Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

CBI Arrests Lalu Yadav’s Close Aide In Land-For-Jobs Scam In Railways

The CBI has arrested Bihar’s former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s aide Bhola Yadav in connection with the “land-for-jobs” scam in the railways when Lalu Yadav was the Railway Minister in the UPA government, officials said today.
The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI also conducted searches today at four premises – two each in Darbhanga and Patna – belonging to Bhola Yadav, who was the officer on special duty (OSD) to the then railway minister Prasad between 2005 and 2009, they said.

Bhola Yadav, fondly referred to as “Hanuman” or the “shadow” of Lalu Prasad among Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supporters, was questioned by the CBI in connection with the scam, in which land measuring over one lakh square feet belonging to job aspirants’ families in Patna was allegedly purchased or transferred to Lalu Prasad’s family members in return for group-D jobs in the railways.

The CBI suspects that Bhola Yadav had played a crucial role in facilitating the jobs and later, the transfer of land to Lalu Prasad’s family.

Considered to be Lalu Prasad Yadav’s “man Friday”, Bhola Yadav had taken a plunge in electoral politics and won the Bahadurpur seat in Darbhanga in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls on an RJD ticket.

He decided to change the seat in 2020 to Hayaghat in the same district, a decision that proved to be costly as he lost the polls.

The CBI had filed the FIR on May 18 against Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, daughters Misa Bharti and Hema Yadav, in addition to 12 people who were given jobs in the railway zones of Mumbai, Jabalpur, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hajipur, the officials said.
The agency has alleged that land measuring about 1.05 lakh square feet in Patna was acquired by Lalu Prasad’s family members by making payments to the sellers in cash.

“The current value of the above said seven parcels of land, including the land acquired through gift deeds, as per the existing circle rate is about ₹ 4.39 crore… Enquiry has revealed that the parcel of land, which was directly purchased by the family members of Lalu Prasad Yadav from the sellers, was purchased at lower rates than the prevailing circle rates,” the FIR has alleged.

It said people were appointed in the railways without any advertisement or public notice issued for the purpose on the basis of forged documents.

The agency had also carried out searches at Lalu Prasad Yadav’s residence in Patna and other locations on May 20.

“We reiterate that the latest CBI case and the raids conducted across the country in connection with the same are sponsored by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules at the Centre,” the RJD had alleged after the searches.

Woman Gang-Raped At New Delhi Station, 4 Railway Staff Arrested

Four railway employees have been arrested in connection with the gang-rape of a 30-year-old woman on a platform at New Delhi railway station, police said.

Police said all the four accused are employees of the Railways’ Electrical Department. The gang-rape, police said, took place inside a train lighting hut on the platform late on Thursday night. While two of the accused allegedly raped the woman, the others stood guard outside.

The accused are 35-year-old Satish Kumar, 38-year-old Vinod Kumar, 33-year-old Mangal Chand and 37-year-old Jagdish Chand.

According to DCP Railway Harendra Singh, the woman called the police station around 3.27 am and informed them of the incident. Police immediately rushed to the station and rescued her.

The woman has told police that she lives in Haryana’s Faridabad. She had separated from her husband about two years ago and had been looking for work. She had met Satish, one of the accused, through a friend and he had promised to get her a job in the Railways, the woman has told police.

On Thursday, Satish called her and invited her for his son’s birthday party at their new home. Around 10.30 pm, the woman met Satish at Kirti Nagar metro station. He then took her to the New Delhi railway station where the three other accused met them, she has told police. She was then gang-raped inside the train lighting hut, she has said.

The police arrested the four accused within two hours of the woman’s distress call and have registered a case. They were produced before a local court which sent them to judicial custody, the Railways said.

indian Railways to Use Google Maps to Allot Exam Test Centres Within 300 Km Radius to Cut Travel Time

In a first, the Railways will now use Google Maps to link the location of candidates appearing for its exams to test centres within a 300km radius in order to cut their travel time. For decades, candidates appearing for the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exams have complained about test centres being far away from their domicile, resulting in not only long-distance travel but also expenses on account of lodging and food which they have to bear.

