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Indian Railways: Train Superintendent to address onboard complaints.

With the aim of ensuring improvement in onboard services, railways will have a person as Train Superintendent responsible for all facilities on train as single window service system.

Currently different agencies are to be approached for different types of facilities such as cleaning, electrical functioning and catering, provided in the train.

In order to save the passengers from bothering on various accounts, we have decided to nominate Train Superintendent as a single person accountable for all facilities on train, said a senior Railway Ministry official.

It will be launched as a pilot for all Rajdhani trains originating from the capital.

According to the plan, a senior TTE will become Train Superintendent and a seat will be earmarked for him in each train.

“It will be a single window service and Train Superintendent (TS) will be responsible for all facilities on train,” he said adding “All concerned would assist the TS in supervision of onboard services and redressal of complaints.”

All railway personnel and supervisors of outsourced agencies involved in train services shall report to the TS for effective control and supervision to ensure improvement in onboard services offered by the national transporter.

Arrangement to display contact numbers of TS in all coaches for seeking any assistance will be provided at the start of the journey.

Passengers having complaints relating to water, AC, mobile chargers, bedrolls and linens, catering, punctuality of train or security related will be tackled by TS, he said.

A mobile application will be developed by CRIS which will facilitate easy transmission of information between the ground staff, onboard staff and the control offices enroute so that the TS can monitor the complaint being registered for the train while on run on real time basis.

The Mobile Application will have interface with 24X7 complaint number 138 and Security Helpline 182 over which presently passenger complaints are received by the concerned Divisions.

The TS will have a dash board on his tablet where he can view the complaints received for his train.

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/indian-railway-train-superintendent-to-address-onboard-complaints/362207/

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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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State’s Budgetary Allocation to be Doubled in 2016: Suresh Prabhu

The budget allocation for Andhra Pradesh would be doubled in the coming year. Meanwhile, a joint-venture company for the development of railways in each state would be set up. Within a year, such company would be established in Amaravati, too, Union railways minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said.

He was in Tirupati on Saturday to flag-off a special weekly train (17417) between Tirupati and Shirdi. The new facility with 17 coaches would start from January 5. Services would be available on every Tuesdays from Tirupati at 7 am and every Wednesdays at 7.10 pm from Shirdi. The train would halt at Kadapa, Guntakal, Raichur, Secunderabad, Nanded, Aurangabad and Manmad.

On the occasion, Suresh Prabhu said that the railway stations in all the states would be developed vertically through PPP-mode to focus on customer service aspect as promised in the current budget. Expressing dissatisfaction over 7th Pay Commission’s directions that nudges railways to shell out additional Rs 32,000 crore yearly, Suresh Prabhu said, “Apart from the pressure the pay commission has exerted, revenues from freight services have also dwindled adding to the woes. However, the government is seeking funds up to Rs 8.5 trillion over the next five years from domestic and global players to complete all projects that have been kept in the back-burner.”

Ministers Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy and P Narayana, MP Varaprasad, MLAs Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy and Suguna, and TTD chairman Chadalawada Krishnamoorthy were present.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/States-Budgetary-Allocation-to-be-Doubled-in-2016-Suresh-Prabhu/2015/12/27/article3198236.ece

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Indian Railways Observes Vigilance Awareness Week – 26th to 31st October, 2015

The observance of Vigilance Awareness Week, 2015 commenced ON 26TH October, 2015 all over Indian Railways with a Pledge taking ceremony by Officers and staff. A special function was organized in the Railway Board where Shri A.K. Mital, Chairman/Railway Board administered the Pledge to a gathering of Railway staff and officers. Similar functions have taken place at various Zonal Railway Headquarters and other important offices of Indian Railways where the Pledge was administered by the Heads of office. The Pledge is aimed to reinforce commitment of officials towards bringing about integrity and transparency in all spheres of their activities and to fight corruption with vigour.

