Thursday, October 28, 2010

THE HINDU

Haflong,

Train derails as militants trigger blast in Assam

Three bogies and a trolley of the Barak Valley Express were derailed after militants blew up a portion of rail track in a powerful blast in central Assam’s North Cachar Hills district, where the ultras have called for an indefinite bandh.

There was no casualty in the incident, Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters spokesman S. Hajong said in Guwahati.

The explosion on the rail tracks occurred around 12.30 pm, causing the train, proceeding from Lumding to Silchar in Cachar district, to jump the rails in a remote place between Lower Haflong and Bagatar railway stations, Mr. Hajong said.

The rear trolley and three bogies derailed due to the blast after about 70 metre of the railway track was damaged.

The movement of trains was stopped, he said, adding Railway and police officials have rushed to the site.

Meanwhile, the Dima Halam Daogah (Dilip Nunisa) group has called an indefinite district bandh from Wednesday demanding the arrest of district Additional Superintendent of Police Amitav Sinha and four DHD (Jewel) faction members for allegedly assaulting one of its cadres on October 23 at Gabao Village.

Business establishments and shops downed their shutters and educational institutions remained closed, while vehicles were off the roads, sources said.

The bandh, however, did not affect the Jatinga International Festival, showcasing rich cultural diversity of the Dima Hasao District, which was inaugurated by Governor J.B. Patnaik.

THE HINDU

BEIJING,

China unveils world's fastest train

Ananth Krishnan

China on Tuesday unveiled what it described as the world's fastest bullet train, which will connect two of the country's industrial hubs travelling at an average speed of 350 km per hour.

The rail link between Shanghai and Hangzhou, the latest addition to China's fast-expanding high-speed rail network that is already the world's largest, covers the 200-km distance in only 45 minutes, reducing the travelling time from 78 minutes.

The home-built CRH380 bullet train has been recorded travelling at 420 km per hour, a world record. It will, however, travel between the two cities at less than full tilt, at an average speed of 350 km per hour.

China's high-speed rail network now stretches over 7,431 km. The government plans to expand the network to over 16,000 km by 2020.

Investment in the high-speed rail network has gathered pace since the first line, connecting Beijing with the port city Tianjin, opened in 2008.

Following the $586-billion stimulus plan that was announced in November 2008, spending on infrastructure projects has increased substantially.

China is investing an estimated $300 billion on its high-speed rail network.

The investment has divided opinion — some planners have cautioned that local governments will struggle to recoup the investment. Others have argued the rail network will spur economic development by boosting connectivity.

“The operation of the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail line will help alleviate traffic pressure in the Yangtze River Delta region”, which is in China's manufacturing heartland, said Liu Zhijun of the Minister of Railways. The Ministry forecasts that passengers will make more than three billion trips in and out of the Yangtze delta in 2010, spurring development.

China has also begun work on a 1,318-km high-speed rail line linking the country's two most important cities — Beijing and Shanghai. The $33-billion line will open in 2012, reducing the travel time between the capital and the financial centre in half, to just five hours.

THE TELEGRAPH, Calcutta

Thursday , October 28 , 2010

Derailed: train & truce

Bandh and blast spoil Dima Hasao’s peace and the govt’s efforts to promote Jatinga Festival

Nagaon, Oct. 27: A blast on the rail tracks near Lower Haflong derailed a passenger train at noon, almost scoffing at the government’s efforts to hardsell Dima Hasao as a tourist destination with the much-publicised Jatinga Festival, that began today.

The explosion occurred about 25km from the spot where Governor J.B. Patnaik inaugurated the first Jatinga Festival, aimed at hardselling the district as a must-visit for bird lovers.

Today’s attack broke the lull brought by the surrender of the DHD (Jewel), the chief architect of trouble in the district for the past several years, in October last year, and also came within hours of its rival faction, DHD (Dilip), calling an indefinite district-wide bandh.

District superintendent of police V.K. Ramisetti said the IED, attached to a timer device, triggered the explosion, but the identity of the group behind the blast was yet to be ascertained.

A Northeast Frontier Railway spokesman said the derailment took place around 12.15pm “apparently because of an explosion”, damaging 88 metres of the tracks. Nobody was injured in the accident.

He said four coaches of the train — one brake-cum-luggage van and three general second-class coaches — were derailed.

Up Barak Valley Express bound for Lumding was terminated at Bagetar station because of the accident.

Passengers of both Up and Down Barak Valley Express got stranded at the station.

Both trains resumed their journey later. Work is on to repair the tracks and restore normality.

But little could be done to restore the fervour with which the Jatinga Festival began.

Hundreds of birds converge at Jatinga each year and “commit suicide” from a cliff.

Though many travel to Jatinga to watch this “supernatural phenomenon”, environmentalists have long dismissed the “tales” and explained how the poor birds are drawn by lamps lit by villagers at the base of a cliff.

“I do not believe that birds can commit suicide. The mysterious phenomenon is only because the birds are lured by powerful lights. This is a crude way of killing the birds. I appeal to all sections of people to ban this practice,” Patnaik said in his inaugural speech.

The governor also stressed that the state government was with the people of the hill district in promoting tourism.

More than 5,000, mostly local people, gathered in Jatinga to be part of the inaugural programme.

“With unbounded beauty, this district has enormous potential to attract tourists from different parts of India,” Patnaik said, unaware that a bomb was ticking away not very far away.

If the blast dented the festive spirit at Jatinga, the bandh called by the DHD (D) added to it.

The outfit called the strike to protest against the attack on one of its senior cadres by the rival faction on October 23.

In response, shops remained closed, communication was paralysed and unprecedented security held back many who wanted to attend the bird festival. Most of them returned to Nagaon and Silchar.

“The bandh is very sudden and unwanted. Had the militant outfit not called the bandh, another 10,000 people would have gathered here. It is very unfortunate that the bandh deprived a lot of outsiders who were willing to visit Dima Hasao district,” said Rathin Nunisa, a Dehangi villager who reached Haflong two days ago to participate in the Jatinga festival.

The DHD (Dilip) faction withdrew their bandh following assurance from the Assam police to arrest the culprits by tomorrow.

The outfit’s chief, Dilip Nunisa, told The Telegraph that if the police failed to keep their commitment, they would reimpose the bandh from October 30.

THE HINDU

Thursday, Oct 28, 2010

‘Circular rail proposal before Railway Board'

Staff Reporter

It envisages a 240-km rail network around Bangalore city


Doubling of Bangalore-Mysore rail line work to be completed by mid-2012

Railway Ministry to complete projects planned under cost-sharing with State within five years


Bangalore: The State Government's proposal to build a 240-km circular rail network around Bangalore city is before the Railway Board, said Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa.

Speaking to presspersons after holding a quarterly review meeting of the South Western Railway here on Wednesday, Mr. Muniyappa said that he would ask the railway officials to examine the State's proposal and give priority to it.

Bangalore-Mysore line

On doubling of Bangalore-Mysore railway line, the Minister said that the work would be completed by mid-2012. “The work on doubling of about 19 km from Ramanagaram to Mysore will be completed by December. Almost 50 per cent of the work on constructing bridges across rivers near Srirangapatna and other locations is complete and the entire work is expected to be completed in another 18 months,” Mr. Muniyappa added. The work on laying a railway line between Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola, as part of providing the shortest rail link between Bangalore and Mysore, would start as soon as the State Government hands over a piece of land belonging to Kunigal Stud Farm, as the dispute over this is almost resolved and the Railways does not have to make major changes in the original alignment of the track. “The new track will be laid within two years from commencement of work,” he added.

Cost-sharing

Mr. Muniyappa said that the Ministry of Railways has decided to complete the railway projects planned under cost-sharing with Karnataka within five years.

He said 12 projects taken up under cost-sharing between the Railways and the Karnataka Government were under various stages of implementation.

While Kuttur-Harihar railway link will be completed by March 2011, Kadur-Chickmagalur line will be ready by March 2012, and the entire stretch of Shimoga-Talaguppa line will be completed by December this year.

Mamata Banerjee promises to make Indian Railways accident-free

New Delhi, Oct.26 : Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the Government is making efforts to ensure railway operations accident-free by introducing new technology, expected to be operational within six months to one year.

ddressing at the Economic Editors’ Conference, the Railway Minister said the Government has undertaken steps for installing anti-collision device (ACD), train protection warning system (TPWS) and SIMRAN (Satellite imaging rail navigation system) to prevent train accidents.

