Aspire higher – not at others cost
Sushil Kumar Bansal*
Very recently, I have come across a comment/article by a retired General Manager of Indian railways on Face book regarding the recruitment in Railways in Officer’s Cadre, and also stating what and how much a person should aspire for a promotion/status. Strangely, the author of this article - is not fixing the aspiration limits of his own cadre but its emphesis is more to lay down the limits of other cadre’s aspirations. In my view he is a bit late in fixing the limits of one’s aspirations, otherwise one Tea sellor could not have become the Prime Minister of India. It is stated therein that a Group ’B’ officer; who enters Group ‘C’ cadre, if he gets the highest status in Supervisor cadre itself. It is just like a dream coming true and if he becomes Gp ’B’, at the most Sr. scale officer on adhoc - it must be taken as bonus, and not a matter of right. On the other hand, a direct recruit should have limitless aspirations according to him. In my opinion it is beyond one’s thinking to say something on aspirations of others. It is now a well known fact that a large number of Group ‘C’ & Group ‘B‘ officer have at least equal qualifications – if not more - in the cadre of Accounts, Traffic & Personnel Deptts. – which is a graduation only. In other departments, Engg. & Stores – many Group ’B’ & ‘C’ have equivalents – Engg. degree – qualification. Even a diploma holder, with five years service is considered to be equivalent to degree holder.
Apart from the degree, the other qualities viz. intelligence, dedication, labour, sincerity etc. etc. cannot be preserve of any cadre belonging to one source of recruitment only. Therefore, any person, having a right on the basis of his birth in the service cannot claim all credits to him. Our constitution is based on equality of all kind based on his merit. Thinking that all Direct recruits are more intelligent and all promotees are not, can only be thinking of a perverse mind.
Secondly, a person who has retired from such a high post – General Manager, there are only 27 posts of this rank on Indian Railways - out of 13.5 lakh employees working there, should not have such narrow thinking. I am aghast to think that with such a mind, how many promottee officers fate must have been damaged during his regime/working. Though otherwise, I have myself heard many – say all the higher ups – Members, Addl. Members, PHODs, General Managers including himself and ministers even Prime Minister (Shri V.P. Singh). Complimenting Gp B officers’ intelligence, sincerity, labour and dedication and saying that this category of officers is actually the back bone of the Railway administration. In this way, direct recruits after entering a Junior officer’s cadre becomes a promottee when he is promoted to Sr.Scale and therefore the posts of JA grade, SAG grade, atleast PHOD/GM level should always be filled by direct recruitment only. This person was himself a promottee General Manager, having reached to this status through 6-7 promotion only - in between.
Down to Memory Lane..
-Sushil Kumar Bansal *
It is better not to forget the history, if we want to make a history. And the history is always created by brave sons of the brake mothers, so all of us trace the path over which the wheel of them moved, on and moving on. In our case the pan started immediately after the birth.
The category of Group ‘B’ gazetted officers initially known as ‘Lower Gazetted Service’ the cadre was created for attending to minor important issues, by the britishers. However, as time passed, a situation was created where in there was no difference in duties, powers and responsibilities shoulders by the Group ‘A’ direct recruits - and the Group ‘B’ so the demand of parity in promotional avenues was raised by our great brothers of that time before the Britishers, Hence a decision was announce on the hour of parliaments in Feb. 1944 to do away the discrimination and merging both Group ‘A’ & Group ‘B. However it is a sad part of history that could not be implemented. And right from that day till today and battle for getting justice still continue.
Therefore it is essential that one should know, that what are the issues, where injustice is actually being done to them, what are the dues which are not being extended to them, where discrimination is being inflicted upon them, where they are being treated step motherly, in what way they are being denied the benefits/facilities which otherwise should have been extended to them, so that struggle is continued.
ER’S COMPREHENSIVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN RELEASED
GM/ER RELEASED BOOK & CD ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN
General Manager, Eastern Railway R. K. Gupta released a book and CD on Zonal Disaster Management Plan of Eastern Railway, 2014 at Eastern Railway Headquarters, Fairlie Place, on Tuesday, 14th October afternoon. The book contains disaster management plans on various exigencies including accidents and natural calamities like flood, earthquake, cyclone etc. to be followed by all divisions & departments during period of CRISIS.
Shri R. K. Gupta, General Manager, Eastern Railway (centre) with other senior officers releasing a book and CD on Zonal Disaster Management Plan of Eastern Railway, 2014 at Eastern Railway Headquarters, Fairlie Place, on 14th October.
For quick response to the emergency situation, the book gives a detail lay out of the location of Accident Relief Trains (ART), Crane & Medical Vans, instructions & contact numbers of various National Disaster Management Authorities, Fire Brigades, Hospitals, Army and location of Helipads within the zone.
RAJALAKSHMI RAVIKUMAR TAKES OVER AS NEW FC/RLYS.
