Indian Railway Search

These Bullets Don’t Fire

Despite announcing what sections of the media saw as a “visionary” rail budget, complete with high-speed bullet trains and foreign direct investment, Union railways minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda will stop short of steering the Indian Railways back on track. Though the budget talks about a lot of corrective measures—sprucing up existing systems and the completion of incomplete and stagnating projects—it has not attended to one of its bedrocks: the large mass of railway employees.
With expectations from the new government being huge, there was hope that railway employees would benefit. Now there is a general sense of disenchantment among employees and across railway unions. Says Shiva Gopal Mishra, general secretary, All India Railwaymen’s Federation, “It is extremely disheartening. The per capita contribution to the Central Staff Benefit Fund has been increased by just Rs 300 which will mean nothing and the government is mum on filling up 2.5 lakh vacancies in a time-bound manner or for providing staff for the increased number of trains announced every year.”
Union members also say that little thought has been spared for families of employees who develop health issues owing to living and working in unhygi­enic conditions and sometimes even die on the job. According to its estimates, some 1,500 people die every year on railway jobs but little is done to look after their families. Another grouse is that railway ministers always promise proper education facilities for emp­loyees’ wards but nothing comes out of it.
Some experts feel the budget has a rather elitist tone as many of its measures are aimed at people in the high-income group rather than those who actually use trains. This includes the proposal to establish food plazas, introduce branded packaged food and wi-fi and workstations in trains. Says a union member, “Out of 2.3 crore people who travel by Indian railways every year, 1.8 crore are lower middle class or lower class who can’t afford AC trains, buy bra­nded food or afford a food plaza or have any use for internet on trains. Who are these measures for then?”
Also, rarely have targets of capacity augmentation, line expansion and staff recruitment been met. Yet, new trains are announced, with the result that on most core lines, a train runs every 5-8 minutes, compromising on safety. Against this, the announcement of bullet trains where the actual cost may run into thousands of crores, shows a huge thinking mismatch.
The government has tried to address part of this by saying that most of the future projects and expansions would be via public-private partnership (PPP) or through foreign direct investment. While this would mean that the funds come from the private sector, it also implies that the good revenue-generating activities would go to them too, without which they would not invest. In fact, the very fact that this route has been proposed is surprising, given the railways’ rather questionable track record with PPP.
There is concern especially with the suggestion of PPP for the new dedicated freight corridors. The move is intended to boost the railways’ sagging freight operations which have lost out to roads courtesy last-mile hiccups. With PPP, however, the luc­rative freight operations and its benefits would go to private sector investors, leaving the railways high and dry. Is that the intent?

Better to have bio-toilets than bullet trains, says Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader and former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has criticized the first bullet train project of the Narendra Modi government saying, "better to have bio-toilet trains than bullet trains". The bullet train is not for India, except for some prestige or psychological reasons of us to having them.
Though, Ramesh has not said anything on the Rail Budget in public, he expressed his views on his official blog saying, "I simply cannot understand this obsession that Narendra Modi and his colleagues have with bullet trains. It's better to have bio-toilet trains than bullet trains, given that the Indian Railway is probably the largest open sewer in the world, with its daily passenger traffic of over 2 crore."  
A few days ago, Ramesh had also accused the NDA government of turning the programme to clean Ganga as a "Hindutva project" by attempting to polarise politics through the initiative on the holy river.
Given our habitation patterns and movement of people as well as cattle across tracks, bullet trains will have to necessarily slow down unless they run on elevated tracks, Ramesh said. "In China, passengers have been told to move away from conventional trains to bullet trains, and this is simply not possible in India," he added
He further adds, "We make 4000 coaches every year and in 2012, when I was Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, we had got the Railways to agree that all new coaches will be fitted with the DRDO-developed bio-toilets. But the larger issue is one of retrofitting the 50,000 coaches presently in use." 
Last Year in October, Ramesh had launched an acidic attack on Modi with his "more toilets than temples" comment, saying it is borne out of his "blind desire for the Prime Minister's position." Whereas, in 2012, he had said, "I think toilets are more important than temples. No matter how many temples we go to, we are not going to get salvation. We need to give priority to toilets and cleanliness."
Questioning the purpose of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train, he said " The project will involve an expenditure of at least Rs 100 crore per km. The distance is 543 kms and therefore the investment will be close to Rs 55,000 crore at least and the would be at least Rs 5000 or so, but who will use this train, he questions.
Launching an attack on Sadanand Gowda, former Rural Development Minister says, "The constant attention and his focus should not get diverted into chasing bullet trains just to make some Indians feel good that they have also ‘arrived’".

Filling up of vacancies of Sr.SO(A/cs) Sr.ISA and Sr.TIA Grade Rs.9300-34800/ Grade Pay Rs.4800/-through direct recruitment.

Government of India
Ministry of Railways
(Railway Board)
GeneraI Secretary,
3, Chelmsford Road
New Delhi
General Secretary
4, State Entry Road
New Delhi

Sub:- Filling up of vacancies of Sr.SO(A/cs) Sr.ISA and Sr.TIA Grade Rs.9300-34800 / Grade Pay Rs.4800/-through direct recruitment.

There are large number of vacancies of supervisory staff (Sr.SO/A/cs, Sr.TIA and Sr.ISA), of Accounts department on Railways. Shortage of the supervisory staff has resulted in accumulation of arrears, internal checks in Accounts Offices, Stations and Stores depots which is hampering the mandatory internai check mechanism and efficiency of Accounts department.