“Within six months to one year, these devices will be operational ” said Mamata, adding “our policy is to make railway zero-tolerance zone for accidents. Despite heavy odds, we are going ahead with these projects for the safety of passengers.”

alking about various pending rail projects, Mamata disclosed: “Railways require about Rs 100,000 crores to complete the pending projects.”

While explaining the Railways fiscal position, Mamata said the Sixth Pay Commission has made a dent on the Public Sector Unit’s financial health.

She said the Railways gave Rs 55,000 crore as payments to its employees as a result of the implementation of the Pay Commission. It also gave Rs 15,000 crore as pension.

“We managed the burden of the Pay Commission from our own internal generation and we did it without increasing any passenger fares,” she said, adding that her ministry was striving to put a check on expenditure to improve the operating ratio of railways.

“Our aim is to improve the operating ratio from 95 per cent to 92 per cent,” she said.

On being asked about repeated disruptions in Kolkata Metro operation, Mamata blamed it on disgruntled elements sabotaging train operations.

While speaking on the issue of the proposed world class railway station for New Delhi, Mamata said “there were matters to be sorted with the Delhi Government and the project would be on the cards soon.” (ANI)

Shri Ahamed Calls for Adaptation of Modern Signal & Telecom System on Indian Railways

The Minister of State for Railways, Shri E. Ahamed said that to lower the unit cost of operation, advanced signal and telecom system can enable Indian Railways to run more trains, prevent accidents, contribute to passenger satisfaction by providing accurate information about train running and can also augment revenue by commercially exploiting the surplus capacity available in the field of communications. Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of an International Convention on ‘Modern Railway Signaling & Telecom System’, being organized by Institute of Railway Signal and Telecommunication Engineers (IRSTE) (India) along with Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) (London), here today, Shri Ahamed said that Signalling & Telecom system is an essential means of optimization of line- capacity and enhancement of safety. Some of the many important system adopted on Indian Railways for enhancing efficiency and safety include Anti Collision Device, an indigenous GPS based system.. He said that it was a matter of great encouragement that as a result of continuous thrust on providing these safety improvement system at stations by way of track circuiting and replacement of over-aged signaling assets, safety level and efficiency in rain operations have considerably improved and have substantially helped in elimination of accidents due to human errors. He said that all out efforts are required to exploit the hidden potential of Signal & Telecom systems.
The Minister further said that Indian Railways, one of the largest networks in the world, is the principle mode of transport in the country. Growth of the Railways since inception has directly contributed to the economic and social development of the nation. Shri Ahamed added that this International Convention will help Science and Technological engineers in identifying optimal technical solution in the field of Signalling & Telecom and identify modern emerging strategies for enhancing line capacity, safety and operational efficiency for the overall development of the railway system transport system in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Vivek Sahai, Chairman, Railway Board said that Indian Railway Vision 2010 document among other things focuses on increasing efficiency in train operations, low equipment failures, provision of proven on-board train protection systems, satellite based train tracking and information systems and the advance Signaling and Telecom systems form the core of each of these targeted areas. He said Signal & Telecom system, plays an important role in safety enhancement and line capacity improvement. He said that Railways will continue to take steps to modernize its operation in all fields including Signal & Telecom. Shri Sahai further said that mobile train radio communication, extension of optical fibre cable (OFC) over the entire roué, IP based train control communication, voice network modernization and replacement of overhead alignment with underground cable/OFCs are among the measures to be used to improve reliability of the communication system and enhance the capability of the transport system.
Shri Sudesh Kumar, Member Electrical, Railway Board who was also present on the occasion said that being the safest, most fuel efficient, cheapest and comfortable mode of transport, Indian Railways play a vital role in the development of economy of the nation. He said that Railways Signalling & Telecommunication technology is on the brink of a revolution. Today’s developing railways need not only modern technology but modern adaptable technology. He said that this convention will provide the much needed common platform to discuss, evaluate and optimize technological, organizational and managerial issues for this mammoth exercise of completion of Science & Telecom works and projects envisaged in Vision 2020 projections of Indian Railways.
This five day International Convention will have a series of exhibitions, site visits, interaction and train ride showcasing the Signal & Telecom System deployed for railway operations on Indian Railways.
Source: Ministry of Railways

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Metro GM shown the door

Two days after a Metro train derailed in Kolkata, the general manager of Metro Railway, Amar Nath, was today shunted out.
He has been replaced by B Murty, who was earlier general manager of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. Murty has held several important positions like Divisional Railway Manger Secunderabad ( South Central Railways), Chief Operations Manager, Westen and Konkan Railways Limited and Chief Commercial Manager of Central Railway among others.
Sources said that Nath’s removal came directly from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee who in the last few days has received severe criticisms from all quarters over the regular spate of accidents and snags taking place in Metro in recent months.
With Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and other senior CPM leaders making the Metro and railways “non performance” an issue in poll-bound West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress chief did not want to give them any further opportunity and decided to shift Amar Nath — the first major transfer in the railways since she took over the ministry last year, said party insiders.
The final blow to Nath came after his disastrous dealing with the media in the last two days. During his interaction with the media on Thursday, he said ill-maintenance of the rakes and tracks could have been the cause behind repeated snags. Adding to it, some mediapersons were beaten up by the RPF personnel at Central Metro station where they had gone to meet the team probing the derailment. The removal of the GM was important to salvage railways image which has been quite clean and unblemished till date, said railway sources.
Train runs over crocodile in Sindhudurg
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
After seven elephants perished on the tracks in West Bengal in September, a crocodile has now fallen prey to a speeding train in Maharashtra.
A Konkan Railway train, on its way to Mumbai from Madgaon in Goa, ran over a rare species of crocodile in Sindhudurg district Friday morning, killing it instantly. Environmentalists from the region are up in arms and have demanded that the stretch of the railway line passing through the wildlife corridor be fenced off.
The incident happened at Madura, near Sawantwadi station, about 500km from Mumbai.
The crocodile was split into two by the speeding train. An alert gangman informed the local station master, who in turn reported the incident to the police. A team of wildlife officers then visited the spot for an inspection. Sources said the crocodile was about seven to eight years old and 140cm long.
Environmentalists say that such incidents happen frequently on the stretch that is rich with various fauna, but are never reported.
“Konkan is a declared eco-sensitive zone. It has a large number of rare species that are not even fully documented. The spot where the incident occurred yesterday has several water bodies with a large number of crocodiles. The railway line passing through such stretches should be fenced,” said Dr Jayendra Parulekar, an environmentalist from Sawantwadi, and a member of the Save Western Ghats Forum.
The Western Ghats are already in the tentative list of UNESCO’s world natural heritage sites.
“This is an eco-sensitive zone and the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, has identified several rare aquatic species,” said Vaishali Patil of the Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti.
“The landslides that have disrupted the Konkan railway time and again only show that proper environmental studies were not done before commissioning such projects. The same is true for the large number of mining projects that have now been given permission in the region,” she added.
"Instead of fencing, the railways could install sensors which would scare away animals from the rail lines,” said Sunish Subramanian of Plant and Animal Welfare Society, adding that he was writing a letter to environment minister Jairam Ramesh on this issue.
Siddheshwar Telugu, deputy general manager with Konkan Railway, however, said it was a one-off incident. “It was a rare incident. As far as fencing is considered, the railways may not be in a position to decide on this. But the local authorities can take the initiative for it.”
It may be recalled that in September a freight train had mowed down seven elephants near Jalpaiguri in West Bengal after which the Indian Railways said they were trying to find a permanent solution to the problem.
Railway cop runs with cash to escape CBI net

[ Date : Oct 23rd, 2010 ]
Officers from the anti-corruption unit of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chased a railway police inspector and arrested him on the charge of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income.
On Thursday, when the officers raided Arvind Yadav’s house, he started running away with Rs13.5 lakh in cash. However, he was arrested after a chase for about 10 minutes. The cash in his hand turned out to be part of the Rs61 lakh — an amount that he accumulated.
The officers said that they had information that Yadav, who is attached to Kalyan railway police, had accumulated a lot of benami property in the names of his family members, relatives and friends. Raids were conducted at five of these places in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and property documents, bank passbooks and cash were recovered from there. In fact, the officers are continuing their search.
Yadav has been charged with possession of disproportionate assets to his known source of income. A case of deterring public servants from discharging their duty has also been registered against the accused at Navghar police station.
The case goes back to November last year when CBI received an input that railway police personnel were allegedly collecting money from passengers standing in queue to board general compartments of trains originating from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT). The CBI raided LTT, leading to the arrest of 14 policemen. Yadav was one of the accused in the case. The CBI officers had filed a charge sheet against all the accused. Yadav was out on bail.
3 TTEs caught as ACB busts ticket racket
S Ahmed Ali, TNN, Oct 24, 2010, 05.50am IST

MUMBAI: A day after arresting an RPF inspector in a disproportionate assets case, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of CBI conducted raids in an express train and busted a racket run by three ticket examiners (TTEs).

