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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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Mumbai: Metal rods found on Harbour line train tracks interrupting peak hour commute

On Monday morning, trains on Harbour line were affected after metal rods were found on tracks. There were three huge metal rods – which has a quadrangular base on one end – found lying on the rail track and across the sleepers. This could have surely proven dangerous for trains, as worse come to worse, it could have resulted in derailment too.This incident came to light at around 7.30 am when the motorman of a local train, heading towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, saw these three long metal rods lying on tracks. It could have easily hit the wheels and base of the train, which could have resulted in derailment.The train was near Masjid station and was heading for CSMT when this incident occurred. The motorman then picked up these three rods and took it to CSMT. It was kept outside the motorman chamber at the concourse of the station.In January this year, 380 kgs and seven meters long metal rod was kept on rail track blocking the entire line, at Diva. Five people were later arrested for the offence by the railway police. Services on Western Railway were also affected between 8-8.30 am due to a case of trespassing accident at Vile Parle. Due to this, trains ran almost 20 minutes late during morning peak hours.
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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.

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

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

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.

Mumbai Central station skywalk awaits Western Railway nod

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

Mumbai: That Whatsapp forward of a bomb blast in Bandra station is fake, confirms Western Railway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, the Western Railway looked to scotch rumours of a supposed bomb blast that took place at Bandra Railway station. Several messages on social media for the last fortnight have claimed that a bomb blast had taken place in Bandra station.DCP Government Railway Police, Western Railway said it was a false message and no such incident had taken place.Purhosttam Karad told DNA: “A false message about blast at Bandra Railway station is being circulated in some group. No such incident had happened.”

LIVE UPDATES: Massive fire breaks out in Mumbai’s Bandra east during demolition drive; Harbour line stretch closed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out on Thursday afternoon in Behrampada area of Bandra East in Mumbai.Preliminary reports said that smoke was billowing from the slums in the area. A fire official told DNA that the fire broke out during a demolition drive that was carried out by the BMC. “It was part of clearing encroachments along the Tansa pipeline following a Bombay High Court order,” he said.Sixteen fire engines and several water tankers were sent to the spot. The fire was declared a Level IV disaster, the second most serious category in disaster management.The Western Railway announced that despite the fire, all services, including Harbour Line have not been suspended. However, an NDTV report suggested that trains have been stopped on the Andheri-Wadala stretch of the Harbour Line, one the city’s three main local lines, because the fire is close to the tracks.No casualties have been reported so far, a fire brigade official said.

Civic body orders removal of hawkers outside rly stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To tighten the ongoing drive to evict hawkers outside railway stations, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has doubled the fine against the illegal hawkers. For the last four days, the roads immediately outside many railway stations in Mumbai have become spacious as BMC has removed all illegal hawkers. However, considering that the hawkers pay fines and put up their stalls the next day, BMC has not only increased their mobile vans but doubled the fines to discourage the hawkers.Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta gave his nod for the proposal a couple days ago but the decision was communicated to railway officials in a joint meeting of BMC and railway officials on Monday on the course of action on removal of all hawkers up to a 150-metre area outside railway stations under BMC jurisdiction.An officer from BMC licence department said, “The fine has been doubled to discourage hawkers to put up their stalls again. For instance, if previously the removal charges was Rs 240, now it’s Rs 480; and if penalty was Rs 1000, it will now be R s2000. The fine increases according to the type of stalls like eatables, garments and others.”In the joint meeting, the BMC chief also announced that all the Assistant Municipal Commissioners (known as ward officers) of all 24 civic wards will be nodal officers in removal of hawkers outside railway stations. The railway stations from Churchgate to Dahisar on Western Railway, CST to Mulund on Central Railway and CST to Mankhurd on Harbour line fall under BMC jurisdiction.Ajoy Mehta confirmed the decisions announced on Monday and said, “It will be applied for roads outside railway stations only in BMC areas.”

