Reliance AMC posts Rs276 crore net profit for FY12

Reliance Capital AMC had overtaken HDFC AMC as the country's most profitable fund house during FY11 and has managed to retain its leadership position with a net profit of Rs276 crore

New Delhi: Reliance Capital Asset Management Company (AMC), which runs Anil Ambani-led Reliance group's mutual fund business, has posted a net profit of Rs276 crore for the fiscal year 2011-12, reports PTI.

The company's profit after tax grew by over 5% from Rs261 crore in the previous fiscal 2011-12. Its profit after tax also grew by 5% to Rs308 crore in the fiscal ended March 2012.

Reliance Capital AMC had overtaken HDFC AMC as the country's most profitable fund house during the previous fiscal 2010-11 and has managed to retain its leadership position.

In the latest fiscal 2011-12, Reliance AMC was followed by HDFC AMC as the second most profitable fund house and the latter's profit after tax grew to Rs269 crore from Rs242 crore.

During the fiscal 2009-10, HDFC AMC was the most profitable with a profit after tax of Rs208 crore, followed by Reliance AMC (Rs195 crore), UTI AMC (Rs170 crore) and ICICI Prudential (Rs128 crore).

However, HDFC AMC slipped to second slot in 2010-11, while UTI remained at the thirst position with Rs138 crore, followed by Franklin Templeton (Rs97 crore), Birla Sunlife (Rs85 crore) and ICICI Pru (Rs72 crore), among others.

The latest fiscal (2011-12) figures are as yet not available for UTI and Franklin Templeton mutual funds, while Birla Sunlife and ICICI Pru have posted profit after tax of Rs59 crore and Rs88 crore, respectively.

Reliance Capital Asset Management managed Rs1.4 lakh crore ($27.5 billion) as on March 2012, across mutual funds, pension funds, managed accounts and hedge funds.

Reliance Mutual Fund figures among the top two mutual funds in India, in terms of AUM, with market share of nearly 12% and its average AUM stood at Rs78,112 crore for the period ended March 31, 2012.

Nippon Life, largest private life insurer in Asia, recently signed final agreements to acquire a 26% stake in RCAM -- making it the largest FDI in Indian mutual fund space and the largest investment in any Indian AMC.

The transaction, under which Nippon Life is investing Rs1,450 crore for 26% stake, pegs RCAM's valuation at about Rs5,600 crore ($1.1 billion).

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Public Interest Exclusive
The Hampi Express accident: What lessons can be learnt?

The short-cut on single control cabins for WDP4 engines used on high-speed passenger trains is the real reason for the number of rail accidents and near misses
 

By and large, accident enquiries of all sorts tend to place the blame on what is called “human error”, implying that almost everything is the fault of the people on the spot. This is usually the easiest way out, especially when the people involved are dead, and also a convenient way to close a file. But is it the truth, does it provide justice?

As the saying goes, truth and justice are usually distant cousins, and often not on talking terms with each other too. It is likely to be the same in the case of the Hampi Express case here—except for a few simple truths which are now known. And for a change, come with photographic evidence too.

The Hampi Express from Hubli via Hospet to Bangalore, which met with an accident off Penuconda in the wee hours of Tuesday (22 May 2012), was operating under the power of diesel loco WDP-4 number 40036 in LHF (Long Hood Forward) configuration. Here is a photo of this engine in better days, with its control cabin facing forward, in SHF (Short Hood Forward) configuration, the way it should be operated:


(Image Courtesy: N Santhosh Kumar)

It is very easy, with hindsight, to draw conclusions. But it so happens that I was on the same sector, talking to loco drivers about the problems they face on this vital arterial link, between Secunderabad and Bangalore, and pretty much what one of them predicted has unfortunately happened.

There are multiple issues on this route:

1) Largely single track despite heavy traffic, not electrified as yet, and operating through as well as close to Naxalite territory—often with pilot engines preceding Rajdhani Express trains.
2) Huge amounts of plastic waste and garbage lining the tracks, causing lack of visibility as trains pelt past, and interference with signalling systems.
3) Heavy usage of the WDP-4 diesel engine on this sector, in “Long Hood Forward” (LHF) configuration, for passenger trains.
4) A very strong road bus lobby.

The first is not all that uncommon all over the rest of India, the second is made worse by the elongated dry season, and it is both these combined with the third which makes for a sure recipe for disaster. Here is a photo of a WDP-4 engine, operating in LHF:


(Image Courtesy: N Santhosh Kumar)

Please try to imagine yourself in the position of the loco pilot here, in LHF configuration? And then think about the plastic waste. When trying to understand how plastic waste or wind behaves when a railway train pelts past at high speed, please try to see how this would impact you if you were driving through dusty conditions in a car with the front windows rolled up, but the rear window open. A strange effect takes place—the dust and any plastic lying on the road is often picked up, sucked in by the rear window, and then the whole lot sort of, dances inside the car. The dust gets in your eyes and the plastic sheets tend to float around, often settling down wherever it can—including on the windscreen, on your head, between your feet, or steering wheel.

