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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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2003 Mulund bomb blast accused walks to freedom

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Convicted for the 2003 bomb blasts, Saquib Nachan, Wednesday was released from Thane Central jail. Nachan was convicted for possessing weapons under the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) and was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. After being released from prison, Nachan left for his native town of Padhga with his relatives.In 2002 and 2003, within a span of four months, there were four blasts at Mumbai Central, Vile Parle and Mulund railway stations that killed 12 persons. Nachan was accused by Mumbai Police as the mastermind of the blasts and he was arrested from Padgha of Thane district.Nachan was the former secretary of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Nachan completed 10 years of punishment out of which one year and eight months were spent as a convict at the Thane Central Prison, while the remaining period was spent as an undertrial.”I respect the judiciary system and after my release I wish to spend quality time with my family members,” said Nachan.”The prison authorities and conditions in the jail are proper. Now, as a grandfather, I would bring up my grandchildren,” said Nachan.It was a festive time for the guests and family members who thronged the residence of Nachan. Sweets were distributed in the locality and special dishes were made for the guests. “We are happy that Saquib Bhai has returned and we still feel that he was framed by the government for doing social work for our community,” said a local resident.

Rlys starts removal of food stalls from Mumbai Central

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railways have started demolishing the food stalls that had mushroomed on the foot over bridges on Thursday. The work kicked off from Mumbai Central station. Authorities have said they will identify more such locations at every station and remove all commercial hubs from the region.One of the food stalls on platforms 1-2 was demolished on November 16 at Mumbai Central station. The stall was barely yards away from the FOB staircase landing. Such structures could lead to hazards, officials said.”We are taking steps as per the report prepared by the multi-disciplinary committee, which has asked to ease congestion,” said a WR official.The stalls will also be removed from Churchgate. There are three departmental stalls that need to be relocated from Marine Lines and Charni Road stations. At Marine Lines, there is a catering stall at the south of platform 1. It has to be shifted to the north. There are catering units on platforms 2 and 3, which, too, need to be removed from Charni Road station. This is causing infringement for smooth flow of train commuters. According to sources, there is a significant change of policy to create more space on platforms. Extra food stalls that are hindering the movement of people will be removed.

Mumbai Central station skywalk awaits Western Railway nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the need for better crowd management at and around railway stations has been in focus since the stampede at Elphinstone Road railway station that saw 23 persons die, a skywalk proposed outside Mumbai Central railway station is languishing on paper as a No Objection Certificate is awaited for the project from Western Railway.BMC’s D ward in 2016 had proposed a skywalk from Sane Guruji Marg directly connecting the two railway foot-overbridges (FOB) of Mumbai Central railway station. Around 90m long, the skywalk would have save commuters the trouble of crossing the road, giving them direct access to the railway platform. However, citing feasibility issues, the Western Railway (WR) has not sanctioned the No Objection Certificate.Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D-Ward, Vishwas Mote said, “In the past six months, there has been written communication with the Railways, but due to feasibility issues cited by them, the project didn’t take off. The skywalk will help in crowd management outside Mumbai Central railway station. The skywalk was proposed under a comprehensive traffic management project outside the station”.Another civic officer added, “The Western Railway asked for a ticket counter and public toilet on the skywalk which was not part of our project. The proposal has not been scrapped, but has been halted. The skywalk will help reduce traffic snarls outside Mumbai Central railway station. Now all commuters’ cross the road at Sane Guruji Marg, which obstructs road traffic. The skywalk will allow commuters to directly join the railway FOB and allow smooth flow of vehicular traffic outside the station”.Commenting on the skywalk proposal, WR spokesperson Ravindra Bhakar said, “I am not aware of this proposal. I will have to check with the concerned department what the reasons are if the proposal is not given the nob by the WR”.According to BMC’s presentation, which DNA has been able to access, Mumbai Central railway station has around 7,500 pedestrians from 7 to 10 am, while it has 10,500 pedestrians from 5.30 to 9pm.BMC already has the provision of Rs 50 lakh in its 2014-15 budget set aside for the proposed skywalk.NEWS IN NUMBERSAccording to BMC’s presentation, which DNA has been able to access, Mumbai Central railway station has around 7,500 pedestrians from 7 to 10 am, while it has 10,500 pedestrians from 5.30 to 9pm. BMC already has the provision of Rs 50 lakh in its 2014-15 budget set aside for the proposed skywalk.

