Indian Railways News

Central Railway to complete pre-rain preparatory works by May end

The Central Railway’s (CR) Pune division will complete its monsoon preparatory works by the end of May to ensure uninterrupted services even in case of heavy rain.

CR-Pune division public relations officer Manoj Jhanvar said work has begun to avert waterlogging on the tracks and near the stations. “Tree branches along the tracks are being trimmed. In some cases, we have to cut trees if there is no alternative,” he said.

“Water channels on bridges are being cleaned and loose boulders on hills and hillocks near the tracks are being removed to ensure that landslides do not affect the rail services. We are also removing the small stones too close to the tracks,” Jhanvar added.

The monsoon preparatory works are in progress on the tracks measuring 503.39km in length. The entire stretch includes 133.50km of Lonavla-Pune-Daund, 328.21km of Pune-Miraj-Kolhapur and 41.68km Daund-Baramati sections.

“Railway employees will conduct monsoon patrolling on the tracks at important bridges like the ones at Dapodi and Shivajinagar and in the ghat sections from 10pm to 6am. We will also co-ordinate with the irrigation department to be aware of the discharge from the dams and monitor the Met department alerts,” Jhanvar said.

Digital India: Arunachal Chief Minister launches free Wi-Fi facility at Naharlagun Railway Station

Being surrounded by books is a matter of routine for civil services aspirants, but Sreenath K, a coolie who cleared the written test of the Kerala State Public Service Commission, the preparation is just about his phone and earphones as he goes about his job.

Sreenath has been earning his livelihood carrying heavy luggage at Ernakulam Junction in Kerala for the past five years. Unlike his colleagues, he deftly balances the luggage on his shoulders and listens to his digital coursework at the same time – his teachers speaking to him through the earphones.

A high school pass-out, he takes advantage of the free WiFi Internet service available at Ernakulam station to learn. “I have appeared thrice for the exam and this is the first time I used the WiFi at the station. What I do is put on my earphones and listen to the study material as I carry the luggage or solve questionnaires in my mind. This way I can study while I work. I revise all my work at night when I get free time,” Sreenath said.

The WiFi service, launched in 2016 as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, provides free Internet to passengers under Railwire, the retail broadband distribution model of RailTel Corporation of India Limited.

As of May 2018, at least 685 railway stations have been equipped with WiFi technology across the country, with the Indian Railways setting a target of providing this facility at all 8,500 stations by March 2019 at a cost of Rs.700 crore.

Sreenath hails from Munnar, a town in the Western Ghats mountain range. Ernakulam is the nearest major railway station from Munnar.

He said the free WiFi service at the station opened up opportunities for him he never thought were available in the first place – reams of practice question papers, downloadable at a speed of 20-40 mbps, easy access to online examination forms, and above everything else, he saves money on books.

If he qualifies for KPSC after interview, he is likely to be a village field assistant under the land revenue department. “I will keep studying. While I work as a coolie because I have the pressure of running my house, I will keep studying and appearing for exams. If I appear for enough exams, I am bound to get a good job,” Sreenath said.

He has also applied for exams advertised recently by the railways for 62,000 Group D posts of trackman, cabinman, leverman, pointsman, gangman and others.

“What is my ideal job? A person of some authority to change things in my village may be,” he said.

NALCO extends Electric Vehicles to Divyangs, Sick & Old persons in Bhubaneswar & Cuttack Railway Stations

After successfully launching Electric Vehicle (EV) service free of cost at Puri railway station in March this year, NALCO has once again extended EV service in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, for the benefit of senior citizens, differently-abled passengers and sick people, in association with East Coast Railways.

The free EV initiative, which comes after receiving widespread appreciation from all quarters, has been rolled out today in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, and will also cater to large number of people who throng the State for tourism and religious purpose every year.

The free EV service was flagged off by Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO and Shri Braj Mohan Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Khurda.

Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO, said, ‘’We are proud that Bhubaneswar is the smartest city in the country. This initiative will be a smart step in that direction. We are sure this will be of great help to the senior citizens, specially-abled persons and sick passengers.’’

One of the significant steps in EV service is its O & M (Operations & Maintenance) by expert agency under the aegis of NALCO.

Praising NALCO for reaching out to people who need it the most, Shri Braj Mohan Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Khurda, said, ‘’This is a noble initiative which will benefit lakhs of people visiting Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. We are proud that a Company of global repute like NALCO, which has grown in the State, is carrying out a number of CSR projects and is contributing to all-round development apart from promoting Brand Odisha, abroad.’’ An MoU was also signed between Railways and NALCO, in presence of senior railway officials and NALCO executives.