The TTEs, Naresh Kumar Chawla, Ajit Kumar Sinha and Raj Prakash Singh, were suspended by the railways on Saturday evening.

Acting on a tip-off, the ACB and the Railway Vigilance Cell carried out a surprise check in 2954 August Kranti Rajdhani Express. "We had information that ticketless passengers frequently travelled from Surat and Vapi to Mumbai Central. The TTE took money from these people and regularized them without issuing receipts and did not remit the amount to the railways," said an ACB official. The ACB carried searches particularly in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ACs compartment. The passengers were regularized & penalty of Rs. 19,510/- was received from them.

"Chawla, superintendent of first and second AC coaches, was caught with Rs 2,000 that was undeclared. He had allowed six passengers to travel without a proper ticket. Sinha had Rs 20,250 unaccounted for, while Singh had Rs 13,220," the official said.

Singh, TTE, working in B-5 to B-8 coach was found possessing Rs. 13,220/- undeclared and unaccounted cash. He had allowed 3 passengers to travel without proper ticket. In addition he had taken an advance of Rs. 1,500/- from 3 passengers without issuing the receipt.

All the above 3 TTEs were suspended by DRM, Western Railway, Mumbai on the request of CBI.
Rate of Monthly subscription and insurance cover under CGEGIS-1980 for Railway Employees


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)

RBE.No. 145/2010
dated 6.10.2010.

S.No.PC-VI/230
No.PC-VI/2010/GIS/I

The General Managers,
All Indian Railways/PUs etc.

Subject : Rate of Monthly subscription and insurance cover under CGEGIS-1980 for erstwhile Group 'D' employees placed in PB-1, Grade Pay Rs.1800/- and classified as Group 'C'.
-----------

Attention is invited to Ministry of Finance's OM No.E7.(5)-EV/89 dated 15-05-1989 updating the Central Government Employees Group Insurance Scheme-1980 (CGEGIS), circulated vide Board's letter No.PC-III/89/GIS/I dated 19-09-1989.

2. Consequent upon implementation of recommendations of 6th Central Pay Commission as accepted by the Government and issue of revised classification vide Board's letter No. PC-VI/2009/I/RSRP/4 dated 08-01-2010, the issue of rate of recovery of monthly subscription and insurance cover under CGEGIS-1980 for erstwhile Group 'D' employees placed in PB-1, Grade Pay Rs.1800/-, have been under consideration in consultation with Ministry of Finance, the nodal Ministry for this purpose, for some time.
3. It has now been decided that subscription towards CGEGIS and insurance coverage to the erstwhile Group 'D' employees placed in PB-1 with Grade Pay Rs.1800 and classified as Group 'C' vide Board's letter No. PC-VI/2009/I/RSRP/4 dated 08-01-2010 (RBE No.05/2010), may be enhanced @ Rs.30/- per month from 1st January of the next calendar year i.e. January-2011.

4. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry.

5. Kindly acknowledge receipt.
(This disposes of Metro Railway's letter No.MRTS/E.340/VIth PC dt. 28-04-2010)

s/d
(Hari Krishan)
Director Pay Commission II
Railway Board.
Safety Related Retirement Scheme in Railways - Clarification


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)

New Delhi, dated 07.10.2010.
No.E(P&A)I-2010/RT/2

The General Managers,
All Indian Railways,
All Indian Railways.

Sub : Safety Related Retirement Scheme covering safety categories with Grade Pay of Rs.1800/-.

Ref: Board's letter of even number dated 11.09.2010 and 24.09.2010.
**********

AIRF and NFIR raised a doubt that a large number of staff working in Grade Pay of Rs.1800/- would not be eligible to avail the benefit of the above Scheme after financial upgradation under the MACPS.

2. The matter has been considered and it is clarified that for determining the eligibility for seeking retirement under the Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS), Grade Pay corresponding to the post against which the employee is working on regular basis will be taken into account. In the other words, the staff working on the post with Grade Pay of Rs.1800/- will continue to be eligible for seeking retirement under the Scheme even after getting financial upgradation in Grade Pay higher than Rs.1800/- under MACPS.

3. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.

4. Kindly acknowledge receipt.

s/d
(Dharam Pal)
Deputy Director Estt. (P&A) II
Railway Board
Child Care Leave in respect of female railway employees as a result of SCPC recommendations - Clarification regarding


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)
PC-VI No.229
RBE.No. 144/2010 New Delhi dated 04.10.2010.
No.E(P&A)I-2008/CPC/LE-8

The General Managers/CAOs,
All Indian Railways/Production Units etc.

Subject : Child Care Leave in respect of female railway employees as a result of Sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations - Clarification regarding
*****


Please refer to Board's letters of even number dated 23.10.2008, 12.12.2008 and 23.4.2010 regarding grant of Child Care Leave (CCL).

2. In pursuance of the decision taken by the Government, the Ministry of Railways have decided to delete the condition that CCL can be availed only if the employee concerned has no LAP at her credit, subject to the following conditions:-

(i) CCL may not be granted in more than 3 spells in a calendar year.

(ii) CCL may not be granted for less than 15 days.

(iii) CCL should not ordinarily be granted during the probation period except in case of certain extreme situations where the leave sanctioning authority is fully satisfied about the need of Child Care Leave to the probationer. It may also be ensured that the period for which this leave is sanctioned during probation is minimal.

3. It is reiterated that the CCL is to be treated like LAP and sanctioned as such.

4. These orders take effect from 1.9.2008. LAP, if any, availed by women employees before availing CCL subsequent to the issue of the Board's letter of even number dated 12.12.2008 may be adjusted against CCL, if so requested by the employee regardless of condition 2(i) and 2(ii) above.

5. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.

6. Please acknowledge receipt.
s/d
(Dharam Pal)
Director Pay Estt.(P&A)II,
Railway Board

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)

RBE.No. 143/2010 New Delhi, dated 29.09.2010

S.No.PC-VI/228 No.PC-VI/2009/ACP/2

The General Managers
All Indian Railways/PUs
(as per mailing List)


Subject : Modified ACP Scheme (MACPS) for Railway employees – Clarifications regarding.


In continuation to the Board’s letter of even number dated 10.06.2009 notifying the Modified ACP Scheme for Railway employees, point-wise clarifications on certain issues pertaining to the MACPS, as received from the Department of Personnel & Training, are indicated below:-

S.No
Point of doubt
Clarification

1.Point of doubt

Whether the Pay Band would change in the hierarchy of Pay Bands & Grade Pay on grant of the benefits under MACPS?
Clarification

The upgradations under MACPS are to be granted in the immediate next higher grade pay in the hierarchy of recommended revised pay band and grade pay as prescribed in the RS (RP) Rules, 2008.

2.Point of doubt

Whether the benefits of MACPS would be allowed to the Railway servants who have been later on inducted in the Organized Group ‘A’ Service?
Clarification

No. The benefit under MACPS is not applicable to Group ‘A’ officer of Organized Group ‘A’ Services, as the officer under Organized Group ‘A’ Services have already been allowed parity of two years on non-functional basis with the officers of Indian Administrative Services (IAS).

3. Point of doubt

How will the benefits of ACP be granted, if due between 01.01.2006 and 31.08.2008 ?
Clarification

The new MACPS has come into existence w.e.f. 01.09.2008. However, the pay structure has been changed w.e.f. 01.01.2006. Therefore, the previous ACPS would be applicable in the new pay structure adopted w.e.f. 01.01.2006. Para 6.1 of Annexure-1 of MACPS is only for exercising option for coming over to the revised pay structure and not for grant of benefits under MACPS. The following illustrations would explain the position :-

(A) In the case of isolated post:
Date of appointment in entry Grade in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.4000-6000 : 01.10.1982,

1st ACP granted on 01.10.1999: Rs.4500-7000 (pre-revised)

2nd ACP due on 01.10.2006: Rs.5000-8000 (pre-revised)
[revised PB-2 Grade Pay of Rs.4200]

3rd financial upgradation under the MACPS would be due on 01.10.2012 (on completion of 30 years of continuous regular service) in the immediate next higher grade pay in the hierarchy of recommended revised pay band and grade pay i.e. Grade Pay of Rs.4600 in PB2.

