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Today (8:40AM)  KIOCL employees meet Railway Minister (www.railnews.co.in)

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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 187721     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Kudremukh: Kudremukh Shram Shakthi Sanghatan met Union Railway Minister Sadanada Gowda and urged him to solve issues regarding availability of iron ore for its pellets plant at Mangalore. The Sanghatan also brought to Gowda’s notice the imposition of heavy charges (Distance Based Charges) by the Railways, along with fines, on the company in lieu of exporting the final product like pellet, which resulted in KIOCL stopping the export of pellets.
The committee requested the Minister to intervene and see that the company survives by protecting both the direct and indirect employees. The employees explained that, after KIOCL lost its captive iron ore mines in 2006 after a Supreme Court judgment, mining activity stopped at Kudremukh.
The pellet plant and blast furnace units of KIOCL at Mangalore are struggling to stay operational,
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and are totally dependant on iron ore brought from other States. The delegation, headed by National HMS Vice-President M Sureshchandra Shetty, met the Railway Minister in New Delhi.
The Minister assured the committee that action will be taken. General-Secretary S Venkatraya and Asst General-Secretary A Rajaguru were present during the visit. The employees later met Members of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel and Shobha Karandlaje and discussed the problems of KIOCL and its employees.
Today (8:39AM)  Construction activity led to Igatpuri landslide (www.railnews.co.in)

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Commentary/Human InterestCR/Central  -  

News Entry# 187720     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Igatpuri (IGP): Man-made problems and not heavy rains might have led to the landslide at Igatpuri that knocked off Central Railway’s Kasara-Nashik rail route for all of Wednesday right up to the wee hours of Thursday.
Prima facie this is the reason, according to Central Railway engineers who visited the spot, some 4km off Igatpuri. Some of these officials, who did not want to be named since the report on the landslide is not yet fomalised, said construction in the area and the presence of a heavily-patronised resort on the top of the hillock adjoining the tracks where the landslide occurred could have been catalysts.
“It is too early to say but we believe that this resort and the extensive construction that has gone into it could have progressively loosened the sides
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of the hillock,” a top-ranking CR official said. “Of course several technical tests will have to be done before we can jump to any conclusion.”
The official said the intensity of the landslide could be gauged from the fact that the mud and boulder that came crashing down not only filled up a drain running 15ft below the tracks but also covered the tracks with close to 3 metres of muck.
Another called it a pretty much Sandhurst Road-like situation where some days earlier the retaining wall along the sides of an old building had started giving away. Parts of the wall in that case collapsed on two consecutive days and CR had to then put pressure on the BMC and the Mhada to have the building — Thorat House — pulled down.
Officials said the situation in stretches like Igatpuri is expected to worsen in the coming years as construction activity for recreational structures goes up. “Igatpuri is one of the most beautiful places. And in the years to come, these hillocks will sport more such resorts. This only increases the dangers for the railway track running below,” an official said.
On Wednesday, thousands of passengers were stranded on various stretches after the sides of a hillock fell on the tracks close to Igatpuri station. The landslide covered two of the three lines and led to massive train delays. Against a normal movement of 160 trains on the route, an official said, close to 10 trains ran on Wednesday.
The route was cleared at 3am on Thursday and it was fully functional at 7.30am.
Today (8:38AM)  Samjhauta Express an easy target, warns Ministry of Home Affairs (www.railnews.co.in)

