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Indian Railways employee dies of serious head injuries in boiler accident

A worker in Indian Railways’ mechanised laundry lost his life on Sunday after an outlet pipe of a boiler hit his head causing an injury.The laundry for washing Railway Hospital linen is located behind the Northern Railway Central Hospital (NRCH) here and the operation and maintenance of this laundry are outsourced to a contractor ‘M/s Laundraid’.The outlet pipe of the boiler broke and a piece of this pipe hit Pradeep.”He was brought to the NRCH where the doctors gave him an immediate treatment and did all possible medical interventions and procedures to treat and stabilise his condition. Since he had a severe injury to head, he was immediately shifted to the RML Hospital by the paramedical staff for further treatment,” Nitin Chowdhary, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Northern Railways said, in a statement.He added that while Pradeep was in the RML hospital, the doctors tried to better his condition but after 35 minutes of efforts, the said person could not be saved and he passed away.”General Manager and Divisional Railway Manager, along with senior railway officials, visited the site of incident and also the patient and his relatives at the RML Hospital. A senior officer-level enquiry has been ordered by the General Manager,” the statement further read.

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Kala Ghoda open art street gears up for ‘Peace’ theme event on 26/11

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The open art gallery on K Dubash Marg at Kala Ghoda is geared up for its second event on November 26. The theme decided by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ‘Peace’, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai’s terror attacks.In its second innings, the street will have 30 stalls for artists instead of 21. “For the November 26 event, the civic body and the MTDC have got an overwhelming response and all the stalls are booked by artists. The theme is ‘Peace’ and we are giving preferences to performing artists than exhibitions,” said Swati Kale, General Manager of MTDC.This Sunday, of the 30 stalls, 10 are for Bollywood theme performers, five stalls for Kolbat Art based on the 26/11 theme, and the remaining stalls for Warli and Mandali art, spray painting, jewellery art, and street magic.The 250-metre long open gallery has 21 stalls of 15×15 foot each, rented at Rs 200 per day, giving the city’s upcoming artists a prime platform to showcase their work. The art street will remain open from 11 am to 6 pm every Sunday till May 2018.

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”.

Sena proposes bus fare cut, BEST admin disposes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an unusual turn of events on Tuesday, a proposal to reduce BEST bus fares in the minimum slab by Re 1 was passed after discussions in the BEST committee meeting on Tuesday, only to be withdrawn after the BEST administration objected to the move.At the meeting on Tuesday, the Shiv Sena proposed a reduction in fares in the minimum slab by Re 1. Its alliance partner BJP maintained that there shouldn’t be any change in the existing fares. After a debate, the proposal was also passed at the BEST Committee. However, it was then objected by the administration and the proposal was then withdrawn by Shiv Sena members themselves who are at the helm of the BEST Committee.This is the first time that a proposal mooted by a committee member is approved and withdrawn within a matter of minutes. The BEST has proposed a hike in fares for travelling 6 km and beyond from the existing Rs 14 to Rs 15.Similarly, after every 2 km, the fare will go up by Re 1. Against this proposal, Shiv Sena member Rajesh Kusale mooted that the BEST should reduce the minimum fare slabs of 2-4 km by Re 1 so as to compete with share autos and taxis.This would ideally mean that the minimum fare would have been Rs 7 and the next slab would be Rs 9. When this proposal was mooted, it went for voting between the different Committee members belonging to various political parties. As no one from Congress were present, the five members of Shiv Sena went in to approve this, while the four members of BJP remained status quo; thus the proposal to reduce minimum fares by Re 1 got approved.This would have come as a big jolt for the loss making BEST as they have posted deficit of Rs 880 crore in 2018-19 while in the previous financial year of 2017-18 they showed deficit of Rs 590 crore. Their parent organisation — BMC — has already asked them to come out with cost reduction and revenue augmenting measures. For this, the BEST has also identified five major reforms that is expected to earn them Rs 653 crore per annum. However, this sudden approval of reduced fares would make matters worse for the Undertaking.This is when Surendra Bagde, General Manager of BEST appealed to withdraw this decision of the Committee members. “A reduction in minimum fare would not make much difference to people who have already accepted the Rs 8 as minimum fare. So I appeal to the members to withdraw this proposal as the BEST is already facing severe losses,” said Bagde at the meeting.Soon after, the chairman Anil Kokil, who is also from Shiv Sena stated that in order to save the BEST stern measures needs to be taken. What happened next was withdrawal of an approved proposal which until now has not happened at least in recent past. “I had proposed this (reduction in fare) so that it would attract more people; as it is fares for long distance was being hiked. But the Chairman and administration were apprehensive about it and so I withdrew the proposal,” said Kusale to DNA.The approved fare charts will now be sent to the BMC for final approvals after which it will be implemented.SERIES OF EVENTSAt the meeting on Tuesday, the Shiv Sena proposed a reduction in fares BJP maintained that there shouldn’t be any change. After a debate, the proposal was also passed at the BEST Committee. However, it was then objected by the administration and rejected by Sena.

BEST’s gift to kids: Pay more for season passes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an ironic blow to students on Children’s Day, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) buses’ daily commute just got more expensive, as the undertaking approved a proposal on Tuesday to increase fares of daily and season passes of students. The hikes range between 16 to 66 percent. On Tuesday, the BEST Committee approved the proposal that hikes monthly bus passes for students up to Class 5 from Rs 150 to Rs 200, quarterly from Rs 450 to Rs 600 and six-monthly from Rs 750 to Rs 1000. These fares were earlier for students in Class 6 to 10, which too, has been increased to Rs 250, Rs 750 and Rs 1,250 respectively.Sources in the BEST said that as per their rough estimates, they give subsidies of Rs 41.7 crore to school and college students. This amount stood at Rs 20.13 crore in 2015-16, and over the last two years, the number of students using this provision has gone up. The BEST officials said that this is part of rationalising and cost cutting measures taken up by them to reduce losses. The BEST Undertaking’s 3,700 bus fleet is used to transport 30 lakh people daily. “These are cost reduction measures that are needed to bring down losses,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.On Tuesday, the BEST Committee also passed a proposal for fare hike in long-distance fares and bus passes. It scrapped the proposal of getting buses on wet-lease basis, wherein the Undertaking would have reduced cost by Rs 260 crore annually. However, this would have meant that they would get 100 buses from private operators while the BEST would use their drivers and conductors. They would not be involved in maintenance of these buses, and hiring them would have cost Rs 37 per km. This is taking into account buses which ply for a maximum of 180 km a day.The BEST is also mulling rationalising their bus routes. It operates 504 bus routes daily, of which 150 routes fall under Grade C – they generate only 40 paise for every rupee spent per kilometre.Subsidies speakThey give subsidies of Rs 41.7 crore to school and college students. It also gives subsidies to freedom fighters, physically challenged, senior citizens, press to the tune of Rs 45.34 crore It also passed hike for long-distance fares and bus passes

