Indian Railways News

Court Threatens To Stop Salary Of Mumbai Civic Body, Railway Staff For Failing To Construct A Bridge

The Bombay High Court today threatened to halt the disbursement of salaries of the staff concerned of the BMC and the Central Railways over their failure to construct a new foot overbridge (FOB) in place of the now demolished Hancock Bridge.

A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak said it was surprised that even though thousands of pedestrians risked their lives every day by crossing over the railway tracks in the absence of an alternative, the authorities chose to “turn a blind eye” to the problem.

The bench came down heavily on the authorities concerned for ignoring the plight of the common man.

“How can you be blind and deaf to the plight of the common man? You cannot just come to court and tell us that it is impossible to construct a new bridge at the spot.

“Your job is not just to identify the problem, it is also to come up with solutions,” the bench observed. “If you fail to act now, this court will be forced to pass an order to stop your salaries. Then, even if you go
challenge my order, at least you will realise how serious this court is about the issue,” it said.

The observations came while the high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by a city resident, highlighting the rise in the instances of accidents and deaths of pedestrians and the plight of rail passengers, who were forced to walk across the tracks at Sandhurst Road in the absence of an alternate bridge.

 As per the plea, ever since the Hancock Bridge was demolished in November 2015, pedestrians and suburban rail commuters have had no option but cross the tracks between the Sandhurst Road and Byculla stations to reach either side.

The 136-year-old bridge was demolished as its height restricted the speed of the trains passing under it.

Earlier this year, following a site inspection and joint meeting between the railways and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the former had submitted that it was not feasible to construct a new bridge at the proposed spot because a water pipeline ran very close to it.

The court, however, had insisted that the authorities sought a second opinion and took the help of experts for making a last attempt to come up with a feasible plan.

The BMC had then told the high court that while it was ready to fund the construction of a new FoB and provide the land for the same, the railways was still reluctant to take up the construction work.

The railways, in turn, had said constructing a bridge at the site was not possible since an adequate landing space was not available for the same.

The bench, however, dismissed the submission and said the authorities must put their heads together and come up with a solution by November 22, the next date of hearing.

It said the authorities could not let the thousands of school-going children and senior citizens, who cross over the tracks in the area every day, to continue risking their lives.

“Imagine that it is your own child or your own parent who has to cross over the tracks to reach from one side to another. And then think of a solution,” the bench said to the BMC and railways officials.

RRC, Central Railway Recruitment Begins, Check Details Here

Railway Recruitment Cell (RRC), Central Railway Mumbai will recruit candidates under Sports and Guides quota. Online application process, which has begun on 16 November 2017 will continue till 30 November 2017 (5.00 pm). Recruitment will be held for filling 12 vacancies . ‘The posts are open to all regardless of Community and there is no reservation for any community. Further, only the candidates qualified in the Written Test shall be called for Scouting Skill Assessment,’ reads the official notification released at rrccr.com.

For level 1 post (10 vacancies), candidate must have qualified 12th pass exam and should not have secured less than 50% marks or must have completed Act Apprenticeship course or else should have passed matriculation plus ITI approved by NCVT/ SCVT.

For level 2 post, applicants must be 10th pass or ITI or NAC granted by NCVT or 10th passed plus National Apprenticeship Certificate (NAC) granted by NCVT or 10th passed plus ITI. Candidates should also note that,’ Persons if appointed to the category of Clerk-cum-Typist should acquire Typing proficiency of 30 w.p.m. in English or 25 w.p.m. in Hindi within a period of two years from the date of appointment and till such time their.

appointment to this category will be provisional.’

Candidates should also go through the Scouts and Guides eligibility as well, before applying.

Candidates must be age group of 18-28 years for level 2 post and must be in the age group of 18-31 years for level 1 post.

Candidates will be selected on the basis of written test and scouting skill assessment. The written test will be held on 4 February 2018.