This is what it is like for the locomotive pilot of a WDP4 travelling LHF on almost the same sector. See him sticking his head out; see the lack of decent forward vision, and the line of sight obscured by the huge ‘hump’ in LHF configuration? Or see it live, on video:

Imagine yourself driving a school bus, in reverse, with your head out of the window. Towing another 20-24 coaches. All controls facing the wrong way, Head out of the window all the time. At 90-120 kmph. To adjust any controls, answer calls on the walkie-talkie or phone, make entries in the log book, and everything else, you have to get up and go in, leaving the visibility part unattended. Typically, in a minute, your train is doing 1.5 to 2 kilometres. And there are well over 1,500-2,000 people whose lives depend on you.

This amazingly dangerous situation is because the big bosses in Indian Railways decided that they could save some money by placing only one control cabin on this class of diesel engines. Unlike in other high-speed or high-power modern engines where there is one control room on either end. Because railway engines can operate in both directions at the same speed. In fact, for better wear and tear, they should be operated in both directions.

Older diesel engines often had only one control cabin. But it was far better designed for ergonomics, did not have that huge ‘bulge’ in front that the WDP4 has, and most of all, was not expected to provide such high speeds. And electric engines have two control cabins, one on each end, for decades now.

But for the new modern WDP-4, in their wisdom, the authorities decided to put only one control cabin and at one end. And this, by the way, is the way the WDP-4 engine is supposed to be operated, with “short hood forward”.

 Can you see the difference now?

Typically, a single control room engine would be operated as one half of a ‘mated’ pair, both engines connected LHF to LHF, thereby providing a control cabin in ‘front’, regardless of how the train operates. If operated as a single engine, it should be in SHF configuration. But for passenger trains, the authorities often break this rule, and operate with a single engine LHF.

Why?

Because they can and also because there is a shortage of engines, there is always an excuse that they could not turn the engine around because the turntables were unavailable, and because if the loco driver objects then there may be hell to pay. Especially as diesel engines and loco pilots are being replaced by electric engines and loco pilots. The diesel loco pilot, as a result, keeps quiet and accepts his fate.

It is another simple fact that in parts of eastern India, passengers refuse to let a train move if the WDP4 engine is operated in LHF configuration—they are known to force the authorities to get either a fresh engine in SHF configuration or they get the LHF turned around on a turntable.

Will the Hampi Express accident, which occurred with WDP4 engine number 40036 in LHF configuration, bring this simple basic common sense to the bosses in the Indian Railways?

(In my days, I have worked on some huge ships, under really stressful conditions. The WDP4 diesel engine in LHF configuration is something else, again—you have to board one to experience the stress the loco pilots must be going through.

Here’s where the road lobby comes in, when the roads outside are good and the commercial bosses in the Indian Railways are forcing high operational speeds on trains in this region.

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COMMENTS

Ratanlal Purohit

4 years ago

I am surprised.
There are so many experts commenting on Railways but none from Railways.
Railways goes on mowing people as Usual. Yes persons herded in General Compartments and on the top, in between, in toilets and wherever you can imagine. The spineless Indians. With love from Mamta who drives it it remotely from Writers Building in Kolkata.
NO ARAB SPRINGS HERE TO SHOW THEIR ANGER. NO ANNA CAPS.
Elsewhere a Nation would have revolted. Here no eye brows are raised.
Kya ho gaya hai. Aamir you have got another story for your eyes. CRY.
Elsewhere Unmanned cars navigated by programs. Unmanned planes remotely piloted.
Are we going forward or backward relatively.
MERA BHARAT MAHAN behind the TRUCKS. JAI HO.
GREAT INDIAN PAININSULA STILL RUNS INSA ALLAH BHAGWAN BHAROSE.

REPLY

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to Ratanlal Purohit 4 years ago

Mr.Purohit, are you by any chance referring to my mail about the engine turning pit? For your kind information I am very free with my advises. As far as advises are concerned no parsimony. I could have given enough advises to Bill Gates about , not the engine pit but the 'shit pit'.
Just now I remembered that I have some advises or suggestion regarding our IPC. Do you know as per clauses 297 and 299 a householder vis a vis an intruder is very much at a disadvantageous position. As far as IPC is concerned the intruder has upper hand house holder is at the receiving end. Suppose a burglar opens the window, remove the grill, get inside and open all safes, almirahs and wardrobes and relieves the householder of all his valuables and dresses, and before calling it a day or to be precise calling it a night, goes to the kitchen and opens the refrigerator and gets a shock, an electric shock and not the shock of seeing no ice and water to mix a drink, the householder can get ready to get a shock, this time not electric but mental. The burglar can sue the householder for keeping a faulty refrigerator and giving electric shock to innocent burglars. The court will award the sentence in favour of the burglar. First the householder have to bear all expenses for the treatment of the shocked burglar. Then he has to pay for the mental agony and physical agony the burglar had to undergo because of the faulty refrigerator. If he is asked to take rest for some time the householder has to pay for the losses incurred by the burglar as he was incapacitated from pursuing his occupation for the period. Everyone has to make a living. If a farmer do farming a thief has to do thieving and court recognizes all professions at equal footing.
An advise to all. Keep your refrigerator always in good condition. You don't know when your nightly guest may be dropping in.