Smt. Rajalakshmi Ravikumar has taken over as the new Financial Commissioner (FC/Rlys) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. She assumed her charge on 14.10.2014. Prior to her appointment as FC in Railway Board, Smt. Ravikumar was Director General, National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara. A 1977 batch officer from Indian Railway Account Service (IRAS), Smt. Rajalakshmi Ravikumar has worked on various middle and higher level management posts in the Railways including FA&CAO, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), FA&CAO, Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, FA&CAO, Central Railway, Director Finance, KRCL, Divisional Railway Manager, Solapur etc.
She has undergone various training programmes in India and abroad which include ‘Financial Management’ in Rothman School, Toronto, ‘Strategic Management Programmes for Divisional Railway Managers’ in Hec-Business School, Paris.
G.V.PANT OVERALL BEST PERFORMANCE SHIELD BAGGED BY WCR
RAILWAY MINISTER INAUGURATES THE 59th ANNUAL RAILWAY NATIONAL AWARDS FUNCTION-2014 AT BANGALORE
EXISTING INDIAN RAILWAYS NETWORK, ITS OPERATIONS AND ITS CORE ACTIVITIES WILL REMAIN WITH THE INDIAN RAILWAYS ONLY AND NOT OPEN FOR PRIVATIZATION: GOWDA
INDIAN RAILWAYS TAKING DETERMINED STRIDE TOWARDS RUNNING HIGH SPEED BULLET TRAINS
RAILWAYS ALLOCATED 40 PER CENT MORE BUDGET FOR CLEANLINESS
The Minister for Railways, Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda inaugurated the 59th Annual Railway National Awards Function - 2014 in Bangalore on Friday, 10th October, 2014. Also present among others on the occasion were Chairman, Railway Board, Member Engineering V. K. Gupta, Member Mechanical Alok Johri, Member Staff A. K. Mital, Secretary, Railway Board P. C. Gajbhiye, and P. K. Saxena, General Manger, South Western Railway. Railway Minister Shri Gowda gave away National Awards for Outstanding Service – 2014 to a total number of 132 railway officers/staff from all over the country. The prestigious Govind Vallabh Pant Shield for the best overall performance amongst the best zonal railways and production units was bagged by West Central Railway, Jabalpur.
Following is the text of the speech of the railway Minister:-
The Union Minister for Railways, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda addressing at the 59th Annual Railway National Awards Function – 2014, in Bangalore on October 10, 2014.
I wish this function gives all our railwaymen an encouragement to work hard, work efficiently and work innovatively to bring smiles on the faces of our travelling passengers and our freight customers. In our rich and eventful journey of 161 long years, we have covered many significant milestones. The old has given way to the new and we have embarked on the path of modernizing every aspect of Railway operations. We are working on high speed rail corridors, on new designs of more efficient wagons, on the most efficient anti- collision devices like TCAS and TPWS, on new methods for ultrasonic detection of rail fracture to avoid derailments. We are progressing on dedicated freight corridor aimed at transforming goods movement in the country.
ग्रुप ‘ए’ और ‘बी’ रेल अधिकारियों के बीच प्रमोशन एवं पोस्टों को लेकर बहस
एक सेवानिवृत्त महाप्रबंधक द्वारा फेडरेशन ऑफ़ रेलवे ऑफिसर्स एसोसिएशन (एफआरओए) के फेसबुक पेज पर ग्रुप ‘ए’ और ग्रुप ‘बी’ अधिकारियों के प्रमोशन और पोस्टों में आ रही विसंगति और ग्रुप ‘बी’ को पांच साल की एंटी-डेटिंग का लाभ दिए जाने से पिछड़ते जा रहे ग्रुप ‘ए’ अधिकारियों की कैरिएर प्लानिंग को लेकर किए गए विस्तृत विश्लेषण पर ग्रुप ‘ए’ के तमाम अधिकारियों ने अपने विचार (कमेंट्स) व्यक्त किए हैं, जबकि इस बहस में ग्रुप ‘बी’ अधिकारी काफी पिछड़ गए हैं. इंडियन रेलवे प्रमोटी ऑफिसर्स फेरेशन (आईआरपीओएफ) के पूर्व अध्यक्ष पी. वी. सुब्बाराव और सुशील कुमार बंसल एवं उत्तर मध्य रेलवे प्रमोटी ऑफिसर्स एसोसिएशन के महामंत्री एस. एस. पाराशर सहित बिरेन्द्र पाल सिंह, हरि सिंह, होतम सिंह और सुरेंदर सिंह के अलावा अन्य किसी प्रमोटी या ग्रुप ‘बी’ अधिकारी ने इस फोरम में अपने विचार व्यक्त करना जरुरी नहीं समझा है.