(B) In case of normal promotional hierarchy :
Date of appointment in entry Grade in the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.5500-9000 : 01.10.1982

1st ACP granted on 1.10.1999 : Rs.6500-10500 (pre-revised)

2nd ACP due on 01.10.2006 (as per the existing hierarchy):
Rs.10000-15200 (pre-revised). Therefore, 2nd ACP would be in PB-3 with Grade Pay of Rs.6600 (in terms of hierarchy available):

3rd financial upgradation under MACPS would be due on 01.10.2012 in the immediate higher grade pay in the hierarchy of recommended revised pay band and grade pay of Rs.7600.

4.Point of doubt

Whether benefits of MACPS would be granted from the date of entry grade or from the date of their regular service/approved service counted under various service rules?
Clarification

The benefits under MACPS would be available from the date of actual joining of the post in the entry grade.

5. Point of doubt

In a case where a person is appointed to an ex-cadre post in higher scale on deputation followed by absorption whether the period spent on deputation period would be counted as continuous service in the grade or not for the purpose of MACPS
Clarification

(i) where a person is appointed on direct recruitment/deputation basis from another post in the same grade, then past regular service as well as past promotion/ACP, in the earlier post, will be counted for computing regular service for the purpose of MACPS in the new hierarchy.

(ii) However, where a person is appointed to an ex-cadre post in higher scale initially on deputation followed by absorption, while the service rendered in the earlier post, which was in a lower scale cannot be counted, there is no objection to the period spent initially on deputation in the ex-cadre post prior to absorption being counted towards regular service for the purpose of grant of financial upgradation under MACPS, as it is in the same Pay Band /Grade Pay of the post.

6. Point of doubt

Whether the pay scale/grade pay of substantive post would be taken into account for appointment/selection to a higher post on deputation basis or the pay scale/grade pay carried by a Railway servant on account of financial upgradation(s) under ACP/MACP Scheme
Clarification

The pay scale/grade pay of substantive post would only be taken into account for deciding the eligibility for appointment /selection to a higher post on deputation basis.

7. Point of doubt

In a case where 1st 2nd financial upgradation are postponed on account of the employees not found fit or due to departmental proceedings, etc., whether this would have consequential effect on the 2nd/3rd financial upgradation or not?
Clarification

Yes, if a financial upgradation has been deferred/postponed on account of the employee not found fit or due to departmental proceedings, etc., the 2nd / 3rd financial upgradations under MACPS would have consequential effect.
(Para 18 of Annexure-I of MACPS referred)

8. Point of doubt

In a case where the Railway servant has already earned three promotions and still stagnated in one grade for more than 10 years, whether he would be entitled for any further upgradation under MACPS?
Clarification

No. Since the Government servant has already earned three promotions, he would not be entitled for any further financial upgradation under MACPS.

9.Point of doubt

Whether the pre-revised pay scale of Rs.2750-4400 in respect of Group ‘D’ non-matriculate employees, would also be taken as merged to grade pay of Rs.1800 for the purpose of MACPS in view of merger of pre-revised pay scale of Rs.2550-3200, Rs.2610-3540, Rs.2610-4000 and Rs.2650-4000, which have been upgraded and replaced by the revised pay structure of grad pay of Rs.1800 in the pay band PB-1?
Clarification

Yes.

10. Point of doubt

If a Railway servant on deputation earns up gradation under MACPS in the parent cade, whether he would be entitled for deputation(duty) allowance on the pay and emoluments granted under the MACPS or not?
Clarification


No. While eligibility of an employee for appointment against ex-cadre posts in terms of the provisions of the RRs of the ex-cadre post will continue to the determined with reference to the post/pay scale (and not with reference to the higher scale granted under ACPS/MACPS), such an officer, in the event of his selection, may be allowed to opt to draw the pay in the higher scale under ACP/MACP Scheme without deputation allowance during the period of deputation, if it is more beneficial than the normal entitlements under the existing general order regulating pay on appointment on deputation basis.

11. Point of doubt

Since the pay scales of Group ‘D’ employees have been merged and placed in the Grade Pay of Rs.1800, whether they are entitled for grant of increment @ 3% during pay fixation at entry stage.
Clarification

Yes. On the analogy of point 22 of Annexure-I of MACPS, the pay of such Group ‘D’ employees who have been placed in the Grade Pay of Rs.1800 w.e.f. 01.01.2006 shall be fixed successively in the next three immediate higher grade pays in the hierarchy of revised pay bands and grade pays allowing the benefit of 3% pay fixation at every stage.



2. The MACPS should strictly be implemented in keeping with the instructions issued vide Board’s letter dated 10.6.2009 ibid read with the aforesaid clarifications.
3. Hindi version is enclosed.
[Authority : DoP&T's OM No.35034/3/2008-Estt.(D) dated 09.09.2010]



(N.P.Singh)
Deputy Director, Pay Commission -V
Railway Bo
To
Hon’ble Minister for Labour,
Shram Sakthi Bhavan,
Govt of India,
New Delhi.

Respected Sir,

This Association represents the loco running staff of Indian Railways.

For the past two and a half years we are demanding to redress our grievances related to injustice is done by VI CPC before the Railway Board. We held various peaceful Trade Union activities before the Railway administration, several memorandums were placed before them. The Ministry of Labour seized the matter for conciliation. The adamant stand taken by the Railway Board in not conceding the demands, the conciliation before the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) New Delhi, ended with failure. This non-co-operative attitude and casual approach of Railway authority to our genuine demands has also been experienced by the RLC (C) too and has been recorded in the RLC proceeding. This attitude of Railway Management is nothing but a serious blow to the well settled democratic norms to solve the grievances of the workers peacefully rather a provocation to the workers for agitation, which we do not favour in the interest of national economy, traveling passengers and Rail users. The railway Management at one side could not given any sound reason for not conceding the demands but on the other-side dragging the issues either one or another unreasonable pretext. It is also unfortunate that Hon’ble MR is also turned her deaf ear to the genuine, justified and the reasonable grievances of Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways. In order to have a glimpse of the grievances of loco running staff of Indian Railways, we give a gist of them before your esteemed office.

The grievances are as follows.

The recommendation of the sixth CPC to allow a grade pay of Rs.1900/- to the post of Assistant Loco Pilot, that is just Rs.100 more than the lowest category of Central Govt employees, is a heart burning issue. The responsibilities attached to the post in running their train safely and punctually, their recruitment qualification prescribed, the highest medical standard that has to be maintained, the arduousness in performing the duty of Asst Loco Pilot is far higher than a lowest post in central Govt employee, in-addition, same Trg. Same responsibility and same punishment as like as Loco Pilot they have to bear, if any thing goes wrong, A mere Rs.100/- more than the lowest post is not commensurate to the work entrusted to them. Therefore we demanded to raise the Grade pay of Rs.1900/- to Rs.2800/- . Many categories in Railways especially the Goods Train Guard, who were in equal renumeration with them prior to IV CPC were elevated to Grade pay of Rs.2800/- the other posts in Railway and in central Govt establishment who were equal remuneration to them were found elevation to the Grade pay of Rs.2800, whereas the Asst Loco Pilot does not see a similar treatment to them, though the present nature of working attached to the post warrant to raise the Grade pay to Rs.2800, and thus discrimination and injustice is done to them.

Admitting the position the Railway Board had raised the Grade Pay from Rs.1900 to Rs.2400 for the 80% of ALP with effect from 01-05-2010 meeting our demand half way. Our demand to raise the Grade Pay to Rs.2800 is genuine and absolutely warranted on the reason enumerated above.
2. The Sixth CPC recommended to merge the Grade of Rs.5000-8000,5500-9000,6500-10500 and allowed Grade Pay of Rs.4200 to all. Equally it recommended that if functional difference existing between these Grades, merger should not be effected and distinct Grade Pay be given to each grade.

