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Watch: Discussions on to provide CCTV on all trains across India, says Piyush Goyal

On Saturday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Railway is considering installing CCTVs and providing internet connectivity on all trains across India.He said: “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. We will do this across all the railways.”He added: “As far as security is concerned, we are all thoughtful about it. We are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.”Earlier, he had said the Railways Ministry will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the entire electrification work of railways network and arrange funding for it, an official said today.Also readTicket prices for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani may go down, says Railway minister Piyush Goyal”As far as funding for electrification is concerned, we are looking at funding through an SPV and getting that SPV to run the entire electrification of Railways,” a top official in the Railways Ministry said today.The SPV will be tasked to look after the whole electrification project of the Railways. It will be own and manage those assets, the official said.Also readIndian Railways to use GPS-enabled devices to fight fog this season”The ministry is still working to float this SPV,” the official said.Earlier in September, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that his ministry is exploring ways to speed up the electrification process so as to cut down about Rs 16,000 crore expense on diesel.Also readBMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding”We are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country. The ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process,” Goyal had said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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Train services on Harbour line affected in morning after Railway goof-up

Train services on the Harbour line went for a toss in the morning hours after the engineering team of Central Railway goofed up while carrying out a late night block. The CR authorities have begun pumping mud and muck along the tracks that have slums and gutters next to it, starting on the stretch between Govandi and Mankhurd.Sources said that it was the first time that they were using a machine to remove and clean mud under the tracks. The muck and mud normally mixes with the ballast and creates a slush which makes the track weak.On the night of Tuesday-Wednesday the CR began carrying out work on this stretch for which block was supposed to be taken till 4am. “The block got busted as their was technical issues with the machine. We managed to rectify it by 4.30-4.45am or so,” said a CR official.The track alignment too shifted a bit and it forced the CR authorities to invoke a speed restriction on that stretch. The officials said that they had to impose speed restrictions of 10kmph between Mankhurd and Govandi.This resulted in bunching of trains and delays that went upto 25minutes during peak hours. “Track maintenance work was taken up during night block on harbour line that included lifting and packing track by ballasts. Work was done by machines for better and faster results. Since machine work is relatively new in that area, it was planned to impose speed restrictions for some time to monitor track alignment,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.The officials stated that the mechanised track maintenance work is for the betterment of track health. Due to this, there were cancellations of 23 services on Harbour line.There were issues on the main line as well in the morning hours. Sources said that services on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Kalyan were running late by 10-15 minutes after a train went ahead out of turn while on the other line there was other train that was scheduled ahead of it.

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Railways goes solar to power city’s commute on local trains

The Railways invariably warn commuters to not travel on rooftop of trains as the live overhead wires supply 25,000 volts for the locomotives to run. Besides these live wires, roofs over the platforms would now become a medium of electricity as the authorities are placing solar panels on them. The Indian Railways is aiming to save electricity bills to the tune of Rs 41,000 crore between 2015 and 2025 under the ‘Mission 41K’ scheme.These solar panels will have an installed capacity of 4,750kW or 4.7Mw of power. This amount of electricity is equivalent to the power used by floodlights at Wankhede stadium. The Western Railway (WR) has identified 23 locations on its Churchgate-Virar route, which also includes railway stations, for these panels. Sources in WR said there are seven railway stations (Mumbai Central, Lower Parel, Mahim, Khar Road, Andheri, Ram Mandir and Borivli) where solar panels would be fitted on the cover over platforms. The rest of the places include car sheds, rail administration and station buildings, workshops and yards.Of the total 4,750kW electricity expected to be generated, the solar panels at railway stations will generate 2,185kW and the rest would be from the other structures mentioned above. “The work of completing installation of solar panels at some of these locations is in progress. At Mumbai Central, panels have been installed on the roof of the passenger reservation system building,” said a WR official.It takes around 450-500Mw of electricity for running 240 rakes on both Western and Central Railway together in the city. “By installing solar panels, we expect to save around Rs 90,000 each day,” said a senior WR official.The WR intends to use solar power to electrify tube lights, fans, lighting at food stalls, passenger announcement systems and other ancillaries at the station premises. Those solar panels fitted at station buildings and car sheds will help the railways to power the lights, fans, air-conditioners and other electric components found in a building.

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Railway’s safety wing being strengthened, train accidents down by 40%: Ashwani Lohani

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani today said train accidents had decreased by 40% in the country and over 1.25 lakh people were being appointed to the railways’ safety department.The number of accidents between April 1 and November 30 this year had gone down by 40% in comparison to the corresponding period in 2016, he told reporters here.”The safety wing is being strengthened. The maintenance work of the tracks is going on on a war footing and new tracks are being laid,” Lohani said, while acknowledging that there were certain cases of train accidents recently.A large number of posts were lying vacant in the railways and the process was on to fill up these posts, particularly those associated with the safety of the trains and tracks, he added.”In the safety category, 1.25 lakh group C and group D staff will be appointed on a priority basis,” Lohani said.Also readRailways at ‘critical juncture’, safety to be priority: Board chairman Ashwani LohaniTo a question, the railway board chairman said officials of the Dhanbad division of the East Central Railway and the Bharat Coking Coal Limited would attend a meeting in Delhi on December 8 to decide on the revival of the closed Dhanbad- Chandrapura route.The 34-km-long route was declared closed on June 15 on the recommendation of the directorate general of mines safety because of underground mine fire.Also readPassenger safety topmost priority: Railway Board chief LohaniThe DVC operates a thermal power station at Chandrapura.Lohani said the board had short and long-term projects for an alternative to the Dhanbad Chandrapura route, for which a proposal would be put up in the next budget.
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110 years on, CR shuts toy train loop line

After 110 years, the Central Railway (CR) has shut down the ‘bulb loop line’ at Matheran yard which until 2016 was used to get the toy train back on the line. This loop line is shaped like a bulb where the toy train, after it terminates at Matheran, goes all the way till this yard and comes back on to the platform. The authorities will also resume the entire 21-km Neral-Matheran route from March 2018.This has been the method which the CR had been using to operate the toy trains since 1907 when it was first introduced. This was the same year when the yard was also created. The decision was taken now in October when the CR resumed toy trains on the 2.7-km-long Aman Lodge-Matheran stretch.”We have started push and pull engines for running the services. Now the old system of bulb loop line will be shut,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, CR.In push and pull method, there shall be six coaches with two engines fitted on either side. So there is no need for the train to use the bulb loop line that was operational till May 2016, when two back to back derailments occurred.Presently, there are two locomotives and 24 coaches that are operational. One new engine is being manufactured at Parel workshop which will be ready by January next year; they don’t have any engines on standby.KNOW IT ALL1907: Year the toy train startedRs 18 crore: Cost of reviving the Neral-Matheran toy train21 km: Length of the entire route2.75 km: Current distance of Aman Lodge-Matheran that is operational
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Yogi Adityanath

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Come Jan, more rakes to chug on city’s local lines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newer trains can be expected by Mumbaikars starting January next year. Orders have been placed for getting more trains that would ply both on Central and Western Railways. This was one of the subjects which were discussed at the meeting between Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and railway officers when he visited Mumbai on November 27.To begin with, the Central Railway (CR) will get 20 new Bombardier rakes in phases, which is already being manufactured. “Orders have already been placed and we shall start getting them from January 2018. Once they arrive, they will be available for plying and would replace the existing old lot of rakes that are part of our fleet,” said a senior CR official. They are getting the new rakes for the purpose of operating on the Rs 1,700 crore Seawoods-Uran rail line.The CR has 14 old rakes of BHEL make which are always a cause of concern for the authorities as these incur technical failures frequently.

Rail fracture between Sion and Matunga disrupts services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaos struck the Central Railway on Saturday after a rail between Sion and Matunga on the north-bound fast line developed a fracture. The problem was reported at 9.56 am and disrupted services on the line for nearly two hours. CR authorities said the fracture was repaired by 10.12 am.”Three local trains were delayed due to this. Such rail fractures do happen when there is wide fluctuations in day and night temperatures during winters. Such things are duly detected digitally and manually by patrolling personnel,” said Sunil Udasi, CPRO, Central Railway.While railways claim that they repaired the fracture within few minutes, commuters claim that it took them more than two hours to complete a journey that they normally finish in an hour. Jayesh Vora took a fast train from Dombivali at 9.13 am, but reached Parel at 11.30 am. “My train halted between Vidyavihar and Kurla and I could see a line of trains on the fast line towards CST waiting in queue. I got down, walked on the track and reached Kurla station. From there I took a slow train, the slow trains were over crowded. I finally reached Parel at 11.30 am, normally I would have reached by 10.15 or 10.30 am.”Lacchu Singh, who was travelling towards Thane also got delayed for the wedding he was to attend. “I had a wedding to attend in Thane and when I reached Byculla around 11.30 am and reached Thane in a fast train around 12.30 pm normally by 12 noon I should have reached. The train even on my way back halted for a long time at Vikhroli station.”