इसके अलावा आईआरपीओएफ के तथाकथित सर्वज्ञाता ‘एडवाइजर’ और प्रमोटी अधिकारियों को अब तक मिली तमाम सुविधाओं, खासतौर पर 411 पोस्टों और एंटी-डेटिंग, का सारा क्रेडिट लेने वाले जीतेन्द्र सिंह का भी इस बहस में कहीं कोई अता-पता नहीं है, जबकि जोनों और उत्पादन इकाईयों के खर्चे पर उनकी एजीएम/ईसीएम में वर्तमान पदाधिकारियों के बजाय खुद उनके मंच पर शान से बैठने में उन्हें कोई शर्म महसूस नहीं होती है. इसके साथ आईआरपीओएफ के किसी वर्तमान पदाधिकारी ने भी इस बहस में भाग नहीं लिया है. जबकि इसके वर्तमान महामंत्री खुद पर्सनल विभाग से हैं और उन्हें कैडर या ग्रुप की प्लानिंग की भी बेहतर जानकारी है. इसके बावजूद उनका कोई भी विचार इस बहस में सामने नहीं आया है. जहां तक इसके वर्तमान अध्यक्ष की बात है, तो उनके बारे में कुछ न ही कहा जाए तो बेहतर होगा, क्योंकि वह इस फेडरेशन पर जीतेन्द्र सिंह द्वारा लादे गए हैं, बाकी उनकी न तो अपनी कोई पहचान या पकड़ है, न ही कैडर/ग्रुप के बारे में उनकी कोई समझ है, और न उन्हें इन तमाम तकनीकी पहलुओं से कोई लेना-देना ही है.
ग्रुप ‘बी’ के जिन अधिकारियों ने यहां अपने विचार व्यक्त किए हैं, वह भी ज्यादा कुछ विस्तार में नहीं जा पाए हैं. सुरेंद्र सिंह ने रेलवे को भी आईएएस के हाथों सुपुर्द करने की बात कही है, जिसका पुरजोर समर्थन हरि सिंह ने भी किया है और होतम सिंह ने भी लगभग यही बात कही है. जबकि श्री सुब्बाराव ने सीधे-सीधे रेलवे को आईएएस को सौंप दिए जाने की बात कही है. यही नहीं उन्होंने इसके लिए कुछ तर्क भी दिए हैं. श्री पाराशर ने आईआरपीओएफ से रेलवे को आईएएस को सौंपे जाने की अपनी नीति पर पुनर्विचार करने की बात कही है. जबकि श्री बंसल ने इस बहस में आईआरपीओएफ के किसी भी पदाधिकारी सहित तमाम ग्रुप ‘बी’ अधिकारियों के भाग ने लेने पर चिंता जाहिर की है और उनका आह्वान करते हुए कहा है कि यदि वे अपने अधिकारों के प्रति जागरूक नहीं होंगे, तो भविष्य में उनका कोई रखवाला नहीं है. श्री बंसल ने इसकी जिम्मेदारी श्री पाराशर पर डाली है कि वह इस मामले को प्रॉपर तरीके से उठाएं.
How Influential K. C. Pradhan, DyCCM, Is In East Coast Railway?
The appellant has admitted that these two officials, Kuber Chandra Pradhan and Suresh Kumar Sahoo, of the Indian Railways had utilized him in many other corrupt works for their personal gain.. and used him as a false witness in Railways Claims Tribunal cases..
D. K. Pratihari was joined as Sr.clerk, in the Commercial (Claims) in the Office of the Presenting Officer, East Coast Railway, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on dated 05.06.2009 and performed his work satisfactorily. That from the date of joining of Kuber Chand Pradhan aka K. C. Pradhan as Presenting Officer, East Coast Railway, Bhubaneswar, on 06.04.2010, Pratihari was regularly mentally tortured and harassed by Pradhan for not obliging him in his unlawful and illegal orders, which had caused loss to the public exchequer and property of the Government of India and made a black spot on the face of the East Coast Railway Administration. At present Pradhan is working as Dy. Chief Commercial Manager (PS&Plg), Bhubaneshwar.
Hereby Pratihari is furnishing some information to draw attention of ECoR Administration in connection with some illegal orders and unlawful work made by the then PO/RCT/ECoR/BBS (K. C. Pradhan) from which the railway administration could easily understand about the honesty of K. C. Pradhan and how far he is honest? By the instruction and order made by the then PO/RCT K. C. Pradhan, Pratihari was transferred to Office of the CCM)/ECoR/BBS on dated 30.6.2010 as per order of the K. C. Pradhan the then Presenting Officer, RCT/E Co Railway, Bhubaneswar. Thereafter again he was backed to the Office of the PO/RCT/BBS on dated 04.03.2011 and sometime after joining in the Office of the PO/RCT/BBS again he was placed under suspension on dated 06.09.2011 without any fault.
After that, when no irregularity was found against D. K. Pratihari then the order of suspension was revoked and he was taken to duty on dated 19.09.2011 and thereafter, a lapse of more than 170 days (around six months), again on dated 07.03.2012, without Designation and Seal one major penalty charge sheet was issued in a concocted/ fabricated manner and the inquiry was made against Pratihari without extending the reasonable opportunity to him to defend himself against the false and fabricated allegations made by K. C. Pradhan, PO/RCT/BBS for not extending his help for their illegal work in the Office. While the disciplinary proceeding was going on, the torture of the PO/RCT/BBS reached to the extreme extent & limit.
