Western Railway introduces hand held explosive detectors

In view of vulnerability of trains and railway stations to terrorist threats, Western Railway has introduced a new state-of-the-art, quick, reliable and portable device known as Hand Held Explosives and Narcotics Detector for detecting explosives and Narcotics in its premises and trains. Western Railway said here today that at present, it has procured five such detectors at an estimated cost of Rs 75 lakh.

This device detects and identifies microscopic traces of both explosives and narcotics in seconds, analyses the particles quickly and can give results in as little as eight seconds.

Some of the salient features of this device are that it is light weight, weighing only 3.2 kgs, it automatically saves the test results preventing deletions and its ITMS technology helps increase ion population enabling detection of microscopic traces of explosives and narcotics, the Western Railway said.

The RPF staff has been trained to use this newly introduced hand held explosive and narcotics detector. This device being portable, will be used at different stations and will support the dog squads in ensuring the safety and security of railway premises and trains.

At present, Western Railway has 17 dog squads on its suburban section, it added


Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Indian Railways propose Research & Development Wings in Workshops

Tiruchirapalli: The Minister of State for Railways, E Ahamed, stressed the need for setting up research and development (R & D) wings in railway workshops in the country, with a view to institutionalizing innovative ideas of railway staff, as well as according due recognition to their talents and expertise.

The minister was speaking at a function held at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi, on Saturday, 8th August 2009, where he flagged off the 22nd rake of low bogey container wagons manufactured at the workshop, for the Container Corporation of India Limited.
The Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi is recognized as a nodal agency for various pilot programmes of the railways. With a workforce of approximately 7,000, this prestigious railway institution is involved in a gamut of activities including the manufacture of wagons, maintenance of coaches, and the periodic overhaul of locomotives.

The minister felt that this workshop, and others like this across the country, deserve their own Research and Development wings. He stated that the Railway Ministry would consider providing special funds towards this end.

Rupees 90 crore modernization programme

A rupees 90 crore modernization programme is already underway at the Golden Rock workshop. According to sources, funds amounting to nearly Rs. 69 crore would be spent on replacement of old machines and acquiring modern mechanical equipment. Some of the advanced equipment to be procured include Portable plasma profile cutting machine, robotic welding system with automation etc. PAMA – a special purpose multi-station machine for repairs of engine blocks – will be procured at a cost of nearly Rs. 40 crore. Tenders for smaller machines are expected to be floated soon. A modern material-testing laboratory will be set up inside the workshop, at an investment of nearly Rs. 2.5 crore. The workshop’s three traversors are also expected to be replaced. The training center will also be upgraded.

Funds amounting to approximately Rs. 15 crore would be utilised for augmenting infrastructure facilities and structural repair work. The workshop has over 30 shops inside the facility.

With the detailed estimate having been approved, Chief Workshop Manager, J Digi expects the entire modernisation programme to be completed in two years time.

In addition to being profitable in the domestic market, this workshop actively undertakes export orders. It manufactures wagons and exports modified diesel engines. The workshop also carries out periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and coaches.

The Mozambique Railways have ordered two serviceable diesel locomotives. Benin has already purchased three locomotives. Locos manufactured here have also been shipped to Tanzania and Malaysia. Mr. Digi had earlier stated that the workshop earned rupees 29 crores in one year from overhaul of locos belonging to some 20 public sector undertakings.


500 post offices to issue rail tickets soon

KOCHI: Railways will soon enter into a tie-up with the Department of Posts to issue railway tickets, both reservation and current, through 500 post offices in the State, Union Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed has said.

He was addressing the media at the Ernakulam South railway station on Wednesday after inspecting the railway station.

Mr. Ahamed was on a four-day interactive trip, which will end in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. Shortage of ticket counters was one of the main complaints raised with the Minister during the trip.


The Minister said public-private partnership models would be evolved for development of railway stations. Long-term partnership models, preferably for 30 or 35 years, were being considered.

Steps would also be taken to decentralise the power to release funds for development activities of railway stations. The authority to use funds for assignments like sanitation of railway stations would be given to the station managers concerned.


GPS-based passenger information system on all suburban trains

CHENNAI: As part of its modernisation drive, Southern Railway will introduce Global Positioning System-based passenger information system on all suburban trains (electrical multiple units) in Chennai.

