Software to detect suspicious activities

Railways looking at software which can alert control room and also record inaction by staffers

To Overcome the information overload due to the installation of thousands of CCTV cameras, the Railways has decided to use a software that will flag off any suspect and unusual behaviour on the screen and set off an alarm. Moreover, the software will also record the action taken, if any, by the security personnel thereby making the system more accountable.

Recently, Central Railway (CR) opened the tender for the Rs 27-crore Integrated Security Scheme, while pre-bid preparations are in process for the Rs 18-crore Western Railway (WR) tender.

Chief security commissioner of Railway Protection Force (RPF), CR, Anil Sharma said, “In around four months, the tender will be awarded. We are analysing how successful will the new software be in our security system. Apart from this, CR will train the staff in the science of behaviour so they can identify suspicious activities easily.”

Soon, Railways to provide airplane like on-board infotainment services

In order to provide its passengers a world class service, the Indian Railways will soon be introducing hi-tech information and entertainment facilities in sleeper coaches. This is for the first time that the Railways will provide such services to passengers travelling by the sleeper class.

The Indian Railways has invited proposals from private companies for the On-Board Train Information Display and Entertainment System for putting up electronic display and sound systems inside the sleeper coaches of trains originating from Bhopal.

While the display system will provide information about the train’s speed, next station and famous tourist spots on the route, the sound system will be used to play music.

Railway officials said that the West-Central Railway and Bhopal division is the first zone and division of the Indian Rail to provide such passenger friendly services in sleeper coaches.

“The Indian Railways has been consistently working to provide better services to the passengers. The facility will be managed by the commercial department of the railways,” KK Dubey, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Bhopal Rail Division, said.

Railway officials said that the cost of the service will be covered through advertisements.

The first-of-its-kind service will be provided in these three trains:

-Habibganj-Jabalpur Janshatabdi Express
-Habibganj-Jabalpur Intercity Express
-Habibganj-Hazrat Nizamuddin Shan-e-Bhopal Express

Lost baggage on train? Log on to reclaim it

Soon, it will be just a few clicks to trace your luggage lost in trains, thanks to a novel initiative of the Chennai division of the Railway Protection Force.

The RPF has introduced a system listing the details about the missing articles on the official website The service, under trial at present, would be launched by the Divisional Railway Manager-Chennai, in a few days.

Southern Railway RPF chief security commissioner V K Dhaka told Express,� “Perhaps, this facility is the first of its kind in India. It will largely help the suburban commuters as the probability of such passengers missing their valuables is high when compared to those travelling by long distance trains.”

Articles and valuables recovered by the RPF during its routine security checks at Chennai Central and Egmore stations are handed over to the Platform Inspectors of the respective stations. The articles recovered from other stations are handed over to the station manager of the respective stations. If there are no claimants even after a week, they are sent to the Chief Goods Supervisor at the Lost Property Office in Salt Cotaurs. According to S R Gandhi, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Chennai Division, most of the articles in the Lost Property Office have still not been claimed. “Passengers are not even aware about the functioning of such an office. Over the last two months, the RPF recovered 61 articles, but there are no claims,” he said, adding that handbags and laptops top the list of recovered articles. In an attempt to ensure that the facility is not being misused by strangers, limited information such as date, place of recovery and recovered articles, are listed on the url new2.jsp?lang=0&id= 0,1,304,382,523 “Only genuine owners can claim their goods by providing appropriate documents,” said an official.

Rlys to keep tab on food quality, price

The railways has chalked out a comprehensive plan to keep a tab on quality of food being served to passengers on running trains. Since the railways has taken over charge of catering from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), efforts are on to maintain standard quality of meals and breakfast being served to the passengers on running trains.

According to a Railway Board official, the railways has directed each zone of the railways to set up a cell at its headquarters keeping a strict monitoring on supply of quality of meals and other items being served to passengers aboard trains or on railway platforms. Besides, the railways is determined to stick to exact price as listed on the price list, he said.

To maintain transparency, the railways has asked railway officials concerned to print price of each item on the meal packets so that passengers do not face any hassles while paying for food item served to them on running trains or railway platforms. That apart, the railways has strictly warned pantry cars not to charge extra money from passengers, a Board official said, adding issuance of bill to a passenger is a must.

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Central Rly to send 1 Cr SMS with catering tariff to passengers.

The Central Railway (CR) will make use of cellphones to alert commuters on rates of food items served on long-distance trains after many passengers claimed they had been short-changed by pantry car operators.

“We will send text messages to one crore cellphone subscribers informing them about the menu and the rates. We will print the menu on handbills, which will be distributed to commuters at important junctions like CST, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Kalyan,” V A Malegaonkar, CR’s chief public relations officer said.

He added, “The text messages will contain telephone numbers on which commuters can lodge their cateringrelated complaints. Commuters must insist on getting a receipt of food articles bought in from the pantry car. This will deter pantry car operators from overcharging commuters. Moreover, it can also be crucial piece of evidence while lodging a complaint.”

Subash Gupta, a member of the national rail users consultative committee (NRUCC), said, “The railways should make it mandatory for the pantry car contractor to display the rate chart in each compartment. Any contractor found violating this directive should be blacklisted.