Cabinet clears Indian Railways’ plan to seek Dividend Waiver for 2016-17

The railway ministry can now move a resolution in both Houses of Parliament adopting the Railway Convention Committee’s recommendations for a waiver on dividend for 2016-17. Cabinet approves Resolution for adoption of the recommendations of the Railway Convention Committee (2014) as contained in their Sixth Report on “Rate of Dividend payable by the Railways to the General Revenues for the year 2016-17 and other ancillary matters”

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a proposal for a one-time waiver of Indian railways’ dividend payout of around Rs 9,000 crore to the general exchequer for 2016-17, purely as a one-time move, the Rate of Dividend payable by Railways to the General Revenues be waived off. With this, railways can now approach the Parliament for its approval to the waiver.

After the merger of the railway budget with general budget last year, it was decided that the national transporter would not have to pay dividend for the capital invested in it. While railways was budgeted to pay Rs 9,730 crore as dividend for last financial year, a subsidy of Rs 4,300 crore was claimed by it towards loss-making routes, putting the net dividend reportedly at about Rs 5,430 crore.

“Cabinet approves the proposal of the ministry of railways to move a resolution in both the houses of Parliament adopting Railway Convention Committee’s (2014) recommendations that for the year 2016-17, purely as a one-time move, the rate of dividend payable by the railways to the general revenues be waived off,” said the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on its Twitter handle.

Artesyn and Lab To Market Collaborate to bring SIL4 COTS ControlSafe™ Platforms for Train Control & Rail Signaling to Indian Market

Artesyn Embedded Technologies, a global leader in highly reliable and available embedded computer systems, today announced a collaboration with Lab To Market Innovations Pvt Ltd, an Innovations development company incubated at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, to bring the ControlSafe™ portfolio of rail computing platforms to the Indian railways market.

Artesyn’s ControlSafe portfolio includes the ControlSafe Platform, ControlSafe Expansion Box Platform, ControlSafe Carborne Platform and the ControlSafe Compact Carborne Platform. They are designed to enable rail system integrators to accelerate time-to-market and reduce the cost and risk of developing or upgrading train control and rail signaling applications. By leveraging a SIL4 COTS fail-safe and fault-tolerant computing platform, railway technology companies can focus on their value-added offering and final certification for end solutions.

“The ControlSafe portfolio is designed for a wide range of onboard and wayside applications and is already saving integrators years of time-to-market and millions in development costs all over the world,” said Qianqian Shao, product manager, Artesyn Embedded Technologies. “We have selected Lab To Market for its entrepreneurship and experience in the Indian market and this alliance will enable us to jointly tailor solutions for the next generation of India’s train control systems and signaling applications.”

“India has a world-renowned rail infrastructure carrying over 20 million passengers a day and a growing need for investment into dedicated freight networks,” said professor S.K. Sinha, founder and managing director of Lab to Market. “We have assembled a team of some of the best experts in transportation, electronics, embedded systems and business development, backed by the number one university in India for technology and research. Using the ControlSafe platform, with SIL4 certifications, will help us bring this much-needed infrastructure to reality more quickly, cost effectively and with a reliable development roadmap.”

The first three platforms in Artesyn’s ControlSafe portfolio have been certified to SIL4, while certification is planned for the latest platform to be announced, the ControlSafe Compact Carborne Platform.

About Lab To Market

Lab to Market’s main business is to develop and license products/solutions to industries with the active involvement of academia. Lab to Market is incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and works closely with the faculty of this most prestigious institution, known world over for its world class facilities and research output. Our mission is to develop market-ready and commercially-viable products and solutions from the ‘proof of concept’ and ‘laboratory prototypes’ of academic institutions, research laboratories and similar others.

About Artesyn Embedded Technologies

Artesyn Embedded Technologies is a global leader in the design and manufacture of highly reliable power conversion and embedded computing solutions for a wide range of industries including communications, computing, consumer electronics, medical, military, aerospace and industrial automation. For more than 40 years, customers have trusted Artesyn to help them accelerate time-to-market and reduce risk with cost-effective advanced network computing and power conversion solutions. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Artesyn has over 16,000 employees worldwide across ten engineering centers of excellence, four wholly-owned world-class manufacturing facilities, and global sales and support offices.

