Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

₹ 100 Crore Fine Collected From Ticketless Train Passengers In Mumbai

Central Railways’ Mumbai division has collected a whopping  100 crore from passengers travelling in the train without ticket. With this, Mumbai has become the first division in Indian Railways to achieve this remarkable feat. The amount has been collected from April 2022 to February this year from 18 lakh ticketless passengers. Last year, the figure was  60 crore. Central Railways has been warning people to avoid travelling in trains without tickets, but said passengers have been ignoring all the advice, leading to such huge collection.

”We don’t have a target to meet. Our main purpose through ticket checking exercise is to make travel of passengers comfortable and convenient. We intensified ticket checking after complaints that ticketless passengers are causing inconvenience to those who have bought tickets, both in trains and on stations and got this result. It’s a record in itself,” Central Railways chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar told NDTV.

He added that the fine amount includes collection from ticketless passengers in suburban, as well as Express and other regular trains within the Mumbai division

The Mumbai division has 77 railway stations and 1,200 travel ticket examiners (TTEs), who are continuously on the lookout for passengers travelling without tickets.

”The body language of a passenger often tells us that there is something fishy. And our experience of looking at so many passengers every day also helps in spotting the culprits,” Preeti Singh, a TTE, told NDTV.

She added that it’s not easy to make a ticketless passenger pay as they make several excuses. ”But after they realise their mistake, we prosecute them under relevant sections,” said Ms Singh.

Central Railways said in a release that ₹ 100 crore includes fine of ₹ 87.43 lakh recovered from 25,781 passengers who were found travelling without tickets in air-conditioned local trains, and ₹ 5.05 crore from 1.45 lakh passengers travelling without tickets in first class coaches.

Vande Bharat Trains Climb Sahyadri Ghats Without Additional Locomotives

The two new Vande Bharat Express trains flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday became the first trains in the Indian Railways’ history to ascend the two steep Ghats or mountainous sections near Mumbai without using additional locomotives, officials said.

The Vande Bharat trains for Sainagar Shirdi and Solapur, which started their journey from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus here, successfully negotiated the Thal Ghat and Bhor Ghat, respectively, without ‘bankers’ or additional locomotives providing them extra push in the rear.

Both the Ghats, with a gradient of 1:37 (for every 37-metre run there is a rise of one metre), are among the steepest and the toughest in the county.

All trains, be it goods trains or passenger ones, are hauled up by additional locomotives from the Mumbai side when passing through these Ghats.

But during trials, the new Vande Bharat Express trains manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai successfully ascended and descended the Ghats without bankers.

A senior railway officer told PTI said that alternate coaches of the Vande Bharat trains running on both the routes have been fitted with parking brakes to ensure that the trains do not roll down in case of any eventuality like power failure in the Ghats.

Commercial runs of these semi high-speed trains will start from Saturday.

To cut travel time, the railway authorities decided to run them without bankers through the Ghats, as attaching additional locomotives takes a few minutes.

The Sainagar Shirdi-bound Vande Bharat Express will travel through the 14-km Thal Ghat (also called Kasara Ghat) between Kasara-Igatpuri.

The Solapur-bound Vande Bharat Express will run through the 25-km Bhor Ghat (also called Khandala Ghat) between Karjat-Lonavla section.

The Vande Bharat Express between Mumbai and Solapur will cover the distance of around 450 km in 6.35 hours.

The Mumbai-Shirdi high-speed train is expected to cover the distance of around 340 km in 5.25 hours.

Railways Earned ₹ 600 Crore Through Convenience Fees In The Past Year

The Railways has earned more than  600 crore through convenience fee, which it retains from passengers on the cancellation of a ticket, so far in 2022-23, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the cancellation or clerkage charge is levied on cancellation of tickets as per the Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Tickets and Refund of Fare) Rules 2015.

In addition to the normal fare indicated on the reserved tickets issued through computerised passenger reservation system counters, the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) also charges convenience fee from passengers who book tickets online.

The minister said the convenience fee amount charged is  30 for air-conditioned classes and  15 for non-AC classes.

