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Central Railway brings relief to passengers, plans 24 new services on two lines

Currently, the CR operates 590 services on the Harbour line, 232 on the Trans Harbour line and 838 services on the Main line daily. Sources said that they are yet to decide the timetable for the same and that whether they would be immediately pushing the Bombardier rakes into the system. The officials said that they will hold a meeting soon wherein they will decide which rakes can be replaced and where additional services can be added.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Central Railway brings relief to passengers, plans 24 new services on two lines Crowd
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByShashank Rao <!–end of artlbotbor–>Monday 1 January 2018 1:15 ISTMust readMumbai fire: BMC carries out demolition drive against illegal structures in Kamala Mills areaKamala Mills fire: Escape to Nowhere<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After facing a series of problems, the over 12 lakh commuters on the Harbour and Trans Harbour lines can finally expect some good news as the Central Railway (CR) plans to add 24 new services on the two lines which could also include Bombardier rakes that are being inducted into the CR system for the first time.This comes as a big respite to the commuters using the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Panvel (10 lakh daily) and Thane-Vashi (2 lakh daily) corridors. Sources said that with the four new Bombardier rakes coming in, not only will the commuters get newer rakes but also more services.Confirming the same, SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway said, “We will be introducing 24 new services on the Harbour line by the end of this month.”Currently, the CR operates 590 services on the Harbour line, 232 on the Trans Harbour line and 838 services on the Main line daily. Sources said that they are yet to decide the timetable for the same and that whether they would be immediately pushing the Bombardier rakes into the system. The officials said that they will hold a meeting soon wherein they will decide which rakes can be replaced and where additional services can be added.

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Western Railway faces real test as AC local runs up to Virar today

The Western Railway (WR) braces for a challenging first day of 2018 as it is the D-Day to operate the newly inaugurated air-conditioned local train up to Virar. On Sunday, WR officials were busy with the final checks of the AC locals as beginning Monday, the local will run for 60 kms.Over the past two days, the WR carried out basic maintenance checks and inspection in the AC rake. “Primary checks were carried out. The AC train will run on the Churchgate-Virar route as scheduled,” said Ravindra Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.After its launch on December 25, up to December 29, the AC local ran six services daily which will be upped to 12 services from January 1. Of these, eight services will run the Churchgate-Virar stretch and the remaining on the Churchgate-Borivali route. As per the decided schedule for the AC local, authorities will operate one service each during the morning and evening peak hours.Initial runs from the last week have mostly received negative feedback from commuters owing to the high fares, while some are of the opinion that the AC local is eating into the regular train services. “By replacing the existing local train services on the Churchgate-Borivali route with the AC train, almost 50,000 people have been affected,” said passenger activist Anil Galgali. Authorities are even more concerned about reactions once the AC local runs up to Virar.”The Railways should have at least lowered the fares. Who will spend Rs 205 one way from Virar to Churchgate when a second class season pass can be bought in almost the same amount,” said A Parab, a resident of Virar.A monthly pass for the AC local from Churchgate to Virar will cost Rs 2,040, fortnightly Rs 1,555, and weekly Rs 1,070. The daily ticket up to Vasai and Bhayander will cost Rs 195 and Rs 175 respectively. Between Churchgate and Virar, the AC local will halt at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri, Borivali, Bhayander and Vasai. Similarly, three fast services will run between Churchgate and Borivali and the remaining one service will run as a slow service from Mahalaxmi to Borivali.AC LOCAL PERFORMANCE (DEC 25-29)Tickets sold 2037Passengers 6717Earnings Rs 4,14,053Without ticket cases 48

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Final report of Utkal Express tragedy submitted to Railway Board: DRM

The final inquiry report into the major train accident in Khatauli in August has been submitted to the Railway Board and it has blamed several officials, including a junior engineer, for the tragedy that killed 23 people, a senior Indian Railways official has said.Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) R N Singh inspected Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Khatauli railway stations yesterday.He said the final report of the safety commissioner into the tragedy has been submitted to the Railway Board.Several officials, including a junior engineer, have been blamed for lapses in the report, Singh told reporters here.On August 19, fourteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express jumped the rails in Khatauli, nearly 40 km from Muzaffarnagar, killing 23 people and injuring more than 150.Also readUtkal Express derailment: 13 railway employees sacked for ‘gross negligence’On August 30, the Railway administration suspended 13 employees at Khatauli station for lapses during duty hours.Singh said the Railway Board was not considering to withdraw the action taken against the employees.

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Power dept pulls plug on rly stn

It was a rude shock, but it was a reality. The power company pulled the plug on Neem Ka Thana railway station at Sikar district on Friday. The department officials were anguished over electricity bills pending. Railway officials, however, denied that any dues were pending.”We have a robust system for payment of bills and they are deposited online,” said a senior officer at North Western Railway.The railway station, meanwhile, remained in the dark for a couple of hours on a wintry evening. The payment though remained pending till the supply was resumed after nearly seven hours. “The bills have been pending for several months now and total amount is nearly two lakh,” said an assistant engineer at the discom. “We have resumed the supply for now considering public interest,” he added.This is not the first time that a public office has been held a defaulter. However, as the electricity distribution companies are under financial pressure, officials are too being pushed to reduce the due.

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AC local: WR may install barricades to separate ladies coach

The air-conditioned (AC) local train inaugurated by the Western Railway (WR) will soon have barricades between general coaches and coaches reserved for ladies. The WR has planned to introduce this on the lines of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor.As the coaches of the AC local train are interconnected, the WR said that it may install barricades to help commuters in identifying coaches reserved for ladies. Currently, coaches for ladies and seats earmarked for senior citizens and divyangs are different from the arrangement in the non-AC local trains. The first and 12th coaches at the Churchgate end are earmarked as ladies coaches and seven seats in the second and 11th coach at the Churchgate end are earmarked for senior citizens, and fourth and seventh coach from Churchgate end for divyangs.A K Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway, said, “We are constantly getting feedback for the recently launched AC local train, and a decision will be taken on a particular that has maximum feedback. One of it is that we may install Metro train like barricades for ladies coaches.”The WR has also said that they are are planning to have sun blinders on the windows of the AC local. DNA had reported on Thursday that the railway officials spoke to commuters travelling inside the AC local who shared that the sunlight filtering in was an issue as it warmed up the atmosphere inside the train.The AC train is currently being operated on a trial period between Churchgate and Borivli.

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Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi to improvise under project ‘Swarna’

The Golden triangle rail journey is all set to get more comfortable as the coaches of Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi are being revamped with unique features under the project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways.There are changes on cards in most of the aspects of rail travel. The features include disposable head rest cover for the passengers seated in the coach, for better view inside the coach, whilegood quality pictures and paintings exhibiting regional culture and heritage will also be displayed inside the coach.As bad odour was an issue of discussion earlier in this Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi, automatic odour control (AOC) system is being installed.The train is also being equipped with CCTV Surveilllance system, while Aadhar enabeled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.As a humanatrian gesture, the travel of visually impaired will also become easier as there is also provision of braille signage in the train. On his visit to Jaipur on Saturday, the chairman of Railway board, Ashwai Lohani had also inspected the coaches of this train which is amongst the 15 Shatabdi’s and 14 Rajdhani express chosen under this project.It is noteworthy that golden triangle is an important tourism circuit in the country attracting lakhs of tourists, mostly foreigners. This makes it a natural choice for the tourists to board this train everyday to travel between Jaipur and Agra. Notably, to improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna.’With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, country’s first Swarn Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi – Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi in the month of November this year.Well equippedThe train is being equipped with CCTV surveillance system while Aadhar enabelled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.

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17 trains cancelled, 26 disrupted by fog

According to a Northern Railway spokesperson, around 6 am, 17 trains including Gomti Express, Amritsar-New Delhi Express, Jammu-Tavi Express and Sadhbhavna Express stood cancelled, 26 arrived late and six others had to be rescheduled due to poor visibility. The high pollution has added to the fog, forcing the railways, which is already facing bad publicity due to the high accident rate, to take preemptive measures.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 26 December 2017 2:28 ISTMust readYogi Adityanath meets distressed homebuyers, promises quick actionDelhi Metro’s Magenta Line to be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi today<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The fog enveloping the national capital and its surrounding regions disrupted railways schedule on Monday with a spate of cancellations and delays.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>According to a Northern Railway spokesperson, around 6 am, 17 trains including Gomti Express, Amritsar-New Delhi Express, Jammu-Tavi Express and Sadhbhavna Express stood cancelled, 26 arrived late and six others had to be rescheduled due to poor visibility. The high pollution has added to the fog, forcing the railways, which is already facing bad publicity due to the high accident rate, to take preemptive measures.