Rake diversion triggered Shutdown of NTPC Simhadri unit: Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd

Diversion of coal rakes entitled for NTPC’s Simhadari plant from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (MCL) by NTPC management triggered shutdown of its 500 MW unit in Andhra Pradesh, an MCL release said. NTPC management had continuously diverted coal rakes from MCL entitled for Simhadari STPS (super thermal power station) to the Korba STPS and Seepat TPS (thermal power station) which were running super-critical. MCL has been regularly offering coal as per programme of NTPC Simhadari to South East Central Railway as well as East Coast Railways. As on date, materialisation of Andhra Pradesh-based thermal power station has been 95 per cent of pro rata ACQ (Annual Contracted Quality) for the month and 79 per cent for annual pro rata ACQ. Between November 11 and 14, 2017, MCL has dispatched an average of seven rakes to NTPC Simhadari (seven, six, nine and six rakes respectively), which has been more than the supply of 5.5 rakes per day to the plant, as per the decision of the sub-group of the Ministry of Coal. MCL is committed to maintain continuous supply of coal to its consumers and with the cooperation of Railways, the company has been successful in checking the growing demand-supply gap in the country. On Tuesday, 73 rakes were provided by Railways to MCL for coal supply. In the current quarter Q3, the supply of coal from MCL has crossed an average of 400,000 tonnes per day. MCL has supplied about 82 million tonnes of coal to its consumers in the current fiscal and has sufficient stock to feed all power consumers, including NTPC Simhadri. The company had crossed 141 million tonne supply of coal to consumers during 2016-17, which had been the highest supply ever by any coal company in the country.

Now onus on States to ensure Land Transfer for Rail Projects: CRB Ashwani Lohani

With nearly 500 projects worth Rs 4 lakh crore delayed, the railways has decided that no new project will be taken up from now on until states give written commitments regarding transfer of land. Delay in land acquisition is one of the major causes for new rail projects not taking off.

The decision was taken by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani following internal deliberations. The board has issued policy guidelines to all zonal headquarters authorising general managers (GMs) to invite tenders only if they are reasonably certain of the possibility of land acquisition within a reasonable time-frame.

“In suppression of all earlier instructions, Railway Board has decided that issue of tenders or commencement of physical work for New Line projects shall be taken up only after completion of land acquisition subject,” said the policy document issued on October 30.

The document says that GMs can also consider seeking a written assurance from the state governments in this regard. The idea is to put the onus on state governments for smooth transfer of land for railway projects.

“The problem of land acquisition comes in new line projects, majority of which are recommended by states. So, the new guidelines put the onus on states to provide the land if they want new projects to be sanctioned,” said a senior railway board officer.

According to official statistics, there are about 491 projects – new lines, gauge conversion and doubling — pending completion. Of these, 171 are new railway line projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore.

“For the purpose of execution, large projects can be divided into phases by GMs… after ensuring that each phase, on completion, yields commercial return for Railways,” the policy document added.

It has been decided that the policy will be followed not just in cases of new projects but also old ones where tenders have not yet been finalised. Under the earlier policy, tenders could be issued if 70 per cent of land was available for the projects. But according to railway sources, it was hardly followed.

The guidelines have been sent to all states so that they can initiate the procedures for facilitating land acquisition for railway projects.