Despite eviction, hawkers back on Rly premises; vigil intensified

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the Elphinstone Road stampede in which 23 persons died, hawkers and vendors continue to encroach on railway station premises despite being evicted time and again.While the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers went on a rampage on Saturday to drive out hawkers outside railway stations, Railway authorities say they have already taken several steps to ramp up their vigil against hawkers.Both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) claim that they have posted additional RPF staff whose job is to identify and evict hawkers from the rail premises. Since the Elphinstone Road stampede, the WR authorities have posted additional RPF staff to manage crowds and for removing hawkers at 34 locations while the CR has placed staff at 13 railway stations. Not just RPF staff but ticket collectors and staff from the commercial department too have been asked to identify spots where hawkers are present, block entry/exit points and even videograph them.”We are doing our best to remove the hawkers from the demarcated railway premises,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, CR.CR officials claim that they have registered 22,863 cases between January and September against hawkers and collected fines of up to Rs 1.14 crore. During the same period in 2016, the CR has registered 16,731 cases and collected fine to the tune of Rs 61.25 lakh.RPF officers claim that they have intensified checks time and again but hawkers return to the station premises — the concourse area on the FOB to sell their wares.Illegal hawkers make it difficult to walk and the passenger associations claim that it is nothing less than a sham.The Railways also requested a dynamic monitoring mechanism consisting centralised Control Room of the BMC with a helpline number so that complaints regarding hawkers can be immediately conveyed and resolved.

Activist rakes up 2016 RTI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway (WR) in February 2016 had responded to an RTI saying the bridges on Churchgate-Virar route are safe. After the stampede massacre at Elphinstone Road, the RTI activist, Sharad Yadav, who had filed the RTI, has decided to move court and rake up the issue.”I had asked the WR authorities about the condition of bridges between Churchgate and Virar in February 2016. They had then said that all bridges on this section are safe and that the old bridges are replaced in a programmed way before they become unsafe,” said Yadav.The RTI has said once they notice the defect, it is rectified immediately or within a time frame. The reply further states that repairing and reconstruction is planned each year after inspection of the bridge.

Clear land disputes in projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Railways has informed the state government and its agencies that until the land acquisition process for projects is not complete, they cannot start a project. “The Railway minister made it clear that unless the land acquisition process is not completed, we would not commence our projects,” said a senior railway official.One such example is the 6th line between Borivli and Mumbai Central, meant for long distance trains on Western Railway (WR), that is stuck since 2008 when the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-2 commenced. The WR is struggling to shift the rail-overbridge between Khar-Bandra by 40 meters on the east towards Bandra Terminus. The locals are objecting as the spot has a cemetery and are refusing other solutions provided.”We have agreed to all their demands and are in touch with the government agencies to resolve the issue but nothing has worked out in our favour which has led to an escalation in cost,” said a senior WR official. The cost of the 6th line has escalated from Rs 430 crore in 2008 to Rs 918 crore now.Opposition from residents of the area is also the reason the WR has been unable to use the 5th line despite its completion, which they could use to add more local train services.For the 6th line, the WR needs land parcels covering a total area of 2130 sq meters at Vile Parle, Malad, Goregaon and Borivli. They also need 435-meter long land space in pockets too. “We have started work near Santacruz, Goregaon and Vile Parle since March but unless we do not get land parcels, it will be difficult to proceed,” said a WR official.STILL IN HOSPITALAs per information from KEM Hospital, 19 injured victims are yet at the hospital. Akash Parab, 18, who fractured his leg was operated on Monday. Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of KEM Hospital, said, “On Monday, five of the injured in the orthopaedic ward were ready for discharge but they haven’t yet as the paperwork is going on and they will be discharged soon.” Few more patients will be undergoing surgery soon. COMPENSATIONThe WR has paid an ex gratia amount of Rs 1.34 crore to the victims of the Elphinstone Road stampede. They have paid Rs 1.15 crore via cheque to the kin of the dead, Rs 15 lakh to those with simple injuries, and Rs 4 lakh to those with grievous injuries. WR officials said that they are yet to pay Rs 4.85 lakh to the kin of one of the deceased as they are waiting for confirmation of his identity from the police.

