Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Ramayan Express Staff’s Saffron Uniform Changed After Protest

Bowing to protest by seers in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, the IRCTC on Monday evening said it will change the saffron attire of waiters on board the Ramayan Express, which had invited the ire of a section of sadhus.

The seers, earlier on Monday, had taken strong objection to the saffron attire of waiters on board the IRCTC-operated Ramayan Express and dubbed it as an “insult” to Hindu religion.

They had threatened to stop the train in Delhi on December 12 if the dress code was not withdrawn.

“We have written a letter two days back to the Union Railway Minister lodging our protest against waiters in saffron serving refreshments and food in the Ramayan Express.

“Donning saffron attire with sadhu-like headgear and wearing ‘malas’ (necklaces) of ‘rudraksha’ (sacred seeds) is an insult to Hindu religion and its seers,” Ujjain Akhada Parishad’s former general secretary Avdeshpuri told PTI.

He said seers will stop the train at Delhi’s Safdarjung railway station if the saffron dress code of the waiters was not changed, adding it was necessary for protecting the Hindu religion.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in a retweet to a media outlet which ran this agency report, said, “It is to inform that the dress of service staff is completely changed in the look of professional attire of service staff.”

When contacted for his reaction on the IRCTC announcement about the change in attire, a delighted Avdeshpuri said, “It is a victory of (Hindu) religion and ‘sanskriti’ (culture)” and that it was his duty to raise the issue.

Ujjain city, where the famous Shree Mahakaleshwar temple of Lord Shiva is located, hosts Simhastha Kumbh Mela every 12 years.

The country’s first Ramayan circuit train chugged off on a 17-day journey from the Safdarjung railway station on November 7, and will visit 15 places associated with the life of Lord Ram.

Covering a distance of more than 7,500 km, the train will take the pilgrims to places such as Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Nandigram, Janakpur, Chitrakoot, Sitamarhi, Nashik, Hampi and Rameshwaram.

The Ramayan Express is equipped with first-class restaurants, a library and shower cubicles.

Railways To Resume Serving Cooked Food On Trains

Passengers on long-distance train journeys need not worry about packing meals anymore as the Railways has decided to resume cooked food services that had been suspended during the Covid pandemic.

The move comes days after the national transporters decided to discontinue the “special” tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect.

In a letter to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) today, the Railway Board said that in view of the normalising of train services and the relaxation of Covid curbs in restaurants and eateries across the country, it has been decided that cooked meals would be provided again on trains. The letter added that the service of Ready To Eat meals would also continue.

The Railways is gradually returning to the pre-pandemic scale of services after the Covid’s severely disrupted services. The national transporters first restored services of long-distance trains and then short-distance passenger services started operating as special special trains with “slightly higher fares” to “discourage people from avoidable travels”.

As the number of passengers picked up amid a slide in Covid cases, there were demands for a return to pre-Covid ticket prices — ticket prices of special trains and holiday special trains are marginally higher.

Last Saturday, the Railways decided to drop the “special” tag and return to the pre-pandemic ticket prices.

15
Comments
The Railways’ decision to resume serving cooked food on trains also comes days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed airlines to serve meals on all domestic flights

Inside The Swanky Pod Rooms At Mumbai Central Railway Station

The Ministry of Railways has shared a glimpse of the new pod rooms that were inaugurated at Mumbai Central railway station today. The pod concept retiring rooms will provide world-class comfort to travellers at affordable rates.

A pod hotel, also known as a capsule hotel, has a number of small rooms or “pods” that contain a single bed each. These hotels were first started in Japan to provide cost-friendly yet comfortable accommodation to travellers, and have seen an increase in popularity in India of late. Urbanpod was one of the first boutique pod hotels to open in India.

Photos shared by the Ministry of Railways show that the Urbanpod hotel at Mumbai Central station in Maharashtra features a row of pod rooms which travellers can book for short stays.

The swanky new pod rooms at Mumbai Central have been done up in muted shades of beige, brown and white. The pods come with a single bed, a mirror and a personal safe, among other amenities.

“Travelling by train on a short business trip or taking a group of students on a tour, POD rooms at Mumbai Central station are here to make your journey comfortable and easy,” the Ministry of Railways wrote while sharing photos on Twitter.

