THE METRO MAN – E SREEDHARAN- FINALLY HANGS HIS BOOTS

A legend hangs up his boots On the last day of this month . Finally, Elattuvalapil Sreedharan has been allowed to retire, at the age of 79. A man who built the Calcutta Metro, Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro. But he is best remembered for re-building in just 46 days the Pamban bridge which in 1963 was blown away by a cyclone into the sea.

Here is a man who is honest to the core, brooked no nonsense and set an example for others. A true leader who walked his talk. He truly deserves the Bharat Ratna. Now he is going to Kerala to fulfill the dreams of Mallus “The Kochin Metro ”

India has much gratitude for this great engineer. He is known as the The “metro man of India”. He is quite a sensational project manager, who almost always gets the project completed on time or before schedule. He fought all the delays caused by bureaucratic red tape, corruption and lack of funds.

Sreedharan’s willpower has moved mountains. He is not just a dreamer but also a builder, but most of all, one who has dedicated his achievements to every Indian. He stands out as a legend in Indian Engineering history. His major projects being the Delhi Metro and the Konkan Railways.

This 75+ year-old Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation only desires the progress of his country. He wanted Delhi to have a world-class metro rail project to change the meaning of urban transport in India. And he did it.

The Konkan Railway project came to him in his retirement. It was a challenging task—-760 km of rail tracks from Mumbai to Kochi through the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This project was found as not feasible, by the British engineers in pre-independence era. But for Sreedharan nothing was impossible.

Environmentalists protested, politicians said it cannot be done and the project ran short of money.
Sreedharan raised public bonds to finance it, taking everyone ahead.

Kiran Bedi explains why Sreedharan is worthy of the title: “He is not in his 40s or 50s, but he is in his 70s, a time when we normally retire. Sreedharan has given the best metro concept for the railway of the country with integrity, vision, with commitment and with remarkable professional skills. There is no other person better than him in this category.”

Sreedharan insists he does not have any special skills to get the best out of people. “I always found that people cooperate if you work for a good cause,” he says.

Sreedharan studied in an ordinary school & college and later on took his civil engineering degree from a govt engineering college. But he went on to become the boss for hundreds of IIM, IIT graduates!

People still wonder what really makes him tick at 80 while a young man in his 20’s struggles to begin his day at 6 or 7 in the morning. Sreedharan’s day starts at 4 am, meditation and Bhagwad Gita.

He reaches office at 9:30 am and gets straight to work. In the evening, he usually takes a long walk with his wife Radha and allots time to his family of four children. He used to set up reverse clocks to show impending deadlines to his project members during Delhi Metro construction phase.

The message of the Gita: To act, without desire for the fruits of the action gave him the courage to act.

A plate placed in his Kerala office read as: ‘Whatever to be done, I do. But in reality I do not do anything’.

India says thank you sir.
Government of India may or may not award him the Bharat Ratna. But for the countless millions that have travelled on the Pamban bridge, Kolkata Metro, Konkan Railways & Delhi Metro and for the knowledgeable public he is already a Bharat Ratna – a real gem of the rarest variety.

Let’s all recommend his name to Govt for award of Bharat Ratna. Please share this message. Each one to at least one.

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Changes in Indian Railway/IRCTC Passenger Reservation System

CHANGES IN INDIAN RAILWAY/ IRCTC PASSENGER RESERVATION SYSTEM – FROM 01st JULY 2017

  1. Passengers will get refund amount of 50% on cancellation of tatkal tickets.
  2. There has been slight change made by the Indian Railways for booking tatkal tickets. From July 1, tatkal window for AC coach will be open between 10 am to 11 am and for sleeper coach the timing will be from 11 am to 12 pm.
  3. From *July 1 the Waiting list system will come to an end and tickets will be issued only for confirmed and RAC passengers accommodation. The provisions for the waiting list will be ended.
  4. By next month the number of coaches in Rajdhani and Shatabdi will be increased.
  5. From July 1, Rajdhani and Shatabdi will move ahead with paper less tickets. Only mobile tickets will be valid on these trains.
  6. The Indian Railways officials website IRCTC, will also start booking tickets on various language.
  7. Premium trains will come to an end from July 1.
  8. The passengers can also get 50 percent return after cancelling Suvidha train tickets.
  9. The passengers will also get *‘wake up call destination’ facility in the trains from July 1.