With growing cases of derailment in the past few months, the South Eastern Railway (SER), in a move to increase capacity and ensure the safer running of trains, has replaced the route relay interlocking (RRI) system at Kharagpur with Asia’s largest solid state interlocking (SSI) system. This technology that is set to come into effect from Sunday will allow station masters at Kharagpur to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of a few clicks. This is in stark contrast to the vintage RRI system which only allowed operators to set a mere 423 routes. Principal Chief Operations Manager of SER, Suchitto Kumar Das said, “This will be Asia’s largest SSI system. The RRI system is of pre-1980 vintage and has crossed its codal-life.” The cost of installing the new system is a whopping Rs 39 crore. This new technology will allow the path of a train to be set in a way that it has to cross several tracks. The prime benefit of the interlocking system is that it ensures no cross movement takes place during the crossings, to avoid disastrous collisions. “The SSI system is much more dependable than the older ones. We have been carrying out tests on this system for the last 7-8 months,” said Das. The project that was kick-started at the Kharagpur yard on November 4 will continue its work, till Sunday. It is likely, that passengers may face severe disruptions in the suburban rail services from Friday, once the SER begins to switch over to the SSI system from its current RRI system. During the work, the SER will make platform numbers 7 and 8 at Kharagpur operational. To increase capacity, it will also link a third line from Howrah and a second line from Midnapore to the Kharagpur yard by Sunday. As per SER’s Chief passenger transportation manager, Soumitra Majumdar, over 116 pairs of trains originate, terminate or pass through Kharagpur every day. With the dawn of the new technology in place, three signal cabins will become inessential, and the requirement for cabin masters will decrease. “We’ll require more station masters to operate the system. Some trains may be delayed, but we don’t anticipate any major trouble after Sunday,” he told.

With growing cases of derailment in the past few months, the South Eastern Railway (SER), in a move to increase capacity and ensure the safer running of trains, has replaced the route relay interlocking (RRI) system at Kharagpur with Asia’s largest solid state interlocking (SSI) system. This technology that is set to come into effect from Sunday will allow station masters at Kharagpur to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of a few clicks.

This is in stark contrast to the vintage RRI system which only allowed operators to set a mere 423 routes.

Principal Chief Operations Manager of SER, Suchitto Kumar Das said, “This will be Asia’s largest SSI system. The RRI system is of pre-1980 vintage and has crossed its codal-life.”

The cost of installing the new system is a whopping Rs 39 crore. This new technology will allow the path of a train to be set in a way that it has to cross several tracks.

The prime benefit of the interlocking system is that it ensures no cross movement takes place during the crossings, to avoid disastrous collisions.

“The SSI system is much more dependable than the older ones. We have been carrying out tests on this system for the last 7-8 months,” said Das.

The project that was kick-started at the Kharagpur yard on November 4 will continue its work, till Sunday. It is likely, that passengers may face severe disruptions in the suburban rail services from Friday, once the SER begins to switch over to the SSI system from its current RRI system.

During the work, the SER will make platform numbers 7 and 8 at Kharagpur operational. To increase capacity, it will also link a third line from Howrah and a second line from Midnapore to the Kharagpur yard by Sunday.

As per SER’s Chief passenger transportation manager, Soumitra Majumdar, over 116 pairs of trains originate, terminate or pass through Kharagpur every day.

With the dawn of the new technology in place, three signal cabins will become inessential, and the requirement for cabin masters will decrease.

“We’ll require more station masters to operate the system. Some trains may be delayed, but we don’t anticipate any major trouble after Sunday,” he told.

Court Threatens To Stop Salary Of Mumbai Civic Body, Railway Staff For Failing To Construct A Bridge

The Bombay High Court today threatened to halt the disbursement of salaries of the staff concerned of the BMC and the Central Railways over their failure to construct a new foot overbridge (FOB) in place of the now demolished Hancock Bridge.

A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak said it was surprised that even though thousands of pedestrians risked their lives every day by crossing over the railway tracks in the absence of an alternative, the authorities chose to “turn a blind eye” to the problem.

 The bench came down heavily on the authorities concerned for ignoring the plight of the common man.

“How can you be blind and deaf to the plight of the common man? You cannot just come to court and tell us that it is impossible to construct a new bridge at the spot.

“Your job is not just to identify the problem, it is also to come up with solutions,” the bench observed. “If you fail to act now, this court will be forced to pass an order to stop your salaries. Then, even if you go
challenge my order, at least you will realise how serious this court is about the issue,” it said.

The observations came while the high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by a city resident, highlighting the rise in the instances of accidents and deaths of pedestrians and the plight of rail passengers, who were forced to walk across the tracks at Sandhurst Road in the absence of an alternate bridge.

As per the plea, ever since the Hancock Bridge was demolished in November 2015, pedestrians and suburban rail commuters have had no option but cross the tracks between the Sandhurst Road and Byculla stations to reach either side.