Elphinstone tragedy: 22 deceased received ex-gratia within 24 hours, says Western Railway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway has claimed that the kin of 22 people killed in a stampede here received ex- gratia payment within 24 hours and that its officers travelled to different parts of the country to disburse the money.A statement issued by the Western Railway said Rs 1.34 crore have been disbursed to the injured and the deceased.”We have disbursed cheques of Rs 4.85 lakh to the kin of 22 deceased. One dead passenger is yet to be identified,” said Mukul Jain, DRM of Mumbai division of WR.He said Rs 15,000 were disbursed on the day of accident itself. The deceased had received the cheques by Saturday.”We had opened a special counter at the KEM hospital to disburse cash to the kin of the deceased for transportation/ rituals of the deceased,” Jain said, adding as per the rules when such an emergency-like situation arises, the railways gives a part of the money in cash to meet contingency expenses.He said after the railway minister announced the amount of ex-gratia, a decision was taken to disburse the remaining amount through cheque and railway staffers handed it over to the kin of the deceased by on their doorstep.”Our railway staffers reached the doors of kin of the deceased in not only in Pune, Sangli but Allahabad also to hand over the cheques,” Jain said.Cheques have also disbursed to 30 passengers who received minor and grievous injuries into the mishap, the statement said.Twenty-three passengers were killed and 36 injured in a deadly rush hour stampede that occurred on a narrow foot overbridge connecting the Elphinstone Road railway station to Parel station on September 29.Shivaraj Pasalkar, the brother of Priyanka Pasalkar (23) who was killed in the stampede, confirmed receiving the cheque.Speaking to PTI over phone from Pune, Shivaraj said, “Of course, the railways displayed promptness in disbursing the money, but money can never compensate the loss of valuable lives.”He said had the railway administration been so quick to take measures about the bridge earlier, then this situation would not have arisen.Jain said apart from Rs five lakh compensation on behalf of the railways, the kin were also eligible to be paid Rs 8 lakh each from Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT).BJP MP from North Mumbai Kirit Somaiya, who has been taken up the issue of compensation with the tribunal, said, “The registrar of the tribunal has told me that a special Bench of Mumbai Railway Claim Tribunal is being formed to hear the matter of Elphinstone Bridge stampede and the claim for the compensation will be attended to in one month.”

Won’t allow single brick for bullet train until Mumbai rail infrastructure is fixed: Raj Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray raised the pitch for fixing railway infrastructure in Mumbai by threatening to stall work for the Centre’s upcoming bullet train project.”Until the present infrastructure of local railways is made better, not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for bullet train in Mumbai,” said Raj Thackeray.Reacting to the lament that the stampede at Elphinstone Road station on Friday was caused due to heavy rain, he said, “It is not the first time that it rained in Mumbai. And they (Railway) say it happened due to rains?”He added that he would lead a morcha on 5 October to the Western Railway headquarters in Mumbai at Churchgate and demand answers. “A list of issues related to Mumbai locals will be given to Railway on 5 Oct with a deadline. If things don’t get better, will see to it. We will also give a deadline to throw out illegal hawkers from station bridges. If it is not complied with, then we’ll act on our own,” Thackeray threatened.”Why do we need terrorists or enemies like Pakistan? It seems our own Railway is enough to kill people,” the MNS chief lashed out.

Railways to use tablets for feedback

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

AC locals a distant dream as permissions still in limbo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Mumbaikars await the much-touted air-conditioned local, the files pertaining to final permissions for the train have been languishing in Lucknow with the Research, Design and Safety Organisation (RDSO). The Western Railway (WR) officials said that they have completed all the mandatory tests and submitted reports to the RDSO for final approvals.The RDSO has been monitoring the performance of the AC local which arrived in May last year. According to sources, more than 12 to 15 tests have been conducted wherein they broadly checked the train’s oscillation, braking and speed. Right now they are working on its integration with the Train Management System. Its internal software has been riddled with glitches in the past as well.WR officials said that they have managed to tackle the issue of door closing and temperature of air conditioner inside the rake. “We expect permissions within another two months or so from RDSO,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.Depending on the response, WR will decide the timetable and fares. The earlier deadline for it to run was October.