“With this, we are linking the pin codes of each candidate to an exam centre within 300 km of their residences through Google Maps. Also, we are ensuring that the centres have easy access to different modes of transport like buses and trains. If this works, we will be able to solve one of the most frequent and perennial complaints of candidates,” a senior official said.

The process will be rolled out in the Level 6 and Level 4 computer-based tests to be held on July 30. Around 60,000 candidates will be appearing for the test at approximately 90 centres for 7,026 posts.

The officials said candidates would get centres within the range, but it could be in a neighbouring state with good connectivity.

However, in north-eastern states, the Railways is finding it difficult to accommodate candidates within the 300-km range as there are only a few test centres, they said.

After 70 Days, Passenger Train Services To Resume In Parts Of North-East

After nearly 70 days, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) will resume passenger train services in Lumding-Badarpur section in Assam on July 22. Both passenger and freight train services were cancelled due to heavy rain and unprecedented landslides on May 14.

This section will connect Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and the southern part of Assam with the rest of the country, officials said on Sunday.

NFR’s spokesperson Sabyasachi De said freight train services started on July 12 in Lumding-Badarpur section via Dima Hasao mountainous district, which is the only rail route to connect Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and southern Assam with the other parts of the country.

“Railway officials, engineers, workers worked day and night to bring back the national transporter on track in these affected areas so that scarcity of essential items in states like Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Barak Valley (southern Assam) areas could be avoided,” the spokesperson said.

Due to unprecedented landslides triggered by heavy rain since May 13, massive damage has been caused to stations and railway tracks at over 61 locations in NFR’s Lumding-Badarpur single line railway route.

In many places, due to heavy rain, the soil from the railway tracks got washed away and huge landslides covered the tracks and other railway assets.

CommentsIn view of the snapping of the railway services, Tripura and Mizoram had earlier approached the External Affairs Ministry to bring essential supplies and fuel via Bangladesh.

Search Ops Continue On Day 13 After Massive Manipur Landslide

Search and rescue operation continued for the 13th day on Tuesday at a railways construction site in Manipur’s Noney district, where at least 52 people have been killed in a landslide, officials said.

“Till Monday, 52 bodies, mostly of Territorial Army soldiers were recovered, while no more body was unearthed on Tuesday,” a defence spokesman told NDTV.

The search operations by the Army, Territorial Army and the National and State Disaster Response Forces have been going on uninterruptedly since the catastrophic landslide on the intervening night of June 29 and 30 which buried alive a large number of people including some from the Territorial Army, Railway employees, workers and villagers.

Eighteen persons have been rescued and hospitalized, officials informed.

State Relief and Disaster Minister Awangbow Newmai, who visited the spot sixth time today said that a review meeting would be held after three days on the continuation of the search operation.

“The review meeting has been called on considering the hardship faced by the officials and volunteers who had been carrying out the search operation for 13 days without any break,” he said.

CommentsThe Territorial Army soldiers were deployed at Tupul for security to the railway works, part of the  14,320 crore broad gauge Jiribam-Imphal railway project, being executed by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), to connect the Manipur capital to the rail network by 2024.

Man Raises ‘Train Hijack’ Alarm On Twitter, Railways Says It’s Diverted

A passenger travelling in a Karnataka-Delhi train raised an alarm on Twitter, claiming that it has been hijacked. This alerted the railways staff that immediately responded to the user saying that the train has been diverted due to maintenance work on the track. The Twitter exchange took place on Sunday evening, in which the user Krushna Ch Behera tagged the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Secunderabad seeking help from railways authorities.

Mr Behera was travelling on the Karnataka Sampark Kranti and noticed that that train took a diversion between Majri Junction and Sitafal Mandi. He panicked and immediately posted a tweet.