E-buses to roll out on Nov 11

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbaikars can soon travel in environment-friendly zero-emission noiseless electric buses. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) plans to start services for its first four electric buses that will have routes in south Mumbai. These single decker buses will ferry passengers on ring routes from Churchgate, Backbay, CSMT, and NCPA starting November 11. The remaining two electric buses will join the fleet before December end.The bus routes will primarily be for office-goers in south Mumbai. The buses will be parked at Backbay depot where six charging stations have been installed. These charging stations will have a capacity to charge 10 buses in one go. This will be the first time that the BEST buses will be gearless and it would run on auto-transmission. The cost of these buses is Rs 1.65 crore each, unlike a regular single decker bus that costs Rs 60-65 lakh.”Initially, we will operate these electric buses in south Mumbai. These shall not only be environment-friendly but we will also cut down on operational and maintenance cost by at least 50-60 per cent. We want to convert the entire fleet to electric buses but for that, the manufacturing cost should be brought down,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.This bus has a lithium-ion battery capacity of 160 Kwh that can run 200 km with a single charge. The battery can be charged fully within three-and-half hours. The batteries are on the rear end of the bus along with the charging unit. The BEST officials said that in the long run, a fleet of electric buses is more economical as fuel cost is barely Rs 8 per km which for a CNG bus is Rs 15 per km and diesel bus is Rs 20 per km.”Union Cabinet minister Anant Geete has promised to provide Rs 20 crore more for procuring electric buses in future,” said Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.These six electric buses are being funded by the BMC who gave Rs 10 crore for the same. The floor height is 650mm keeping the needs of the physically challenged in mind. The E-buses will also have six mobile charging points.Going greenThe electric buses will be parked at Backbay depot The depot has six charging stations installedThese charging stations can charge 10 buses in one goThe cost of these buses is Rs 1.65 crore each, unlike a regular single decker bus that costs Rs 60-65 lakh

50% BEST ticket vending machines are non-functional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The electronic ticket issuing machines (ETIMs) of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) are in an abysmal condition. Almost 50 per cent of their 9,500 ETIMs is under repairs.The BEST was supposed to take full charge of its maintenance and operations from November 1 from Trimex IT Infrastructure. But with the state government planning a single card for all modes of transport, the BEST has failed to improve the existing lot of ETIMs, as they are waiting for the upgraded ones.”The condition is so bad that of the 27 depots, at least nine depots are facing problems with their ETIMs. Every morning conductors stand in long queues to get a working ETIM as almost 50 per cent of them are non-functioning,” said Suhas Samant, BEST Committee member.The faulty ETIMs at the Santacruz, Gorai, Oshiwara, Goregaon, Worli, Shivaji Nagar, Ghatkopar and Mulund depots are of no use as many of them are beyond their shelf life of five years.”The administration should have accepted the proposal of getting 3,000 new ETIMs rather than refusing only because they need an upgraded one,” said Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST Committee. Currently, the per ticket cost issued through ETIM costs 11 paisa per ticket, while in the new system the same would be 16 paisa per ticket, excluding paper cost.A few months back, the BEST was supposed to get 3,000 new ETIMs — similar to the existing lot minus the upgrade of accepting the proposed single card or debit/credit card – but the BEST Undertaking refused toaccept it.Now the administration has called for open tenders for these upgraded version of ETIMs at a total cost of Rs 108 crore.The committee members claim that due to this the absentiseem among the conductors has increased thus affecting the turnout of buses. Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST said, “These existing ETIMs are unsuitable for the proposed single card and so we require new hardware and system”. The batteries of these ETIMs are also very poor and need frequent charging. Many ETIMs shut down in the middle of the journey which also troubles passengers.BUDGET APPROVALOn November 2, the BEST Committee approved the Rs 590 crore deficit budget of 2017-18. The BEST wants the BMC to convert the Rs 25 crore given as advance to the Undertaking’s employees for Diwali bonus into grant.

Parties’ clash puts Rlys in a spot over hawker ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ever since the hawkers’ issue took a political turn, the Railways are hesitant to stop vendors and traders carrying huge sacks and luggage during peak hours. These include flower and vegetable vendors who added to the crowd at the Elphinstone Road station stampede on September 29, which claimed the lives of 23 people.The multi-disciplinary audit teams on both Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) had suggested disallowing these vendors from carrying their wares, gunny bags, and luggage into the rail premises especially during peak hours. However, the rail authorities have not been able to take a stand on the implementation of the ban.At stations like Elphinstone Road, Dadar, Byculla, and Andheri, vendors carry huge sacks while commuting, which causes a lot of inconvenience to the commuters on the foot-overbridges (FOBs).Sources in the Railways said that they cannot have a blanket ban on the vendors and that this would also mean preventing dabbawalas from travelling in trains during peak hours. The dabbawalas cater to lakhs of Mumbaikars daily, and they travel in the goods compartment but alighting from the FOBs is a tough task as thousands of commuters rush up and down the bridges.”We will need views from people, rail passengers and their associations on whether these vendors should be stopped from using the rail premises during peak hours,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.Hawkers are being driven away by political goons, and in retaliation, the political supporters are getting trashed by hawkers.In the past few days, the MNS party members have been driving away hawkers and destroying their businesses, while the Congress has come in support of the same hawkers and vendors.FUTURE PLANThe authorities have proposed to reduce the weight of luggage carried by commuters from 50kg to 15kg inside First Class compartment of suburban trains
They have also proposed to reduce the weight from 35kg to 10kg in second class compartment

Now, cabs & autos to have a panic button

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to ensure safety of passengers, the Khatua Committee has made it mandatory for not only Ola, Uber and black and yellow cabs but also autorickshaws to have panic buttons installed. Apart from this, rooftop indicators should also be fitted in both taxis and autorickshaws so as to bring down cases of refusals.To begin with, the committee has proposed GPS-based panic buttons to be installed in all black and yellow cabs, autorickshaws, city taxis that operate by mobile aggregators. This is to locate every public transport especially in times of an accident to locate the vehicle or help a passenger in distress when called on the helpline.The report states that no new public transport vehicle should be issued permits by the RTOs without panic buttons. There are 1.39 lakh autorickshaws, 56,000 black and yellow taxis in Mumbai, and four lakh city taxis operating with Ola and Uber across Mumbai and it’s Metropolitan Region.This is for the first time that autorickshaws have too been roped in for having panic buttons which until now was mainly meant for mobile aggregators. The Khatua Committee has asked the current fleet to have these panic buttons installed within sixmonths.Shailesh Sawlani, General Manager, Uber India, West said: “A preliminary reading of the report suggests that the Committee has made welcome strides in turning aside some of the contentious provisions of the proposed Maharashtra City Taxi Rules that directly impact thousands of driver partners on app based platforms.