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The little box at Rail Bhavan

V Ravi Shankar

THANK you, Indian Railways! It was May 28 this year, I had been detailed to attend a meeting in New Delhi at a very short notice. Having been brought up on a culture of “speaking” to somebody for any and everything, I was apprehensive when I did not get the reserved ticket. I was travelling from Hardwar to New Delhi. Since my unit operated the Passenger Reservation System (PRS), while proceeding, I ‘spoke’ to the operator, who in turn ‘spoke’ to the person concerned at Hardwar and confirmed the ticket.

The meeting over, I realised I had to return! It was a problem once I reached Delhi. There was not a single person I knew on my return journey and I had to reach the duty station on a Monday morning. My days of “knowing” the right persons had long been over (I had been posted to Delhi once, where I prided myself at “knowing” someone who could help).

That’s when someone told me about the Head Office (HO) quota. It is a small box kept outside the Rail Bhavan, where the CISF guard is posted. I was told it is religiously taken out and screened. Anyone who feels that it is impossible to get a confirmed ticket, makes a fervent plea, vide this little box. Invariably, the quota is allotted.

I had a hearty laugh. Maybe it is akin to “presidential pardon”, I thought! How can — in a country where for everything you need to “know”/speak to the right person — a simple application suffice? What the hell! I thought of giving it a try. As it is, my ticket was waitlisted at No. 9 on AC-1, and I knew it stood little chance of confirmation.

With great trepidation, I wrote out the application, and as luck would have it, I reached late that day. The box had already been taken out. My train was the day after. The next day, like a drowning man would clutch at a straw, I went and dropped it first thing in the morning.

Thereafter, on the hour, every hour, I kept checking the Internet. The ticket gradually came down from nine to four, to finally steady at two. When I had given up all hope, just before the chart was to be prepared, imagine my joy when I saw “HO, CNF” against my PNR status.

I was beyond myself with glee and would recommend the little “box” to anyone in Delhi who feels that his ticket needs to be confirmed. No talking, no pleading…just a simple application with a xerox of the ticket into the little box should take care of it. Thank you, Indian Railways! You are great.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Rail safety system averts Churchgate repeat at CST

A local train exceeding speed limit was stopped by the automatic application of emergency brakes at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Wednesday. An Auxiliary Warning System (AWS) installed at the station triggered the emergency brakes on the Kasara-CST fast local, averting an incident similar to that in June when a local train crashed into the buffers at the Churchgate station.

The train stopped at the middle of the platform and the passengers and motorman Babu Nanu were safe. “The permissible speed at CST is 10 kmph. Motormen cannot exceed this speed at the station. However, motorman Nanu drove the 10.35 Kasara fast local, which was late by 5 minutes, probably at 15kmph at CST,” said a Central Railway official.

“We installed the AWS after a local train overshot at the Churchgate station. If the speed is more than 10 kmph, AWS gets activated automatically and emergency brakes are applied. Before the AWS activates the brakes, it alerts the driver through a sound. In this situation, the driver probably could not understand the sound and emergency brakes were automatically applied,” said the official.

“I was in the train immediately after the motorman’s coach. I could not understand what went wrong. Suddenly, the train halted in the middle of CST and I alighted. The driver mentioned that nothing was serious,” said a commuter Bharati Dubey. Confirming the incident, Public Relations Officer, CR, AK Singh said, “Our AWS was working.”

Source Link: https://in.news.yahoo.com

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Railways offer confirmed seats on alternate trains

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) The Indian Railways on Thursday announced the launch of a scheme on pilot basis from November 1 to provide confirmed seats to wait-listed passengers on alternate trains.