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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States first luxury train to attract golfers

In its efforts to increase the occupancy levels in the state’s first luxury train, Golden Chariot, Karnataka State Tourism Department is planning to provide an opportunity for tourists to play golf in golf courses across the state during their journey.Department of Tourism Director K Viswanath Reddy said, “We have a set target to achieve, 55 per cent occupancy rates in the Golden Chariot this year and we are making plans to give an option of playing golf during the course of their trip. We have wonderful golf courses in the state and they are very affordable. Therefore, we are planning to include a visit to golf courses. Those interested in playing golf can visit the major tourist places and spend nearly three days playing golf in different courses across the state.”There are three golf courses in Bangalore Karnataka Golfers Association golf course near Old Airport Road, Eagleton Golf Course and Brigade Group’s golf course, each in Mysore, Hassan, Kodugu and Chikballapur.

Besides offering an option of playing golf the department is also planning to participate in the international trade fares to attract tourists to the state and to travel in the Golden Chariot. “We are expecting the bookings to pick up before the season starts,” Reddy added. The Golden Chariot recorded on 20 per cent occupancy in 2008, when it was newly introduced, 25 per cent in 2009 and 39 per cent in 2011. In its efforts to increase the occupancy levels and to provide different options to the tourists, the tourism department had recently extended the golden chariot to whole of South India with a rechristened package called southern splendour.

IRCTC to set up anti-fraud squad at the internet ticketing centre

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has cracked whip on ticket agents, who charge up to five times more than the original e-ticket fee.They also hack into the website of the IRCTC to corner bulk of Tatkal tickets. Passengers being charged Rs. 100 for a confirmed train ticket by travel agents are actually being duped because the actual fee is just Rs 20.

The IRCTC has stumbled this scam recently. A software package has been developed by sub-agents via which they hack the IRCTC website and book Tatkal tickets at the opening hours of 8 to 9am.

This has led the IRCTC to fix an anti-fraud squad in the internet ticketing centre. Vigilance department has introduced new rules for booking e-tickets.

Henceforth, only one user can register on a single email ID for booking tickets. Agents have been barred to book normal as well as Tatkal tickets during the opening hours of the IRCTC website between 8 to 9am.

Also registration of sub-agents and all new principal has been stopped.

IRCTC tour package to historical cities from July 30

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch a four-day tour package for historical cities of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajmer and Pushkar in July.

The IRCTC will be charging Rs 2,052 per head. The charges include travel fare, catering and local sightseeing. Also, the cost of catering at the tourist places mentioned in the tour package will also be borne by the IRCTC. A passenger can book the seats.

The IRCTC will be charging Rs 2,052 per head. The charges include travel fare, catering and local sightseeing. Also, the cost of catering at the tourist places mentioned in the tour package will also be borne by the IRCTC. A passenger can book the seats.

Mott MacDonald appointed consultant on high speed rail corridors

Bengaluru, Karnataka, July 19, 2011 /India PRwire/ — Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Indian Railways Construction Company (IRCON) International Limited, on behalf of India’s Ministry of Railways, to conduct pre-feasibility studies for a proposed high speed rail service between Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna.

India’s demand for public transport has been growing at around 10% a year over the last decade but the development of the country’s public transport infrastructure has lagged behind in comparison. The Government’s Vision 2020, India’s long term national development plan, is being introduced to rectify this imbalance and it envisages the implementation of four high speed rail projects, one in each region of the country. There are also plans for a further eight high speed corridors to connect commercial, tourist and pilgrimage hubs in India. Also supporting the development of high speed rail corridors is both the desire for more environmentally friendly public transport services to relieve traffic congestion and pollution on roads, as well as faster more time-efficient journeys which can be provided by the new high speed rail systems using bullet trains capable of travelling up to 300 kilometres per hour.

Mott MacDonald will help to identify key issues for development of the project on a public-private partnership basis. This will include reviewing all technical aspects of the property and the corridor infrastructure development in relation to alignment with existing facilities as well as any environmental impacts and assessment of high speed rail technology. It will also involve analysis of operational and business requirements, ranging from forecasting preliminary service ridership figures, estimating capital required, costs and benefits analysis and development of a planning and implementation schedule as well as an organisational structure for taking the project forward.

Gaurav Srivastava, Mott MacDonald’s project director commented, “With over 100 years’ experience in developing rail systems, Mott MacDonald is one of the world’s leading transport consultancies and provides clients with a one-stop railway capability and consultancy service, paying attention to safety and sustainability. We are delighted that our rail specialists, Michael de Voil and Jean-Pierre Quinaut, are involved in the delivery of this important assignment.”

He added, “High speed rail would position India for future growth and economic development and spur tourism. There is an untapped, potentially huge market in India for premium transport services, which combine speed, safety and comfort.”

The capital value of the high speed rail corridor is anticipated to be around INR 1100 billion (£15 billion).

Mott MacDonald’s report is due for completion towards the end of 2011.

IRCTC launches scheme for frequent travellers

In order to provide better facilities to regular passengers, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched scheme for frequent travellers which would provide reduction in railway fares. The facility would be available through a special card christened — Shubh Yatra Card.

The scheme is being managed by IRCTC through the website and is valid for all the classes except AC-3 tier. Every passenger desiring to obtain benefit of the scheme will have to become the member by paying registration fee of Rs 500 for one year. A membership card called — Shubh Yatra Card will be issued to each member.

The members will be awarded points in proportion of the fare paid by him. The proportion would be 10% of the total amount paid during January 15 to March 31 and from July 15 to September 15 during off season and 4% of the total amount paid during April 1 to July 14 and from September 16 to January 14 during peak season. Each point will be equivalent to one rupee. The points will be awarded to fully paid cash/credit card tickets.