Friday, July 30, 2010
Centre clarifies staff dismissal
July 29th, 2010 ,edition
New Delhi, July 28: The Central government employees convicted during the recent strike will not now necessarily be dismissed from service, it is learnt here.
The Government of India has now sent instruction to heads of departments asking them to deal with each case of convicted striker on merits and according to rules. This is in clarification of the instructions they sent last week asking heads of departments to terminate the services of convicted employees.
Under the Government Servants’ Conduct Rules, any employee convicted in a court of law can be removed from service without any further disciplinary proceedings or show cause notice. Last week the Centre had asked the heads of departments to take action against all those employees convicted during the strike under this head.
The present clarification would now make it appear that the head of the department must give a show cause notice, look into each case on merits, go into past records and inflict a suitable punishment which need not be dismissal or termination from service but could be a lesser one like reduction in rank, withholding of promotion.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Squarely blaming subsidiary IRCTC for the mess in catering management in trains, Railways today said there was no other option than taking over the job.
“Complaints over the quality of food served in trains were increasing and IRCTC was not addressing them properly,” Chairman of Railway Board Vivek Sahai told reporters here.
Railways announced the new catering policy yesterday, taking over the catering responsibility from IRCTC.
“Though IRCTC was responsible for food quality, the blame was coming on Railways directly,” he said adding, “So we decided to take over the responsibility by ourselves.”
The new policy has clearly spelt out that Railways shall progressively take over management of all mobile catering services including base kitchens, pantry cars and all food stalls in railway premises.
About the need for bringing a new catering policy, he said, “A policy was introduced in 2005.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Cabinet approves continuation of Passes to Railway Employees & Pensioners
Cabinet approves continuation of Passes to Railway Employees & Pensioners
The General Secretary of IRTSA has written in his website regarding this pass issue. We reproduce the total content of the post in our blog for your information...
It is heartening that the Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of Passes to Railway Employees & Pensioners on July 15, 2010 at the instance of the Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee – finally over ruling the recommendations of the Expenditure Reforms Commission - made in 2004 for discontinuation of the Passes to Railway Employees & Pensioners.
According to reports appearing in a section of Press (including ‘The Tribune’, Chandigarh), an in-house Committee set up by the Railway Ministry had assessed the annual expenditure - as Rs.528 crores - on Passes to 14 lakh Railway Employees & Rs.57 crores on Passes to 12 lakh Pensioners (as in 2004) – with an estimated cost of Rs.3311 per pass for serving employees and Rs.498 per pass of Pensioners.
However, according to an estimate of IRTSA team, the actual impact on the Railways is much less due to only partial utilization of the Passes by the Railway Employees & Pensioners - considering that only a fraction of the journey is actually performed by them than for which the Passes are actually issued. Many of the Railway Employees & Pensioners don’t even take a single set of pass or not at least full complement thereof as per their entitlement in a year – due to localized settlement and lack of resources to meet with the over head expenses of a journey.
But the Financial people while calculating financial impact of such privileges don’t look at all these factors. Apparently the estimated figure of expenditure of Rs.471 crores p.a. on Passes for Railway employees and Rs.57 crores p.a. on Passes to the Pensioners - as worked out by the said Committee - was much on the higher side considering the above said factors.
What is India?
A nation where pizza reaches home faster than ambulance and police...
Where you get car loan @5% but education loan @12%...
Where rice is Rs. 40 but Sim card is free...
Where people standing at tea stalls, reading articles about child labour in newspapers, condemn vociferously and say, "Yaar! Bachchon se kaam karwaane waalon ko to faansi per chadha dena chahiye" and then they shout, "Oye, Chhotu! Do chaai la..!"
This is our India!
As I always say, if we don't see even a glimpse of the great India that was in the India that we see today, it clearly means that we are not working up to our actually enviable potential; and that if we do, we could once again be an ever shining and inspiring country setting a bright path for the rest of the world to follow.
Dear friends, if you agree with what I've said, please help spread this message across to our Indian brethren and make them realize their mistakes and vow to work towards building the India of our dreams…
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
By Subir Bhaumik BBC News, Calcutta
Train crash in Bengal on 19 July 2010 Indian railways has a patchy safety record
Driver error may have led to Monday's train crash in eastern India's West Bengal state which left 63 people dead, preliminary investigations have found.