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Commentary/Human InterestNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 187719     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
New Delhi: Apprehending terror sabotage to the warming up of Indo-Pak relations, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has warned the railways that the Pakistan bound Samjhauta Express could be an easy target, while stating that there had been serious lapses in ensuring full-proof anti-sabotage measures in the train in the recent days.
The Immigration section of the foreigners division of the MHA in a letter to the railways has sought immediate remedial measures to ensure conduct of full-proof anti-sabotage measures in the Attari (Pakistan) bound Samjhauta Express, which, incidentally, was bombed in 2007. The internal note states that the Samjhauta Express being an international train is vulnerable to “any untoward incident if all the procedures as per the SP (standard operating procedure) are not adopted”. Sources in the MHA revealed that the note was issued after an internal assessment of the
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Samjhauta Express being a soft target and the realisation that a repeat of 2007 bombing of the international train could derail the initiatives of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find ways to improve relations with Pakistan.
The MHA has brought to the notice of the railways that the Samjhauta Express, of late, is being brought to the platform much behind the schedule and, thus, giving little time for the anti-sabotage exercise. “As per the SOP and general practice, the train is usually placed at platform number one at around 4 pm, following which the rummaging of compartments is carried out by the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) and Dog Squad. The entire platform is sealed to prevent any unauthorised access,” the MHA noted, while stressing that of late time schedule is not being followed.
“It has been noticed that either the train is placed at the platform very late at around 8.10 pm or at times it’s placed in parts with a few coaches being placed at 9.30 pm. This leaves the BDS with very little time to check the train and conduct anti-sabotage measures,” the internal note stated. Sources in the MHA said that the railways has been asked to be extra careful in the light of the possibility of terror sabotage and take remedial actions immediately.
The Samjhauta Express operates between Delhi and Attari on Sunday and Wednesday.
About Samjhauta Express
The Samjhauta Express (Hindi: समझौता एक्सप्रेस, Urdu: سمجھوتا اکسپريس‎) commonly called the Friendship Express, is a twice-weekly train – Tuesdays and Fridays – that runs between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan. The word samjhauta means “agreement”,”accord” and “compromise” in both Hindi and Urdu.
Until the reopening of the Thar Express, this was the only rail connection between the two countries. The train was started on July 22, 1976 following the Shimla Agreement and ran between Amritsar and Lahore, a distance of about 42 km. Following disturbances in Punjab in the late eighties, due to security reasons Indian Railways decided to terminate the service at Attari, where customs and immigration clearances take place. On April 14, 2000, in an agreement between Indian Railways and Pakistan Railways (PR), the distance was revised to cover just under three km.
It was a daily train when the service started, and changed to a bi-weekly schedule in 1994. Earlier the rakes were returned to the home country the same day but later in 2000 the rake remained overnight at that location.
Its termini are Lahore in Pakistan and Delhi in India. The border crossing takes place between Wagah in Pakistan and Attari in India. Originally, this was a through service with the same rake going all the way between the termini; later the Pakistani rake stopped at Attari at which point passengers had to change trains. The train service was set up with an agreement between Indian Railways (IR) and Pakistan Railways (PR) to alternately use an Indian and a Pakistani rake and locomotive for the train, six months at a time.
The train usually has between four and eight coaches. The rake supplied by Pakistan is usually hauled by an Alco DL-543 class ALU20 diesel loco (Lahore shed), with the entire train in the standard dark green livery of PR.
The train’s first break of service was when it was discontinued on January 1, 2002 in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. Service resumed on January 15, 2004. Service was also suspended following the 27 December 2007, assassination of Benazir Bhutto as a preventive measure to deny militants a “high-value target” that was of great symbolic importance to both India and Pakistan.
On 8 October 2012, police recovered about 100 KG of contraband heroin and more than 500 rounds of bullet ammunition at Wagah border on the train heading for Delhi.
2007 Bombing
In the early hours of February 19, 2007, sixty-eight people (mostly Pakistani civilians and a few Indian military guarding the train) were killed and scores more injured in a terrorist attack on this “Peace Train”. The attack occurred at Diwana station near the Indian city of Panipat, Haryana. Officials found evidence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and flammable material, including three un-detonated IEDs. The National Investigation Agency has stated that the blasts were masterminded by Aseemanand, a Hindu religious leader. Aseemanand born as Jatin Chatterjee in West Bengal, joined the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1978.
On July 1, 2009, the US Department of Treasury designated Arif Qasmani of the Lashkar-e Tayyiba as a person involved in terrorism, citing among other things his involvement in the Samjhauta Express bombing.
On December 30, 2010, India’s National Investigation Agency claimed that they had solid evidence that Aseemanand was the mastermind behind the blasts. He had roped in Sandeep Dange, an engineering graduate, and Ramji Kalsangra, an electrician, to build the improvised explosive devices used in the blasts. On January 8, 2011, Aseemanand allegedly confessed the bombing of Samjhauta express, who wanted to take revenge against Pakistan for their repeated attacks on Indian soldiers and Kargil war, a statement later found to be obtained under duress. Later the Hindu nationalist group RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) sent a legal notice to CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) accusing it of deliberately leaking Aseemanand’s confession in the media. RSS called the investigation maligning of organizations and individuals.
According to various local newspapers, NIA arrested Kamal Chauhan, who is deemed by the NIA as the main operative, in February 2012.
Today (8:37AM)  Motorman forgets to stop fast train at Byculla station (www.railnews.co.in)