After considering the issue the Government decided to merge the first two Grades i.e. Rs.5000-8000 and Rs.5500- 9000 and allowed Grade Pay of Rs.4200 to them and third Grade of Rs.6500-10500 had allowed with the Grade Pay of Rs.4600.But in the case of Running Staff, Loco Pilot(Goods) in scale Rs.5000-8000,the Loco Pilot(Pass) in scale Rs.5500-9000 and the Loco Pilot(Mail) in scale Rs.6000-9800 not been considered in the light of the Sixth CPC recommendation that if functional difference exists it need not be merged. Still these three posts though functional difference do exists and elevation from one post to another considered as promotion involving selection are placed in the same Grade Pay of Rs.4200.In the light of the above position we demanded a different and distinctive Grade Pay be allowed to these three posts. Sir, to what extent it is justified to allot only one GP of Rs. 4200/- when all the grade of LPs has its functional differences and is a promotional channel where the selection is also involved. The Railway Administration so far did not give any sound reason for not conceding the demands but dragging the issues either one or another pretext.

3. The Sixth CPC allowed an onerous duty allowance ,considering the nature of duty attached to the category of Running Staff, but confined the post of Loco Pilot(Mail) and Loco pilot(Pass).It is our humble suggestion that the duty performed by the other category of Loco Running Staff, ie. The Loco Pilot (Goods), Shunting and Assistant Loco Pilot is equally onerous in nature, therefore all the categories of Running Staff should be allowed with the onerous duty allowance instead of confining to two categories. And also we demand that this should be treated as Pay and not as a mere allowance.

4. The duty hours, rest period, etc. are dealt with under the Hours of Employment Regulation in the Railways. The same is applicable for Loco Running Staff, but basing on some subsidiary rules in corporated by the Railways, the duty hours, rest etc. has been prescribed quite differently to others. In the HOER there is no upper limit prescribed for daily duty hours, in the hope the management will not exploit and force the workers to perform beyond certain extend. The factory Act, Plantation Workers Act and in most of such Acts there is a prescribed daily limit of work varying from 8 to 9 hours with a break of half an hour to one hour. But such provision not been in HOER of the Railways. But a limit of duty hours prescribed for a fortnight at 96 hours/104 hours. Taking this lacunae in the Act, they regularly extract work for 14 hours to 20 hours at a stretch from Loco Running Staff. The Periodical Rest (Weekly Rest ) for all other workers ranging from 42 hours to 54 hours, but in the case of Loco Running Staff it was prescribed to 22 hours or 30 hours that too no weekly, but monthly basis. To extract the fortnightly limit of duty hours of 96 hours and 104 hours, the Loco Running Staff are subjected to be in duty in all the 365 days of the year. It may be seen as violation of Human Rights.

It may be noted that prescribing duty hours, rest, etc. is the prerogative of the Ministry of Labour. No management either in private or the State have any right to prescribe Hours Of Employment to its workers. Though the HOER are promulgated by the Ministry of Labour, changes were made by the Railway Board without the concurrence of Ministry of Labour and they exploit the Staff. Allowing unfettered power to the management to make rule in regard to Hours of Employment will give amble room to exploit the worker and drive them to the status of slaves. Therefore the Authority to make rule were entrusted with the Ministry of Labour. This cardinal rule has been neglected and the Railway Board plays havoc in the life of innocent workers and Ministry of Labour were made mere spectator. In-addition, the Railway has gone in a vast technological change for which the concentration of mind of a Loco Running Staff has been increased many fold. This present HOER is framed some 50 Yrs back when the average speed of a Goods Train is 30/35 KMPH, load of train (Goods) was 1800T, average speed of a coaching train was 40/45 KMPH, load was for 12/14 bogies but now the average speed of goods train is 50/55 KMPH, for M/Exp goes up to 75KMPH, load of goods trains, goes up to 5000T and for coaching to 24/26 Bogies. In one spell of duty about 400 to 425 Signal posts have to be confronted. A Signal post is to be passed now each after 2/3 minutes not like past days when a Signal Post was to be confronted each and after 10/12 Minutes.

Taking all these into consideration and the sufferings of the workers the Union placed the demand to review the Hours of Employment Regulations of Railways employees by a judicial review committee. The matter came before the National Council of JCM and the JCM came to an agreement on the matter on 14-02-2006 that the Hours of Employment Regulations for the Railway will be reviewed by a Judicial Committee, but nothing is done so far. On this matter too, the Railway Management did not spell out specifically in RLC (C) conciliation and dragged the issues.

Years were passed, the delay to implement the JCM agreement, gave enough time to Railway Board to manipulate. Now the Railway Board proposed for an in-house committee as reflected from their reply in RLC (C) conciliation that is too, in very unspecific terms, which is nothing but a deviation form their own commitment.

Sir, this is not fair, that Hours of Employment is a matter to be decided by the management whether they are private or state whatever forum they constitute.

Besides, we wish to point out that on 14-08-1973 then Minister of Labour after arriving an agreement with agitating Loco Running Staff assured in the floor of parliament that “the Loco Running Staff need not work more than 10 hours from signing on to signing off at stretch”. This is an assurance from the Government of India that should be honored and implemented. Accordingly orders were issued by the Ministry of Railways on 31-08-1978 restricting the duty hours to 10 hours from signing on to signing off for Loco Running Staff. But in 1992 the Railway Board, disregarding the assurance given by the Parliament, ordered and imposed the duty hours to 13 hours for Loco Running Staff misrepresenting a Ernakulam CAT’s order on the issue thus results mockery of Parliamentary democracy. It is therefore demanded to review the HOER by a judiciary Review Committee to have a safe, operation in the Railway.

5. By the nature of duty the Loco Running Staff normally be out of their headquarters on most of the days in a month. The Railway Board assumed the absence from head quarters in a month is for 20 days.

Any Government servant absenting from headquarters in course of employment is entitled to get TA on daily basis i.e. Fixed at the rate of rs.340 per day for those who are in Grade Pay Rs.4200.Thus the Loco Running Staff whose Grade Pay is Rs.4200 are entitled for 20 days TA at the same rate of Rs.340 per day.

But the Loco Running Staff were not paid TA as given to the other staff.
but it is paid through a scheme of Running Allowance.

The Gist of Running Allowance scheme is that “30% of the Basic Pay+20 days TA were divided by National average KM that have to be earned by the Loco Running Staff ie.5100KM and thus decided the rate for 100 KM.

The formula adopted for the past three decades is as follows:
The sum of the 30% of the mean of the basic pay+20 days TA is divided by 5100 KM (National average KM) and multiplied by 100.

From 01/09/2008, when the rate of TA is revised for all the staff, the running allowance rate was also revised. While doing so, with the same formula, the Railway Board made certain unwarranted modifications which caused a serious anomaly.

Instead of taking the TA rate at Rs.340/- for those whose Grade Pay is Rs.4200/- , they took the TA rate of Rs.210/- to calculate the rate of running allowance, discriminating from other Central Government employee, this was done before the announcement made by the Government on TA revision. The Railway assumed that the TA rate of Rs.105 in Sixth CPC will be raised to double; they took the TA rate as Rs.210 to decide the rate of Running Allowance. Subsequently the Government announced the TA rate as Rs.340, in different to the assumption of Railway Board. Under these circumstances we demand to calculate the Running Allowance under the formula with TA rates as Rs.340 instead of Rs.210 for Loco Pilots and with Rs.210 instead of Rs.110 for ALP as assumed by the Railway Board. Removing the discrimination, the Running Allowance rate be modified from 01-01-2006 when pay structure is effected to allow 30% pay element as done after V CPC.

Added to that while calculating the rate of Running Allowance, instead of taking the mean of the basic pay the Railway Board took the minimum of the Basic pay. Thus they denied the 30% of basic pay as pay for those who are in the higher basic pay in the new pay structure. The President declared that 30% basic pay is treated as pay element in the running allowance for loco running staff. Thus taking the minimum of basic pay is in violation of President of India’s order which is statutory in nature. Sir, to what extent it is justified not to allow Rs 340/- the rate TA to the employee whose GP is Rs. 4200/- and Rs. 210/- to them whose GP is below Rs. 4200/- why this discrimination to Loco Running Staff who are giving blood to maintain the train services in the Railway. The Railway management here also failed to give any reason for not conceding the demand but dragging caused for a serious resentment. The Railway Board here in this matter has taken a very peculiar stand that to review the rate of Running Allowance the question of Pay element is also to be reviewed which is nothing but attempt to divert the issues. The pay element and the TA rate is two different things has already got the approval of President of India. It is worth while to mention here that the Pay element was up-to 75% earlier that was subsequently reduced to 45% and then to 30% and so we are already subjected to a reduction. To review the pay element, the job has to be reviewed which has never be done so far, and then pay has to be fixed accordingly. Sir, this argument of Railway Management has no sound reason but an attempt to divert the issues.

