Citizens' Issues
Western Railway cuts special train services from 7,039 to 204
Bhopal : In the past more than a year-and-a-half since the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre, the Western Railway has come down drastically on passenger facilities and sharply cut frequency of special trains from as many as 7,039 to a mere 204, an RTI report has said.
 
According to a Right to Information response to a query filed by Chandrashekhar Gaur, a resident of Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh, as many as 63 special trains made 3,371 rounds during 2011-12 and 65 trains made 7,039 rounds during 2013-14 in the western region.
 
In the year 2014-15, the number of special trains reduced to 47 which made 1,781 rounds, while this number has further reduced to 21 trains in 2015-16 with only 204 rounds completed.
 
While there was heavy deduction in the number and rounds of special trains operating in the region, several premium and luxury train services were started in 2013, the information provided by the Western Railway said.
 
As many as 17 premium trains made 476 rounds in 2013-14, while 11 premium trains and five luxury trains operated during 2015-16 to make 394 rounds.
 
The railways run special trains during festivals and holiday season as the number of passengers travelling during this period increases.
 
These special trains also have air-conditioned and sleeper coaches, and the fare is equivalent to mail or express trains.
 
Passengers have faced numerous difficulties due to the reduction in the rounds of the special trains.
 
"While travelling during the festival season, we realised that the railway has reduced the facilities provided to the general travellers," Gaur told IANS revealing the reason behind the RTI filed by him.
 
"While the railway has cut down on the facilities provided to the passengers, it has increased its income by operating premium and luxury services. These trains do not have general coaches, and the railway charges for a berth. No category -- children or elderly -- get discount and the railways do not pay any refund on cancellation of journey," Gaur said.
 
"The government is empowered for the welfare of citizens, not to do business. In the past few years, the Western Railway, by deducting the facilities, has proved that the government is no more looking after the welfare of the people," he said.
 
"The government is not bound to run such special trains. But the railway ministry had been running such trains keeping in mind the people's needs," senior journalist Arvind Singh, who has served as an advisor to the railways ministry for a long time, told IANS.
 
"Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has focused on income rather than the welfare of the travelling public. He has terminated the scheme of reduced ticket price for children. One should not hope for special trains under the present government," Singh told IANS over phone from New Delhi.
 
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

1 year ago

You cannot ask the minister to bring the railways back to health and block his proposals.

It is said that if you ask a man to do a job, don't tell him how to do it.

The balancing job is crucial and critical. It is a difficult task. Not that it cannot be done, but are all of us prepared to sacrifice a little. If one clamours for a 10/5 rise in salary every year, is an equivalent rise in fares also not acceptable? Remember how Dinesh Trivedi was kicked out, by his own leader, when he wanted a fare increase?

Very low fares also lead to unnecessary travel. Loss making has been the railways' mantra and somewhere it needs to be checked. All said and done, SAFETY has to be the premier issue.

Agitators damaging public property must pay: SC
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would lay down guidelines to act against people damaging public property and holding people to ransom in the course of their agitation as it wondered where was the country heading.
 
Agitators can't destroy public property and hold everything to ransom to get their demands met, said the apex court bench comprising Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice C. Nagappan underlining that those involved in destruction of public property would not escape the consequences of their actions.
 
"What is happening? Where is our country (headed for). One cannot burn the country's property. You can agitate peacefully. But what is this? - burning and ransacking", the court said with an obvious reference to the recent Jat agitation in Haryana which resulted in damage and destruction of public property, dislocation of public transport including disruption of water supply to the national capital.
 
The court's strong observation came in the course of the hearing of a plea filed by Gujarat Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel, seeking the quashing of sedition charges invoked against him by the Gujarat Police. 
 
Saying that people and political parties must pay for damaging public property, the bench said, "We must take call on the issue and frame guidelines."
 
The court said it would address the larger issue after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that petitioner Hardik Patel had sought the quashing of the FIR accusing him of sedition.
 
He said now the chargesheet has been filed before the trial court and the same could not be tested by the top court.
 
The court was also told Hardik Patel's plea for bail was still pending before the sessions court and it (apex court) should hold back the plea for bail till it was decided. 
 
As the counsel for the Patidar leader sought adjournment of the hearing, saying that senior counsel Kapil Sibal was engaged in another court, the court said it would hear the matter on Thursday (February 25) indicating that the focus would be on the larger issue of ways to deal with agitators involved in destruction and damage of public property during an agitation. 
 
Gujarat Police has accused Hardik Patel of sedition for an incident in Surat wherein the Patidar leader was caught on camera telling one of his followers that instead of committing suicide he should take revenge on the policemen.
 
Sibal had said, in the last hearing, that even if whatever Gujarat Police was saying was to be accepted, even then it did not attract the sedition charge.
 
Hardik Patel is leading the Patidar agitation, seeking reservation for Patels in education and jobs.
 