The pilot project scheme ‘Vikalpa‘ would be implemented for six months on the Delhi-Lucknow and the Delhi-Jammu routes. It will initially be available for tickets booked online.

Under the scheme, wait-listed passengers of a train can opt for confirmed seats on alternate trains.

“Neither extra money will be charged nor refund provided for difference in fares,” the ministry of railways said in a statement, adding that a passenger allotted alternate seat could travel in the alternate train on authority of the original ticket.

Wait-listed passengers of a train will not be allowed to board it if allotted seat on alternate train, the statement said.

“If found travelling, they will be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly,” the railways said.

Noting that opting for the scheme did not mean a confirmed berth will be provided to a passenger in alternate train, the ministry clarified it was subject to availability of trains and berths.
Once confirmed in alternate train, the ticket cancellation charges will be as per the berth or train status in the alternate train, according to the statement.

Source Link: https://in.news.yahoo.com

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Indian Railways Develops Hybrid Vacuum Toilets

One Prototype is Fitted in a Coach of Dibrugarh Rajdhani for Trail

Minister of Railways has made a statement in the Budget Speech 2015 that Indian Railways shall fit Vacuum toilets on trains. Development Cell of the Railway Board has come up with a design that combines the advantages of Vacuum toilets and those of Biotoilets to create a new design of “Hybrid Vacuum Toilet”. A prototype has been made by modifying the standard flushing protocol of a vacuum toilet so as to create water seal and additional post flush cycles and this concept has been converted into a working prototype by Indian Railways as a first ever system of its kind to have been developed and built by any railway system in the world. This newly developed toilet has been fitted in one coach No. 153002/C FAC that is running in Dibrugarh Rajdhani for trail.

The prototype consists of a custom designed Vacuum toilet adapted from a commercially available vacuum toilet that is used in aircrafts which evacuates its discharge into a biodigester tank which is now successfully proven in the biotoilets of Indian Railways. The biodigester tank is fitted underneath the coach and contains anaerobic bacteria that converts human fecal matter into water and small amount of gases before discharging the same on the ground/track.

Typically, a conventional toilet or Biotoilet uses 10 – 15 liters of water per flush whereas the vacuum toilet consumes only appx. 500 ml of water for flushing. Water is a very precious natural resource therefore this innovation shall save water to the tune of at least 1/20th of the quantity that is used in the current design of biotoilets/conventional toilets. Further, in foreign countries where the train coaches that are fitted with Vacuum toilets, there is a “retention tank” underneath the coach that holds all the human waste that is flushed out by the toilet. These are very large tanks that need to be evacuated at the terminals stations. Since Indian Railways trains traverse the length and breadth of the country with journey times as long as 72 hours and generally over 50 passengers per coach, it is nearly impossible to hold the human waste in retention tanks on trains that travel such long distances. Also, the stationary facilities for evacuation of these holding tanks need to be maintained very carefully and meticulously or else their malfunction will render the entire train’s toilets unusable. The Municipal Corporations at cities where these ground-handling facilities are to be created have to be taken into confidence to allow one-shot rapid discharge of human waste of an entire train into their sewer systems, which may not be possible at all stations due to constraints in existing sewer system that are already in place.

By transferring the discharge of the vacuum toilets into biodigester, the need to create separate ground handling installation and creating additional sewer load on the Municipal Corporation will be done away with.

Source Link: Press Information Bureau

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Govt eyes railway facilities to conduct skill development programmes

The government is in the process of selecting certain railway stations to conduct skill development programmes at their facilities. Minister of State for Skill Development (Independent charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Railways has great potential to partner and incentivise skill development. “So, we have had a major partnership with Railways. We are going to select a few stations. The process is on and skill development is going to start. We have started rolling it out. In a couple of months, we will find some stations functioning like that”, Rudy told PTI in Hyderabad.

