More passenger amenities at Kolkata
Sh. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways, inaugurated new approach road from Belgachhia Road Overbridge to Kolkata terminal, dedicated the newly constructed foot overbridge at Naihati station to the nation and laid the foundation stone for foot overbridge at Ranaghat station of Eastern Railway (all by remote) on February 21 at a programme held at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport premises, Kolkata. There is huge congestion of passengers at Ranaghat Junction during peak hours. Construction of a new 6-metre wide foot overbridge at Ranaghat at a cost of `1.45 crore will be very beneficial for the rail users at this station. This new over bridge is in addition to the three foot overbridges existing at present.
For the benefit of the passengers, respecting their long standing demand, one new 6m wide foot overbridge has been constructed at Naihati station at a cost of `3.96 crore. This is also in addition to the existing two foot overbridges available at this station.
Keeping in view the demand of the passengers, a new approach road of 10m width with footpaths connecting to Kolkata station has been constructed. The length of the newly built approach road is only 400m, which will help passengers to reach quickly.
Sidhauna Rampur Halt
Minister of State for Railways, Sh. Manoj Sinha, inaugurated Sidhauna Rampur Halt situated between Aunrihar and Rajwari stations of Varanasi division over North Eastern Railway on February 14. Divisional Railway Manager, Varanasi, Sh. S.K.Kashyap, Principal Chief Engineer Sh. O.P. Agrawal, Chief Commercial Manager Sh. A.P. Singh, Chief Engineer/ Construction Sh. H.K.Singh, Chief Passenger Traffic Manager Sh. M.K. Singh, senior Railway officers of headquarters and Varanasi division were also present. Sh. Sinha said, “During gauge conversion of this section, the erstwhile halt was closed. There was a long pending demand of public to open the halt station for their convenience. In order to provide better transport facility to the public of this region Sidhuana Rampur halt has been opened and stoppage of two pairs of DEMU trains would be provided to start with.” Sh. Sinha also inaugurated newly constructed passenger waitinghall at Aunrihar Junction station.
Bar code on unreserved tickets and Auto Hub
In an effort to further improve passenger amenities and to increase revenue, Minister of Railways, Sh. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, in a programme held on March 1 at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi, inaugurated two services through video-conferencing: (1) Bar-coding of Unreserved tickets at nominated counters on New Delhi, Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations over Northern Railway and (2) Inauguration of Rail Auto Hub in Walajabad in Chennai Division Southern Railway. Out of these two services, Bar Coding of Unreserved Tickets was announced by the Minister in his Rail Budget Speech of 2016-17 and has been implemented as an immediate action.
WALAJABAD AUTO HUB ON SOUTHERN RAILWAY
- Being developed as the first common user Auto Hub on Indian Railways
- The station is located near the major Auto units of Oragadam, SriPerambadur and SingaPerumal Kovil areas which are having the manufacturing facilities of M/s Nissan, M/s Hyundai, M/s Ford and M/s Daimler Chrysler
- Spread over 5,000 sq m, this hub will have loading capacity of 300 four wheelers
- This hub would cater to over 1million units of 4-wheelers beingproduced every year in this area
- Would act as an ideal distribution centre for the inward traffic of M/s TATA, M/s Honda, etc. converging for distribution into Tamil Nadu and adjoiningstates, including Pondicherry.
- Presently, 4% of automobile traffic are transported through Indian Railways and approximately `100 crore revenue has been collected during financial year 2015-16 so far through this traffic. Target is to increase the share of Railways to around 20% by 2026.
BAR-CODING OF UNRESERVED TICKET
- The bar code being printed is QR (Quick Response) code by use of a thermal printer. This will save approx. 3 seconds in the printing cycle of unreserved ticket.
- Presently, following information is printed in the form of encrypted QR code:
- UTS Number
- Stock Number
- Ticket Fare
- Source Station
- Destination Station
- Number of Adults
- Number of Children
- Train Type
- Class Code
- Date of Journey
Whenever Ticket Checking Staff (TTEs/TCs) checks ticket, he can scan encrypted QR code and after decryption of data, he can validate the information printed on the ticket.
