Stocks
Nifty, Sensex may be headed lower for the next few days – Tuesday closing report
Nifty looks set for a fresh decline unless it closes above 7,900
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex are to hit a resistance soon and that only if Nifty stays above 7,930, the upmove may continue. Weak European cues, dwindling rupee value coupled with anxiety over the upcoming derivatives expiry eroded investors' confidence at the Indian equity markets. The major indices in the market fell sharply by over 2% having easily sliced through 7,930.
 
 
Market observers cited weak European cues, especially after the re-elections in Greece, the dwindling rupee value and the upcoming derivatives expiry, as the main reasons for the markets' fall. The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) will decide on whether or not to cut interest rates in its upcoming monetary policy review slated for September 29. Sector-wise, banking, capital goods, automobile, metal and oil and gas stocks came under intense selling pressure. However, consumer durables stocks managed to stay afloat.
 
The top gainers and top losers in the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 
Among European indices, DAX was at 9,624, down 3. 26% and FTSE 100 was at 5,961, down 2.42%. The pre-market futures in US were deeply in the red (Dow futures down 280 points) taking their cue from European markets, a 3% drop in oil prices and fears of more negative news from China against the backdrop of slowing global economic growth. It also appears that the Federal Reserve’s move to not raise interest rates has been interpreted negatively by the market. The market now worries about whether the Fed could possibly be seeing a serious slowdown and that is why it chose to keep interest at the same level.
 

User

Who killed 14 rail passengers in Mumbai on Sunday?
On 20th September, about 14 people died on Mumbai suburban rail network. Reason? Mega block, more crowd due to the Ganapati festival and apathy of Railway Managers
 
I have always been a supporter of the Mumbai railway's policy of mega-blocks (weekly engineering work for upkeep of the line) and need for maintenance of such an overly burdened railway network, which the BBC TV series recently called the 'world's busiest railway'.
 
Mega-block is like that breathing space that any such system requires to get over wear and tear and fatigue. It is a technical requirement. It is also a global phenomenon with all railways across the world doing it on a weekly basis under some name or the other. Due to some reason, the technical engineering word of a 'section block' which means blocking a section to take up some engineering work has become a common parlance in Mumbai in the form of 'mega block' and 'jumbo block'. Never mind.
 
Every day, the Mumbai suburban railway runs 2,905 services (or train trips), ferrying 7.5 million commuters (which is approximately Hong Kong’s population). For historical reasons, the network is split into two systems – the Western Railway and Central Railway – each with a separate administration. Today, the Western Railway ferries 3.5 million passengers on its 1,305 services and the Central Railway’s 1,600 services carry 4 million commuters; making the Mumbai suburban railway the world’s busiest.
 
All this is perfectly fine and there are no two opinions on the fact that the system does require strict maintenance and attention.
 
But is it required to do so at the cost of its 7 million commuters is the question. Ask this to city railway officials and they will be confused. The average death rate on Mumbai railway is 9 to 10 passengers per day. This is due to various reasons- track crossings, falling from train, rooftop travel, falling in platform gap and more. The railways say they are doing everything to cut down the numbers, by building fences, more bridges, running a trial close-door train and even tied up on a multi-million project with the World Bank under the transport upgrade project to have a trespassing control programme.
 
On Sunday, 20 September 2015, 14 people died on Mumbai railway, of these 12 on Central Railway. This is on the higher side. The reason - excessive crowd due to Ganapati festival. This was natural given the fact that the railways have been the cheapest and fastest and hence popular mode of transport. And on this day of excessive crowd, the railways decided to go ahead with their proposed mega block because it was a Sunday. A mega block means less than 60% services operate -- that means lesser services and a more than average crowd, which led to crowding and chaos and resultant deaths.
 
 
(A shocking video of crowd on 20 September 2015 at Kurla station, sent by divisional users consultative committee member Subhash Gupta)
 

Mega block chaos

And why was the mega block not cancelled? Railway managers shamelessly say there was no demand from anyone. This is atrocious and unacceptable. Staying at the Mumbai's poshest localities of Malabar Hill and Badhwar Park in Colaba, the railway managers seem to have a complete disconnect to the ground realities, the city's culture and ethos. It seems that they only assess Mumbai's needs by the various demands that they keep getting and not by living in it. Their vision must also have been also blinkered by the railway minister's recent order on 'safety preparedness' and upkeep dated 17 September 2015.
 