The express had entered the station in Sainthia town at full speed, even though it had a scheduled stop there, railway officials say.
The driver did not brake or heed numerous stop messages, before the express hit a stationary train.
Another train crash in West Bengal back in May killed nearly 150 people.
Authorities blamed sabotage by Maoist rebels for that tragedy.
Monday morning's accident occurred when the Uttar Banga Express smashed into the stationary Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vananchal Express at the station in the Birbhum district, about 200km (125 miles) north of Calcutta.
'Top 20 driver'
Railway officials told the BBC the train had entered the station at its top speed of 90km/h, despite numerous warnings to stop.
"The driver did not apply either the emergency brakes or the normal brakes even after it passed a red signal. They did not respond to frantic wireless messages to stop," said Indian Railway's board chairman Vivek Sahay, at the crash site.
Relatives of victims outside a hospital in Birbhum district on 19 July 2010 Accidents are common on India's vast railway network
According to the cabin man posted at the approach to Sainthia station, the Uttar Banga Express also did not respond to his warnings.
"I shouted in my walkie-talkie asking the Uttar Banga Express to stop. When that did not work, I waved the red flag frantically but the train passed by on to the track where the Vananchal Express was parked," cabin man Mator Let told the BBC.
The driver and his assistant both died in the crash.
Service records of the Uttar Banga Express's driver suggest he was rated among the top 20 drivers in the Indian railway service, investigating officials said.
They found that the Uttar Banga Express had made a perfect stop at the previous station, 7km away.
When the signal at Gadadharpur Halt turned green, the Uttar Banga Express had moved on to its next scheduled stop of Sainthia.
"How could they make a perfect halt at a point and then crash their train into another barely five minutes later?" said Eastern Railway's safety commissioner Arti Yadav.
Railway officials are also puzzled by the driver and his assistant's apparent lack of reaction - they do not appear to have tried to jump off the train or apply brakes.
It was also unusual for the Uttar Banga Express to have picked up top speed within five minutes of leaving the previous station, with a scheduled stop ahead, said the officials.
Indian Railways operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day.
Accidents are common on the state-owned Indian railway, an immense network connecting every corner of the vast county.
By Soutik Biswas BBC News, Delhi
Train accident in Bengal India's railway safety record is patchy
Indian Railways, a state-run behemoth with over 1.4 million employees, aims to eliminate accidents by 2020.
But Monday's crash in West Bengal state - where 60 people died when a passenger train ploughed into another - shows it will not be easy to meet this goal.
The world's fourth largest railway network - over 63,000km (40,000 miles) long, just behind the US, Russia and China - continues to have a patchy safety record: there have been more than 1,000 accidents since 2004 alone.
The number of crashes may have declined - 177 in 2008-09, down from 320 in 2003-04, and an alarming 2,000 in 1960-61- but safety remains a pressing issue.
More than 200 people died in railway accidents in 2008-09. So far this year about 200 people have already died in accidents, the majority in a collision caused by suspected sabotage of tracks by Maoist rebels.
This despite a special $3.6bn (£2.4bn) railway safety fund to make travelling safer for more than 6bn passengers who every year use the transport network known as India's lifeline.
The money has been set aside to repair decaying tracks, bridges, signalling gear and rolling stock, among other things.
'Cause for concern'
But an internal assessment by the railways admits that a substantial portion of the money remains unutilised - "a cause for concern".
Particularly worrisome, it says, is the "slow progress" of work on building railway bridges as well as upgrading and manning crossings across the country.
Suburban train in Mumbai Indian railways carry some 6bn passengers every year
Unmanned railway crossings - there are nearly 17,000 - have been responsible for over a third of all railway accidents since 2004, and account for nearly 70% of the fatalities.
In some states, like West Bengal, they actually outnumber manned railway crossings.
Train collisions, such as the one on Monday, are also one of the main causes of accidents - there were 13 such crashes during 2008-09 and they led to a number of fatalities.
"Collisions remain a big danger and they are always caused by human failure, despite our fail-safe systems," says IIMS Rana, former chairman of the Indian Railway Board.
Railways officials say they have rolled out a locally made anti-collision device on more than 1,700km of tracks in north-eastern India. Improved devices are expected to roll out in the rest of the country.