Despite arranging intensive training for departmental examination (Appendix-3 IREM) to aspiring candidates, sufficient number of candidates are not qualifying the examination. In this regard some of the Railways have approached Board’s office for recruitment of supervisory staff of Accounts department through RRBs. In order to meet with the situation, it is proposed to till 50% of the existing vacancies (as on 1/1/14) of Sr.SO/A/cs, Sr.TIA and Sr.ISAs through direct recruitment as a one-time measure. Similar course was adopted in the past for tilling up of posts of TIAs on N F Railway.

The existing staff will also be eligible for appearing in the proposed special recruitment in terms of para 115(iv) of Board’s letter no. E(NG)-II/2001/RR-1/35 dated 17/12/02 (RBE 221/2002) to appear in the recruitment examination of supervisory staff of Accounts department through RRB as departmental candidates.

Your considered views are solicited in the matter.

Yours faithfully,
(For Secretary, Railway Board)


1AIRF is greatly disappointed with Rail Budget 2014-15

4,State Entry Raod, New Delhi - 1100055


New Delhi: 8th July. 2014 — Shri Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), has described Rail Budget 2014-15 as “Disappointing”.

This budget has not given any relief to 13 lakh Railway employees, working 24 hrs., 365 days in all weathers, facing arduous conditions, even sacrificing their lives.

The said budget has also given lot of indications of privatization, bringing in FDI and PPP in the Railways, which would be detrimental for the Interest of all the stakeholders, including the rail users.

In this budget, announcement has also been made about the introduction of new trains, but without developing infrastructure and adding manpower, which would endanger Railway Safety.

The budget talks less about the Common Rail User, but much about the Affluent Class, who can afford AC Class travelling.

Shri Mishra has made it amply clear that would not tolerate any  form of privatization in the Railways.

For General Secretary / AIRF

Source: AIRF

रेल बजट की प्रमुख बातें

रेल बजट की प्रमुख बातें

1) रेल मंत्री डीवी सदानंद गौड़ा ने एफ़डीआई के ज़रिए रेलवे व्यवस्था में सुधार की बात कही. पब्लिक-प्राइवेट पार्टनरशिप (पीपीपी) के ज़रिए पैसा जुटाया जाएगा.
2) साल 2014-15 में पांच नई प्रीमियम रेल गाड़ियाँ चलाई जाएंगी. छह एसी एक्सप्रेस रेलगाड़ियां, 27 एक्सप्रेस और 8 पैसेंजर गाड़ियां चलाई जाएंगी.
3) रेल मंत्री ने कहा कि अगले पांच सालों में रेलवे के कामकाज को कागज रहित बनाया जाएगा. सभी प्रमुख स्टेशनों को अंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तर का बनाया जाएगा.
4) मुंबई-अहमदाबाद रेलमार्ग पर बुलेट ट्रेन चलाने का प्रावधान. रेल मंत्री ने बताया कि इसके लिए सभी ज़रूरी अध्ययन कर लिए गए हैं.
5) रेलवे सुरक्षा बल (आरपीएफ़) में 17 हज़ार पुरुष जवानों की भर्ती की जाएगी. महिला यात्रियों की सुरक्षा को ध्यान में रखते हुए आरपीएफ़ में चार हज़ार महिला कांस्टेबलों की भर्ती की जाएगी. साथ ही ट्रेन में चलने वाली आरपीएफ़ की टीम को मोबाइल फ़ोन दिए जाएंगे.
6)नौ रूटों पर 160-200 किलोमीटर प्रतिघंटा की रफ़्तार वाली सेमी-हाई स्पीड ट्रेनें चलाई जाएंगी.
7) ए-1 और ए श्रेणी के रेलवे स्टेशनों पर वाई-फ़ाई की सुविधा उपलब्ध कराने का प्रावधान. साथ ही इंटरनेट के जरिए प्लेटफ़ार्म टिकट और अनारक्षित टिकट लेने की सुविधा शुरू की जाएगी.
8) कर्मचारी हित निधि का अंशदान प्रति व्यक्ति पांच सौ रुपए से बढ़ाकर आठ सौ रुपए किया गया.
9) रेल मंत्री ने कामकाजी लोगों के लिए ट्रेन में वर्क स्टेशन की सुविधा देने की घोषणा की है. इसके लिए यात्रियों से शुल्क लिया जाएगा. इसका पायलट प्रोजेक्ट शुरू किया जाएगा.
10) रेलवे के सभी विश्रामालयों की अब ऑनलाइन बुकिंग की सुविधा शुरू की जाएगी.
11) रेलवे स्टेशन पर सफ़ाई की ज़िम्मेदारी को आउटसोर्स किया जाएगा और पहले यह 50 रेलवे स्टेशनों पर किया जाएगा.
12) रेल मंत्री ने कहा कि 2013-14 में रेलवे ने एक रुपए का 94 पैसा रेल के परिचालन पर खर्च किया, जिसका मतलब है कि नई सुविधाओं के लिए केवल छह फ़ीसदी ही बचता है. उन्होंने कहा कि रेलवे की चालू परियोजनाओं के लिए पांच लाख करोड़ रुपए की ज़रूरत है.

रेलमंत्री के बजट पेश करने के दौरान और उनका भाषण खत्म होने के बाद संसद में काफ़ी हंगामा हुआ.