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It’s the coolest one

It was jugaad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative that ensured India’s first AC local train’s cost was less than half to what it would have been if the Railways had decided to buy from open markets.Sources said that these rakes are retrofitted with different parts and assembled as one piece. And so the cost is so low. “In the open market, a single fully made AC coach would cost nothing less than Rs 10 crore. This is more than double the cost at which we have manufactured this AC rake,” said a Railways official on condition of anonymity.Under MUTP-3, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation will be procuring 564 AC coaches or 47 rakes of 12-car each for which tenders would be called soon. Sources said that these coaches will be more expensive than those which are being manufactured now.Despite there being 50-odd minor issues with the air-conditioned local train, the first day went smoothly. Over the next few days, railway authorities will be monitoring the social media to see how they can improve the experience for the Mumbai commuters.”We want Mumbaikars to tell us what changes they feel were necessary. They can tweet us, go to our website and give us a feedback,” said A K Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.”This is a prototype rake and so it might have teething troubles but we are confident that people will have safe and smooth journey in it. We have addressed the issues and if in case anything arises then we will handle it. We shall iron out all those technical faults that we have encountered till now before introducing the next AC rake after 9 months,” Gupta said.Based on the feedback the WR receives from people and studying technical glitches that might arise while running of AC local; will the manufacture of second AC begin. These rakes are being manufactured by BHEL as part of 10 rakes that have been procured at Rs 54 crore per rake.COMMUTERS REVIEWI enjoyed the ride in the AC train but yes the fare needs to be lowered. The number of AC locals should also increase. The seats need to have cushions similar to those in first class compartments.Himmat Kholia, BorivaliWhen I read the papers, I immediately decided to take a ride in the AC train. By road takes a lot of time while local trains are crowded. So this would bring much required respite and comfort in travel.Jayraj Gajaria, KandivaliUsually I leave for work by 7.45 am to 8 am. So once the frequency of the AC train improves, I shall adjust my work time accordingly. This train was much required for a city like Mumbai.Dilip Khaire, AndheriToday being a holiday I had time in hand so I took this AC train ride for an experience. People and the railways should ensure that they keep this train clean as I found mosquitoes flying inside already.Suresh Kumar, Goregaon(Above) Interiors of the first AC local train and a look at the motorman’s cabin; (Below) A passenger enjoys the view on the AC local’s maiden trip

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Mumbai: Indian Railways flags off first AC local train, curious commuters throng station to get a glimpse

The first maiden run of AC local was witnessed by a huge crowd of curious commuters who had come to witness history being written in front of them. People hooted and whistled as the AC local arrived from Mahalaxmi car shed on to platform 8-9 of Borivali station on Monday.Many people were seen clicking pictures. There was a small function that was organised by the Western Railway at the station premises. People were seen buying tickets from the booking clerk for this AC rake. The train left sharp at 10.30 am from platform 8/9 of Borivali station in its maiden run for Churchgate. The train operated on the fast corridor between Borivali and Churchgate. The train which was packed with media personnel’s, commuters and Western railway officials and reached its destination at 11.15 am. Also readThis is how much travelling from Mumbai’s first AC local train will cost you monthlyDNA travelled in the AC locals maiden journey and spoke to commuters who were thrilled to travel on the first journey. P Jain resident of Borivali was excited to be on board the AC train. “The AC local train will be a boon for passengers. The fares are priced properly if you see private cab aggregators hefty fares. AC local train will be a good alternative”.Also readSpoiler alert: 50 things can go wrong with the first AC local in MumbaiGuardian minister Vinod Tawde also took the ride till Churchgate. It reached Churchgate at 11.15am after which it left for Borivali again as 11.21 am fast local.

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Man trying to save pet dog gets killed after train runs over

A 60-year-old man was killed after he was run over by a train here while trying to save his pet dog, police said on Saturday.Bala Singh, resident of Jandli area of Ambala city, was out for a walk with his pet dog by the railway tracks this morning when the incident took place, they added.The dog made a run towards the tracks of Ambala-Rajpura rail section on hearing horns of an approaching train, officials said, adding that Singh rushed after it.He was run over by the train coming from Ambala Cantt side when he was trying to move the dog away from the tracks, the police said. The dog, however, escaped unscathed.The body was taken to the civil hospital for postmortem, they added.

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Dera men who set two rail coaches afire held

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has arrested four followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who had set railway coaches afire at Anand Vihar yard in New Delhi, following the godman’s conviction in August this year.The arrest was made on Tuesday in a joint raid with the Delhi Police’s Special Cell, after more than three months of intense probe, scanning of over 100 CCTV footages and questioning of more than 200 suspects.The four men have been identified as Vijay Malik, Bir Singh, Kanhaiya Lal Mittal and Harjeet Singh, all residents of Delhi. All of them have admitted that they are followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Dera Sachcha Sauda and that they had set ablaze two coaches of a train at the Anand Vihar yard to avenge the Panchkula court’s verdict against Ram Rahim.It was on August 25, 2017, that two empty coaches of a train were set ablaze by the miscreants at the Anand Vihar Railway Station. According to Divisional Security Commissioner of the RPF, Shashi Kumar, who led the operations over the past four months:”Some bottles with inflammable liquid were also found at the spot which indicated it to be the intentional handiwork of some miscreants. In this regard, a case under IPC 436 for mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc and for causing damage to public property under Railway Act was registered. The arrests were made following a tip-off on Tuesday.””The accused Vijay Malik is a businessman, who owns a banquet hall on Wazirpur Road in Delhi. Interrogations revealed that the violence and the act to set the railway coaches on fire was done at his banquet hall. Harjeet Singh is a chartered accountant by profession while Bir Singh helped another recce the station and the yard before committing the offence ahead of the verdict. They had planned that if the court convicts Ram Rahim, they would instigate violence,” the officer said.He informed that it took over four months to zero down on the accused. “Raids are underway to nab the remaining accused. A team led by Inspector Ajeet Singh, Anil Kumar, Constable Chandrashekhar and Constable Pankaj Goswami along with the Delhi Police’s team scanned over 100 CCTV cameras and questioned 200 suspects before arresting the main accused. Investigations are still in progress,” Shashi added.

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Poor visibility forces Railways to cancel trains

As many as four trains had to be cancelled while at least eight had their routes cut short due to fog and operational reasons in Delhi Division of Northern Railways on Wednesday. No cancellation or diversion of flights was, however, reported due to adverse weather conditions.Over the last week, a dense fog covered several parts of North India, with the temperature dropping in Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. According to senior railway officers, trains that underwent cancellation included Dirugarh-Lalgarh Awadh Assam Express, Lalgarh- Dirugarh Awadh Assam Express and New Delhi-Rohtak-New Delhi Intercity Express. They further added that some of the trains undergoing short termination are Allahabad-Saharanpur Nauchandi Express, Allahabad-Saharanpur-Allahabad Nauchandi Express, Delhi-Fazilka express and Delhi-Fazilka-Delhi Express train.”As the situation is expected to get worse with deteriorating weather conditions, special arrangements are being made to manage it. The Railway Protection Force has also been told to be vigilant for crowd management and crime prevention. Mechanical measures to ensure smooth and safe train operations are also being taken, the officer added.

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Four followers of Dera chief arrested for setting coaches on fire

Four men, suspected to be followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh, have been arrested for allegedly setting empty train coaches in Anand Vihar on fire following the self-styled godman’s conviction in August, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said on Wednesday.On the basis of a tip-off, four men, identified as Vijay Malik, Bir Sungh, Kanhaiya Lal Mittal and Harjeet Singh, were arrested, the RPF said.On August 25, two empty coaches of the Rewa Express stationed at the Anand Vihar Railway Station were set ablaze by miscreants.Some bottles with an inflammable liquid were also found at the spot which indicated it to be the handiwork of some miscreants, the RPF said.The RPF sought help from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell and a joint team of both the units arrested the four accused.The RPF said that the accused admitted that they are followers of the godman and had set ablaze the coaches of the train at Anand Vihar, the RPF said.In August, cases of torching of DTC buses and train coaches were reported from different parts of the city, following the conviction of the godman in two rape cases, by a Special CBI court in Haryana’s Panchkula.The Dera Sacha Sauda chief was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the two rape cases.

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Maharashtra: Debt-ridden farmer jumps in front of train in Nashik

A 37-year-old debt-ridden farmer allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a running train near Lahavit station in the district, railway police said today.Jagadish Bahiru Shirsat, a resident of Bhagur, took the extreme step yesterday.”He had taken a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh and was unable to repay it,” an official from Devlali Railway Police said.He said a suicide note was found from his pocket.According to the officer, the farmer said in the note that he had received the loan under a state government scheme.”But due to the natural calamities, I suffered losses and cannot repay the amount, which is why I am taking this step,” the officer quoted the farmer as saying in the note, addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.In the note he also sought “justice” for his family, the officer said, adding a case has been registered in this connection and investigation was on.

