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Meet the officer behind the country’s first railway station with vertical gardens

With a garden sporting 37,000 plants, the Ludhiana Railway Station is not only the first station in Punjab to have a vertical garden, but the first in the country. With an aim to reduce the use of plastic, and add more greenery to the campus, the initiative was inaugurated on Income Tax Day on July 24. This initiative is the brainchild of Rohit Mehra, an Internal Revenues Services officer.

Inaugurated by Binay K Jha, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT- Ludhiana), Vivek Kumar, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and Rohit himself, the project has already gathered the right kind of attention, since its launch a year ago.

Speaking to the Tribune India, he said,

“Waste plastic is a major environmental concern. It is better to put these bottles to good use by planting small shrubs in them.”

He says that a vertical garden not only helps in longevity of a wall as it protects it from extreme weather conditions, but also helps in lowering the indoor temperature by almost five degrees Celsius.

Rohit confesses he drew inspiration from one of his visits to Sri Lanka, where he saw vertical gardens in home terraces too. Instead of using new plastic pots, he promoted the usage of plastic bottles that are used for packing water and aerated drinks. He did a pilot project at his house and on its success, he took it forward to his own office, where today he houses over 18,000 bottles.

https://yourstory.com/2018/07/railway-station-vertical-gardens-rohit-mehra/

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

DEPwD takes initiative of verification audit of accessibility features in 70 Railway Stations.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Smt. Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwD, M/o Social Justice & Empowerment and Dr. P.S.N. Rao, Director, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, today in the presence of senior officers of DEPwD and SPA, Delhi. The main purpose of the MoU between the DEPwD and SPA Delhi is to conduct verification audit of 10% major railway stations which have been made accessible.

The verification audit of 70 railway stations in 25 states will be completed within 6 months. In first phase, 15 important railways stations will be audited. Subsequently, 25 and 30 stations will be audited in second and third phase.

On receipt of verification audit reports, Ministry of Railways will take steps for any further modification and corrections if required, to improve accessibility of the stations.

Accessible India Campaign (AIC) under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) M/o SJ&E is a flagship campaign launched on 3rdDecember 2015 by the Prime Minister, with the vision to create a barrier-free environment for the ease of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Implementation of the Campaign was based on making three essential aspects of daily living in everybody’s life universally accessible, namely; Built – up Environment, Transportation Systems and Information &Communication Eco-system.

Railways is an important means of transportation used by the general public. The DEPwD has been coordinating with Ministry of Railways to make railway platforms, ticket counters, toilets alongwith railway buildings accessible used by the public. Ministry of Railways has informed the DEPwD that they have made 639 out of 709 major railway stations accessible under AIC.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=181143

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Step By Step Guide To Change Boarding Station, Passenger Name In Railways’ Online Ticket

IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Operation), e-ticketing website of Indian Railways, offers the facility of changing boarding station online. E-ticket commuters can also change the name of the passenger by approaching the nearest railway reservation office with ‘electronic reservation slip’ print out and photo identity proof in original of one of the passenger traveling in the ticket, as mentioned on the official website of IRCTC. User can log in to his/her IRCTC account and change the boarding station. Indian Railways doesn’t provide any facility to change the boarding station when the tickets have been booked via offline mode.
Passenger who has booked online tickets via IRCTC can change his boarding station online before 24 hours of the scheduled departure of the train.

Steps to change boarding station online via IRCTC:

1. Login into IRCTC website- irctc.co.in with login ID and password

2. Click on option ‘Booking Ticket History’

3. Select the appropriate booking to change boarding point

4. Click on ‘Change Boarding Point’

5. The user be navigated to ‘Change Boarding Point’ page. Now select new boarding station from the drop down under change boarding station section.

How to change passenger’s name in online ticket:

According to extant railway rules, the ‘name change’ facility of passenger holding confirmed e-reservation has been permitted. The passenger can make a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of train to the nearest railway reservation office, said IRCTC. The ticket can be transferred to another member of the family like father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, husband and wife, said IRCTC.

COMMENT
The passenger should bring the ‘electronic reservation slip’ print out along with photo identity card proof in original and a proof for blood relation desired to be changed. Indian Railways also allows ‘name change’ facility in case a government servant is proceeding on duty and appropriate authority makes a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of train.

https://www.ndtv.com/business/irctc-new-facilities-step-by-step-guide-to-change-boarding-station-passengers-name-in-online-ticket-1891217

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

How Indian Railways is pushing zones to generate crores of non-fare revenue?

