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Mumbai to get first AC local only in June next year - Mumbai - DNA

Mumbai to get first AC local only in June next year - Mumbai - DNA

The new deadline for the city’s first air-conditioned local train, to run on the Western Railway (WR), has now been set for June 30, 2014. The train was announced in the railway budget for the current financial year.

According to WR officials, the delay was caused by the time taken to select a new design for the rake and because technical gaps related to the electrical systems that will power the train had to be plugged. The train’s power system will be provided by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s Bhopal plant.

Speaking to dna, Pankaj Kumar, chief mechanical engineer, Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, said, “This train will have a completely new design in the history of Indian Railways. It will be a 12-coach rake, broad gauge, as wide as the locals running in Mumbai and will be completely vestibuled. The furnishings will be state-of-the-art and different from those in the trains running in the city at present.”

Kumar told dna that the design for the new train has almost been finalised and the production of the rake could start in March putting it into service by June 30. The various tenders would be beginning as early as next month, said ICF officials.

In Mumbai, officials said that the fare of the train is still a matter of debate because pricing it too high or too low could be a problem. “The train should not be so crowded that we have trouble closing the doors. That would delay the trains following it,” said a WR official.

A group of officials believe that in the face of the saturation in the suburban system, an air-conditioned train isn’t a solution. “It is best that we run longer, 15-coach regular trains on the suburban system and run air-conditioned ones on the elevated corridors being planned between Churchgate and Virar and CST and Panvel,” said an official.

India's first train trial run turns 161 today

India's first train trial run turns 161 today

Monday, Nov 18, 2013, 7:49 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Pic courtesy: Central Railway archives
Pic courtesy: Central Railway archives

“There was immense excitement and enthusiasm. The train and railway tracks were a new thing to arrive in Bombay in the 1850s, and were a city-wide attraction,” recalls Surendra Sunkersett, the great-great-grandson of Jagannath ‘Nana’ Sunkersett, one of Mumbai’s biggest philanthropists back in the 1850s.
Sunkersett is referring to the day Mumbai — then Bombay — had its first end-to-end train trial run. It had taken place on this day, November 18, exactly 161 years ago.
“The date was November 18, 1852. Nana was one of the Indian directors of the railway company called the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. It was a big day for the railway. Nana had made persistent efforts for the railway system to be started in Mumbai. This was India’s first train trial run,” 80-year-old Sunkersett told dna, adding, “When the engine and the train took a trial run to Thane, my great-great-grandfather was proud to be on it.”
Many people might be able to tell you that India’s first train ran between Bombay and Thane on April 16, 1853. But not many would know that it was in November the previous year that the trial run took place. Railway history books state that the engines were yet to arrive and that the trial run was done with a shunting locomotive.
“Nana was so enthusiastic to start a railway in Bombay that he had offered one of his bungalows in Girgaum as a ticket booking office because the railways did not have any land back then. The gesture went down very well with the new railway company,” he said.
The British thanked Nana by offering him a golden pass, which entitled him to travel anywhere on the train. The family surrendered the pass after his death.
“The VT station building, built in 1888 and designed by FW Stevens, has a bust of Nana on its facade, where we pay homage to him every year on his death anniversary,” Sunkersett said.
Nana played an important role in some of the major reconstruction efforts in the city, beginning 1857, including setting up schools. He was also one of the Indians to be nominated to the Legislative Council of Bombay.
“We want the railways to rename Mumbai Central in Nana’s honour,” Sunkersett added.
Deja vuAs the first stretch of the 11.4km-long Mumbai Metro conducted its first end-to-end trial from Versova-Andheri to Ghatkopar, it gave a sense of déjà vu as it was in November 1852 that the end-to-end trial of the first train of Indian Railways had taken place. The trial run between Bombay and Thane carried prominent people of the day, apart from railway engineers.


Lug typewriter to railway exam centre

Lug typewriter to railway exam centre
    The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) refuses to change with the times and has stuck to the age-old system where a candidate carries his own typewriter to the examination centre. At a time when most of the government as well as the private sector have been conducting their examinations online, the RRB’s move is retrograde and baffles many.
    The tests which commenced on November 6 would go on till November 15 for which more than 10,000 candidates would appear for the existing 800 vacancies in Southern Railways, among which 500 vacancies are for Assistant Station Masters (ASMs) and 300 for the rest.
    The announcement for the examination was published sometime in the middle of 2012. Preliminary examination was conducted on December 2, 2012. Those who cleared it were called for the main examination which was held on August 8, 2013. Those who made the cut have been asked to appear for the final stage of aptitude and skill tests.
    T Praveen of Tiruchy was seen carefully dusting a typewriter, which he has borrowed from a friendly lawyer’s office. Praveen always had an impression that the typewriter was a thing of the past—he couldn’t have been more wrong!
    Praveen was desperate to get hold of a typewriter, but it was hard to come by. “When I approached the lone typewriting institute in Thiruvanaikoil, they refused to lend one fearing I might damage it. So I had to seek help from my friend,” Praveen fumed. S N Karuppannaswami, Member-Secretary, RRB, Chennai said, they are simply following the norms laid down by the board