During this Vigilance Awareness Week, various events are being organized around the theme of anti-corruption by the field units of the Railways. A film has been commissioned by the that focuses upon preventive vigilance in mass contact areas like ticketing, recruitment and contracts. This will be aired on Doordarshan at 16.30 hrs on 29th October, 2015. There is a special focus on sensitizing the youth this year and to achieve this objective, lectures, panel discussions, debates, discussions, plays, essay writing competitions etc. are being organized in around 200 schools and colleges by the Indian Railways.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/indian-railways-observes-vigilance-awareness-week-26th-to-31st-october-2015-115102800651_1.html

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Captive power plants: Lessons for Indian Rlys from East Japan

Guess what? The $23-billion East Railway Japan Company (JR East), which runs the Shinkansen or high speed rail network and metropolitan and regional rail services in Japan, meets most of its electricity requirement through self generation, Takeshi Tsuyoshi, General Manager, International Department, JR East, told BusinessLine.

JR East, which provides services in the eastern part of Japan, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, supplies 56 per cent of its electricity requirement from its own stable, with the remaining being purchased from outside. Also, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the entire electricity used by JR East is self-produced.

This strategy has important lessons for Indian Railways, which faces high fuel cost and has been trying for long to set up captive power plants.

JR East revenue

JR East gets 67 per cent revenue from transportation services, with the remaining coming from non-rail businesses such as shopping centres, offices, hotels, restaurants offices, fitness clubs and even kindergartens in the stations.

From the transportation revenue, JR East gets 30 per cent from the high speed network, 66 per cent from the conventional lines in Tokyo Metropolitan area and four per cent from other conventional lines.

JR East makes about 15 per cent profits from in its railway and non railway business each. While the company has not been getting any subsidy from local and central government since 1987, when its was privatised, Tsuyoshi shared that prior to 1987, the government provided funds for building the infrastructure while these companies invested in the rolling stock such as trains.

High speed trains

For the expansion lines after privatisation, JR East has been ploughing back its profits from the transport operations to the new areas. “Not all sections are profitable. Some sections (more crowded ones) are profitable, which the newer ones take time to generate profits,” Tsuyoshi, who was visiting India to participate in a CII Rail Equipment conference, said.

Tsuyoshi also shared that not all high speed trains can run on the entire 7,458 km of JR East network. Of the 7,458 km of network, 1,470 km is Shinkansen or high speed network. However, there are some high speed trains which can run on both the HSR and conventional tracks.

Partnering with India

Japan has been pitching its high speed railway technology to India based on the fact that it is the “safest high speed railway system in the world and has recorded zero fatalities.” Japan International Cooperation Agency with India has completed the feasibility study for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed section in July this year.

For high speed trains, from starting land acquisition to commercial run, the process takes about 15 years, said Tsuyoshi. JR East has offered to transfer technology for construction, operations and management for high speed rail systems.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/captive-power-plants-lessons-for-indian-rlys-from-east-japan/article7802919.ece

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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LIC develops bond worth Rs 2,000 crore with Indian Railways

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will hand over a cheque of Rs 2,000 crore to Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the first tranche of its financial assistance, tomorrow for investment in capacity augmentation projects.

Railways had signed an MoU with LIC in March this year for financial assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh crore over the next five years for implementing railway projects.

IRFC will issue bonds to be subscribed by LIC for the purpose, said a senior railway ministry official.

Though the financial assistance is available from the current fiscal, there would be a five-year moratorium on interest and loan repayment.

The official said that Rs 2,000 crore LIC fund will be utilised for laying new lines to decongest busiest rail corridors.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will be the chief guest at the function to mark the handing over of the first cheque of Rs 2,000 crore by LIC to IRFC towards financial assistance to Railways as per the MoU.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/LIC-develops-bond-worth-Rs-2000-crore-with-Indian-Railways/articleshow/49542011.cms

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Indian Railways to be country’s next eco-growth engine

The government’s focus on developing and reforming the Indian Railways will help the national transporter emerge as the next growth engine for the country’s economy over the next decade, a report stated.

Leading brokerage JM Financial has come out with its report ‘Railways: Turning the Corner’ focussing on Indian Railways.

The report stated that huge investment in the sector is expected to have a multiplier effect of 5.73% on the country’s GDP.

The government is also working on a long-term structural reforms which will help transform the Railways from a government-led monopoly, the report stated.

Over the past one decade, the government has spent only 0.3-0.5% of its GDP as capital investments in the Railways, while the roads have been getting considerably higher allocations, it said.

This neglect is even clearer from the collections of the diesel cess authorised by the Central Road Fund Act. While the Railways gets only 12.5% of the total amount annually credited to the fund, roads get 50% of the share, the report further said.