Ratanlal Purohit

In Reply to Guptan Veemboor 4 years ago

Dear Mr Vemboor
My doors are open and Windows no grills.
You are welcome. ELCB will ensure that you dont get any shock as the relay will trip and I will also not attract any IPC. ITS RATHER SAFE THAN SORRY. SAFETY IS THE KEY OF ANY OPERATION TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THE DESIGN HAS TO BE FAIL SAFE. IN SERIES. A CHAIN.
Iam thankful to you that you chose to respond to me although my comments were of general nature. You definitely gave very useful information. I will be more careful in my turf.

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to Ratanlal Purohit 4 years ago

Hai Mr.Purohit, Thank you for your nice short comment to mine.
I am a very old person nearing 75. As a boy of four or five I stayed near a railway station and there was one level crossing near our house. Myself and a boy who was some four or five years elder to me and go and sit in the gateman's shed and watch trains. It was then all steam engines. I was so enamoured by its majesty and grandeur that my dream was to become an engine driver when I grew up. The crew in the engine cabin were heroes to me. But much later I came to know that every boy of that time wanted to be an engine driver at one time or other.
But when Dilip Kumar and black and white cinema the romanticism vanished from the celluloid so too the glamour of an engine driver with the sad demise of steam engine. Even now boys are still enamoured with steam engine. Some four or five years back in US the boys were mad about one story of a steam engine named Tom. Now I don't know. Then there were many adventure series with Tom as the hero.
Even now if I see a steam engine I don't mind looking at the big wheels, the piston rod and all those grand parts. Present day locos has no charm. Might be sleek and more efficient. But all covered and nothing exposed.
If you feel like corresponding with me I am available at " [email protected]".
It is a disposable address and even if anyone other than you see this I can always remove it.
With warm regards,
Yours
V.K.Guptan

Guptan Veemboor

4 years ago

Mr.Malik, Thank you for updating. In my opinion the 'engine turning pit' will be more ideal. It will take less space than triangular lines as the later even though simpler should be taking much much more space. With motorised turning it can be done in a jiffy.

REPLY

Ratanlal Purohit

In Reply to Guptan Veemboor 4 years ago

TURNSTILES ARE VERY COMMON FOR CAR PARKING SYSTEMS TOO. MAKES SENSE.
ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN BE ON A LOOP TO CHANGE DIRECTION. NO BIG DEAL.
I THINK RAILWAYS KNOW THIS AND USE IT.
I APPRECIATE IT COMING FROM A NON RAILWAYMAN.
HOWEVER IT SHOULD BE RAILWAYS ENDEAVOUR TO TAKE ALL STEPS TO ELIMINATE ALL CHANCES OF ACXIDENTS. MAN MADE OR SYSTEMIC. AND IT CAN BE DONE. FOR EXAMPLE A DEAD MAN'S HANDLE IN LOCAL.
LETS BE SAFE. AS OTIS SAIDID FOR HIS PROTOTYPE LIFTING PLATFORM IN PARIS EXPO. ALL SAFE GNTLEMEN. ALL SAFE AFTER CUTTING THE ROPE.

malq

4 years ago

Not exactly a news report, but probably of higher value and credibility:-

http://railwayslocopilots.blogspot.i...i...

""Visibility from the loco is a big casualty in long hood driving and SIKRI Committee had
recommended short hood driving in view of safety. But railways further extended the length of long hood 5 meters more than WDM2 in WDP4/WDG4 with projection of radiator room and battery box reducing visibility largely with a seant regard to safety. During rainy season visibility is further reduced due to bad quality wipers or non working wipers. The short hood working can be achieved by renewing old steam turning tables or turning at triangle sections near junction stations.
The reflex action attained by loco pilots are lost due to un-scientific design of left/right side driving wherein a loco pilots point of sighting a signal from right side to left side in long hood differs. Added with non-standardisation of driving gadgets from loco to loco leading to late reaction by LP: in case of emergenceis. Eventhough there are several DSO/CSO and director of safety at board level, the onus of safe run is trusted upon crew alone without ensuring visibility and uniformity, while a nano car worth two lakh rupees has standardised driving gadgets, excellent wiper, dust and sound proof driving cab comparing to a 12 crore worth WDP4/WDG4.""

malq

4 years ago

Here's an update on the Hampi Express accident at Penukonda:-

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...

