Indian Railways News

Government To Double/Triple 16,500 Km Rail Tracks: Suresh Prabhu

To fast-track creation of a robust infrastructure, the government has sanctioned plans for doubling and tripling of 16,500 km of railway tracks in few years as against only 22,000 km in last 70 years, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said today.

“We have decided to create an infrastructure at a much faster pace…16,500 km of doubling and tripling will happen in the next few years as opposed to what 22,000 km was sanctioned in 70 years,” Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on the sidelines of a Assocham event here today.

Mr Prabhu said Railways is investing in infrastrucutre to create seamless movement of traffic so that GST becomes a gamechanger wherein goods are moved without hassle.

“Only 42 per cent of electrification has been made so far which will double in next five years,” the minister said addressing the conference on ‘India – on the Cusp of a Logistics Revolution.’

He said, “We are already creating about 100 private freight terminals with private participation so that more and more traffic can come to the railways”.

The Railways plans to save about Rs. 41,000 crore in energy bills of which it has already saved about 10 per cent, he said.

“So, all of this will result in creating a good logistic backbone for India which will help it do much better business as logistics is key to success of industrialisation,” he said.

On low consumer price inflation, Mr Prabhu said it is the result of sound fiscal monetary policies in India.

“Our prime minister already said that people at large are suffering because of inflation being very high and the growth rate being low. So, it was double whammy. We actually reversed it, inflation is low and growth is high means the common people don’t have to spend too much money on their daily necessities and they will have more savings,” he said.

Bomb Threat At Churchgate Turns Out To Be Hoax

An anonymous call warning about a bomb planted at the busy Churchgate station, where the Western Railway headquarters are located, turned out to be a hoax, officials said on Thursday.

The call was received around 10.45 am on the Railway Protection Force (RPF) helpline number. Both the RPF and Government Railway Police immediately swung into action.

A thorough search of the Churchgate station revealed nothing though there was brief panic reaction among the commuters.

Thursday is the sixth anniversary of the triple blasts at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar which left 26 people dead and over a 100 injured.

Police are making efforts to trace the person who telephoned the RPF.

 

Suresh Prabhu Writes To Telecom Minister On Poor Connectivity In Konkan Region

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has drawn the attention of Telecommunication Minister Manoj Sinha to the problem of poor telephone connectivity in Konkan region, including Sindhudurg district.

A native of Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Suresh Prabhu currently represents Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha.

In a recent letter to Mr Sinha, the railway minister has highlighted the “poor infrastructural facilities, shortage of staff and frequent disruptions in services after every rainfall and storm” in the region.

“I would like to bring your attention towards the problems faced by the residents of Konkan region, including district Sindhudurg, with regard to the telephone connectivity,” Mr Prabhu said.

Mr Sinha is also the minister of state for railways.

He has said the problems are “related to shortage of staff, need to upgrade infrastructure facilities, including National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) and Base Transceiver Stations (BTS)”.

Restoration of services becomes a major challenge owing to shortage of staff, he has said in the letter.

Describing the topography of Sindhudurg as “unique”, Mr Prabhu has said, “As a matter of fact, the mobile coverage is very poor in difficult and hilly areas of Sindhudurg district.”

Seeking a permanent solution to the problem, he has demanded additional infrastructure and upgradation of the existing facilities in the region.

Fast track implementation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) would complement the overall efforts of improving connectivity in the region, the letter said.

“I request you to pay personal attention in the above matter and instruct officials to take necesary steps for extending the telecom services to the last mile in the district of Sindhdurg and Konkan region effectively,” Mr Prabhu has said.

Man Arrested For Allegedly Flashing Woman At Mumbai Train Station

A 20-year-old man was on Wednesday arrested for allegedly flashing at a woman at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CST) railway station in Mumbai, a senior police official said.

The incident had occurred on June 29, but it came to light after a video went viral on social media, the official said.

The 22-year-old woman, who works for a child rights NGO, was about to travel to Nashik by an express train when the incident took place.

The accused, identified as Ashok Pradhan, who is a rag picker, allegedly exposed himself to the woman on platform number 13 when she was about to board the train.

The offence took place on June 29 around 5.45 am. The matter came to light after the video of the incident, shot by the woman, went viral on social networking sites, the official said.

A case in this regard was registered at CST police station today. We examined the CCTV footage of that day and traced the accused within six hours after the registration of the case. He was arrested from Carnac Bunder area of the city,” ACP Machindra Chavan said.

The accused was booked under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intending to insult the modesty of woman).

 The accused, who hails from Bhubaneswar district in Odisha, resides at a slum in Chembur. He will be produced in a court today, Mr Chavan said.

 

Central Railway Hands Over Matunga Railway Station To All Women Staffers

In a bid to empower women, Central Railway has appointed all ladies staff at suburban Matunga station, a senior official said.

