Indian Railways News

No Terror Angle Say Police After 3 Arrested With Explosives, Detonators

In a raid conducted jointly by anti-terror agencies and Railway Police, suspected explosive materials and detonators have been found in the Kausa area of Mumbra in Thane district. Nine detonators have also been seized in the raid. The police have ruled out any terror angle in the case though after an investigation.

The police say the arrested trio has criminal records. One of the accused, Mahinsa Ganur, had a dispute with a man called Ismail Shaikh and to trap Shaikh the accused wanted to plant the explosives and detonators under a car parked at his premises. Shaikh has a business and deals with old cars. The explosives were acquired by the accused trio from a place called Reti Bunder in Dombivli suburb of Thane.

According to the police, one of the accused Shah Alam Sheikh, a Railway Police Force informer, actually tipped off the police about the explosives and detonators after hatching the conspiracy. The Railway Police got in touch with the Thane Police and the Anti-Terror Squad. But after the recovery the police questioned Shah Alam and during questioning he revealed the details of the plot. Shah Alam had also told the police about the presence of RDX but when no RDX was found the police got suspicious about the whole thing, a source said.

The explosives are used in nearby stone quarries and the accused hatched the plot as they wanted to blackmail Ismail Shaikh and get some money, police said.

According to sources, the raids were conducted after surveillance and intelligence tip offs that were worked upon by the Crime Branch, Railway Police and the Maharashtra ATS. The police believe the tip offs were provided by the accused to make it look like a terror plot.

The police say the explosive material recovered is ammonium nitrate which is used to cause explosions and could be also used to make IEDs that have been used in several terror attacks in Mumbai – which is why they are now investigating as to how the accused could procure the explosives and detonators without being detected.

Man Going To Meet Sister For Raksha Bandhan Run Over By Train

In a tragic incident, a 45-year-old man was killed after being run over by a train in which he was travelling to Haryana to meet his sister on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, police said today.

Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Jalandhar, accidentally fell from the train and came under it at a local railway station in the district last night, a Government Railway Police (GRP) official said.

Mr Kumar was travelling to Panipat in Haryana to get rakhi tied on his wrist from his sister. He got down at the station to buy something when the train started moving, the official said.

As he rushed to get on the train, Mr Kumar lost balance and fell between the platform and the train, which ran over him.

His body was handed over to his family after post-mortem examination, the railway police said.

Explosives, Detonators Recovered in Maharashtra’s Thane, 3 Suspects Arrested

Days ahead of Independence Day, anti-terror agencies and the Railway Police have recovered a huge reserve of suspected explosive material and detonators in Thane’s Mumbra area. Three suspects have been arrested in the case, police said.

According to sources, the raids were conducted after surveillance and intelligence input was received by the Crime Branch, Railway Police and the Maharashtra ATS. The police have seized 15 kg ammonium nitrate and nine detonators in the raids.

Ammonium nitrate is used to make improvised explosive devices (IED) that have been used to cause explosions in several terror attacks in Mumbai.

The Thane Police is expected to reveal more details later this evening.

UNESCO Worried Darjeeling Agitation May Damage Toy Train

The top conservation body UNESCO has cautioned that the damage caused to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or DHR due to the protest to demand a separate Gorkhaland state may put in peril the World Heritage Site tag it earned in 1999. Two stations, Gayabari and Sonada, were torched while an arson attempt was made on Elysia Building, the headquarters of the DHR, during the strike that entered the 54th day today.

 “The DHR heritage toy train is already vulnerable given the natural environmental surrounding and landslide and other disaster threats it faces. And, now this social turmoil has added another layer of vulnerability to it,” said Moe Chiba, Section Chief and Programme Specialist for Culture at UNESCO’s New Delhi office.

“We are very worried about the DHR as after the UNESCO tag, it is a heritage symbol of outstanding universal value. And with all the damage caused to it during the strike, the World Heritage status enjoyed by it may come up for review in the next World Heritage Committee meeting in 2018,” she said.

Indian Railways and UNESCO are working on a plan for the DHR, work on which had begun in mid-2016. An office to implement the plan was set up comprising a team of experts at Kurseong
Station, which was built in 1896, and falls midway on the 88-kilometre-long narrow-gauge railway network between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.

The agitation in Darjeeling and nearby areas has stopped the project in the hill town and UNESCO has opened a temporary office for it at its headquarters in New Delhi. “Around June 8, the stir began in Darjeeling and we continued for a few days but finally, the situation became difficult and on June 12, we closed our project office in Kurseong,” Ms Chiba said.