It may be noted that in keeping with its objective of inclusivity and all round development of Puri as a Swachh Iconic Place, NALCO launched EV service free of cost at Puri railway station in association with Khurda Railways Division on March 24

Central Railway gets new CAO/Cn and CEE

Shri S. K. Tiwari has taken over as Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Central Railway, Mumbai. Prior to this he was working as Principal Chief Engineer, Eastern Railway, Kolkatta.

Shri Tiwari holds degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

Shri Tiwari belongs to 1980 IRSE Batch. He has varied administrative experience as Chief Engineer (General) and Chief Track Engineer, Western Railway, Mumbai and also worked  on West Central Railway and  RITES on important projects.

श्री एस. के. तिवारी ने मुख्य प्रशासनिक अधिकारी (निर्माण),  मध्‍य रेल के रूप में पदभार ग्रहण किया है। इससे पहले आप पूर्व रेलवे, कोलकाता में प्रधान मुख्‍य इंजीनियर के पद पर कार्यरत थे।

आप मौलाना आजाद नेशनल इंस्‍टीट्यूट ऑफ टेक्‍नोलॉजी, भोपाल से सिविल इंजीनियरिंग  मे स्‍नातक हैं।

श्री तिवारी, भारतीय रेल इंजीनियरिंग सेवा 1980 बैच के अधिकारी हैं। आप के पास पश्चिम रेलवे पर मुख्‍य इंजीनियर (सामान्‍य) तथा मुख्‍य रेल पथ इंजीनियर पदों का गहन प्रशासनिक अनुभव हैं।

आपने पश्चिम मध्‍य रेल तथा राईटस् (RITES) की महत्‍वपूर्ण परियोजनाओं पर भी कार्य किया हैं।

यह प्रेस विज्ञप्ति सुनील उदासी, मुख्य जनसंपर्क अधिकारी, मध्‍य रेलवे, छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज टर्मिनस मुंबई द्वारा जारी की गई है।

Shri S.P. Vavre has taken over as Principal Chief Electrical Engineer, Central Railway.  He is a Senior Officer of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers of 1982 Batch.

Shri Vavre joined Indian Railways in 1984.  He has worked on North Central Railway, Central Railway, West Central Railway, Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in different capacities.  He has wide experience in OHE, Electric Loco Maintenance and Operation, General Service, General Management, EMU Workshop & Production Units working. He has worked on various positions such as Executive Director/RDSO, Additional DRM Bhusaval, Chief Electrical General Engineer, Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Chief Electrical Loco Engineer, Southern Railway. Prior to taking over as PCEE, Central Railway he was working as Chief Electrical Design Engineer with Additional charge of Principal Chief Electrical Engineer, Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.

श्री एस पी वावरे ने मध्‍य रेल के प्रधान मुख्य बिजली इंजीनियर, के रूप में पदभार ग्रहण किया है। आप भारतीय रेल इलेक्ट्रिकल इंजीनियरिंग 1982 बैच के अधिकारी हैं।

श्री वावरे वर्ष 1984 में भारतीय रेल में शामिल हुए। आपने उत्तर मध्य रेल, मध्‍य रेल, पश्चिम मध्‍य रेल,  अनुसंधान डिजाइन तथा मानक संगठन, लखनऊ एवं इंटीग्रल कोच फैक्ट्री, चेन्नई में अपनी सेवाएं प्रदान की है। आपके पास ओएचई, इलेक्ट्रिक लोको रखरखाव एवं संचालन, सामान्य सेवा, सामान्य प्रबंधन, ईएमयू कार्यशाला और उत्पादन इकाइयों में कार्य करने का गहन अनुभव है। आपने कार्यकारी निदेशक / आरडीएसओ, अपर मंडल रेल प्रबंधक, भुसावल,  मुख्य बिजली इंजीनियर (सामान्‍य),  इंटीग्रल कोच फैक्ट्री, चेन्नई, मुख्‍य बिजली लोको इंजीनियर, दक्षिण रेलवे जैसे विभिन्न महत्‍वपूर्ण पदों पर कार्य कर चुके हैं। मध्‍य रेल पर प्रधान मुख्य बिजली इंजीनियर के रूप में पदभार ग्रहण करने से पहले आप इंटीग्रल कोच फैक्ट्री, चेन्नई में मुख्‍य बिजली डि‍जाईन इंजीनियर के साथ-साथ अतिरिक्‍त प्रधान मुख्‍य बिजली इंजीनियर के पद पर कार्यरत थे।

