Indian Railways News

Railway Enhances Age Limit To Re-Engage Retired Employees To 65

Retired from the railways, but yet to turn 65? Now, retired rail employees can seek re-engagement with the national transporter till they attain the age of 65 years. In a letter written by the Railway Board to all the general managers today, the age limit of the retired employees seeking re-engagement has been enhanced from 62 to 65 years, allowing more of such employees to lend their expertise to the
railways.

“The board has decided to enhance the maximum age limit for re-engagement of retired hands to 65 years from the existing age limit of 62 years.

“Further, it has also been decided to extend the validity of the scheme of re-engagement of retired employees to January 12, 2019 as against the existing validity up to September 14, 2018,” the letter stated.

The board, in a letter dated October 16, had empowered the divisional railway managers (DRMs) to re-engage retired rail personnel in appropriate posts. It had also said that those re-appointed could only be in service till they turned 62, which has now been extended to 65 years.

The retirement age for the employees is 60.

The monthly remuneration of such employees would be determined by “reducing the pension amount from their last drawn salary”, the letter written in October had stated. It had also said the suitability or competence of the staff should be assessed before their re-engagement and their safety record as well as other operational requirements should be adequately addressed.

These norms, however, would remain the same, the letter written by the Railway Board today clarified.

Railways Enhances Age Limit To Re-Engage Retired EmployeesRailways Enhances Age Limit To Re-Engage Retired Employees

Retired from the Railways, but yet to turn 65? Now, retired rail employees can seek re-engagement with the national transporter till they attain the age of 65 years.

In a letter written by the Railway Board to all the general managers on Tuesday, the age limit of the retired employees seeking re-engagement has been enhanced from 62 to 65 years, allowing more of such employees to lend their expertise to the railways.

“The board has decided to enhance the maximum age limit for re-engagement of retired hands to 65 years from the existing age limit of 62 years.”

“Further, it has also been decided to extend the validity of the scheme of re-engagement of retired employees to January 12, 2019 as against the existing validity up to September 14, 2018,” the letter stated.

The board, in a letter dated October 16, had empowered the divisional railway managers (DRMs) to re-engage retired rail personnel in appropriate posts.

It had also said that those re-appointed could only be in service till they turned 62, which has now been extended to 65 years.

The retirement age for the employees is 60.

The monthly remuneration of such employees would be determined by “reducing the pension amount from their last drawn salary”, the letter written in October had stated.

It had also said the suitability or competence of the staff should be assessed before their re-engagement and their safety record as well as other operational requirements should be adequately addressed.

These norms, however, would remain the same, the letter written by the Railway Board clarified.

Railways sacks 15 caterers, debars 16 contractors over lapses

The Indian Railways said today it has terminated the contracts of 15 caterers and debarred 16 catering contractors this year till November amidst complaints of over-charging and poor quality food served on trains.

The ministry, which often receives complaints from passengers over catering issues on its official Twitter handle, is known to respond to them on real-time basis.

According to the official data, the national transporter has imposed fines amounting to Rs 8.96 crore from January to October 2017, which was more than double the amount – Rs 4.05 crore – levied last year between January and December.

“The ministry is very concerned about complaints regarding catering. We have given instructions that strict action must be taken against those caterers against whom complaints are made and proven. We have zero tolerance towards such issues regarding food on ..

45% Indians paid bribe in past one year, finds survey

A survey across11 states in India by corruption watchdog Transparency International saw 45% of the respondents claim they paid a bribe at least once in the past year to get work done. The share was 43% in a similar survey last year.
Nearly 37% of the 34,696 respondents felt corruption had increased, while 14% said it had gone down. Around 45% felt the situation was the same as before. West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh fared the worst vis-a-vis the perception on corruption, with71% of the respondents interviewed there claiming graft had gone up in their states. In Maharashtra, only 18% felt corruption had increased, though 64% said it was status quo.