Mumbai: Central and Western Railway make haste to finish work on foot overbridges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sadly it took 23 people’s lives at the Elphinstone Road stampede for the railways to change their method of functionality. Both Central and Western Railways are busy competing on who has completed formalities on tender process and shall finish work on foot overbridges faster. The CR will build a new FOB at Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) while WR will construct one at Bhayandar.The Central Railway is claiming to have created a record in finalising tender in 24 hours for a new FOB at Kurla LTT and that work commenced on November 16. “Finalising of contract for a new FOB has been done in a record 24 hours and work has commenced without delay. The tender for the construction of this FOB opened on November 14 and was finalised on the same day,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway. The officials said that the acceptance letter was issued and physically handed over to the contractor immediately. This new FOB will be constructed at the CSMT end of the station near the new station building of Kurla LTT. It will be 6 meters wide and will have a double span of 18 meters each which will connect all 5 platforms. The new FOB will have ramps on all platforms at one end and stairs 2.50 meters wide on the other end. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 2.97 crore and is likely to be completed within 6 months.Similarly, the WR has finalised and awarded a contract within 7 days for the construction of a new FOB at Bhayandar station. This FOB – that is on the north side of the station – will be 10 meters wide, in lieu of old one that is 2.5 meters wide. Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway said: “A tender for this FOB was opened on November 7, at a cost of Rs 5.46 crores and was finalized by within a week. The contract was awarded on November 14”.The old foot overbridge at the north end has been closed for commuters from November 15. It will be dismantled and construction of new FOB will replace it within 6 months. It shall connect all platforms with a circulating area.

Indian Railways takes steps to identify absentee workers, Mazdoor unions resent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A government job is said to be cushy as apart from salaries, perks, and regular bonus; they have 7-8hours work shifts or even less. However, on November 13, the Railway Board in Delhi ensured that the 14-lakh staff working for the Indian Railways come out of their comfort zone. For the first time, supervisors who head departments will be issuing certificates stating that an employee was present at work.’All employees in control of staff should give a certificate that they do not have any employee on their rolls who do not physically exist,’ states a circular issued by the Railway Board to all General Managers across Indian Railways.The circular issued by the Member (Staff) DK Gayen – who heads the Human Resources department for the whole of Indian Railways – also stated that random surprise checks should be conducted by inspectors of Personnel department and respective department. It has also asked for reviewing and listing names of unauthorised absentees in each department and unit. A copy of this is with DNA.The officers and supervisors approving the muster role will also have to give a certificate that all the staff who are getting their salaries where physically present on duty during the period. Not just this, every department will review the attendance sheet and weed out employees whose presence is based on mere proxy marking on the muster. Sources said that the Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani when he assumed charge, had told that steps would be taken to monitor the performance of people.This is an important step as the coach production units, workshops, and car sheds where rakes are maintained and upgraded comprise of huge working staff. With lesser people actually on the ground for maintenance and upkeep of rail assets; the quality of coaches, basic amenities inside like seats, toilet blocks, fans and linen provided to passengers gets ignored.”These staffs are our eyes and ears. If they aren’t present then it is bound to have severe repercussions even in areas that come under safety category,” said a senior railway official.There are instances where people come to work in the morning, sign muster and leave after a couple of hours either for personal work or for the affiliated rail unions. The end result is that the number of people needed to ensure quality work be it in production and upkeep of rail tracks, coaches, cables and signaling systems is insufficient.This circular is also a jolt to the railway unions who have been playing an active role in shaping the Indian Railways. The unions at these places of work result in employees not giving the desired time and effort. The administration will be monitoring people to see if they are skipping work to balance out time for these registered unions. In fact, recently the General Manager of Western Railway AK Gupta had made a surprise check in his own office building at Churchgate where he caught women staff from another department, chit chatting even after lunch hours. Praveen Bajpai, general secretary, Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh said: The staff knows the responsibilities and job well. There is no need for anyone to monitor. Everyday railway men open ticket booking windows, loco pilots and guards run trains, gangmen maintain tracks and other employees do their work; without anyone from administration telling them. Rather the Railway administration should concentrate on filling up over 2.5 lakh vacant posts which are causing a burden on other rail employees.Ajay Singh, divisional secretary, Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh said: “This circular has asked to take action against those who go on unauthorised leaves of more than 21 days. It is not as if the staff sign on the muster and leave as there is a lot of work and the administration isn’t filling up posts which results in undue pressue”.

Illegal encroachments outside Parel stn razed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railways and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have stepped up demolition of illegal structures and slums near rail premises. Nearly 40 days after the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, the authorities conducted a major demolition drive outside Parel station on Tuesday.Apart from this, there are encroachments near the railway station and near the old road-overbridge, where slums have come up. “There were 33 illegal encroachments at Parel which have been demolished today,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.Police protection was provided along with BMC staff to monitor the demolition drive. Assistant Municipal Commissioner (F-South ward) of the BMC, Kishor Desai said, “The demolition was carried by the Railways. As the Railways had asked us, we provided the manpower but the demolition was under the supervision of the Railways only.”Sources said that these structures were also obstructing the new foot-overbridge (FOB) that the Army will soon be building. The Army has already begun work on the FOB and designs have been planned. “There were encroachments on the land where the FOB has its landing. These are now being removed with the help of the BMC,” said a Central Railway official. The Army is connecting the existing FOB at Parel with the new one that shall have a landing on Elphinstone Road near the flower market.Over the past few days, there have been demolitions outside several railway stations. “We have been carrying out demolition since the last one month. We will provide passenger amenities wherever needed,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief PRO, WR. They have carried demolitions at Elphinstone Road, Dadar, Matunga Road, and Bandra in the past few days wherein more than 150 structures and slums have been razed.

Madhubani paintings adorn railway station walls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The beautiful Madhubani painting, the most globally renowned traditional art form of Bihar, now adorns the walls of Madhubani railway station, around 175 km northeast of the state capital Patna. This is a first of its kind initiative in Bihar.The world-famous painting tastefully covers over 7,500 square feet of the station, placing it in a class of its own. Officials of the East Central Railway (ECR) division claim that this is the largest depiction of Mithila artwork in the world.”The aim was not just to beautify the walls, but also to display the skill and talent our artists have and spread awareness about it, especially among the younger generation,” said an ECR official.The task was undertaken as a part of Swachhta mission to keep the station campus clean and kicked off on October 2 this year. The handiwork turned into a reality almost two week later, due the efforts of around 200 Mithila painting artists, mostly young students, who worked tirelessly to achieve the feat. They have not charged any fee for their services either.The railways provided them with colours, painting brushes and refreshments and felicitated them after completion of the work.What makes Madhubani painting different from others is its eye-catching geometrical patterns, use of natural and vibrant colours and filling up empty spaces using motifs.”A number of people are visiting the railway station just to see the paintings,” the official said. Every team has a different theme of their painting, which ranges from traditional folklore, scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata and nature to rural and social life, festivities and fold dances. Headings and sub-heads have been used to describe the paintings and people visiting Madhubani will get a taste of the popular Mithila painting as soon as they deboard at the station.

After stampede, railway station to have no-hawking zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Getting out of a railway station in Mumbai is already a tedious task, and to make matters worse, encroachment by illegal hawkers at or near railway stations hinders smooth movement. Thus, the Maharashtra government has fixed a ‘no hawking zone’ at all railway stations, specifying a buffer of 150-metres from rail premises. This comes as a significant step to decongest stations following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station in which 23 people died.Sources said that this decision has been taken following the September 30 meeting chaired by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. “On October 8, we received a letter from the chief secretary asking us to create a ‘no hawking zone’ at stations,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway. The letter has been sent to the civic bodies too.Sources said that they have started the process of demarcating the rail premises for which they will put up boards or poles. Once this is done, the BMC will begin the process of identifying 150-metres from the rail premises. “We will calculate this distance from the entry or exit points of railway stations,” said another rail official.Railway officials are also identifying stations where hawkers are seen in huge numbers. Railways and BMC will then profile these hawkers. Apart from the Railway Protection Force, ticket collectors and commercial inspectors too have been allowed to click pictures of illegal hawkers. Profiles of hawkers will be created and maintained by the RPF. These will be shared with BMC, and the two agencies are expected to ensure that steps are taken to provide designated space for hawkers.Shashank Rao, president of Mumbai Hawkers Union, said: “We will first see the demarcation made for hawking. The 150-meters as ‘no hawking zone’ is absurd, as even during elections, people aren’t allowed till 100 meters. We are planning to go on a day-long strike in November against the policies framed against hawkers by the government.”BMC is already working on a Hawkers Policy, which was first proposed in 2014. It has sent a proposal to the state government to form a Town Vending Committees (TVC), which will outline the framework of the Hawkers Policy after conducting surveys.The TVC is likely to conduct surveys to identify street vendors, issue certificates to eligible ones, recommend areas to be declared non-hawking zones, demarcate spaces for hawking and regulate timings. The hawkers will be divided into three categories — mobile, stationary and permanent ones. There are close to three lakh hawkers in Mumbai.