“We evacuated our staff and asked them to go back to their hometowns and work from there and later set up an office at the UNESCO office in Chanakyapuri,” she said. “As soon as the area is made accessible, our team will visit Darjeeling to assess the extent of damage caused to this World Heritage site”.

Delhi-based conservation architect Aishwarya Tipnis, who is a member of the renovation

team, said DHR was inscribed in the UNESCO list 20 years ago, and it is “Asia’s first industrial heritage site to earn the coveted tag”.

“DHR is a complex cultural landscape, which impacts the everyday life of a large population. And, the unfortunate events of deliberate damage caused by arson attacks on Sonada, Gayabari stations and Elysia brings to light an important question regarding the protection of World Heritage sites in conflict situations in our country,” Mr Tipnis said.

After DHR, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway were given the UNESCO tag, and the three have been collectively designated as the Mountain Railways of India.

The only other railway property which enjoys the World Heritage Site status in India is Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) station in Mumbai.

“The objective of the conservation project is to provide a framework for management of the World Heritage Site with the stakeholders – the railways, local administration, civic bodies,

NGOs, tour operators – and people in general and an idea to collaboratively work towards its preservation and development by defining roles and responsibilities,” Mr Tipnis said.

According to the architect, if the DHR model of preservation goes as it is being planned, it will become a “yardstick of conservation” for various other projects in the field.

 

 

5 Run Over By Train At Rajasthan’s Sawimadhopur Railway Station

Five persons were run over by a speeding train at Sawimadhopur Railway Station in Rajasthan today. Two others were injured in the incident, railway police said.

The victims were passengers of the Jaipur-Bayana Express which halted at platform no. 1 in Sawimadhopur station.

Few passengers got down from the train on the railway track side instead of the platform side and were run over by the Gandhidham-Howrah superfast express which was passing at a high speed from the station, the SHO of GRP Railway station Kishanlal said.

Four of the five deceased were identified as Kamal (19), Nitesh (14), Man Singh and Mukesh (both 35), he said.

Rail users hail nod for doubling of Madurai–Kanyakumari line

Railway users have welcomed the approval given by the cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) for electrification-cum-doubling works between Madurai-Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram and urged the railway ministry to complete the works without any delay.

According to a statement from railways, the CCEA chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the construction of double line with electrification between Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari, Madurai-Vanchi Maniyachi, Vanchi Maniyachi-Turicorin and Vanchi Maniyachi-Nagercoil via Tirunelveli. The projects are likely to be completed in four years by 2020 – 21.

The total length of Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari line is 86.56 km. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs.1431.90 crore and completion cost Rs.1552.94 crore with 5% escalation per annum. The total length of Madurai – Vanchi Maniyachi, Vanchi Maniyachi-Tuticorin lines will be 160 kms. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs 1,182.31 crore and completion cost Rs.1,272.51 crore with 5% escalation per annum. The total length of Vanchi Maniyachi-Nagercoil via Tirunelveli line will be 102 km. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs.1,003.94 crore and completion cost Rs.1,114.62 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

Kanyakumari District Rail Users Association (KKDRUA) observed that the line from Chennai to Kanyakumari was like a backbone of the state from which other railway lines were branching out. After so much of persuasion, Chennai- Madurai line was going to be doubled and Madurai- Kanyakumari yet to be doubled. With the existing single line, not many trains could be operated from southern Tamil Nadu to Chennai in spite of repeated demands from rail users of the region, the association observed.

President of KKDRUA, S R Sriram said that doubling of Madurai- Kanyakumari was a long pending dream of people of southern Tamil Nadu. He expressed his gratitude to Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan for making efforts for the materialisation of the project. President of Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Limited and former member of Madurai Divisional Rail User Consultative Committee, S P Jeyapragasam pointed out that the 46-km stretch between Madurai and Virudhunagar should be doubled in first phase because the stretch was under enormous pressure of train traffic converging from three directions at Virudhunagar.

CIC directs DG of Income Tax to probe complaints against Railway Employees Cooperative Credit Society

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation Wing) to conduct a detailed inquiry into a complaint filed by one R.C.Cyril Thiagaraj against the Railway Employees Cooperative Credit Society Ltd (RECCS).

In the order passed by information commissioner Bimal Julka on May 29, the commission noted that Thiagaraj submitted a complaint to the income tax department in July 2015.

In the complaint, he alleged that employees of the society were paid salaries in violation of the Income Tax Act and Rules. Loans to members of the society had been paid in cash instead of crediting in their bank account, the complaint said.

Thiagaraj filed a Right to Information (RTI) petition regarding the action taken on the complaint, for which the IT department did not give a reply even after the first appeal was filed.

