Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

On Mauni Amavasya Today, Over 3 Crore Are Expected At Kumbh Mela

Lakhs of devotees are at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj for the second ‘Shahi Snan’ or auspicious dip on ‘Mauni Amavasya‘. Traditionally, today is the most significant of all the scared bathing days at the Kumbh. The crowd is increasing by the hour says reports. From the railway station to the makeshift township of Kumbh Nagari, there is continuous movement of devotees as the loudspeaker guides them towards the bathing ghats.

Over three crore people are expected at the Kumbh for ‘Mauni Amavasya‘, which is a new moon day in the Hindu calendar of Magha month. And it assumes greater significance if it falls on a Monday, which is case this year. It is believed that on this day, sage Rishabh Dev broke his long vow of silence and bathed in the holy waters.

Security has been tightened in Kumbh for ‘Mauni Amavasya‘. The entire area has been divided into 10 zones and 25 sectors, which are being monitored by an Additional Superintendent of Police level officer. Over 40 police stations and as many fire stations have been set up in the Kumbh Nagari to deal with any emergency.

Forty-three fire stations, 15 sub-fire stations, 40 fire watchtowers and 96 control watchtowers have been set up for the day, said an Uttar Pradesh home department official. The entire area is under surveillance of 440 CCTV cameras. For close coordination and prompt communication, an Integrated Command Control Centre and 12 wireless grids have been established, the official said.

Entry of vehicles have been restricted in the 32,000-acre Kumbh Nagri. The administration is running over 500 shuttle buses for the pilgrims to make their way from various parts of Prayagraj to the Sangam – the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati – for the sacred dip.

The Kumbh witnesses a total of three ‘Shahi Snans’, the first of which took place on Makar Sankranti on January 15, when the Mela started, the second is on Mauni Amavasya and the last one is on February 10, that is, Basant Panchmi. The Kumbh Mela comes to a close on March 4.

Case Against AAP Lawmaker For Obstructing Delhi Anti-Encroachment Drive

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against AAP MLA Madan Lal for allegedly obstructing railway officials from conducting an anti-encroachment drive, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place on January 29 when the officials of Northern Railways were removing illegal encroachments near railway lines between Safdarjung and Lajpat Nagar, they added.

The railway officials have alleged that the legislator visited the spot and opposed the removal of illegal encroachments and obstructed their work after which they filed a complaint, police said.

Based on the complaint, an FIR was registered against Mr Lal on Thursday at Kotla Mubarakpur police station and the matter was being probed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Vijay Kumar said.

On January 25, the Northern Railway wrote a letter to the South Delhi Police seeking adequate police force on January 29 to remove illegal encroachments on both sides of the railway tracks between Safdarjung and Lajpat Nagar, he said.

However, when a team of the railway officials reached the spot to carry out their work, locals informed the MLA who immediately reached there and created a ruckus, police said.

Thereby, not allowing the officials from carrying out their work and accusing them of not informing the locals about the drive in advance, they added.

Government Sets Divestment Target For Next Fiscal At 90,000 Crore Rupees

The government raised its disinvestment target for 2019-20 by 12.5 per cent toRs. 90,000 crore even as less than half of the budgeted target of Rs. 80,000 in the outgoing fiscal has been realised in the first 10 months.

So far, the government has raised Rs. 35,532 crore from the sale of its shares in the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) in 2018-19. The government has expressed confidence of meeting the target, saying most sales happen in last quarter.

“The government received over Rs. 1 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18. We are confident of crossing the target of Rs. 80,000 crore this year,” Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said while presenting the Interim Budget on Friday.

State-owned firms RITES, IRCON International and Garden Reach Shipbuilders hit the IPO market in the current financial year. Besides, the government mopped up Rs. 17,000 crore through the CPSE Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) follow-on offer.

The CPSE ETF was launched in March 2014 to help government manage its divestment in CPSEs. The government raised Rs. 8,325 crore in the first further fund offer (FFO) of Bharat 22 ETF, while some state-run firms announced share buybacks during the year.

“We have pursued the public enterprises asset management agenda to make these enterprises accountable to the people. As many as 57 CPSEs are now listed with total market capitalisation of over Rs. 13 lakh crore,” Goyal said.

The government plans to use the divestment fund of Rs. 90,000 crore to finance expenditure on infrastructure project, education, health sectors and investment in the railways towards capital expenditure in 2019-20, as per the Budget documents.

While disinvestment collections were never above Rs. 50,000 crore, it went beyond Rs. 1 lakh crore in previous fiscal 2017-18 against the budgeted target of Rs. 72,500 crore.

In previous fiscal, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) acquired government’s 51 per cent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), both state-owned firms, for Rs. 36,915 crore, which was more than half of the disinvestment target for the year.

However, the purchase of government’s stake in a state-owned firm by another state-owned firm has raised doubts about meeting the real objective of disinvestment, which according to industry experts would be met if the sale is in the primary or secondary markets.

Budget 2019: Rs. 64,587 Cr Budgetary Support For Railways In 2019-20, Announces Finance Minister Piyush Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the government has allocated Rs.64,587 crore for railways in the Interim Budget for 2019-20. Presenting the Interim Budget in Parliament, Mr Goyal said: “Indian Railways has experienced its safest year in history. We are introducing container cargo movement to the North East”.

“All unmanned level crossings on broad gauge network have been completely eliminated,” he said.

Speaking about the manufacture of engineless Train 18, Mr Goyal said: “Vande Bharat Express will give Indian passengers world class facility, with speed, safety and service. This major leap developed by our engineers will give an impetus to Make in India programme and create jobs.”

He said: “Capital support from Budget for railways is proposed at Rs. 64,587 crore for railways in 2019-20.

“In fact, railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is historic at Rs. 1,58,658 crore.”

Mr Goyal also said that the operating ratio of railways will come down to 95 per cent in 2019-20 from 96.2 per cent in 2018-19.