According to Additional General Manager (Southern Railway) V. Carmelus, at least 220 trains, including Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) services, will be covered within a year. Announcements on the approaching stations would be made in English and Tamil. Besides announcements on arrival/departure of suburban trains at stations, giant monitors would display the movement of trains in real time in both directions. “The system is fully automatic and there will be no manual interference. The facility also helps senior railway officials to monitor the movement of trains from their chambers. If a train makes an unscheduled stop or if there is any other problem, we can act quickly,” Mr. Carmelus told The Hindu.

Since display screens would be available at all stations, passengers would know the exact location of the approaching trains.

“We will not be incurring any expenditure on this… in fact the scheme will generate revenue for the railways. There will be sponsors and the plasma screens will also be available for advertisements and entertainment.” Mr. Carmelus said another feature of the information system was that passengers could send SMS to a designated number and know the location, speed and expected time of arrival of trains. The live information would also be available on the Internet for public use. “For the first time, Southern Railway will be implementing this scheme. Passengers need not depend on others to know the details of approaching trains. Since the movement of all trains will be closely monitored, the system will serve as an added safety mechanism,” he said.


TCS eyeing Indian Railway’s outsourcing contract

Software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is eyeing a Rs.2,500-crore Indian Railways outsourcing contract, a top company official said here Thursday.

“CMC and we will certainly look at it very seriously, it needs lot of experience. We have done projects for the British and US railways,” TCS chief executive and managing director S. Ramadorai told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by Calcutta Management Association.

CMC is another Tata group software company.

Incidentally, rival outsourcer Wipro is also eyeing the contract.

The railways ministry plans to procure a human resources management system and other modules for integrating and automating its payroll, accounting and pension functions.

Talking about the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector’s performance after the slowdown, he said: “BFSI has stabilized during the last quarter. Signs of bottoming out is visible as some of them have declared handsome results.”

TCS derives 44 percent of its revenues from the BFSI sector, Ramadorai said, adding that other deals in the pipeline were “healthy”.

As for hiring during the ongoing slowdown, he said his company was looking at “a balance” of domestic and international recruitments.

TCS recruited 18,000 professionals last year.

“Last year in India, TCS hired 18,000 professionals and those people will be joining from the third quarter this fiscal,” Ramadorai said.

Asked about fresh acquisition plans, he said organic growth would drive the company’s future strategies. “We make very strategic acquisitions.”

Last year, the company acquired Citigroup Global Services, the India-based business process outsourcing (BPO) division of Citigroup.

Earlier, in his address at the seminar, Ramadorai said TCS would remain focused with its investment and expansion plans in Latin America and Europe as it envisaged “much room to grow” in these markets.


Metro to reduce man/hour losses to 60%

With completion of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) projects by 2010, Delhi and NCR working population is likely to witness a substantial
reduction in its man/hour losses on commuting to the extent of 60%, according to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

The chamber findings also reveal that despite recent casualties and obstructions in ongoing Delhi Metro projects, a majority of the Delhi/NCR working population will still prefer Metro to other modes of public transportation for their daily commuting as credibility and popularity of DMRC projects is unlikely to be adversely affected by them.

Releasing their findings on ‘Metro Projects’, Assocham secretary general D S Rawat said that it is estimated that over 70 lakh working people waste 5 hours daily for commuting due to the current heavy congestion on roads, lanes and by-lanes of Delhi and NCR.

According to estimates, man/hour losses on commuting by wage earners on traveling is expected to go down below two hours after the Metro net is well laid up.

Most of working population, especially from NCR, will shift to Metro transportation and avoid public transport through roads due to extreme congestion, said Rawat, pointing out that the profitability of Delhi Metro can very well be imagined after 2010 onwards.

prernakaul4: That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.


Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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L&T sharpens focus on railway sector

Chennai, Aug. 6 L&T has decided to restructure internally to focus better on the growing opportunities from the railways sector, its President (Operations), Mr J.P. Nayak, told a press conference on Thursday.

L&T is today mainly a contractor for railway jobs such as track laying and electrification. It gets business worth about Rs 3,000 crore from the Railways.

Mr Nayak said there are areas where L&T could partner the Railways, such as in building a plant for them. The company has built a wheel and axle plant for the railways, he said, adding that more opportunities were emerging such as in themanufacture of locomotives or rolling stock.