Matunga station has thus become country’s first ladies special station.

Women are manning this station on the Central Railway since last two weeks, said the official.

A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks, said the official.
A formal event to mark all women railway station will be held soon, he said.

The staff has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock, said the official.

“Our experience has been very smooth or say some what magical. In my career spanning 25 years with the Railways I never thought of working with all women staff,” said Ms Kulkarni, who holds the credit of becoming first station master in Mumbai division when she joined Central Railway in 1992.

“We are working like a family and with a sense of responsibility and cooperation,” Ms Kulkarni said, adding, initially we faced a few problems but now we are taking them in our stride as part of job responsibility.

For instance points person Kirti Kothane, who never attended accident cases, has now learnt how to deal with run over cases.

Even women ticket checkers deployed at Matunga station have learnt how to deal with male passengers while discharging their duties.

“So far, we used to preferably check tickets of women passengers. But, ever since we have come here, we don’t hesitate to ask tickets from male passengers,” said a woman ticket checker.

She added, presence of women RPF and police outpost near railway station makes them feel secure while doing their job.

D K Sharma, general manager of Central Railway, who floated the idea of all ladies station, said, “We in Central Railway are convinced that there is no tool for development more effective than empowering our women and the ladies special station speaks all about it.”

 

Knife Used To Stab Junaid Khan Recovered

A knife which was used to stab teenager Junaid Khan to death on a train last month has been found from a pond in Jatola village, Haryana Railway Police said today.

The shoes and a ‘gamchha’ or stole worn by accused, Naresh Kumar, at the time of the killing have also been found from his house in Palwal, police said.

“We have recovered the knife used in stabbing,” Haryana, Government Railway Police SP Kamaldeep Goyal said.

Junaid Khan, 17 was stabbed to death onboard the Mathura-bound train when he and his brothers were returning home to Khandawli village after shopping for Eid in Delhi. His body was dumped close to Asaoti village in Faridabad district.

The 30-year-old accused was arrested from Maharashtra’s Dhule district on July 8, about a fortnight after the June 22 incident which had triggered a nationwide outrage.

During investigation, Naresh Kumar told police that he had bought the knife from Delhi on the same day. After the crime, he put it in a bag and dumped it in a pond in Jatola village, police said.

The accused works as a security guard in a Delhi firm.

Superintendent of police Kamaldeep Goyal said police was yet to recover the T-shirt which he was wearing at the time of incident. He will be taken to Maharashtra for its recovery.

The knife and other items recovered by the police would be sent to a forensic lab in Bhondsi in Gurugram for examination, police said.

Mr Goyal said accused was sent to police remand for five days by a court here yesterday.

Naresh Kumar, a prime accused in the killing of Junaid, had “confessed” to having stabbed the victim.

Junaid Khan was stabbed to death while his brothers, Hashim and Sakir, were injured by a mob which also allegedly hurled communal slurs against them.

His brothers had claimed the attackers had taunted and repeatedly called them “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters”.

A reward of Rs. two lakh had been announced for information on identity of those involved in the killing.

 

Thailand Approves $5.5 Billion Bullet Train Project With China

China has received the first overseas order to export its bullet train technology as Thailand approved a US $5.5 billion high-speed railway project aimed at linking Bangkok with southern China.

The project is part of China’s huge regional infrastructure plan to build a high-speed rail network connecting the southern city of Kunming with Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Construction has already begun in Laos but the Thai segment of rail has been stymied for years by tussles over financing, loan terms and protective labour regulations in Thailand, China’s state-run television CNTN has reported.

The high-speed railway is set to start operations in 2021.

The Thai order is a breakthrough of sorts for the Chinese multibillion high speed train technology as China’s attempts to export the bullet train technology were bogged down due to political issues, finance or stiff competition from Japan.

China is also trying to get the New Delhi-Chennai route for the high-speed train and started feasibility study for it.

China has already built a massive network of bullet trains connecting most of its cities.

 It has the world’s longest railway network, 22,000 kilometres by the end of 2016, about 60 per cent of the total. network.

Indian Railways to Launch New App That Lets You Book Flight Tickets, Taxis, and More

A new mobile app from the Indian Railways will now let you book flight tickets, among other things. The app, which is set to launch this week, will offer users options like booking a porter, retiring room, or ordering food apart from booking train tickets, of course, in an effort to create an integrated Railways app.

 According to a senior Railway Ministry official, the app looks to provide an easier way for passengers to find what they are looking for when travelling, PTI reports. There are multiple apps of the Railways that offer specific services, but the official said that most of them are limited to a single service, and that there was a need for an app that offers multiple services in a single window interface. In addition to train-related features, the app can also be used to book taxis, hotels and notably, even flight tickets.
 The Integrated Railway Mobile App project was first announced during the Rail Budget 2016-17. It is being developed by the CRIS, the Railways’ software arm, at a cost of Rs. 7 crores.
 “Presently we have different digital solutions for ticketing, grievance redressal and other issues. We intend to integrate all such facilities into two mobile apps, one dealing with all ticketing issues and the other for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions related to all our services,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had said in his budget speech.

