Archive for February, 2010

Catering services being overhauled

Catering services being overhauled

A major overhaul of Railway catering services is on the anvil with an action plan being put into operation, geared at improving quality of food, overcharging and measures to improve food safety and hygiene.

Such an action plan was put into operation on the basis of a study done by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), relating to various dimensions entailing onboard provision of food services.

The study is based on an onboard customer satisfaction survey with a sample size large enough to cater to the cultural and geographical distribution of a continental size country that is India.

The survey highlighted that the major problem areas identified included food quality (50.88 per cent), Bedroll (15.09 per cent) and overcharging (13.73 per cent).

IRCTC adopted a strategy to counter problems that included introduction of hamper system in base kitchen, conducting food and hygiene audit, centralised rate contract for reputed branded quality product, MoA with HPCL for smooth supply of LPG gas over catering units and adoption of fuel efficient practices in base kitchen.

”The overall quality approach benefited IRCTC with cost saving of Rs 8.91 crore,” a statement said. Incidentally, the study got the ‘QCI-DL Shah National Awards on Economics of Quality’ which was received by IRCTC Managing Director Rakesh Kumar Tandon at a function here today.

IRCTC took up the ”challenge” of improving quality of catering services and ‘’started measuring and re-building its capabilities”. In order to further improve quality of services of the mammoth public sector undertaking, a plan of action has been put into practice.

These included coordination with railways for improvement in pantry car equipment, spreading awareness among passengers to curb overcharging, improvement in cleanliness of compartments as well as panty cars in coordination with railway authorities.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=1002190598&cat=&n_date=20100219

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Railways to SMS on reservation, train status

Railways to SMS on reservation, train status

Indian Railways may soon begin sending SMS messages on train punctuality and seat reservations to passengers, just like airlines.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said in her budget speech that her ministry was taking several initiatives to improve passenger satisfaction. These included SMS updates of reservation status and punctuality of trains to passengers and SMS updates on the movement of wagons to freight customers.

The railways also proposed to induct e-ticket based mobile vans for issuing reservation tickets in government medical college hospitals, high courts, district courts, university campuses, IT hubs, IITs and IIMs.

Ticket centres will also be opened at district headquarters and village panchayats with state and private support.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=1002240504&cat=&n_date=20100224

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National High Speed Rail Authority to be set up

National High Speed Rail Authority to be set up

Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the Railways are planning to go in for Dedicated Passenger Corridor (DPC) on the lines of Dedicated Freight Corridor.

Saying DPC will be known as the “Golden Rail Corridor” of the Indian Railways, Ms. Mamata said that high speed rail corridor will become a catalyst for India’s economic growth, a stimulus for the development of satellite towns and reduction of migration to metropolises. She said therefore it is proposed to set up a National High Speed Rail Authority for planning, standard setting, implementing and monitoring these projects.

She said construction of High Speed passenger rail corridors is another transformational initiative that Railways will embark upon in the coming years. She said Indian Railways proposes to invest in developing high speed corridors of 250 to 350 kmph speed. Already six corridors have been identified and as the projects would require large investments, they will be executed through PPP mode. (ANI)

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=1002240469&cat=&n_date=20100224

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Railways to introduce trolleys at stations

Railways to introduce trolleys at stations

Indian Railways will introduce airport-style trolleys at important stations for the benefit of senior citizens and women passengers.

This was announced by railway minister Mamata Banerjee in her budget speech Wednesday.

Banerjee said: “Railways propose to introduce modern trolleys at all important stations which will be handled by uniformed attendants to assist senior citizens and women passengers.”

At present passengers either use coolies (porters) to carry their luggage or use luggage that they can wheel themselves.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=1002240460&cat=&n_date=20100224

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Transnet President approaches Thai govt over railway workers’ rights

Transnet President approaches Thai govt over

Railway workers’ rights

Alexander Kirchner, President of Germany’s Transnet union and ITF Executive Board member, has protested to the Thai government over its treatment of the State Railway Workers’ Union of Thailand (SRUT).

In a letter to Thailand’s Ambassador to Germany he registered his concern over the way the SRUT is being sidelined and its pleas for the reinstatement of sacked members ignored.

Alexander Kirchner stated that he was “aware of the current dispute between the SRUT and State Railway of Thailand in which six trade unionists were dismissed in October 2009. As a member of the ITF I welcomed the decision of the tripartite State Enterprise Labour Relations Committee which voted against such action. Yet again, however, it is reported that the Thai Ministry of Transport has made a statement on the following day to express their objection and instructed the SRT to take the case to court.”