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Use coach for disabled, face heavy penalty

In a bid to crackdown on abled persons travelling in train compartments reserved for the handicapped, the Government Railway Police (GRP) will aggressively book offenders under the Right of Persons With Disabilities Act (RPWD) which attracts a maximum punishment of Rs One lakh as fine and two years imprisonment or both.The Kurla police on Monday registered a case against an unidentified man after Nitin Gaikwad, 46, a Ghatkopar resident and physically-handicapped businessman, reported the matter to Chief Security Commissioner of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).The Kurla GRP registered a case under sections 91 (Punishment for fraudulently availing any benefit meant for persons with benchmark disabilities) and 95 (Alternative punishments) of the RPWD Act.A senior inspector on condition of anonymity said, “Normally, RPF fines the offenders around Rs 500 but we have been instructed that if offenders are found inside the compartment reserved for handicap commuters, a case under RPWD is to be registered.”TN Dubey, Chairperson, Naisargic Viklang Seva Sangh and former Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, said, “The move will curb the number of abled persons entering the reserved compartment. The Railways should also make announcements requesting commuters to not enter these compartments.”

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Owing to inadequate number of GRP personnel, CR planning to reduce number of ladies coach during night

The Central Railway (CR) is contemplating reducing the number of ladies coach from five to three during night, due to lack of GRP personnel on duty. In a discussion note obtained, it has been mentioned that out of 6 ladies coaches in a normal train, one is automatically converted to a general compartment between 11.30pm to 7am. But due to lack of strength, the GRP has been able to allot only three constables leaving two coaches unmanned.The railway hopes by their decision women will travel in only three coaches between 11.30pm to 7am thereby fulfilling the need of having at least one GRP personnel in the remaining three coaches.An official from CR said, “Recently there have been instances where women safety was an issue. So in order to allow the GRP to properly guard the compartments, this idea is being mulled”.Out of the six women coaches, three are allotted to first-class passengers while three belong to second class travelers. The practice is to reduce the number of coaches by converting one of the first class to a general compartment between 11.30pm and 7am. But now railways is looking to reduce one more first class compartment as well as a second class coach

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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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BMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding

After they failed to finalise an amicable solution to widen drains at six chronic waterlogging locations on the Central Railway, the BMC and the CR have now sought the help of the Indian Institute of Technology to address technical difficulties.BMC’s stormwater drain department and the CR were wary of the method to be used for widening the drains at Currey road, Chinchpokli, Mulund and three locations between Sion and Kurla. These areas see severe waterlogging every monsoon which affects CR services.While the CR wants the civic body to widen the drains only through micro-tunneling, two metres below the tracks so that rail traffic is not affected, BMC says the method is technically unfeasible.”We have decided to take help of IIT to help us to find an amicable solution. We have already written to IIT’s civil engineering department and will hold a joint meeting soon”, said SWD department’s Chief Engineer V Khandkar.

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Green clearance must for rail projects on forest land: MoEF&CC

Railway projects passing through forest lands, national parks and eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from the forest clearance process, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) told the Railways Ministry and state forest departments. The Environment Ministry’s clarification on the matter comes after the Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified its position on the issue after referring the matter to the Ministry of Law and Justice, who seconded the Environment Ministry’s opinion.DNA has reviewed the MoEF&CC letter to Railways Ministry and state forest departments.The MoEF&CC told Railways, that as per the Law Ministry, despite provisions of the Railways Act, 1989, allowing Railways to acquire any land for its projects, forest land falling in the right of way attract provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. MoEF&CC added that even if the forest land is under the possession of the Railways, it will need to seek forest clearance for non-forestry work. Further, projects passing through protected areas would need the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.“Railway projects passing through wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and tiger reserves amount to destruction of habitat within the meaning of various sections of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The need of seeking approval for railway projects passing through a wildlife sanctuary is in pursuance of Supreme Court order of 2002,” the MoEF&CC said.The Railways had raised the issue of applicability of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for its projects citing the upcoming conversion of Akola-Khandwa railway line from metre gauge to broad gauge. The railway line passes through a reserve forest, Wan sanctuary and the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Of the 176-km track, 40 km passes through forested areas and of that 18 km lies inside the tiger reserve. According to government documents, the project would require diversion of 160.94 hectares of forest from the critical tiger habitat of Wan Sanctuary, a part of Melghat Tiger Reserve.OVERRULEDThe Railways had argued that Railways Act, 1989, gives it the power to acquire land, including forests, falling in its right of way. MoEF&CC clarified that Railway projects passing through forest land, national parks, eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from forest clearance process.

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Man dies after being pushed off local train in Mumbai

A 32-year-old man died yesterday after he was allegedly pushed from a running train following an altercation with a fellow commuter, police said.They added that the incident happened between Sandhurst Road and Masjid stations around 6.05pm on Friday.A S Bartakke, Senior Police Inspector of Wadala Railway Police Station told PTI that Mankhurd-resident Rudal Basu Nishad, a crane operator with a private construction company, died before he could be admitted to a hospital.He added that a person named Kishore Ramrao Jawale (32)was nabbed by co-passengers and was handed over to the police.A police official said that eye-witnesses have claimed that Nishad had a heated argument with Jawale in the train as it approached Sandhurst Road Station.Commuters intervened to stop the scuffle but in the melee Jawale pushed Nishad out of the running train, the official said.Commuters then caught Jawale and handed him over to the Railway Protection Force which turned him over to the CSMT railway police.However some eye-witnesses, the police official said, have also claimed that Jawale tried to snatch the victim’s phone and the latter lost his balance and fell off the train. The phone fell inside the compartment, the official said.Meanwhile inspector Bartakke said that the exact reason for the scuffle is yet to be ascertained.”But we suspect that Jawale is mentally unstable,” he said.

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Uttar Pradesh: Police in tizzy after bomb threat in Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express

A phone call about presence of a bomb in the Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express train on Friday sent security personnel into a tizzy, leading to its detention for over an hour at the Sirathu station on the Allahabad- Kanpur route.The station master of Sirathu was informed over a phone call about the presence of a bomb in the general coach of the train which was on its way to Hatia (Jharkhand) from Jammu, Superintendent of Police Pradip Gupta said.Three general compartments were detached and a team of Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel examined the coaches but did not find any explosive.A dog squad was then summoned from Allahabad to check the bogies thoroughly, he said.The train proceeded after an hour and the passengers were adjusted in other compartments, the SP said.

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Civic body floats fresh tender for Hancock Bridge as per GST rate

The construction of a new bridge in place of the demolished Hancock bridge in Byculla is likely to start in a month as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started to invite fresh tender for the project as per the new Goods and Service Tax (GST) rate. Earlier, the process of awarding the contract was put on hold due to change in GST rate.According to an official from the Bridge department of BMC, GST rate has been revised to 12 per cent from earlier 18 per cent. “With the change in GST rate, the overall price of the tender will also change,” the official said. So, the fresh tender has to be floated to award contract.SO Kori, chief engineer (Bridge) of BMC, said, “We have invited tender as per the new GST rate… We are expecting that the tender process will be complete in one month or a maximum of two-months time.”Earlier, the Supreme Court had given permission to carry out construction for a new bridge with a new contractor after taking account of the trouble faced by motorists and pedestrians.The construction of the new bridge was put on hold following a Bombay High Court order. The BMC had reportedly awarded the contract for construction of four bridges, including the Hancock Bridge, to a blacklisted contractor.The contractor was blacklisted for carrying out shoddy roadworks. After HC stayed the construction of a new bridge, the contractor approached the Supreme Court. However, the civic body managed to lift the stay.It is almost one and half years the 135-year-old Hancock bridge was demolished in November 2015.The British-era bridge near Sandhurst Road Railway station was deemed dangerous by the CR in 2013 and was demolished. The Railway overbridge was connecting Byculla and Dadar.ABOUT THE BRIDGEThe 135-year-old British-era bridge near Sandhurst Road Railway station was deemed dangerous by the CR in 2013 and was demolished. The Railway overbridge would connect Byculla and Dadar.
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Safety hazard: Metal rods found on CR tracks yet again

A potential derailment was averted on Monday when a quick-thinking motorman spotted three metal roads lying on the tracks and hit the brakes immediately.This is the second such case this year on Central Railway wherein metal rods were found on the tracks, allowing safety to take a beating.At around 7.45 am, three huge metal rods – with a quadrangular base – were found lying on the rail tracks, across the sleepers, between Masjid station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). The incident came to light when motorman MB Naik who was maneuvering a CSMT-Panvel local saw the three metal rods lying right on the middle of the tracks — a clear-cut obstruction for the train.The iron rods, around two to three meters in length, were near the road-overbridge towards CSMT. One of them was right on the rail track while the other two were found on the sleepers that connect two rail tracks.Motorman Anurag Shukla, who was driving the Panvel-CSMT local train, picked up the three rods and took them to CSMT.Sources in the CR said that the rods didn’t seem to be used by railwaymen during mega blocks or carrying out work. They believe the rods could belong to the cemented buildings and other structures next to the rail lines on the route. The section is also infamous for trespassing drug addicts. The railway police is investigating the matter.
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Twitter users come to rescue of young boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station