43-Year-Old Man Beaten To Death At Railway Station In Maharashtra

A 43-year-old man was pulled out of a suburban local train and beaten to death by three persons at Mumbra station, the Thane railway police said on Wednesday. The trio is yet to be identified.

Around 10.50 pm on January 1, three persons dragged Kamaluddin Ansar Shaikh from an Ambernath-bound local train and thrashed him, said the station house officer at Thane railway police station.

Shaikh was drunk when he was assaulted, he said.

The police initially registered an accidental death report but upgraded it to an FIR with charges under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34.

A probe is underway to identify the trio and the reason behind the crime, the police said.

Bag With Explosives, Detonators Found At Jammu Railway Station

Explosive materials were recovered in a suspicious bag that was found near a taxi stand in Jammu Railway Station in Jammu and Kashmir today, according to a police official.

Senior Superintendent of Police GRP Arif Rishu said that 18 detonators and some wires were recovered from the spot.

Shortly after the incident, the dog squad and bomb disposal team reached the site to conduct probe.

“We recovered a bag near the taxi stand at Jammu Railway Station. Explosive materials packed in 2 boxes were found in the bag. 18 detonators and some wires were recovered. Around 500gm of wax-type material was packed in the box. Materials have been seized,” the SSP said.

3 Chennai Students Arrested For Video With Sharp Weapons On Moving Train

Three college students in Chennai who were caught on camera performing stunts on a train while wielding sharp weapons have been arrested, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

A video of the three men hanging on the footboard of a moving train with a machete in their hand had gone viral a few days back. Now, the officials identified the three men as Anbarasu and Ravichandran from Gummidipoondi and Arul from Ponneri. They are all students of Presidency College, the DRM informed.

Government to Set Up 25,000 New Mobile Towers in the Next 500 Days

With an objective to ensure connectivity to every corner of the country, the government has approved setting up of 25,000 new towers in the next 500 days with an investment of Rs. 26,000 crore, Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw has said.

Vaishnaw made the announcement at the three-day long “Digital India Conference of State IT Ministers” that began on October 1, and concluded on Monday.

On the first day, the detailed discussions on key priority areas of Digital India initiatives were held with States and Union Territories under the chairmanship of Vaishnaw. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Minister of state for Communications Devusinh Chauhan and IT ministers from 12 states and UTs, namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Puducherry, participated in the event.

In his concluding remarks, Vaishnaw stated that the connectivity is vital for the Digital India and its reach to every corner of the country. He announced that Rs. 26,000 crore has been approved to install 25,000 new towers in next 500 days, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Electronics and IT on Tuesday.

He congratulated all states and UTs for their speedy onboarding at PM Gati Shakti. He also shared that the special assistance to states for capital expenditure worth Rs. 2,000 crore has been supported.

He encouraged the states to be proactive and make business friendly policies to attract businesses in their states. Emphasising on the motto of Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas, he stated that the commitments from all states and UTs, large as well as small states, are vital in taking Digital India to higher level and in realising the AatmaNirbhar Bharat and Trillion Dollar Digital Economy.

On the second day, MeitY organised three sessions on important aspects like ‘IT Rules, Online Gaming and Data Governance’, ‘Digital India Bhashini & Digital Payment’, and ‘MyScheme and Meri Pehchaan’.

The demo on eligibility / profile-based service discovery at MyScheme was shown. In the concluding remarks, the Secretary, MeitY, Alkesh Kumar Sharma encouraged the States and UTs to align their policies in sync with the policies published and in-making by the Central Government. He also said that States and UTs should leverage the latest initiatives of Central Government for improving the citizen centric and business centric services, resulting in further ease of living and ease of doing business.

On the third day, MeitY organized five panel discussions titled ‘Attracting Startups to Tier 2 Cities and Sustaining Them’, ‘Use of Emerging Tech in Public Services’, ‘Making India Talent Nation’, ‘Realization of Digital Government in States’, and ‘Make-in-India for the Globe — India as Semiconductor Nation’.