The 136-year-old bridge was demolished as its height restricted the speed of the trains passing under it.

Earlier this year, following a site inspection and joint meeting between the railways and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the former had submitted that it was not feasible to construct a new bridge at the proposed spot because a water pipeline ran very close to it.

The court, however, had insisted that the authorities sought a second opinion and took the help of experts for making a last attempt to come up with a feasible plan.

The BMC had then told the high court that while it was ready to fund the construction of a new FoB and provide the land for the same, the railways was still reluctant to take up the construction work.

The railways, in turn, had said constructing a bridge at the site was not possible since an adequate landing space was not available for the same.

The bench, however, dismissed the submission and said the authorities must put their heads together and come up with a solution by November 22, the next date of hearing.

It said the authorities could not let the thousands of school-going children and senior citizens, who cross over the tracks in the area every day, to continue risking their lives.

“Imagine that it is your own child or your own parent who has to cross over the tracks to reach from one side to another. And then think of a solution,” the bench said to the BMC and railways officials.

RRC, Central Railway Recruitment Begins, Check Details Here

Railway Recruitment Cell (RRC), Central Railway Mumbai will recruit candidates under Sports and Guides quota. Online application process, which has begun on 16 November 2017 will continue till 30 November 2017 (5.00 pm). Recruitment will be held for filling 12 vacancies . ‘The posts are open to all regardless of Community and there is no reservation for any community. Further, only the candidates qualified in the Written Test shall be called for Scouting Skill Assessment,’ reads the official notification released at rrccr.com.

For level 1 post (10 vacancies), candidate must have qualified 12th pass exam and should not have secured less than 50% marks or must have completed Act Apprenticeship course or else should have passed matriculation plus ITI approved by NCVT/ SCVT.

For level 2 post, applicants must be 10th pass or ITI or NAC granted by NCVT or 10th passed plus National Apprenticeship Certificate (NAC) granted by NCVT or 10th passed plus ITI. Candidates should also note that,’ Persons if appointed to the category of Clerk-cum-Typist should acquire Typing proficiency of 30 w.p.m. in English or 25 w.p.m. in Hindi within a period of two years from the date of appointment and till such time their appointment to this category will be provisional.’

Candidates should also go through the Scouts and Guides eligibility as well, before applying.

Candidates must be age group of 18-28 years for level 2 post and must be in the age group of 18-31 years for level 1 post.

Candidates will be selected on the basis of written test and scouting skill assessment. The written test will be held on 4 February 2018.

Indian Railways plans to issue 30 times larger Electrification Tenders

For the first time, the Indian Railways is planning to give out tenders as large as 1,500 km, up from the present average of 30-40 km, for railway electrification in order to meet its full electrification target by 2021.

The tenders issued under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model is expected to significantly cut down electrification costs which is now Rs 1-2 crore per km.

The railways has plans to issue tender packages ranging from 400 km to 1,500 km under the EPC contracts. Along with speeding up the electrification process, this move will be a point of departure after which all contracts would be in EPC mode, a senior railway ministry official told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

Last month, Railway minister Piyush Goyal had said that the ministry were to issue larger electrification tender to speed up the process. He said that instead of the railways issuing tenders for only 30-40 km, it would start giving tenders for minimum of 500 km of track, according to another report.

Additionally, the railways has uploaded a model EPC Agreement, model request for qualification (RFQ) and model request for proposal (RFP) and opened it for public feedback till November 16. This initiative was taken for the advancement of the electrification initiatives.

As per the Mint report, the railways plans to electrify 24,400 km of railway tracks within 2021 while incurring a total cost of Rs 35,000 crore. Several companies, including the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), are eyeing the electrification contracts that are on the card.

A second railway official confirmed the development to the newspaper and said that the railways has only completed electrifying 40 percent of its existing 66,000 km till now and falling behind schedule.

He also said that big tenders are likely to attract bigger players as contractors who would be better equipped to finish the work faster and with more efficiency. He added that the EPC contracts would also be open for global companies.

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