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

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

Mumbai rains: Apocalyptic rain holds city ransom, political mud-slinging ensues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rain-hit suburban train services in Mumbai are slowly limping back to normalcy with the first train chugging out of the Churchgate station around midnight. Traffic on the Western Railway suburban network had come to a grinding halt earlier today due to torrential downpour. The first train left Churchgate in south Mumbai for Virar at 2358 hrs, the Western Railway tweeted.”Evacuation of all stranded passengers is priority and trains will be run throughout the night, if required,” it said.Mumbai’s suburban train network, which carries over 65 lakh passengers a day, is the lifeline of the financial capital and halting of the services had led to inconvenience to many office-goers who had braved the heavy rains to make it to their offices.
ALSO READ Watch: Mumbai’s iconic KEM hospital flooded during heavy downpourThere was, however, no clarity over the fate of the trains of the Central Railway, which originates from the Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.The CR tweeted around 11:30 pm that services on the Thane-Kalyan line, which is a section on the main line, had resumed.
ALSO READ Navy provides shelter to Mumbaikars stranded after heavy rainsTwo minors dead in VikhroliThree persons, including two minors, were today killed in two house collapse incidents in suburban Vikroli in the wake of torrential rains that lashed the megapolis, police said.In the first incident in the hilly Suryanagar area, a house at a higher level collapsed on one below, trapping a one-and-a-half-year-old infant, Nikhil, 40-year-old Suresh Arjun Prasad Mourya and Kiran Baby Pal (25), a senior police official said.
ALSO READ Mumbai rains: Torrential rainfall cripples maximum city, PM assures Devendra Fadnavis of all helpThey were taken to a nearby civic hospital where Nikhil and Mourya were declared dead before admission, the official said.At Varshanagar hill area of Vikroli Parksite, a protective wall collapsed on a house, killing two-year-old Kalyani Jangam on the spot, he said. Her parents Gopal Jangam (36) and Chhaya Jangam (30) suffered injuries.Parties sling mudThe BJP, the Shiv Sena and the NCP came out with their own views on the situation in the metropolis.While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis advised offices to let employees leave early and issued similar orders for government staffers, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said there was no need to evacuate offices.”We have advised (private) offices to allow their employees to leave for their homes early today. We have issued similar orders for government employees,” Fadnavis said after taking a stock of the situation at the State Disaster Management Control (SDMC) room at the state secretariat.”Since we can monitor the whole city through CCTV cameras, we have got to know that there is heavy waterlogging in the city. I appeal to the people to venture out of their homes only if it is of utmost necessity. Those who are stuck in offices should see the alerts we are periodically sending out and leave only when the situation is favourable,” he said.Fadnavis added that due to diversion of traffic along various routes, there were traffic snarls at several places.Thackeray, who heads the Sena’s youth wing, meanwhile, tweeted that there was no need to evacuate offices.”Traffic build up is heavy due to over load of vehicles. Please stay put safely where you are,” Thackeray tweeted.He said 26 pumps installed after 2005 deluge were pumping out 6,000 litres of water per second.Thackeray, whose party rules the BMC, said the civic body personnel have been out on the streets helping people and dealing with the situation arising out of the downpour.He said “288 smaller pumps have been active the whole day. As many as 30,000 BMC staffers are out on the streets helping Mumbaikars directly, indirectly.” The Opposition NCP criticised the BJP-led government over its “failure” to aptly handle the situation.NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said the administration did nothing despite receiving a warning of heavy rainfall two days in advance.

Removal of glass facade from WR building among staff’s top issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new Chairman of Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, in his first speech a few days ago spoke about the welfare of railway employees. Lohani in his speech had asked the administration across Indian Railways to spend more time with the staff, listen to them and address their grievances.However, Western Railway employees are stating that no concrete steps have been taken to address their complaint about the removal of the glass facade that covers the WR’s administrative building in Churchgate. No decision has been taken for the last seven years where nearly 1,500 people work.”The new CRB spoke the need to address our issue. But despite this nothing has been done. It’s like a furnace inside the building,” said a WR employee. In 2011, the WR had gone in for a building makeover costing Rs 10 crore. As part of this makeover, a huge glass facade was installed. The employees have been complaining that since then these huge windows are blocking the sea breeze from the west.There were plans to centrally air-condition the building which also did not take place as the estimated cost was a whopping Rs 14 crore. However, officials said that they have removed a few glass fittings for cross-ventilation. “We did remove a few glass windows a couple of years ago. Right now there seems to be no problem,” said Ravindra Bhaskar, Chief PRO, Western Railway.