IMPORTENT PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS IV
Rs. 73,392 CRORE WILL BE AN ESTIMATED COMPLETION COST OF RAILWAYS’ TWO DEDICATED FREIGHT CORRIDORS, EXCLUDING SONNAGAR-DANKUNI SECTION
At present two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) viz. Eastern Corridor (Dankuni-Ludhiana, 1839 Kms.) and the Western Corridor (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal (JNPT) to Dadri, 1499 Kms.) have been sanctioned. On Eastern DFC, construction work is in progress in Mughalsarai-Sonnagar section. Civil contract has also been awarded on 343 Kms. Khurja-Kanpur section and work has started. On Western DFC, civil contract has been awarded on 625 Kms. Rewari-Palanpur section and work has started. Construction of 25 major and important bridges between Vaitarana and Bharuch has been completed.
The estimated completion cost of construction of the two Corridors, excluding land, and excluding Sonnagar-Dankuni section, which is to be implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP), is Rs. 73,392 crore (Eastern DFC Rs. 26,674 crore and Western DFC: Rs. 46,718 crore). The cost of land is estimated at Rs. 8067 crore (Eastern DFC Rs. 3684 crore and Western DFC-Rs. 4383 crore).
Western DFC is being funded by loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding is Rs. 38,772 crore, which is 77% of project cost. World Bank is funding the 1,183 Kms. Section from Ludhiana to Mughalsarai of the Eastern DFC. World Bank loan is Rs,13,625 crore which is 66% of the project cost. 122 kms Section of Mughalsarai-Sonnagar Section of Eastern DFC is funded by Gross Budgetary Support and the cost is Rs. 3679 crore. 534kms of Sonnagar-Dankuni Section of Eastern DFC is to be implemented through PPP.
IMPORTENT PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS III
RAILWAYS CONDUCTS FIELD TRAIL FOR AUTOMATIC FIRE AND SMOKE DETECTION SYSTEM IN RUNNING TRAINS
A pilot project for field trial with Automatic Fire and Smoke Detection system has been taken up in one rake of New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express. Besides, one LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) rake in New Delhi-Jammu Tawi Rajdhani and one rake of LHB AC Double Decker coached running between Kachiguda- Tirupati-Guntur have also been provided with such a system.
Technical specification has been revised for extended field trial. In the revised specification, Air brake system has been interfaced with Fir and Smoke detection system for automatic application of brakes in trains in emergency situations owing to fire. Presently, trials are being conducted only in Air Conditioned (AC) trains as the present design of Automatic Fire and Smoke Detection system is suitable for AC coaches which have regulated circulation of ambient air inside coaches.
IMPORTENT PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS II
RAILWAYS TAKES MEASURES TO IMPROVE PASSENGER AMENITIES
Arrangements for drinking water have been made at all stations on Indian Railways as per norms. Further, improvement/augmentation of passenger amenities including provision of safe drinking water at railway stations is a continuous process and work in this regard are undertaken as per requirement subject to inter-se priority and availability of funds. In addition, Rail Neer and other BIS (Bureau of India Standard) approved packaged drinking water bottles are sold as per the maximum retail price fixed as Rs. 15/- for 1000ml and Rs. 10/- for 500ml at stations/trains.
Representations for stoppage of trains are received at various levels of Railways administration viz. stations, Divisional level, Zonal level and Railway Board’s level. These are examined keeping in view the operational feasibility and commercial viability, and action if found feasible & viable, is taken. Demands for additional passenger amenities at stations are received from time to time. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
EXPENDITURE ESTIMATED ON MUMBAI-AHMEDABAD HIGH SPEED CORRIDOR IS APPROX. RS. 63,000 CRORE
The first sector identified by the Indian Railways for introduction of High Speed trains in the country is Mumbai-Ahmedabad. As regards Semi High Speed trains (160-200kmph), the sections identified are Delhi-Agra. Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Kanpur, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai; Mumbai-Goa; Mumbai-Ahmedabad; Chennai-Hyderabad and Nagpur-Secunderabad
IMPORTENT PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS
HIGH SPEED TRAIN PROJECT
It is planned to have a Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail, connecting major metros and growth centres of the country. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector has been identified as the first corridor to start High Speed The cost of laying per kilometer track of Bullet Train (High Speed Train) is approx. Rs. 80-120 crore, as compared to Rs. 10-12 crore for ordinary track and Rs. 150-200 crore for metro tracks.
The High Speed Rail Project will have to be taken up through an appropriate mix of Government support, multilateral/bilateral funding by alternative means of resource mobilization, including Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
MECHANIZED CLEANING OF TRAINS & STATIONS
The primary and secondary maintenance, including cleaning of trains, is being carried out in coaching depots which have pit lines/washing lines and prescribed testing facilities for this purpose. Besides, for cleaning railway stations, mechanical gadgets have been introduced along with superior cleaning agents. Mechanized cleaning, rag picking and garbage disposal is also being done. About 31590 trains are being handled by Indian Railways per month.
