Now, train journey set to become sweeter for diabetic patients

Train journeys have just become sweeter for diabetics.

The initiative of the Indian Railways to serve diabetic meals on board has become popular across the country prompting most diabetics not to carry their own food.

“We are accepting a huge number of orders from diabetics across all trains that have pantry cars. Response in indeed pretty good on Rajdhanis, Satabdis and Durontos where meal service on board is mandatory,” said an Eastern Railway spokesperson.

The railway authorities planned to introduce special diet for diabetic passengers on recommendation of the Passenger Services Committee (PSC), headed by Derek O’ Brian, which was formed when Mamata Banerjee was railway minister.

“Apart from normal meals, diabetics also get the option of choosing tailor-made snacks. In fact, they get a spread of diabetic continental dishes on board Rajdhani, Satabdi and Duronto.

Passengers only need to inform what they want to have when the pantry superintendent comes to take the order,” the spokesperson added.

India is reckoned to be the diabetes capital of the world with an estimated 50.8 million diabetics, more than the entire population of Spain.

“We are very careful about diabetic food and are carrying raw vegetables and ingredients ideal for diabetic patients on every pantry car. In fact, quantity of food consumed is very important for a diabetic patient and we give special attention on serving the exact quantity. Such services are also popular in South-bound trains of South Eastern railways that carry a huge number of patients,” said a senior IRCTC official.

There is huge variety of sugar-free food available on board.

At present, the railway officials are providing passengers with sugar-free juice, tea, coffee and boiled vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.

Besides, they are serving cholesterol-free food items for heart patients like fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-spice food prepared with salt and pepper.

For breakfast, they are also providing cholesterol-free butter.

“For years, I had to carry my own meals with me. There were occasions when I found that meals had turned stale by the time I wanted to have them. Now, I can have fresh prepared food on board,” said Sabita Choudhury a diabetic patient.

Published in: on September 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Eastern Railway bags top position in issuing ‘Izzat’ passes

Eastern Railway has topped among 16 Railway Zones in the country in issuing largest number of ‘Izzat’ passes during the last three years, under a scheme allowing a person living below poverty line having an income of less than Rs 1,500 to travel by train up to 100 kms daily at a monthly cost of Rs 25. The Eastern Railway, comprising four divisions of Malda, Howrah, Sealdah and Asansol issued passes to the tune of 58,74,005 after the scheme was announced by then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and was introduced with effect from September 2009. Pursuant to an RTI query by city consumer actist Avinash Prabhune, it was known that the Southern Railway, with its headquarters in Chennai (having Chennai, Madurai, Palakkad, Tiruchirappali, Thiruvananthpuram and Salem divisions) stands second on the list having issued 22,18,282 Izzat monthly season tickets (MST) in three years. The South Eastern Railway was third among the Railway network with 15,43,030 Izzat passes issued during the period. Both the Zonal Railways have their headquarters in Kolkata with Kharagpur, Chakradharpur, Adra and Ranchi divisions. According to Indian Railways the value of concession for the year 2011-12 is approximately Rs 115 crores. The RTI query also revealed that this scheme was not implemented by Zonal Railways expeditiously. Although the Railway Board had issued letters in December 2009 to all Zonal Railways directing to provide data in this regard before 10th of every month, it appears that the Railway Board has not taken corrective action for uniform implementation of Izzat scheme across the India, it said. The Central Railway ranked at number 14 in Izzat passes and has issued only 7,598 passes in 32 months (at an average of 245 passes per month) whereas Eastern Railway topped the list by issuing 58,74,005 passes (at an average of 1,89,484 passes per month). The North Western railway at number 16 issued only 1165 passes (at an average of 38 passes per month). PTI JOE DK

Published in: on September 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

How Arambag link was completed in record time

In ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, Colonel Saito was set an impossible deadline to bridge the river and lay railway tracks to connect Burma. This may have been a work of fiction but something similar occurred in real life recently when Eastern Railway engineers were asked to complete a project four months in advance. It was something of a record that they succeeded to complete a 20 km stretch between Talpur and Arambag in Hooghly in time for its inauguration on Monday.

Work on the project started nearly a year and a half ago and the completion date was set for the Pujas this year. The screws were tightened for the first time in February when ER was told by the Railway Board to bring the deadline forward. After careful scrutiny, it was evaluated that the project could be completed by the end of June but without electrification. This wasn’t acceptable and the project (without electrification) had to be ready by June 4, senior officials insisted.

It was a major challenge, no doubt, but it had to be accomplished. The heat was the biggest hurdle. Labourers weren’t keen to work and many had to leave to tend to their crops. We needed men and material. This we got from other divisions and zones. We went in for day-and-night work. The progress of everyday was charted. Our supervisors didn’t go home for a month. We had ‘saddled’ three sleeper class coaches at Tarakeswar where they spent the nights for nearly a month. It was due to their hard work that the deadline could be met,” said G C Agarwal, general manager, Eastern Railway.

Additional equipment was also brought in. “We had started with a single flash butt welding plant. This plant lifts the ends of the rails, brings them together and welds them. No other material is used and the joints are stronger.

