Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Railways Ministry Takes A Big Decision, Then Cancels It In 19 Hours

Shares of the Indian Railways’ catering, tourism and online ticketing arm – Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) staged a strong recovery after Ministry of Railways withdrew IRCTC convenience fee sharing decision. Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management tweeted, Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw the decision on IRCTC convenience fee. The decision was reversed within 19 hours after the massive fall in stock price.

Earlier in the day, IRCTC shares plunged as much as 29 per cent to hit an intraday low of ₹ 650.10 on the BSE after the company informed exchanges on Thursday that Ministry of Railway asked it to share half of all the convenience fee revenue it earns.

However, post the clarification from the government IRCTC stock staged a recovery of 39 per cent to hit an intraday high of ₹ 906.

IRCTC had collected around ₹ 300 crore as ‘convenience fee’ in financial year 2020-21. Railway Ministry wanted IRCTC to share 50 per cent of this amount, which comes to ₹ 150 crore. For the last five years, IRCTC has been collecting and utilising all funds collected as convenience fee to run its operations, sources told NDTV.

The state-owned IRCTC is the only firm authorised to manage food services on trains and has a monopoly in the online ticketing and catering services for the Indian Railways.

IRCTC shares plunged as much as 29% to hit an intraday low of ₹ 650.

Shares of the Indian Railways’ catering, tourism and online ticketing arm – Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) staged a strong recovery after Ministry of Railways withdrew IRCTC convenience fee sharing decision. Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management tweeted, Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw the decision on IRCTC convenience fee. The decision was reversed within 19 hours after the massive fall in stock price.

Earlier in the day, IRCTC shares plunged as much as 29 per cent to hit an intraday low of ₹ 650.10 on the BSE after the company informed exchanges on Thursday that Ministry of Railway asked it to share half of all the convenience fee revenue it earns.

However, post the clarification from the government IRCTC stock staged a recovery of 39 per cent to hit an intraday high of ₹ 906.

IRCTC had collected around ₹ 300 crore as ‘convenience fee’ in financial year 2020-21. Railway Ministry wanted IRCTC to share 50 per cent of this amount, which comes to ₹ 150 crore. For the last five years, IRCTC has been collecting and utilising all funds collected as convenience fee to run its operations, sources told NDTV.

The state-owned IRCTC is the only firm authorised to manage food services on trains and has a monopoly in the online ticketing and catering services for the Indian Railways.

In the previous session, IRCTC shares jumped 20 per cent after it started trading ex-stock split. Starting Thursday, IRCTC shares were split in the ratio of 1:5, sub-dividing the face value of share from ₹ 10 per share to ₹ 2 per share. IRCTC board had announced the plan to split the stock on August 12.

Railways To Run Mumbai Local Trains At Pre-Pandemic Level From Oct 28

Central Railway and Western Railway will run suburban services in Mumbai at the 100 per cent capacity of the pre-pandemic level from October 28, but the existing travel restrictions for the general public will remain unchanged, as per an official release.

This decision was taken considering the increased flow of commuters, an official said on Monday.

A joint statement issued by the CR and WR clarified that only categories identified by the government as on date are permitted to travel as per the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Central Railway and Western Railway will run 1,774 and 1,367 services, respectively, on their suburban network from October 28. The zonal railways used to operate these many services before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

Currently, Central Railway and Western Railway are operating 1,702 and 1,304 suburban services, respectively, which is 95.70 per cent of the total suburban services in the normal period.

“The decision has been taken considering the increased flow of commuters in local trains,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway, adding that though the number of suburban services will increase from Thursday, the existing travel restrictions on suburban locals will remain unchanged.

At present, only the government employees and essential services staffers are allowed to travel on the suburban locals, apart from the fully-vaccinated citizens, who have completed the 14-day period after the second dose and those who are below 18 years.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the suburban services were completely stopped from March 22, 2020. Later railways began suburban services for essential service categories as identified by the Maharashtra government and approved by the Ministry of Railways from June 15, 2020.

“The categories of commuters who were allowed by the state government and approved by the Ministry of Railways were subsequently enlarged in August 2021 and in recent weeks, to travel in suburban trains,” the statement reads.