Therefore we demand to calculate the rate of running allowance based on the formula that the 30% of MEAN of the basic pay+20 days TA at the rate of Rs.340/- divided by national average KM of 5100 KM.

All these demands were placed in the conciliation and the conciliation was failed due to the adamant attitude of the Railway Board. We request your goodself to refer the matter for adjudication before the National Tribunal.

Added to the above demand, we plead to implement the Industrial Tribunal/ Central Labour Court of Chennai award in ID case no. 1/2008 delivered on 31st July 2009 and also published in the Govt Gazette of Aug/Sept 2009, in which the payment of enhanced rate of DA allowing 30% pay element to the Dearness Pay is awarded to the Running staff of Indian Railways.

To draw the attention of Ministry of Labour, Railway and finances as well as PMO, to express our resentment, anguish and demand to refer it to adjudication, the Central Working Committee meeting of our Association held on 12/10/2010 called upon its workers
1) To submit an individual appeal to your office in the third week of November,

2) To hold demonstration before various Regional Labour Commissioner’s offices in the country on 1st December 2010 and submit a memorandum addressed to Hon’ble Minister of Labour.

3) a delegation of AILRSA will meet the Labour Minister at his pleasure on 1st December 2010 and explain the grievances for redressal. I therefore request your honour to grant an opportunity to meet your honour in a delegation at your conveyance for personal hearing. I shall be highly obliged if an intimation in this regard is given to me.

4) if no redressal is forth coming, to hold a massive Rally and sit in Dharna before the Ministry of Labour at New Delhi in the month of February 2011 during the Budget session of the Parliament.

We reasonably expect from your Hon’ble office that our grievances will be settled amicably.


Yours faithfully,


(M.N.Prasad)
Secretary General,
Copy to: - AILRSA
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Hon’ble Minister for Railways
Hon’ble Minister for Finance
Hon’ble Chief Labour Commissioner
(Matter for the letter to be given to MPs before the Feb 2011 Rally/Dharna)

To
Sri. ………………………………
Hon’ble Member of Parliament.

Respected Sir,

You were aware that the Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways are agitating for the past two years to redress their grievances amicably.

The matter was seized by the Labour Ministry and a conciliation proceeding were held for the past one and half year before the Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) New Delhi.

In the conciliation proceeding the Railway Board, in fact, not rejected any of the demands abruptly but held a stand that the grievances are under active consideration before various higher forums of the Railway Board. But the delay to redress the grievances has never been answered.

Finding no response, the conciliation ended in failure on 11/10/2010.

Our grievances and the issue involved were detailed in the letter addressed to the Hon’ble Minister for Labour, Govt of India, a copy of the letter is attached herewith to have a glimpse of the entire issue.

We proposed for a massive Rally and Dharna before the Ministry of Labour in the Budget session in February 2011 at New Delhi, the date of which will be intimated later.

We earnestly request your goodself to address our Dharna at New Delhi and persuade the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Labour to intervene and redress the grievances.



Yours faithfully,
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (RAILWAY BOARD)
New Delhi, dated 07.10.2010.
No.E(P&A)I-2010/RT/2
The General Managers, All Indian Railways, All Indian Railways.
Sub : Safety Related Retirement Scheme covering safety categories with Grade Pay of Rs.1800/-.
Ref: Board’s letter of even number dated 11.09.2010 and 24.09.2010.
AIRF raised a doubt that a large number of staff working in Grade Pay of Rs.1800/- would not be eligible to avail the benefit of the above Scheme after financial upgradation under the MACPS.
2. The matter has been considered and it is clarified that for determining the eligibility for seeking retirement under the Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS), Grade Pay corresponding to the post against which the employee is working on regular basis will be taken into account. In the other words, the staff working on the post with Grade Pay of Rs.1800/- will continue to be eligible for seeking retirement under the Scheme even after getting financial upgradation in Grade Pay higher than Rs.1800/- under MACPS.
3. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
4. Kindly acknowledge receipt.
s/d
(Dharam Pal)

Deputy Director Estt. (P&A) II

Railway Board

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Central Circular dated 12/10/2010

Sub: Proceedings of meeting of Zonal Secretaries and members of Conciliation committee at AILRSA Bhavan, Ghaziabad on 12/10/2010.

Meeting was presided by Com. L. Mony, Central President Com. Secretary General explained the fate of the long drawn conciliation meetings before RLC / New Delhi which was started on 23rd Nov 2009. The Railway Board was willfully dragging the issue stating every time that the issue was under consideration of this or that forum. This time too they repeated the same slogan. The RLC himself was forced to criticize the negligent attitude of the Railway Board on the issues and finally the conciliation process ended in failure on 11.10.2010. This meeting calls upon all the Branches, Division and Zonal Committees to organize vehement protest immediately against 1) the lethargic attitude shown by the Railway Board towards the genuine grievances of the most vital category of staff in Railways, 2) the negligence shown towards the constitutional body under the Labour Ministry (RLC) for democratic peaceful settlement on industrial dispute and also 3) the irresponsible and the un-cared attitude towards the traveling public Rail users and the common people if at all resentment of workers goes beyond its limit and burst it out. Since some of the Zones could not remain present in the meeting so might not be possible to lodge protest immediately so you will comply the decision as given below in item No: 1, 2 now along with other decisions.

Now the legal position dictates, whenever conciliation failed, the issue be referred before an independent authority, the Nation Tribunal, for a decision of the demand that have to be decided by the Ministry of Labour.

At this juncture we have to pressurize the Ministry of Labour, to refer our grievance to a Nation Tribunal for a decision to resolve the issues.

The rules under Industrial Dispute Act, refrains us not to resort for any agitation till a decision taken by the Ministry of Labour to refer the issue to a National Tribunal or otherwise.

Therefore we insist before the Ministry of Labour to send the matter for Adjudication as early as possible.

To draw the attention of the Ministry of Labour, we have to stage certain programmes as follows:


1) Protest demonstration at all depots and sending letter to the Prime Minister, Railway Minister and Labour Minister (Copy enclosed) on 1st Nov 2010.

2) Individual letter to the Central Labour Minister between 15th and 20th Nov 2010 (Matter enclosed)

3) Demonstration before RLC by the zonal committees in their respective area submit memorandum addressed to the Labour Minster through RLC and sending letter to Labour Minister, Prime Minister and Railway Minister (Copy enclosed) asking the Labour Ministry to refer the demands for adjudication on 1st Dec 2010.

4) Central Committee delegation to Central Labour Minister in 1st week of Dec 2010.

5) Rally and Dharna before the Labour Ministry New Delhi in February 2011 to persuade the Central Labour Ministry.

6) Zonal Committee meetings to be held in January duly intimating the Secretary General, to explain, educate and empower the cadres.

7) Posters to be printed centrally and supplied.

8) Notice and poster for Zonal demonstration to be printed by the Zonal Committee.

9) Send letter to all Members of Parliament by the Secretary General and local delegation by Divisional Committees to local MPs before Delhi programme.

10) Covering letter for MP enclosed in which the letter addressed to the Labour Minister to be attached.

11) All zones are requested to help E. Co. Railway for fighting out the 7 removals from service by extending a financial assistance of Rs. 1000/- per month on A/c No: 2210000100098368 Panjab National Bank Jatni, Dist – Khurda, Orrissa, of Com. S. K. Biswal Zonal treasurer E. Co. Railway.

PREPARE SERIOUSLY for a indefinite Hunger Strike after February 2011 Rally and Dharna at New Delhi, if our grievances are not been settled. Every effort taken to explain the reasons for launching a Hunger Strike to the workers.


Yours’ Comradely



(M. N. Prasad)
Secretary General
AILRSA
Note: - I am sorry for sending the decision a little beat late due to my sickness.


M. N. Prasad






Matter for individual protest letter,

Sir, Date:


Due to irresponsible and adamant attitude of Railway authority, the RLC (C) New Delhi, conciliation on the genuine demands of Loco Running Staff of Indian Railway ended with failure after a prolong discussion for about 1 ½ Yrs. result of which the dissatisfaction, resentment and disappointment amongst us.
I therefore request your kind intervention into the matter. So that matter is referred to industrial tribunal for adjudication to have industrial peace in the Railways.