यह प्रेस विज्ञप्ति सुनील उदासी, मुख्य जनसंपर्क अधिकारी, मध्‍य रेलवे, छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज टर्मिनस मुंबई द्वारा जारी की गई है

गरीब रथ एक्सप्रेस के कैटरिंग काँट्रैक्टर पर 1 लाख रु. का जुर्माना

26 अप्रैल, 2018 को ट्रेन सं. 12909/12910 बांद्रा टर्मिनस-हजरत निजामुद्दीन गरीब रथ एक्सप्रेस में खानपान सामग्रियों को दिव्यांग कोच के शौचालय में स्टोर करने सम्बंधी सोशल मीडिया पर वायरल हो रहे वीडियो को पश्चिम रेलवे द्वारा गंभीरता से लिया गया है, जिसके फलस्वरूप अन्य आवश्यक कार्रवाई के साथ इस मुद्दे पर तुरंत आई आर सी टी सी से इस संबंध में चर्चा के बाद ट्रेन सं. 12909/12910 बांद्रा टर्मिनस-हजरत निजामुद्दीन गरीब रथ एक्सप्रेस के लाइसेंसी ठेकेदार मेसर्स कृष्णा इंटरप्राइजेज पर एक लाख रु॰ का जुर्माना लगाया गया है।

पश्चिम रेलवे के मुख्य जनसम्पर्क अधिकारी श्री रविंद्र भाकर द्वारा जारी एक प्रेस विज्ञप्ति के अनुसार इस मुद्दे को गंभीरता से लेते हुए भारी जुर्माना लगाये जाने के अलावा आई आर सी टी सी के साथ ट्रेन के काँट्रेक्टर के अनुबंध को रद्द करने के लिए शो कॉज नोटिस भी जारी किया गया है।फॉलो-अप एक्शन के लिए एक टीम का गठन भी किया गया है जो बांद्रा टर्मिनस गरीब रथ एक्सप्रेस में कैटरिडग सेवा की गतिविधियों एवं ऑपरेशन की जाँच करेगा।

पश्चिम रेलवे पर ऐसी घटना को रोकने हेतु विभिन्न स्तरों पर निरंतर निगरानी की जा रही है, जिससे भविष्य में कभी इसकी पुनरावृत्ति न हो। इसके अतिरिक्त पश्चिम रेलवे की सभी ट्रेनों के पेंट्री कार/मिनी पेंट्री कारों की जाँच करने हेतु पाँच दिवसीय अभियान की शुरूआत भी की गई है जिसकी समीक्षा के आधार पर खानपान सेवाओं के सम्बंध में पाई गई कमियों को दूर किया जायेगा।

Catering Contractor of Garib Rath Express has been imposed fine of Rs.1 lakh – Western Railway clarifies on the video in circulation regarding storage of catering items in train toilet of Garib Rath Express

MUMBAI: Following a viral video of catering staff using toilet of Divyang coach of Garib Rath Train no 12909 Bandra T- Nizamuddin Express for storage of water bottles, cold drinks etc on 26th April, 2018, the matter was viewed very seriously and a fine of Rs 1 Lakh has been imposed on the contractor M/s Krishna Enterprises of Bandra Terminus – Nizamuddin Garib Rath Express after WR immediately took up the issue with IRCTC besides taking other remedial actions.

According to a press release issued by Shri Ravinder Bhakar- Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, besides levying heavy fine, a show cause notice has also been served to the contractor of the train for termination of the contract by IRCTC, taking the matter seriously. A team has also been deputed to check & verify the activities & operations of catering service in Bandra Terminus – Nizamuddin Garib Rath Express as a follow up action.

A strict watch is being kept at various levels to ensure that such incident doesn’t recur on WR in future. Further, a 5 days drive has been launched on WR to check Pantry/Mini Pantry in all trains on WR to review, report & rectify the deficiencies regarding catering services.

7th Pay Commission: Railway Employees Union Calls 72-Hour Relay Hunger Strike

Railway employees’ union has called for a 72-hour relay hunger strike across the country from Tuesday against non-implementation of the provisions of the seventh pay commission and the attempted privatisation of the national transporter.

A statement from the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) said on Monday that despite several meetings of the AIRF with leaders of the central government organisations and the home minister, finance minister, railway minister and minister of state for railways, no decision was taken.

“Despite requests to the government of India to consider the demands of the Central Government Employees — improvement in minimum wage and fitment factor after implementation of 7th CPC recommendations, provision of guaranteed pension and family pension to all the NPS (National Pension Scheme) covered employees, irrespective of their date of appointment…contractorisation leading towards wholesale privatisation, no fruitful outcome has emerged as yet despite lapse of around two years’ precious time,” the statement said.