Faizabad Railway Station Now Ayodhya Cantonment, Yogi Adityanath’s Office Tweets

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to rename the Faizabad railway station as Ayodhya Cantonment railway station, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s office tweeted Saturday, in a decision likely to ruffle opposition parties’ feathers ahead of next year’s Assembly election.
The decision follows the 2018 renaming of Faizabad to Ayodhya and calling Allahabad as Prayagraj.

Back then a defiant Yogi Adityanath had dismissed criticism of the renaming spree, saying “we did what we felt was good” and that “where there is a need (his) government will take required steps”.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath has taken the decision to rename Faizabad railway junction as Ayodhya Cantt.: Chief Minister’s office pic.twitter.com/94f2yckY0W

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 23, 2021
The decision to rename Faizabad and Allahabad, and renaming the town of Mughalsarai as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, also came months before an election – the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

On Allahabad being called Prayagraj, Yogi Adityanath declared that it was what the people “wished”.

A month later Yogi Adityanath lashed out, asking why those protesting against the name change were not called ‘Raavan’ or ‘Duryodhan’ – antagonists from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The Allahabad – Prayagraj decision triggered howls of protest from the Congress, which pointed out the former name also had deep connections to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister.

The decision also did not go down well with some of the BJP’s allies; SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said it was diverting attention from the needs of oppressed sections of the society.

He also asked the party to first change the names of its own Muslim leaders.

Allahabad (now Prayagraj) is a historic city with strong links to the freedom struggle, and is also a holy spot because of the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna with that of the mythical Saraswati.

The city’s original name was Prayag; it was named ‘Illahabad; or ‘abode of God’ by Akbar in 1575.

Significantly, in September last year the Allahabad High Court junked a plea asking it to rename itself as Prayagraj High Court or Uttar Pradesh High Court, terming it as a “publicity stunt litigation”.

Yogi Adityanath’s penchant for renaming certain cities and towns has extended to beyond his state’s borders; in November last year, while campaigning in Hyderabad for municipal polls, he declared the state capital could also be renamed, and cited Prayagraj as an example.

4 Railway Cops Injured As Gun Goes Off While Cleaning In Madhya Pradesh

Four jawans of the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) were injured on Sunday when an automatic gun accidentally went off while it was being cleaned in Madhya Pradesh’s Itarsi town, an official said.

The incident occurred in the guard running room of the railway station at Itarsi, about 95 kilometres from the state capital, Archana Sharma, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Railway), Itarsi, told PTI over phone.

“In an accidental firing during the cleaning of an automatic gun, four RPSF jawans were injured by shrapnel on Sunday afternoon. They were admitted in Hoshangabad’s Narmada Hospital,” she said.

Narmada Hospital’s media in-charge Manoj Saran said the condition of jawan Tinku Dharmpal was serious, while his colleagues Jagmohan Gurjar, Sumit Kumar and Raju did not suffer any serious injuries.

Western Railways To Use Surveillance Drones In A Bid To Boost Security

In a bid to tighten security, Western Railways is planning to use surveillance drones to keep a bird’s eye watch on railway assets, disaster management, and crowd management, said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer (CPRO), Western Railways.

“Western Railway is planning to use a new method for the bird’s eye watch of certain locations. For that, we are using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to keep an eye on yards and tracks,” said the CPRO.

Mr Thakur said the use of drones will help us in reducing the response time in case of any emergency.

“We will use the technology for crowd management and disaster management. We are procuring two drone cameras for now and we are training our staff to operate them,” he said.

They can cover a radius of 2 kilometres. The drone camera can be in flight for 25 minutes. The cameras also have modern GPS based technology and can be switched to autopilot mode. They can return to their base station in case of any emergency,” he said.

CommentsFor last-mile connectivity, Mr Thakur said the work of certification and permission for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is underway. “Soon the cameras will be in our service,” he added.

During Raid On Mumbai-Varanasi Train, Cops Find ₹ 3.2 Crore In 3 Trolley Bags

Unaccounted cash worth  3.2 crore was seized from two persons in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district while they were travelling in a train from Mumbai to Varanasi, police said today.

After the cash seizure on Sunday night, the two persons were detained, the police said.

Following a tip-off, officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) with the help of the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force searched two coaches of the Mahanagari Express.