Spells out some home truths.

Sucheta Dalal

5 years ago

Mr Purohit
Many thanks... I think we the people need to do something.
Moneylife Foundation had organised a talk with Mr Dinesh Trivedi to figure out the way forward. We wanted to do something about the short shrift to safety.
One of the things he said at our seminar was stunning - he pointed out that the rich and super rich travel by planes - these days in private ones.
A big chunk of the really poor people never travel - even after 65 years of independence that is the level of poverty we have.
It is only the middle class that is affected and killed in railway accidents.
Lets look at doing something concrete.
We welcome ideas and suggestions.
I do think that Dinesh Trivedi's budget speech is the starting point and we need to insist on its implementation.
Mamata Banerjee sacrificed railway safety by saying to price hikes. But there will be no fund raising through revenue generation either. There will also be no attempt to rationalise costs and eliminate pre-independence perks for senior officials such as the fancy saloons that they are entitled to.
Can all the railway people who have commented here help us?
We guarantee that no names will be disclosed and identities protected. Pls help us take the Safety issue forward!

REPLY

B V KRISHNAN

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 5 years ago

It is very good of Moneylife Foundation to take up the cause, but due to your location, your seminars and events always happen in Mumbai, and people from other cities cannot participate. Suggest you start doing web-seminars with advance info to all members to that they can all participate.

Ratanlal Purohit

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 5 years ago

Dear Suchetaji
Any time for the Safety
Thanks for writing personally
Regards
RB Purohit
9029634900

malq

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 5 years ago

Thank you, Sucheta - and I think the first thing in safety that needs to be done, to bring in a culture of safety, is for post incident investigations to be carried out by independent 3rd party entities.

In this accident's case, for example, even though the accident involves loss of life and property, the enquiry under the Railways Act is being conducted by the same DRM under whose watch this collision took place. And amazingly, the local or central police do not file any FIR or carry out an investigation to see if there was any crime in the incident - while it is a fit case for CBI right from the start because multiple states are involved. (Train starts in Karnataka, operates through AP including declared Maoist areas, and then re-enters Karnataka)

But the enquiry under the ancient Railways Act is conducted for an "accident".

How does ANYBODY pre-suppose it is an accident?

THAT is what needs to be resolved. The DRM conducting the enquiry, IMHO, is the prime suspect till proved otherwise.

What would we have expected if 2-3 dozen Indians had died in an unexplained train accident in any other civilised country?

We HAVE to demand that the Penukonda Police file an FIR and even now conduct investigations.

I will draw a paralel here with the ENRICA LEXIE/St. ANTONY case, which also we covered extensively - where the Kerala Police commenced investigation and prosecution despite it being a foreign flag ship out there in the ocean. Co-terminus with the (weak) investigation by the DGS/MMD/Central Govt.

brgds/VM

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

Sir, You seems to be having too much confidence on the local police than central ones. I am a bit skeptic on that. The local police to me looks good only to take charge of petty criminals like a pick-pocket or someone who stole a bunch coconut from coconut tree or a bunch banana which used to be a regular occurrence in Kerala. And that too not catching them themselves but take then into custody when the public catches them and hand them over . As regards the Italian ship Enrica Lexie could be taken into custody after they were asked to come to Cochin Port . Even after going through the ship for some two weeks police did not agree to release the ship. Ballistic experts took nearly three months to test the guns. CBI may be nick-named Congress Bureau of Investigations. Still I have more confidence in Central agencies to conduct any enquiry than the local. They are good only to get information from some petty criminals by third degree methods. Regards Guptan

Shubhabrata

5 years ago

"It is another simple fact that in parts of eastern India, passengers refuse to let a train move if the WDP4 engine is operated in LHF configuration—they are known to force the authorities to get either a fresh engine in SHF configuration or they get the LHF turned around on a turntable."

Dear Sirs, I am curious to know the factual details of such incident. Although I am completely agree in difficulty in LHF driving, I cant remember any previous reports of such protest from a passenger in accepting LHF WDP4 locomotives as Leader. So much IR awareness of a particular locality is a dream of any Indian Railfan. Can you please provide factual details i.e. the date, place of happening, Particulars of the train involved when this kind of public protest happened?

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Shubhabrata 5 years ago

Dear Shubhabrata - thank you for writing in. It is increasingly evident that inputs are received from a variety of sources, reconfirmed, and then taken forward.

I have an RTI, one of many, with the Indian Railways. I am waiting for them to deny this incident. Shall certainly provide the required details and the proof then. It would be premature otherwise.

Is this the only part of the article that caught your interest?

It is good to seek transparency - it would be even better if the IR provided the same kind of transparency in their activities.

brgds/VM

Shubhabrata

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

Certainly not. Already a discussion regarding this is going at Kolkata Railfan Forum. If you are a visitor of IRFCA gallery, you will found an Album regarding WDG-5 pictured by me. A lot of people including me has expressed concern in driving that monster 20 cylinder loco in LHF mode.