Mr Nayak, who is chairperson at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Suminfra 2009 infrastructure conference here, said that after several decades the Railways is now open to public-private partnerships.

He told newspersons that L&T would “create a separate entity within the company”, which will be an aggregation of the existing marketing, design and manufacturing arms doing railway work today.

He said work on the Ennore shipyard would proceed on schedule as most of the required land had been acquired. The project has been reconfigured for producing naval ships instead of merchant vessels as originally planned. L&T plans to invest about Rs 1,500 crore in the project, which will be executed by a separate company — a joint venture with the Tamil Nadu Government


Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 6:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Courtesy lessons for railway men

Ranchi, Aug. 4: On your next visit to the railway station, if you come across an affable railway official answering all your queries with a smile, don’t be surprised.

The railway officials and employees are being trained to provide passengers “service with a smile” and Ranchi railway division is the first place where such a training was held today.

“The railway board has directed the divisions to impart training on soft skills to officials and employees so that they can provide best ser- vice to the passengers. Rude behaviour of officials and employees with passengers will no longer be entertained,” said V.K. Agarwal, the divisional railway manager of Ranchi.

Under the programme, the frontal staff, who have to deal with the passengers, will be trained first followed by other employees.

Agarwal said the railways had received complaints from passengers that the officials behave with them rudely or are not ready to help. “The railways want to change this image and on the direction of the railway board we have started the image makeover programme,” he added.

Ambarish Kant, the deputy director of state department for personnel and administrative reforms, said the officials and employees were told to dress up well, maintain cleanliness of surroundings — especially platforms and trains as well as ensure clean linens, toilets, trains and drinking water.

“The officials and employees will have to create an atmosphere where passengers will feel free to ask them that they want. We also want to maintain cleanliness in the platform and officials will have to look into it,” said M.K. Yadav, the additional divisional railway manager.

Yadav said the officials were being taught to change their attitude towards passengers.

“Most of the time, the passengers are scoffed at but the officials should understand that they exist because of the commuters,” he said.


West Bengal to develop small industries on railway land

KOLKATA – The West Bengal government Wednesday requested Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee to hand over the excess railway land to the state government for developing small and medium-scale industries.

“We, on behalf of the department for state cottage and small-scale industries, sent a letter to Mamata Banerjee, requesting her to hand over the excess land of the railways to the state government. We are interested to set up small and medium-scale industries there,” state Cottage and Small-scale Industry Minister Manab Mukherjee told IANS.

“We can set up these projects on our own or we can also go for joint ventures with the railways if the union minister wants,” he said.

“We came to know from the newspapers that the railways minister is interested to use railway land for industrial purpose. So we wrote this letter asking her for the land,” Mukherjee added.

The minister said if the railways handed over the land to the Cottage and Small-scale Industry Department, it would help to create huge employment in the state.

Earlier this week, Banerjee had said at an event in Singur in Hooghly district that the railways had already identified 113,000 acres across the nation that can be used for developing industrial infrastructure.

She said six bighas of railway land in Singur would be used for setting up an industrial cluster under the Kisan Vision project, which will help local farmers sell their products from outlets on this land.

She said that the initiative would also create employment in Singur


Anti-spitting drive at rly stations in WR

The Western Railway (WR) carried out an anti-spitting drive at the Dadar station on Tuesday. Rs 1,275 was collected as fines from 51 people who were then counselled by Railway Protection Force (RPF).

According to the Railway Act, anyone who spits on railway premises is liable to pay a fine of Rs 25, failing which he can be jailed for three days. “For the last 15 days we were counselling the offenders after which we decided to fine them,” said Pankaj Halgekar, senior inspector Railway Protection Force (RPF), Dadar. “In the last two days we have fined some 152 people for spitting on the road.”

The Central Railway (CR) has been carrying out similar drives. 323 people have been booked for spitting on stations premises.

WR had started mechanised cleaning of tracks at Mumbai Central and Churchgate stations- two of the busiest stations on WR. R N Verma, WR general manager, inspected Mumbai Central, Churchgate, Dadar and Andheri railway stations for cleanliness. “The station master has been instructed to maintain cleanliness. He would be made accountable if a station is found unclean,” said SS Gupta, chief spokesperson, WR.

“Cleaning the mess created by spitting is a costly and tedious job for the railways. It can also spread disease like TB,” said Gupta