One of our worst fears during train journey’s in childhood was the fear of getting lost or stranded in a busy railway station. Unfortunately, some kids inevitably lose their way in busy train stations. Something similar happened with Archit, a boy stranded at Jaipur Railway station. An alert Twitter user on Monday posted a picture of a boy stranded in Jaipur Railway station. He was unfortunately left behind by his family who boarded the 19329 Udaipur Express. The only information Archit could provide was that his father’s name is Bharat Bhushan.After the tweet was retweeted close to 100 times with many tagging the Railway Ministry, help was received. Twitter user Phoenix Fire later tweeted that the boy has met his local guardian in Jaipur station. The boy clearly looked shocked in the picture and one can only imagine what would have happened without the intervention of Twitter’s good samaritans. Here’s how the event unfolded:Twitter user Phoenix Fire later deleted the main tweet after the child found help. In the last few years, there have been increasing number of interventions by Railway Minister after being alerted on Twitter. The practice started with ex-Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at the helm, but has continued even after change of guard and Piyush Goyal taking over. There have been cases where some Twitter users have even tweeted asking for baby food from the Railway Ministry! But all in all, interventions on Twitter have definitely cut down on number of unfortunate and unforeseen incidents which happen while travelling by train.
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Defence Ministry raises concern over charges for military traffic, Railways clarifies

The railway ministry has issued a letter to its zonal offices clarifying the charges levied by the transporter after complaints from the Defence Ministry about discrepancies in rates for military traffic.In the letter dated November 27, the railway board said they had received communication from the defence authority about the lack of parity in charges across zones.”Reference has been received from the defence authority stating that different practises are being followed over zonal railways regarding charging in case of military traffic. The matter has been examined,” the letter read.In its letter, the Army had raised concerns regarding difference in rates across zones and charges being levied despite exemption for military traffic.The letter from the defence ministry said 20 per cent haulage surcharge was being levied on its traffic but the charge is applicable only on railway-owned wagons and not on the defence-owned ones.The railway clarified that the charge was not applicable on military-owned wagons according to the rules.It said charges related to loading, unloading, sorting and detention of rolling stock of military special trains will be similar to the charges applicable for public traffic.The railways made it clear that defence and military equipment are exempt from the GST after concerns were raised over the tax being levied on military traffic by certain zones.It said military traffic was not exempt from busy season charge and development surcharge, which the defence ministry said should not be levied.The railway board, however, said neither can the railways raise any debit nor can the defence authority expect a refund for transactions carried out in the past.
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CSMT hunts for rental HQ till new building comes

To make room for the world-class rail museum, the Central Railway has planned to move out of its Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) headquarters to P D’mello Road. However, till the transition is over, it is looking for an 8,000 square metre office space within two kilometre radius of the station. To that end, an expression of interest for hiring office space was floated on Saturday by the CR.A copy of the letter to that end, available with DNA, by General Manager Central Railway, DK Sharma to Ashwani Lohani, Chairman Railway Board, read, “Railway Minister has instructed that existing CR HQ at CSMT shall be relocated and the heritage building thus vacated will be converted into a world class Rail Museum. Location for construction of new Headquarters building for CR has been identified near P D’mello road. The proposal for new office building is being initiated and shall be submitted shortly for sanction in Works Programme 2018-19. In the interim period, till new building is constructed, possibility of adjusting offices situated in CSMT building, temporarily, in other building or and by hiring a suitable building is being explored.”The letter further reads, “In this regard, it is indicated that Central Railway has already proposed a work in Works Programme 2018-19 for upgradation/rehabilitation of building, including relocation of electric sub-station and telephone exchange at a cost of approximately Rs 41 crore. The work needs to be sanctioned on priority for early execution.” When contacted, Sharma withheld comment.However, a senior railway officer from CSMT, confirmed the details and said, ”After the railway minister said that CSMT be converted into a museum, his orders had to be carried out. Hence, the expression of interest was issued, so that we including all top offices situated in the building, vacate the property to some other place till the time the new building is constructed.”
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Double Decker rakes on Chennai-Bengaluru train to be replaced with AC coaches for 2 days

Southern Railway today said that double decker rakes on a Chennai Central-KSR Bengaluru City service would be replaced with regular air conditioned coaches for two days next week due to “operational reasons.” “Due to operational reasons, Train No.22625/22626 Chennai Central KSR Bengaluru City Double Decker rakes will be replaced with regular air conditioned chair car coaches for two days on December 5 and 6, 2017,” it said in a release.Consequently, there would be changes in seat numbers for already reserved passengers which will be intimated through SMS to all passengers at the time of preparation of charts, it added.The change will be in force only on December 5 and 6 as double decker rakes will be pressed into service from December 7 onwards, it said.
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Youth dies in Kota after falling in well

A 20-year-old youth on Wednesday morning was killed while his 22 years old friend was rescued after they had accidentally fallen into a deep well in an agriculture field near Bishniya Khedi village of Kota district.The two youths along with three other friends at around 2.30 today morning had boarded a passenger train from Kota Railway Station for Ramganjmandi town but being in sleep, missed to get off at station following which they pulled the chain to stop the train and got off near Bishniya Khedi village.The two fell into the well while they were crossing the agriculture field.Five friends, all catering labourers from Kota city, were travelling to Ramganjmandi town at around 2.30 today early morning, told Manoj Sikerwal, SHO at Ramganjmandi police station.The five missed to get off the train at Ramganjmandi railway station following which they pulled the chain and jumped into an agriculture field near village, he said adding two of the five youths identified as Aniket Bairwa and Rajesh Prajapat), both residents of in Kota, could not notice the well in the field due to darkness and fell into the deep well.Police on information reached the spot and two constables climbed down into the well with ropes and succeeded to rescue but Aniket’s body had drowned deep into the water.
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New safety concern crops up at Currey Road FOB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Indian Railways, Army and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are struggling to acquire 180 sq metres of land for constructing a foot overbridge (FOB) at Currey Road station, there is a bigger safety problem that the Central Railway (CR) is grappling with. The problem came to notice on Monday when Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal visited Currey Road station to inspect the work on the FOB.Over the past few months, the CR authorities began constructing the second FOB at Currey Road station and in the past few weeks they have built the staircases on both sides of the platform. The work on the elevated portion of the FOB that extends on the east till the platform, too has been started. They painted this structure in silver, but put granite tiles on the stairs just a couple of days before Goyal was to visit the station.There are two landings — one towards Dadar and the other towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus — where the staircases are there. However, there is an issue with the landing of the staircase towards the CSMT-end as they end straight on to a cemented and tiled seat. This has a metal pole holding the roof and people often sit there while waiting for the train. The gap is barely of 3-4 feet, which is insufficient considering the huge number of commuters.”We have examined this and it is an additional landing. We are finding out solutions keeping in view the requirement of cover over platforms for the passengers,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has stressed on ensuring safety of commuters at railway stations and its premises. Even the multi-disciplinary audit team in its report has stated the need to remove all obstructions near the landing of FOBs across the suburban stations in Mumbai.MINISTER’S WORDOn Monday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal visited Currey Road station to inspect the progress. He later agreed that there are some issues with the availability of land that is being sorted out.

Union Railway Minister wants railway to learn from Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wants railway engineers from all 17 Indian Railway zones to visit Mumbai to see the work done by the Indian Army in constructing Foot-Over-Bridges (FOB) at Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivili stations, once completed. The minister wants the railway engineers to learn how to carry out work in crisis situations and under time constraints. “I have ordered that railway staff, especially from the engineering department from all 17 zones across Indian Railways will learn how to work under challenging circumstances. I have asked them to visit the three sites and learn from it once the work on FOB is ready,” said Goyal.The minister said this after inspecting the work on the foot-over-bridge that the Army is constructing at Elphinstone Road, following the stampede on an FOB at the station. Goyal said the reason he involved the Army is because he wanted to show the railway engineers how to tackle emergency situations. “The railways depend on contractors as they do not have their own manpower, unlike the Army,” added Goyal. The FOBs at all three locations are expected to be ready before the January 31 deadline set. The Army is expected to start work at Elphinstone on extending the FOB connecting Parel and Elphinstone Road stations by December 5, by when the girders will come in and shall be stored at the Kalyan carshed. Work on an entirely new 12-meter wide FOB connecting the two stations too will also begin soon, for which tendering and designing work is complete.Meanwhile work on an additional staircase on the FOB at Elphinstone Road, on which 23 people lost lives is already underway. They have placed metal sheet on which stairs will be built. “It will be widened and made ready by December 31,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.The elevated booking office there too will be demolished. Out of the five ticket windows, four have been shut down, three ATVMs have been made available and porta cabins allotted below for issuing local train tickets.The Army has assigned one platoon – comprising 50 army men – at each of the three stations of Elphinstone Road, Currey Road and Ambivali for carrying out the construction work. At Currey Road, there is a 180 sq meters plot belonging to a private owner who has not transferred it to the Army, BMC or Railways for carrying out work on the FOB. The cost of this land is around Rs 4 crore, that shall be given to the private company who owns it. Goyal, who visited Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations on Monday afternoon, asked the authorities to buy out a MHADA building outside Currey Road station so that the plot can be taken over for landing of the FOB that will be constructed. The minister also wants the Railways and BMC to connect the FOBs with skywalks for faster access.