Piling rig tilts near Maratha Mandir at Metro 3 work site

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A month after an incident where a bunch of iron rods tilted towards the ground at a Metro construction site on Western Express Highway (WEH), another such incident took place on the construction site of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor on Thursday near Maratha Mandir Theatre. Here, a piling rig tilted towards one side.The spot where the incident took place is where construction of Mumbai Central Metro station is on. However, there was no casualty or damage due to the accident. This is the third incident on Metro construction sites this year being carried out by two different agencies.A piling rig is a construction machine used for piling in foundation engineering. It is used for drill in sandy soil, clay, silty clay, etc.A Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executive, the Metro-3 corridor, said, “During the construction activity near Mumbai Central station, one rig tilted on one side due to localised filled up ground.”The MMRC in a statement added: “Prompt action was taken by the contractors ensured that the incident didn’t cause any damage to the Maratha Mandir building.”Prior to this, accidents occurred in June and October 2016 on Metro sites.

Ahmedabad-Mumbai line: Railways makes U-turn on RTI reply

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The route on which India’s first Bullet train is supposed to run came under question after an RTI reply from the Railways seemed to have suggested that over 40 per cent of seats on the existing trains running between Mumbai and Ahmedabad always remained unoccupied. However, the Western Railway (WR) has now clarified that this sector has been seeing over 100 per cent occupancy, and that the RTI reply was misconstrued.Western Railway’s Chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar in a press release said that between July and September this year, the total earning on this sector was Rs 233 crore. “There are 9 direct trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad having halts at en route stations, except the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Duronto Express.The total available berths of these 9 trains during this period works out to 8,03,150 against which actual passengers booked were 8,30,978. Thus, the total occupancy was 103 per cent,” said Bhakar.In the RTI reply provided to activist Anil Galgali, WR’s Chief Commercial Manager Manijit Singh had stated that 40 per cent seats were going vacant on this sector, resulting in losses of almost Rs 30 crore between July and September.However, the WR has stated that in addition to direct trains, there are 25 long-distance trains going beyond Ahmedabad and serving the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector. On these trains too, the berth potential for this period was 10,70,719 and actual passengers booked were 12,30,585, which works out to occupancy of 115 per cent.Bhakar clarified that the reply given in the RTI query is against the specific question of number of passengers from only Mumbai Central to Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad to Mumbai Central stations.”The RTI does not include information about en route traffic, i.e, passengers from originating station to en route stations, intermediate stations to intermediate stations and intermediate stations to destination station between Mumbai Central and Ahmedabad thereby showing lesser occupancy,” added Bhakar.Meanwhile, Galgali said it was surprising that when he had asked for information about occupancy on trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, it implied that information should have also been provided about all stations en route. “They have made a joke out of an RTI application. My data has come from the commercial department that knows about the statistics that are now being produced,” said Galgali.OCCUPANCY CLAIMBetween July-Sept ’17, total earning on this sector was Rs 233 crore
On the nine direct trains on the route, total occupancy was 103%

Over 100% occupancy on Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor: WR clarifies RTI reply on Rs 30 crore losses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after an RTI reply stated how the Mumbai-Ahmedabad train route had incurred losses of nearly Rs 30 crore with 40% of seats remaining empty, the Western Railway authorities on Wednesday clarified that there is over 100% passenger occupancy on Mumbai–Ahmedabad sector.Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway in a press release said that during these 3 months, the total earnings on this sector was Rs 233 crore. “There are 9 direct trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and back. Except for the Ahmedabad Duronto Express, the other trains have several stops.“The total available berths of these 9 trains from July 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017 works out to 8,03,150 against which actual passengers booked were 8,30,978. Thus the total occupancy was 103%,” said Bhakar.He clarified that the reply given in the RTI query is against the specific question of number of passengers from only Mumbai Central to Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad to Mumbai Central stations. The information does not include information about enroute traffic.The Mumbai – Ahmedabad sector is one of the busiest routes of Indian Railways caterered by 9 direct trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and around 25 trains going to onward destinations via Ahmedabad. This sector also serves important enroute stations and industrial towns such as Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Vapi, Valsad etc.

Railways to ‘review’ garbage situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway (WR) will be conducting a ‘review’ of the garbage which has collected outside the Divisional Railway Manager’s (DRM) office at Mumbai Central. Several complaints have been made regarding the collected garbage. The railways, which claimed to be adhering to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, is now on a back foot.The WR DRM’s office, which is located near the coach center at Mumbai Central, witnesses the dumping of garbage from long distance trains which halt at the terminus for maintenance. This is not collected for several days leading to a stench.”The stench and filth is unbearable and many of our colleagues are falling sick due to the garbage which has been dumped outside the offices. It is not collected for weeks which piles up leading to diseases. Several complaints have been made but we continue to face the problems,” said a WR employee on the condition of anonymity.The frequency at which the garbage is collecting at the spot is now resulting in piles on the road leading to the DRM office and its adjoining offices. “We have been asked to keep our offices and surroundings clean but the DRM office itself has garbage outside its building. The Railways should come up with a solution to resolve the issues,” said the official.Ravindra Bhakar, Spokesperson, WR, said, “We are conducting a review of the garbage which has collected outside the DRM office and we will clear it as soon as possible.”