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Commentary/Human InterestCR/Central  -  

News Entry# 187718     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Byculla: In a freak incident, a motorman completely forgot to halt his train at the Byculla station on the Central Railway. As a result, the fast train went directly to CST from Dadar and commuters had to catch another train from the CST to go to Byculla. Railway officials said that the motorman was extremely lucky that he was not manhandled by irate commuters.
Motorman R.T. Singh, who forgot to stop the train, has been temporarily taken off duty until an enquiry into the incident is complete.
The incident took place at around 1.36 pm on Thursday. CR officials said that a special fast train was plied from Kalyan to make up for the many services that were cancelled in the morning due to torrential rains.
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A CR official, on condition of anonymity, said, “The train was an extra train which was run as the usual services had got cancelled due to the rains in the morning. Unfortunately the motorman did the unthinkable. He was lucky that the commuters did not resort to violence, probably because it was not during peak hours.”
There have been instances in the past when motormen have jumped signals or overshot a platform. However, this was the third incident this year when a motorman did not stop the train at the scheduled stop at all.
CR chief public relations officer, Narendra Patil said, “An enquiry into the matter is going on and the reason behind it is being looked into.”
Today (8:36AM)  Headmaster of Railway School and an OS arrested for bribery (www.railnews.co.in)

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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 187717     
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Aug 01 2014 (8:36AM)
Station Tag: Secunderabad Junction/SC added by Ravi Prajapati**/233871

Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Secunderabad (SC): Headmaster of a railway high school at Secunderabad and an office superintendent were today arrested by CBI for taking a bribe of Rs 3 lakh, a part of it by cheque, from a woman teacher.
Headmaster Nageshwar Rao and superintendent Narasimhulu told the teacher that there was some problem with her caste certificate, and if the vigilance officials found out about it, she would lose her pension benefits.
They asked for Rs 3 lakh to settle the matter.
The teacher, who had served for 35 years, was to retire next year.
After she complained to CBI, a trap was laid and both the headmaster and the office superintendent were caught at her
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house while accepting Rs 1 lakh in cash and a cheque of Rs 2 lakh, CBI Superintendent of Police V Chandrasekhar told.
Both the accused will produced before a local court tomorrow.
Today (8:35AM)  Railways to install 5000 more Automatic Ticket Vending Machines at Stations (www.railnews.co.in)

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New Facilities/Technology

News Entry# 187716     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Automatic Ticket Vending Machines operated by Smart Card are already functional over Indian Railways. It is proposed to add another 5000 such machines across all zonal railways, out of which 2000 will be coin operated and 3000 smart cart operated. The procurement will start from this financial year.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
Today (8:34AM)  SCR GM inaugurate Cardiac Cath Lab Unit at Railway Hospital, Secunderabad (www.railnews.co.in)

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EmploymentSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 187715     
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Aug 01 2014 (8:34AM)
Station Tag: Secunderabad Junction/SC added by Ravi Prajapati**/233871

Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Dr.P.S.Prasad, Director General, Railway Health Services, Indian Railways, inaugurated a newly established Cardiac Cath Lab Unit at Railway Central Hospital today (29th July, 2014) in the presence of P.K. Srivastava, General Manager, South Central Railway and other Senior officials of SCR. He also laid foundation stone for construction of a 100 bed Extension Block and Cardio Thoracic operation Theatre at the Hospital.