GRP’s drive aims to alert female travellers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Diwali, the Government Railway Police (GRP) will start an awareness campaign for female commuters advising them to take care of their belongings, especially jewellery, during the festive season.Lakhs of residents travel back home during the festive season and tend to carry gold and silver jewellery. The GRP will advise commuters to carry minimum jewellery and cash while travelling.”During vacation period, especially women, should be alert and should immediately contact the GRP helpline in case they sense something suspicious,” said a senior GRP officer.The GRP will also increase patrolling for the safety of commuters travelling in long-distance trains. It also plans to distribute awareness leaflets, conduct workshops and have an awareness kiosk at the GRP helpdesk on railway platforms. “We have conducted a meeting with senior police officers and have instructed them to be alert. The safety of children and women will be our priority,” said another officer.Samadhan Pawar, DCP, Central Zone said, “Most of the outstation trains are on the Central Railway line. We will ensure that the safety of female commuters is taken care of. They should be alert and inform the police if they come across something suspicious. Our quick action teams will ensure that the commuter receives help immediately.”KEEPING A CHECKLakhs of residents travel back home during the festive season and tend to carry gold and silver jewellery.
GRP will advise commuters to carry minimum jewellery and cash while travelling.
It will also increase patrolling in long-distance trains.

Elphinstone station FOB work gains momentum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stampede tragedy at the Elphinstone Road station seems to have opened the eyes of the Railways. The department, which halts most of its projects during the rains, has taken on its heels and resumed its work on the long-pending Rs 51 crore Parel Terminus.The Central Railway authorities have expedited work over the last two days on the terminus that was proposed in 2011. The project at Parel Terminus includes construction of five platforms with overheads, widening of platforms to 10 metres, providing new FOB connecting East and West. The tenders on the proposed FOB was also delayed by 18 months.The tragedy would not have taken place had the FOB been wider. The Railway Board, on October 11, constituted a high-level expert committee to inquire the reasons that led to the delay of constructing the Rs 11.86 crore FOB connecting both Elphinstone Road and Parel stations.The issuance of Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for Elphinstone Road FOB took around 18 months, for which barely Rs 1000 was provided in the 2016-17 railway budget. The committee would be headed by Shri Pratyush Sinha (Retd Chief Vigilance Commissioner) with Shri Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman CII Economic Affairs council, and Shri Subodh Jain, (Retd Member Engineering, Railway Board) as members and Director Safety, Railway Board, and Shri Pankaj Kumar as Member Secretary.The FOB was part of the Parel Terminus meant to cater the increasing crowd at Elphinstone Road, Dadar and Parel stations. DNA had reported about the slow progress and delays in the project. “We have started cleaning the area. Soon, sufficient manpower will be deployed for the work,” said a CR official.

Cabinet sub-committee for Rlys, no changes on ground

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While there has been no qualitative change in passenger facilities at railway stations in Mumbai since the tragic stampede on a Foot-Over-Bridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road station on September 29, announcements continue on new measures that will provide Mumbaikars a safer and more comfortable commute.Even as commuters continue to jostle for space on narrow FOBs at both Parel and Elphinstone Road stations, inspections have begun at stations.Committees are also being set up by the government. On Tuesday, the Maharashtra Cabinet offered condolences for the 23 lives lost in the stampede and decided to set up a sub-committee to ensure co-ordination between multiple agencies and departments for passenger facilities.A delegation of Shiv Sena ministers met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis just before the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning. State environment minister Ramdas Kadam told media persons that Chief Minister Fadnavis had accepted all the demands of the delegation and had assured that the Cabinet sub-committee would be set up in two days and the names of its members would also be announced then.Kadam said there is a need to increase the width of all the FOBs in Mumbai. He said that the sub-committee would also ensure that all the bridges are hawker free.Meanwhile, multi-agency teams, formed by Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), began inspections on Tuesday, and managed to visit around 20 railway stations. Officials said the teams will not be able to visit all 122 suburban railway stations.WR has prepared five teams of seven members each, which visited the following stations – Marine Lines, Elphinstone Road, Vile Parle, Andheri, Goregaon, Palghar, among others – on the first day of inspections. CR has formed nine teams of seven members each, which inspected Thane, Dombivli, Diva and a few others.The teams comprise members from the Railways, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Government Railway Police and the city police. A total of 36 stations on the WR and 86 stations on CR need to be covered.These teams have been tasked with inspecting all aspects of a railway station — right from a broken tile to the narrow width of a FOB, improperly placed roof, leakage from a pipe, excessive food stalls or anything that is hanging precariously. They are also meant to check entry and exit points, ticket counters, pathways and connectivity outside the station.The teams are also talking to commuters for feedback. “These details across various railway stations will then be compiled and made into a single report that needs to be prepared by October 8,” says Ravindra Bhakar, Chief PRO, WR.The final report is to be submitted within seven to 10 days to the Railway Board in Delhi, and will then be put up before Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

Stampede at Elphinstone Road: A first person account of what happened

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When I boarded the 10:23 Churchgate slow local from Bandra this morning, the rain pressed hard against the moving train forcing people to move in faster and shut the doors.By the time I entered the train, every seat in the compartment was occupied and so I stood guard at the door. As the rain became incessant, I held the door shut and stood that way for the next four stations.Before reaching Elphinstone Road station, there was chaos in the air. Distressed cries were heard even before we pulled into platform number 2. I only registered the severity of the situation after the train slowed down while entering the station.People had fallen down on the stairs of the Foot over Bridge (FoB) but commuters were climbing over them – literally walking over horizontal human sandwiches – to move up the bridge.The narrow bridge at Elphinstone Road station connects west and east Parel, as well as the Western Railway and Central Railway platforms. Like most railway bridges, it has a ticket counter on the west side. The width of the bridge is narrow and the ticket counter cannot boast of ample space either.People were hanging out of the stairs leading to the Foot-over-Bridge (FoB), and some had even climbed over the railing and were climbing the stairs slowly from the outside. Others were screeching and screaming at each other, urging everyone to move ahead.A lot more were still pouring in from both sides of the bridge, and the discipline of ‘Keep to your left’ was long-forgotten as commuters tried to board incoming trains.I made my way up the second bridge, which runs alongside Jagannath Bhatnakar Marg — it took me nearly 15-20 minutes to make it up one flight of stairs and out of the station. As a five-foot woman, I gasped for breath, while being pushed from one side to another. Some good Samaritans steadied those like me who kept losing their balance. We could not see where we were placing our feet and the fear of tripping over gripped me.Less than half way up the stairs I realised I probably should have waited it out on the platform and let those who were in a bigger hurry than me proceed. But how long could the platform be safe? As crowds swelled with each incoming train, we ran the risk of being pushed on to the tracks.Then, someone from the ascending traffic whispered, “Three women have been hurt”. Others said something about a short circuit, but were unaware of where it erupted or what caused it. Others kept mumbling about the burgeoning crowd.As I got to my office, which overlooks the station, the crowd looked like more than the station could handle. Soon, we heard multiple sirens roaring close by. We rushed out on to the office balcony to see ambulances zooming in.And the news broke that a stampede at Elphinstone station had cost us three lives, while 25 have been injured at 11:30 am.This article originally appeared in Zeebiz.com

Railways to use tablets for feedback

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move to gauge passenger satisfaction of those travelling by Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, next week onwards, railway staff will hand over tablets to passengers in AC coaches of these trains. The passengers will be asked to key in their ratings on ten parametres, including the quality of linen provided, catering, toilets, and staff behaviour. This comes at a time when the newly-appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is expected to announce the best trains as part of ‘Project Swarn’ on September 25.The Railway Board has been working on improving passenger experience under ‘Project Swarn’, wherein they will be certifying Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on 29 different routes across Indian Railways. Of these, there are 14 routes on which Rajdhani runs and 15 routes where Shatabdi trains ply everyday. There are three routes of Rajdhani and one route of Shatabdi operated by Western Railway and one route of Shatabdi run by Central Railway under this project.A part of ‘Project Swarn’, the 10 parametres are based on what directly affect passengers, which will be monitored through the ratings received on the tablets. These factors are coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, punctuality, catering, linen, staff behaviour, security, onboard entertainment, and real-time feedback.IRCTC officials confirmed they have procured around 25 tablets, which will be used by their staff to seek feedback from passengers, starting next week. “The feedback will upload automatically on our system. This will help us focus on areas of improvement,” said MP Mall, acting Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC.The passengers can rate between one to five points. If the rating is less than three points, there shall be sub-questions for passengers to elaborate on the scopes of improvement.The Railway Board has already created nine teams, with two members each, who have been overseeing these factors since June. These teams are in touch with the 17 railway zones, where more officials have been appointed for keeping a tab on these parametres. Sources said that based on the observations of these teams, a maximum amount of Rs 50 lakh can be spent on renovating a single rake.”We will be certifying the best train routes as Gold Standard, and this will most likely be announced by the Railway Minister on September 25,” said a Railway board official.