Garbage, red ants hinder re-railing efforts at Mahim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Garbage piled on tracks posed a major challenge during the re-railing efforts, after four coaches of a train derailed at Mahim last Friday. Officials from the Western Railway said that besides heavy rains, the presence of red ants around the garbage made the re-railment a tough task and led to delay in resuming services. On August 25, five coaches of an Andheri-bound local derailed on the Harbour line.”Our staff had to struggle due to the water logging on the rail lines and red ants on the sides of the tracks that had come due to garbage and faeces,” a WR official said. It took six hours to rerail the coaches and another three hours to start Harbour line services between Wadala to Andheri.Ironically, on one hand, Indian Railway has been talking about cleanliness and its on-going ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ campaign, while on the other, heaps of garbage on tracks aggravated the derailment issue. WR officials agreed that despite all the efforts, tracks along Mahim station are filled with garbage and muck. It is one of the reasons that contributed to technical failures. Prima facie, however, officials said that the crossover has a problem as the curvature of tracks is around 8 degrees, while it should be 9.5 degrees for a gap of 5 metres between two rail lines. Meanwhile, on August 28 the Commissioner of Railway Safety (Western Circle), Sushil Chandra held a public hearing over the Mahim derailment. “Only after investigating all aspects, can the reason behind the derailment be determined,” he said.

Railways to use CCTV network to check spitting and littering

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Those accustomed to spitting or littering on railway platforms, be warned. Starting September, the Railways will use its CCTV network to monitor 74 lakh commuters using the Mumbai suburban rail system to crack down on such culprits.This decision has been taken as part of the Swachhta Pakwada campaign that is underway. Sources said that the Railway Board in Delhi has come out with a circular, which states that close and effective monitoring of cleanliness needs to be done using the live feeds from CCTVs.The Western Railway (WR) here had a meeting on the same. “We are coordinating with the Railway Police Force (RPF) to share data so as to catch offenders dirtying the station premises. We know it will be difficult but looking at the CCTVs we can immediately ask the ticket collector or station master to catch the offender,” said a senior WR official.WR is also working on roping in the RPF to add to the manpower.Those caught will be booked section 198 of Railway Act for littering on rail premises and fine between Rs 200 and Rs 500 be levied depending on severity of the offence.They have begun monitoring the A1 and A grade stations. Anti-littering posters too have been put at stations. Feedback will be taken from commuters regarding cleanliness.

Soon, ‘one rupee clinics’ at WR stations too

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

Prabhu launches Bandra-Gorakhpur Antyodaya Express

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today inaugurated Antyodaya Express and Humsafar Express at Bandra Terminus here via video conferencing. While Antyodaya Express is a fully unreserved service, Humsafar Express is touted as an affordable luxury train by the Railways. “These express trains and host of other services for Mumbai suburban stations were launched by the Railways Minister through video conferencing,” a Western Railway release said. While Antyodaya Express will run between Bandra (T) and Gorakhpur stations, Humsafar Express between Bandra (T) and Patna. “Antyodaya Express will leave Bandra terminus every Sunday at 5:10 am and will reach Gorakhpur at 5:35 pm the next day. It will leave Gorakhpur every Tuesday at 3:15 am and reach Bandra (T) at 4.15 pm the next day,” it said. Humsafar Express is fully air-conditioned train fitted with a GPS-based passenger information display system. “It also has a passenger announcement system, a fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points. It also has integrated Braille display,” the release said. This is the second Humsafar service to become operational on the Western Railway. “The first such train was launched recently between Ahmedabad and Chennai,” it said. The train will depart from Bandra (T) every Sunday at 12.55 pm and will reach Patna at 10.15 pm the next day. “Similarly, the train will leave Patna at 11.10 pm every Tuesday and will reach Bandra (T) at 7.35 pm on Thursday,” as per the release. The regular services of both the trains from Bandra will commence from August 20. Prabhu also inaugurated a lift facility at suburban Borivali station to facilitate the movement of specially-abled and senior citizens. He also inaugurated the wi-fi facility at suburban Vasai Road and Virar stations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bombay High Court upholds termination of Rajdhani train caterer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court recently upheld an order passed by Western Railway, canceling a catering contract on the prestigious Swarn Jayanti Rajdhani Express, which plies between Ahmedabad and New Delhi.A division bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai rejected the petition filed by Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate Private Limited, challenging the termination order issued in March. The court observed, “No merit is made out in the petition filed, thus it is dismissed.”The railways through Advocate Suresh Kumar and Advocate Priyanka Tiwari, argued that several complaints from general public, MPs, MLAs and through social media were received against the poor catering service, less quantity of food served, and misbehaviour by catering staff. To protect the image of the railways, the order of termination was passed. As per the petition filed by the caterer, the order was illegal and arbitrary, should be quashed and set aside.The order of the railways stated that it received 133 complaints, on an average of 13 to 14 per month, from the time of the contract in 2015. However, a reply by the contractor stated that complaints are about 0.02 per cent of the total passengers served, and therefore not a big issue. The railways refuted that even 0.02 per cent of dissatisfaction of passengers traveling by such a prestigious is not acceptable.Among the list of deficiencies listed by the railways include serving frozen dessert in place of ice cream; sweets in evening snacks replaced with muffins; paneer in vegetables found to be in less quantity; no welcome drinks served to passengers; tea and coffee served along with breakfast but served on demand, without stirrer. The complaint also mentioned that even rice with meals was less in weight. And, the caterer was not fire compliant.Complaints galoreThe order of the railways stated that it received 133 complaints, and an average of 13 to 14 per month, from the time of the contract in 2015