while addressing the gathering, Dr.P.S.Prasad, said that the Cardiac Cath Lab Unit at Railway Central Hospital, Lallguda, 4th in Indian Railways, will be established at a cost of Rs.4.00 Cr. and have state-of-the-art equipments. Further, he informed that the Cath Lab, o­nce becomes fully operational, will have full-fledged investigating facility for cardiac cases Viz., Coronary Angiogram, compromised vasculature of coronary, Stent implantation etc. The proposed operation theatre will undertake
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all kinds of cardiac surgery and will result in a savings of Rs.8.00 Cr. per year, he added.
Srivastava, while addressing the gathering, assured that all equipments required for the lab and operation theatre will be procured at the earliest possible. He directed the Hospital authorities to commence Angioplasty in January, 2015.
Dr.T.Anjaiah, Medical Director, Railway Central Hospital, Lallaguda proposed vote of thanks
Today (8:33AM)  Railway decides not to proliferate use of ACD: MOS (Railways) (www.railnews.co.in)

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IR Affairs

News Entry# 187714     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said an alternative system called the train collision avoidance system was being developed by the Research Design and Standards Organization in association with three Indian vendors
New Delhi: The railways has said that there are no plans to increase the coverage of the anti-collision device (ACD) to other zones due to technical and operational problems, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.
Technical and operational problems have been faced in the functioning of ACD in the Northeast Frontier Railway, Manoj Sinha, minister of state for railways, said in a written reply. He said major problems were related to unwarranted breakings which had an adverse impact on the running of trains.
The development and deployment of ACD
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was taken up by Konkan Railway Corp. Ltd as a pilot project on a 1,738 km route. However, despite efforts towards resolving technical and operational glitches, there have been unwarranted breakings, Sinha said.
In order to deploy the system on the main line sections having multiple lines or electrified routes, Konkan Railway developed ACD version 2 with revised specifications and design configuration. Trials of ACD version 2 were conducted on the Pattabiram and Arakkonam sections in Chennai division in Southern zone during 2010-11.
Sinha said a large number of complex operational and technical problems were faced during the trials in the Southern Railway, which could not be fully resolved by Konkan Railway due to design limitations of ACD.
He said that, to overcome major problems noticed in ACD, an alternative system termed as the train collision avoidance system (TCAS) was being developed indigenously by the Research Design and Standards Organization in association with three Indian vendors.
Today (8:32AM)  PM urge Railways to ease PPP norms to attract Private Investments (www.railnews.co.in)

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IR Affairs

News Entry# 187713     
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Posted by: Ravi Prajapati**  214 news posts  
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given clear and strict instruction to the ministry of railways to ease PPP norms in order to attract massive private investments into the sector.
According to sources, the Prime Minister has asked the Railway Minister to ease paperwork and install a single window clearance for big projects. An online tendering system to attract bids from potential investors is also on the pipeline.
All these are being done to streamline the process of implementation of projects on PPP (Public-Private Partnership) basis by ensuring adequate profits for the private players.
The Prime Minister’s intervention comes at a time when a large number of railway projects are stalled due to pending approvals from various ministries and departments of state
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and central govt i.e. National Highways Authority of India, forest department, irrigation department, PWD (Public Works Department) and even the Archealogical Survey of India (if the projects are located in the vicinity of protected monuments).
To achieve speedy clearance for these stalled projects the ministry of railways is regularly conducting ‘Coordinate meetings’ with various ministries and departments.
While the railways need Rs.26,000 crores to bring back the sector on the track of development, a whopping Rs.500,000 crores is required to execute all of the approved projects.
Today (6:36AM)  Train food quality: IVRS launched for passenger feedback (www.newsonair.com)

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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 187706     
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Posted by: rdb**  82742 news posts  
Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda has said a pilot project for Introduction of Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) has been launched on some trains to get the feedback of passengers on food quality. He said a Centralised Catering Services Monitoring Cell has been setup at National level. The toll free number of the cell is 1800-111-321.Third party audit of catering services are also to be conducted at periodic intervals. The Minister said over 7000 complaints have been attended by the Railways from 2011 till June, this year. The Minister was replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, today, on the establishment of any mechanism to monitor food quality and hygiene in running trains and at railway stations.
Today (3:29AM)  DMRC told to share technical snag history (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)