Harnessing solar energy
Indian Railways has been taking measures in harnessing the abundantly available solar energy for its electrical needs, thereby assisting in conserving the valuable conventional fuels and also reducing carbon emission to environment. It is also encouraging use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Funds for improving passenger amenities so as to reduce pressure on scarce funds in Railways. Several Railway Zones and Railway Divisions spread across the country have been in their own right taking measures in this direction. Ajmer Railway Division of North-Western Railway Zone took one more step on March 8, wherein it not only installed solar plants at four new stations of Ajmer Division but also used CSR funds for this purpose. With this, a total of eight railway stations in Ajmer Division will be covered with solar plants using CSR funds.
A bipartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Railway PSU Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd (IRFC) and Ajmer Division of North Western Railway at New Delhi for installation of solar power plant of total capacity of 280 KWP at four major stations viz Marwar Junction, Rani, Falna and Ranapratap Nagar (Udaipur) of Ajmer Division. The MoU was signed in the presence of Sh. Rajiv Datt, CMD, IRFC and Sh. Naresh Salecha, Divisional Railway Manager, Ajmer.
The cost of this project is `3.29 crore which will be borne by IRFC Ltd through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Funds. The life expectancy of these solar panels is 25 years. These solar plants will generate approximately 5 lakh units per year and thus there will be a huge saving of `32.50 lakh per year by bringing down the divisional electricity bill. Thus, there will be a total saving of `812 lakh during its life cycle. It will also help in reducing the carbon footprint of Ajmer division by 456 tonne per annum (approx) thus total reduction of carbon emission will be 11,400 ton during its complete life cycle thus helping environment.
In addition to these, Ajmer Division has already executed MoU worth `55 lakh with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam for installing Industrial RO Plants at three major stations viz. Ajmer, Bhilwara and Abu Road.
Silchar-Delhi Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express flagged off
In a historic development concerning rail connectivity of the Northeast, Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Sh. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, flagged off the much awaited Silchar-New Delhi Poorvottar Sampark Kranti (05601/05602) weekly special connecting from the Silchar in Barak valley of Assam with New Delhi on February 20. He said that all the State capitals of the Northeast will be connected by the Railways within 2020.
He also flagged off two BG freight trains, Badarpur — Jirania (Agartala) and Badarpur Jiribam of Manipur, via remote control from the Silchar railway station in the presence of Kumari Susmita Deb, MP, Lok Sabha, Silchar, Smt. Bijoya Chakrabarty, MP, Lok Sabha, Guwahati, Sh. Ramen Deka, MP, Lok Sabha, Mangaldai, Sh. H K Jaggi, General Manager of N F Railway, Sh. Ajit Pandit, Chief Administrative Officer, Sh. Rabindra Ram , Chief Engineer and several other NFR officials.
Sankrail-Santragachi broad gauge link line
Sh. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Railways, inaugurated the commencement of work for 14.5 km Sankrail-Santragachi Broad Gauge Link Line via fly-over of South Eastern Railway along with some railway projects of Eastern Railway and Metro Railway in a function held at the premises of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, on February 21, in august presence of Sh. Sougata Roy and Dr. Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Hon’ble Members of Parliament. Sh. A. K. Goel, General Manager, South Eastern and Eastern Railway and Sh. A. K. Kapoor, General Manager, Metro Railway and other distinguished guests.
One of the busiest sections of SER is Howrah- Kharagpur suburban section where utilisation of line capacity is more than 130%. For faster train movement, a new broad gauge link line between Sankrail and Santragachi via flyover from down side to up side was felt for future traffic expansion plan. Proposed flyover of 14.5 km was sanctioned in 2011-12 and the estimated cost is around `224.12 crore.