One Rupee clinics to come up at five metro stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After opening 24-hour Emergency Medical Rooms (EMRs) and One Rupee clinics at six stations of the Central Railway (CR), medical firm Magicdil Health has got consent to open similar facilities at five metro stations. These five metro stations fall on the Ghatkopar- Vesrova stretch of the rapid transport system, the city-based company said. “We wanted to set up EMRs and One Rupee clinics at metro stations to provide first hand medical help to commuters at a token charge of Re 1. We expressed our willingness to metro officials and they readily accepted our offer,” said Dr Rahul Ghule, an executive of Magicdil. Metro has given us permission to set up these facilities at five stations – Ghatkopar, Sakinaka, Marol Naka, Andheri and D N Nagar. Our clinics at these stations would start by the beginning of the next month,” Ghule said. Confirming the move, an official from Mumbai Metro One said, “Magicdil had approach us to open its clinics to serve passengers in case of emergency. After going through their proposal, we accepted their offer and the process to provide them premises at these five stations has started.” We will provide 150 sq/ft area at each station,” he said. The concept of treating commoners at a token fee of Re 1 hit the headlines in May when Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the One Rupee clinic facility at five stations on the CR – Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Wadala and Mulund. Very recently, the same facility started at Vashi station. So far, Ghule said, his firm has provided medical assistance to 12,555 patients at all the five CR stations. The decision to set up EMRs came after a Bombay High Court order. The HC directed setting up of EMRs at all the suburban stations on the CR and the Western Railway in a phased manner while hearing a PIL in March. The PIL, filed by rail activist Samir Zaveri, had highlighted the issue of lack of prompt medical help in case of accidents on railway tracks.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RPF on the hunt for graffiti vandals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In addition to its regular duties of cracking down on trespassing on railway premises, illegal track crossing and unauthorised railway travel, the Railway Protection Force is now busy tracking down a miscreant who has been going around in Mumbai’s local trains defacing compartments with the word ‘Legend’, using spray paint.Railway staff have been struggling to remove the graffiti when coaches are cleaned in the railway yards.One of the coaches vandalised with the graffiti is coach number 5216-A in the 9.33 pm Churchgate-Bandra slow local, and according to railway staff in charge of railway yards, the same graffiti has been seen in coaches of other trains too.A Western Railway official revealed, “Lately we have seen that graffiti in trains have increased and have also informed the RPF to keep a track on the miscreants when the train is approaching the rail yards.””We suspect that a group travelling in the train is regularly defacing the trains and the cleanup attendants are facing a tough time removing the paint”, said the official.Ravindra Bhakar, Public Relations Officer, Western Railway said, “We have informed the RPF to keep a watch on the miscreants, and if possible, to check CCTV cameras to track the persons involved in defacing the trains in Mumbai.”A senior RPF officer said, “We are keeping a watch to nab the miscreant and appropriate action will be taken against the person found defacing railway properties.”When contacted, AK Shukla, senior divisional security commissioner of RPF did not wish to comment.DNA had reported on April 10 about a miscreant defacing walls in parts of Mumbai with the cryptic message “Bachna Hai Toh Aye Mere Dost, Aao Khele Mendicot (If you want to survive my friend, let’s play mendicot — a card game).” Mumbai police has failed to nab the miscreant responsible for defacing a number of walls in the central and western suburbs.”Our Social Service Branch is trying to trace the culprit, and we have learned that more than one person is behind the graffiti. We request people to report whenever they see anyone defacing the walls in the city,” said a senior Mumbai Police officer.