Thanks,




To, yours’ faithfully


Hon’ble PM Name. ___________
Hon’ble Minister for Labour Sign.____________
Hon’ble Minister for Railways Desg. ___________
Station __________
Rly_____________

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RCF seeks Rs 150 crore from Railway Ministry
In order to enhance its manufacturing capacity of stainless steel coaches, Kapurthala-based Rail Coach Factory (RCF), a production unit of the Railway Ministry, has written to the ministry seeking Rs 150 crore for upgradation of technology and infrastructure. With fresh capital infusion the unit would be able to produce 1,000 coaches per annum against 458 coaches (targeted) in this fiscal year. Presently, majority of the coaches are made from conventional steel i.e cotton steel or mild steel.
Talking exclusively to Business Standard, RCF General Manager Pradeep Kumar said, "We have written to the ministry for funding the new project which includes enhancing the capacity of stainless steel coaches to 1,000 units per annum. This year we are targeting to produce 1,600 coaches, out of the total 458 would be of stainless steel."
It is worth mentioning that from a modest beginning, RCF has achieved various milestones and has now become one of the largest coach manufacturing units in the world. As of now, it has manufactured more than 22,000 coaches, which represent almost 50 per cent of the coaching fleet of Indian Railways. RCF is now producing more than 1,500 coaches per annum, comprising of more than 70 variants including stainless steel high speed coaches for trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi & Duronto Express. Further, in order to improve the safety of passengers, crashworthy coaches have also been produced here, which are capable of absorbing high impact energy in non-passenger area of a coach at its ends, while keeping the middle passenger portion safe. Last year, it manufacture 1,562 coaches and this year it is targeting to produce 1,600 coaches of different variants.
In order to cater to the growing demand from Railways, recently it has enhanced its production capacity from 1,000 coaches to 1,500 coaches per annum with an investment of Rs 100 crore. Further, the wheel shop project having capacity to produce wheels for 6,000 wheels per annum with an investment of Rs 60 crore is partly operational and likely to be fully operational in next 2-3 months.
Commenting upon export, he mentioned, "We have an order of 4 sets of 16 Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) coaches from Senegal besides 6 coaches for West Africa."
On Saturday, Indian Railways rolled out its first air conditioned Double Decker rake, comprising of 10 coaches (8 double deckers and 2 power cars). This rake has been offered to Eastern Railways for running between Howrah and Dhanbad. These high speed-stainless steel coaches are capable to run at a speed of 160 kmph. These coaches have 128 passenger carrying capacity in comparison to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair car, thus increasing the capacity. Overall, RCF had order of 13 Double Decker coaches and 3 power cars, the reamaining coaches and power car would be supplied very soon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Member Staff, Railway Board
New Delhi, Sept. 17
Mr V. N. Tripathi took over as Member Staff, Railway Board, and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India on Thursday. Prior to taking up his new appointment, Mr Tripathi was the General Manager, Eastern Railway. In addition to his new assignment, he will continue to conduct the work of General Manager, Eastern Railway for the time being.
A. P. Mishra is Member (Engineering) of Railway Board
Kolkata, Oct. 9
Mr A. P. Mishra has taken over as the Member (Engineering), Railway Board. Prior to this, he was General Manager, South Eastern Railway (SER).
Mr Mishra belongs to the 1974 batch of Indian Railway Service of Engineers,
Signalling the right change
Collision prevention systems in Railways.

The recentcollision at Badarwas station… After many such collisions with several fatalities, the focus has shifted to the prevention of collisions in mid-sections due to human error.
P.R. Goundan
V. Shanker
The collision between a goods train and an express train at Badarwas Railway Station near Shivpuri recently, preceded by another devastating collision between two express trains at Sainthia in West Bengal, as also several other collisions/ near-misses with relatively less casualties have brought to fore the need for a dependable collision prevention system on Indian Railways (IR). But the issues involved are rather complex, both in terms of technology and management.
The following issues remain the Achilles' heel of railway safety:
Absence of a dependable aid that can pick up and act on a danger signal, even if the driver fails to do so due to fatigue or other reasons.
Absence of redundancy in existing signalling systems.
Inadequacies in staffing pattern that hamper quick mobility of signal maintenance personnel, whose services are required round-the clock, and
Low motivation levels and morale among the signalling supervisors and officers, who feel they have little say in key decisions affecting them.
Finding the right technology
Globally, most railways have adopted highly-reliable signalling systems with adequate redundancy and safety-rated systems that get activated automatically whenever the driver overlooks signals. In the past decade, the ETCS (European Train Control System) has been evolved by a consortium of European countries, mainly to ensure inter-operability of systems supplied by multiple vendors.
In 2008-09, Indian Railways introduced as a trial run an ETCS-1-compliant system for about 42 EMU trains in the Chennai-Gummudipoondi section of Southern Railway. The on-board equipment either stops the train immediately (if the signal is at danger) or regulates the speed suitably (if the obstacle is some distance ahead). Similar works have been sanctioned on the Eastern Railway, the suburban sections of South Eastern Railway and short sections of the main line on two other Railways.
However, the Southern Railway's system has not achieved the expected reliability standards yet, primarily due to the difference in the Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) environment of the EMUs and European Railways.
The high death toll in the Gaisal accident on the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway in 1999 saw the focus shift to the prevention of collisions in mid-sections due to human error.
Emergency warnings
The Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) demonstrated, under simulated conditions, the Anti-Collision Device (ACD) based on GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking, with additional algorithms to differentiate the up and down main lines. This design assigns a unique track identification number to the trains running on a particular line and applies brakes if trains with the same ID move towards each other and exceed the prescribed minimum separation
The trains communicate their location and track ID to each other through a common UHF communication channel, which can alsobe used to warn other trains during an emergency such as derailment or provide advance warning at level-crossing gates. Inputs from station signalling are necessary to establish the train's track ID.
However, when the ACD was tried out on a large scale on the NF Railway during 2006-07, it was not precise enough to detect adjacent lines in stations. Thus it can only reduce train speeds on various loop lines but cannot prevent a collision at the speed permissible on loop lines at a station. The ACD system at times failed to detect trains on the same track or wrongly detected regular up and down movements on parallel lines as safety–threatening situations. Although there are international (UIC) specifications for vital, safety-rated signalling systemsthe designers of the ACD deemed it a non-vital, non-signalling device for assisting drivers that did not require international validation.
Vital signalling systems
Kernex Micro Systems, the outsourced technology partner of KRCL, has exclusive rights over the ACD design and for manufacturing, installation and maintenance over IR. Thus, any train anti-collision system, which largely plays a monitoring role and steps in only in rare instances of human failure, should necessarily be 99.9 per cent efficient. While the ETCS level-1 protection systems can help avert human errors, the ACD has useful features, such as conveying emergency warnings to nearby trains and advance warnings at level crossings.
During the transition phase, it would be practical to have two protection systems onboard, performing different roles. Alongside these, a highly-reliable block signalling system can avert collisions in block sections (except during derailments on adjacent lines). This can be achieved by duplicating all the sub-systems (cable routes, track detection devices, Block Instruments, power supplies).
However, no signalling system can be effective in absolute block territory when the station-signalling or block-signalling has failed or is not available; a 100 per cent reliable block signalling system is the answer.
Raising staff morale
The Railways have to realize that there are theoretical and practical limitations to the reliability of existing signalling equipment. Since there is a premium on the reliability of these systems, there have to be massive investments towards enhancement of signalling and telecom assets.
The maintenance and project organisations should be sufficiently staffed to handle the increase in workload; the morale of the staff of the maintenance and project organizations have to be raised by according the Signalling and Telecom wing representation at the Railway Board Member level. All staff related matters, policy decisions and inter-departmental co-ordination can be dealt effectively only by the Railway Board Member as per the present set- up; functioning under a different Member with different priorities will not be conducive to achieving the high expectations from the signalling department.
Half-hearted attempts that fail to address these core issues will not significantly alter the ground reality for collision-prevention systems or the safety of the ordinary railway passenger.
(P. R. Goundan is a former Additional Member (Telecom) Railway Board and former GM, ICF. V. Shanker is a former Addl Member (Signals) Railway Board and a former GM, CLW. Their views are personal.)
THE HINDU
Monday, Oct 18, 2010
Two Railway employees make country proud
Staff Correspondent
Hubli: Employees of the Railways added 23 medals to the Indian medal tally at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games.
Four South Western Railway employees M.A. Prajusha, A.C. Ashwini, Sahana Kumari and G.G. Pramila represented India in the Commonwealth Games in which 76 countries participated. Two of them won medals for the country.
According to a release, A.C. Ashwini was part of the gold medal winning team in the 4x400 meters relay; M.A. Prajusha won silver medal in long jump and she also secured the fourth place in triple jump event with a jump of 13.72 meters (a new national record).
Both Ashwini (Karnataka) and Prajusha (Kerala) are serving as junior clerks in the office of the Divisional Railway Manager in Bangalore. Sahana Kumari and G.G. Pramila represented India in high jump and heptathlon respectively.
The Ministry of the Railways has announced Special Minister's Awards for railway players winning medals in the Commonwealth Games.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pension showdown
VAIJU NARAVANE
in Paris
France: The Sarkozy government's plan to raise the retirement age triggers waves of protests.