In a bid to bring its tottering non-fare revenue policy back on its feet, the Railway Board has now asked zones to leverage virtually every inch of railway property to generate funds through advertisements on a “mission mode”. Indian Railways’ plans to generate Rs 39,000 crore from non-fare sources over 10 years has been a damp squib. In terms of earnings, after the initial burst of generating revenue of Rs 10,338 crore in 2016-2017, things slowed down to Rs 8,600 crore against a target of Rs 14,000 crore in 2017-2018. In 2018-2019 till April, the revenue has crawled to Rs 32.65 crore against a target of Rs 1200 crore.

“You would be aware of the pressing need to generate non-fare revenues. Besides other measures, leveraging spaces at railway stations for improving passenger comfort and generating additional revenue could give quick results,” Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in his letter dated July 12, adding that zones should make a “realistic assessment” of the likely additional revenues that can be generated and send monthly reports to him on the issue. Lohani in his letter has asked zones to leverage every inch of railway property to generate revenue through advertisements – from its platforms, circulating areas, benches, walls of toilets, foot overbridges, linen packets, interior and exterior of coaches to charging for usage of air-conditioned waiting rooms.

The national transporter has already withdrawn tenders for out-of-home (OOH) advertisements and advertisements on trains owing to a “low industry response” and “technical reasons”. OOH included station areas, overbridges, underbridges, level-crossing gates, railway colonies, workshops, production units, and railway land along tracks. These initiatives would have added at least Rs 82.5 billion to its revenues over 10 years. “It is of essence that zonal railways move forward in a mission mode to generate non-fare revenue,” Lohani said.

https://www.financialexpress.com/infrastructure/railways/how-indian-railways-is-pushing-zones-to-generate-crores-of-non-fare-revenue/1262104/

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Railways records 300% increase in mobile ticketing.

The railways has recorded a 300 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in June 2018 as compared to April 2017. The popularity of the app among commuters and improvement in its features to make it more user-friendly are behind its success.

According to official records, the Central Railway (CR) registered a 175 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in June 2018 as compared to April 2017. Similarly, the Western Railway (WR) recorded a 300 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in the same period.

Classified under mobile ticketing, commuters can book single journey tickets and season tickets on the UTS mobile application. A commuter is required to be in proximity of less than 2 km from the station while booking a single journey ticket through the application.

However, officials said they have registered a specific growth in the number of season tickets booked through the application. “We have registered a decent increase in the number of season tickets booked through the application. As compared to 6,417 season tickets booked in April last year, 25,198 were booked in June 2018. Commuters can book their monthly and quarterly passes through the application,” said an official from WR.

Launched in 2016, the app received a poor response initially after commuters complained about being unable to book tickets on the app despite being close to a railway station.

In the past two years, the railways has corrected these glitches to make the application user-friendly.

“Certain minor changes were introduced to help the passenger book the ticket in an efficient way. For example, we reduced the number of tabs to reduce time taken to book mobile tickets. We also rectified various technical errors in the application,” said a railway official.

As compared to other modes of ticketing, mobile ticketing still contributes to less than 2 per cent of the suburban ticket booking. The railways has held many workshops and seminars to increase the use of mobile app for booking tickets.

Chembur resident Mansi Sharma, who has used the UTS mobile ticketing app, said: “ When the app had launched, it would be difficult to book tickets on it. The payment process took a lot of time… Sometimes, one could not select the station properly. I have been using the application since the past three months and it has improved a lot. I book my season ticket between Chembur- Panvel on this application and use it to book other railway journeys if required.”

Both CR and WR see around 80,000 to 1 lakh daily average commuters using mobile tickets.

Railways records 300% increase in mobile ticketing

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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India’s first bullet train to have several firsts – from child-feeding rooms to rotating seats

Delay in acquiring land for the upcoming Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor project may push back the date of its launch, but the Railways is going ahead in finalising the various components of the bullet train’s rolling stock and passenger facilities.

Passengers will get a dedicated room for child feeding, there will be facilities for sick persons and washrooms for men and women would be separate — all these being firsts on the Indian rail network. Each train will have 55 seats will for business class and 695 seats for standard class. There will be luggage space for passengers.