But surprisingly DLW also maintaining complete silance over making further (only two made till date) WDP4D (Dual Cab) locomotives although a number of WDP4B is produced. Do you have on any information regarding this mystery?

Few Diesel loco pilot however has informed me an important fact. They want LHF driving because that is their life saver in a number of times when the loco got involved in collision accident in level crossing. The long hood takes the impact and both LP and ALP are safe/with minor injury.

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to Shubhabrata 5 years ago

"Few Diesel loco pilot however has informed me an important fact. They want LHF driving because that is their life saver in a number of times when the loco got involved in collision accident in level crossing. The long hood takes the impact and both LP and ALP are safe/with minor injury".
This is a real point. It will be like Maruti Omni. What is required is better Anti Collision Devices with fail safe mechanisms.

vinod

5 years ago

I totally agree with what Mr.Malik has written. I am no Loco Pilot, but being an avid railfan, i have always wondered how LPs manage to drive the WDP 4 and WDG 4 in LHF mode. The length of the loco and the "radiator bulge" in the front being obvious reasons. In fact, there were complaints by LP that the loco is "unsafe" and has a design flaw, and the Railways conducted an "inquiry" and concluded that the loco is perfectly safe.

Whatever it is, I am of the opinion that cabs should be there on both ends on all locos. The present design of the WDPs and WDMs today is obsolete, and may even be a threat to safety. You wouldn't want your driver to lean out of the window at 90 kmph! The Railways urgently need to modernize the network, at least the conditions for it's staff!! God forbid anything should happen till then.

And about public opposition to the WDP 4, I have seen such an incident in Kerala. The SRR - MAQ stretch is still not electrified, and almost all traffic is hauled by WDMs and WDP3s.

REPLY

vinod

In Reply to vinod 5 years ago

However, the WDP 4 and all single-cab locos in India have two sets of controls, facing each way, unlike American Diesels (on which our diesels are based anyways) which have only one control and you have to sit turned around, "in reverse". There is no reverse in India, only LHF and SHF. But I agree with all his other points, especially the visibility thing and the garbage. I used to travel on the Hampi Express regularly and have felt it.

Ratanlal Purohit

5 years ago

75 comments. All well meaning.
Still pouring from all quarters except Railways.
RAILWAYS THANKS TO PREINDIDEPNCE EFFORTS IS STILL RUNNING. THE WAY IT WAS.
OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE GONE AHEAD. WE ARE ANALYSING BUT TO WHAT EFFECT?
THE WORLD HAS COME TO A STAGE WHEN WE CAN TARGET A SINGLE PERSON HAVING A HAND HELD DEVICE GIVING HIS LOCATION EVEN IN A BUNKER. WE CAN DRONE. MISSILES CAN ACCURATELTY TARGET AIRBORNE ATTACKING OBJECT WE ARE DISCUSSING TO IMAGINE Z
A BIG OBJECT LIKE A TRAIN.
I DONT HAVE WORDS.
SOME ONE SUGGESTED TERROR.
I THINK DRDO SHOULD BE ASSIGNED TO FIND A SOLUTION.
DEFENCE MINISTERY TO BE A PART OF INTER MINISTERIAL GROUP
OR NCTC TO INCLUDE RAILWAY ACCIDENTS IN THEIR TURF.
I AM AT A LOSS OF WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE LACKASIDLE CASUAL APPROACH TO LOSS OF LIVES.
I AM AT LOSS OF WORDS.
AND SAD.
CARRY ON MONEY LIFE AND ITS WARRIORS. ALL THE BEST MR MUKUL ROYALE. KEEP KALI MA HAPPY WITH HUMAN BALI.
YOUR TIME WILL ALSO COME.
BAKRE KI MA KAB TAK KHAIR MANAYEGI.
KAL KI BALIVEDI PAR EKK DIN BAKRE KI BHENT CHAD JAYEGI.


REPLY

Ratanlal Purohit

In Reply to Ratanlal Purohit 5 years ago

Final year BE exams were over. At my request Min of Ed gave me a training program in Western Railways Suburban Churchgate to Virar in all sections. I saw Albukark a foreman of OHT lifting Grant Road Road bridge in matter of hours in night without affecting Rail services. I also saw workshop working at 10% productivity.
I therefore went for MNC in Vertical Traction. Safety chain if broken the elevators come to fail safe. I have already commented elsewhere earlier that now many elevator cars operate on the same hoistway. The speeds have gone up too.
Safety is an aptitude seriously missing in Railways. It is not that they dont have the capability. It is the question of Will. The motivation. Railways can earn ten times HR wa.

locopilot

5 years ago

It's true sir . Imagine the visiblity of the track and the signals ahead when on 105kmph through the small window in LHF . Pls don't let this go pls press the need for SHL do avoid such incidents .