The Indian Railways and the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry have signed an MoU for the former to provide space and manpower to carry out skill development programmes across the country. The idea is to use the capacity of these railway stations by using the spare space available there for virtual training like classrooms, for soft skills to connect them to the world; or use the infrastructure. “Railways has the largest construction capacity, so through IRCON, to train their workers, to do recognition of prior learning for these skilled manpower”, Rudy said.

On the partnership with Indian Railways, he noted that it has the largest infrastructure in the country including about 6,0000 railway stations across the country and a 43,000 km optical fibre network. There are about 6,000 railway stations out of which 5,000 railway stations are those in which one or less trains stop. So, these three things are there with each and every railway station in this country. “One, they have an infrastructure which means a shed or a building with water and sanitation facility. Two, they have dedicated electricity network; and thirdly which is not there in any other location, is the optical fibre network which is 43,000 km”, he said. The railway infrastructure is also located in inaccessible hinterland where substantial population of the country lives, he said.

“And they pass through locations which are generally very inaccessible. They pass through villages, mountains, forests and they access the hinterland. Large parts of India live in hinterlands which is not accessible by roads”, the minister said. With the signing of the MoU, National Skill Development Corporation will be able to provide the right platform to a large number of the rural unemployed youth to learn skills that will help them become economically self-reliant and productive.

The Skill Development Ministry is trying to raise resources through multiple sources to raise funds for the ambitious target of training about 50 crore people, Rudy said. We are trying to look for multi-lateral funding because large resources are required. So, for training 50 crore people plus another 10 crore people who are joining the work force, large resources are required. “We are tapping all sorts of sources, whether it is defence offset, whether we are talking CSR, government funding, non-governmental funding and private partnership, state support through a combination of things we are trying to raise resources”, he said. The government has set a target of skilling 40.2 crore people by 2022 under the new National Policy for Skill Development.

Source:Press Trust of India, August 16, 2015 at 6:19 pm

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India should go for high-speed trains for faster growth: China

BEIJING: India should opt for bullet trains together with raising speed of trains on existing tracks to boost economic growth by improving connectivity, a combination that worked for China as well, a top railway official said here today.

With over a billion population and a large territorial area, India and China share the same conditions and up- gradation of railway infrastructure will result in faster economic development, Zhao Guotang, Deputy Chief Engineer of the China Railway said.

As China went through massive development phase in the last decades becoming the second largest economy, China faced the same dilemma as India whether to increase the speed of its tracks or go for the construction of bullet trains, he told an Indian media and think tank delegation at a briefing.

Asked what would be his recommendation for India, he said a combination of both may be good but bullet trains could enable people to travel faster which in turn will have huge impact on economy, he said.

India has stepped up cooperation with China to modernize its railways with agreements in a number of area including speed raising of the tracks, (Chennai-Mysore sector via Bangalore), training of 100 railway personnel in heavy haulage, setting up of railway university and modernizing railway stations.

Besides this, China is currently conducting feasibility study for a high speed railway in the over 2000 km long New Delhi-Chennai corridor, while Japan is doing the same for Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.

Zhao said China currently operates hundreds of bullet trains in 40 high speed lines spanning 16,000 kms.

On the 1,300 km long Beijing-Shanghai line alone, China railway operates 180 bullet trains on normal days and 240 on Sundays, which means a train every five minutes or so.

As China pitches for exporting its high speed technology abroad, Zhao made a strong case for India to opt for Chinese technology claiming that it was far advanced than that of Japanese because China entered the filed far latter and its technology is more contemporary.

China also has highly trained frontline staff who could deliver the projects with wider savings of time and resources.

“It is true in the beginning of our High Speed Rail (HSR) development, we had lot of cooperation with Japan and we learned something from them. We have late starter advantage. It is a big step compared with the Japanese technology,” he said.

“In one word the front tier of China’s HSR have a rich management experience and they will surely play a decisive role in the construction in India’s HSR,” he said.