The E5 Shinkansen series bullet trains to be pressed into service will also have baby changing rooms comprising baby toilet seats, tables for diaper disposal and a low sink for children for washing hands.

There will be also two extra-spacious toilets for wheelchair-bound passengers in the 10-coach high-speed train.

According to the blueprint finalised by the Railways, the 750-seater E5 Shinkansen, a new generation Japanese high-speed train, will also introduce wall mounted type urinals for men, according to a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the Rs 1 lakh crore project.

Urinals and toilets will be installed in alternate coaches in the train. For example, toilets will be installed in coach number 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 while urinals will be available in coach number 2, 4, 6 and 8. Washrooms for men and women will also be placed in a similar way.

Coaches will have comfortable automatic seat rotation system.

There will be a freezer, hot case, boiling water facility and tea and coffee maker in the train while a hand towel warmer will be provided in business class.

Coaches will have LCD screens to display current station, next stopping station and destination, schedule and expected time to reach next stop and destination stations.

Railways is gearing up to acquire 25 E5 series bullet trains from Japan at an estimated cost of about Rs 5,000 crore for the Modi government’s first bullet train project.

Most of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor will be elevated, except for a 21 km underground tunnel between Thane and Virar, of which 7 km will be under the sea.

The undersea tunnel was chosen to avoid damaging the thick vegetation present in the area, said the official.

The corridor will begin at the underground station in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, and then traverse 21 km underground before emerging above ground at Thane.

The bullet train is aerodynamically designed with a long nose. When a high speed train exits a tunnel a blasting sound is generated due to micro pressure waves. To reduce this micro pressure, the front car is designed with a nose section, said the official.

The coach body is pressurized to avoid discomfort to passengers due to drop in pressure inside the passenger cabin tunnel.

Bullet train will take about 2 hours and 7 minutes to travel the 508-km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

JICA has agreed to fund 81 per cent of the total project cost through a 50-year loan at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent and a moratorium on repayments up to 15 years.

Indian Railways will invest Rs 9,800 crore in the high-speed rail project and the remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

https://www.financialexpress.com/infrastructure/railways/indias-first-bullet-train-to-have-several-firsts-from-child-feeding-rooms-to-rotating-seats/1262112/

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Now, quench your thirst with water generated from moisture at stations in Waltair division of East Coast Railway.

Water-deficit railway stations located in hilly terrains and dense forests of the Eastern Ghats that fall under the Waltair division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) will soon receive a unique apparatus, which will allow it to harvest potable water from atmospheric moisture. The name of the equipment is Atmospheric Moisture Extractor (AME).
Nearly 15 to 20 railway stations located along the Kothavalasa-Kirandul (KK-line) railway line does not have access to safe potable water sources owing to their geographical location.

Railway officials are exploring the possibility of using AME, which has already yielded successful results at Rauli, a small railway station under the division, near Rayagada in Odisha. Named Akash Ganga, the project is the first-of-its-kind to be taken up in the Indian Railways. The railways introduced AME at Rauli this summer and got successful results.

Speaking to TOI, Waltair divisional railway manager MS Mathur said, they would identify the railway stations at hilly locales that lack access to safe potable water and would implement the AME method.

A technical railway official said, the AME draws air from the atmosphere and the air is passed over condenser so that the water vapour in it is transformed into water due to heat exchange. It works at low relative humidity level such as 50% and ambient temperature in shade 90-95° F. The output of AME is about 120 litres per day usually and energy consumption per litre is 0.35KW to 0.40 KW (kilowatt).

“The AME method at Rauli station has been a boon to the railway staff and passengers at the station, which had water problem for decades. After examining various methods, the authorities decided on the AME and installed it at Rauli in April end this year,” the railway officer, added.

While the cost of AME is around Rs 2 lakh, the maintenance cost is considerably less.
“The railway stations, which have water problems and do not have access to proper water sources, can use this machine to get water. The only requirement is the stations should have good atmospheric moisture,” the railway officer said.

The officer revealed that there are nearly 15 to 20 such railway stations along the KK-line, which passes through the Eastern Ghats in the division limits. The stations depend on stream water to meet their needs. Moreover, the water collected from hill streams is unfit for drinking. “We will examine the installation of this AME at the KK line stations,” the railway officer added.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/visakhapatnam/now-quench-your-thirst-with-water-generated-from-moisture/articleshow/64469850.cms

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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