Mumbai: Piyush Goyal hospitalised after complaining of severe stomach pain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was hospitalised here today after he complained of uneasiness and severe pain in the stomach.Goyal, who was to address a press conference at the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus at around 6:30 PM, was rushed to the private hospital here when he complained of uneasiness.His office in Delhi said that he had a “minor kidney stone” but is “okay now”.He will not undergo surgery, but is being kept under observation, his office said. Before hospitalisation, Goyal visited suburban Elphinstone Road and Currey Road stations to take stock of the ongoing construction of the Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) by the Army.
ALSO READ Piyush Goyal fires back at ex-PM over bullet train remarkGoyal complained of uneasiness after addressing a review meeting of senior Central and Western Railway officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.”After holding a review meeting with the officials, the minister complained of uneasiness due to acidity. An ambulance was called as part of protocol though he was fit enough to walk and preferred to travel in his own vehicle,” a senior railway official said.”He (Goyal) has been admitted to a private hospital and is fine now,” he said.”Visited Elphinstone Road railway station and reviewed the progress of foot overbridge’s construction. The Army has been working tirelessly to build the infrastructure within the given timeline,” Goyal said in a tweet tonight.

Rail fracture between Sion and Matunga disrupts services

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

Railway traffic towards Ahmedabad affected due to breakdown of Overhead Equipment near Vadodara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway traffic between Ahmedabad and Mumbai was affected following a break down of the Overhead Equipment(OHE) between KIM and Kosamba of Vadodara division.As per Railway officials, most of the super fast and long distance trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad were running late for almost three hours and the trains were regulated on the route due to the technical issue.The incident took place at around 3.30am in the morning between the Kim and Kosamba route of Vadodara division of Western railways. The Overhead cable of the OHE had some technical issue in the wires and the electric supply was cut, thereby resulting in the railway traffic of all down trains from Mumbai side were halt.Khemraj Singh, Public relation officer of Vadodara division Said, “The break down of the OHE has been restored by the railway staff by 9.45am and it has been a free traffic now. We are still finding the reason behind break-down of OHE and for which our team is working on it. Till now around 9 train all down from Mumbai have been affected and running late for three hours due to the issue.”

Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailment: UP CM Yogi Adityanath announces Rs 2 lakh compensation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family members of those killed in a train derailment in Chitrakoot district.Thirteen coaches of the Patna-bound 12741 Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express jumped the rails near Manikpur Railway Station in the early hours, killing at least three passengers and leaving nine injured.The deceased included a six-year-old boy and his father.Read: Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derails near Banda in Uttar Pradesh; 3 dead, several injuredAdityanath has also declared Rs 50,000 for each of the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who suffered minor injuries, an official release said.Expressing grief over the death of passengers, the chief minister conveyed his sympathies to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery to those injured.The chief minister directed officials to ensure adequate and speedy treatment of the injured, an official release said.The railway ministry has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of those dead and Rs 1 lakh for those who suffered grievous injuries.

Uttar Pradesh: Three Muslim clerics beaten up in a moving train

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Muslim clerics were allegedly beaten up by unidentified persons in a moving train here leaving them injured, police said.The ‘maulvis’, who boarded a passenger train at Delhi last night, were on their way to their village in Baghpat when they had a tiff with some youth who allegedly beat them up, SP Baghpat Jaiprakash Singh said.The victims and some of their supporters later got down at Amhaida station and lodged their protest against the incident and a case was registered against six unidentified persons at the Baghpat Kotwali police station, he said.It has also been alleged that the three ‘maulvis’- Gulzar, Israr and Abrar – were pushed out of the train, but the police did not confirm it.Baghpat Kotwali incharge B Kumar said that the case was being transferred to the Railway police.

PM pulls up babus for consumer complaints

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday pulled up top bureaucrats in view of increasing number of consumer complaints. At the 23rd interaction through PRAGATI — the ICT-based, multi-modal platform — with top Central bureaucrats and chief secretaries of various states, he emphasised on the need for improvement in the administrative arrangement to benefit consumers. Some 4.2 lakh cases of consumers are pending in consumer forums across the country, and at least 70 per cent of them are in district forums.Officials briefed the PM on the action taken to ensure speedy and effective disposal of consumer grievances. Citing reasons behind the inordinate delay in disposal of complaints, it was mentioned that inadequate infrastructure at consumer forums had affected their functioning. PM’s initiative of interacting with bureaucrats so far has led review of 200 projects with a total investment of Rs. 9.31 lakh crore.Modi also reviewed the progress of nine infrastructure projects in Railway, road, power, and renewable energy sectors spread over several states including Uttarakhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. These projects are cumulatively worth over Rs 30,000 crore.He also reviewed the progress in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). He said that funds accruing to the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) should be utilized to strategically focus upon and eliminate major development issues or deficits that these districts currently face. He said this should be done in a focused way, so as to achieve the greatest possible, tangible results by 2022, which marks 75 years of independence.

The ‘train moving in wrong direction’ story factually incorrect, says Indian Railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday, the Internet was abuzz with a news story about a train going 160 km in ‘wrong direction’. The Railways has trashed the story as ‘factually incorrect.’In a lengthy clarification issued late in the evening, Anil Kumar Saxena, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways said that “The news circulating in certain sections about ‘movement of a special train for Kisan passengers between Delhi to Kolhapur’ is factually incorrect.”In what is termed as the real set of events that happened, the ministry issued “the correct information about the train.”According to the Railways, the organisers of a Kisan rally in Delhi had booked a special train on payment basis for running between Kolhapur(central Railway) to Delhi and back.”The road-side stations demanded by the organisers were Karad, Miraj and Manmad in Maharashtra. Train was not headed to Kota in Rajasthan as reported in some section of Media. These special trains are run through a route which is conveniently available to the railway operation. Earlier, when this train came from Kolhapur to Delhi, it took Western Railway route namely via Nagda, Kota, Ratlam, Mathura, as it was the best route available from operation point of view at that point of time,” it said.”In the return journey from Delhi to Kolhapur on Tuesday i.e. 21.11.2017, the Railway Administration found that the best path available is the Central Railway route i.e. via Mathura, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhopal, Itarsi route. Hence, they decided to run this special train from Delhi to Kolhapur via this Central Railway route(which in any way is the natural route for these destinations). In case of such isolated special train, the trains keep moving safely through proper messages from one control to next control,” the Railways said.”The passengers might have felt confused because of the different route used in their return journey. They in any way had no reason to worry as it was to reach their destination Miraj, Karad, Manmad, Kolhapur comfortably,” the statement said.It also maintained that, “there was no negligence, there was no diversion, there was no unnecessary running of the train, there was no case of wrong signal, as reported in a section of media and the passengers were at no point of time stranded. It was held up for some time at station Banmore Railway Station near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh because of some path congestion problem.The statement added: “Once, the path became available, the train moved ahead smoothly towards its destination viz. Manmad, Karad, Miraj and Kolhapur.The train had a pantry-car where eatables were available for the passengers. The passengers may have felt some inconvenience because of some delay in the movement of the train during the journey.”

Raj Thackeray-led MNS to fight illegal hawkers around stations through Whatsapp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has a new weapon in its fight against illegal hawking around Railway stations, religious places, hospitals and educational institutions.MNS functionaries across Mumbai have created helplines and WhatsApp groups for citizens to complain about such illegal vendors. These complaints are then forwarded to the police and BMC for action. In case these agencies drag their feet, activists of the party take “appropriate action.”Yashwant Killedar, who heads the MNS unit in the Mahim assembly segment, said they had created a WhatsApp helpline for citizens to complain against illegal hawking in these no-go areas in the constituency. “If people see any hawking here, they can click photosand send them to the helpline. We get many complaints at the rate of around 15 to 20 per day… The purpose is to create awareness in the people,” added Killedar.The Mahim assembly seat covers Railway stations like Dadar, Mahim and Matunga.Akhil Chitre, MNS leader from Santacruz, said the party unit had started “Feriwale Hatao” (Drive hawkers away) WhatsApp groups which consisted of both, MNS office bearers and local residents who were not affiliated to any political party.”This covers an area of 150 meters around Railway stations, hospitals, and educational institutions and foot over bridges in Bandra, Santacruz and Khar,” added Chitre, stating that citizens could send photos of any illegal vending in these areas instead of taking “individual action.”The photos are then sent to the police and BMC for action. In case these agencies drag their feet, MNS leaders said their activists visited the spots to chase the encroachers away. “Each WhatsApp group sees around five to six complaints daily, mostly in the morning or evening,” said Chitre.The Bombay High Court had said hawking would be permitted only in 221 designated hawking zones and disallowed near schools, hospitals, religious places, railway stations and on foot overbridges (FOBs).After the stampede at the Elphinstone Road Railway station on September 29 which killed 23 people, Raj, who had organised a morcha on the Western Railway headquarters at Churchgate from the Metro Cinema had given the Railways a 15-day deadline to remove hawkers at stations, foot over bridges and premises. This would make stationssafer and easier to access for commuters.