AIRF in its meetings of the General Council and Working Committee, held on March 13-14, 2018, here decided to stage a ‘Mass Relay Hunger Strike’ for 24 hours for three consecutive days – at all the branches of the affiliated unions of the federation all over India.

“All the branches of AIRF affiliates are, therefore, going to stage the aforesaid ‘Relay Hunger Strike’ from the morning of May 8, all over the Indian Railways”, wherein large-number of railwaymen would sit on the relay hunger strike to press on their above-mentioned major demands, the statement said.

130 EMU services between Chennai & Arakkonam cancelled

Thousands of rail passengers from Arakkonam and Tiruttani were stranded on Monday, as the railway authorities suddenly short-terminated the EMU services at Thiruvalankadu between 11am and 5pm. Passengers, who reached Thiruvalankadu, were forced to take share autos paying exorbitant fares to reach Arakkonam, Mosur and Tiruttani.

The Southern Railway is to cancel 130 EMU services between Chennai and Arakkonam on Wednesday and Thursday as the Arakkonam yard upgrading is yet to be completed. The yard upgrading works, which began on April 20, involve straightening of platform 1 and 2 to accommodate 26 coaches, and extending the length of platform 10 and 11 to accommodate 24 coaches. In addition to this, the Southern Railway was  also laying an additional platform (1A).

Official sources said that platform extension work and signalling work had been completed. However, work on platforms 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 1A have witnessed unforeseen delay owing to non-completion of electrical and civil works. “For smooth operation of express trains, via platform 1 and 2 all  EMU train services had to be cancelled,” a senior official told Express.

The sudden cancellation of trains came as a rude shock to passengers who have been facing hardship for the last five days. Office-goers from Arakkonam were the worst affected.K Baskar, Member, Divisional Rail Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC), Chennai, blamed the railways for poor planning and mismanagement of trains. “Had the railways announced one-minute stop for all express trains at Thiruvallur, Arakkonam passengers could have got down at Thiruvallur and reached Arakkonam comfortably,” he said.

According to the official statement, on May 8 and 9, 130 EMU train services will be cancelled between Arakkonam and Chennai. “All fast locals will be operated in slow lines. To cater to the passengers, 18 EMU special trains will be operated between Chennai and Tiruttani,” said the statement. The Chennai Central-Jolarpettai Yelagiri Express, Chennai-Tirupati Garudathiri Express and Tirupati-Chennai Central Garudathiri Express will be cancelled on May 8 and 9.

The Jolarpettai-Chennai Central Yelagiri Express will be cancelled on Wednesday. Similarly, Chennai Central-Arakkonam-Chennai Central MEMU passenger, Arakkonam-Chengalpattu-Arakkonam passenger, Arakkonam-Katpadi-Arakkonam passenger trains, Arakkonam-Vellore-Arakkonam passenger train and Arakkonam-Cuddapah-Arakkonam passenger train will be conacelled on both Wednesday and Thursday.

AADHAAR may become mandatory to book Train Tickets on IRCTC

On Monday, senior officials from the Centre for Information Railway System (CRIS), Delhi, arrived in the city to interrogate Salman Khan, believed to be the mastermind behind one of the biggest railway ticket rackets to emerge recently. Railway officials had arrested Khan on May 2 and seized over 6,000 e-tickets (PNR numbers) valued at roughly Rs 1.5 crore from him. Khan allegedly operated a network of 5,400 agents across the country, and charged Rs 700 per month from each to use his booking software.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and Central Railway (CR) officers were also present during the questioning. After the interrogation, the CRIS and IRCTC technical heads (who were also part of the proceedings) submitted a joint report to the railway board, which also included suggestions from the accused on how to end the racket.

According to the joint report, prepared by Sunil Kumar, Group General Manager (IT), IRCTC, and Vinod Bhatia, General Manager, PRS, CRIS, all 6,449 IDs which were used to generate the 6,603 seized PNRs have been deactivated. Apart from that, 1,510 similar other user IDs were also deactivated.

To enhance the security of ticketing systems, the report suggests that passengers’ user IDs be linked to their Aadhaars, and the railways may adopt the suggestion, sources said. The report also suggests that a question or OTP could be introduced after the ‘Book Now’ button is pressed (to break the sequence of automation and make the process more secure).

The report also said raids should be conducted on the agents to whom the accused sold his software. During interrogation, Khan had suggested restricting the IP address. As of now, there is no any restriction on the IP address to book tickets, said an official who was the part of the interrogation. Khan also said such restrictions (only one or two tickets will be generated at time with one IP address) could stem ticketing malpractices. Sources said the railway had started working on his suggestion.