Restructuring of RPF and policing
Policing on Railways is a State subject and prevention of crime, registration of cases and their investigation in Railway premises as well as on running trains is, therefore, the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP). Therefore, the responsibility of detection and disposal of bomb, IEDs etc. lies with the State Government. However, some bomb detection equipment like Explosive Vapour Detector, Deep Search Metal Detectors and bomb disposal equipment like bomb suppression blanket and bomb basket etc., have been acquired by Railway Protection Force (RPF) at few of the Zonal Railways, which may be used in case of any exigency, by trained RPF personnel. This is in addition to dog squads of RPF, which are functioning over different Zonal Railways as part of bomb detection squads. The following steps are being taken by the Railways to provide maximum security to passengers:
- An Integrated Security System consisting of surveillance of vulnerable stations through CCTV Camera Network, Access Control etc. have been sanctioned to improve surveillance mechanism over 202 sensitive stations
- On vulnerable and identified routes/ sections, 2,300 trains (on an average) are escorted by RPF daily, in addition to 2,200 trains escorted by GRP.
- All the ladies special trains running in Metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF constables.
- The ladies compartments in suburban trains are being escorted by RPF and GRP during peak/non peak hours. Staff deployment is made during late night and early morning in suburban trains to ensure better security.
- Joint drives by RPF/GRP and Commercial Department are conducted from time to time against the unauthorised entry of passengers
- RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police and GRP besides sharing of intelligent inputs with Intelligence Bureau and other intelligence agencies of State
- Security Helpline No. 182 is operational for the security related assistance
Two new trains launched
The Indian Railways has been working effortlessly to connect every part of the country with rail network. In this direction, the Minister of Railways, Sh. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, on March 4, flagged off two new trains through video-conferencing. The first one is a new Express train viz. 15623/15624 Kamakhya- Bhagat Ki Kothi (Jodhpur) Express(Weekly) and the second one is a new Passenger service viz. 75713/75714 Siliguri-New Coochbehar DEMU (6 days a week) on the newly constructed New Coochbehar-Changrabandha section
Speaking on the occasion, Sh. Prabhu said that this was a long-standing demand of the people of Northeastern region to provide train services in these areas. He said that the connectivity through DEMU train between New Coochbehar and Changrabandha in West Bengal will benefit all sections of the society including daily-passengers and businessmen. He said that the other train service i.e. the Kamakhya-Bhagat Ki Kothi Express will not only connect North India to Northeast India but will also help lakhs and lakhs of pilgrims who come to visit Maa Kamakhya Temple to pay their tribute. He said that this train will reach Bhagat Ki Kothi Station by passing seven States of India. He said that this was a historic day and Indian Railways will work to the maximum extent possible to provide better rail transport to the people of India.
15623/15624 Kamakhya-Bhagat Ki Kothi Express (Weekly)
Days of run: BGKT — Tuesday, KYQ — Friday
Stoppages: Merta Road jn., Degana, Khatu, Chhoti Khatu, Didwana, Ladnun, Sujangarh, Churu, Sadulpur, Luharu, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Gurgaon, Delhi Cantt, Delhi Jn., Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow, Ayodhaya, Shahganj, Faizabad, Varanasi, Mughalsarai, Buxar, Ara, Patna, Barauni, Khagaria, Naugachia, Katihar, Sonaili, Kishanganj, New Jalpaiguri, New Coochbehar, New Alipurduar, Kokrajhar, New Bongaigaon Jn., Barpeta Road, Rangiya
75713/75714 Siliguri-New Coochbehar DEMU (6 days a week)
Days of run: SGUJ — 6 days a week, NCB — 6 days a week (except Sunday)
Stoppages: New Mal Jn., at all stations/halts in between New Mal Jn. and New Coochbehar
Electrification of Ghaziabad-Meerut City-Saharanpur section
Meerut City-Saharanpur section (113 route km) of Northern Railway has been commissioned on electric traction on March 12, after inspection and authorisation of Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northern Circle. Earlier Ghaziabad-Meerut City section was commissioned on electric traction on December 3, 2015. In this way, now electrification of entire Ghaziabad- Meerut-Saharanpur section of 161 route km has been completed. This entire project at an estimated cost of `275 crore has been executed by Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE). Electric trains now can run seamlessly from Delhi/Ghaziabad/Khurja towards Haridwar, Ambala, Jammu, Amritsar etc. with reduction in journey time by 30 to 60 minutes. Sectional traffic throughout will also increase with electrification leading to higher capacity.