But former railway officials like Mr Rana say that India still lags behind on anti-collision technologies, which are standard in the West.
They talk about a device which, once installed on a train, brings it to an automatic stop if it overshoots a red signal.
"We don't have such systems. Money is also a constraint," says Mr Rana.
Then there are accidents caused by trains coming off the tracks - there have been 550 since 2004. Derelict or ill-maintained tracks are to blame.
Sabotage of tracks is also becoming an alarming and relatively new cause of accidents - a lot of networks run through territory where India's Maoist rebels have a presence, and the insurgents have been known to remove track fish-plates.
Tracks being repaired in India Trains often come off the tracks
Sabotage, in fact, was responsible for 13 accidents in 2008-09, up from only four cases in 2004-05.
If you look at railway's internal safety records, human errors made by people "other than railway staff" are to blame for most accidents - 75 of the 177 accidents in 2008-2009 are attributed to such elements.
It is not even clear who these other people to blame for the accidents - they are perhaps those who are crossing unmanned crossings when they get hit by oncoming trains.
Analysts say the problem with Indian Railways is that it has been lagging behind despite the increase in revenues from improved passenger and freight growth.
For example, it has added a mere 220km of new track every year since 2004, compared with over 1,000km of new track by China's railways.
There is really no excuse, analysts say, for a "bloated" organisation like Indian Railways to renege on promises of ensuring a safe journey for passengers.
Clearly, it needs to move quickly and invest in upgrading tracks and signals, and importing state-of-the art technology to make journeys safer.
The American Heart Association states that it does not endorse "cough CPR," a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet." Read the rest at: http://220.127.116.11/presenter.jhtml%3Fidentifier=4535
American Red Cross statement - "The American Red Cross does not endorse the 'How to Survive A Heart Attack When Alone' coughing technique which is being publicized on the Internet." http://www.snopes.com/toxins/coughcpr.htm
Cough CPR is not a new procedure — it has been around for years and has been used successfully in isolated emergency cases where victims realized they
Read always and obey it.
After deaths, grim search for bodies
Kolkata: A day after the tragic train collision between Uttarbanga Express and Vananchal Express at Sainthia station in Birbhum district of West Bengal claimed 68 lives, the search for the missing continues with distraught relatives of the victims looking for the bodies of their loved ones.
On Monday, six-year-old Golu Mishra, who was travelling with his family in one of the ill-fated trains, was found by his parents within hours after CNN-IBN aired his photograph.
However, others were not so lucky. Fifty-five-year-old Narad Yadav from Sabibganj, Jharkhand could be seen searching for his missing son Gautam who was traveling in the unreserved compartment of Vananchal Express. According to Yadav, Gautam was travelling with four of his friends to Ranchi to appear for an exam.
Tapan Das, whose relative went missing, has been camping at the accident site since Monday. His relative was going to Ranchi for an eye operation.
"I am looking for my relatives but I haven't got any information yet," says Das.
The Railways and the police have set up a control room to help those coming to the accident site in large numbers find their relatives.
Monday's train accident is the fifteenth such disaster in the last eleven months. At about 2 am on Monday, Sealdah bound Uttarbanga Express collided into a stationary Vananchal Express at Sainthia station.
The train's luggage van was completely damaged but the maximum impact of the collision was felt by the last 2 general unreserved bogies of the Vananchal Express. After collision, many passengers were left trapped inside the compartments.
And while the exact cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, the chairman of the Railway Board on Monday hinted that human error could have led to the accident.