After the deadline was brought forward, we requisitioned two more welding plants to speed up the work. We also brought in two track-tamping machines for setting the ballast on the track bed. The ballast was brought from Pakur and unloaded during the night to save time,” the general manager said.

Published in: on June 10, 2012 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Now, railway TTEs to get palmtops

For cash- strapped government behemoth Indian Railways, this is big news. The ticket-checkers on board all the Rajdhani Express trains would soon be seen carrying hand-held computers, instead of the archaic reservation chart enabling them to allot seats to short distance passengers.

The decision comes after the success of the pilot project by the Delhi divisions in three Shatabdi trains for the past three years.

“We will be allotting palmtops soon. The success of the pilot project on the Ajmer-Delhi, Amritsar-Delhi and Dehradun-Delhi Shatabdis has helped us to take this decision,” said S K Sharma, CPRO, Northern Railway.

The palmtop will replace the long reservation list carried by the Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs). The palmtops, connected to the central server, will enable the TTE to update the status of passengers who turn up for the journey. It would reflect the status of available seats on a train across the railway network, which could be booked by any passenger willing to board it in at the next station. The system developed by Centre for Railway Information System and to work in tandem with SIMRAN (which tracks real time movement of trains), will help railways earn extra revenues, claim officials.

Eastern Railway CPRO Sameer Goswami said, “Till now, we have no circular from the railway board in this matter. We too will introduce palmtops as part of the national scheme once we get the necessary go ahead,.

Sources at Baroda House, the headquarters of Northern Railway, claim the process will stop the TTEs from charging arbitrarily for short distance bookings.

Published in: on April 8, 2012 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,

France’s top railway operator for comparative study

KOLKATA: A team of top officials from Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français (SNCF), France’s top railway operator which also runs the TGV,
are now in the country to undertake a comparative study of engineering and maintenance of rolling stock.

The French delegation will hold meetings with the Railway Board and in various zonal railway headquarters to discuss and exchange notes on maintenance methods and practices in the two countries.

As per of the visit, the SNCF team met officials of the Western Railway in Mumbai on Friday, after meeting the top brass of Eastern Railways in Kolkata on Thursday. The French team is also likely to visit facilities of Indian Railways’ Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow.

On Thursday , the team visited a number of field maintenance shops under Eastern Railway. This included Coaching Maintenance Depot at Tikiapara and Electric Engine Maintenance Unit at Howrah. Officials of Kolkata’s Metro Railway also made a presentation on rake maintenance to SNCF delegation.

In his meeting with the SNCF team, Eastern Railway general manager Deepak Krishnan said Indian Railways gives top most priority in the maintenance of rolling stock in an effort aimed at improving overall service quality. This includes maintenance of passenger coaches, wagons and engines to ensure reliability, safety and availability of rolling stock.

A three-stage maintenance of rolling stock is undertaken at different levels like end-to-end of journey, maintenance at primary base of the rolling stock and periodical overhauling in the workshop. As a result, the Railways has managed to improve on time performance and punctuality and reduce failure of rolling stock. For instance, in running of suburban trains, Eastern Railway presently maintains 98% punctuality.

SNCF delegates touring the country include Serge Cridhig, Kervella Cedric, Arnaud Sohier, Bruno Bouette, Laurence Ezraty-Daziano, Thierry Chantriaux, Kazmierczak Jerome and Michel Testand. From Eastern Railway, all principal head of the departments attended the meeting including Md. Jamsheed, Divisional Railway Manager, Howrah and Satyender Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, Sealdah.

Rail meet to address logistics needs

Railway Board chairman KC Jena held a high level meeting on Saturday here to discuss a detailed plan being prepared by the Indian Railways
to address the fast growing logistics needs- both for passenger and freight services- in the Greater Kolkata metropolitan area.

The plan, which is perhaps the first of its kind being tried out by the Railways’ system to tackle fast growing needs of Kolkata and its suburban area, essentially revolves around an integrated approach by Eastern (ER), South Eastern (SER) and Metro Railway to tackle the demanding transportation needs of the area over the next 15-20 years.

The meeting was attended by Deepak Krishan, General Manager, Eastern Railway, AKJain, General Manager, South Eastern Raiway and VN Tripathi, General Manager, Metro Railway and principal head of departments of all the three Railways based in Kolkata.

“A detailed and holistic plan is being worked out encompassing all the three railways, namely ER, SER and Metro to identify the needs of the greater Kolkata region. We are in the process of shortlisting a consultant who will help us prepare the blueprint for its execution,” a top Railway official told ET.

The Railways’ technical services arm, RITES, is likely to be one of the agencies shortlisted for the consultancy. “A decision on the appointment of the consultant is expected shortly. We will have to decide whether it is through an open tender or through a single tender, he added.

“We have decided on the terms of reference for the job and have completed an internal study to make a detailed assessment of the number of passengers and freight customers as well as the number of freight terminals in and around Kolkata. This will help us understand the need to either relocate or augment these terminals to meet future needs,” the official said.

The plan will be worked out with other key agencies involved in growth and development of the city namely, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Agency (KMDA).

The meeting also reviewed the performance of the three railways and also discussed the launch of Metro Railways’ extended services upto Garia. The service in that stretch is likely to operational by end of March 2009.

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,