Unusual spark in Monorail coach probable cause behind fire: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cause behind India’s first Monorail corridor between Wadala-Chembur catching fire 12 days ago was due to unusual spark underneath the Monorail coach that got in touch with the heated tyre of Monorail further resulting in burning of two Monorail coaches, revealed the interim report submitted to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) by independent committee probing the cause behind fire.UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We have received the interim report prepared by the independent committee which said that the possible reason behind Monorail catching fire was due to unusual spark coming underneath getting in touch with the heated tyre. The committee will submit its final report in the next eight days and Monorail services will remain shut until then.”According to MMRDA officials, the reason why the tyre got heated was probably because the particular Monorail was being used the whole night for test runs before the fire. “The Monorail entered Wadala depot at around 4 am, after running for around 5-6 hours. A few minutes later, when it was being taken for its routine operations the accident occurred.”The final report is being prepared by the independent committee headed by PS Baghel, retired Commissioner of Railway Safety, Western Circle. “The reason behind final report taking time is because there are some materials such as rubber, steel that caught fire are being tested at forensic labs and it is after their report final findings would be concluded, said a MMRDA official. On early morning of November 9, an empty Monorail on its way from Wadala Depot to Chembur, caught fire at Mysore Colony Monorail station.However, no injuries were reported due to the accident. MMRDA officials also have maintained that still it cannot be concluded whether operation and maintenance contractor can be held responsible for the accident or not.“There are some suggestions by the independent committee that will have to be adopted now in future before making the Monorail operational,” Madan added.The first phase of Monorail between Wadala and Chembur was made operational in 2014 and the second phase between Wadala and Jacob Cirle is expected to be made operational within few months. Meanwhile, ever since the first phase of the Monorail was made operational in 2014, it has been in the news for constant breakdowns in the rakes.

Youth gets 3-yr jail for mobile theft in train

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 21-year-old Mahim resident who was found guilty in a mobile theft case, registered by the Bandra Railway police station, was sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment by the Session’s court. The court, in its orders, refused to release the accused on probation claiming that the only place to improve himself is the jail and that the accused could take this as a lesson. The court also held that as such incidents are in trend, and such cases need to be dealt with an iron hand rather than granting release on probation.The court held, “The act of the accused regarding dealing a blow on the hand of the passenger who was travelling on a local train is certainly a serious one. It was dangerous to the safety of the passenger. He has committed this act with a knowledge and intention to obtain wrongful gains, irrespective of the safety of the passenger. Considering this, the accused is to be dealt with an iron hand instead of extending the benefit of probation. There is a possibility of obtaining vocational training in the jail if he desires. In my view punishment is the only way to allow him to improve himself.”A crime had been registered with the Bandra Railway police against Alex Joseph by Santa Cruz resident Divakar Jha. According to Jha, on June 12, 2017, he had boarded a local train from Mahim station. When the train reached Bandra, the accused, who was on a train heading towards Churchgate dealt a blow on Jha’s hand and his mobile phone fell down. Meanwhile, on the same day, the railway police caught the accused while he was trying to commit theft and recovered the phone from him.The court orderThe court, in its order, refused to release the accused on probation claiming that the only place to improve himself is the jail and that the accused could take this as a lesson.

In Dec, Harbour line to extend till Goregaon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In good news for commuters on the Harbour line, starting December, services will extend till Goregaon. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has acquired the much-needed rail tracks and ballasts earlier this month to be placed on the pending stretches between Andheri and Goregaon stations.In the last one week, officials and workers of the MRVC were seen at different stretches between Andheri and Ram Mandir stations where tracks were missing even though the alignment was made ready.Senior officials said that the process of dropping off the materials was to happen earlier but was delayed because of the Elphinstone Road stampede. The metals were then transferred for safety-related works rather than installation of new rail lines.”There was a shortfall of tracks for some time but we managed to convince the Railway Board to sanction it for this route as tracks were needed only for a small stretch,” said an MRVC official.Moreover, the MRVC acquired sand and ballasts, for the Rs 103 crore project, from Sabarmati river earlier last week. The two rail lines, whose height is slightly above the slow lines running next to it, are ready for trains to ply on them.This line will now allow trains from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), which currently terminates at Andheri, to go till Goregaon.For this project, new platforms for Jogeshwari have been created and are almost half a kilometre away from the existing station.

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”.

Differently abled in lurch after removal of Andheri Stn ramp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A steep ramp built on the foot overbridge (FOB) at Andheri railway station to facilitate the movement of differently abled and senior citizens has finally been demolished by the Western Railway (WR).This ramp was not only termed ‘dangerous’ but also saw able-bodied commuters slip and fall. However, what continues to irk several commuters is that the ramp has now been replaced with stairs and no alternate arrangements for the differently abled.In a story published on November 10, DNA had reported the problems differently abled and senior citizens were facing while using the ramp. Located on the busiest Borivli end of the FOB that connects to the skywalk, the ramp was so steep that pushing a wheelchair on it was not an easy task.Speaking with DNA, Western Railway Chief Public Relation Officer Ravindra Bhakar said that the ramp was demolished after receiving complaints.”Due to the presence of a beam, the slope of the ramp could not be extended. Efforts were made to study various designs but it was not possible to build a ramp and a decision was taken to replace it with stairs,” he said, adding that grab rails have been provided to ease the movement of the differently abled.”It was very obvious looking at the ramp that it was built just to show that Railways provide ramps. However, it was not properly planned. This should be a lesson for the Railways in the future to incorporate proper designing or seek help from qualified architects. It was a good decision to remove the ramp as it was risky for differently abled commuters like me,” said Andheri (W)resident Rahul Deshmukh, adding that while it might seem like a small issue, it highlighted the mindset of various authorities when it came to providing facilities for the differently abled.”For instance, WR has provided an elevator only on the west side. More planning and sensitivity is needed when it comes to the differently abled,” he said.

Cops nab train robbers in Greater Noida

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Greater Noida police have arrested two people of a notorious gang which stopped trains by planting Rs 2 coins on railway tracks and then robbed commuters at gunpoint from Tilapta on Monday..According to police, the gang operated late at night and had been active in the Dadri area. This gang stopped the trains and looted commuters between Dadri and Boraki railway stations, police said.”Many such incidents have been reported at Railway Protection Force police station in Dadri. Based on the complaints, Surajpur police, along with railway police team, scanned the CCTV footages and then nabbed two persons from railway tracks near the inland container depot in Tilapta on Monday,” said Girish Kumar Kotiya, station house officer of Surajpur police station.Police said the gang placed the coins placed between the track helps the joints in breaking down the ‘track circuit.’ What this does is that when the train passes over the coins it turns the next green signal into red for a couple of minutes, during which the miscreants looted commuters at gunpoint.”We have managed to nab two persons of the gang while two other members managed to escape from the spot,” Kotiya added .The arrested persons are identified as Rajan and Dinesh, both natives of Bulandshahr. Police has recovered a country-made pistol and live cartridges rounds from their possession.”They revealed that they mostly looted people sitting in the last bogies. If the loot is executed successfully, they called it a lucky coin, with which they managed to stop the train. Once the track circuit is broken, the next signal on the track turns red. While one member of the gang is engaged in breaking the circuit on the tracks, others wait near the next signal to loot the passengers,” said a senior police officer.

Bank heist value hits Rs 2.8 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the police are yet to get hold of the culprits involved in the Rs 2.85 crore theft case in which a 25-feet-tunnel was created to enter a public bank at Juinagar in Navi Mumbai and 30 of 225 lockers were broken into, customers who lost their valuables including cash, gold, silver and diamond ornaments are now asking how appropriate is it to call safe deposit vaults ‘safes’?Customers have now come forward to file a case against Bank of Baroda and have decided to approached Bombay High Court after the bank refused to entertain any request for compensation to the customers. Many victims claimed that the bank officials informed them that no insurance policy has been acquired for the safekeeping of the lockers.On Tuesday, Navi Mumbai police took statements of 28 out of 30 customers of Bank of Baroda’s Juinagar Branch who had availed safety locker facility. Remaining two customers are believed to be abroad on a business trip.Sanpada resident and logistic firm employee Rajesh Jadhav, 40, and his wife Meena, are victims of a double whammy. A decade ago, Jadhav had lost gold and silver ornaments worth Rs 3 lakh after thieves had broken into their house.“After that incident, we took the locker facility thinking our valuables will remain safe. Sadly, we lost Rs 5 lakh worth gold ornaments in this theft. People avail locker facility assuming houses are more prone to thefts, but now even banks are not safe,” said Jadhav.Another Sanpada resident, Praveen Thakur, 35, who works as a clerk with Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, was shocked after he learnt that Rs 80 lakh worth gold and silver ornaments were missing from his locker. Most of the ornaments in his locker were ancestral and were meant for his sister Pushpa’s wedding.An official of Turbhe Railway Station, Amit Kumar, 39, a resident of Juinagar, lost gold ornaments worth Rs 7 lakh. Kumar had availed locker facility two years ago. “The bank should take the responsibility and compensate our loses,” said Kumar.LEGAL TANGLENavi Mumbai police took statements of 28 out of 30 customers of Bank of Baroda’s Juinagar Branch. Two customers are out of station Many victims claimed bank officials informed them that no insurance policy has been acquired for the safekeeping of the lockers