Rename BEST buses name plate to CSMT

Vinod Mishra has moved a notice of motion, requesting to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s administration to look into his proposal, and present a report in a month. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardly two months after the Central Railway renamed the iconic Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), a BJP corporator from Malad has demanded that the name plate of all BEST buses that originate or terminate at CSMT should be renamed to CSMT from CST.Vinod Mishra has moved a notice of motion, requesting to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s administration to look into his proposal, and present a report in a month. “Since the Central Railway changed the name of the terminus as a mark of respect to the Maratha king, the BEST also needs to follow the suit,” said Mishra. The proposal will come up for a discussion in general body of BMC on September 15.Prashant Saxena, a resident of Colaba appreciated BJP corporator’s move. However, he added that public representatives need to raise more serious issues rather renaming of bus name plate or a road.

Why CR’s TMS software was a flop show on Aug 29

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Train Management System that the Central Railway spent Rs 32 crore on in 2009-2010 proved to be of little use on August 29, as authorities were unable to relay information on train movement to motormen and guards.Central Railway’s (CR) Train Management System (TMS) is incomplete in a way that unlike the Western Railway’s TMS system, it cannot disseminate information to the motormen and guards.This is the reason why thousands of people were stranded inside local trains on August 29, when it rained heavily.The CR installed this TMS at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) with an intention of monitoring and keeping eye on every train running on the suburban section.”The TMS does not allow the control room to connect with motormen and guard. They use mobile phones for communication. We do not know why it was not provided but we shall now work on it to improve this system,” said Ravindra Goyal, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.This is a big flaw in their system as the passenger information system (PIS) is incomplete without it. Of the CR”s total fleet of 145 rakes, 112 rakes are of Siemens-make and have PIS installed and everyday advertisements are played and other announcements made. However, these cannot be optimally be used as motorman or guard has to wait for a call from control room instead of direct mapping of actual status on tracks.WR, on the other hand, has this facility in place with their TMS. Whenever there is a disaster, the TMS sends the actual position to the control room, which then is distributed to all the motormen/guard on their walkie-talkie.The 35 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes of CR and seven EMU rakes, two LHBs and two ICF-make long distance trains on WR got marooned in the middle of tracks as they could not run on water logged rail lines. On CR, this has resulted in lesser trains on tracks.

At least 20 injured in rail accident in north India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 20 people were injured, some critically, when 11 train coaches derailed early on Wednesday in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s fifth major rail accident in the past year and only days after 23 people were killed in another derailment. Northern Railways spokesperson Neeraj Sharma said the Kaifiyat Express travelling from Azamgarh to the capital Delhi collided with a dumper carrying construction material around 2110 GMT, causing the coaches to derail. Central Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted that several of the injured had been taken to nearby hospitals. Twenty three people were killed and at least 123 were injured last Saturday in Uttar Pradesh when 13 coaches of a train came off the tracks as it was heading to the Hindu holy city of Haridwar. India’s railway system is the world’s fourth biggest rail network, but it is grappling with chronic under-investment and over-crowding.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CR & WR launch cleanliness fortnight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As part of the nationwide Swachha Bharat Mission, the Central Railway as well as the Western Railway today started observing ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ (Cleanliness Fortnight) that will end on August 31, officials said. “Each day of 15-day-long drive will be associated with a particular theme pertaining to cleanliness like, Swachha Awareness, Swachha Samvad (dialogue), Swachha Station, Swachha Railgaadi (railway coach), Swachha Parisar (surrounding), Swachha Ahaar (diet), Swachha Neer (water), Swachha Prasadhan (toilets) and Swachha Competition, in which a direct contact with the passengers and officals will be established,” a senior official of the CR said. He said that under the guidance of the General Manager of the CR, the officers and the staff of all departments from the headquarters will be involved in various activities along with NGOs and charitable institutions, etc in organising and executing the cleanliness fortnight. “Special emphasis will be given to bring about the improved standards of cleanliness in trains, at stations and Railway premises,” official added. Sunil Udasi, Chief spokesperson of the Central Railway said, “Swachhta Pakdwada will also be observed at Pune, Solapur, Bhusawal and Nagpur divisions of Central Railway. Swachhta Pakhwada will help create awareness through dialogue and interaction with passengers, public address system and street plays thus appealing to public to maintain cleanliness at various stations in trains and railway premises.” A senior official from the WR said on the first day of the fortnight, ‘Swachhta pledge’ was administered to the railway staff and sanitation workers. “A special cleanliness campaign was undertaken at all the WR stations and railway premises along with various offices, workshops and railway colonies. The main objective of this campaign is to sensitise people especially rail passengers, regarding cleanliness, so that a positive change can be brought in their mind set about cleanliness,” a press release issued by WR said. According to the official, August 17-18 would be observed as Swachh Samwad day, August 19-20 as Swachh Stations day, August 21-22 as Swachh Railgaadi day, August 23-24 as Swachh Parisar day, August 25-26 as Swachh Ahar day. August 27-28 would be observed as Swachh Neer day, August 29 as Swachh Prasadhan day and August 30 as Swachh Competition day. “Finally August 31, the last day of the Swachhta Pakhwada, would be observed as the review and briefing day,” the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Railways making special arrangement for Maratha rally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Railway has made elaborate arrangements to deal with the rush which is expected tomorrow on account of `Maratha Morcha’, a planned gathering of the Maratha community, in Mumbai. Lakhs of community members are expected to travel to the city for the event from across Maharashtra. “Based on inputs about number of people who will go back to their destinations after the rally, probably after two pm, we will run additional suburban services as per the requirement, as are run during peak hours,” Sunil Udasi, chief PRO of Central Railway, said. Extra general coach will be attached to seven long-distance trains and there will be an additional ticket window for issuing tickets, he said. “We have two rakes in stand-by mode. If required, we will run them as special trains from CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Mumbai Terminus) to Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus (Kolhapur) via Manmad and Karjat routes,” he said. The rally tomorrow is part of Maratha community’s agitation for reservations in jobs and education, among other demands.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Railways to introduce designer, easy to clean blankets soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Plagued with complaints of dirty blankets, the Indian Railways has firmed up an action plan to increase the frequency of washing blankets and replace the existing ones with designer, lightweight blankets in a phased manner. Besides, used blankets would be sanitised on a regular basis before being given for further use. Though the directive is to wash the blankets every one or two months, a CAG report had recently highlighted the unhygienic condition of blankets which were not washed for even six months. However, smelly blankets may soon become a thing of past on trains. The railways have roped in the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT) to design lightweight blankets with less wool content. A trial of ‘thin, cold washable blankets’ is also being carried out in the Central Railway zone as a pilot project. “Our aim is to provide washed blankets along with fresh linen in trains for each journey,” said a senior Railway Ministry official in the housekeeping directorate who is involved in the task. Currently about 3.90 lakh sets of linen are provided per day comprising two bedsheets, a towel, pillow and blanket for each passenger in AC classes. The plan envisages increasing the frequencies of washing of blankets to begin with and replacing the existing ones with the newly designed lightweight blankets made of soft fabric in a phased manner, he said. Railways have already started changing the cover of blankets in some sections while frequency of washing is being increased from monthly to fortnightly and weekly, said the official. Railways had recently held a meeting on linen management which was attended by various stakeholders including mechanised laundry operators, suppliers of cleaning chemicals, linen suppliers and senior railway officers. It was decided to implement the plan for improvement of linen management with aim of providing clean, hygienic and good quality linen to passengers travelling in AC classes. Preparations are are being made to introduce lightweight blankets made of soft fabric and these will be washed after every use, the official said. There are about 50 mechanised laundries operational at the moment and ten more will be opened shortly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RPF cracked 62 cases of encroachment on Rly property: ECR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railway Protection Force (RPF) under the East Central Railway (ECR) has cracked 62 cases of encroachment of railway property in June and arrested 38 people in this connection. Stolen railway items worth Rs 97,970 was recovered during an intensive drive launched during June, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar said in a statement today. ECR comprises Danapur, Sonepur, Samastipur, Mughalsarai and Dhanbad divisions. The CPRO said seven reservation agents were caught during the period and a total of 124 children either missing or victims of human trafficking were saved and handed over to their families. He further said on June 3, cosmetics worth Rs 3.45 lakh smuggled from Nepal were seized at Muzaffarpur. On June 14, a man was caught at Gaya illegally carrying 3.9 kg silver in Train number 12321, the CPRO said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rains continue to lash Mumbai, Harbour Line services affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intermittent rains continued for the fourth consecutive day today in Mumbai and suburbs, disrupting local train services on the Central Railway’s Harbour Line for sometime this morning, an official said. Besides, a couple got trapped when a tree fell on their car following heavy rains in the city last night while a man was rescued from the rough sea waters at Colaba in the early hours today, police said The continuous showers led to deposition of mud on tracks between Mankhurd and Gowandi suburban stations which led to the suspension of train services for about half-an-hour on the Harbour Line, that stretches between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Panvel in adjoining Raigad district, Central Railway’s senior PRO A K Jain said. “A significant amount of mud was spotted on the tracks between Mankhurd and Gowandi stations at 8.20 am today and it was decided to halt the train services,” he said. “Our team swung into action to remove the mud and the tracks were cleared by around 8.54 am,” Jain said, adding that 8-10 train services were affected during that time. The services were later resumed with a speed restriction because of which the trains were running behind schedule, he said. Jain said the services on the Central Railway’s main line, running from CST to Kalyan and onwards to Kasara and Khopoli, were smooth but because of the heavy downpour, the trains were running 10-15 minutes behind schedule. He said no water-logging was reported at any of the suburban stations on the main line. According to an official of the Mumbai civic body’s disaster management department, the Colaba observatory recorded 63 mm rainfall and Santacruz 51.1 mm in the last 24 hours. “There has been no major impact on the road traffic movement in the city and on the Western Railway services,” he said. An alert has been issued of a 4.6 metres high tide at 3.23 pm today, the official said. Heavy rains are likely to continue till Friday in the entire north Konkan region, including Mumbai, he said. According the Mumbai police spokesperson Rashmi Karandikar, “At around 8.05 pm yesterday, a big tree fell on three cards on N M Joshi Marg. A couple trapped in one of the cars was rescued. The fire brigade team removed the tree from the road and traffic movement was restored.” Besides, a resident of suburban Wadala got trapped in the waves amid the choppy sea waters near Radio Club in Colaba. He was rescued at around 2.30 am today, she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC raps govt for casual approach in safeguarding Thane tunnel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today pulled up the Maharashtra government, the Railways and Thane civic body for their “callous and casual” approach towards safety of a tunnel on the Central Railway line in neighbouring Thane district and those living around it. Taking suo moto (on its own) cognisance of the issue, a division bench of justices A S Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi expressed concern over the danger that the Parsik tunnel on the Central Railway line at Mumbra in Thane faces due to over 200 illegal shanties, which have come up around the tunnel. “Nobody is worried about the issue. Neither the government, nor the Central Railway or the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC),” Justice Oka said. “Last year, the encroachments resulted in a landslide due to which the Central Railway traffic came to a halt. In the past one year, no authority has taken any step to ensure that the incident is not repeated in this monsoon,” he said. “This is complete sorry state of affairs. The approach of all the authorities appears to be very casual and callous. Each authority is only shifting the blame and responsibility to the other. Nobody wants to take any action,” he observed. The court noted that since the authorities have failed to initiate any step to safeguard the tunnel and the lives of the hundreds of railway passengers, it has taken suo moto cognisance of the issue. “We are of the view that it is necessary to initiate suo moto Public Interest Litigation so that appropriate directions can be issued,” Justice Oka said. “Due to the total casual approach shown by the government, civic body (Thane) and Railways, appropriate directions will have to be issued by the high court to find a remedy to the problem,” he said. The court was hearing an application filed by the Central Railway seeking to vacate a July 2016 order of the high court granting stay on eviction of the hutments around the Parsik tunnel at Mumbra in Thane. After a landslide in the area last June, the TMC had issued eviction notices to the shanties. The tunnel, that cuts right through the Parsik hill, is an important link for the Central Railway’s suburban and long distance lines. The dwellers had then approached the high court. Later, the HC stayed the eviction notice and asked the Thane civic body to first work out a rehabilitation scheme for the hutment dwellers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PMO orders closure of mine-fire affected Dhanbad-Chandrapura