Soon, ‘one rupee clinics’ at WR stations too

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cost-effective ‘one rupee clinic’ initiative, which has been successfully operating on the Central line railway stations for more than three months, will soon be functional on the Western Railway by the end of August.Authorities have planned to open the clinic at 10 railway stations on the Western line, and later cover all 24 railway station on this route.Till date, the ‘one rupee clinic’ initiative at the Central and Harbour line stations saw a footfall of over 17,000 visitors within three months in eight of these clinics. The first clinic was opened at Ghatkopar railway station on May 10, 2017. According to authorities, the initiative is benefitting daily commuters during emergencies.Work on the 10 clinics for the Western line has already started. In the first phase, major stations like Andheri, Churchgate, Mumbai Central and Bandra will be getting the clinic and slowly the initiative will expand across all the stations on Western Line.Speaking about the clinics set to be opened, Dr Rahul Ghule said, “We have been in talks with the Western line railway authority for few months. Our objective is to give affordable health service to the commuters. Due to our success in running cost effective medical services at various railway stations on the Central and Harbour line, we will be happy to help commuters travelling on the Western line as well.”Apart from railway and metro stations in Mumbai, authorities will be expanding the initiative in other cities like Pune. On August 15, the first one rupee clinic will be opened. “In Pune rather than making it functional on railway stations, it will be located in five different areas in the city,” added Dr Ghule.

MMRC asked to integrate metro with suburban Rly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though Rs 40000 crore is being spent on the three Metro rails — Colaba-Bandra-Sepz (Metro 3), Andheri (E)-Dahisar (E) (Metro 7) and Dahisar-DN Nagar (Metro 2A) — there is no plan to connect with the Mumbai suburban rail that ferries 74 lakh people everyday. However on August 2, at a meet between the railways and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the latter were asked to plan their stations accordingly.The Western Railway (WR) authorities have identified stations like Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri and Borivali where the connectivity between the two modes of transport is needed. Sources in WR said that these are the stations where it is required for the integration either through subways or foot over bridges (FOBs).”We have asked the MMRC to work on their stations in a way that it can connect with our railway stations,” said Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR.At these stations, work on Metro rail is underway which is barely meters away from the station premises. The railway authorities claim that as work on Metro is still underway, they can surely realign the path and integrate the two rail systems. For instance at Mumbai Central, work on Colaba-Bandra-Seepz is underway which are inside ral premises.At Andheri and Bandra, work is underway on the main arterial roads that leads to the railway stations. Here there is a scope for connecting to the nearest skywalk that is used by people daily. “There is a need for the two modes of transport to get connected, otherwise there is no point if people have to come on road for interchange,” said AV Shenoy, Transport expert.At present the connectivity at Andheri and Ghatkopar stations is satisfactory. In fact few months ago the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation built a new FOB joining the rail and metro stations that is barely 50 meters in length. Previously the distance between the two were around 500 meters or so and it was connected by a skywalk. At Ghatkopar, the two merge providing ease to commuters.”We will look into this suggestion made by the railways to connect the Metro stations with railway stations,” said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRCL.In fact the railway officials claim that they are also planning revamp of few stations under the Station Redevelopment scheme. Under the scheme, 400 stations belonging to A1 and A category are going to be redeveloped through PPP. The first phase of the scheme have been launched with 23 stations which include five stations from Mumbai suburban, namely Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Thane, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus and Borivali.

WR raises height of 56 platforms for passenger safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway has raised the height of 56 platforms across 28 stations on the suburban local network here as part of its ongoing efforts to increase passenger safety during train travel. There are total of 144 platforms, whose height will be raised up to 920 mm from the current 840 mm for safety of passengers. Of these, height of 56 platforms at 28 stations was raised in the last fiscal, a senior official said today. Raising the height of platforms will help commuters alighting and boarding the suburban trains, he said, adding the remaining work of increasing the height of 88 platforms will be completed very soon. Meanwhile, WR recently celebrated 164th anniversary of the first train which ran between Bori Bunder and Thane on April 16, 1853. Highlights its achievements during the last fiscal on the occasion, WR Chief PRO Ravindra Bhakar said commissioning of new railway station ‘Ram Mandir’, building 10 Foot-Over-Bridges, 26 escalators and two lifts at different stations were some of the works undertaken by us. Also, under the Digital India Mission, free Wi-Fi for passengers was started at Mumbai Central station last year in partnership with Google for the first time in the country, he said. Such a facility has been in place at Churchgate, Dadar, Bandra, Khar Road, Bandra Terminus, Andheri, Borivali, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Ujjain stations. To provide a pleasant travel experience, 67 trains were covered under “On Board House Keeping Services” and 33 more are going to be covered shortly, said the officer. “36 stations were provided with retiring rooms. Of these, 16 stations are equipped with both retiring room and dormitory facilities,” Bhakar said. “We care for our special and differently-abled commuters and have provided low height booking windows, toilets for specially-abled, ramps, platform tiles and audio visual signages (beepers) for visually challenged passengers,” he added. WR also said it is committed to implement the schemes launched by the Centre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena wants renaming of Mumbai stations having colonial names