रेल हादसा: चालक की गलती या सिग्नल में थी गड़बड़ी
सैंथिया। पश्चिम बंगाल के सैंथिया में सोमवार को हुई रेल दुर्घटना में 63 लोगों की मौत हो गई और कम से कम 150 घायल हो गए। इस बीच अहम सवाल यह है कि दुर्घटना का कारण क्या हो सकता है। क्या चालक से भूल हुई या सिग्नल में दोष था।
रेलवे के पूर्व इंजीनियरों और कर्मचारियों ने नाम न जाहिर करने की शर्त पर कहा कि पीछे से आ रही रेलगाड़ी आगे वाली रेलगाड़ी को तभी रौंद सकती है, जब चालक सिग्नल की अनदेखी करे या सिग्नल प्रणाली में दोष हो।
इंजीनियरों की इस टिप्पणी से सियालदह जा रही उत्तरबंगा एक्सप्रेस के चालक पर लापरवाही बरतने की ऊंगली उठती है। बीरभूम में सैंथिया स्टेशन पर भागलपुर-रांची वनांचल एक्सप्रेस को उत्तरबंगा ने पीछे से टक्कर मार दी थी।
रेलवे का कहना है कि चालक ने सिग्नल की अनदेखी की। उधर दूसरी तरफ कई विशेषज्ञों ने कहा कि यह विश्वास करना कठिन है कि चालक, सह चालक और गार्ड उस वक्त सतर्क नहीं रहे होंगे, जब रेलगाड़ी 100 किलोमीटर प्रतिघंटे की रफ्तार से चल रही हो।
कोलकाता मेट्रो रेल कॉरपोरेशन के मुख्य इंजीनियर (सिगनल संचार) और ब्रिटेन स्थित इंस्टीट्यूशन ऑफ रेलवे सिग्नल इंजीनियर्स के फेलो जी.जी. बिश्वास ने कहा कि यह अनुमान लगाया जा रहा है कि उत्तरबंगा एक्सप्रेस के चालकों ने सिग्नल की अनदेखी की होगी जिसकी वजह से दुर्घटना हुई।
उन्होंने कहा कि दुर्घटना की असल वजह जानने के लिए क्षतिग्रस्त इंजन के स्पीडोग्राफ के साथ ही कई अन्य चीजों की जांच जरूरी है। दूसरी तरफ एक अन्य विशेषज्ञ का कहना है कि अगर यह मान भी लिया जाए कि चालकों ने सिग्नल की अनदेखी की तो फिर गार्ड को आपात ब्रेक लगाने से किसने रोका?
इंजीनियरों का कहना है कि रेलगाड़ियों की आवाजाही स्वचालित इंटरलॉकिंग प्रणाली पर काम करती है। इस प्रणाली में रूट जब तक पूरी तरह सुरक्षित न हो रेलगाड़ी को ग्रीन सिग्नल नहीं मिलता। इस तरह किसी खंड पर अगर रेलगाड़ी है तो वह खंड स्वचालित प्रक्रिया के तहत लॉक हो जाएगा और सिग्नल रेड हो जाएगा।
स्वचालित इंटरलाकिंग प्रणाली तभी काम करना बंद करती है, जब उस पर मरम्मत का काम चल रहा हो। ऐसे में चालकों को रेलगाड़ी चलाने के लिए निर्देशों के साथ 'मेमो' दिया जाता है। उत्तरबंगा एक्सप्रेस मामले में इस तरह का कोई मेमो नहीं दिया गया था।
सवाल तो ये भी उठ रहे हैं कि जब रेलगाड़ी का ठहराव सैंथिया स्टेशन पर था, तब यह इतनी तेज गति से क्यों चल रही थी।
एक इंजीनियर ने सवाल उठाया कि रेलगाड़ी की स्थिति को लेकर सभी स्टेशन प्रबंधक हॉटलाइन के जरिए जुड़े होते हैं। उत्तरबंगा एक्सप्रेस कहां है इसकी जानकारी भी सैंथिया स्टेशन के अधिकारियों को थी तो फिर अधिकारियों ने दोनों रेलगाड़ियों के चालकों को अलर्ट क्यों नहीं किया।
Monday, July 19, 2010
60 die in WB train crash, Mamata smells conspiracy
Sainthia (West Bengal): At least 60 passengers were killed and 90 injured when the speeding Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga Express rammed into the rear of the Vananchal Express pulling out of the Sainthia station in Birbhum district early Monday.
Driver M C Dey and assistant driver N K Mandal of the Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga Express, which collided with the Ranchi-bound Vananchal Express, were among the dead in the accident for which railways are not ruling out sabotage as the cause.
The guard of the Vananchal Express A Mukherjee also died in the mishap which was so severe that the roof and the sides of one of the compartments mounted the road overbridge across the tracks in the station, 191 kms from Kolkata, in Eastern Railway.
A part of another compartment of the Vananchal Express split and fell on the road along the tracks after being thrown over the bridge.