200 Rail Stations To Get “World-Class” Facilities In Major Facelift

As many as 200 railway stations across the country will get a facelift with modern amenities, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in Aurangabad on Monday.

He attended the foundation stone laying ceremony for a coach maintenance factory at the Aurangabad railway station in Maharashtra.

“Tendering process for 47 railway stations is completed while physical work has started at 32 stations,” he said.

He said the Railways is being transformed.

“The government has prepared a master plan to revamp 200 railway stations. Overhead spaces will be created on the stations which will have world-class facilities including waiting lounges and food courts, besides amusement facilities for children,” the minister said.

Mr Vaishnaw also said that railway stations will act as the “platform” for the sale of regional products.

Speaking on the contribution of the Marathwada region in Maharashtra in the making of Vande Bharat trains, the minister said, “the country will have 400 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains in the future and 100 of these trains will be manufactured in the coach factory at Latur in Marathwada. The necessary changes in the factory are already being made”.

Mr Vaishnaw said the government doesn’t give the reason regarding the ‘Rate of Return’ for sanctioning a project.

He said all parts of the country are now being connected either by highways or railways under the PM Gati Shakti scheme, and parts of Marathwada will also be connected.

The coach maintenance facility in Aurangabad has the capacity of 18 coaches but Maharashtra Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Ambadas Danve, demanded that this capacity be expanded to cater to 24 coaches.

Mr Vaishnaw instructed officials to review Mr Danve’s demand and send a proposal in the next 15 days.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways and Jalna MP, Raosaheb Danve said the Central government has sanctioned  11,000 crore for Maharashtra, which was  1,100 crore earlier.

Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad demanded to undertake high-speed railway projects along the newly undertaken Aurangabad-Pune Expressway.

Shah Rukh Khan Gets Relief By Supreme Court In 2017 Stampede Case

The Supreme Court on Monday granted relief to Shah Rukh Khan as it upheld Gujarat High Court which quashed the case against him related to the 2017 stampede in Vadodara Railway Station.

A bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice CT Ravikumar rejected the plea filed by a complainant against Shah Rukh Khan.

The complainant had challenged a Gujarat High Court order. The Supreme Court refused to interfere with the order passed by the High Court of Gujarat quashing the complaint filed by the complainant against the actor.

On April 27, 2022, Gujarat High Court ordered quashing the criminal case against Shah Rukh Khan for allegedly causing a stampede at Vadodara Railway Station while promoting his film Raees in 2017. The actor along with his production team was travelling from Mumbai to Delhi to promote their Hindi feature film ‘Raees’.

The complainant, Jitendra Madhubhai Solanki had filed a private complaint against Mr Khan before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Vadodara, alleging his presence at the Vadodara Railway Station coupled with him throwing T-shirts and smiley balls at the crowd assembled at the station led to the alleged stampede.

On an application preferred by Shah Rukh Khan seeking a quashing of the said complaint, the High Court of Gujarat had to vide order dated April 27, 2022, quashed the complaint filed against Mr Khan.

The Petitioner was represented by Senior advocate Vijay Kumar while Shah Rukh Khan was represented by Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, briefed by a team from Karanjawala and Company Advocates led by Ruby Singh Ahuja and Sandeep Kapur, Senior Partners.

Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express Derails In Odisha

Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express on Saturday derailed at a level crossing near Odisha’s Bhadrak, an East Coast Railway official said.

The two front wheels of the guard-cum-luggage van located next to the engine derailed due to sudden application of brake despite which the train hit a bull, he said, adding no casualty of passengers was reported in the incident.

Officials have been sent to the spot for restoration work, and train services on the down line remained unaffected.

“It will take around 30 minutes to an hour to resume the train’s journey,” he said.

All the passenger coaches are on the tracks and the derailed coach is an SLR (sitting cum luggage rake) one.

“Since it is a double line, the derailment will not affect the railway traffic. There shouldn’t be any difficulty in carrying out restoration work,” he said.

A train has two SLR coaches – one next to the engine and another at the end of the train, the official added.