Kirchner’s intervention comes after the ITF last month sent a delegation to Thailand to look into reports of poor rail safety standards and anti-union practices by employers and government. The delegation condemned the poor safety standards they discovered. Ageing rolling stock, lack of safety devices and staff shortages were among the concerns they raised. The latter resulted in railway employees having to work for long periods without weekly rest days, further compromising safety and raising concerns for passengers.

At the time Øystein Aslaksen from the Norwegian Locomotive Drivers Union and Chair of the ITF Railway Workers’ Section said the Thai government and the SRT must “develop a new safety culture with the union without delay”.

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Some Agenda Items of Departmental Council / JCM raised by All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) 23/02/2010

Some Agenda Items of Departmental Council / JCM  23/02/2010 raised by AIRF

Item No.2

Sub: Rates of Running Allowance for Loco Traffic Running Staff

The Railway Board vide their letter No. E(P&A)II-2005/RS-34 dated 26.12.2008 have revised the rates of Running Allowance in favour of Loco & Traffic Running Staff as under:-

S.

No.

Category

Pay Band plus Grade Pay

Rates of Kilometreage Allowance (per 100 kms)

(in Rs.)

Rates of ALK (per 160 kms)

(in Rs.)

Loco Running Staff

1.

Loco Pilot(Mail/Express)

9300-34800

4200

170.00

272.00

2.

Loco Pilot(Passenger)/

Motorman

9300-34800

4200

169.00

270.00

3.

Loco Pilot(Goods)

9300-34800

4200

168.00

269.00

4.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. I

9300-34800

4200

130.00

208.00

5.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. II

5200-20200

2400

126.00

202.00

6.

Sr. FM-1, Sr. Asstt. Loco Pilot(Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

2400

126.00

81.00(shunting)

202.00

7.

FM-1, Asstt. Loco Pilot (Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

1900

121.00

78.00(shunting)

194.00

8.

Sr. Second Fireman

5200-20200

1900

121.00

78.00(shunting)

194.00

9.

Second Fireman

5200-20200

1800

102.00

61.00(shunting)

163.00

Traffic Running Staff

1.

Mail/Express Guard

9300-34800

4200

154.00

246.00

2.

Passenger Guard

9300-34800

4200

153.00

245.00

3.

Sr. Goods Guard

9300-34800

4200

152.00

243.00

4.

Goods Guard

5200-20200

2800

151.00

242.00

5.

Sr. Asstt. Guard/

Sr. Brakesman

5200-20200

2400

90.00

144.00

6.

Asstt. Guard/Brakesman

5200-20200

1900

86.00

138.00

These rates fall far below the rates what they should get. For determining the rates of Running Allowance, Pass. Driver/Guard is taken as a reference grade. Thus, the formula for deciding the rate of Kilometreage Allowance is as under:-

Passenger Driver/Guard

Rate of KMA for Passenger Driver/ Guards

=

30% of the mean of Passenger Driver/Guard + 20 days TA for ordinary class of cities

Average KMs per month of Passenger Driver/Guard

x 100

The rates of Running Allowance to be decided w.e.f. 1.1.2006 and 1.9.2008 as a result of revision of basic pay and revision of T.A. rates respectively.

Hence, it is demanded that the rates of Running Allowance, both for Loco & Traffic Running Staff should be revised from 01.01.2006 as follows and all arrears due be paid from that date.

S.

No.

Category

Pay Band plus Grade Pay

Rates of Kilometreage Allowance (per 100 kms)

(in Rs.)

Rates of ALK (per 160 kms)

(in Rs.)

Loco Running Staff

1.

Loco Pilot (Mail/Express)

9300-34800

4200

215

344

2.

Loco Pilot (Pass.)/ M/man

9300-34800

4200

214

342

3.

Loco Pilot(Goods)

9300-34800

4200

213

341

4.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. I

9300-34800

4200

165

264

5.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. II

5200-20200

2400

160

256

6.

Sr. FM-1, Sr. Asstt. Loco Pilot(Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

2400

160

256

7.

FM-1, Asstt. Loco Pilot (Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

1900

154

246

8.

Sr. Second Fireman

5200-20200

1900

154

246

9.

Second Fireman

5200-20200

1800

131

210

Traffic Running Staff

1.

Mail/Express Guard

9300-34800

4200

205

328

2.

Passenger Guard

9300-34800

4200

204

326

3.

Sr. Goods Guard

9300-34800

4200

204

326

4.

Goods Guard

5200-20200

2800

203

325

5.

Sr. Asstt. Guard/

Sr. Brakesman

5200-20200

2400

120

192

6.