Separately, the Indian Railways on Wednesday will be launching RailCloud, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that promises to provide faster connectivity at lower cost. This is being developed by PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs. 53 crores.

Hubballi–Ankola Railway line project clears first Environmental hurdle

The much-delayed, controversial project to provide a railway line — connecting Hubballi in the plains and Ankola on the coast — that cuts through the dense forests of the Western Ghats has taken its first step towards fruition.

The environmental cost, however, remains high: More than 1.73 lakh trees in 1,472 acres of forests will make way for the railway project, apart from fragmentation of two tiger reserves.

On Monday, the Regional Empowered Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) recommended the Stage-1 clearance for the long-pending project, albeit with conditions.

This marks a big step for the project —which was announced in 1997 and foundation stone for which was laid in 1999 — that has seen environmental opposition and even court scrutiny.

Among the conditions mentioned, the REC has asked the Railways to propose an increased number of tunnels. According to the proposal submitted, there will be 34 tunnels and nine stations on the 168.3-km route. Similarly, the committee has asked them to revise the mitigation measures being taken, including construction of underpasses for wildlife.

It was on May 5, during the previous meeting, that the REC claimed they were “not yet convinced” about the need of the project that will cut through “pristine” forests. While environmental hurdles had persisted, the Ministry of Railways and numerous Union Ministers from Karnataka had gone on record stating that the project will proceed at all cost.

The proposal states that the line will handle nearly 27 million tonnes of cargo headed from north Karnataka towards Belekeri, (proposed) Tadri, and Karwar ports in Uttara Kannada as well as the Margao port in Goa which is being expanded to import coal. During the previous meeting, the REC had asked the Railways why the project was needed, considering that National Highway 63 (Ankola to Gooty) runs parallel to this; while, a railway line between Hubballi and Margao via Castle Rock already exists.

“The user agency (Indian Railways) has provided information on the doubts we had, including cost-benefit analysis when compared to other projects already present … It is difficult to mitigate (environment damage) in projects like this, but there is a trade-off so that a long-pending project can come up,” said Jagmohan Sharma, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Clearance).

Among the changes that saw the project get clearance is a fresh enumeration of the trees being cut. Previously, the Railways had estimated that 2.02 lakh trees would be felled on the alignment. The fresh figures lowers it to 1.73 lakh trees.

‘Another intrusion into delicate ecosystems’

For environmentalists, the Hubballi–Ankola railway line signifies another infrastructure intrusion into delicate ecosystems when there were less-destructive alternatives present.

“There is no need for a fresh project when existing railway lines can be optimally utilised. The existing railway line through Castle Rock passes just around 80 km north of this line,” said Praveen Bhargav, managing trustee of Wildlife First.

K. Ullas Karanth, director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society, said, “There are too many of these linear intrusions in the Western Ghats already, with more ideas along the way. I completely oppose these incremental intrusions of having more highways and railway lines passing all along the length.”

Indian Railways to lauch ‘RailCloud’ to optimise Server Management

The Indian Railways will launch tomorrow RailCloud, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that will enable faster connectivity at a reduced cost.

Developed by rail PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs 53 crore, RailCloud is aimed at optimising server resources and its management.

Cloud computing is an emerging technology for faster and on demand commensurate deployment of server resources which results in reduced cost.

“RailCloud technology enables maximising the usage of available server and storage resulting in accommodation of bigger data and more applications within same server space. This makes the system suitable to meet higher demand,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Currently all IT applications have separate servers which increase the cost of operations and purchases.

The state-run transporter will also launch tomorrow Nivaran-Grievance Portal, the first IT application on the RailCloud.

Nivaran is a platform for resolution of service-related grievances of serving and former railway employees.

RailCloud will cover all management related to various services like human resources, health and hospital, signal assets, freight and logistics and energy among others.

Asked about the security aspect of the system, the official said, “It is a private cloud which has an inbuilt security system. In fact it will improve security and reduce the cost by 30 per cent.”

The cloud shall be equipped with security features as per latest government guidelines. The security features can be updated in one go for all applications hosted on the cloud, resulting in enhanced security and stability with less expenditure and effort.

RailCloud will pave the way for swifter deployment of application within 24 hours as compared to conventional time running into weeks and months.

In Cloud, the server resources are constantly scaled up or down as per the number of users logged on to the system. This ensures a better user experience to the customer.

Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home.

Railways have started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations.

To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first. Establishment of RailCloud is one such project.

Pages:1...11121314151617...28