It can be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had chosen the Railways as a big driver for country’s growth with a capital investment of Rs 8.5 trillion over next five years, which is 3.3 times over the previous five years.

This is a clear break from the decades of under-investments in building physical infrastructure which led to lower capacity expansion.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/indian-railways-to-be-country-s-next-eco-growth-engine-115101800228_1.html

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Railways are changing for the better

Indian Railways suffers from a perception issue – and that’s preventing many from seeing the good work being undertaken under Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Misconceptions galore

Any colossal organisation will take gargantuan efforts and considerable time to transform itself. Against this backdrop, I would like to highlight six key issues where public perception, stated below, is on the wrong track.

There have been no Big Bang announcements: While announcing his maiden Railway Budget this year, the Minister had clearly articulated that it was the beginning of a five-year plan. Over 200 capacity enhancement projects which had been announced in earlier budgets are yet to be completed, and these are being addressed on priority.

It is therefore natural to expect a number of key steps across the board, to consolidate and complete existing projects, which will come together to result in holistic change.

One of the biggest developments is the push towards mega FDI and “Make in India” by Railways. Top global firms viz. GE, EMD, Bombardier, Alstom and Siemens, have bid for two state of the art electric and diesel locomotive manufacturing projects aggregating to ₹42,000 crore.

Budget announcements not implemented: Granular progress and growth is not being appropriately perceived and appreciated by critics. Seventy nine Budget announcements have already been implemented, on issues like e-catering in 1,000 trains, Wi-Fi in 11 stations, construction of toilets at 67 stations and energy and water audits across 150 locations.

Another game-changer will be the accelerated implementation of dedicated freight corridors (DFC) which will add 3,300 Km of new lines. As many as ₹17,000 crore of tenders have been awarded in the past nine months which is 1.6 times the tenders awarded since the project’s inception. The first 56 km of this project is likely to be commissioned by end of this year.

Where’s the money to address the significant investment deficit? Instead of big bang announcements, the focus has shifted to identifying financial resources to complete all existing projects. A five-year Capex Budget of ₹8.56 lakh Crore has been finalised with a realistic plan of where the money will come from.

IR is rapidly diversifying its sources of finance. Gross budgetary support will account for only 30 per cent (2.56 lakh crore) of this planned investment, while project debt will account for 28 per cent (2.5 lakh crore). The rest will be sourced from JVs with various State governments (19 States have already come on board, with a commitment of 1.2 lakh crore); public private partnerships under new and more acceptable structures (₹1.3 lakh crore); internal generation (1 lakh crore), leasing of rolling stock (1 lakh crore) and long term loans from LIC (1.5 lakh crore).

In addition to increased private financing, IR is also looking at creating a long term Railways investment fund with multilateral institutions as anchor investors and participation from the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds and long term pension funds.

Administrative issues

The funds may be tied up but how will they be spent? The diffident bureaucracy and an acute lack of institutional capacity to prioritise spending on critical projects are required to be addressed.

The Minister has already delegated substantial decision making powers to the functional levels. This has expedited decision making, thereby leading to more capital spending. In just the first quarter of this year, IR has exceeded the targeted capex by over ₹4,500 crore. It stands at ₹17,734 crore, which is 134 per cent of the initial target (₹13,231 crore). In fact, IR has exceeded the target spends across parameters like new lines, electrification, gauge conversion and track renewals.

Safety issues will continue to plague Indian Railways: There is a more focused approach now. Under the ‘zero accident policy’, ₹1.27 lakh crore is proposed to be spent on improving rail safety (on renewal of tracks, better signalling and accident-resistant coaches and engines), minimising the scope for accidents. For unmanned LCs, an early warning system designed by IIT Kanpur is being field tested for rapid deployment across the country.

Trains will never be on time, especially during the foggy winter months: Sophisticated technology like thermal imaging and instrument landing systems have helped the aviation industry overcome this. I understand that the ministry is evaluating proposals for providing thermal imaging inside locomotives — to help run trains even during extremely low visibility under heavy fog.

Since such weather conditions coincide with the peak freight loading season, this will improve capacity utilisation, loss of punctuality and address key safety issues.

A robust railway network, in line with global standards, will transform our socio-economic fabric.

RANA KAPOOR . The writer is President, Assocham , and MD & CEO, YES Bank

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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