"A total of 60 persons, including three railway employees, have lost their lives in the accident when three rear coaches including one luggage van and two unreserved general second class coaches of the Vananchal Express were affected," an Eastern Railway release said here.
The accident occurred at 2.00 am when the New Coochbehar-Sealdah Uttarbanga Express came on the same track and rammed into the Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vananchal Express which was leaving platform number four at Sainthia station.
Eastern Railway General Manager V N Tripathi did not rule out sabotage, which Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted this morning when she said "we have doubts about the cause of the accident, the second in West Bengal in two months".
The General Manager said the train was in speed and "what caused this we will have to find out. The driver is a very good driver and we are also puzzled". Asked whether sabotage could be behind the accident, he said, "Possibly. Nothing could be ruled out".
Though the railways were hesitant to come out with the reason for the accident, the second in two months in West Bengal after the Jyaneshwari Express disaster that claimed 148 lives, an apparent overshooting of the signal by the driver of the Uttarbanga Express could be the reason behind this.
Eastern Railway sources in Kolkata and Railway Board sources in Delhi said the Uttarbanga Express, which has a scheduled stop at Sainthia, was running at a high speed, overshot the signal and ploughed into the Vananchal Express.
The scheduled arrival and departure of Uttarbanga Express at Sainthia was 1.38 am and 1.39 am. It was not clear why the train, which was to halt at the station, was at a high speed.
The engine of the Uttarbanga Express, which was to stop at the station, telescoped into the rear of the Vananchal Express. The affected bogies have been detached and the trains left for their destinations.
The Railway Minister announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs five lakh each for the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh for grievously injured and Rs 25,000 for the other injured.
Employment for one of the members of the victims' families will be given in railways, she said. Railways have ordered a probe by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (eastern circle).
The hand of Maoists is suspected in the May 28 Jyaneshwari Express disaster following which a number of Maoists have been arrested. Union Home Ministry has dispatched five teams of National Disaster Relief Force comprising 140 personnel to assist in the rescue and relief operations. Three teams are already at the spot and the rest two will be reaching soon.
Heavy-duty gas cutters were brought from Panagarh to extricate bodies trapped in the mangled coaches of Vananchal Express. "The National Disaster Management forces, including the BSF, and police are extricating bodies from the severely damaged coaches at the Sainthia station," West Bengal Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told PTI.
Singh said that there was a scarcity of blood in the Suri and Sainthia hospitals where the injured were taken to. "The police are arranging blood from the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and are also looking for donors to meet the scarcity of blood," the DGP said.
Eastern Railways said rescue operations were proceeding on a war-footing and three relief trains, including medical vans, reached the site from Rampurhat, Burdwan and Asansol.
The first relief train with a medical van reached the site at 3.30 am and immediately started rescue operations, it said. Trains were being run through the up line, though the down line was still blocked.
Other than cancellation of Malda Town-Howrah intercity Express, Sealdah-Rampurhat Intercity Express and Howrah-Rampurhat Express, the Kanchenjungha Express, Ganadevta Express, Darjeeling Mail, Padatik Express, Jamalpur Express, Kanchenkanya Express, Gaya- Howrah Express, Varanasi-Sealdah Express, Saraighat Express have been diverted via the Naihati-Azimganj route.
Control Room Numbers:
Sealdah: (033-23503535, 033-23503537)
Ranchi: (0651-2461404, 0651-2460488, 0651-26002634, 0651-2600263)
The incident occurred when the Gateman Shri K. Madhu, was manning the Traffic Level Crossing Gate No.44 near Raghunathapalli Railway Station (Secunderabad side) on Secunderabad-Kazipet Section at around 9 a.m. yesterday. On noticing a sizeable 44 inches Rail fracture on the Railway track (down line), the alert Gateman understood the consequences and rushed to the Station Manager, Raghunathapalli Railway Station to inform him of the same. Immediately thereafter, the Gateman noticed the fast approaching Train No.2706 Secunderabad-Guntur Intercity Express, which was supposed to pass through the fractured Rail track and rushed in its direction, waving the danger red flag and brought the train to a halt at a safe distance, thereby ensuring that a major rail disaster is averted.