PMLA case: ED grills Tejashwi Yadav for nine hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tejashwi Yadav, son of RJD leader Lalu Prasad, was today grilled for?over nine hours for the second time by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe in the railway hotels allotment corruption case, official sources said.They said the statement of the former Bihar deputy chief minister was recorded by the investigating officer of the case at the ED office after he arrived there around 11 AM. Tejashwi Yadav left the ED office around 8:45 PM. This is the second time Tejashwi was questioned by the central probe agency in this case. Sources said Tejashwi Yadav was asked about three dozen questions in connection with the case.He was last questioned by the agency on October 10 and was grilled for over nine hours. Since then, Tejashwi has skipped four appearances and appeared today on a fresh summon, they said. The agency has registered a case against Lalu Prasad, his family members and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Tejashwi’s mother and former Bihar chief minister Rabri has skipped the ED summonses at least six times till now.In July, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered an FIR and conducted multiple searches on the properties of Lalu Prasad, who is also a former Bihar chief minister, and others.The CBI FIR has alleged that Lalu Prasad, during his tenure as the railway minister, handed over the maintenance of two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels to a company in 2004 after receiving a bribe in the form of a prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of Prem Chand Gupta, a former Union minister.The ED had registered a criminal case against his family members and others under the PMLA, based on the CBI FIR.The CBI recently recorded the statements of Tejashwi and Lalu Prasad in this case. The ED is investigating the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, according to officials.Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel. The CBI FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’.

Fed up with poor infra, Central Railway commuters threaten protest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tired of the Railways’ lackadaisical efforts to improve infrastructure on the Central Railway (CR) line, commuters have decided to take the matter into their own hands. The commuter associations on the Kalyan-Karjat/ Kasara belt have threatened to protest if CR fails to improve the infrastructure.Apart from them, associations from the Thane-Kalyan belt will also protest on November 13 if CR authorities don’t give a written assurance.To begin with, in the last two days the Locals and Passenger association on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch protested at Vasind station against the CR authorities for delay in implementing the third line between Kalyan and Kasara. The Kalyan-Kasara third line project, which is out of Metropolitan Transportation Project’s list, received only Rs 20 crore in this year’s rail budget. The state government had sought Rs 200 crore for the same.Apart from this, commuters also want two more additional stations of Umbarmali and Taanset to come up. These stations are supposed to bring more respite to locals who struggle during peak hours.”The CR authorities are delaying the third rail line which is very important. Moreover, despite funds of Rs 9 crore or so has been allotted, work has not begun at the two new stations,” said Rajesh Gangav, member, Kalyan-Kasara-Karjat Passenger Association.The association has also demanded new FOBs at Titwala, Khadavali, Vasind, Asangaon, Atgaon and Kasara to be built. Sources in CR said that they are already working on details to build more FOBs at these stations apart from raising the height of platforms and creating home platform wherever possible.The associations have threatened a protest at Thane on November 13 if CR authorities do not provide written assurance that they will build FOB at Retibunder, which is between Kalwa and Mumbra. “This demand is going on for the last four to five years now,” said Siddhesh Desai, vice president, Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh.RAILWAY’S APATHYCommuter associations on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch have protested at Vasind station for delay in implementing the third line project between Kalyan and Kasara.
The Kalyan-Kasara third line project received only Rs 20 crore in this year’s rail budget. The state government had sought Rs 200 crore for it.

Bridge security: Parl panel to summon Railways’ top officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indicating its seriousness towards the issue of railway bridge safety, a parliamentary panel has asked top railway officials to appear before it. This is the second time the railway officials have been summoned in the past fortnight.The parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, headed by Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, has called the representatives of the Ministry of Railways to hear them on issues ranging from safety measures in railway operations to maintenance of bridges of foot over bridges that fall under the purview of the Railways.The committee, which first met on October 12, took up the issue as the matter of railway bridge security raised concerns in wake of the incident in Mumbai where 23 people were killed in a stampede at Elphinstone Road railway station. A few days later, a portion of a foot over bridge at Charni Road station in the city left two people injured.The panel first took up the issue on November 6 in which top officials of railway board were grilled about the security measures being taken by the department about railway bridges and their current status across the country.As a number of queries raised by members could not be answered on sport, the panel has again summoned the railway officials before it on November 20.Top Railway Board officials will brief the panel about both the issues—the safety measures undertaken by the department with regard to railway operations and also the maintenance of railway bridges.The parliamentary panel had in its earlier meeting also expressed its concern over the spate of train derailment incidents in the past few months.

Parliamentary Panel summons railway officials within a fortnight; grills them on safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indicating its seriousness towards the issue of railway bridge safety, a Parliamentary panel has called top railway officials before it. Interestingly, this is the second time the railway officials have been summoned in the past fortnight. A parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways headed by Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay has called the representatives of the Ministry of Railways to hear them on issues ranging from safety measures in railway Operations to maintenance of bridges of foot over bridges that fall under the purview of the Indian Railways.The committee, which first met on October 12, took up the issue as the matter of railway bridge security raised concerns in wake of the incident in Mumbai where 23 people were killed in a stampede at Elphinstone Road railway station. A few days later, a portion of a foot over bridge at Charni Road station in the city left two people injured.The panel first took up the issue on November 6 in which top officials of railway board were grilled about the security measures being taken by the department about railway bridges and their current status across the country.As a number of queries raised by members could not be answered on sport, the panel has again summoned the railway officials before it on November 20. Top Railway Board officials will brief the panel about both the issues—the safety measures undertaken by the department with regard to railway operations and also the maintenance of bridges in Indian railways.The Parliamentary panel had in its earlier meeting also expressed its concern over the spate of train derailment incidents in the past few months. After a series of train derailment incidents, the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had also made an offer to resign and was subsequently shifted out of Railway Ministry in a Cabinet reshuffle in September. According to an analysis, the death toll from train derailments was the highest in 2016-17.

Woman sees man molesting 2 women, police deny help

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Bhayander-based housewife, Vaidahi More, was in for a rude shock on Friday when she saw a man allegedly molesting and groping two women at Bhayander Railway station. More, along with one of the victims, approached the police, who were present on the platform to raise an alarm. However, the police refused to entertain the complainant.In a fit of rage, the woman shot a video and is seen threatening the police authorities to take the matter into her own hands and pick up weapons to fight the molester.More, a housewife, decided to confront the man with the help from other commuters and took the victim to the two police officers at the railway station. The police officers refused to help and asked her to catch hold of the person and bring him to them. More later found that the man had managed to escape after crossing tracks.”The policemen refused to nab the man and instead told me that we have other work to do. I came forward to fight after seeing the man molest other women. The attitude of police was pathetic and now I have decided that I will take the matter in my own hands and will attack men if they are found molesting women at public places,” an agitated More said.The housewife soon posted the video on social media and gained a huge response with over 8,000 people viewing it and a few others sharing it too. Purshottam Karad, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Western Zone, Government Railway Police, said, “We have got in touch with the woman and are also checking the CCTV camera footage.”

Monkey plays hide-and-seek game at L Parel stn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the past four days, a stray monkey has been troubling Lower Parel residents. The monkey has been raiding vegetables and fruits from vendors near the railway stations as well as nearby buildings and has also attacked a couple of people.With the monkey regularly visiting the platforms as well as the Foot Over Bridge (FOB) at Lower Parel railway station, the Railway officials on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Thane forest department. A team of the department visited the station on Thursday and set up a trap cage near the Station Master’s cabin on platform number 1.Ankit Vyas, an animal rescuer from Kandivli who assisted the forest department in setting up the trap, said: “It’s an aggressive alpha male and has even attacked a couple of people, including one railway official. We tracked it for over an hour on Thursday but it kept giving us a miss as it was first on platform number 1 from where it took the FOB and went on to the east side, and then disappeared.”Vyas informed that they even spoke to several locals as well as shopkeepers outside the station and they all requested that the monkey be trapped. They claimed it kept snatching food and other things from people.”The monkey has regularly been visiting the railway station and moving on the FOB. We are worried about the safety our commuters as during peak hours there can be a stampede like situation on the FOB if the monkey attacks someone. Hence, we have requested the forest department to trap the monkey as soon as possible,” said a railway official.While the forest department has set up the trap with fruits kept as bait, they doubt that it will enter it. “We have already tried on Thursday, and seeing the size and alertness of the monkey, we doubt it will be trapped. We have spoken to the officials from Sanjay Gandhi National Park as well and if required we will dart the monkey on Friday to capture it,” said a senior forest official from Thane forest department.NOT AN EASY TASKWhile the forest department has set up the trap with fruits kept as bait, they doubt that it will enter it. “We have already tried on Thursday, and seeing the size and alertness of the monkey, we doubt it will be trapped. We have spoken to the officials from SGNP and if required we will dart the monkey on Friday to capture it,” said a senior forest official from Thane forest department.