Delhi had mixed reviews, with 33% saying corruption had gone up and 38% claiming it was the same. However, Delhi also had the distinction of having the maximum number of people vouching for a reduction in corruption: 28%. The only other state that had a high number of respondents claiming a reduction in corruption, 21%, was Uttar Pradesh.
Most of the corruption encountered seemed to be at the local level, said Pankaj Kumar of Transparency International India, which conducted the survey in association with LocalCircles. “A related national poll showed that 84% of the bribery transactions relate to local level bodies and wings of the local government, that is, municipality, police, tax, power, property registration, tenders etc,” said Kumar.

According to Transparency International, only 9% said most of the bribes paid were to central government departments: PF, income tax, service tax, railways etc. “Two per cent said it was paid to the private sector and 5% said it was paid to other parties like for school admissions, NGOs, courts etc.,” added Kumar.

Indicating the huge battle of perception faced by states, 51% said their government did not take any steps in the last one year to reduce corruption. The survey, which came out on UN’s ‘Anti-Corruption Day’, also notedthat nine state are without a Lokayukta.

Coaches for disabled placed at end of trains not justified

The Delhi High Court today pulled up the Railways for placing coaches for the disabled at both ends of the train, saying there could be no justification for such a move but for “commercial interests”.

The court was also annoyed with the Railways for not implementing the recommendations of a committee appointed by it to provide equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to travel by trains.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the matter was adjourned last time for implementation of the report but nothing has been done.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the matter was adjourned last time for implementation of the report but nothing has been done.

“There can be no justification other than commercial interest of railways for placing one coach each at the beginning and end of a train for disabled persons,” it said.

“Unfortunately no timeline is placed and the counsel for railways is unable to tell when the recommendations will be implemented. The Committee has made important recommendations for giving equal opportunity to persons with disabilities to travel by railways. The response is unacceptable,” it said.

The observations came on a PIL initiated by the bench itself on the issue of a visually-impaired man missing his M.Phil entrance exam as he could not board a reserved compartment of a train since it was locked from inside.

Indian Railways: Train travel riskier as crime jumps by 34 per cent

Travelling by trains is getting riskier by the day as crimes under Indian Penal Code (IPC) witnessed an increase of over 34% in two years, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2016.

Incidence of IPC crimes, which include murder, rape, rioting, kidnapping and robbery among others, registered by Government Railway Police (GRP) in 2016 was 42,388 in comparison with 39,239 in 2015 and 31,609 in 2014.

Among the states, UP tops the chart with the maximum number of 8,293 cases, followed by Maharashtra (7,358), Madhya Pradesh (5,082), Delhi (4,306) and Bihar (2,287).

The data reflects crimes reported between January 1 and December 31, 2016.

In 2015, Maharashtra (7,277 cases out of 39,239 cases) was on top followed by UP (7,168 cases), Madhya Pradesh (4,461 cases), Delhi (3,356 cases) and Bihar (2,182 cases).

During 2016, among IPC crimes, maximum cases were registered under ‘theft’ accounting for 33,682 out of 42,388 cases. It is followed by robbery (1,069) and kidnapping and abduction (280).

Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Mumbai Rail Routes to be Fenced for High-Speed Run

Indian Railways will soon bring for cabinet clearance an ambitious, Rs. 18,000 crore ($3 billion) plan that involves fencing off the existing Delhi-Kolkata and Delh-Mumbai routes to speed up train movement in the country’s two busiest corridors.

Besides fencing, the proposal involves track and signalling upgrades and elimination of unmanned level-crossings along the two major trunk routes — Delhi-Mumbai at 1,384 kms Delhi-Howrah at 1,450 kms.

The cabinet is expected to consider the plan next month.

“The proposal has already been cleared by the extended Railway Board, NITI Aayog and the Finance Ministry. Now it awaits Cabinet clearance — after which the project will commence,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The ambitious project envisages taking train speeds up to 160 km per hour in the busy corridors.

While the overall cost for the Delhi-Kolkata route is estimated at Rs. 7,000 crore, that of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor is Rs. 11,000 crore. Of this, fencing alone will cost about Rs. 2,200 crore.

