the incoming train of 28th April, 2015 also being cancelled due to agitation of Kisan Union o­n Northern Railway.
  
Today (3:11PM)  Centre okays regional rail connectivity (epaperbeta.timesofindia.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestWR/Western  -  

News Entry# 222495     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
For 1st Time, Indian Rlys System To Be Integrated With Metro Network
For the first time in the history of mass transit in the country, the integration of a rail system operated by Indian Railways with a state-owned Metro rail network will be effected.
Once implemented, the integration will result in significant savings for both the state and Union governments. The ministry of railways has given the in-principle approval for the integration. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been formed, making Indian Railways and the Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) partners.
This will mean that citizens on a singe ticket coming from areas like Gandhinagar, Sanand, Viramgam, Dholka, Dhandhuka, Kalol, Kadi, Nadiad, Anand and Naroda, will be able to use the Metro and
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regional railway services.
Once operational, the network will connect and use the existing railway network.
However, the Centre has said that it may not be possi ble for the railways to fund the project.
However, GIDB officials said that state does not need unds from the Centre as it plans to develop the project on the PPP model. The officials said that setting up new tracks would have been costly, so the state government sent the proposal to the central government to allow the use of the existing railway tracks for the project.
“This was only possible with the change of regime at the Centre,“ said a senior officer from the state government.
“In September 2014, the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given the approval to use to railway land for elevated corridor connecting Vasna and Motera.“
On an average, there is time gap of around 15 minutes between two routine trains and hence the state government wants to use the free time and run one regional train.
The only expense would be incurred in laying a second track between Ahmedabad and Kalol via Gandhinagar and Asarwa and Naroda.
The state government had sent a proposal for developing a suburban railway network in Ahmedabad area which is about 53km long, connecting the state capital with the Ahmedabad city and extending it to various towns situated on the outskirts of the city.
The cost factor
The total cost for the 53km regional railway service is estimated to be around Rs 2,050 crore. The cost for the 37.76km elevated and underground Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro service connecting Vasna and Motera (north-south corridor) and Thaltej to Vastral (east-west corridor) is estimated to be around Rs 10,773 crore.
Track to Vatva :
The state government officials said that according to the proposal, the railways will lay a third track between Ahmedabad-Vatva, while they will undertake gauge conversion of the Ahmedabad-Mehsana and Ahmedabad-Botad routes. The RRS will lay a third line between Ahmedabad-Kalol and a second line from Khodiyar to Kalol via Gandhinagar and also another track on the Asarwa-Naroda route.
  
Today (3:10PM)  18 Super Fast Jansadharan Summer Special Trains between Mumbai and Gorakhpur via Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow (www.cr.indianrailways.gov.in)
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New/Special TrainsCR/Central  -  IR Press Release  

News Entry# 222494     
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Posted by: AC Duronto Express  775 news posts  
Central Railway
Press Release

18 SUPERFAST SUMMER SPECIAL TRAINS BETWEEN MUMBAI AND GORAKHPUR

Railways will run a weekly Jansadharan Superfast Summer special train between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai and Gorakhpur to clear the extra rush of passengers as per details given below.

Train No. 02598 Jansadharan Superfast Weekly special will leave Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai at 1420 hrs every Sunday from 03.05.2015 to 28.06.2015 (9 Trips) and will reach Gorakhpur at 1845 hrs next day.
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Train No. 02597 Jansadharan Superfast Weekly special will leave Gorakhpur at 0825 hrs every Saturday from 02.05.2015 to 27.06.2015 (9 Trips) and will reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai at 1215 hrs next day.

HALTS: Kalyan, Bhusaval, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, Kanpur Central, Lucknow, Gonda, Basti and Khalilabad.

COMPOSITION: 17 General Second Class including 2 Guard’s Brake Vans
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Date: April 28, 2015
This news comes to you from Public Relations Department, Central Railway, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai.
  
Today (3:10PM)  Sat Sharma writes to Union Railway Minister (www.dailyexcelsior.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 222493     
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Posted by: rdb**  100272 news posts  
Showing his concern for Jammuites, BJP MLA Jammu West Sat Sharma (CA) has demanded that a stoppage of SVDKYPR Premium train be made at Jammu.
The BJP MLA in a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has wrote a letter to Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu in which he made an appeal to the Railway Minister that a stoppage of Train No. 22679/22680 be made at Jammu which is running between Bangalore YPR(Yashwantpuram) Railway Station and SMVDK Katra Vaishno Devi Railway Station.
Pertinent to mention, the train does not have any stoppage in Jammu in its two way journey. After meeting a group of hundreds of residents of Jammu and youth from different areas, he wrote the letter to the Union Minister and showed his concern.
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Sat Sharma (CA) said that a representation on behalf of Jammuites has been made and a letter of communication regarding the same has been sent to the Union Railways Minister. In the letter, Sharma extended his gratitude to the Minister and said that under the guidance and earnest desire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the train was started and on behalf of public at large of Jammu province he thanked him and said that the train has provided great relief to the devotees of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji and inhabitants of Jammu.
He mentioned in the letter that passengers who are residing in Jammu have to board and alight the train at Jammu Tawi Railway Station, but as no stoppage of the Train No. 22679/22680 is given at Jammu Tawi Railway Station, a great inconvenience is caused to the residents/passengers of Jammu and for boarding the Train they have to firstly go back to Katra, which is 50 kms from Jammu.
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