REPLY

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to locopilot 5 years ago

I think instead of a steady red light, it should be blinking red light can attract attention better. Apart from that modulated warning frequency should be sent from the signal post to warn the driver by audio noise like bell or loud beep whenever he cross a Red Light.

malq

In Reply to locopilot 5 years ago

Dear LocoPilot - thank you for writing in and most certainly I shall be taking this forward. You may also wish to take this up with the senior management along the following lines:-

1) Existing and previous documentation with Board as well as RDSO on this subject of WDP4 in LHF mode.

2) Effect of colour shift on eyes while looking at signalling equipment (doppler shift effect) especially red-yellow and vice-versa due to reflection from LHF metal body, sodium lights, atmospheric pollution, speed towards light, angle of cut-off, different behaviour of LED vs GLS lamps, different behaviour of plastic versus clear glass filter, tinted versus clear glass, effect of reflection from plastic and metal waste along tracks, effect of metal waste on electrical waves for signal equipment. If any LP has children or family members studying physics or engineering, then they will explain this better, please.

3) Provision of turntables which can be done easily.

4) Criminal case under Andhra Pradesh IPC in addition to enquiry under Railways Act in this specific case for operating superfast train on LHF.

Thank you for writing in. I grew up in Jamalpur/ER, and some of my best memories are of learning under old-timer steam-engine LP in tough conditions. This is for them, also.

brgds/VM

sohan modak

In Reply to locopilot 5 years ago

Oh, yes, this is one professional input that should be met and the railways will have to be forced to the demand, not because of its orgin but it also constitute common sense and security.

Uttam

5 years ago

While the case against LHF operation is valid, the analogy of driving a bus at 90 to 120 kmph in reverse is somewhat of a stretch.

The essential difference between the two being:

1) There is no need to steer the train - the setting of track switching points take care of that.

2) The drivers are familiar with the road (as the railway track is referred to in Railways's parlance). So much so, that Road Learning is a major training phase prior to assigning a Loco Pilot (LP) to a route. Road Learning enables LP's to sight the signals accurately whether it is day or night, dry or raining. Fog causes problems but even in fog, LPs are not only pretty smart but very responsible staff of Railways.

3) Many times equipment failure is attributed to the running staff which is not a correct picture of reality. Typically, due to resource constraints - for which the Railway Ministry is to be blamed for inadequate allocation of finance - maintenance checks are not done. If there are too few people than the amount of work required to be done - only because there is no money to pay salaries, how can the staff be blamed for it?

REPLY

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to Uttam 5 years ago

Sir you have also given good information about the system. I am just pointing about the last sentence " If there are too few people than the amount of work required to be done - only because there is no money to pay salaries, how can the staff be blamed for it?'
I have seen once Municipal Corporation employees planting saplings by the side of road. There were some four employees or so for that job. One supervisor doing nothing. Another pushing a wheel barrow with the saplings. Another one with a spade. Another with a pick-axe. When the team reaches a spot, the man with pick-axe will dig. One with spade will take out the earth. Another will pick the sapling from the wheel barrow and put it in the hole dug up. Spade man will fill the pit with mud. If it was a private contractor affair a single man would have done all those jobs.
Government employees have been doing this for ages and now they cannot change the habit. That is why they cry shortage of staff.
Please remember I am in no way telling about the loco drivers condition. There in the engine cabin there should be sufficient staff as the life of some thousand are in their hand. I just told this incident which looked very funny to me when I saw and the way our government bodies spend our taxes. The loco pilots should not be forced to work without proper rest as their alertness depends on rest.

malq

In Reply to Uttam 5 years ago

Dear Uttam, thank you for writing in.

1) Valid point, I guess I should have said bus on rails. HOWEVER, steering aside, the loco pilot has far more to do.

2) Road learning - noted, though feedback from loco pilots indicates that shortage of pilots often means that they do not repeat a route as often as they want, and updates are still not electronically available. In this day and age, road learning should have moved on to hand held devices?

3) The less said about the statutory enquiries within the IR the better. In the first instance, independent 3rd party enquiries are called for. In the next, the same DRM in whose area the inicident has taken place should NOT be the person conducting the enquiry also.

Once again, thank you, for writing in.

rgds/VM

Uttam

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

I whole heartedly agree that LPs need to be equipped not only with Walkie talkies but also GPS machines. The displays themselves can be detachable ones which are mounted into a docking station in the loco which would also provide power and the wifi connection etc. The GPS will also be perfect to keep track of scheduled maintenance based on actual travelled distance of the loco. Lastly, an analysis of what the recommended frequency of maintenance and why (when it happens) was maintenance delayed.

malq

In Reply to Uttam 5 years ago

Uttam ji, discussing this accident with a batchmate who is part of the safety/investigation team for a foreign railway, I came to know of a few simple innovations:-

a) Front camera, rear camera, both feeding into a data recorder with a hard disc with adequate capability for keeping records for days, as well as a voice data recorder in the cab, both linked to the onboard dockable computer which goes with the loco pilot and also duplicates onto the loco computer.