Central Railway wants to rope in clean-up marshals

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

WR raises height of 56 platforms for passenger safety

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

PAC finds irregularities in award of ad contracts in railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary committee has found irregularities in award of contracts of advertisements in the Mumbai division of the railways and recommended a CBI inquiry into it. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its latest report has noted the irregularities in award of contract of advertisements on a first come, first served basis which was prevailing in the Mumbai division for the last 25-30 years. All contracts which were allotted on the basis of the first come, first served basis for commercial publicity should be terminated with immediate effect, the PAC headed by KV Thomas said in its report. The committee has found that there was no transparency in award of contracts in Central Railway and Western Railway. The Mumbai division is part of Central Railway and Western Railway. Taking note of the alleged fraud in allotment of advertisements and involvement of railway officials which were inquired into by the Central Vigilance Commission and action taken against a few officials, the committee recommended a CBI inquiry to probe. The CBI inquiry should probe the first come, first served policy in Mumbai division, it said. The committee is for strict action against erring contractors and officials involved in the alleged fraud. Unless and until exemplary punishment is awarded to the corrupt officials from the top to the bottom, irregularities in commercial publicity in railways cannot be rooted out, the report said. It has also highlighted the “lackadaisical attitude” of the railways in utilising its vast resources for generating additional revenue through advertising. Taking note of the delay in tender finalisation for advertisement at stations, the PAC report said railways have taken longer than the stipulated period of 45 to 90 days and it resulted in losses to the public transporter. Recommending a review of the process of contract formulation and execution, it has said that railways should “shed the nonchalant approach of condoning delays” in finalisation of contracts owing to precautionary approach. The committee has also observed the lack of coordination between various zones. It has suggested railways encourage the zones which earn maximum revenue through commercial publicity by giving them incentives to motivate others. The PAC has also observed that the menace of unauthorised displays at the stations was a constant source of leakage of revenues of railways. It has recommended exploring the feasibility of hallmarking of authorised symbols for contracted advertisements to avoid unauthorised hoardings and penalty for unauthorised publicity.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena presses for changing British era names of rly stations

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

Union Minister reviews performance of Central, Konkan Railway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Rajen Gohain today today reviewed the performance of Central, Western and Konkan Railway. The Minister of State for Railways was given a guard of honour by the RPF contingent at the foyer of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a senior official said. “Gohain held a meeting with the Central Railway (CR) General Manager D K Sharma and other senior officials. Divisional Railway Managers of the other four CR divisions joined the meeting via video conferencing,” he said. The Minister also reviewed various projects being undertaken by the Ministry in CR, Western Railway and Konkan Railway, said the official. Later, Gohain visited Konkan Railway headquarters in Navi Mumbai and reviewed its performance in a meeting attended by Konkan Railway CMD Sanjay Gupta. During the meeting Gohain briefed the vision and mission of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu for socioeconomic development of Konkan Region, an official statement said. The Minister reviewed the performance of Konkan Railway with respect to safety in train operation, security of passenger, passenger amenities, punctuality, Financial Progress and others, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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

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

Motorman saves life by braking in time; video goes viral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Video shot by a commuter showing how an alert motorman saved a woman’s life by applying brakes in time at the suburban Charni Road station in South Mumbai has gone viral on social media. Thanks to the 46-second video, the incident which took place nearly two months ago — on December 6 — has come to light, and the Western Railway officials are considering rewarding the motorman Santosh Kumar Gautam. The Churchgate-bound fast local train driven by Gautam, which was approaching the station at the speed of around 70-kmph, halted in the nick of time, just inches from the woman who was walking on the tracks unmindful of the coming train, said a senior Western Railway official. “We have recorded the motorman’s statement and we would like to felicitate him for his presence of mind,” said the official. In the video, shot post-midnight (12.10 am), the unidentified woman, in her fifties, is seen walking along the tracks, oblivious that a train was approaching on the same tracks. Motorman sounded horn, but she did not hear and continued walking. Brakes were applied and the train came to a halt barely inches from her. “When the train stopped, people on the platform helped pull her up to the platform,” said the official.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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