They seized currency notes worth 3.2 crore from two passengers, who were carrying the money in the denomination of  2,000 in three trolley bags, Khandwa’s GRP in-charge Babita Katheria said.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials took the two persons along with them to Indore for questioning and further probe into the case, she added.

323 Trees To Be Cut, 210 Transplanted To Redevelop Safdarjung Station

The Delhi Forest Department has given permission to fell 323 trees and transplant another 210 for the redevelopment of the Safdarjung Railway Station, according to a government notification.

The department has asked the user agency, Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), to deposit  3.03 crore for creation and maintenance of compensatory plantation for a period of seven years.

A total of 5,330 saplings of Neem, Amaltas, Peepal, Pilkhan, Gular, Bargad, Desi Kikkar and Arjun will be planted as compensatory plantation at the Narela Railway Station and the Sawan Park Railway land area.

“The transplantation of 210 trees standing on the site shall be done by user agency at the Narela Railway Station and the Sawan Park Railway land area with their own funds. The proposal satisfies conditions of the Tree Transplantation Policy,” the notification read.

The Forest Department has asked the RLDA to submit a detailed plan for site preparation and plantation before initiating tree felling and transplantation.

The transplantation of trees has to be initiated immediately after permission is issued and should be completed in three months, after which a completion report has to be submitted to the tree officer.

Union Minister Reviews Progress Of Rail Project In Jammu And Kashmir

Union Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve on Sunday reviewed the progress of the 272-km-long Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line (USBRL) project and said it should be completed by 2023.

Mr Danve, who is on a two-day visit to Ramban district as part of the central government’s public outreach programme, chaired a high-level meeting at Patnitop where he took stock of issues hindering the progress of the project, an official spokesperson said.

Reviewing the availability of construction materials for executing agencies, the minister directed the district administration to issue short-term permits so that the Railways could procure essential construction material.

Enquiring about causes of delay, he also sought a detailed report on the project’s cost escalation from chief engineers.

The total length of the USBRL is 272 km, of which 161 km has already been commissioned, while work is in progress on the 111-km-long Katra-Banihal stretch, the spokesman said.

He said the Katra-Banihal stretch comprises 27 main tunnels and eight escape tunnels.

The entire project is estimated to cost  27,949 crores, the spokesman said

The meeting was informed that more than 200 km of approach roads, including a tunnel and 320 bridges, have been constructed to reach the working sites, the official said.

1CommentsThe 136-km-long railway line from Banihal to Baramulla has already been commissioned, and its electrification work is in progress, he said, adding that it is expected to be completed by March 2022.

Railways Freight Loading Saw 3.6% Jump in September

Indian Railways’ freight loading witnessed a 3.6 per cent increase in September 2021 as it stood at 106 million tonnes against 102.3 million tonnes of the corresponding period last year.

Also Railways earned  10,815 crores from freight loading in September 2021, which was 9 per cent more than the freight loading earning recorded during the corresponding period of last year, when it had stood at  9,905 crore.

It was followed by iron ore (11 million tonnes), food grains (6.4 million tonnes), cement (6.1 million tonnes), fertilisers (4.1 million tonnes) and 3.6 million tonnes of mineral oils.

Stunning Pics Of New Pamban Bridge, India’s 1st Vertical Lift Sea Bridge

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today shared a set of pictures of the new Pamban bridge in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. This is India’s first vertical lift railway sea bridge, which is expected to be ready for use by March next year.

The new 2-km-long bridge, linking the island of Rameswaram in the Arabian Sea to the mainland, will replace the existing 104-year-old structure. The bridge will have a 63-metre stretch, which will lift up vertically to allow passage to small ships. In the images shared by Mr Vaishnaw, we can see workers and machinery deployed at the site under a clear, blue sky.

Earlier, the Ministry of Railways had shared some snapshots of the new Pamban bridge via a Twitter post. Calling it an engineering marvel, the ministry said, “This dual-track state-of-the-art bridge will be the country’s first vertical lift railway sea bridge and is expected to be completed by March 2022.”

The bridge has 101 piers and it will be 3-metre higher than the existing one, providing more navigational air clearance for vessels to pass.

The existing Pamban bridge was India’s first sea bridge and became operational in 1914. Its construction was completed in three years and it had the distinction of being India’s longest sea bridge until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 2010

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