Asstt. Guard/Brakesman

5200-20200

1900

116

186

Further, rates of Running Allowance should be increased as under from 01.09.2008 taking into account the revision of rates of Travelling Allowance.

S.

No.

Category

Pay Band plus Grade Pay

Rates of Kilometreage Allowance (per 100 kms)

(in Rs.)

Rates of ALK (per 160 kms)

(in Rs.)

Loco Running Staff

1.

Loco Pilot(Mail/Exp.)

9300-34800

4200

307

491

2.

Loco Pilot(Passenger)/

Motorman

9300-34800

4200

306

490

3.

Loco Pilot(Goods)

9300-34800

4200

305

488

4.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. I

9300-34800

4200

236

378

5.

Loco Pilot(Shunting) Gr. II

5200-20200

2400

229

366

6.

Sr. FM-1, Sr. Asstt. Loco Pilot(Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

2400

229

366

7.

FM-1, Asstt. Loco Pilot (Diesel/Elect.)

5200-20200

1900

220

352

8.

Sr. Second Fireman

5200-20200

1900

220

352

9.

Second Fireman

5200-20200

1800

187

299

Traffic Running Staff

1.

Mail/Express Guard

9300-34800

4200

293

469

2.

Passenger Guard

9300-34800

4200

292

467

3.

Sr. Goods Guard

9300-34800

4200

292

467

4.

Goods Guard

5200-20200

2800

291

466

5.

Sr. Asstt. Guard/

Sr. Brakesman

5200-20200

2400

172

275

6.

Asstt. Guard/Brakesman

5200-20200

1900

166

266

The above rates have been demanded keeping into view the revised basic pay, revised T.A. rates and relativity as per the recommendations of the Running Allowance Committee, 1981 and Railway Board’s letters No.E(P&A)II-97/RS-2 dated 2.4.1998 and No.E(P&A)II-98/RS-5 dated 6.5.1998 on the subject.

The relativity of the rates of Kilometerage of Mail/Exp. Drivers, Goods Drivers, Shunters, Sr. ALP and Second Fireman, Mail/Exp. Guards, Goods Guards, Sr. Brakesman/Sr. Asstt. Guard and Brakesman/Asst. Guard is maintained as per the prevailing practice on Indian Railways since 1981.

———————————————————-

Item No.3

Sub: Grant of Children Education Allowance and Hostel Subsidy

Railway Board vide their letter No. E(W)2008/ED-2/4 dated 10.06.2009 have laid down the eligibility for Children Education Allowance as follows:

“Reimbursement of Children Education Allowance is admissible for eldest two surviving children studying in schools affiliated to Board of Education”.

This is contrary to the letter and spirit of the original order issued vide Para 1(c) of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions O. M. No.12011/03/2008-Estt. (Allowance) dated 02.09.2008 circulated vide Railway Board’s letter No.E(W)2008/ED-2/4 dated 01.10.2008 which reads as under:-

“Reimbursement as indicated above will be applicable for expenditure on the education of school going children only i.e. for children from classes nursery to twelfth, including classes eleventh and twelfth held by junior colleges or schools affiliated to Universities or Boards of Education”.

It is clear from the above paragraph that only for class eleventh and twelfth colleges or schools need to be affiliated to Universities or Board of Education and not from Nursery Class.

It may further be mentioned that schools imparting education at Nursery level, primary level and even middle class level i.e. up to Class VI(Six) are not affiliated to any Education Board. Apart from the above, in road side railway stations even some Secondary Schools are also not affiliated to any State Education Board and students studying in those schools are appearing Secondary Examination through some other affiliated schools. The policy of the Govt. is to spread literacy and if, the restriction imposed by the Railway Board’s letter under reference, many students studying Nursery, Primary and middle School / classes are being deprived of the benefits of Educational Assistance.

It is urged that the Children Education Allowance and Hostel Subsidy may please be granted to any two children studying in schools and in respect of up to middle standard affiliation to Board of Education or from any other authority may not be insisted upon.

—————————————————————-

Item No.8

Sub: Eligibility for 1st Class/AC-2 Tier and AC 3 Tier Passes

Consequent upon introduction of VI CPC pay scales, staff of all departments other than the Railways, in Grade Pay Rs.4200 and above, are having eligibility of First Class/AC 2 Tier Passes.

It would be appropriate to mention that the VI CPC vide para 4.2.42 has recommended as under:-

“In any case in the revised scheme of pay scales, all the allowances and facilities will be governed by grade pay.”

Hence, it is urged that the Railwaymen in Grade Pay of Rs.4200 and above be issued First Class/AC 2 Tier Passes and those who are in Grade Pay Rs.2400 and 2800 be issued AC 3 Tier Passes.