And if 'demand' is the question, who is responsible for not raising the demand? Who is responsible for those 14 deaths? Whose failure is it? It is, I think, the failure of the city six Members of Parliament (who I am sure may not be even aware of the point that so many died due to this), the passenger consultative committees and the various NGOs who keep on meeting railway managers and take smiling pictures while submitting sheets of paper raising frivolous demands. It is also the failure of all those railway managers who fail to gauge the mood of the city they live in and also the failure of the transport department as a whole that is yet to implement the idea of a unified transport body that can look at such needs.
 
And I am not blaming all of them without a reason. Last year, there were elections and just before the Ganapati festival, politicians of all kinds crowded the railway managers' cabins to get a 'concession' from mega blocks, demanding that the blocks should be cancelled to deal with increased crowd. And the demand was attended to and all mega blocks were cancelled.
 
 
This year, no elections and no one seems to be bothered. This also tells us the character of our politicians, which do not seem to be bothered about anyone once the elections are over.
 
It is by now clear that the decision to have a mega block and cut down services was in the benefit of the railways as such, but not commuters. This gets us back to the subject of decision-making and city needs. If we had railway managers, who could take real-time 'commuter interest' decisions, without depending on politicians' demands or railway ministry's national interest, macro-level decisions, we could have had a Mumbai railway, in a real sense, and not a disconnected Mumbai railway. It would have probably saved those 14 lives! This is why we need a separate body to run Mumbai railway. A body that could stay grounded in reality and take real-time decisions as per the city's needs. It would save lives, help those 7 million commuters and help the Mumbai's railways. 

User

COMMENTS

Sucheta Dalal

2 years ago


do take a moment to check this survey which has been send to the Standing Committee of Parliament on Railways.

A Moneylife Foundation effort! A lot more needs to be done, but is possible only when more of the 75 lakh people who commute everyday take interest in their safety, amenities and infrastructure!

http://foundation.moneylife.in/railaudit...

MG Warrier

2 years ago

"Indian Railways: Death Trap" by Sucheta Dalal was published here on June 28, 2012. Then, the comment posted by me is copied below:
"Preventive maintenance and post-accident rehabilitation/compensation(read adequate compensation) are totally neglected areas in India especially when it comes to infrastructure and services used by aam admi and when people involved are not from the high net-worth category.
Government and public sector organizations are attracting avoidable criticism by ignoring the need for:
• Timely replacement of obsolete or defunct equipments,
• Ongoing preventive maintenance,
• Ensuring competent skilled staff in position and
• Concurrent ‘audit’ of accounting and performance in service establishments.
Many who die or get injured while traveling by rail or road(including pedestrians) even go unidentified. Carrying an identity proof should be made mandatory for using rail and road travel facilities.

Rajan Manchanda

2 years ago

One single car accident and one death is reported all over . All the TV channels flash the news. It makes front page news in the news papers.

9 deaths every single day and it makes no news whats so ever.If only 5 people are effected with each death, imagine 45 people are effected every single day . Yet the tragedy does not move the authorities.

Do we need Bullet Trains if the basic need of transportation is not met ?

News Papers should allocate a fixed space to report " Yesterdays Death Toll on Suburban Railway network " to awaken the authorities and build strong public anger .

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Rajan Manchanda 2 years ago

Mr Manchanda... we have been working with something called a Safe Rail Group to research, investigate and bring this to the authorities' notice.
Rajendra Aklekar has been doing brilliant work on Railways
So has Samir Zaveri, who lost both his legs to the railways at the age of 16.
There is a doctor who have since moved to Saudi Arabia who filed the first public interest litigation to ensure care for accident victims who used to bleed to death.
Samir Zaveri followed it up with two contempt petitions.

Unfortunately the apathy of citizens ensures that even those who want to do work cannot make much progress.

I am happy to see this big response to the article.

But at the same time -- Moneylife Foundation's helpline and railways activities are on the verge of closing down because we have no funds to keep running it.