Twitter Reacts: IRCTC To Promote ‘Certified Vegetarian Food’ On Some Trains To Religious Sites

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will soon serve ‘vegetarian-friendly travel’ by getting some trains ‘sattvik certified’, especially those running on routes connecting religious sites. This statement was given by the Sattvik Council of India, a non-governmental organisation involved with the certification. It is also said that the implementation of only vegetarian food in trains to religious sites will begin from November 15, 2021. According to a release by the Sattvik Council of India, the organisation has partnered with the IRCTC to deliver vegetarian-friendly services and promote vegan travel to holy sites. The Vande Bharat Express, which goes from Delhi to Katra operated by the IRCTC, will be certified as “sattvik” as per the Sattvik Council of India.

“IRCTC base kitchens, executive lounges, budget hotels, food plazas, travel and tour packages, Rail Neer plants will be ‘sattvik’ certified to ensure ‘vegetarian-friendly travel,’ the statement said.

The NGO also stated that they would collaborate with the IRCTC to create a vegetarian food handbook. The IRCTC has an agreement with it and has opted to seek certification for specific pilgrimage trains, as the Vande Bharat Express. It is expected that about 18 trains will serve sattvik food, as per the PTI report. However, till now, the IRCTC has not made a comment on the issued statement.

 

 

Kannur-Yeshwantpur Express Derails In Tamil Nadu After Rockslide

Seven coaches of Kannur-Yeshwantpur Express on Friday derailed between Toppuru-Sivadi ghat section in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, informed South Western Railway (SWR). The incident took place at around 3:50 am on Friday.

The coaches derailed due to the sudden falling of boulders on the train.

“All the 2,348 passengers on board are safe,” said SWR.

No casualties or injuries reported till now.

Following the incident, the DRM Bengaluru Shyam Singh with the divisional team of senior officers and a doctor rushed to the spot immediately with an accident relief train (ART) and medical equipment van at 4.45 am.

“The unaffected rear portion of six coaches and SLR along with passengers is cleared towards Toppuru and further to Salem. This will be halted at Toppuru. Fifteen buses are being arranged at Toppuru for the convenience of passengers. Five buses are being arranged at the spot of the accident. Water and light refreshment have been arranged at spot,” stated SWR.

Senior railway officers, Principal Heads of Departments, and the Disaster Management Cell, Hubballi are closely monitoring the situation.

UP Stations Tighten Security Over Bomb Threat; “Seems Hoax,” Say Cops

The superintendent of Meerut City Railway Station has received a letter threatening bomb blasts at railway stations and temples in nine districts, including Meerut, ahead of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to the city on November 11.

Security was tightened at all railway stations although police believed it to be a hoax.

Railway Police DSP Sudesh Kumar Gupta said the letter was received on Tuesday and a case was registered against unidentified persons under relevant sections at the GRP police station.

Mr Gupta said prima facie, it seems to be a hoax. A similar letter was also received by the Hapur Railway Station superintendent’s office on October 30, following which a thorough checking was conducted in the station premises.

Station Superintendent RP Singh said the letter threatened bomb blasts at many temples and railway stations in nine districts, including Meerut, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar, Aligarh, Khurja, Kanpur, Lucknow and Shahjahanpur.

In view of the proposed visit of the chief minister to Meerut on Thursday, the police administration has increased vigil, Superintendent of Police (City) Vineet Bhatnagar said.

Several Trains Cancelled As Protesters Block Tracks For Over 24 Hours In Bengal’s Nadia

Train services in the Ranaghat-Lalgola section of Sealdah division were disrupted for more than 24 hours owing to obstruction by a section of people at Jalalkhali Halt station in Nadia district, demanding stoppage of all trains passing through it, an Eastern Railway official said on Wednesday.

The agitators, who have been squatting on the tracks since Tuesday morning, claimed that residents of around 15 villages in the area depend on train services from the station, but only a few trains stop there.

“We are holding discussions with the agitators to lift the protest so that services are normalised,” ER spokesperson Ekalabya Chakraborty said.

He said that Jalalkhali being a halt station, it is not possible that all trains would stop there.

Chakraborty said that the agitators have been offered stoppages of a few more trains at the halt station.