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has ordered the closure of Dhanbad-Chandrapura railway line, which is affected by underground coal mine fire, and rail traffic will be suspended completely from June 15. Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner A Dodde said, he had received a letter from the PMO in this regard and a meeting with the Dhanbad divisional rail manager and other officials would be held soon to chalk out the further course of action. The executive director (civil engineer) of the railway board, Anil Kumar Lahoti, also wrote to General Manager of the East Central Railway, D K Gayen, today for the closure of the railway line due to coal mines fire and subsidence in Jharia coalfield. Lahoti, in his letter, said the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) had submitted a report on the railway line, saying a 14-km stretch of the total 38 km track was the “most dangerous” due to the underground mines fire. “So, having considered DGMS reports based on inspection and study, the (Railway) board has decided to stop operation of passengers and goods traffic with effect from June 15. So take immediate and necessary action accordingly,” the letter said. The board also directed the ECR general manager to submit a proposal for sanction of an alternative railway line to cater to the traffic. Senior commercial manager of the Dhanbad rail division, Ashish Kumar Jha, said the division has received information regarding the closure of the track from June 15. The closure would impact a total of 24 trains, including Dhanbad-Kerala Alappuza Express, Ranchi Howrah Shatabdi Express, Ranchi-Gorakhpur Mourya Express, Dhanbad-Bhubaneswar Garib Rath Express, Ranchi-Jayanagar (Bihar) Express, Hatiya- Patna Patliputra Express, Ranchi-Bhagalpur Vananchal Express and Ranchi-Dumka Express, ECR officials said. The Dhanbad Chandrapura rail track is a major route of freight trains too. An expert committee had been set up by the Dhanbad deputy commissioner after ECL’s Lalmatia mines mishap, in which nine miners were killed on December 29 last year, for assessment of the railway line in January. The committee had recommended suspension of train movements owing to mines fire spreading towards the track. The railways ministry and the PMO were apprised of it and the NITI Aayog permanent member, B K Saraswat, visited the area. Jharkhand Chief Secretary Raj Bala Verma inspected the area in the last week of May.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bombay HC seeks govt stand on hutments over tunnel in Thane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today sought to know the Maharashtra government’s stand on rehabilitation of people living in over 200 shanties which pose a risk to a tunnel on the Central Railway line in neighbouring Thane district and said the hutments need to be removed. A division bench of justices A S Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi raised concerns over the danger that the hutments pose, considering the upcoming monsoon season. “This is a very serious and important issue. In order to avoid any untoward incident like landslides which will not only put the lives of the hutment dwellers in danger but also the railway passengers, it is necessary to remove the hutments immediately,” Justice Oka said. The court was hearing an application filed by Central Railway seeking it to vacate a July 2016 order of the high court granting stay on eviction of the hutments. Last June, post a landslide in the area, the Thane Municipal Corporation had issued eviction notices to the shanties on and around the Parsik tunnel at Mumbra in Thane. The tunnel that cuts right through the Parsik hill is an important link for the Central Railway’s suburban and long distance lines. The dwellers had then approached the high court which stayed the eviction notice and asked the Thane civic body to first work out a rehabilitation scheme for the hutment dwellers. The Thane civic body later told the court that it was ready to rehabilitate only those persons whose hutments fall under its jurisdiction. According to the TMC, some of the hutments fall under the jurisdiction of the state forest department and Central Railway. The high court today directed the state government’s forest department to clarify its stand by June 13 on rehabilitation of the dwellers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Central Railway wants to rope in clean-up marshals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Railway (CR) has decided to hire clean-up marshals to curb littering and spitting at train stations in the metropolis. The move comes after none of the stations under CR or Western Railway (WR) in Mumbai featured in the top 10 cleanest railway station list. The list, released a few days ago, was outcome of a nationwide cleanliness survey that covered 407 stations. The clean-up marshals will recover fine from passengers found littering the stations and ensure the premises are kept clean. “We have sought the Railway Board’s permission to allow us to deploy personnel whom we can authorise to levy penalty on those who dirty railway premises,” a senior CR official of Mumbai division said. These personnel will be outsourced and will not be Railway employees, he said. “Existing rules permit only station masters and staff of Commercial Department (of Railways) to fine offenders. As we have limited number of commercial staff, we are not in a position to engage them for anti-littering exercise,” the official said. The WR has already approached the Railway Board for appointing clean-up marshals, said its chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar. Another senior official of CR’s Commercial Department said even the Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawans do not have powers to take action against those found littering station premises. Meanwhile, Rajiv Singal of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), a body set up by the Railways to address commuter issues, said there is no harm in having clean-up marshals. “The idea sounds good and there is no harm in trying it. But it would require effective implementation,” he said. A former DRUCC member, T N Dubey, said an awareness campaign will be more effective in curbing littering at stations than to have clean-up marshals.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai civic chief inspects pre-monsoon work on Harbour line