BEST puts AC bus revival on ice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbaikars will not have the luxury of travelling in AC buses — at least at this point in time. After its proposal to scrap 259 AC buses, the BEST Committee on Thursday rejected the plan to hire 50 mini AC buses and 50 non-AC buses. This decision was taken after the committee claimed that there was no proper process followed in the inception of the plan and that no tenders had been called for the same.”We are cancelling the proposal to procure these mini AC buses,” said Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST Committee. The decision has inadvertently hurt the future of air-conditioned buses in a Metropolitan city like Mumbai.The committee members claimed that proper tendering process hadn’t been followed to procure these buses. Earlier in April, the BEST Undertaking had planned to get these 50 mini AC buses on a wet lease basis where the buses and drivers would be provided by a private operator with no conductor on board.The BEST was to procure these buses which would have cost them Rs 28 per km as opposed to their present expenditure of Rs 48 per km for each bus.An entire lot of these AC buses were expected to ply 4,500 km per month. The cost of repairs and maintenance would be borne by the private contractor and the buses would be parked at Deonar, Shivaji Nagar and Malwani depots at an annual rent of Re 1 per bus.BEST also had plans to get 50 mini non-AC buses, which has been cancelled.”Getting buses on a wet lease is the most economical way for the BEST. Now, this has been cancelled,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.Committee members said they have not approved it because the BEST was procuring these buses on ‘rate contract’ whose cost is decided by Association of State Road Transport Undertaking (ASRTU) and not through tendering process.However, BEST officials said that political representatives from different political parties are against privatisation of bus services.”They have the wrong notion that a wet lease would mean complete privatisation. But this is how many global city bus services function,” said a BEST official.In limboThe BEST kept scrapping the proposal for 259 AC buses as the case is being heard at the High Court. These buses barely saw 7,000 passengers annually. Over the past few weeks, the BEST stopped plying AC bus fleet.This is being done as part of the plan to help ease financial burden and save the undertaking Rs 700 crore annually.

In a first, 18 trains on WR line halted over safety issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on Friday asked the railways to temporarily halt the services on the CSMT-Andheri-Harbour route from 1.10pm to 2.20pm. This decision, which included suspension of 18 trains, came after its commissioner Sushil Chandra was informed that the Western Railways (WR) had been running the services without keeping the safety rules in place between King’s Circle and Mahim since October 2016. “We are investigating how the safety certificate got misplaced.” Added AK Gupta, GM, Western Railway.The train service was stalled immediately between Bandra and Mahim stations to carry out a quick monitoring of the tracks and verify the safety parameters. Following this, a team of officials, who visted Chandra and sought permission for resuming the services, said they will issue a safety certificate soon.It has been 10 months that the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) completed the work of extending platforms and yard remodelling of Mahim station. “The WR have not submitted any safety certificate which states the tracks between King’s Circle and Mahim stations to be fit. Therefore, I had to withdraw the permission given to run trains on this new line,” said Sushil Chandra.In December 2015, the CRS gave permission to MRVC and railways to begin work on extending platform and remodelling of tracks. In October 2016, the MRVC completed work at the Mahim station that included making of points (from where trains interchange rail lines), remodelling the yard and creating parking space for rakes; before handing it over to the WR.”I cannot comment as the CRS is probing the case. We need to see what can be done now to improve its condition,” said Prabhat Sahai, Chairman and Managing Director, MRVC.Inspection of tracks and a point was carried out at the same spot where six coaches derailed on August 25. Sources said the curvature of this point is 8.4 degrees, while the permissible curvature should be less than 8 degrees. Since the derailment, the CRS has been monitoring the situation and holding meetings with WR, CR and MRVC officials.This is how he realised that safety certificate has not been submitted for this section which is part of Mahim Yard remodelling constructed at a cost of Rs 714 crore. “If we find that tracks are unsafe, we would not have run the services. I will have to check about the safety certificate which has not been issued since October 2016,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.Not just this, even the curvature of point on tracks towards Khar, of the same yard, is also more than the prescribed 8 degrees. There is also an elevated water pipeline that crosses the tracks. To ease the curvature, they will have to remove a pillar.

Train accident in Uttar Pradesh: Kaifiyat Express derails in Auraiya district, 50 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning, resulting in injuries to at least 50 people, in the second rail accident in the state in four days.The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with a dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Achalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway said.At least 50 passengers were injured and have been rushed to the hospital, said M C Chauhan, General Manager, NCR.NCR sources said that work for a dedicated freight corridor was going on at the site at the time of the accident.Officials have rushed to the spot to provide rescue and relief operations to the passengers.This is the second rail accident since last Saturday when Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar distict of UP, killing 22 people and injuring 156.