    Railways improving passenger experience - Eight ways in which Indian Railways is improving passenger experience | The Economic Times

    Railways improving passenger experience - Eight ways in which Indian Railways is improving passenger experience | The Economic Times

    तबादले की तलवार

    सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अधिकारियों के तबादले को लेकर जो आदेश दिया है, वह बेहद महत्वपूर्ण है। उम्मीद की जानी चाहिए कि इसका प्रशासनिक कामकाज पर पॉजिटिव असर पड़ेगा। कोर्ट ने केंद्र और राज्यों से कहा है कि वे सिविल सर्वेंट्स के ट्रांसफर और पोस्टिंग के लिए तीन महीने के भीतर सिविल सर्विस बोर्ड का गठन करें। अदालत ने एक और अहम बात यह कही है कि अधिकारी सरकार से कोई भी आदेश मौखिक नहीं बल्कि लिखित में लें। गौरतलब है कि पूर्व कैबिनेट सेक्रेटरी टी.एस.आर सुब्रह्मण्यम समेत 82 पूर्व नौकरशाहों ने ब्यूरोक्रेसी में सुधार को लेकर सुप्रीम कोर्ट में एक जनहित याचिका दायर की थी जिसमें कहा गया था कि राजनीतिक हस्तक्षेप की वजह से अधिकारी कोई कदम नहीं उठा पाते हैं। नौकरशाही के कामकाज में राजनीतिक हस्तक्षेप का मुद्दा नया नहीं है। बीच-बीच में यह जोर पकड़ता रहा है। पिछले दिनों यूपी कैडर की आईएएस अधिकारी दुर्गा शक्ति नागपाल और हरियाणा कैडर के आईएएस ऑफिसर अशोक खेमका को लेकर उठाए गए कदमों से यह मामला काफी गरमा गया है।

    तबादलों के प्रश्न पर राजनेताओं का कहना है कि आम तौर पर ट्रांसफर तभी किए जाते हैं जब कहीं कोई तनाव पैदा हो गया हो, हालात संभल नहीं रहे हों। इसके पीछे जनता को शांत और संतुष्ट करना और मामले की निष्पक्ष जांच कराना मकसद होता है। यह बात एक हद तक सही है। लेकिन बड़ी सचाई यह है कि हर सरकार मनमाफिक अफसरों को तैनात करना चाहती है। सत्ता संभालते ही वह पहले से तैनात अधिकारियों को हटाकर अपने अनुकूल अफसरों को अहम पदों पर बिठाती है। इसमें जातीय और दूसरे समीकरण भी काम करते हैं। कई राज्यों में तो मलाईदार पद पैसे लेकर बांटे जाते हैं। वहां ट्रांसफर-पोस्टिंग ने इंडस्ट्री का रूप ले लिया है। सोचा जा सकता है कि पैसे देकर या किसी की कृपा से पद पाने वाले अधिकारियों की प्राथमिकता क्या होती होगी। लेकिन ऐसे माहौल में उन अफसरों के लिए काम करना सबसे मुश्किल होता है जो ईमानदारी से अपने फर्ज को अंजाम देना चाहते हैं। ऐसे नौकरशाहों के लिए ट्रांसफर और पोस्टिंग को बतौर सजा इस्तेमाल किया जाता है। कुछ ऐसे मामले भी हुए हैं कि सत्तारूढ़ दल के किसी कद्दावर नेता ने अपनी सनक में या फिर एकदम निजी स्वार्थ की वजह से या किसी वर्ग या संप्रदाय के तुष्टीकरण के लिए किसी ईमानदार अफसर का ट्रांसफर करा दिया।

    तबादले की तलवार लटकी होने की वजह से कई बार अफसर जरूरी फैसले लेने में हिचकते हैं। इसका खमियाजा अंतत: जनता को भुगतना पड़ता है। एक स्वस्थ जनतंत्र के लिए नौकरशाही का कुछ हद तक स्वायत्त होना जरूरी है। राजनीतिक नेतृत्व को यह बात समझनी होगी। लेकिन ब्यूरोक्रेसी को भी ध्यान रखना होगा कि उसकी ऑटोनॉमी का कोई मतलब तभी है जब वह जनता के लिए काम आए।