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Top civic and Railway officials today carried out an inspection of ongoing pre-monsoon cleaning and desilting work of culverts and nullah flowing along side tracks on the Harbour corridor. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and General Manager of Central Railway D K Sharma were part of the inspection team. The officials reviewed the progress of the cleaning and desilting work on the Harbour corridor, part of the Central Railway, to ensure tracks are not flooded during the monsoon, said a civic official. Mehta asked the Railway officials to ensure nullahs are unclogged before monsoon so that train services are not affected during rains, he said. A statement issued by the civic body said Mehta visited Masjid, Sandhurst Road, Wadala, GTB Nagar, Chuna Bharti, Govandi and Mankhurd stations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pre-monsoon showers in Mumbai suburbs hit train services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parts of Mumbai today received pre-monsoon showers in the evening, which brought a relief from the scorching heat, but affected the suburban train services, causing inconvenience to the commuters. The pre-monsoon showers lashed some suburbs of the metropolis and also parts of Thane and Navi Mumbai. An official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that light rains and drizzles were also reported in some districts like Sangli, Osmanabad and Kolhapur. “In the month of May, such pre-monsoon thunder showers are quite usual,” the official said. “Suburban Chembur witnessed mild rainfall, though it did not hit the road traffic,” an official from disaster management department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. However, the central and harbour lines of the Central Railway were affected by the unseasonal rains during the peak evening hours. “Suburban trains stopped at Chembur on the harbour line and at Ghatkopar on the main corridor of Central Railway after technical snag in overhead equipment were reported in the evening. Our team of engineers swung into action and rectified it soon,” CR’s senior spokesperson A K Jain said. “The services resumed on the harbour (up) line at 8.09 pm and at 8.14 at (down) line. Main line services between Matunga and Kurla were restored at 8.21 pm, while services near Ghatkopar were restored at 8.32 pm,” he said. Describing his experience, a commuter of central line said, “I took the 7.33 pm Kalyan local from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). When the local reached Ghatkopar, it was raining and suddenly I heard few explosions in the train’s overhead equipment and it stopped moving.” He, however, acknowledged that announcement system were in place and was rectified within time. In its forecast for tomorrow, the IMD has said rains and thundershowers are very likely in parts of Maharashtra tomorrow afternoon or in the evening.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Expansion of rail services must for nation’s growth: Prabhu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Suresh Prabhu today said the expansion of rail services would play a key role in country s growth. He also asserted that the Centre and the states need to work together for this purpose. Prabhu was speaking at a function at Chhattisgarh s Raipur railway station where he inaugurated various passenger facilities for stations falling under the South East Central Railway (SECR) zone. “Prime Minister wants development of the country. For the purpose, we have decided to develop rail. Development of rail would lead to the development of the country. “With the expansion of rail (services), India can move ahead,” Prabhu said. “Unless the Centre and the states will not work hand-in-hand, it will not be possible,” he pointed out. The union minister further underlined the need for the development of Chhattisgarh to make PM s ‘Make in India’ campaign a success. “Presently rail projects worth around Rs 24,000 crore are underway in Chhattisgarh and in future many other major projects will be launched in the state which is rich in mineral resources. “If we want to make the Prime Minister’s initiative of Make in India a success, we need steel, iron ore, coal and other resources and these are in abundance in the state,” he said. “We have to develop Chhattisgarh for making ‘Make in India’ a success. Transportation of minerals will benefit both the state and railways. Besides, it will also create job opportunities for the youth,” he said. “An amount of Rs 3,676 crore will be invested in the financial year 2017-18 for rail projects in Chhattisgarh. Seven railway stations in the state will be revamped in such a way that they will have better facilities than airports,” said the railway minister. These stations will be revamped into iconic structures and will have better passenger amenities, he added. He said the railway will have an agreement with the state government to provide e-marketing facility to the tribal population engaged in making artifacts. The e-marketing facility will be provided through the IRCTC website so that the artisans can earn good return for their art, he added. Similarly, Prabhu said, Railways will provide opportunity to self-help groups (SHGs) for providing local cuisines in trains through e-catering service. As part of the Railways green initiative to create green cover along the track, as many as 5 crore trees (saplings) will be planted in Chhattisgarh, Prabhu said. The Railway and the state government will also work to convert waste into energy. Besides, the initiative has also been undertaken to revive water bodies that exist in the premises of railway lands, he added. On the occasion, the union minister along with Chief Minister Raman Singh inaugurated two escalators towards Gudhiyari end of the Raipur station and two lifts for Platform 2/3 and 5/6. They also inaugurated narrow gauge maintenance facilities at Kendri, three lift facilities on the platforms of Durg railway station, high-speed wi-fi facility in Durg railway station and Bilaspur railway station and the newly built foot-over-bridge at Dongargarh railway station through video conferencing. Besides, they also laid foundation stone for the third line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur section on Howrah-Mumbai Rail route in Nagpur Division under South East Central Railway (SECR). The Railway minister also flagged-off Durg-Nizamuddin Humsafar Express (bi-weekly). Chairman of Railway Board AK Mittal and other senior officials, MPs and MLAs were present for the function.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

15000 trains affected by fog; measures to stem delay: Railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With more and more trains running late in the country, a slew of measures is being taken to curb delays. The Railways’ punctuality rate in the April 1-16 period was 5 per cent lower than that in the corresponding period last year, down from 84 per cent to 79 per cent. “The Railways accord a very high priority to the punctual running of trains. Improving train operations is a continuous endeavour and several initiatives are being undertaken to improve timings,” Railway Board Member Mohammed Jamshed said. Capacity constraints and adverse weather conditions are some of the reasons for the delays. About 15,000 trains were affected because of fog from November last year to February, 2017. “The entire northern belt was under the grip of an intense fog during this period throwing train operations off gear in 10 zonal railways,” Jamshed said. Though most trains continued to run despite the fog, about 3700 trains were cancelled in 2016-17. The new measures include capacity enhancement projects, including construction of additional loop lines at stations (so that more trains have parking space) and doubling or trebling of track lines. Steps are being taken to remove bottlenecks, with the help of automatic signalling, construction of low height subways replacing level crossings, rail underbridges and overbridges. A performance analysis of zonal railways reveals that punctuality registered a sharp drop in the North Eastern Railways (down by 11 per cent, when compared to the corresponding period last year), South East Central Railway (- 11 per cent), East Central Railway (-10 per cent), Eastern Railway (-8.9 per cent), West Central Railway (-8 per cent) and Konkan Railway (-6.9 per cent). Another reason for the delays is congestion, for while traffic has increased considerably over the years, track lines haven’t. As compared to 1950-51, the running track kilometres had increased only about 1.5 times, whereas the freight and passenger traffic had grown almost 15 times since then. The situation has been exacerbated by an imbalanced distribution of trains over networks and the fact that freight and coaching trains run on the same track. Jamshed said speed restrictions and cautions imposed because of construction activities along the tracks also adversely affected timings. He said trains traversing through quadrilateral routes such as the Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai corridors have been adversely impacted as these sectors face severe capacity constraints because of the lines’ inability to handle any more traffic. Some IT measures have also been initiated to ensure punctuality. “We have put in place an IT enabled Integrated Coaching Management System which helps the on line monitoring of punctuality of passenger-carrying trains. This module continuously monitors the running of trains, enabling zonal railways and their divisional controls to take prompt decisions in according priorities to train movement,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Check train delays or face action: Rail Minister to officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a number of complaints being received over late running of trains, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has cracked the whip on officials concerned, asking them to improve punctuality rate or “face action”. Zonal heads have been asked to deploy a senior-level officer in the night shift between 10 PM and 7 AM immediately to monitor the situation and address the problems, if any, to prevent delay in train running. Besides, Prabhu has also taken note of discrepancies between train timings data available on national train enquiry system (NTES), the official website of Indian Railways, and actual train timings being experienced by passengers. He, in a letter to the officials, has sought immediate corrective measures to obviate the problems. The punctuality rate has deteriorated further to 79 per cent during April 1-16 period, as compared to 84 per cent in the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 4 per cent. Analysis of performance of zonal railways reveals that punctuality has registered a sharp drop over Eastern Railway (-8.9 per cent), North Eastern Railway (-11 per cent), East Central Railway (-10 per cent), South East Central Railway (- 11 per cent), West Central Railway (-8 per cent) and Konkan Railway (-6.9 per cent). Division-wise analysis of punctuality reveals that the performance of 11 divisions including Varanasi, Mumbai, Sambalpur, Danapur, Samastipur, Jhansi, Jabalpur leaves much to be desired, according to the letter written by Railway Minister office to all zonal heads. The Railway Minister has expressed his deep concern regarding further deterioration by over 4 per cent in punctuality between 1-16 April and directed that very close monitoring of these divisions should be done by senior officers in the 10 PM-7 AM shift with immediate effect, the letter stated. According to the instruction, besides monitoring overall performance, these officers should take immediate steps to minimise asset failure time and co-ordinate with divisional and control offices of neighbouring divisions to make up for delay, if any, in their own divisions. The names and mobile numbers of these officers should be conveyed to Board’s Punctuality Control on a daily basis, it stated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PAC finds irregularities in award of contracts in railways, recommends CBI inquiry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary committee has recommended CBI inquiry into award of contracts of advertisements in the Mumbai division of the railways as it found serious irregularities in the award of contracts.The report on commercial publicity in Indian Railways stated that there was no transparency in award of contracts in Central Railway and Western Railway-zones under which Mumbai division of railway falls. “No station of Central Railways has been given (advertisement contracts) on FCFS basis out of a total 831 identified locations of hoardings at various stations and other locations,” the report said.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that the advertisement contracts awarded in the Mumbai division for the last 25-30 years were in violation of the First Come First Serve (FCFS) policy. The PAC report, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, also recommended immediate termination of all such contracts which were allotted in violation of the FCFS policy.The committee said that though the alleged fraud has been inquired into by the Central Vigilance Commission and action has also been taken against a few officials, CBI inquiry was needed to look into the “the whole gamut of FCFS policy”. Advocating strict action for erring contractors and officials involved in the alleged fraud, the committee said, “Unless and until exemplary punishment is awarded to the corrupt officials from the top to the bottom, irregularities in commercial publicity in railways cannot be rooted out.”The PAC headed by Prof KV Thomas, in its report, also highlighted the “lackadaisical attitude” of the railways in utilising its vast resources for generating additional revenue through advertising. The report pointed out that delay in tender finalisation for advertisement at stations resulted in losses to the public transporter. It also slammed railways for the lack of coordination between various zones and said that railways should “shed the nonchalant approach of condoning delays” in finalisation of contracts owing to precautionary approach. The PAC also observed that the menace of unauthorised displays at the stations was a constant source of leakage of revenues of railways and the railways need to fix the problem.