Khatauli station master had asked for traffic block to repair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The station master of Khatauli had at least twice requested the Delhi-based railway control room for a “block” to repair the tracks but was denied permission which delayed the repair work, a senior railway official claimed today. A “traffic block” is required when a line needs to be locked against movement of vehicles for maintenance work. Such a block is granted by the section controller, who in this case is stationed in the Delhi divisional regional manager’s office. “The station master had asked the controller for the block but it was denied. This is a big negligence,” the official, who did not wish to be identified, said. The Commissioner, Railway Safety, Shailesh Kumar Pathak, who is heading the probe into the August 19 derailment of the Utkal Express, today visited the site and interacted with officials. Official sources said Pathak has learnt of the denial of permission and is believed to be considering action against the officials concerned. The sources also said that the focus on punctuality is often the reason behind many blocks being denied routinely, which results in delays in maintenance work. Senior officials also maintain that questions have also been raised on why repair work was being carried out on the track despite the permission being denied. It was found during the preliminary inquiry that the fish plate and nut bolts were not fixed properly which could have led to the accident. Pathak told reporters here today that he would submit his report to the railway board. He noted that “strict action” was taken by the railways after the accident. “This is the biggest action in railway history,” he said. Meanwhile, district authorities said that all bodies except one have been identified. At least 20 people died in the accident on August 19 when 13 coaches of Haridwar bound train derailed. Pathak, who has now returned to Delhi, is expected to speak with officials of the engineering department of the Aurangabad division under whom the permanent way maintenance staff operate. He is also likely sieve through all the evidence, including exhaustive photographs of the spot, measurements of tracks and multiple video clips which have so far surfaced after the accident. The sources indicated that Pathak is likely to submit his report in a month. Yesterday, the Railways sent on leave three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board member, suspended four officers and transfered a track engineer. Member (engineering) on the Railway Board, Northern Railway general manager and divisional regional manager (Delhi) were asked to go on leave in the aftermath of the derailment that also left 156 people injured. The four officials suspended were a senior divisional engineer, an assistant engineer, a senior section engineer responsible for track maintenance and a junior engineer. Meanwhile, M C Chahuan, who assumed office as General Manager, Northern Railway today after R K Kulshrestha was sent on leave, met the DRMs of Northern Railway Delhi, Ambala, Moradabad, Lucknow, Firozpur divisions this morning at Northern Railway Headquarters Office here via video conferencing, said an official statement from the railways. Emphasizing that safety in train operations is of paramount priority, Chauhan exhorted all divisions of the zone to undertake safety drives in identified core areas of operations. He also reviewed the ongoing safety related projects and urged department heads and divisional heads to assign highest importance to safety challenges, the statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Criminal negligence by Railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four engineers were suspended, three top officials — including the Northern Railway General Manager — were sent on leave, while another was transferred for Saturday’s train accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, in which 24 passengers were killed.The action was taken after a Railway inquiry found the Permanent Way Department that checks the routes of regular trains responsible for the derailment of the high-speed Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express near Khatauli Railway station. The inquiry team informed the Railway Ministry that maintenance work was in progress at the accident site and tracks were being cut with the help of hexa blades. It had resulted in removal of some nuts and bolts and displacement of fish plates. The accident that left more than a hundred passengers wounded was caused by the toppling of the 13th coach, sources said.Based on prima facie evidence, the ministry suspended a Junior Engineer, a Senior Section Engineer, an Assistant Engineer and a Senior Divisional Engineer. The Chief Track Engineer, Northern Railway, has been transferred, while the Northern Railway General Manager, the Divisional Railway Manager and the Member Engineering of the Railway Board have been sent on leave. Heads rolled after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu asked the Railway Board Chairman to fix responsibility “by end of day.” An FIR was registered against unknown persons for causing death by negligence, mischief, and destruction of railway property.Sources at Khatauli Raliway station said the tracks were under repair but authorities did not caution the driver to slow down. The train was running at 105 kmph when thirteen of its carriages jumped the tracks. The train does not stop at Khatauli, about 130 km north of Delhi. Trains passing through the Meerut line of the Northern Railway were either cancelled or diverted till 6 pm on Sunday.The Railways has already approved a proposal to change about 200 metres of damaged tracks near Khatauli. The work on the project is on and trains on this route are supposed to be cautioned to run slow, sources said. Two coaches of the train crashed into a residential area, ramming a house and a college.The Railways’ Additional Director General, BK Maurya, earlier in the day talked about two possibilities. “Either the train driver overlooked the caution board to slow or Railway authorities did not put up any caution board at all. In case of the second possibility, the station master should have called the driver or changed the track. He could have also given the stop signal to avert the derailment.”Two trains had passed the tracks, before the accident, at 15 kmph without any problem, he said, adding, “Over-speeding and gross negligence by Khatauli station authorities seem to be prima facie case behind the derailment,” he said. This was the fourth major accident — third in UP — over the past year on the world’s fourth biggest rail network.Maurya did not rule out the possibility of the driver applying the emergency brakes, reasons for which are under investigation by higher authorities. “Otherwise, the train would not have turned turtle or coaches piled on top of one another,” he said.”Some maintenance work was going on, which might have caused the derailment,” Mohd Jamshed, Member Traffic, Railway Board, also said at a news briefing here.”There is an audio clip of a conversation that we will probe. Also, when we did a site inspection, we saw some equipment of the railways used for track repair present there,” he said.An eye-witness also supported the officials’ theory. “There was a deafening sound before the derailment as if the train hit something. It seemed that the driver saw something at the last moment and applied the emergency brakes,” he said.Sources in the engineering division of the Railways claim that they had warned the Khatauli station authorities of repair work being carried out on the tracks. “We had no knowledge of technical problems,” Khatauli Station Superintendent Rajinder Singh, however, told a news channel.RLYS’ OWN SAHAYAKGangmen, employees who are recruited to maintain railway tracks, are asked to do personal chores at railway quarters, claim sources. Chores include buying vegetables for railway personnel, escorting kids to school, and maintaining the bungalows etc. This could be one of the reasons behind the derailment of Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express on Saturday as these gangmen spend more time doing chores than maintain tracks, sources add.

Railways accidents become continuing story in three years of NDA Govt.- Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After the Government yesterday suspended four railway officials and sent Northern Railway General Manager R.N. Kulshrestha on leave in Utkal train derailment tragedy in Muzaffarnagar, the Congress Party on Monday said that the railways accident has become the continuing story in the last three years of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. ?We are not at all satisfied. In last three years of this NDA Government, 27 major accidents took place including this one. No single accident was investigated properly. Today, the railways accident is the continuing story. Let this minister and the government think whether they should take moral responsibility or not,? Congress leader PC Chako told ANI. Another grand old party leader Brijesh Kalappa said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) only knows how to blame the Opposition instead of accepting their own mistakes. ?Who will take the responsibility of this tragic accident in Muzaffarnagar? As in Modi government there is no one to take the responsibility. They only know to how to blame the Opposition, to demand resignations from others instead of giving on their own mistakes,? Kalappa said. At least 23 people were killed and over 100 others were injured as 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Muzaffarnagar?s Khatauli region in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening. Following the mishap, the Government on Sunday suspended four railway officials and sent Northern Railway General Manager R.N. Kulshrestha on leave. The authority also sent Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Delhi, Member of Engineering, Railway Board (secretary level) on leave and transferred Chief Track Engineer, Northern Railway.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC notice to AAP govt on appointing TRANSCO official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court (HC) has sought the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s response on the plea alleging that the appointment of Director of Finance for TRANSCO, a state-owned power company, was not approved by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal.In his order, Justice V K Rao told the authorities to file its response and details of the action taken by the Power Department to give this position to its Company Secretary.Surendar Babbar, a senior officer in the firm, had alleged that his seniority was overlooked, even though he was the only officer eligible for the post. Employed as the General Manager (Finance) with TRANSCO, Babbar claimed that the firm’s Company Secretary was wrongly allowed to take over the charge of Director (Finance).The plea also stated that Babbar was sent out of the power company earlier due to some irregularities in the operations of projects worth Rs 200 crore, executed by the Power Grid Corporation.While issuing notice to TRANSCO and its Company Secretary, the court said: “Any action taken by any of the respondents pursuant to and on the basis of impunged order of June 5, 2017, will be subject to the outcome of this court.” The next hearing has been scheduled for August 3.