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Other NewsDMRC/Delhi Metro  -  

News Entry# 187703     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has directed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to disclose details of technical snags that caused unscheduled halts during the last year.
The order came on a petition filed by Aseem Takyar who had sought details of technical snags which brought Metro operations to a halt, causing passengers a lot of inconvenience.
During the hearing, information commissioner M A Khan Yusufi said the appellant had been seeking a complete list of incidents when train services were halted due to technical snag or due to other reasons on all the routes and lines along with duration of the halt in the service. "The commission feels that respondents are under legal obligation to provide the complete list of the incidents, as asked, free of cost to the appellant," he
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said.
Takyar had also sought a copy of some documents for which DMRC asked him to deposit Rs 550 for photocopies of 275 pages; but Takyar did not pay the amount. The commission said DMRC was justified in seeking the fee
and asked him to pay it.
Technical snags on the Blue Line have repeatedly forced DMRC to halt services causing inconvenience to passengers who travel on the Dwarka Sector 21-Noida City Centre/Vaishali route. Recently, doors of a Metro coach were left open on the Gurgaon-Jahangirpuri line causing a scare among passengers. About 25 lakh people use the Metro every day.
Today (3:21AM)  IRCTC launches packages to Kerala, Goa (www.thehindubusinessline.com)
News Entry# 187701     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
BANGALORE, JULY 31:   Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch a domestic tour package to Goa and Kerala from Bangalore.
According to T R Boaz, Chief Regional Manager, IRCTC, “The Corporation is planning to organise group departure with 20 tourists on August 28 to Kerala and Goa.”
The package tour to Kerala costs ₹13,898 and to Goa ₹12,515 per person on twin sharing basis, said the IRCTC press release.
More details can be had from: IRCTC Tourism Information and Facilitation Centre, Bangalore: 080-22960014/13 or Mysore: 0821-2426001.
Today (3:20AM)  Sparks, smoke set off panic in Sealdah Express (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)

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Other News

News Entry# 187700     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
BAREILLY: The Sealdah Express running between Jammu Tawi and Howrah was the site of much panic after passengers tried to pull the alarm chain on seeing sparks flying from the wheel. Passengers tried to stop the train between Bhitaura and Parsakhera station after spotting the sparks. Smoke came billowing out of some compartments, sending passengers into a tizzy. Railway staff arrived in time and set the fault right on Wednesday night. After a thorough check by technical staff, the train was allowed to proceed on its onward journey. The delay lasted about15 minutes. Mayank Kumar, a passenger, told TOI, "The train stopped between Bhitora and Parsakhera stations after passengers noticed sparks. The alertness of passengers and timely action by railway staff prevented an untoward happening." Station master of Bareilly station, RB Saxena, however, said, "Some of the passengers allegedly pulled the alarm chain, leading to jamming of the brake shoe...
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and the resultant sparks and smoke from the wheels on several bogies. The train was thoroughly checked by technical staff and allowed to head out on its onward journey."
Today (3:20AM)  CBI arrests two railway officials in Hyderabad (www.ptinews.com)

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News Entry# 187699     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
Delhi, Jul 31 (PTI) CBI today arrested two railway officials for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3 lakh in return for favouring a school teacher in a vigilance case against him in Hyderabad.
CBI sources said K Nageshwar Rao and K Narasimhulu were arrested by the agency while they were taking the alleged bribe money of Rs 1 lakh in cash and Rs 2 lakh in cheque from a Railways school teacher based in Secunderabad.
Today (3:14AM)  HC Raps Rlys for Not Giving Records (www.newindianexpress.com)