ECR converts 29 unmanned Railway crossings into manned one

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The East Central Railway zone has converted 29 unmanned crossings into manned ones during the last financial year, which also saw improvement in punctuality of trains running. The ECR also closed 10 unmanned crossings having low traffic pressure and built ROB (Rail Over Bridge) at three other places, ECR General Manager D K Gayen said addressing the 62nd Railway week celebration. ECR comprises five divisions including Danapur, Sonepur, Mughalsarai, Dhanbad and Samastipur. DRM of all divisions along with other senior officials were present at the function conducted by Chief Public Relations Officer Arvind Kumar Rajak. The ECR GM said that the zone with headquarters at Hajipur, which came into existence 14 years ago, earned Rs 2604.28 crore from passenger fair in 2016-17, which is 7.18 per cent more than earned in 2015-16. There was improvement in trains punctuality too, he said. In terms of Mail Express trains 1.29 per cent improvement was registered in timely running while it was 9.28 per cent for passenger trains as compared to 2015-16. Dhanbad division was declared the winner in overall performance while Danapur and Mughalsarai held the second positions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai trains claim more lives than terror attacks in country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai suburban trains probably claim more lives than terror attacks in the country. Every year, more than 15,000 passengers die in accidents on suburban services and most of the deaths occur in the Mumbai region, which records around 6,000 deaths every year. The shocking figures have been disclosed by the Public Accounts Committee of the Railways, which tabled its report in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.Another appalling fact that has come on record is that more than 50 per cent deaths on suburban train system is due to trespassing. On the Mumbai division of suburban railways, 52 per cent deaths occur due to trespassing. The committee also found that till July, 31, 2016 a staggering number of 37,699 accident claims were pending with the Railways and that maximum number of pendency was reported from Lucknow and Mumbai, which had 9,359 and 6,055 cases pending.The suburban train services are meant for short distances travel, usually upto 150 kms to facilitate rapid movement of passengers within cities. The Railways also admitted before the committee that another major reason for accidents is falling off from trains. These deaths occur during boarding and de-boarding of trains because of gaps between trains and platforms. Considering the deplorable condition of suburban train services which carry more than 72 per cent of total train passengers, the committee has made a series of recommendations to improve the system.The committee directed the Railways to finish construction of foot over bridges, fencing of walls to eliminate line crossing, escalators at all 578 suburban section of Railways within four months. The report noted that the Railways has admitted to significant improvement in the Mumbai suburban route by construction of foot over bridges. It noted that Mumbai division (Western and Central) had committed to the task of raising the height of all 83 platforms in Central Railway and 145 platforms in Western Railway by June, this year.To bring down accidents on suburban system, the committee recommended redesigning of coaches, automatic doors, and increase in number of coaches to 15 to deal with the problem of overcrowding. Acknowledging that suburban rail system of Mumbai needs special attention, the committee has recommended setting up of emergency medical centres within six months at all Mumbai suburban stations. “The committee recommends that Mumbai suburban stations be equipped with all facilities and with request being made to the state government to deploy registered medical practitioners there on 24 hour basis.”PANEL’S SOLUTIONSThe committee has come out with recommendations to bring down accidents on suburban system.
It recommended redesigning of coaches, automatic doors, increase in number of coaches to 15 to deal with overcrowding.
Also state should deploy registered medical practitioners on trains.

Theft in ND-Patna Rajdhani Express, seven RPF men suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thieves fled with luggage of passengers in four coaches of New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express in wee hours prompting the railway authorities to suspend seven RPF personnel in this connection, an official said. The thieves got into Patna-bound Rajdhani Express (Train No 12310) and lifted luggage of several passengers in four coaches before deboarding with stolen items at Gamhar outer (in Uttar Pradesh) when the train stopped there between 03:29 AM to 03:53 AM due to red signal, the East Central Railway (ECR)’s Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Arvind Kumar Rajak said. There was conflicting version in specific coaches in which theft of luggage took place with the train superintendent naming B7, B 8 and A4 and BE1 while the GRP identifying these coaches as B7, B8, A3 and A4, he said. The train was escorted with one ASI(RPF) and six RPSF constables all of whom were being placed under suspension, the ECR CPRO said. The coach attendant, who has been blamed by passengers for theft in the train, has been detained by GRP Patna, Rajak said. Three women passengers have lodged FIR in this connection with GRP Patna, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena presses for changing British era names of rly stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena has pressed for changing the British era names of seven suburban railway stations in Mumbai, giving them a local touch. A delegation of Shiv Sena leaders met Union Home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi yesterday to take up the demand, party sources said today. The party wants to rename Elphinstone Road, Mumbai Central, Charni Road stations on Western Railway, Currey Road on Central Railway and Sandhurst Road, Cotton Green and Reay Road stations on the Harbour Line. It argues that these names were associated with the British raj, without any direct bearing on the area they denote or local history. “Most railway stations are named after the areas they are located in. There are some stations where the name of the area is different from the name of the station. We demanded that such stations be known by the name of the area,” Sena MP Arvind Sawant told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ambulance-on-wheels: A medical boon for railway employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Since its launch two years ago, the Rail Ambulance of Central Railway (CR) has been providing basic and critical medical treatment to employees of the transport undertaking living in different cities. The four-coach fully AC ambulance, equipped with health care facilities, is currently stationed here in Pune district. “Though this ambulance was meant to provide emergency treatment to rail accident victims and transporting critical patients, it has gone extra mile and is attending to health needs of railway employees,” said A K Srivastava, Additional General Manager of Central Railway. “We have utilised services the of ambulance by holding health camps in the different zones falling under the Central Railway,” he said. Designed at the rail workshop at Matunga in Mumbai, the vehicle is suited for transporting accident victims to hospital in a short time, Srivastava said. The coaches are aesthetically designed and house a operation theatre to carry out minor surgeries like cataract and providing emergency treatment to accident victims,” said Chief PRO of Central Railway Narendra Patil. “This ambulance can be extremely useful in the golden hour for the accident victims. It acts like a moving hospital and conducts health camps,” he said. The ambulance-on-wheels is the brainchild of former GM of Central Railway D K Sood. “Through this ambulance, we held several health camps in Dhule, Bhusawal, Dhulia, Wadi, Nagpur and Bhandak, among other places, last year and a total of 1,816 railway employees received medical treatment. “The health camps are organised as part of our welfare programmes for our employees,” Dr Shyam Sundar, Chief Medical Director of the Central Railway said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC demolishes 13-storey building amid strong opposition from residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just a week ago, when the city was busy with civic elections, the B ward office carried out a long pending demolition of a 13-storey building on Mohammed Ali Road which was demolished completely. Additional Municipal Commissioner Pallavi Darade had ordered Assistant Commissioner of B ward Uday Shirurkar to carry out the demolition, completed in a week’s time amidst strong resistance from the occupants of the building.Assistant Commissioner Shirurkar said that the developer originally sought repairs of ground plus four floors. While the permission was granted for repairs of only four floors, the builder went on to construct the building up to 13 floors. The building was demolished even as the residents and locals objected strongly.Shirurkar said that the ward office had acted swiftly and did not give any chance to the developer to approach the High Court. Demolition was planned by the ward office and was carried out with the help of local police. “Women deliberately stay put in the building along with children so that the police and BMC would be forced to stop demolition work. But we went ahead with the demolition every single day. We took help of women staff from the BMC and the police to get them out of the building. After seven days of continuous demolition, the occupants decided to leave as they had no other alternative,” said Pallavi Darade, Additional Municipal Commissioner.Darade said that the building is in a congested area and are close to each other. We had to take extra care that the neighbouring buildings were not affected and no one was hurt. We took up the work slowly but steadily. Though it took one week, we could accomplish our target,” said Darade.Incidentally, the building falls alongside the Central Railway lines. Railway authorities were informed about the same because of the fear of debris falling on the railway track. Though permissions were delayed from the Central Railway, BMC finally managed to get approval and carry out the demolition.