Workers ransack Priyagold unit,17 held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 17 people have been arrested and 300 others have been booked for rioting and creating a ruckus at the factory premises of Priyagold Biscuits in the Udyog Vihar area of Greater Noida on Thursday.The incident occurred after news spread that an official had slapped a labourer. This was followed by labourers gathering and creating violence inside the company. “We have arrested 17 labourers of the company and have lodged an FIR against 300 unknown people for damaging, rioting and unlawful assembly,” said SHO, Surajpur, Manish Saxena.The mob ransacked the office premises on the ground and first floor, broke down windows of the office building, damaged cars parked on the premises and had a scuffle with the management staff. Company officials said that the mob was instigated by some outsiders.Police teams tried to control the mob which had gone unruly but stones were pelted at them when they tried to intervene.Meanwhile, the general manager of the company denied all the allegations of a company official slapping a labourer.”The workers were annoyed with some issue. They were alleging that some officers favoured another group which is a non- issue. They have damaged a lot of the property and even manhandled the company’s officials,” said DK Tyagi, General Manager, Priyagold Biscuits.He added “We have filed our complaint as we have around 1000 workers so we can’t identify who were actually involved in the violence.”

ECoR gears up safety precautions for monsoon, flood situations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has taken precautionary steps to protect the tracks during the monsoon to minimise the impact of heavy rains and ensure safe and smooth running of trains. ECoR General Manager Umesh Singh has directed the officials concerned to be on alert toward any incident caused by monsoon rain and flood situation near railway track for the safety of passengers and smooth train operations, an ECoR official said. Accordingly, the catch water drains and side drains have been cleared of silt, vegetation and other obstructions to ensure free flow of rain water. The waterways of bridges have also been cleared of vegetation and other obstructions. Full Supply Level (FSL) in case of canals and Danger Level (DL) for bridges have been drawn with bright red band across each pier adjacent to the abutment so as to be clearly visible to the patrolmen, stationery watchmen and drivers. Arrangements have been made to prevent stagnation of water on the track. In station yards, cross drains and longitudinal drains have been cleared to proper grades, said ECoR chief public relations officer J P Mishra. ECoR is in constant touch with the Meteorological Department for weather alerts and proper mobilisation is being done to meet any situation, while officers and staff are kept on alert for attending to monsoon emergencies, he said. ECoR Control Office, which works round the clock, is keeping close liaison with MeT Department and Disaster Management Cell and employees have been deputed at flood prone areas for continuous monitoring and constant updates. Patrolling of Railway tracks has been arranged in the monsoon. They would protect the trains and passengers from any unusual occurrence. Stationary patrolmen and watchmen have been deployed at vulnerable locations. Mobile patrolmen have been deployed in vulnerable sections. Instructions have been issued that whenever there is heavy rain, the sectional gang men will organise patrolling of track to make sure that the track is safe for passage of trains and ensure protection at all locations where washouts or slips are likely to occur. Steps have been taken to stock sufficient quantities of monsoon reserve materials like boulders, sand, cinder, quarry dust, ballast at identified locations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Adequate funds for completion of railway projects: CRB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Board Chairman A K Mital during his recent visit to the East Coast Railway said funds would not be an issue and adequate funds would be given for ongoing railway projects, official sources said today. Mittal said this while reviewing performance and progress of East Coast Railway especially on ongoing projects with General Manager Umesh Singh and other Principal Heads of the Departments of Railways at Rail Sadan, Bhubaneswar, according to an official release. “Mital assured that funds for Railway projects for East Coast Railway would not be an issue and adequate funds would be given. He stressed on early completion of vital infrastructure projects to avoid cost overruns and to speed up mobility in this region,” it said. Mital also sought co-operation from all agencies for development of Railway infrastructure and projects in this region.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI carries out searches in a bank fraud case of Rs 184 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI today carried out searches at 10 locations in a multi-city operation after registering a case against a general manager of IDBI Bank and seven others for allegedly cheating Union Bank of India to the tune of Rs 184 crore. The agency has registered the case on the complaint of Union Bank of India against private individuals Ashish Jhunjhunwala, Naveen Gupta, Ayush Lohia, Lalit Mohan Chatterjee, Bimal K Jhunjhunwala, who were all directors of Ramsarup Industries limited. The then independent directors of the company including Debashish Sarkar, presently General Manager of IDBI Bank, former executive director Vijaya Bank Mohammed Shahid and retired IAS officer Murari Lal have also been booked by the CBI. “They allegedly cheated UBI, Kolkata to the tune of Rs 184.43 crore through the loan amount of Ramsarup Utpadak (Unit-II) of M/s Ramsarup Industries Ltd by diverting a sum of Rs 130.95 crore to a group company M/s RAV Dravya Pvt Ltd,” CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said. The searches were spread across Kolkata, Gurgaon, Jamshedpur, Nagpur and Kanpur.(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.)

21 new railway stations to come up on Konkan route

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) is planning to develop 21 new stations on its route and double 147-km stretch of the track, an official has said. As a part of the modernisation project, 21 new railway stations would be added at strategic places on the Konkan route, KRCL’s General Manager (strategic planning and business development) Joseph E George told reporters here yesterday. The addition will take the total number of stations on the route to 87 and reduce the distance between two stations to 8.3 kms from 12.75 kms, he said. “A total 147 kms of the railway track would be doubled under the expansion and modernisation project on the Konkan route at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore,” he said. Around 35 kms of the railway track that would be doubled will pass through Goa region, George said at an interaction held on the achievements of railways in the state in last three years. The KRCL will also take up electrification work at a cost of Rs 1,110 crore, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cops felicitated on No Tobaco Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to spread awarness about ill-effects of tobacco on May 31, singers and music composer Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant presented a live music concert for the audience at Rangsharda, Bandra. The event organised by Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) to celebrate ‘World No Tobacco Day’ also felicitated five policemen on May 30, Tuesday in order to encourage other policemen to quit consuming tobacco.The five policemen who were felicitated are Anil Bhosale, Vijay Chavan, Somnath Darade, Pralhad Madane and Balu Thorat. Pralhad Madane had been consuming tobacco since he was in class 7, but quit smoking three years ago. Madane, said, “Once when I was on night duty, I admitted an unknown person whose face was badly affected due to tobacco consumption in KEM Hospital. I could not sleep that night. Later, when I discussed the incident with my family, my grandson said that even I chew tobacco. Since then, I have quit tobacco.”Talking about his exeperience of quitting tobacco, Somnath Darade said, “It is difficult but not impossible. I used to keep chocolates in my pocket. Whenever I felt like chewing tobacco, I ate chocolates to divert my mind. It is mainly due to the long working hours and stress because of which policemen start consuming tobacco.”Satish Mathur, Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra, said, “we started health check-up of policemen across the state. 10,000 policemen have already been screened. By the end of the year, policemen across the state will undergo check-up. We will also start medical treatment.”Rakesh Bhatia, General Manager of Bank of Baroda, said, “The trend of consuming tobacco among youths has been increasing in the country. People should have self-determination to stop consuming tobacco. These five policemen will be a good example to change the mindset and give confidence to others for quitting tobacco.””Always prevention is better than cure. The PSA which we see are not appealing. I think we should make something which hits at the base of the heart and appeal the citizens to quit any form of tobacco consumtion,” said Amol Gupte, director.