Special Drives against Unauthorized Hawkers all over South Central Railway

SECUNDERABAD: South Central Railway has been undertaking continuous special drives against unauthorized hawkers all over the Zone, with a view to curb the menace of the unauthorized sale of eatables, beverages etc,. in trains. These special drives, under the direction of Shri M.G. Sekharam, Principal Chief Commercial Manager, SCR involves the participation of officers/inspectors of the Commercial department, ticket checking staff, Railway Protection Force personnel etc., and come against the backdrop of Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, SCR advising strict action against unauthorized hawking by trains on the Zone.

During the financial year from April 2017 to March 2018, a total of 9069 cases of unauthorized hawking were booked and an amount of over Rs.1.15 crore was realized as penalty for the offence, from the unauthorized hawkers nabbed during the special drives. The checks against unauthorized hawkers include special drives conducted under the supervision of Principal Chief Commercial Manager, decoy checks on trains and stations, using secret cameras procured specifically for the purpose, checks by magisterial squads leading to prosecution of those indulging in unauthorized hawking, inspection of licensed catering units/stalls to check on the manpower and quality of food etc,. Meetings have been conducted with catering licensees at major locations to educate them on the need to ensure quality, hygiene, correct pricing and authorized vendors to sale the eatables and beverages to rail passengers. The licensees were also strictly advised to take up contracts after proper analysis, so as to avoid resorting to wrong means for making profits.

Acting on the directives of the Hon’ble Minister of Railways who has accorded highest priority for providing top class catering services on Indian Railways, SCR has implemented a host of initiatives. Every Vendor and employee of the catering licensees/contractors needs to carry a valid identity card issued by the department or otherwise is treated as unauthorized hawker and prosecuted. The vendors also need to wear their uniform. The main cause of deficiency in catering services has been identified as overcharging on food items, quality of raw material, inexperienced cooks, sale of unbranded and unapproved items, less quantity of food etc,. The catering contractors were advised not to indulge in such practices and ensure that their appointed vendors charge the passengers correctly and behave with them properly.

With a view to ensure quality of service, SCR has also come up with a policy to rationalize the number of vendors permitted for different types of catering units at different category of stations, so as to monitor the system effectively. Distribution of menu cards by pantry contractors to passengers in the trains is also a mandatory condition to be complied. The Commercial department of the Zone has drawn a plan of action to continuously monitor the catering services and initiate stringent action against any lapse on the front. Apart from imposing fines against delinquent catering contractors, other avenue of action including termination of contract is also contemplated.

70% Train Coaches under South Western Railway get a clean makeover with bio-toilets

With 70% of coaches fitted with bio-toilets, the South Western Railway (SWR) is set to eliminate toilets with open discharge system in its passenger trains.

SWR operates around 400 trains of which bio-toilets have been introduced in some coaches of 300 trains. As many as 7,715 bio-toilets have been installed till April this year. “We’ll install the remaining in a few months. These will improve cleanliness on tracks and at railway stations,” said an official. Each coachhas an average of four bio-toilets.Asked about the response from passengers, the official said: “It’s satisfactory.”

The section between Londa in Belagavi to Vasco da Gama in Goa has been declared a green corridor —free from human waste discharge from trains. Nine long-distance trains operate between Londa and Vasco da Gama which have bio-toilets. “The open discharge system is unhygienic and also corrodes tracks. The railway ministry has advanced its plan to fit bio-toilets in its entire fleet of coaches from 2021-2022 to 2018,” another official said.

On several complaints from passengers about poor maintenance of bio-toilets, officials claim they often dispose plastic water bottles and polythene bags that clog the toilets.

A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report released last year shows the highest number of choking cases was reported in SWR division. Of the1.02 lakh cases reported across the country in 2016-17, 34,841 were in toilets maintained by the Bengaluru coaching depot (BCD).The number of defects/problems in bio-toilets was also the highest (41,111) in BCD, followed by 24,495 and 22,521in Gorakhpur (NER) and Wadi Bunder (CR) coaching depots, respectively.

“The choking problem was mainly due to misuse by passengers. Stainless steel dustbins in bio-toilets are prone to theft.Efforts are on to fit anti pilferage devices to minimize such cases. We are also conducting awareness campaigns among passengers,” an official said.

How does it work?

The anaerobic digestion process is applied for digestion of human excreta in bio-toilets. Human waste is collected from toilets and acted upon by anaerobic bacteria that converts it mainly into water and biogases (methane CH4 & carbon dioxide CO2). The gases escape into the atmosphere and waste water is discharged after disinfection onto the tracks.