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Other News

News Entry# 187697     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
BANGALORE: The High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the Railways as it did not produce records on an under-bridge constructed in front of former railway minister C K Jaffer Sharieff’s residence. Justice Ram Mohan Reddy was hearing a petition filed last year by Dr C J Rajesh,  against the railway authorities, for not installing a manned gate to the railway bridge which runs through Sharieff’s property.
The court had sought the details last week but railway authorities on Wednesday said the records related to the under-bridge had been destroyed as they were more than 10 years old. 
The petitioner has been fighting for his right of safe passage in his property since 2004. His family owns Shivashaila Education Trust which manages four temples, a school, a college and a school
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auditorium. Rajesh’s contention is that a railway line passes through the said property.
As river Lokapavani flows through the plot, the Railway authorities had constructed the bridge. He said the authorities had provided a manned gate for locals’ safety while constructing the bridge. However, the bridge was closed later on the ground that there was zero rail traffic.
Rajesh said since the gate has been closed, it has been inconvenient for people to enter the area. “The department constructed the said bridge for a minister and why have they closed it for a property where education institutions are run?” observed Justice Reddy and adjourned the case to Friday. 
Belekeri Case  to Green Tribunal
A Division Bench, comprising N Kumar and B Manohar, transferred a petition related to pollution and ecological imbalances due to Belekeri iron mining to National Green Tribunal.
A group of petitioners, including Uttara Kannada District Consumers Welfare Association, had filed a petition in this regard.
Today (3:14AM)  PM urges Railways to ease PPP norms to attract private investments (zeenews.india.com)

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Other News

News Entry# 187696     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given clear and strict instruction to the ministry of railways to ease PPP norms in order to attract massive private investments into the sector.
According to Zee Media sources, the Prime Minister has asked the Railway Minister to ease paperwork and install a single window clearance for big projects. An online tendering system to attract bids from potential investors is also on the pipeline.
All these are being done to streamline the process of implementation of projects on PPP (Public-Private Partnership) basis by ensuring adequate profits for the private players.
The Prime Minister's intervention comes at a time when a large number of railway projects are stalled due to pending approvals from various ministries and departments
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of state and central govt i.e. National Highways Authority of India, forest department, irrigation department, PWD (Public Works Department) and even the Archealogical Survey of India (if the projects are located in the vicinity of protected monuments).
To achieve speedy clearance for these stalled projects the ministry of railways is regularly conducting 'Coordinate meetings' with various ministries and departments.
While the railways need Rs.26,000 crores to bring back the sector on the track of development, a whopping Rs.500,000 crores is required to execute all of the approved projects.
Today (3:06AM)  New concession form for disabled creates confusion (www.thehindu.com)

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News Entry# 187695     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
Activists objected to the insensitive language used in the form and asked for more time to avail of the new form
On Tuesday, when B. Chandrakumar went to Egmore station to book tickets to Thiruchendur, officials at the special counter told him his disability concession form was no longer valid.
“They told me there was a new form I had to fill up and get signed by a government doctor. They did not have the form, but said it was available with the reservation supervisor, one floor up,” said the 42-year-old, who is affected by polio.
When Mr. Chandrakumar made his way up the stairs, he found the supervisor was not available as it was a holiday.
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Disability activists in the city are unhappy with the new form for concession as there is little awareness about it, they do not know where it is available and they have not been consulted on it.
“We had no idea a new form had been mandated from July 15. There was no attempt to inform those in the disability sector about this. Also, the form is not available online, nor is it there at all railway stations. It is not available at primary health centres or government hospitals. So, we are expected to run around looking for the form, then get it signed and then go and book our tickets,” said T.M.N Deepak, secretary, Federation of Tamil Nadu Differently Abled Associations.
Mr. Deepak said if the sector been consulted about the new form, they would have been able to avoid the confusion and create awareness. A letter to this effect was sent by the federation to the railway minister on Wednesday. The letter also objected to the insensitive language used in the form and asked for more time to be given to people with disabilities to avail of the new form.
Rajiv Rajan, another disability activist, said he had no idea a new form had been mandated.
Rakesh Misra, general manager, Southern Railway, who earlier took action to ensure the coach for the disabled on trains was not misused, said the matter would be rectified immediately.
“We will put out a notification in a newspaper in the near future, and also ensure that all sectors are informed about this and the form is made available at all special counters,” he said.
A press release issued late on Thursday said the concession format already issued on the earlier forms would continue to be valid till its expiry.
Today (3:05AM)  Services of four Super-fast express trains extended (www.thehindu.com)