“Sir, the work is going on between Kazipeta and Ballrasha and hence, the train was diverted his route through Hyderabad division . Don’t Panic,” another tweet from RPF said.

Twitter users, initially concerned about Mr Behera, later found his tweet funny and also called for action to be taken against him.

Comments“Dear @Krishooja you are the next meme material on various social media platforms,” a user said while replying to Mr Behera’s tweet. “Can you book Krishooja for acting negligently, spreading rumor and causing panic in public? At least put hefty fine on him. If he is not in train, then complaint should be directed to cyber crime unit. Don’t let these people go Scot free. He claimed hijacking,” another user commented.

Viral Video: Man Stuns Onlookers By Performing Series Of Backflips At Railway Station

A video of a boy performing one of the toughest types of gymnastics has gone viral on the internet.

Shared on Instagram, the video shows the boy named Suraj Singh performing a series of back flips in front of the general public at an unidentified railway station. In the clip, Mr Singh, who is popularly known as the “crazy flipper” as per his social media ID, is seen bringing off a series of smooth backflips on a platform while an express train is waiting in the background.

Mr Singh has edited the last part of the clip in slow motion in order to make the flip clear for the audience.

In the video, the passengers of the train seem excited about watching the stunt. A police inspector also looks impressed with Mr Singh’s attempts. However, at the end of the Instagram Reel, the officer can be seen asking for the recording device as capturing photos and videos inside several railway premises in India is not allowed.

When translated, the caption of the post also read that the police officer seized the mobile phone.

Since being shared, the video has taken the internet by storm. It has garnered more than 760,000 views and over 345,000 likes. While some internet users showered appreciation with emojis, others expressed their concern over the boy’s safety. One user wrote, “Outstanding bro but plz be careful.” Another simply called the video “super”.

CommentsSpeaking of dangerous stunts, a while back a man in Noida was filmed lying prone on a moving bike in a Shaktimaan’-like stunt that sent him straight to jail. His two friends who captured it on video also ended up in jail with him. The Noida police had tweeted out a short video of the stunt followed by the arrest of the three men.

Indian Railways to E-Auction Assets for Commercial Earning, Non-Fare Revenue

In a boost for small entrepreneurs and start-ups, the railways has brought its commercial earning and non-fare revenue contracts online, with no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts of up to Rs. 40 lakh.

In line with the prevailing e-auction of scrap sale, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched e-auction for commercial earning and non-fare revenue (NFR) contracts on Friday.

“This policy is in line with the vision of the prime minister to change the experience of the common man by the use of technology. With this new policy, the tedious process of tendering would get simplified. Also, it would give opportunities to youngsters to join the e-auction process. This policy enhances ease of living, promotes transparency and adds to Digital India initiatives in the railways,” Vaishnaw said.

In the e-auction process, a bidder from anywhere in the country needs to self-register once for participating in the auctions of any field unit of the Indian Railways through the portal. Bids can be placed remotely for the management rights of an asset after depositing the earnest money (EMD) electronically.

A successful bidder would be able to receive acceptance online and through e-mail in a very short span of time. Except the requirement of financial turnover, as such all the eligibility criteria have been removed.

“Further, the financial requirement has been relaxed to a great extent. There is no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts of up to Rs. 40 lakh,” the minister said.

A pilot for the project was launched in 11 divisions of nine railway zones. A total of 80 contracts of a combined value of Rs. 128 crore were finalised during the pilot launch.

During the pilot run, the Ahmedabad division had conducted an e-auction for two parking lots at Gandhidham Junction and Himmatnagar on June 4. For Gandhidham Junction (GIMB), 24 bids were received with the highest one being Rs 12.6 lakh (per annum), which is 38 per cent above the conventional bidding price.

For Himmatnagar (HMT), 26 bids were received with the highest one being Rs. 62,500 (per annum), which is 72 percent above the conventional bidding price.