He said that 12 EMU locals on the Sealdah-Krishnanagar line and at least two express trains connecting Sealdah and Lalgola were cancelled on Wednesday owing to the agitation.

He asserted that the agitation would be lifted only on the promise of stoppage of all trains passing through the halt station.

Several Trains Cancelled As Protesters Block Tracks For Over 24 Hours In Bengal’s Nadia

Train services in the Ranaghat-Lalgola section of Sealdah division were disrupted for more than 24 hours owing to obstruction by a section of people at Jalalkhali Halt station in Nadia district, demanding stoppage of all trains passing through it, an Eastern Railway official said on Wednesday.

The agitators, who have been squatting on the tracks since Tuesday morning, claimed that residents of around 15 villages in the area depend on train services from the station, but only a few trains stop there.

“We are holding discussions with the agitators to lift the protest so that services are normalised,” ER spokesperson Ekalabya Chakraborty said.

He said that Jalalkhali being a halt station, it is not possible that all trains would stop there.

Chakraborty said that the agitators have been offered stoppages of a few more trains at the halt station.

He said that 12 EMU locals on the Sealdah-Krishnanagar line and at least two express trains connecting Sealdah and Lalgola were cancelled on Wednesday owing to the agitation.

At least six pairs of EMU locals were short-terminated at Badkulla station and short-originated from there to Sealdah, he said.

“People of around 15 villages depend on the station, but we have to either travel to Badkulla or Krishnanagar to avail trains since only a few stop at Jalalkhali,” said one of the agitators.

He asserted that the agitation would be lifted only on the promise of stoppage of all trains passing through the halt station.

Gati Shakti Express Debuts Today Between Delhi, Patna

The Railways will run the Gati Shakti superfast special train between Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal and Patna Junction for the first time on Friday, an official statement said.

The train with the newly introduced AC-3 tier economy coaches will cater to the rush during the festive season during Diwali and Chhath Puja.

“The train will be operated to cater to the rush of passengers during upcoming festivals like Diwali and Chhath Puja. This train will make a total of five trips till November 7,” the railways said.

“It is notified for the information of the general public that the convenience of the rail passengers and to clear extra rush of passengers during ensuing festivals, Northern Railway shall run 01684/01683 Anand Vihar Terminal-Patna-Anand Vihar Terminal Gati Shakti Superfast Special train,” read an official notification.

According to Northern Railways, 01684 Anand Vihar Terminal-Patna Junction Gati Shakti train will depart from Anand Vihar Terminal at 11.10 pm on October 29, 31, November 2, 5, and 7 to arrive at Patna Junction at 3.45 pm the next day.

In the return direction, the 01683 Patna Junction-Anand Vihar Terminal Gati Shakti train will depart from Patna Junction at 5.45 pm on October 30, November 1, 3, 6, and 8 to arrive at Anand Vihar Terminal at 9.50 am the next day.

The train will stop at Kanpur Central, Prayagraj Junction, Varanasi, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhaya Junction, and Danapur stations enroute in both the directions.

Labour Ministry Hikes Minimum Wages For Central Sphere Workers From October 1

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has revised the rate of variable dearness allowance for 1.5 crore central sphere workers. The hike, which will be effective from October 1, will result in an increase in the minimum wages for central sphere employees and workers.

“At a time when the country is struggling with COVID-19 pandemic, in a major relief to different category of workers engaged in various scheduled employments in the central sphere, the Ministry of Labour & Employment has notified and revised the rate of variable dearness allowance (VDA) with effect from October 1, 2021,” a ministry statement said.

The VDA is revised on the basis of average consumer price index for industrial workers (CPI-IW), a price index compiled by the Labour Bureau (an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment). The average CPI-IW for the months of January to June, 2021 was used for undertaking the latest VDA revision.

Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav said in the statement that this move will benefit around 1.5 crore workers engaged in various scheduled employment in the central sphere across the country.

These workers are employed in construction, maintenance of roads, runways and building operations etc, sweeping and cleaning; loading and unloading; watch and ward; mines and agriculture.

He said that this is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas” and this increase will be effective from October 1, 2021 and wished all the nation builders greetings of Happy Deepavali.