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News Entry# 187694     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
The services of the weekly Super-fast express trains between Santragachhi and Ernakulam (02851/02852), Santragachhi and Chennai (02807/02808), Howrah and Yesvantapur(02863/02864) and between Howrah and Chennai are being extended by another five trips.
Train no. 02851 Santragachhi (Howrah) – Ernakulam weekly super-fast express will leave Santragachhi on Saturdays on August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 (5 trips) at 4.05 p.m. and arrives in Visakhapatnam on Sunday 4.40 a.m. and depart at 5 a.m. to reach Ernakulam at 6 a.m. on Monday.
In return direction, train no. 02852 Ernakulam- Santragachhi weekly super-fast express will leave Ernakulam on Tuesdays on August 5, 12, 19, 26 and on September 2 (5 trips) at 8.50 a.m. and arrives in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday at 11.15 a.m. and leaves at 11.35 a.m. to reach Santragachhi (Howrah) on the
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next day (early hours of Thursday) at 3 a.m.
These pair of trains will also stop at Bhadrak, Jajpur-keonjhar Road, Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Brahmapur, Vizianagaram over East Coast Railway.
The train runs with the composition of two Third AC coaches, eight Sleeper class coaches, five General second class coaches and two second class luggage-cum-sitting coaches.
Train no.02807 Santragachhi (Howrah)-Chennai Express will leave from Santragachhi at 7 p.m. on Thursdays from August 7 to 28 and arrive in Visakhapatnam on Fridays at 8.20 a.m. and leave at 8.45 a.m. to reach Chennai at 10.45 p.m. on the same day.
In the return direction, train no. 02808 Chennai-Santragachhi Express will leave Chennai at 7.55 a.m. on Saturdays from August 9 to 30 and arrive in Visakhapatnam on the same day at 8.35 p.m. and depart at 8.55 p.m. and will reach Santragachhi at 10.25 a.m. on the next day (Sunday).
These trains will stop at Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Gudur between Santragachhi and Chennai.
These trains will have two AC-3 tier, eight Sleeper Classes, five General Second Class Coaches and two Guard-cum-Luggage Vans.
The train no. 02841 Howrah-Chennai Premium super-fast express will leave Howrah on Fridays from August 1 to 29 (5 trips) at 1.15 p.m. and reaches Duvvada in early hours of Saturday at 2.45 a.m. and departs at 2.50 a.m. to reach Chennai on Saturdays at 2.25 p.m.
In return direction, train no. 02842 Chennai-Howrah Premium super-fast express will leave Chennai on Saturdays from August 2 to 30 (5trips) at 5.20 p.m. to reach Duvvada on the next day (Sunday) at 4.57 a.m. and leaves at 5.02 a.m. to reach Howrah on the same day at 6.30 p.m.
These pair of trains will also stop at Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar, Duvvada and Vijayawada, between Howrah and Chennai.
The trains have three Second class AC coaches and eight Third AC coaches.
Train no. 02863 Howrah-Yesvantapur Premium super-fast express will leave Howrah on Mondays from August 4 to 25 (4 trips) at 11 a.m. and reaches Duvvada on the same day at 11.43 p.m. and departs at 11.45 p.m. to reach Yesvantapur on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
In return direction, train no. 02842 Chennai-Howrah Premium super-fast express will leave Yesvantapur on Wednesdays from August 6 to 27(4trips) at 11.15 a.m. and reaches Duvvada on the next day (Thursday) at 3.28 a.m. and departs at 3.30 a.m. to reach Howrah on the same day at 4 p.m.
These pair of trains will also stop at Bhubaneswar, Duvvada, Vijayawada, Renugunta and Katpadi between Howrah and Chennai.
The train runs will have three Second class AC coaches, eight Third AC coaches and one Pantry Car.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of Waltair Division M. Yelvender Yadav appealed to the public to make use of these train services.
Today (3:05AM)  Sikkim Mahananda express train cancelled (www.business-standard.com)