In recognition of the fact that the Gateman Shri K. Madhu who just finished 21 days of service in Railways and for exhibiting his well trained skills and commitment, the General Manager presented an award of Rs.5000/- to the employee. Shri Jayanth also appreciated the fact that the Gateman was employed on South Central Railway on compassionate grounds as his father who worked as a Gangman had expired.
The impact of the crash sent a coach flying on to a 25-feet high road overbridge and left two other compartments badly mangled. Till 8.30am, 49 bodies had been pulled out of the Vananchal Express coaches. The death toll is likely to mount further as rescue operation is still underway.
Prima facie, the accident occurred due to human error. Preliminary investigation indicated that the driver of Uttarbanga Express had overshot a red signal before the station. While the Vananchal Express from Bhagalpur to Ranchi was running several hours late, what has baffled railwaymen is why the Cooch Behar-Sealdah Uttarbanga Express that had a scheduled halt at the station arrived at such high speed.
An Eastern Railway spokesman said the Vananchal Express was standing at platform 4 when the speeding Uttarbanga Express hit it from the rear around 2 am on Monday. Three rear coaches of the Vananchal Express bore the brunt of the collision and were badly mangled.
Rescue workers are using gas-cutters to cut open the coaches and bring out the dead and rescue the injured. The injured passengers are being sent to hospitals in Sainthia and Birbhum district headquarters Suri. An accident relief train and a medical relief train have also reached Sainthia. Rescue operation teams have reached Sainthia from Rampurhat, Asansol and Burdwan.
Train movement on the down line has been suspended in the Bolpur-Rampurhat section. The down Malda-Howrah Intercity Express has been cancelled and several trains are stranded on the down line.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee, railway board chairman Vivek Sahay, railway board member (electrical) Sudesh Kumar and director general of railway health service B K Ramteke, Eastern Railway general manager V N Tripathy and other senior officials have left for Sainthia. The minister has ordered an inquiry into the mishap. Eastern Railway safety commissioner Arti Yadav will lead the probe.
Only a couple of months ago, Maoists had engineered a train crash in West Midnapore district that killed 160 passengers. While the attempt had been to derail trains on both up and down tracks, a goods train moving at express speed rammed into the derailed Howrah-Mumbai Jnaneswari Express from the opposite side, leading to one of the worst train disasters in recent times.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Travel Agents/web Agents Barred From Booking on-Line Train Tickets From 8 Am to 9AM
In a significant initiative to remove the difficulties faced by ordinary common users in accessing the IRCTC website for booking Tatkal tickets and ordinary tickets over internet in the first hour of the booking on the opening day, the Ministry of Railways has decided to bar travel agents, web-service agents/web agents of IRCTC from accessing the website during that period.
Under this decision, which is expected to provide increased accessibility of the IRCTC website to the ordinary users, following instructions have come into operation:-
a) Travel agents/web-services agents/web agents of IRCTC will not be given access to Tatkal booking, through e-ticketing on all days between 8 A.M. to 9 A.M.
b) Travel agents/web-services agents/web agents of IRCTC will not be given access, through e-ticketing, to trains defined in the system on their respective opening day of Advance Reservation Period (ARP), between 8 A.M. to 9 A.M.
This passenger friendly measure comes in the wake of a large number of complaints regarding IRCTC website not becoming accessible to common users at the time of the commencement of the Railway reservation booking in the morning, making it difficult to book e-ticket and Tatkal on-line.
In addition, a drive has also been launched for a period of one fortnight at all major reservation offices to conduct special checks between 7.30 A.M. to 9 A.M. to prevent touts/unscrupulous elements from cornering the seats/berths in the first hour of the opening day of the advance reservation period.
The above measures have been taken to take care of the interests of the ordinary passengers in respect of ticket booking both on-line as well as at the counters and to make sure that berths/seats are not cornered by the touts/unscrupulous elements.
Monday, July 12, 2010
New Delhi, June 25, 2010, “There will be vital changes in the pay structure of the Railway employees”, this was stated by Shri Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railwaymen's Federation and Northern Railwaymen’s Union in a Press Conference held here in Press Club.
Shri Mishra stated that, keeping in view the interests of the Railwaymen working in various categories; Railway Board has given its consent to change their Pay Bands widely. He stated that, after the meeting of Departmental Anomaly Committee, it was recommended to provide GP Rs.4800 to all Supervisors of apex grade as well as modification in other cadres have also been suggested.