——————————————————————-

Item No.9

Sub: Stationary equivalent pay scale for Running Staff – Allotment of comparable grade Pays

The Railway Board vide their letter No.E(NG)I-98/PM2/8 dated 01.10.99 have allotted comparable grades for running staff as follows:-

M&E Driver, Sr. Shunter, Passenger, Sr. Passenger, Motorman,

Sr. Motorman; M&E Guard, Sr. Passenger Guard

Rs.6500-10500

Goods Driver, Sr. Shunter, Passenger Guard, Sr. Goods Guard

Rs.5500-9000

Shunter, Sr. Asstt. Guard, Sr. DAD/EA/1st Fire man

Rs.5000-8000

Asstt. Guard, ALP (DSL)/ALP (Elect)/1st Fire man

Rs.4000-6000

It is urged that comparable grade pay for Running Staff in the stationary posts be considered and instructions issued.

——————————————————————

Item No.25

Sub: Abnormal delay in the matter of setting-up of Medical Board, holding of the Board and acceptance of its report – harassment to the employees

After prolong treatment when patients are not declared fit for duty, they often submit application for setting-up of Medical Board to ascertain whether they are likely to be fit for duty or otherwise.

There has been abnormal delay in the matter of setting-up of Medical Board, holding of Medical Board and acceptance or otherwise of the recommendation of the Medical Board appointed for the purpose, causing harassment to the staff. They exhaust their Earn Leave and had to be remained on LWP for months together causing untold sufferings.

Hence, it is urged that some time frame should be drawn for setting-up of Medical Board, holding of Medical Board and acceptance or otherwise of the report of the Board so that the patients are relieved of their mental and economic hardship.

———————————————————————

Item No.1

Sub: Appointment of High Powered Committee to review the working hours of Loco & Traffic Running Staff and other safety categories of staff – Implementation of the agreement

In the wake of strike negotiation, the following agreement was reached for reviewing working hours of Loco & Traffic Running Staff and other safety categories of staff.

“A High Power Committee with an eminent Judge of the High Court would be constituted to review the duty hours of Running Staff and other Safety Categories of Staff and other safety categories of staff.”

Despite repeated representations, the High Powered Committee as agreed to has not yet been appointed, causing serious dissatisfaction amongst the Loco & Traffic Running staff and other safety categories of staff.

Staff Side urges the Railway Board to appoint the High Powered Committee, as agreed to, without any further delay, to review working hours of Loco & Traffic Running Staff and other Safety Categories of Staff.

—————————————————————-

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LTC when both husband and wife are Government servants

LTC when both husband and wife are Government servants

Leave Travel Concession: when both husband and wife are Government servants and are residing together. reg.
According to the definition of family as given under rule 4, which is applicable, in travel inter alia, for the purpose of admissibility of LTC, the family of a Government servant includes wife or husband, as the case may be, residing with the Government servant and children residing with and wholly dependent upon the Govt. servant. In addition, it includes the parents, sisters and minor brothers, if residing with and wholly dependent upon the Government servant.
According to the existing position where both husband and wife are Govt. servants and are residing together, they constitute one family unit for the purpose of LTC and only one of them can claim this concession and the other spouse travels as a member of his/her family.
In such a case, the Govt. servants are required to make a joint declaration of a common hometown, which can be the hometown of either of the spouses or a third place. Therefore, the spouse who avails the LTC as member of family of the other could not claim the benefit separately for his/her own parents or dependent minor brothers and sisters even if they were residing with him/her.
On the other hand, where a couple, both being Govt. servants, are residing separately can claim the benefit of LTC individually for their dependent parents, minor brothers and sisters and also declare two separate places as their respective hometowns.
Therefore, the husband and wife when both are Govt. employees and are staying together suffer from certain disadvantages inasmuch as they have to declare common hometown and only one of them can claim the benefit of LTC.
The matter has been considered in consultation with Ministry of Finance (Department of Expenditure) and it has been decided that where husband and wife both are Govt. servants, they could, at their option, choose to declare separate hometown and both of them may claim the concession separately under the normal provisions of CCS (LTC) Rules in respect of the members of their respective families subject to the condition that if husband or wife avails the facility as a member of the family of the other, he or she will not be entitled for claiming the concession for self independently. Similarly, the children shall be eligible for the benefit in one particular block as members of the family of one of the parents only.
All other conditions for admissibility of the LTC shall continue to be applicable as per normal provisions of the scheme. The above decision will be applicable to the journeys performed for availing the LTC against the block years 1990-91 onwards.

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