BMC, Rlys continue blame game

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ajoy Mehta, Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Thursday that he is satisfied with the de-silting being carried out between CST and Mankhurd by the Central Railway (CR) along the Harbour Line. Reality, however, has a different story to tell — forget satisfactory, many places still reel under crisis as de-silting in those areas remain to start.Mehta along with DK Sharma, General Manager, CR, went on a joint inspection of the de-silting work between CST to Mankhurd. Surprisingly, even as the inspection was on, trains passed through piles of garbage lining the drains at several locations. CR officials told BMC that most of the garbage came from the slums lining the railway tracks, which come under BMC jurisdiction.The stretches between CST and Mankhurd fall in three different wards of BMC and the railway track in these areas are surrounded by slums. While the civic body has coughed up Rs 2.79 crore for de-silting of the nullahs along the rail tracks, railway officials claim that continuous dumping of waste by slum dwellers has made their work difficult.A senior CR official said that even as they were inspecting the drains around Govandi area, the team saw people from slums throwing garbage over the wall. “We have been asking BMC to improve the waste management across these slums. The Municipal Commissioner asked BMC officials to look into the issue and start fining people for throwing garbage,” said the official.During inspection, BMC was informed that the drains and culverts will be cleaned manually, and trees along the area will be trimmed too.Another railway official said that plastic comprised a major part of this garbage, which was choking the drains at several locations. “We had even fenced the area and sent Railway Protection Force (PRF) staff inside the slums to warn them against throwing garbage, but they claimed that they had no other option. While BMC officials keep claiming that they pay us for cleaning these drains, it is also their duty to manage the waste that is generated,” he said….& ANALYSISMajority of Mumbaikars travel to work and back home on suburban trains. Choked nullahs could lead to water logging on the tracks, which can throw local services out of gear. The civic body is already behind schedule on monsoon preparation as mandatory road surfacing works and de-silting are going on at slow pace. If railway services are also disrupted due to water logging, it will cause massive commute issues.

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.)

IT raids four locations of retired Noida Authority OSD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Noida income tax team on Thursday conducted raids at four different locations of retired Noida Authority Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Yashpal Tyagi. The IT department yesterday also conducted raids at the residence of Keshav Lal, Additional Sales Tax Commissioner in Kanpur. The IT Department conducted raids at the residence and office of four government functionaries in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. As per sources, the officials raided the residence/ business premises of Siddharth Nagar, a local body chairman, where they recovered Rs. 10 crore (approx) undisclosed cash. This crackdown has also revealed that search operations at the home and office of a Noida based officer were conducted where the officials stumbled upon unaccounted cash payment for purchase of immovable property worth over Rs. two crore in name of the officers’ wife. The IT Department officials raided the house address of an Uttarakhand PSU official, which led to evidence of misuse of position for seeking illegal gratification in collusion with contractor. However, the IT Department also conducted searches relating to a group mainly involved in chit-fund businesses at 43 premises in Tamil Nadu, 29 in Kerala and six in Karnataka. Earlier in April, the Income Tax Department carried out raids on properties belonging to a Karnataka minister as well as Karnataka Congress’ women’s wing president in various locations across the state. Also, in a similar case, search on a General Manager of a state PSU in Uttarakhand led to substantial evidence of misuse of official position for seeking illegal gratification in collusion with a Rishikesh based contractor.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gen Manager of cooperative depot, aide held by ACB for graft

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The anti-corruption bureau (ACB) today arrested the general manager of a cooperative consumer depot (Sahkari Upbhokta Bhandar) for accepting a bribe of Rs 5.70 lakh from a pharmacist. The ACB also arrested a middle man, who had accepted the bribe on behalf of the general manager, officials said. It also recovered Rs six lakh from the house of the middle-man during a search operation, which also was taken from another pharmacist as a bribe, they said. Superintendent of Police (ACB) Ajay Pal Lamba said complainant Rajendra Soni, who works as a pharmacist at a pharma store of the bhandar at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, had alleged that the General Manager of the depot, Madhusudan Sharma, had been demanding a bribe of Rs 5.70 lakh for his transfer to another store. “During verification of the complaint, Sharma took Rs 20,000 from the complainant two days back and agreed to take the balance amount of Rs 5.50 lakh on Monday (today),” Lamba said. The middle-man, Ashok Parihar, who also is a pharmacist at one of the stores of the bhandar, called the complainant Soni at Jaljog Circle and the moment he accepted Rs 5.50 lakh, the ACB sleuths caught him red handed. “After arresting Parihar, we also arrested Sharma from his office and initiated a search of the places belonging to both Parihar and Sharma,” the SP said. Lamba said Sharma has been taking a fixed monthly amount from all the pharma stores of the bhandar since a long time. Complaint against him was also given by some RTI activists during Diwali for granting the contract for crackers shop in violation of the rules.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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.)