2) Much more attention to rear end visibility on trains, both by way of blinking and steady red lights and now a vertical red beam also which can be seen from a long distance sometimes 10-12 miles away.

These are such simple innovations, which would cost nothing to introduce. Instead, please see the current L/V signage and simgle small red light on trains, with a white cross in some cases?

rgds/VM

Guptan Veemboor

5 years ago

Mr.Malik, I read your mail that you were staying in a place called Jamalpur and had lot of contacts with railway people. So naturally you must be remembering the old mechanical interlocking system and the way the loco driver carries the key from one station to the next station. When I was a small kid I used to think that the cane ring with the handle itself was the key which locks and opens the interlocking systems. Only much later I came to know that there is a pouch on the cane ring where the actual key is kept. And the way the loco driver takes the key from the porter while on motion. He expertly catch the ring with his extended hand outside. Now thinking of it I feel it was really dangerous and could injure the driver's hand. The train is moving fast and the ring can hit the hand and cause injury. I still like those steam locos. It has its own majesty with the piston shaft moving forward and backwards. The chugging sound and the interesting whistle. How many times the cinder used to fall in my eyes and my father will blow into the eye to remove it. The train journey used to be very interesting. Even as a small boy I knew of the slide valve and how it works. My father used to tell me all those things. Once I got inside the loco engine while it was standing on the platform. In those days we never wore chappals. It was very hot and I got down immediately. Those days were very interesting.

Nagesh Kini

5 years ago

We need to take forward the cause of the sad conditions of the loco drivers.
The drivers of Mumbai's Central and Western Locals is even sadder with so many getting killed crossing the tracks with mobile music and suicidal motives.
I'm sure the Trinamool Chief will have no objection if Dinesh Trivedi takes it up on our request!

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Nagesh Kini 5 years ago

There is a mistaken notion that the local civil police has no jurisdiction on what happens on railway territory and on rail tracks. This needs to be challenged, and taken forward, through the provisions of the IPC along with and instead of only the Railways Act.

In this case, for a mishap in Andhra which also has criminal aspects, the railway enquiry is being held in Karnataka??

rgds/VM

loco pilot

5 years ago

Really sir it is very well written and described article. All the loco pilots are thankful to you. Please sir raise more issue of loco pilots in front of public and let them know how a loco pilot is survive theirself. Really our job is very tough to perform and now a days the conditions are going more unfavourable.

REPLY

malq

In Reply to loco pilot 5 years ago

Loco pilot ji, thank you for writing in.

Here is the latest report on the two loco pilots of the Hampi Express - http://ibnlive.in.com/news/hampi-express...

Would you have any more information, please, on confidential basis?

Thanks/VM

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

Mr.Malik, In continuation of my previous post I posted few minutes back I am more or less sure that the driver has applied brake. The train should have considerably reduced its speed. Otherwise the collision should have been more forceful and the passenger train engine also should have derailed. Here it is the first and third bogies which were derailed. From the photo one bogie has not capsized but lifted of the rail. There was no telescoping. So the train must have been running at a very low speed. Whether the driver applied the brake when he saw the small red light on the back of the last vehicle of the goods train or he realised as soon as he crossed the red signal only the drivers will be able to tell.

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

I feel the IBN news is more of rumours than solid facts. How the drivers can be in and out of places and still missing. If as alleged they were sleeping they could not have got any idea of the disaster before the collision happened. What was the distance between the pole of Signal light and the last bogie of the goods train? If they had noticed at the last moment and they could have tried to slow down the train but its momentum carried it forward. I don't have any idea of the weight of a passenger bogie. Assuming it to be 50 tons and 20 bogies of the train travelling at some 80 kmph if collides with a stationary goods train should push the goods train forward to a good distance before it (passenger train)gets derailed. Otherwise the driver could have been trying to brake down the train but it was too late and it would have collided with the goods train. In that case the drivers could have jumped from the engine cabin as the train was slowing down already. Once the drivers are found the details can be known. I feel sympathy for the senior driver also. He is responsible for the accident but poor man at the fag end of his service this happens. So far he was getting all good reports. It is too bad. Poor fellow.

malq

5 years ago

1) For those who want to follow the progress of the incident's official reporting online, please visit http://sims.railnet.gov.in/searchAcciden... and enter 4684 as the id number of this specific incident.

2) For those in Bangalore, "the statutory enquiry into railway A\cccident will be held "at Divisional Railway Manager's Conference Hall, First Floor of Divisional Office, South Western Railway, Bangalore-560 023 at 11.00hrs on 24th & 25th May,2012 (Thursday & Friday)" [The Hindu dt.23rd May,2012/Hyderabad Edition/Page No.5]

How an incident like this with such heavy loss of life is pre-declared to be an "accident" is not clear, because the first thing in such a serious issue is to investigate and find out whether there was any criminal intent or aspect to this incident. And that can only be done by an independent investigating agency.

rgds/VM

REPLY

Jagdeep DESAI

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

They have used the word accident, maybe, for want of a better word.

