Citizens' Issues
Railway Budget's 110 commitments fulfilled: Suresh Prabhu
Kolkata : Harping on the railways' commitment towards better passenger services, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said that 110 Railway Budget commitments have been fulfilled by the ministry.
 
Prabhu, who flagged off several new trains from the Howrah station, also said the much delayed East-West Metro Railway project would be completed in the next two and a half years.
 
"As a part of offering better customer service, we have been working on a few initiatives. There were many initiatives taken and I am very happy to say that at least 110 of Budget commitments have been fulfilled," Prabhu told the media persons.
 
The minister said one of the areas where the railways made progress was ticketing by improving the website of the IRCTC for online bookings, including for daily and monthly tickets.
 
He also also stressed on the cleanliness drive in the trains and added that mechanised laundries have helped immensely.
 
"With collaboration, we can make railways more clean. We have also started mechanised laundries wherever possible. It has helped us immensely in the cleaning process. And our idea is to have more of such laundries," the minister said.
 
"We have also started on-board cleanliness services. If you feel your place is unclean, you have to send us a SMS and the railway staff will be there in sometime to clean it up," he added.
 
Prabhu also said new coaches are being brought in to replace the old ones and it would change the travelling experience.
 
"Other issues that people face are about the train's interiors. It has not undergone change for some time. The new coaches that have come are really far superior to the ones we have. You will feel like air travel while travelling in a train," he said.
 
"I know, it is a small beginning as there are thousands of coaches and changing all of them would need some time and money," the minister said.
 
"If someone wants to have rasogolla in Delhi, it will be delivered to him from the counter. Customers have been, therefore, given a choice about the type of food they want," he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

2 years ago

Two things that no one cares for. Safety and over-crowding. The latter is also a safety matter. Actually a hazard.

AND, most trains are as dirty as ever. Urchins do the job better. And should be encouraged. They used to use rags/shirts. I used to buy them brooms and dust pans; when I travelled regularly. Private-Private Partnership. Works beautifully on Public utilities.

Maybe the restrictions on food, eating, chopping, in locals, may help. It's done on the Delhi Metro. No food stalls on platforms either. Eat before entering. One can avoid food for an hour. And not sit in doorways, cutting veggies for dinner.

A week back, in a outstation train, the seats were infested with cockroaches. There were posters; urging to keep them out. Unfortunately, the insects cannot read English.

Bapoo M Malcolm

Pradeep

2 years ago

The recent hike i.e doubling of cancellation for all class including sleeper class (Form Rs.60.00 to Rs.120.00 ) had dealt a severe blow especially with the common man. The reason as per railways is Touts/agents misuse the facility. But, how can Railways penalise the common man for this ? There should be other ways to deal with Touts. I strongly request Indian Railways to restore old cancellation rates for Second and Sleeper class

81 percent citizens voted against Free Basics: LocalCircles
New Delhi : A whopping 81 percent in a survey of 30,000 people have voted against Free Basics or any such programme and want an unbiased or neutral internet for themselves, a survey conducted by citizen engagement platform LocalCircles said here on Thursday.
 
LocalCircles said in a statement that when asked if the central or state government should provide free internet access covering essential or useful citizen services, 78 percent of the respondents said yes.
 
"This basically redefines the concept of net neutrality and has implications on what is provided as content when the internet is free and provided by the government. Internet evangelists who have stake in the internet being open to all meaning that all websites and apps should be given equal access will be disappointed by what the citizens want," the statement said.
 
"If the government wants to make electronic books available for free it can make sure that they are at least available on all government hotspots," said LocalCircles chief strategy officer K. Yatish Rajawat.
 
"This would not be possible if free internet is understood only through what private internet companies are offering. The debate on net neutrality has to take into account that access to internet is important and its misuse is also a possibility," he added.
 
Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCOM) on December 23 said following the Indian telecom regulator's directive, the commercial launch of Facebook's Free Basics has been put on hold till it gets clearance. 
 
RCOM is the only telecom service provider offering Free Basics in India.
 
The regulator said Facebook's Free Basics service should remain on hold till the ruling on differential pricing on data services - an important aspect of net neutrality - comes.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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SC allows SMYR Consortium to exit from collecting toll in Delhi
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted SMYR Consortium LLP, which collects toll from vehicles entering the national capital for Delhi's municipal corporations, to exit from the contract as it contended that imposition of Environment Compensation Charge had adversely impacted the toll collections and its business.
 
The SMYR Consortium has said that imposition of ECC by the apex court's October 9, 2015 order and its being doubled by the court order of December 16, 2015, had resulted in nearly 35 percent fall in the vehicles entering the national capital, thereby adversely impacting its toll collections and business interest. 
 
Telling the consortium that its contract would cease on the morning of February 1 at 6 a.m., a bench comprising Chief Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice A.K.Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi said that it would continue to collect toll and ECC for the next three weeks, and said that it would pay the municipal body a contractual sum of Rs.10.5 crore every week for next three weeks.
 
The court said that any default in the payment of contracted toll amount of Rs.10.5 crore would result in the forfeiture of its bank guarantees and securitry amount which SMYR Consortium said stood at Rs.58 crore.
 
The court asked Additional Solicitor General Pinki Annand appearing for South Delhi Municipal Corporation to put in place, well in advance, a mechanism that will step in for collecting the toll in as soon as SMYR Consortium exits on February 1. 
 
Accepting SMYR Consortium's plea that it was incurring an additional expenditure of Rs.2 crore per month after the imposition of ECC which for three months of November, December and January came to Rs.6 crore, the court said that it was entitled to its reimbursement by the municipal body.
 
However, this sum was adjusted against shortfall of Rs.7.24 crore that SMYR had to pay to the municipal body as a part of toll collection under the contract. The court accepted amicus curiae Harish Salve plea and waved off the balance of Rs. 1.24 crore.
 
The apex court by its October 9, 2015 order had imposed ECC of Rs.700 on light commercial vehicles with two axles and of Rs.1,300 on commercial vehicles with three and four axles.
 
By its December 16 order, it doubled charge for loaded light commercial vehicles but retained the earlier rate for empty commercial vehicles.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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