Source Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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Delhi University Students Harness Wind Energy Produced by Metro Trains

NEW DELHI: A group of Delhi University students has discovered an innovative way of harnessing wind energy churned out by Metro trains to generate electricity.

The project, undertaken by Kalindi College, has also got the backing of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which allowed the students to install a turbine on trial basis at one of the underground metro stations.

“While standing at a metro station one day, the students realised that the wind energy produced in the tunnel by these fast moving trains gets wasted, and they decided to find out how it can be harnessed,” said Dr Punita Verma, Principal Investigator of the project.

The team, involving ten students of Physics and Computer Science departments, proposed setting up a turbine at an underground metro station to check if it can be successful in harnessing the wind.

DMRC officials found the project interesting and gave the nod to install a turbine at Chandni Chowk metro station. “Without obstructing the operation, safety and security of Metro services, it was decided to put up turbine along the underground tracks at the mouth of tunnel where the maximum wind velocity available is 6.5 m/s.

“In the first phase, we installed a three-blade turbine and later a five-blade light rotor turbine with a cut-in speed of less than 1.5m/s. We connected it to a battery and measured the power it generates. We also discovered that different stations have different construction and the same turbines cannot be used at all the metro stations,” Ms Verma said.

The project, which has was started by a different group of students in 2013, has received a grant of Rs. 15 lakh from the university.

While the first phase involved the research work, the DMRC engineers were later roped in to test the feasibility, who have asked the team to develop the concept further.

“We are now working on different designs of the turbines whose size, shape and orientation will be customised according to the wind velocity and frequency of trains at different stations. Once the design is approved by DMRC, turbine firms will be approached to make these turbines,” Ms Verma said.

Source – NDTV

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Railway to setup Medical Colleges for the wards of Railway Employees

LOKSABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1321

ANSWERED ON 01.12.2014

SETTING UP OF MEDICAL COLLEGES BY RAILWAYS

1321 . Ering Shri Ninong

Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to state:-

(a) the details of medical colleges proposed to be set up by the Railways in the country including North-East, and the present status of each of these projects, location-wise;

(b) whether the Railways have allotted the requisite land for setting up of these medical colleges;

(c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;

(d) the details of funds allocated/released/utilized for the purpose so far, project-wise; and

(e) the steps taken/being taken by the Railways to set up these medical colleges in a time bound manner?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (SHRI MANOJ SINHA)

(a) to (e): A statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) To (e) OF UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1321 BY SHRI NINONG ERING TO BE ANSWERED IN LOK SABHA ON 01.12.2014 REGARDING SETTING UP OF MEDICAL COLLEGES BY RAILWAYS.

(a)& (e) The then Hon’ble MR in the budget 2009-10 had announced that Medical Colleges were planned to be established attached to existing railway hospitals through Public Private Partnership (PPP), to give higher education facilities to new generation of railway children at 18 locations i.e. at Chennai, Hyderabad, Bilaspur, Lucknow, Barasat, Bhubaneswar, Mysore, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jodhpur, Garden-Reach, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, B.R. Singh Hospital (Kolkata), Bhopal, Jammu and Trivandrum.

To implement the pronouncement, 05 locations viz., Chennai, Guwahati, Kharagpur, Lucknow and Hyderabad were identified for Phase-I.

As per Medical Council of India (MCI) Rules, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Medical College with Government (Railway) Hospital is not permitted. This Ministry have, therefore, dropped the proposal of setting up of Medical Colleges.

(b) & (c) Do not arise.

(d) M/s Rail India Technical & Economic Services(RITES) was appointed and was awarded the work (worth Rs. 187 lakhs + Service tax) of consultancy and preparing bid documents for selection of a private partner for Phase-I. M/s RITES have submitted preliminary reports of feasibility studies of Chennai, Secunderabad and Kharagpur. Till date, Rs. 29.41 lakhs have been paid to M/s RITES.

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