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

Anand Vaidya

1 year ago

It is high time that destruction of nation's public & private property, killing of people / death of security forced be considered intentional crime and whoever instigates or leads such protests be punished with penalties AND mandatory jail term.

It may even be a good idea to ban mass protests for 5years. Peace is the first necessity for development. The HR agitation already seems to have caused 20,000 crore loss. Who will pay for this?

REPLY

Meenal Mamdani

In Reply to Anand Vaidya 1 year ago

I sympathize with your anger and agree that we must hold the political leaders who instigate violent protests accountable for the actions of their followers. Fines in proportion to the damages caused should be assessed on the leaders personally and/or their parties. If there has been loss of life, then the leaders should have criminal cases lodged against them.

BUT, we cannot ban protests in a democracy. This is our fundamental right to freedom of expression and as long as it is peaceful, it should not be banned.

MG Warrier

1 year ago

Responsible citizens like Kapil Sibal, who is defending the accused, should also take observations like “"What is happening? Where is our country (headed for). One cannot burn the country's property. You can agitate peacefully. But what is this? - burning and ransacking", from the Apex Court seriously, and back in the legislature, initiate debate on such issues for creating awareness and formulating ‘code of conduct’ for those leading agitations. The judiciary should not be burdened with the responsibility of providing guidelines for protecting public property during agitations.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

Supreme Court did the right thing by putting organizations and political parties on notice that if the leaders use language that incites their members/followers to violence, then the org./party would have to pay monetary damages and perhaps even jail terms in case the carnage is horrendous.

While I fully support the above position, I wonder how easy it will be to prove that the lumpen committing the criminal acts are actually followers/members of a particular organization/political party and following the leader's call to action.

Also looking at the ease with which a TV channel slanted a video to its point of view recently, will we get unbiased tapes to prove that the leaders were actually inciting their followers to commit acts of violence?

Nonetheless, I heartily support such a case being filed and monetary damages awarded so there would be a chill and the impunity enjoyed by the political operatives would be shredded.

Ricoh India: Delay in filing quarterly results raises concerns
Ricoh India has still not submitted its quarterly reports for the September and December quarters. Even its board meetings have been postponed thrice in November 2015 raising concerns among investors
 
Updated on 26 February 2016 at 2.30pm to include the company statement
 
Imaging solutions and IT services company Ricoh India, has not filed its quarterly results for the quarter ended 30 September 2015 and 31 December 2015. In a regulatory filing on 18 February 2016, the company said that it is about to finalise its accounts and will file it in a short time. Further, the reason for the delay in filing was cited as the change in statutory auditors last year, which led to the new auditors taking longer than usual to furnish the signed reports to the Audit Committee. 
 
The company’s Board meetings have also been repeatedly postponed from 5th November to 10th November, and later to 14th November 2015. On 14th November, the Audit Committee and Board of Directors Meetings was adjourned citing limited review for the quarter ended September 2015 took longer time since it was the first audit from the newly appointed auditors. Ricoh India’s regulatory filing on 7 December 2015 says that the company has considered and taken note of the recommendations of its statutory auditors. However, there is no mention of key recommendations from the statutory auditors. 
 
On 10 July 2015, the Company’s Board appointed BSR & Co as its new statutory auditors for five years in place of retiring auditors Sahni Natarajan and Bahl. 
 
In an email, the company said, "Ricoh has a very strong ethical and fundamental management and the company is on a high growth trajectory and has the requisite financial and the technical capabilities to proactively respond to the ever changing business demands of a rapidly evolving technology market in India. We are in the process of completion of unaudited financial results for Q2 and Q3 as well. Due to an unforeseen and unprecedented situation the company has not been able to submit its Q2 financial results with the stock exchange. Our new auditors are already working on the same and the company is also making all best endeavours to get this activity completed as soon as possible. Ricoh has been growing at a rapid rate of over 50% CAGR for last four years, in a row and are confident to sustain this growth. Further the recent strategic announcements is a testimony to the company's overall growth."
 
Last month, India Ratings and Research Pvt Ltd upgraded Ricoh India’s Rs200 crore long term non-convertible debenture (NCD) to Ind-AA from Ind-A. The ratings agency, a unit of Fitch, also upgraded long term issuer rating of the company to Ind-AA from Ind-A with a stable outlook.
 
The company recently secured an order worth Rs344 crore from Kerala State Electronics Development Corp Ltd (KELTRON) for supply, installation and commissioning of computer hardware, connected accessories, software, maintenance of equipment and provision of computer education services in 2000 government and government aided high schools in the state of Odisha. However, it needs to fix its governance issues first, according worried investors. There is no record of the stock exchanges having posed any questions to the company.
 
Ricoh India closed Wednesday 3.9% down at Rs538.25 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark ended the day 1.4% down at 23,088.
 

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