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News Entry# 187693     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
The 15483 Alipurduar Jn-Delhi Sikkim Mahananda Express scheduled to leave Alipurduar Junction at 07.15 pm on August 2 has been cancelled, said a Northease Frontier Railway press release today.
The 15843 has been cancelled as the 15484 Delhi - Alipurduar Jn. Sikkim Mahananda Express scheduled to leave Delhi today has been cancelled by Northern Railway, said the release issued by N-F Railway Chief Public Relations Officer.
Today (2:40AM)  CR discusses methods to make passenger experience pleasant during train journeys (www.mid-day.com)

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News Entry# 187692     
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Posted by: Jayashree▪◘▪Amita**  22519 news posts  
Central Railway authorities meet pantry car contractors to discuss public complaints about cleanliness inside pantry cars and overcharging of food provided to passengers.
Following the Union Railway Minister's promise of improving the pantry and food services in long distance trains, the Central Railway (CR) authorities headed by Sunil Kumar Sood, the General Manager of CR, addressed a meeting of pantry car contractors. This was done in the wake of major public complaints about cleanliness inside pantry cars and overcharging of food provided to passengers. Soon, passengers will also get mandatorily bills from a hand-held billing machine.
Sood in his address expressed his concern on two items based on the analysis of complaints and feedback from the passengers viz. overcharging on eatables and quality of food items.
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"Instead of preparing food in the Pantry Car the licensees should pick up readymade meals either from the Railway Base Kitchen at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or from the Cell Kitchen which can be set up," said Sood.
This modern cell kitchen can be on the same pattern as that Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus kitchen which was recently set up by CR. For this purpose, he suggested that only Store Rooms should be locked by individual contractors and the kitchen hall at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus should be shared by all of them. This will reduce the cost and increase the quality of cooking.
On success of Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Cell kitchen, similar facility can be created at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus also.
To overcome the problem of overcharging, the GM advised that contractors use hand-held terminals for billing purpose. He suggested that the instruments would make it easy for pantry car staff to issue bills to each passenger at the end of journey. The instrument is handy and pre-fed with train numbers, tax rates and menu rates. This instrument will be linked with a server by which billing of each train will be duplicated for monitoring as soon as train touches a networked area. These SIM-based, handheld terminals will be issued by CR on refundable deposit. Their use was demonstrated to all pantry car operators.
The officials also suggested the provision of food trolleys in each coach that will keep food warm for 3 to 4 hours and will be convenient to serve the meals. Enabling provisions for extra hands to board the train from base kitchen stations along with trolleys only during meal hours was requested by Pantry operators and agreed upon.
To maintain the quality of food, raw materials checking system has already been started at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. In the system, each pantry car manager lays out all the raw materials to the staff deputed on the booth, who checks the perishables, rice, pulses, eatables, oils and only good quality materials are allowed to be loaded in the pantry car and any inferior quality item is removed or replaced.
Also to overcome the problems of unauthorised vending the pantry car contractors agreed to carry variety of pre-cooked snacks, which can be sold immediately on the train till the passengers wait for their regular meals. Use of prepaid coupons or Combo Options along with PRS ticketing was also discussed. GM also desired that the pantry car should be completely vacated at the destination for the purpose of carrying out pest control, cleanliness etc. and in future RO plant to be installed inside the Pantry Car for preparing tea and food. Till such time it is done, use of Mineral Water shall continue.
Awarding Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract of all pantry car equipment to a single PAN-India presence, Contractor who will accept complaints from mobile phones of Managers of Pantry Cars directly and for satisfactory repairs also.
Idea of converting one of the four bathrooms into mini-pantries and using food trolleys from base kitchens was also discussed in view of shortage of pantry cars.
ID cards shall be issued to Pantry Car staff separately for unloading and loading at stations, travel in pantry cars throughout and for part time boarding the trains with base kitchen meals in trolleys during meal hours.
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