It is a telling comment on peoples apathy, dont you think?

best

Axa Aga

2 years ago

Suggesting a separate management for Mumbai local trains is foolish, as same i d i o t officers of railways, DIS-CONNECTED with public, living in Badhwar park and travelling in a/c cars, will staill manage it. Need is to channge their british /colonial mindset, and make them accountable to public that they serve (or bloody het PAID for). Other such creatures DIC-CONNECTED with public and having british / colonial mindset is this IAS /IPS /IRS community that live in govt. bungalows and bloody suck the blood of Aam Janata, in addition to bloody FAKE gandhis

Axa Aga

2 years ago

Demanding a separate body to run the Mumbai local train service is foolish, as the same i d i o t raliway managers living in colaba /budhwar park (travelling in cars) will still be managing it. . ..Thus, what is required is a KICK on the a$$ of these PAID exceutives living in paradise, NOT connected with the public (other such creatures are IAS /IPS /IRS officers, and FAKE gandhi family)

Ravindra

2 years ago

It is the most stupid and reckless thing to have a Mega Block during SUNDAY during Ganapati Utsav.
The person responsible for the PLANNING (if it exists) of MegaBlocks should be immediately transferred to last Railway establishment in North East states. If in Nagaland or Bodoland, wonderful.
Secondly, New York and London Underground and over ground suburban trains frequency is also quite comparable to Mumbai Suburban Trains. Not heard of a Mega Block in London or New York.
IS IT THAT SOME CORRUPTION INVOLVED HERE?
1 CONTRACTORS SUPPLYING MATERIALS
2 CONTRACTORS CARRYING OUT THE WORK
3 CONTRACTORS BUYING THE USED MATERIALS AND MAYBE SUPPLYING THE SAME AGAIN TO RAILWAYS. (MAYBE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.
Mr. Suresh Prabhu must ask CBI to investigate the matter.
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA>

m e yeolekar

2 years ago

Planning , forecasting ,and anticipatory action in the areas of operation , appropriate to situational needs is the essence of management. Public demand or order from the top should not be a prerequisite.

Sathyamoorthy

2 years ago

First all those high officials responsible for implementing the mega bloc on Ganapati Mahotsavday be held responsible and sued for criminal irresponsibility and gross negligence.
Second, Maintenance schedules on a quarterly basis of the commuter trains be published well in advance in all local dailies and posters pasted at all stations-so public can pre-plan their activities and shift their movements to other days.
Sathyamoorthy.U

KVS Krishnan

2 years ago

Year 2015 has the distinction of having highest number of derailments in the railways. No maintenance and utterly chaotic every day schedule. Only during railway budget the railway passengers are remembered.

bharati

2 years ago

While I am very sympathetic to all who died and suffered, the root cause is Mumbai cannot manage its huge population. No country or city can. The real long term answer lies in Indians stopping breeding recklessly as if it is a right to have kids, even when your own health, wealth and wisdom are precarious

Jyoti Dua

2 years ago

A good analysis. It is very very surprising that maintenance work was taken up on a festival day when traffic was high. What a poor planning.

C D

2 years ago

It is terrible to read that 14 persons did not reach home that day.Why wasn't the 'mega block' cancelled? Is Ganapati festival
something new?Increased crowds should have been anticipated and proper arrangements made.Mr Railway Minister: please ask for accountability and punish the persons who did not do
their duty. Let the public know what action has been taken.

Meenal Mamdani

2 years ago

From this tragedy it is obvious that neither the govt nor the rail authorities pay attention to the needs of the commuters.
Commuters need an independent association with dues paying members. The association with officials elected and paid to perform their duties can keep the interests of the commuters paramount.
Even if each commuter paid Rs 10 per year, there would be enough money to fire permanent staff to monitor and anticipate problems so they can be tackled.
Commuters, don't wait for the govt. Form an association and start demanding better service from the railways.

REPLY

KVS Krishnan

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 2 years ago

Good suggestion!

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Case presented completely for action to take.

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Shocking. No, I am not referring to the rise of death on the tracks from the daily average of 9 to 10 to fourteen on a particular day attributed to more rush due to Mega Block. What is shocking is the pedestrian apathy to deaths happening due to inadequacy in services provided for which passengers are being charged. Railways will have to plan for expansion and renovation which will in the medium term enable them to provide adequate space in the trains for passengers. I am writing this on a day, the news about ‘private airports’ for super-rich has come out. Let them enjoy the comfort which they have earned through hard work. But, government, in public interest, need to ensure that public transportation systems including railways and road transport are maintained well. Government should not ignore the deaths and injuries suffered by poor and middleclass people while traveling caused by shortage of services provided or inadequate maintenance of infrastructure. These days, mainstream media(both print and electronic) also pays attention to untimely deaths and injuries caused, when a celebrity is on one side as a victim or perpetrator.

Will NTPC Tax-Free Bonds attract investors?
Tax-free offer of 7.36% to 7.62% may fail to attract retail investors even if it is a good...
Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital+Print Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MSSN member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)