Nabard sanctions Rs 115 cr loan to Haryana for rural roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nabard has sanctioned a loan of Rs 115.36 crore to the Haryana government under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for 2016-17 for upgrading 27 rural roads in 10 districts. The districts are Bhiwani, Palwal, Hisar, Jhajjar, Mahendergarh, Rewari, Karnal, Panipat, Jind and Kaithal. Nabard’s Haryana Regional Office Chief General Manager Arun Shukla said the aggregate length of the roads is 230.73 km. The roads will be upgraded by way of reconstruction on account of raising, widening and strengthening by increasing the crust thickness and construction of minor bridges so that it can withstand increased traffic load. “Due to increase in intensity of vehicular traffic with varying speeds, the movement of two-way traffic and overtaking of vehicles on existing 3.66/5.5 m wide roads is inconvenient. Therefore, the rural roads and bridges in Haryana need construction and up-gradation,” he said. The project aims to improve facilities in agriculture and rural development and improve the quality of life in the villages by providing round-the-year better connectivity with nearby hospitals, educational institutes, godowns and marketing centres. With this, the cumulative assistance sanctioned to the Haryana government under RIDF has reached Rs 5,910 crore involving 4,296 projects in various areas like irrigation, rural connectivity, water supply, anganwadis, girls’ toilet blocks, veterinary hospitals/dispensaries and solar power plant, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI case against SBM AGM for causing loss of Rs 14 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has registered a case against a branch manager of erstwhile State Bank of Mysore for allegedly allowing a private company to siphon off funds worth Rs 14 crore of a public sector undertaking through forged documents. CBI sources said N N Rajendra Kumar, the then Additional General Manager of State Bank of Mysore, allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown persons allowing closure of four fixed deposits (FDs) of Rs 14.95 crore belonging to Dr Ambedkar Development Corporation Limited (ADCL), a PSU under Karnataka government. They said Kumar, allowed pre-closure of these FDs by taking fake and forged letters purportedly issued by ADCL. The proceeds from the pre-closed FDs were allegedly further transferred to multiple accounts held in the names of shell companies. During the initial probe, the CBI found that auditor of Pirgal Group of companies had allegedly created dummy accounts and created four shell companies in which he had made his office boys as the directors of these companies. The agency found that funds were transferred to these four shell companies. The sources said agency carried out searches at six locations in Karnataka and seized phones, laptops from the premises of these accused.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI recovers cash, properties worth crores from BSNL AGM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI today claimed to have recovered cash and properties worth crores during its searches at the residential premises of a BSNL Additional General Manager arrested for alleged bribery. In an operation late last evening, the agency had arrested Gupta Chandra Bidika, Additional General Manager, Microwave Project, Bhubaneswar. He was caught red handed allegedly taking bribe of Rs one lakh for clearing bills worh Rs 10 lakh of a contractor. “Searches were conducted at the residence of the accused at Bhubaneswar and Rayagada District (Odisha) which led to recovery of cash for Rs 14.93 lakh, USD 603, three bank locker keys; documents related to properties, including flats, plots at Bhubaneswar and shares, debentures, policies etc,” CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said. The agency sources claimed they had recovered documents related to a three-bedroom duplex flats at localities of Dharam Vihar, Netaji Subhas Enclave, Dreams Villa in Bhubaneswar. The documents related to plots in Bhubaneswar, Khurda and Puri have also been seized by the agency, they said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttar Pradesh: At least 12 injured after 8 coaches of Mahakaushal Express train derail near Kulpahar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least twelve people suffered injuries on Thursday after eight coaches of Delhi-bound Jabalpur-Mahakaushal express derailed near Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba railway station.The incident took place at around 2am. No casualties have been reported so far.District officials from Jhansi and General Manager of North Central Railway, M. C. Chauhan rushed to the sport.”One AC-II coaches, three AC-III coaches and four sleeper coaches are among those which have been derailed. Around 12 people are injured. The route between Jhani and Allahabad has been affected,” Manjar Karar, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Northern Central Railway told ANI.Accident relief medical van from Jhansi and Mahoba has also been deployed to tender the injured people.However, the cause of the derailment is yet to be ascertained.

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.)

Yenna Cola, mind it: Tamil Nadu traders won’t sell Pepsi, Coke

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The jallikattu protests earlier this year that centred on keeping local traditions alive – and paralysed parts of Tamil Nadu – have had an unlikely fallout. Starting Wednesday, traders across the state, taking their cue from the protestors who argued that multinational soft drink companies were exploiting groundwater resources, will stop selling PepsiCo and Coca-Cola’s fizzy drinks, citing health and environmental grounds.Two major traders’ body – Tamil Nadu Traders Federation (TNTF) and Consortium of Tamil Nadu Traders Association (CTNTA) – will enforce the boycott of both brands across more than 20 lakh shops affiliated with them; a third are expected to take the products off the shelves immediately. However, several super markets located in Chennai and other parts of the state will not take part in the boycott.”Now the time is ripe for the boycott. Students and youths who protested for jallikattu created a conducive atmosphere for enforcing a boycott,” said T Vellaiyan, president of the TNTF.”We are not opposing it just because these products are made by the MNCs. But it does more harm than good to the body. We decided to boycott because of the harmful content,” said A M Vikramaraja, president of the CTNTA.He added that the protest may even spread to other states, with traders associations in Kerala and Puducherry considering a similar boycott.The state has been facing its worst-ever drought in recent decades with over 200 farmers reportedly committing suicide due to multiple crop failure. “But the bottling plants of the MNCs are continuing to exploit ground waters creating further stress on the farmers,” alleged Vellaiyan.Given that PepsiCo and Coca-Cola control about 80 per cent of the Rs 1,400-crore soft drinks market in the state, even a partial success of the boycott could help revive the market for local brands such as Kalimark (Madurai), Sri Mapillai Vinayagar (Dindigul), Torino, Triple Seven Cola (Thanjavur), J-drink (Pollachi), and Ruby (Madurai)”We are expecting a 100 per cent increase in our sales if the boycott is implemented,” said S. Karthigaikani, General Manager of the 118-year-old Sri Mappillai Vinayagar Soda Company.