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena today demanded renaming of Mumbai’s five railway stations having a colonial imprint. Shiv Sena member Arvind Sawant said in the Lok Sabha that the Mumbai Central station should be rechristened after Jagannath Shankar Seth for his contribution to the city and the growth of railways in its pioneering years. Seth is known for his contribution towards the Victoria Terminus station now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Apart from Mumbai Central, Sawant also demanded that Charni Road station be renamed as Girgaum, Elphinstone Road as Prabhadevi, Curry Road as Lalbaug and Sandhurst Road as Dongri. “Most of these railway stations have colonial names. Curry Road is in Lalbaug, Sandhurst Road is in Dongri, Charni Road is in Girgaum. The addresses and pin codes are identified with Lalbaug, Dongri and Girgaum and not with the names of any of these stations,” Sawant said. Last year, a new station was created on Mumbai’s suburban rail tracks and named as ‘Ram Mandir’. During the earlier Shiv Sena-BJP regime between 1995 and 1999, Victoria Terminus was rechristined as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

WR plans Rs 730 crore upgrade for Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Borivali stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Western Railway on Saturday invited private firms including big construction and real estate companies to submit plans to redevelop Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus and Borivali stations using the ‘Swiss Challenge’ method.According to the Western Railways officer, the indicative cost of developing Mumbai Central station is Rs 250 crore and a vacant area of 16,171 sq metres is available for the purpose. Bandra Terminus redevelopment has been pegged at Rs 200 crore with a vacant area of 42,368 sq metres. Borivali could cost Rs 250 crore and will have 11,475 sq metres of vacant land to be redeveloped.As per a statement by the railway ministry earlier, the state transporter is looking at redevelopment of stations that ‘will improve passenger experience by providing amenities like digital signage, escalators, elevators, self ticketing counters, executive lounges, luggage screening machines, walkways, holding areas for passengers, grand and distinctive roofing and flooring, free and paid Wi-Fi etc. Moreover, the commercial development undertaken near the stations will become nerve centres of the city and provide quality retail, commercial and hospitality development.’What is the Swiss Challenge?A proposal for, say redevelopment of a station, given by anybody — individual, firm, institution (entity A) — is put up for all to see.Any other individual, firm, institution (entity B) has the right to give suggestions to better the proposal or to beat it.After choosing the best proposal from entity B, the authorities will invite entity A to match it.If entity A is able to match it, it gets the go-ahead for the project. If it doesn’t, then entity B gets the go-ahead.

Raees By Rail: Man dies in rush to see Shah Rukh; railway minister orders probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday ordered a probe after one person died and two policemen were injured as crowd went berserk after Shah Rukh Khan arrived at the Vadodara railway station on Monday night.”Directed DG RPF to investigate the matter and take stern action against any lapse,” said Prabhu on twitter.Terming the incident as extremely unfortunate, Shah Rukh said, “On behalf of everyone, our prayers and blessings are with the whole family.”SRK’s fans had gathered in large number at Vadodara station to watch their favourite star, who had boarded the train from Mumbai and was going to Delhi as part of the promotional campaign for his film.The crowd went out of control when the train halted and some of them started banging window panes. Police had to resort to mild lathicharge to control the situation.According to the authorities, Farheed Khan Pathan, a local politician, died of cardiac arrest. The deceased was the relative of a journalist, who was travelling in the same train, and came to meet her.
ALSO READ Shah Rukh Khan REACTS on the demise of a fan in Vadodara during Raees promotions by trainOfficials at the railway police control room said, “At around 10.30 PM the train arrived at platform number six of the station and halted for ten minutes.Shah Rukh’s fans had gathered in large number to have a glimpse of the actor who had boarded the train from Mumbai and is going to Delhi as part of the promotional campaign for his film.”The crowd went out of control when the train halted and some of them started banging window panes. Police had to resort to mild lathicharge to control the situation.”When the train started moving, people started running along with it. Due to the rush, one person died of breathlessness and two policemen who were posted there to control the crowd were injured,” the official added.The 51-year-old actor had boarded the train from Mumbai Central station for Delhi as part of his promotional campaign ‘Raees by Rail’.

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