Higher officials are exerting pressure on the subordinates
Why the responsibility must not be fixed for such drainage of government revenue?
It is only a tip of the iceberg and proper investigations in all the sidings throughout Raipur Division may unearth many more interesting facts.
It has been learnt from reliable sources that as a result of the scandal having come to light and matter reported to Raiway Minister through PMO, in order to save their skin from being held responsible, the two higher officials indicated in the report are exerting pressure on the subordinates to go on record to declare in writing that the subordinates are personally responsible for whatever leniency has been extended to the private siding, namely the Bajrang siding belonging to M/s Goel TMT, and the higher officials are in no way responsible for such activities leading to drainage of government revenue. Hence it is, hereby, desired that the records pertaining to the placements in the above mentioned siding may please be seized and confiscated at the earliest so that any manipulations can be averted.
It has also come to light that Manoj G Naiyyar, Ch.DTI/R, the most close accomplice of the Sr.DOM/R was deputed to MNDH today (i.e. 08.08.2014) to manipulate the records at MNDH. However, another close accomplice, Verma, CSM/BKTH, had already shown his gratefulness towards his mentor, (of course, for personal gains and also, on cost, to help the siding Owners), the superior boss of the division, in maintaining the second (re-placement) placement time as the actual time of placement instead of the actual time of entering the siding for the first time at Bajrang Siding/BKTH which in fact should be considered as the actual time of placement as per rules, to facilitate drainage of revenue. It is beyond doubt that these people shall definitely facilitate the top bosses enjoy a free hand for themselves in manipulating things to their advantage.
'Influence Through Connection'
Who cares when orders are given by the Supreme Authority of Railways
Nowadays it has become a fashion for everybody to show how one can extract the best out of one's connections. Let me tell you that what is required is simple - 'influence through connection' - and how one can utilize that. Here is a glaring example of how one Pointsman, a Group ‘C’ post, of Raipur Division, SEC Railway has made the best to retire voluntarily from railways and secure a job under 'Largesse Scheme'.
Shri Shriniwas, S/o. Shri Koteshwar Rao, is a member of the orchestra team of the cultural wing of SECR and it is known to everybody that the present Chairman, Railway Board (CRB) is a very good music-lover who happens to invite the cultural team of SECR specially transported in a coach ordered on each and every function held under his orders at his Bungalow or otherwise.
Skri Koteshwar came to know of the Largesse scheme and thought of getting his son absorbed in his place. He came to find out that the scheme does provide scope for railway employees of safety deptt. but that facility is extended to employees of Group ‘D’ only who can opt for VRS on grounds of genuine illness, duly certified by the competent authority of the medical department, to get their wards absorbed.
The efforts to clean the system shall never fetch any fruitful result
There seems no action taken by the CVOs due to the proximity the officials enjoy at their levels..
It has been experienced, of late, that the complaints against corrupt railway officials filed directly with the CVC are routed back to the respective zonal railways by the Advisor Vigilance, Railway Board and the CVOs are requested by the Adviser Vigilance, Railway Board to file ‘action taken reports’. Finally there seems no action taken by the CVOs due to the proximity the officials enjoy at their levels and the efforts made by ordinary citizens to clean the system shall never fetch any fruitful result. The Railway Minister is, therefore requested to please see if the machinery can be properly modified to help the system fight against corruption.
Here is a piece of information for the Railway Minister to follow:
A new railway siding has been commissioned by M/s Goel TMT in the name of Bajrang Siding at Baikunth railway station on the South East Central Railway near Raipur. Date of commissioning is 6th March, 2014. There are three lines in the siding, namely, Line no.1, 2 & 3 out of which the Line no.1 & 3 are lines meant for placement & drawn-out for rakes of iron ores and coal whereas the line no. 2 is for engine movement. There is no mention in either the Station Working Rules or the DPR (Detailed Project Report) if the rakes can be detained unnecessarily on line no. 3 when line no. 1 is occupied with a rake undergoing unloading.
It has been found that the line no. 3 is not being utilized for unloading and rakes are getting detained on line no. 3 till clearing of line no. 1. The siding owners can best explain what under-the-table business they have with local railway authorities, e.g., the Senior DOM/Raipur and the COM/SECR and why they keep detaining rakes without unloading in the siding on line no. 3 and keep waiting for re-placement of rakes on line no. 1 so that they start unloading. The COM and the Sr.DOM are personally responsible for correct and optimum utilization of rakes and expected to make the best efforts to fetch the maximum earning for railways. The following figures shall illustrate the picture vividly.
The details of rakes arrived in the siding so far is as follows:
Inauguration of the Science Express and Bio-diversity Special by MR
“It gives me great pleasure to be here for the inauguration of this very ‘noble’ train- the Science Express and Bio-diversity Special. I call this train ‘noble’ because of its purpose, which is to educate, inform and create awareness among the young, the youth, and the educators of India of the tremendous wealth in the Indian bio-diversity as well as the progress in scientific thought of the country.