In the order, Julka stated that the income tax department submitted that IT assessment relating to the society for 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2014-15 were pending for completion when the complaint was sent. The assessment was completed only on December 29, 2016 and the IT department said that clarifications were given. However, the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the income tax department did not appear for the hearing to clarify the submissions made by Thiagaraj, Julka noted in the order.

Considering the facts in the case, the CIC has directed the director general of income tax to submit an inquiry report within 30 days in accordance with the RTI Act, 2005.

Railway sanctions Solar Systems on 24 DEMU Trains, provisions for 250 more

Ministry of Railways has sanctioned Solar Power System on 24 Coaches of DEMU trains and has approved similar provisions with flexible solar panels on 250 more coaches.

Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain stated this on 2 August in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

He said that the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) Broad Gauge Train with Solar Power generation on roof top of its coaches has been dedicated to the nation by the Minister of Railways on  14 July 2017. This train has been inducted in the link of Train Number 740033 between Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Garhi Harsaru-Farukhnagar in Northern Railway.

The details of reduction in Carbon Emission and fuel saving shall be known after running this train for a period of one year, Minister said in his reply.

Replying to one another question, the Minister stated that during the last three years, a total of 62,773 candidates have been empanelled for various categories of Group ‘C’ posts by all the 21 RRBs.

Indian Railways, an organization having pan India character, presently has 21 Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) across the country for catering to the recruitment requirements of various categories of Group ‘C’ posts of Zonal Railway(s)/ Production Unit(s).

Replying to the questions the Minister Gahain said that, “No preference/relaxation is given to candidates belonging to any region. The RRBs have been established based on territorial jurisdiction of the Indian railways and not on the basis of State(s), Zone(s) / Region(s). Candidates are free to apply to any RRB throughout the country in response to the advertisements; RRBs do not make any distinction on the basis of State(s), Region(s) / Area(s) / Locality, Caste(s), Gender(s) or Creed(s).”

Railways Earned Rs. 1,400 Crore From Cancelled Tickets In 2016-17

The Railways earned Rs. 1,400 crore from ticket cancellation charges in 2016-17, an increase of 25 per cent from the previous fiscal, the government today said.

The jump in the earnings may be attributed to the doubling of cancellation charges from November 2015.

“There has been an increase of approximately 25 per cent in the amount realised from cancellation of tickets in 2016-2017 over the previous year,” Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

 

Charges are levied for cancellation of tickets as per the Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Ticket and Refund of Fare) Rules, 2015. The rules provide for refund of fare, subject to provisions.

“However, there is no provision to refund the cancellation charges so recoverable under the Rules,” said Gohain.

The minister also said the South-Central Railway has realised Rs. 103.27 crore as cancellation and clerkage charges on reserved tickets during 2016-17.

Effective from November 2015, the cancellation fee for a confirmed AC 3-tier ticket, 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, was revised to Rs. 180 from Rs. 90, while for AC 2-tier it was made Rs. 200 in place of Rs. 100.

The cancellation fee for a sleeper class confirmed ticket was doubled to Rs. 120 while the charge for second class was increased to Rs. 60 from Rs. 30.

Earlier, passengers had a six-hour window before the departure of the train and a two-hour one after to cancel their ticket and get a refund.

Under the new rules, there is no option of any refund after the departure of a train, while there is only a four-hour window to cancel and get refund before the train leaves.

Change Country Name’: Row Over UP’s Mughalsarai Station Being Renamed

A plan to rename the iconic Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s oldest, provoked a row in parliament today, with the opposition accusing the ruling BJP of trying to change the country’s map.

The central government recently cleared UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s request to rename the station after Deen Dayal Upadhyay, an icon of the BJP.

 Strong objections were raised in the Rajya Sabha by Naresh Agarwal, a member of the Samajwadi Party, which lost power in Uttar Pradesh to the BJP earlier this year.

The government to forcibly change Uttar Pradesh’s geography. The station is ages old. There are going to change New Delhi’s name too,” Mr Agarwal lashed out, not silenced by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien saying the subject should be taken up under a different rule.

Samajwadi members rushed to the centre of the house and shouted slogans, forcing an adjournment. Members of Mayawati’s BSP, their rivals in UP, also joined in.

The Mughalsarai station was set up in 1862 when the East India Company linked Howrah to Delhi by rail.

Mr Agarwal said the government was trying to “change the character of the country”. His party colleagues said the names of persons “who have made no contribution to the freedom struggle” are being given to iconic monuments and roads.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi shot back: “They want stations in the name of Mughals, but not Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. This view is wrong.”

Alleging the “insult” of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Mr Naqvi pointed out that the famous Victoria Terminus in Mumbai was also renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal.

In the sparring, the protesting MPs shouted:”Change the nation’s name then… What was his contribution to the nation?”