Mumbai: Western Railway to spend crores on cleaning garbage!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Next time you see someone throw a sachet of pan masala, or plastic bottle on rail tracks, remember that public money is getting wasted on cleaning and removing them. Following complaints made by various passenger associations over cleanliness to the Western Railway, the latter has told that they will be spending more than Rs 2 crore only for removing these plastic materials from rail tracks.”We had raised the issue of plastic bottles and covers choking the drains and had asked the rail authorities to clean them,” said Kailash Verma, member, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.Senior WR officials said that they will be spending Rs 2.02 crore on cleaning and removing plastic bottles, covers from rail tracks between Churchgate to Virar. “We have called tenders for the same,” said a WR official. On an average night, 10 train coaches of rubbish and muck are carted away from the city.These sachets, bottles and covers are one of the main reasons behind water logging on tracks during monsoon as they choke the drainage system and culverts criss-crossing the rail lines. During the recent high-level meeting chaired by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal, the civic bodies were asked to co-operate with the Indian Railways as far as prevention of water logging on tracks is concerned for which removing these muck and garbage is essential.Recently the Indian Railways conducted a cleanliness check of 400 stations across Indian Railways where suburban sections of both Western and Central Railways fared poorly.

Railways on drive to remove anti-social elements

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railways are in the process of identifying stations where drug peddlars and addicts are often seen. On the Western Railway, they have received complaints from locals of these unwanted elements outside Grant Road station. Officials said that they are posting RPF staff to get rid of this menace. On the Central Railway, Masjid-CSMT is known for this menace.The WR officials said that during the multi disciplinary visits; the teams saw the presence of these anti- social elements who are threat to commuters. This is the reason the decision has been taken to evict these beggars, drug peddlers and other anti-social elements from Grant Road station premises. These people sit right outside platform 4 – where trains to Churchgate arrive – especially in the evenings.There is an old dilapidated railway yard right next to this platform, which officials state these people use to escape onto the road outside. “We have asked the RPF to monitor the stations where the elements are found and get rid of them,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.There is, at Grant Road station, a spot that is supported by six pillars as an extension to the station premises, with a ticket booking office next to this concourse where commuters are seen. Sources said that there is a proposal to shift the stalls inside the station present on the platform onto this concourse so that it doesn’t get encroached upon by anti-social elements.The BMC has already removed the beggars and as per the plans, No Hawking Zone has been created there. Sources said that there is an abandoned structure near the FOB on the same platform that too needs to be removed. The RPF officers claim that they are posting their staff at stations where the issue of anto social elements and hawkers have arise.On the Central Railway there are anti social elements that are seen between CSMT and Masjid stations. Sources agree that this stretch is well-known for these anti-social elements who operate despite action is taken from time to time. There is a proposal to remove the hawkers from both Churchgate and CSMT stations which are like hub for these hawkers.These steps are being taken to create more space on railway premises and on the outside so that people can walk freely. Over the past few days there have been demolition drives across various stations and its periphery. These critical actions taken by the government authorities is the outcome of the stampede at Elphinstone Road where 23 people lost their lives on September 29.

Open-cut method for culverts to affect CR services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Railways and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation attempt to solve problems created due to water logging on railway tracks in the monsoon, especially between Sion and Kurla, the BMC has now found a solution to the problem. However, this may affect central railway commuters largely as they may have to brace for cancellations and blocks.Apart from Sion and Kurla, storm water drains or culverts at Currey Road, Chichpokli and Mulund will have to be widened by the open-cut method. “It is the only method we could finalise to widen railway culverts as the usual engineering methods cannot materialise on these stretches. Commuters may be affected due to this work,” a senior civic official told DNA.Around two years ago, the BMC sent 29 proposals to Railways for widening and maintenance of culverts, for which the corporation has already paid money to the Railways. “However, railway officials found technical difficulties for drains augmentation and the proposals were languishing,” said Chief Engineer VH Khandkar of BMC storm water drains department.”But after joint meetings and visits, it was finalised that for six culverts, of which three fall in Sion-Kurla, and others in Currey Road, Chinchpokli and Mulund, the open-cut method will be used. It needs open excavation and is time-consuming, but drains need to be augmented irrespective of methods,” Khandkar added.Meanwhile, Divisional Railway manager of Central Railway SK Jain said, “We have finalised 15 locations on priority basis where we plan to complete the work before next monsoon. For these six culverts, we are figuring out ways to minimise disruptions in railway services. Our engineers are already in talks with civic engineers for the same.”DELAY AHEADApart from Sion and Kurla, storm water drains or culverts at Currey Road, Chichpokli and Mulund will have to be widened by the open-cut method. Commuters are likely to be affected.

Illegal encroachments outside Parel stn razed

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

Lead: Soon, local coaches to have

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two crime cases involving local trains remain pending for the lack of CCTV cameras inside the coaches. In September this year, 32-year-old Aarti Salian fell off a moving train at Nallasopara while trying to nab a robber. In the same month, another 19-year-old girl was pushed out of a moving train by a mugger at Virar station. For both cases, the railway police are only scouting for proof using the CCTVs installed in rail platforms. This, however, may change soon.The Western Railway has already mooted a plan to install 1,848 CCTVs inside all coaches — both ladies and general compartment — of local trains. Sources said that they shall be installing these high definition CCTVs inside 308 coaches, for which a proposal has been prepared. Each coach will have six CCTVs installed that would cover most of the spaces inside and near the doors. This will be the first time that CCTVs inside coaches will be installed at such a large scale.”This would surely give more confidence to commuters as far as the safety of women is concerned. This will also help nab commuters who travel in groups and block seats and doors, resulting in arguments and fights,” said Sandeep Salian, husband of Aarti who fought the mobile thief. “There is also a need to post two railway police staff at the end of every platform at least during the lean hours so that such robbery cases can be tackled”.As per plans, the WR will install high -resolution CCTVs. The first lot of CCTVs installed had a problem — that images generated were blurred and pixelated. The effort was going waste. “The problems that had cropped up earlier have been tackled in the new lot of CCTVs. We will also have an integrated security system to cover 32 railway stations,” said a WR official.The railway ministry has given full freedom to its authorities vis-a-vis spending funds to tackle safety issues. The integrated security system would cost Rs 114 crore; it would have a dedicated room at stations that would be beamed with live images to montior passenger activities, face recognition, identifying areas where there is large crowd, auto-alert of suspicious movement of people at rail premises, alerting trespassing on rail tracks through a network of CCTV cameras, etc.”We have already installed CCTVs inside 51 women’s coaches. The process to install them in all coaches has begun,” said Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western Railway. The WR will be installing more than 2,700 CCTVs at railway stations, which would also include replacing the 1,100 CCTVs that are of inferior quality.”The railways should ensure that these are properly monitored and timely action is taken. People should be assigned particular responsibilities to address any lacuna in alerting their staff at station premises in case an untoward incident is reported,” said Kailash Verma, member, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.The electronic surveillance inside ladies’ compartments was first planned in mid-2015. The recorder can save data for upto 30 days.WHAT’S IN STOREAs per plans, the WR will install high -resolution CCTVs. The first lot of CCTVs installed had a problem — the images were blurred and pixelated. An integrated security system will be built, too. It will cover 32 stations. There would be rooms broadcasting live images through CCTVs to monitor passenger activities.

Mathura railway station manager suspended after Hema Malini escapes bull attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after BJP MP Hema Malini narrowely escaped a bull attack at the Mathura Junction railway station, the station manager has been suspended for allegedly failing to curb the menace, an official said today.Station manager KL Meena has not only been suspended but also a probe has been ordered into the incident, Sanchit Tyagi, Divisional Commercial Manager North Central Railway, said.Meena was suspended for failing to stop the cattle menace on the platform, he said.Tyagi said the BJP MP from Mathura was narrowly saved from the attack by a bull when she had gone to the railway station to check for the possibility of revamping the station.PL Meena would look after the Mathura Junction railway station as the station manager in his place, he said.

Bhopal gang-rape: Five cops suspended for not registering FIR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five policemen have been suspended for alleged insensitivity and negligence in handling the case where a 19-year-old girl was gang-raped in Bhopal. The move comes after the MP government formed a SIT to probe the matter on Friday, the Indian Express reported.On Thursday, the girl was allegedly gang-raped by four men when she was returning home after attending UPSC coaching class. According to reports, all the four men took breaks for tea and gutka and repeatedly raped her for three hours.Initially, three police stations refused to register her complaint even though both her parents are in police.The incident took place around 10 p.m. in the vicinity of the Habibganj railway station when the four men abducted the woman.Speaking to ANI, Government Railway Police (GRP) SP Anita Malviya said, “When the victim reached the desolate railway crossing, the four men dragged her under a culvert near the railway tracks and took turns to rape her before fleeing. They fled assuming the girl to be dead. The girl usually takes a bus while returning to her Vidisha residence, but that day she opted to take a train.””On the basis of the complaint lodged by the woman, a case was registered at the GRP Police Station (Habibganj Railway Station) as the area where the crime occurred falls under their jurisdiction. They have been booked under sections 376 D (gang rape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention),” she said.

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%

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

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