‘Loan waiver promise can impact debt recovery in Punjab’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With major political parties in the state promising farm debt waiver during state assembly polls, Punjab’s State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) today apprehended that promises like loan waiver could “vitiate” banks’ farm loan recovery process. “Promises like debt waiver can vitiate banks’ loan recovery process which is not good for the banking industry,” SLBC (Punjab) Convener and Punjab National Bank (PNB) General Manager P S Chauhan said today. However, the banks, as per RBI guidelines could give some relief to borrowers in deserving cases, he reporters here. His statement was in reply to a comment (sought from him) on farm loan waiver promise made by major political parties in Punjab polls 2017. Debt waiver for farmers have been a major issue during Punjab poll with Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and even Akali Dal promising debt relief for farmers, if voted to power during 2017 assembly elections. Congress, besides promising loan waiver, also vowed to enact a law to prevent sale and ‘kurki’ of farmers’ land by lending agencies. AAP promised to waive off the debts of poor and marginal farmers, besides announcing to make Punjab farmers debt-free by the end of 2018. Shiromani Akali Dal also promised to waive debt of small farmers in its election manifesto. Notably, in Punjab, the non-performing assets (NPA) in farm sector stood at Rs 5,150 crore which was 6.63 per cent of total agriculture advances outstanding and 2.12 per cent of total advances as on December 31, 2016. Meanwhile, the banks’ credit growth in Punjab has also been affected with growth in advances shrinking to just 5.91 per cent as on December 31, 2016 as against growth of 11.88 per cent in corresponding period. In absolute terms, the total outstanding credit was Rs 2.31 lakh crore as on December 31, 2016 as against Rs 2.18 lakh crore in December 2015. In Punjab, banks overall credit deposit (CD) ratio also plummeted to 65.29 per cent in December 2016, from 76.38 per cent in December 2015, as per SLBC report. Growth in priority sector advances was just 1.50 per cent in December 2016 as against growth of 19.60 per cent in December 2015, as per SLBC report. Advances to the farm sector grew by just 6.54 per cent as compared to 29.82 per cent in December 2015. Banks posted negative growth in advances to micro, small and medium enterprises at 7.21 per cent. SLBC Convener P S Chauhan attributed decline in credit growth to the “less availability” of cash during demonetisation. “Enough cash was not available during demonetisation and the demand for credit also came down,” said Chauhan. Moreover, borrowers like farmers deposited old notes in their loan accounts as payment which also brought down the outstanding loan figure for banks, he said. He also said that now the demand for credit was picking up and special credit camps were being organised in rural areas to disburse more credit to growers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chief PRO of Central Railway Narendra Patil said, "In the

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>wake of these incidents, our staff is taking extra care. These discarded pieces were spotted as part of that.” Nilewad added that no arrest has been made in connection with the overhead equipment found lying on the railway tracks between Jasai and Dapoli stations yesterday. A senior officer in the Mumbai Division of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said, apart from stepping up patrolling along the tracks, their staff was extending all the support to the probe agencies. “It would be a bit premature to jump to the conclusion that these are acts of terrorism or sabotage, but all the agencies, including the RPF, are leaving no stone unturned to nab those involved in these cases,” the official said. Although, no suspected case of sabotage has so far been reported from the Western Railway (WR), its officials say that they are taking all measures to prevent such incidents. General Manager of WR GC Agrawal said, “So far, such cases have only been reported under CR, but it does not mean that it cannot take place in the WR areas. We have already taken serious cognisance of the cases and have held talks at the railway board level as everyone is concerned about them.” He said the departments concerned have been asked to remove the rail pieces lying along the tracks. “Usually, we are not supposed to keep small rail pieces around the tracks. So, the departments concerned, including the engineering and stores sections, have been asked to look into the matter,” said Agrawal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mahendra Swain murder case: Sharp shooter nabbed in Kolkata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Odisha Police today arrested one Mohammad Babul in Kolkata for his alleged involvement in the sensational murder of Seaways Shipping and Logistics Private Limited (SSPL) General Manager Mahendra Swain last year. Babul, identified as a sharp shooter and who was on the run since the murder at Paradip in October, 2016, was produced before a court in Kolkata after his arrest from Waris Nagari in Khidirpore area of Kolkata and was being brought to Odisha on transit remand, said a police officer. On October 26, 2016, Swain was shot dead near Ambedkar Bhawan at Madhuban Colony in Paradip. Two miscreants had hurled crude bombs at the SUV in which Swain was travelling. While Swain fleeing to save himself, miscreants fired two rounds at him leading to his death on the spot. The number of arrested persons has increased to ten with the police nabbing Babul. Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL) chief Mahimananda Mishra has already been arrested in connection with the case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Accident rate of NWR decline by 72.7 % in 2016-17: Official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>North Western Railway saw a decline of 72.7 per cent in accident rate in this fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period last year, an official said today. The accidents were reduced by 72.7 per cent as only three accidents took place in 2016-17 (up to December) compared to 11 accidents in 2015-16, General Manager, NWR, Anil Singhal said. He said passenger safety, capital and development works, cleanliness and finance and accounting reforms are the major focus of the railways. NWR recorded 94.94 per cent punctuality till December 16 last year, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shimla Kalka ‘Toy Train’ to have more coaches

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shimla Kalka narrow gauge ‘Toy Train’ will soon have more coaches and facilities to attract tourists, General Manager Northern Railway R K Kulsheshtra said today. The ‘Toy Train’ running on the 112-year-old hilly railway track was declared ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ in 2008. It would soon have more coaches as the manufacturing of wheels for narrow gauge bogies, which was discontinued, would resume soon, he said after inspecting the heritage track here. “The narrow gauge track meanders through several beautiful locations. These would be identified and improved to attract more tourists,” Kulsheshtra said. Admitting that there was not much scope for extension of the railroad, he said the existing track should be preserved and improved, and more facilities should be added to make the journey comfortable. On progress of work on Baddi and Manali-Leh railway lines, he said work on extension of broad gauge rail link to Baddi in Solan district would start soon. Land related issues with Himachal Pradesh have been settled and those with Punjab are being resolved, the General Manager said. Efforts are being made to start work on Bhanupali- Kullu-Manali-Leh railway line, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bizarre: Chhattisgarh railway clerk suspended for refusing to sing duet with General Manager

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There are many reasons for a government employee to get suspended. But for this Chhattisgarh railway employee, the reason can only be termed as bizarre.Anjali Tiwari, a senior clerk, who was hired by the Chhattisgarh Railways under the Cultural Quota, was suspended for refusing to sing a duet with the General Manager.A circular of the same has been circulated and is also doing the rounds on social media. The circular, dated January 17, speaks of a cultural event that took place a day earlier.According to the circular, during the final rehearsal, Tiwari had been asked to prepare a few duet songs that she was supposed to sing with the General Manager. “During the programme, when the General Manager expressed his desire to sing one particular song, Tiwari refused under the pretext that she had not come prepared to sing the song,” the circular said.The circular added, “Being an employee appointed under Cultural Quota, she is not supposed to refuse to perform when instructions in advance were given to her by the undersigned (the divisional railway manager). This shows her casual/irresponsible attitude towards her work. I have taken a serious view of this.”The circular that has been shared – Rajendra Aklekar: FacebookTiwari has been accused of committing ‘gross misconduct’ and ‘failing to maintain absolute devotion towards duty’. “She should be immediately taken up under Discipline and Appeal (DAR),” the circular added.Furthermore, Tiwari has been debarred from all official cultural programmes of Raipur Division for a six-month period. She can’t even move outside Raipur division to perform in any programme.

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