Three wagons of a goods train derail; Harbour services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suburban services between Kurla and CST in the Harbour corridor were stopped after three wagons of a goods train derailed today, inconveniencing daily office commuters in the morning rush hours, Central Railway officials said. Harbour line services were affected due to goods train derailment between Wadala and GTB Nagar stations at 4:15 AM, said Central Railway PRO A K Singh. A Mandoli-bound goods train had crossed Wadala station when three rear wagons of the trains derailed, said Singh adding the efforts of re-railing were on at war-footing. The remaining 37 wagons of the derailed train have been dispatched to the destination, he said. Our team of engineers along with the senior officers are at the spot and doing every bit to restore the services as soon as possible, Singh said. Meanwhile, another senior officer said Main line and Trans Harbour trains were running on schedule and Harbour passengers have been permitted to travel on these routes. Also, trains from Panvel (towards CST) are being terminated at Kurla. CR is running additional local trains between Vashi to Thane for enabling passengers to reach CST via Thane, as Kurla harbour line services have been affected, said the official. To ease peak hour travel, we have spoken to BEST undertaking too to run additional services between Kurla to CST, he added. However, office-goers and students faced a harrowing time with huge rush at Kurla station due to delay of local trains. Trains are running more than half an hour behind schedule, due to bunching en-route to Kurla, a commuter, Shikha Singh claimed. Another commuter Kripa complained, “I was waiting for a CST-bound train since 6.30 AM at Kharghar but there were none which led to chaos and confusion at the station. I could only see overcrowded trains towards Thane which were difficult to board.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai: Goods train derails between Ravli-Kurla

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A goods train coming from Ravli junction towards Kurla derailed in the early hours of Monday disrupting Harbour line traffic. The trains were plying between Panvel and Kurla. The passengers were permitted to travel between Kurla and CST on the mainline. However the change-over for Harbour line commuters was leading to severe crowding at Kurla station. Trains were also witnessing more than usual crowding. The Central Railway officials said the removal of the goods train could take a few hours as the track has also suffered damage.Trains on the CST-Andheri and Thane-Vashi Transharbour were running as usual, said CR officials.

Suresh Prabhu orders extra goods train for Nashik onion farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thanks to a bumper onion crop this time, the railways will be providing one extra goods train, in addition to existing three, to dispatch onions from Nashik to five destinations. With this, the total number of trains carrying onions will rise to four from Monday, said Central Railway in a statement. “This year the onion crop is bumper crop, almost double of last year. The Railway was already providing 50% extra goods train than last year. Now, it has further enhanced the carrying capacity of onion by 30% and to 5 goods train per day from onion belt in Nasik district, this onion will go to Northern, Eastern, North Eastern and East Coast parts of India, it will help markets to procure extra onion from farmers,” said a CR official.Onion farmers of Nashik, which produces almost 30% of the total onion production in the country, have been finding themselves in the penury as they have failed to recover their cost of farming due to falling prices of the kitchen staple.”Suresh Prabhuji had received demands to run additional goods train from Nashik, following which he ordered today to run one more goods train from February 20 and we are going to follow this tomorrow,” senior officer Narendra Patil told PTI. With agency inputs.

CR to operate extra rake for transporting onions from Nashik

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central Railway will operate another freight train, in addition to existing three, from Nashik for transportation of onions to other parts of country, a senior official said today. He said the orders to operate the rake from tomorrow came from Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, given the huge production of the bulb this year. “Railway is providing four rakes for onion farmers to dispatch onion to hinterland (three for Central Railway destinations and one for South Central Railway destination). As per the directives of the Minister for Railways, one more rake will be made available from February 20 for onion farmers for sending their produce to the markets,” the senior officer Narendra Patil told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Now, gelatin sticks found on rail track near Taloja station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least four gelatin sticks were today found on the railway tracks near Taloja in Navi Mumbai, a day after a discarded overhead equipment was spotted lying on the rail lines in Raigad district, as authorities roped in security agencies to probe a series of suspected cases of sabotage. The gelatin sticks were found near Taloja station on the Diva-Panvel route of Central Railway this morning by some gangmen. The development comes in the backdrop of three suspected acts of sabotage in the Mumbai metropolitan region in the last fortnight. However, police denied the sabotage angle as far as the recovery of gelatin sticks was concerned, saying it could be an “act of mischief” as no detonator was attached to them. Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said, “Some gangmen, while checking the railway tracks, saw the gelatin sticks around 9 am near Taloja station on the Diva-Panvel route. They informed the railway officials about it, who informed the police. “The gelatin sticks look very old and discarded and they may not be live. No detonator was attached to them, so there is no possibility of them exploding on their own. “Somebody might have played a mischief to create panic. This is the third such incident reported from the railway tracks of Navi Mumbai area in the last few days.” Nagrale said a case would be registered against unidentified persons under the Explosive Substances Act and Railways Act at Taloja police station. In the wee hours yesterday, a six-foot-long discarded overhead equipment was found lying on the railway tracks between Jasai and Dapoli stations near Uran. Around 3 am yesterday, an alert driver of a JNPT-bound goods train, coming from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, spotted the object and applied the brakes, resulting in a halt around 50 metres from the abandoned rail piece, a railway official said. On January 24, a seven-metre-long rail piece, weighing around 400 kgs, was found on the tracks near Diva station adjoining Mumbai. The alert driver of the Madgaon-Dadar Janshatabdi Express had then averted a mishap by applying the emergency brakes. On February 6, a huge piece of rail rod was found on the tracks between Kalamboli and Taloja stations at Navi Mumbai in Raigad district. The series of suspected sabotage incidents has sent the Railways and police authorities into a tizzy and central intelligence agencies and anti-terror units have been roped in to crack them. “We have registered a case against an unknown person in the third suspected sabotage incident near Uran and we have informed agencies such as the ATS and IB in this connection,” ACP, Panvel, Prakash Nilewad said. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Damage on track, narrow escape for Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passengers of the New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express had a providential escape following timely detection of track damage between Mansi-Maheshkut stations, minutes before the train was to cross that stretch, Railway officials said today. Though Railway police is investigating the issue from all angles including sabotage, East Central Railway (ECR) in its preliminary findings found gap in the track caused due to contraction because of the prevailing cold condition. “As per our (Railway’s) information, it was not sabotage bid…it could be the result of contraction of the track due to cold conditions,” ECR Chief Public Relations Officer Arvind Kumar Rajak told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Railway employee dies near Lonavla as boulder falls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A railway employee lost his life while three others, including two contractual labourers, were injured this afternoon when a boulder fell on them in a section near Lonavla on Pune-Mumbai route. The incident took place at around 1.40 pm between Monkey Hill and Nagnath, 117-km away from Mumbai, when the victims, engaged in pathway works, were having lunch, a railway official said here. Trackman Chand Kumar Pathak died, while Kundan Kumar, another trackman, was seriously injured. Saneep Dehu and Jagan, who were working on contract with Vishal Construction, were admitted to Sharda Hospital in Lonavla and reported to be out of danger, said A K Singh, PRO of Central Railway. Pathak’s body was sent to civil hospital, Khandala, for autopsy. This was the second incident in the area today. Earlier in the morning, a monkey was electrocuted near Monkey Hill station which forced halt in the train movement in both the directions for half an hour. Over Head Equipment (OHE) wire broke, and the Up line got blocked that resulted the halting of the train operations. The restoration works were underway and trains were diverted through middle way, said Singh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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