IT was a gigantic, unending flood of people. Wave after wave of marchers, often wearing funny masks or disguises that conveyed their anger and disgust, bearing placards and banners, beating drums and cymbals, whistling, singing and shouting slogans, demonstrated across France on September 23.
There was an estimated 2.5 million of them on the streets that day. And although the government did its level best to discredit this popular elan, placing the number of demonstrators at one million, there was no gainsaying the strength of the marchers' resolve or the depth of their anger and despair. About the same number had demonstrated in a similar fashion barely two weeks earlier, on September 7.
People demonstrated in their uniforms: nurses in white, firemen with their helmets, factory workers in blue overalls, the managerial class in suit and tie, doctors with dangling stethoscopes. Many came en famille, pushing prams with young children. Life came to a virtual standstill as metro, flight and bus services were reduced to a trickle, schools and post offices remained shut, and hospitals ran on skeletal staff.
In cities such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille Toulouse, Nantes, Strasbourg and Metz, it was the same story, with the size of the protests surpassing trade union expectations. But the most significant fact was that people also demonstrated in some of the country's tiny, far-flung hamlets.
The small island of Ouessant in Brittany, not considered a hotbed of industrial action, is home to 700 people. Some 250 of them felt compelled to show their solidarity with the rest of the country.
Flushed with their repeated success, French trade unions have given out calls for fresh demonstrations on October 2 to be followed by a general strike 10 days later. France looks set for a grim, harsh winter that augurs large-scale disruption in rail, air and road traffic, health care, and postal and other public services.
Pension reform
So what is this palaver all about?

At the heart of the protests lie President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to reform the nation's state-run pension scheme by raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 in the short run and to 67 by 2018 when the deficit-ridden system is expected to balance its books. On September 16, amid acrimonious scenes, the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament – where the President and his allies have an absolute majority – adopted the draft Bill presented by the government. The upper house, or Senat, will begin discussions on the Bill on October 5.
The hole in the public pension system has come about because France has an ageing population where there are more pensioners than active workers who pay into the pension fund. If not tackled in time, the present system is expected to ratchet up losses to the tune of €50 billion by 2020. In 1945, when the system was introduced, there were roughly four workers for each retiree in France; today the ratio has shrunk to 1.5 workers per retiree.
Two factors have upset this balance: the fact that longevity has increased – the life expectancy for men is 85 and for women is 87 now – while the birth rate has dropped. The age pyramid in the developed world has been inverted, with old people far outnumbering the young. At the same time, technological advance has meant that in many industries men have been replaced by machines, leading to persistently high rates of unemployment and placing an additional burden on state-funded unemployment benefit schemes.
The economist Olivier Pastre told Frontline: “In Germany, the retirement age is 67; in Britain, it is 65 and is likely to go up to 68. Our European neighbours have realised that we have to change this ‘pay as you go' system if we want to save it. France is one of the last developed countries to want to maintain retirement at 60, but that is just not possible. The arithmetic no longer works. It is as simple as that. In France, retirees can hope to lead healthy lives for at least two decades after they stop working. So it is logical to work a couple of years more.”
There has been widespread criticism that the Left in France – the trade unions and the Socialists, Communists and Greens in the opposition – is opposed to any reform. Not true, they riposte. They are not opposed to reform per se.

“We are opposed to Sarkozy's specific proposals because they are unjust. We understand that because of changing demographics the system has to be changed, adapted and we accept that. What we reject is this particular reform. The government is adamant about raising the retirement age. But other solutions can be found. Sarkozy has consistently given tax breaks to his rich friends and business supporters. We can look at other means of financing. This proposal is unjust because it penalises two categories of workers who find themselves on the lowest rung of the ladder – manual workers and women,” said Francois Chereque, the leader of the CFDT, one of France's eight major trade unions.
The 30-page draft pension reform Bill underlines the fact that raising the retirement age will make up for 50 per cent of the deficit in the pension fund between now and 2018. To this will be added €4 billion gained from cutting public sector jobs and €4.4 billion from taxing capital gains and high earners.
In addition to raising the retirement age, the legislation prolongs the number of working years for full pension entitlement to 41 years and three months. There will also be cutbacks in special privileges accorded to specific categories of workers.
Railway drivers, for instance, are allowed to retire at 50 since their work is considered insalubrious and dangerous. But as railway drivers no longer stoke coal and their trains are to a large extent automated, the government has decided to do away with this and similar privileges.
Workers involved in “insalubrious and dangerous” work will no longer be given blanket exemptions or early retirement. They will have to seek such dispensations on the basis of medical certificates.
Ferdinand, a smelter from France's industrial north, travelled down to Paris to demonstrate with his colleagues. “I am bubbling over with anger, like the vats of molten lead I handle every day,” he told this reporter. “I am appalled by the arrogance, the intransigence of this government.”
“The Labour Minister, Eric Woerth, is embroiled in a scandal involving a conflict of interest which disqualifies him from leading these reforms. When has Sarkozy ever thought of anyone except his rich friends? I began work as a stripling of 18. I am 56 years old now and have four more years to go before I can call it a day. And now they tell me I have to work another two years? Sarkozy should come here and try it for a few days: standing before a furnace for eight hours, constantly checking its temperature, lugging buckets of molten lead. My back and shoulders are gone. I am an old man before my time. But the President and his ilk do not care for the likes of us. For them we just do not count,” Ferdinand said bitterly.

Critics of the reforms point out that by insisting on a uniform increase of the retirement age, the government will be penalising two extremely vulnerable sections of the population: manual and unskilled or semi-skilled workers, and women.
“Most people who work as construction labourers and street cleaners and in other labour-intensive industries do not have high levels of formal education. They thus enter the job market at a very young age – as early as 16, or even 14 in some cases – and their salary structure is low with very little possibility of upward revision. Often, by the time they are in their early fifties, these people are exhausted with serious health problems linked directly to their hard working conditions. To ask this category of people to work for additional years appears to them to be grossly unjust. The same is true for women, who often interrupt their careers to look after young children. In France, there is the additional problem that female workers, despite legislation stipulating equal pay for equal work, are paid 40 per cent less than their male counterparts, especially in small businesses in the private sector. To oblige these women to work until they are 67 in order to claim their full pension is a double whammy. The government has been remarkably insensitive to these genuine problems and that has added to the anger on the streets,” said the economist Jean Paul Fitoussi.
The anger on the streets comes not merely from the government's plans to force the population to work longer and for fewer privileges. Among the reasons for this show of force is also a deep disenchantment with Sarkozy, his style and his message.
“I am a 52-year-old divorced mother of four. My husband had a modest job and it was a struggle to make ends meet. I abandoned my job to stay home, to cook and clean and bring up our children. Six years ago I returned to work. My age meant that it took a long time to find a job, and as an office cleaner I make barely 900 euros a month. I am tired, used-up, paid less than my male counterparts. In this situation to ask me to carry on until 67 is an ignominy. I see red when I see Sarkozy cosying up to the big fortunes of this world. He lives on a different planet. He is rude, nasty and vituperative. He has brought France international condemnation and shame, and sullied the role of President. There is no consistency to this government, no sense of solidarity with the poor. The only talk is that of repression and force, of finger-pointing and exclusion – against immigrants, against the Roma, against the suburbs, against the Muslims. He has divided this nation, setting one group of people against the other. I cannot support his policies and that is why I am on the streets today,” said Melia, a Frenchwoman of Moroccan descent.
Sarkozy's popularity ratings are the lowest a French President has notched up in the history of the Fifth Republic established in 1958. Clearly, the street is trying to send him a message. But is he in any mood to listen?

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