Maybe it should have been incident.

And in such cases, it is this Commission which investigates

http://civilaviation.gov.in/CRSS/Commiss...

Ministry of Civil Aviation

Abhilash Apte

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

These are inputs given by members on a Website called IRFCA. VM pls do give credits to those who have provided the above links. Really beats me that you a r journalist and could not find out the details. It is like a parasite surviving on some one else blood. Wish you could do more justice to your journalism than just write some non sense.

B V KRISHNAN

In Reply to Abhilash Apte 5 years ago

Mr Abhilash Apte,
I find your attitude reprehensible. If you knew all these facts and the sources thereof, why did you not write the article? Why abuse somebody who has done the job so well? This is pure envy.

N Jagirdar

In Reply to Abhilash Apte 5 years ago

Apparently, finding fault and preaching comes naturally to you. I, like many, have found the article well written for even a layperson to grasp the essentials of the case and I would have appreciated if your views were helpful to advance the case rather than pick holes. While Mr Malik seeks to present what regular media does not cover, calling him names does not befit whatever your own profession is.

Guptan Veemboor

In Reply to N Jagirdar 5 years ago

As you say Mr.Malik has given lot of information about the diesel loco and how accident like this can happen. Before that I was thinking it was human error only. The information given has made me understand why such error happens and the loco driver cannot be faulted with. The article is very informative.

Guptan Veemboor

5 years ago

Delay in installing ACD can be solved easily. In all Bengal bound train put the AC First Class in front of the engine. ACD will be installed the very next day.

Public Interest Exclusive
Free talk-time of 50,000 minutes? Someone just fooled you

A smart fraudster called a mobile user and told him that he had won a free talk-time of 50,000 minutes. However, when the user went to claim it, there was no free talk time and instead he had to pay money for other peoples’ calls

There are no free lunches and so is no free talk-time of thousands of minutes in the mobile world. In fact, someone may use the free talk-time con to dupe you. This is the lesson Kolkata-based Ashok Mistry learned the hard way and after paying Rs4,200 for his blind faith. 

Mr Mistry, while on his way to office, received a call from +91-7800604060 (a Vodafone number belonging to the Uttar Pradesh (East) telecom circle). The caller told him that he is calling from Airtel Customer Care and Mr Mistry has won a talk time of 50,000 minutes on his mobile. To claim the free talk time, the caller told Mr Mistry to visit nearest distributor and hand over the call, which he promised to make in few minutes.

Without suspecting any foul play, Mr Mistry visited his nearest mobile distributor. Within few minutes he received call from the same caller, who asked him to handover the call to the distributor. While Mr Mistry was waiting for the free talk-time, the caller told the distributor to upload talk times of Rs2,000 on +91-9919868619, Rs1,001 on +91-9839137098 and talk time of Rs1,111 on +91-9935239329. The distributor uploaded the talk time on these numbers as per the instructions of the caller while Mr Mistry was under the impression that he is getting the free talk-time of 50,000 minutes.

So when the distributor returned his phone, Mr Mistry started to leave the shop thinking that he got the free talk-time of 50,000 minutes uploaded on his mobile. However, to his surprise, the distributor stopped him from leaving the place and asked for a payment of Rs4,200 towards uploading talk-time on the three mobiles. When, Mr Mistry told about the original call and instructions he received, the distributor could not believe it. However, he then tried calling +91-7800604060, the so called Airtel Customer Care number. To his surprise, he received recorded message that this number does not exist and please check the number dialled.

Then it stuck to Mr Mistry that he has been taken for a ride by the caller under the pretext of giving free talk-time of 50,000 minutes. After speaking with some friends, he then filed a first information report (FIR) at the nearest police station and also sent mails to his operator. But till date there is no response from the operator.

According to Moneylife investigations, all the numbers from where the calls were made and on which the talk time were loaded, belong to the UP East telecom circle. While +91-7800604060, +91-9919868619 and +91-9839137098 belongs to Vodafone, the last number +91-9935239329 is serviced by Airtel. Since the case involves inter-circle mobile operators, it would be very difficult to recover the money.

Many mobile operators allow uploading of talk time through other mobiles. Mostly all distributors, re-sellers of SIM cards and re-charge vouchers also use the same method to upload talk time on their customer’s mobile. Only thing, in Mr Mistry’s case, the distributor should have asked whether he is carrying required money with him or not. But it seemed that both Mr Mistry and the distributor acted in blind faith and got duped in the process.

This should serve as an eye opener for all mobile subscribers. So next time, whenever somebody tells you that you have won free talk-time, be careful and tell the caller to use it for himself.

 

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