Shri Mishra stated that more than one lakh Technicians, working in the Indian Railways and used to call Technician-II with GP Rs.2400, will now be merged with Technician-I GP Rs.2800. This will also be applicable on more than 36,000 Ticket Collectors in GP Rs.2400 and they will be provided with GP Rs.2800.
Shri Mishra informed that the Railway Board has also recommended to improve the grade pay of Technical Supervisor, Section Engineer, Jr. Engineer from GP Rs.4200 and 4600 to Rs.4600 and 4800 respectively.
“Railway Board have also recommended grade pay of Loco Pilot and Guard; and based on this, Loco Pilots of Mail and Express trains will be provided with GP Rs.4600. Besides this, Railway Board have also recommended to give Additional Allowance to the Loco Pilot(Goods) and Guard(Goods)”, Shri Mishra informed.
Shri Mishra stated that, keeping in view recruitment qualification(Graduation) and special working conditions of the Asstt. Station Master, Railway Board have recommended to provide them Entry GP Rs.4200.
Shri Mishra further stated that the main reasons of all these improvements were better coordination between AIRF and Hon’ble MR and Railway Board and also pressure of the MR on the Railway Board. Shri Mishra informed that all these recommendations have been sent to Ministry of Finance by the Railway Ministry.
“Hon’ble MR has given assurance that every possible efforts will be done to resolve the problems of the Railwaymen”, Shri Mishra informed.
“I had also raised the issue of payment of arrears to Loco Pilot and Guards w.e.f. 1.1.2006 and KMA before Hon’ble MR, which has been rejected by the Fast Track Committee. She has assured that it will be looked into”, Shri Mishra stated.
Shri Mishra also informed that the Railway Board has decided to constitute a committee to improve pay scales of more 2.5 lakh Gangmen, Keymen, Mate, Gatemen working on the Indian Railways and also to provide them Special Package. Shri Mishra further added that this category is unique, which used to be recruited and retired in GP Rs.1800.
Shri Mishra stated that he had raised the issue of filling-up of around two lakh vacant posts without further delay. Hon’ble MR has given him assurance; and some action has also been taken to overcome this problem.
Shri Mishra informed that I had also raised the issue of entitlement of Privilege Pass before the Hon’ble MR and she has assured for its early finalization.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
India on alert after Maoists call for two-day striks
Security has been tightened in India's Maoist-affected states after the rebels called for a two-day strike in protest against the killing of a top leader.
Cherukuri Rajkumar, commonly known as Azad, was killed in a gunfight in Andhra Pradesh state last week.
He was number two in the rebel hierarchy in the state and a spokesman for the Maoists. He carried a reward of 1.2m rupees ($25,700) on his head
The rebels say Azad was killed in a "staged encounter" by the police.
Reports say that Maoist rebels have asked people not to travel by trains during the two-day strike which began on Wednesday.
The rebels have been blamed for a train crash in West Bengal state in May which left over 145 people dead.
Police said Maoist rebels sabotaged the track causing a passenger train to derail, throwing five of its carriages into the path of an oncoming goods train.Outlawed
Night train services in some affected areas have been suspended since the train crash.
The chief of police in West Bengal state, where the rebels have a presence, said security has been beefed up in the affected areas.
Bhupinder Singh said the police and paramilitaries were on alert in three Maoist-affected districts.
Azad was a member of the central committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).
He was associated with the Maoist movement for more than 35 years.
In March, CPI-Maoist had said Azad had gone missing and alleged that he had been arrested by the police.
But the rebels later issued a statement saying that he was safe and back at his hideout.
The killing took place two days after the rebels killed 26 members of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in an attack in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh.
The Maoists, also known as Naxalites, say they are fighting for the rights of rural poor who have been neglected by the government for decades.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described their insurgency as India's biggest internal security challenge.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Depression may double dementia risk, say researcher
Having depression may nearly double the risk of developing dementia later in life, new research suggests.
Experts know that the two conditions often co-exist, but it is not clear if one actually leads to the other.
Now two studies published in the American journal Neurology suggest depression does mean dementia is more likely, although they do not show why.
And the researchers stress that the findings merely reveal a link, not a direct cause.
They say more studies are needed to find out why the two conditions are linked.