Just as the cultural and linguistic diversity is the strength of India, bio diversity is the strength of an eco-system. The greater and varied the bio diversity of a country, the greater are the chances of a species- both plant and animal- to survive, flourish and adapt to the rapidly changing environment. A strong bio diversity across all bio geographical zones has the potential of being of tremendous use to mankind.
CONFERENCE ON TRAIN PROTECTION AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM HELD
A one day conference on “Emerging Trends in Train Protection and Electric Energy Management Systems” was organised here today by Institution of Railway Electrical Engineers (IREE) and Institution of Railway Signal and Telecommunication Engineers (IRSTE). The conference was inaugurated by Sh. Kul Bhushan, Patron, IREE and IRSTE & Member Electrical, Railway Board. Member Staff Sh. A. K. Mittal, Member Traffic Sh. D. P. Pandey, Member Engineering Sh. V. K. Gupta and Financial Commissioner, Railways, Smt. Rashmi Kappor were among those present on the occasion. Sh. M. Suresh, President, IRSTE & Addl. Member (Signal), Railway Board gave the welcome address. Sh. Man Singh, President, IREE and Addl. Member (Electrical) Railway Board proposed the vote of thanks at the end of the Conference.
The Member Electrical, Railway Board, Shri Kul Bhushan lighting the lamp to inaugurate the “Conference on Emerging Trends in Train Protection and Electric Energy Management System” organised by the Institution of Railway Electrical Engineers & Institution of Railway Signal (IRSE) and the Telecommunication Engineers (IRSTE).
In his inaugural address, Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical, Railway Board said that Safety of train operation is an area of concern. High priority is being accorded to adopt measures & induct new technological systems progressively to enhance level of safety on Indian Railways. Systems like Panel/ Electronic interlocking/Route Relay Interlocking, Block proving by axle counter, data logger, track circuiting etc have been inducted which has significantly reduced accidents in station area. He said that Corporate Safety Plan of Indian Railways envisages provision of Train protection systems on Indian Railways network to mitigate the risk of Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD) and over speeding by Motorman/Loco Pilots of trains which sometimes lead to accidents. TPWS has been commissioned on Chennai Central – Gummiddipundi (50 RKMs) suburban section of Southern Railway and Dum Dum- Kavi Shubhash section of Kolkata Metro (25 RKMs). Commercial trials of pilot project on Delhi-Agra non-suburban section (200 RKMs) of Northern / North Central Railway is in progress with 35 locomotives on nominated trains. Work has also been awarded for Basin Bridge- Arakkonam section (67 RKM) on Southern Railway and is in progress.
Gowda’s railway board revamp plan to trigger turf war
NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government's first rail budget has promised restructuring of the railway board, but railway minister Sadananda Gowda's job is not going to be an easy one, considering deeply entrenched interests in retaining the over-centralized, top heavy structure which is divided on departmental lines.
Gowda's first budget betrays the influence of the mechanical department — one of the biggest and most important departments in the railways which controls most funding — as it succeeded in scuttling plans for running more efficient and environment-friendly train operations.
The minister has to focus on reorganizing the state-run transporter in order to curb inter-departmental rivalry which is seeped in the culture of protecting vested interests.
The powerful lobby scuttled projects related to electrification, running modern train-sets which are environment-friendly and more efficient than traditional trains and upgrading signaling and communication system as these projects failed to attract much funding.
Officials within railways and several committees have noted that the turf war between mechanical, engineering and electrical departments is affecting railways' modernization agenda.
RAIL BUDGET SEEKS COURSE CORRECTION, AVOIDS POPULISM NO INCREASE IN RAIL FARE
STRESS ON RESOURCE MOBILIZATION THROUGH PSU SURPLUS, FDI AND PPP
BULLET TRAIN ON AHMEDABAD-MUMBAI CORRIDOR PROPOSED, SPEED OF TRAINS TO BE INCREASED IN NINE SECTORS
MORE THRUST ON PASSENGER AMENITIES, CLEANLINESS & EFFICIENT STATION MANAGEMENT
MULTI PRONGED APPROACH FOR IMPROVING SAFETY & SECURITY, 4000 WOMEN RPF CONSTABLES TO BE RECRUITED
REVAMPING RAILWAY RESERVATION SYSTEM INTO NEXT GENERATION E-TICKETING, WI-FI SERVICES IN MAJOR STATIONS & IN SELECT TRAINS, MOBILE BASED WAKEUP CALLS FOR PASSENGERS
58 NEW TRAINS INTRODUCED; 11 EXISTING TRAINS EXTENDED
RAILWAY UNIVERSITY AND INNOVATION INCUBATION CENTRE TO BE SET UP
TOP PRIORITY TO TRANSPARENCY, E-PROCUREMENT TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN HIGHER PURCHASE, ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR WAGONS IN NEXT TWO MONTHS
HIGHEST EVER PLAN OUTLAY OF 65,445 CRORE WITH HIGHER ALLOCATION FOR SAFETY MEASURES
Increased passenger amenities, more safety measures, timely completion of projects and increased financial discipline are the main highlights of the Railway Budget 2014-15 presented by the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda in Parliament on 8th July, 2014.today.