The e-auction will be conducted online through the “E-Auction Leasing” module of IREPS — www.ireps.gov.in.

On Duty Engine Driver Dies Of Cardiac Arrest In UP

The engine driver of the Pratapgarh-Kanpur Intercity Express died on Friday after suddenly falling ill on the train, a railway official said.

Harishchandra Sharma (46) of Parshurampur Chilbila was driving the train towards Kanpur when he suddenly developed a health problem near Kasimpur Halt, Gauriganj railway station superintendent Praveen Singh said.

The assistant pilot on board stopped the train and called an ambulance. Sharma was rushed to a nearby health centre, where the doctors declared him dead, Mr Singh said.

The doctors suspect Sharma suffered a cardiac arrest, he said.

The train departed from the location after the arrival of another loco pilot from Pratapgarh, Mr Singh said.

Fursatganj police station in-charge Manoj Kumar Sonkar said the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

Britain’s Biggest Rail Strike In Over 3 Decades: All You Need To Know

Britain’s railway network this week faces its biggest strike action in more than three decades, in a row over pay as soaring inflation erodes earnings.
Rail union the RMT has said that more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike, coinciding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival.

Schools are warning that thousands of teenagers taking national exams will also be affected.

The RMT argues that the strikes are necessary as wages have failed to keep pace with inflation, which has hit a 40-year high.

Jobs are also at risk, with passenger traffic yet to fully recover after the lifting of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

Countries around the world are being hit by decades-high inflation as the Ukraine war and the easing of Covid restrictions fuel energy and food price hikes.

The strikes are planned for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the biggest dispute on Britain’s railway network since 1989, according to the RMT.

The union has also announced a 24-hour walkout of its members on the Tube, London’s underground railway network, planned for Tuesday.

Rail operators, however, warn of disruption throughout the week — with lines not affected by strike action nevertheless reducing services.

“Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have,” said Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, which looks after the country’s rail tracks.

“We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week, despite the actions of the RMT.”

The strikes are likely to compound travel chaos in the aviation sector, after airlines were forced to cut flights due to staff shortages, causing long delays and frustration for passengers.

Thousands of workers were sacked in the aviation industry during the pandemic but the sector is now struggling to recruit workers as travel demand rebounds following the lifting of lockdowns.

War of words

The government and the RMT were engaged in a war of words over the weekend, after the union’s general-secretary Mick Lynch said strikes would go ahead as “no viable settlements” had been found to the disputes.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps accused union bosses of refusing to meet for further talks on Saturday and instead attending a protest march against the rising cost of living.

Shapps said the disruption would cause “misery” and force hospital patients to cancel appointments. And pupils sitting exams would face extra pressures through having to change their travel plans.

“By carrying out this action, the RMT is punishing millions of innocent people, instead of calmly discussing the sensible and necessary reforms we need to make in order to protect our rail network,” he added.

Treasury minister Simon Clarke told Sky News on Monday, “We absolutely need to have an understanding across the wider public sector that we cannot have inflation-busting pay increases” as it will cause further price rises.

Modernising the rail network was necessary, as travel use changes, including after the pandemic, he said.

But Lynch accused Shapps of fabrication, insisting talks with train operating companies had broken up without agreement last Thursday night and no further negotiations had been scheduled.

Contrary to government claims, no pay offer had been made and the union had received no response to its push for a pay increase of 7.1 percent in December, in line with inflation at the time, he said.

“If there’s not a settlement, we will continue our campaign,” Lynch told Sky News on Sunday, predicting more strikes as other transport unions balloted their members.

The RMT was not looking for special treatment but a deal was needed as members had not had a pay rise for several years, he added.

“If we don’t play our hand, thousands of our members will lose their jobs” and safety on the network would be compromised, he said.

The government was being “just as ruthless as P&O but they haven’t got agency workers to step in”, he added, referring to the mass sacking of staff at the ferry operator earlier this year.

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