They believe brain chemistry and lifestyle factors like diet and the amount of social time a person engages in may play a role.
Dr Jane Saczynski of the University of Massachusetts, who led the first of the two studies, said: "While it's unclear if depression causes dementia, there are a number of ways depression might impact the risk of dementia.
Professor Clive Ballard The Alzheimer's Society
What this study demonstrates is that depression at a younger age is probably a significant risk factor for dementia
"Inflammation of brain tissue that occurs when a person is depressed might contribute to dementia. Certain proteins found in the brain that increase with depression may also increase the risk of developing dementia."
Her study, which followed 949 elderly people for 17 years, showed dementia more often followed a bout of depression.
By the end of the study, 164 of the people had developed dementia.
Specifically, 22% of those who had depression went on to develop dementia compared to 17% of those who did not have depression.
The second study, meanwhile, followed 1,239 US people and looked at the number of times a person experienced depression related to their risk of dementia.
It showed that the more times someone experienced depression, the higher their dementia risk was.
Having two or more episodes of depression nearly doubled the risk of dementia.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "Similarities in symptoms between dementia and depression can mean the two are sometimes confused at time of diagnosis, but we don't know if they are biologically linked.
"These latest studies suggest that there may be profound connections between dementia and depression so we must expand the research to find out more."
Professor Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer's Society agreed that more research was now needed to establish why the link exists.
"It is well known depression is common in early stages of dementia. What this study demonstrates is that depression at a younger age is probably a significant risk factor for dementia," he said.
Related BBC links
Monday, July 5, 2010
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
New Delhi, dated 29-06-2010
The General Manager
All Indian Railways & PUs
(As per mailing list)
Subject:- Grant of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) to the Railway pensioners/family pensioners-regarding.
In pursuance of Government's decision on the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission, instructions regarding grant of Fixed Medical Allowance @ Rs.100/- p.m. to Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners were issued vide Board's letter No.PC-V/98/I/7/1/1 dated 21-4-99 and subsequently amended from time to time; the last being letter No.PC-V/20066/A/Med./1 dated 15.09.2009.
2. In this connection, Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare (DoP&PW), the nodal Department on the subject have advised vide OM No.4/25/2008-P&PW (D), dated 25-5-2010 that the demand for enhancement of Fixed Medical Allowance has been under consideration of the Government for some time past and the amount of Fixed Medical Allowance has been enhanced from Rs.100/- to Rs.300/- per month. The other conditions for grant of Fixed Medical Allowance shall continue to be in force.
3. These orders shall take effect from 01-09-2008.
4. This issue with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
5. Hindi version is enclosed.
Dy. Director, Pay Commission - V
Saturday, July 3, 2010
More Health Lists
Too much sleep, or not enough of it, can kill you. A British study found that getting more than 9 hours of sack time a night, or less than 6, doubles your risk of an early death from any cause. Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The DOP&T(Department of Personnel and Training),Ministry of Personnel, P.G.and Pension issued an Office Memorandum No.13026/3/2010-Estt.(Leave) dated 22-6-2010 on the matter of Instruction on regularisation of Unauthorized absense ragarding.
It has been explained that a Govt. servant who remains absent without any authority should be proceeded against immediately. All Ministries/Departments are requested to ensure that in all cases of unauthorized absence by a Government Servant, he should be informed of the consequences of such absence and be directed to rejoin duty immediately / within a specified date, say within three days, failing which he would be liable for disciplinary action under CCS(CCA) Rules 1965.If the Governmen Servant does not join duty by the stipulated date the Disciplinary Authority should initiate disciplinary action against him and the disciplinary case should be conducted and concluded as quickly as possible.
Disciplinary Authorities to ensure that prompt action is taken against Government Servants who absent themselves with out permission and that Charge-Sheets are issued without delay.
As per FR 17-A(iii) without prejudice to the provisions of Rule 27 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules 1972, remaining absent without any authority or deserting the post, shall be deemed to cause an interruption or break in the service of the employee, unless otherwise decided by the competent authority for the purpose of leave travel concession, quasi-permanency and eligibility for appearing in deparllnent examinations, for which a minimum period of continuous service is required.
DOWNLOAD THE OFFICE MEMORANDUM ON REGULARISING UNAUTHORIZED ABSENSE