Fencing is a must for semi-high speed corridors as it prevents human or cattle interference on the tracks and ensures higher speeds and safety.

Describing it as a “paradigm shift” for the development of the rail network in the country, the official said once the route is fit for 160 kmph, the speed can be further upgraded up to 200 kmph.

According to the feasibility study, it is a remunerative project with both routes having a high rate of return.

The official said that while the rate of return for the Delhi-Howrah route — which runs through major cities such as Kanpur and Lucknow — has been estimated at 18 per cent, it has been pegged at 14.7 per cent for the Delhi-Mumbai corridor that has cities such as Vadodara enroute.

Currently, train speeds are greatly affected by network congestion. While the Railways is constructing dedicated freight corridors for the exclusive movement of the goods service, fencing off the existing Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes will enhance passenger movement on the existing tracks.

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.

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.

OVERRULED

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 that Railway projects passing through forest land, national parks, eco-sensitive zones will not be exempted from forest clearance process.

Railways sacks 15 Caterers, debars 16 Contractors over Lapses

The Indian Railways said today it has terminated the contracts of 15 caterers and debarred 16 catering contractors this year till November amidst complaints of over-charging and poor quality food served on trains.

The ministry, which often receives complaints from passengers over catering issues on its official Twitter handle, is known to respond to them on real-time basis.

According to the official data, the national transporter has imposed fines amounting to Rs 8.96 crore from January to October 2017, which was more than double the amount – Rs 4.05 crore – levied last year between January and December.

“The ministry is very concerned about complaints regarding catering. We have given instructions that strict action must be taken against those caterers against whom complaints are made and proven. We have zero tolerance towards such issues regarding food on our trains,” said Railway Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena.

Up Grade Infrastructure To Ensure Safety and Punctuality: GM/SCR

Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway called upon to focus on up gradation of  infrastructure facilities to ensure safety and punctuality of train operations. He conducted intensive review meeting on Safety, Punctuality and freight loading today i.e., 11th December, 2017 at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad along with Principal Heads of Departments. The Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) of all the 6 Divisions on SCR viz., Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal and Nanded joined the meeting through Video Conference.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, speaking on infrastructural developmental aspect,  suggested DRMs to focus on up gradation of  all the staff training institutes in  the zone on priority basis. He advised officials to adopt advance teaching methods and training technology to enhance the skills of staff as part of ensuring safety.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, held a review of all the safety aspects on the Zone including minor incidents of unusual happenings like yard derailments, weld failures, rail fractures and gate open cases etc., He instructed the officials to concentrate on the works related to safety to avoid all unsafe working conditions to bring the zone to incident free zone in terms of safety. Vinod Kumar Yadav while reviewing the punctuality of the zone, stated that, the unscheduled traffic blocks will effect the punctuality of the zone and instructed the officials to properly plan and strictly avoid traffic block bursts.

The General Manager also reviewed the works related to elimination of Unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) over the zone and instructed to achieve the targets within the prescribed time frame and complete the pending procedures of tenders related to UMLC gates. He held a detailed review of the performance in freight loading over the zone and instructed all the DRMs to improve the loading and reach the target. Earlier General Manager released  SCR Booklet on Instructions for New Line Opening/Electrification/Double/Triple Quadruple lines.

John Thomas, Additional General Manager; K.V.Siva Prasad, Principal Chief Engineer; N. Madhusudana Rao, Principal Chief Operations Manager; Smt. Padmini Radhakrishnan, Principal Financial Advisor (PFA); M.G.Sekharam, Principal Chief Commercial Manager; Vinay Mohan Shrivastava, Principal Chief Signal & Telecommunications Engineer; Arjun Mundiya, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer; D.K.Singh, Principal Chief Safety Officer; N.V. Ramana Reddy, Principal Chief Personnel Officer; Dr. K.H.K.Dora, Principal Chief Medical Director and Sanjay Sankrityayan, Chief Security Commissioner were amongst the Officials present.