The Budget seeks course correction in the light of mismanagement, apathy, populism in starting projects and severe fund crunch that have inflicted the railways over the years, the Minister averred. For this, structural reforms will be introduced and resources will be mobilized through PSU surplus, FDI and PPP.
BUDGET COMES IN THE FACE OF HUGE FUND REQUIREMENT, INCOMPLETE PROJECTS
RAILWAYS NEED TO BALANCE COMMERCIAL AND WELFARE OBJECTIVES
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, said that the Indian Railways practically carries anything and everything and it never says no to ‘a thing’ if it fits in the wagons. Most importantly, it is the backbone of supply chain of the defence establishment and plays a very crucial role in security of the nation.
While it carries 23 million passengers a day, there are still large number of people who have not set a foot on a train yet. It carries over one-billion tonnes of freight a year, connecting ports and mines to industrial clusters, but still there are vast tracts of hinterland waiting for rail connectivity. Though freight business has grown steadily over the years, Indian Railways carry only 31% of the total freight carried in the country by all modes.
These are the challenges we have to face. An organization of this magnitude vested with varied responsibilities, is expected to earn like a commercial enterprise but serve like a welfare organization. These two objectives are like two rails of the railway track, which though travel together but never meet. So far, Indian Railways have managed to do tight-rope walking by balancing these twin conflicting objectives.
MEASURES FOR IMPROVEMENT IN SAFETY AND SECURITY, 4000 WOMEN RPF CONSTABLES TO BE RECRUITED
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that safety of passengers is of paramount importance for Indian Railways. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, it is estimated that over Rs. 40,000 crore would be needed to be invested in track renewals, elimination of unmanned level crossing and construction of Road-Under-bridges and Road-over-bridges.
The Minister said, he is making provision of Rs. 1,785 crore for Road-under-bridges and Road-over-bridges in the Budget and requested concerned State Governments to expedite their proposals and pass on their share of the cost. The Minister said, Indian Railways have 30348 Level Crossings, out of which 11563 are unmanned. Each unmanned level crossing is being examined in detail and depending on the site condition, action will be taken to eliminate it by suitable modality.
He said, Indian Railways proposes to use modern Vehicle Borne Ultrasonic Flaw Detection System to detect rail and weld fractures. In addition Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System (UBRD) will also be tried at two locations as a Pilot Project. The Minister said, in order to improve the safety of travelling passengers, he proposes to bring in technology for automatic closing of doors before start of train, both in main line and in sub-urban coaches. A pilot project for limited number of trains will be taken up.
BULLET TRAINS AND DIAMOND QUADRILATERAL NETWORK OF HIGH SPEED RAIL
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that Indian Railways is on its way to fulfill the long cherished dream to run a Bullet Train. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, the Railways proposes bullet trains by starting off with an already identified Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector, where a number of studies have been done.
The Minster said, under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modiji, the Railways is embarking on an ambitious plan to have a Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail, connecting major Metros and growth centers of the country. A provision of Rs.100 crore has been made in the Budget for high Speed project to RVNL/HSRC (High Speed Rail Corridor) for taking further steps.
He said, while bullet trains would require completely new infrastructure, higher speed for existing trains will be achieved by upgrading the present network. The Minister said, hence, an effort will be made to increase the speed of trains to 160-200 kmph in select sectors so as to significantly reduce travel time between major cities. The Minister said, the identified sectors are:
PROJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP TO BE SET UP TO OVERCOME DELAYS IN PROJECT EXECUTION
Railways will set up Project Management Group at the level of Railway Board to overcome delays in project execution. Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said similarly to expedite the projects at the ground level, a project Monitoring & Coordination Group consisting of officials of State Government, Railways and professionals will also be set up.
Railways have been suffering heavily because of time and cost overrun due to poor project management. Giving details of the poor state of project completion, the Minister said that in the last 30 years as many as 676 projects were sanctioned worth Rs.1,57,883 crore. Of these, only 317 projects could be completed and 359 projects remain to be completed.
STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO ATTRACT MORE INVESTMENT UNDER PPP MODEL
Railways will interact with Industry and take further steps to attract investment under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through BOT and Annuity route and 8 to 10 capacity augmentation projects on congested routes will be identified for this purpose. Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said Zonal Railways will be suitably empowered to finalize and execute such projects.
The Minister said with a large backlog of sanctioned projects, funding continues to be the biggest challenge for Railways. He said while private investment and customer funding for some port connectivity projects and few other Power Sector Projects has started, much more needs to happen if infrastructure creation has to keep pace with the requirement.
RAILWAY RESERVATION SYSTEM TO BE REVAMPED
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that Railway Reservation System will be revamped into Next Generation e-ticketing System. Ticket booking through mobile phones and through Post Offices will be popularized.
Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, the Indian Railways will improve the system capabilities in e-ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minute as against 2000 tickets per minute and allow 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time. The Minister said, facility of Coin Operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machines will be experimented.
He said, efforts will also be made to provide facility of buying Platform Tickets and unreserved tickets over internet. Parking-cum-Platform Combo Tickets will be launched to facilitate the passengers and to save their time. He said that online booking facility of Railway Retiring Room will be extended to all the stations during the course of the year. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, the Indian Railways is expanding the scope of online booking for people to Coach, book a Berth and book a Seat in Chair Car.
CATERING SERVICES TO BE IMPROVED; FOOD COURTS TO BE SET UP AT MAJOR STATIONS
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that in order to improve the quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety, the Indian Railways proposes to introduce Pre-cooked (Ready-to-eat) Meals of reputed brands in a phased manner. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, to bring perceptible improvement in the catering services, he proposes to introduce Quality Assurance Mechanism through Third Party Audit by NABCB certified agencies.
He said, in addition to the third party audit, a system of collecting feedback through IVRS mechanism, from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served, will be launched shortly. The Minister said, if the service is not to the standards set, especially in hygiene and the taste, severe action would be initiated against the vendors including cancellation of the contract.
BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR CLEANLINESS IN TRAINS AND STATIONS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has announced substantial increase in budget allocation for cleanliness in the current year, which is a 40% increase over the previous year.
Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, the Indian Railways proposes to outsource cleaning activities at 50 major stations to professional agencies and to set up a separate Housekeeping Wing to have focused attention and exclusive responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and sanitation at stations. He said, a Corpus Fund for upkeep of stations will be set up.
The Minister said, use of CCTVs at stations will be extended to monitor cleanliness activities. All-India level complaint/helpline number will be printed on the back of all PRS tickets. System of periodic third-party inspections will be introduced. Further, Bio-toilets will be increased in sufficient numbers in trains in order to mitigate the problem of direct discharge of human waste on the tracks and platform aprons at stations.
PILOT PROJECT FOR ‘OFFICE ON WHEELS’ FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
MAJOR IT INITIATIVES INCLUDE PAPERLESS OFFICES, NEW MOBILE-BASED SERVICES
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that in order to add best value to business travelers, the Indian Railways proposes to provide workstations in select trains on payment basis. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, a pilot project will be launched by this year.
He said, Indian Railways is also going for a computer assisted Enterprise Resource Planning Solution, so that synergy is brought in. To begin with, following initiatives will be taken up:
i) Moving towards paperless offices in Indian Railways in 5 years;
ii) Next Generation Ticket Reservation System;
iii) Wi-fi Services in all A1 and A category stations and in select trains;
iv) Real-time tracking of trains and rolling stock;
v) Mobile based Wakeup Call System for passengers;
vi) Mobile based Destination Arrival Alert;
INNOVATIONS INCUBATION CENTERS TO BE SET UP TO MAKE BEST USE OF IDEAS AND EXPERIENCE OF STAFF
Railways proposes to set up an Innovations Incubation Center to harness the ideas generated from the staff of Indian Railways and convert them into practical solutions to increase efficiency of the system.
Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said innovations which result in cost saving as well as revenue generation will be suitably rewarded in the form of incentive.
As part of this exercise, it is also proposed to set up summer internships for the undergraduates of engineering and management studies. Students can intern at any of the various units of Railways i.e. Division, PSUs and Production Units.
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF RAILWAYS IN 2013-14
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, said that the financial position of Railways has undergone a change since presentation of Interim Budget and passing of the ‘Vote on Account’ in February last. He gave the details as under :-
1. Since presentation of Interim Budget and passing of the ’Vote on Account‘ in February last, financial position has undergone a change. Railways carried 1050.18 million tonnes. Goods Earnings were short only by Rs. 94 crore. Originating passengers, also, were less by 46 million over Revised target and Passenger earnings were short by Rs. 968 crore over Revised target.
2. Over all, though the Gross Traffic Receipts grew by 12.8% to reach Rs. 1,39,558 crore, it was short of Revised target by Rs. 942 crore. On the other hand, Ordinary Working Expenses stood at Rs. 97,571 crore, which was in excess by Rs. 511 crore.
3. Appropriation to Pension Fund had to be stepped up to match the actual outgo.
RESOURCE MOBILISATION FOR RAILWAYS
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, outlined the Resource Mobilization for Railways as under :-
Leveraging Railway PSU Resources:- Railway PSUs have done very well and are financially sound. It is proposed to launch a scheme to bring in investible surplus funds of Railway PSUs in infrastructure projects of Railways, which can generate attractive returns for PSUs.
Private investment in Rail Infrastructure through Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); -Growth of Railway Sector depends heavily on availability of funds for investment in rail infrastructure. Internal revenue sources and government funding are insufficient to meet the requirement. Hence, Ministry of Railways is seeking Cabinet approval to allow FDI in Rail sector.
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