Archive for November, 2010

Why people cross railway tracks?

Why people cross railway tracks?

A recent article about loss of young lives while attempting to cross railway tracks depressed me and so I decided to write this blog. I am surprised why people cross railway tracks even at stations like Parel. Here, the cost of a mistake is extremely fatal and still people take the risk. The economic value of the time you save by crossing the railway tracks can never, I repeat never be more than the economic value of your life.

Years ago, I used to stay in Malad East. Regular commuters are aware that trains from Churchgate are most likely to halt at platform No 1. If people wanted to go the Eastern side, many would tend to jump off the train on to the opposite railway track and save a couple of minutes. The time consuming option of taking the available foot bridge was conveniently discarded. During my commute those days I witnessed an accident at Malad station and made a firm resolve never to even attempt to cross the railway tracks. Your colleagues and train mates may make fun of you but using the footbridge significantly reduces risk to your life and at the same times gives you a little exercise.

What irritates me is that when someone dies because of their own fault, why is there is so much anger against the motorman and the railways. What can a GM sitting in Churchgate do to prevent such things? If the RPF gets stricter and imposes fines or wields the stick, there is uproar against them. The railways do their part of building fences and track dividers. In fact, to create awareness about the risks associated with crossing railway tracks, Western Railways even coined smart SMSes which it sent out like – ‘If you are fond of donating blood, do not do it on the tracks’ and ‘Short-cuts can cut your life short. Use FOBs and subways’.

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Rail Dost: A Rly magazine for elite train travellers soon

Rly magazine for elite train travellers soon

As part of the move to make train travel more enjoyable, the rail ministry has decided to launch an all-colour magazine—Rail Dost—to be provided free to passengers of elite trains. The magazine, which will be launched in January, will be similar in look and feel to those provided by airlines for in-flight reading. Rail Dost will not be sold and passengers can take it home.

The idea of a monthly magazine to be given to all passengers of Durantos, Rajdhanis and Shatabdis was mooted by the railways’ passenger services committee headed by quiz master Derek O’Brien. “Unlike airlines, we expect passengers to take the magazine home,” O’Brien told TOI. Initially, the magazine will be in English and Hindi and later, some sections will have writeups in different languages like Tamil and Bengali.

Work on the first issue is already on and TOI has learnt that it will feature a story on Rabindra Nath Tagore’s rail journey in England where he lost the manuscript of his famous work ‘Geetanjali’ on a railway platform. The first issue will also have a write-up by Ruskin Bond.

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Mobile Number Portability Service to be Launched from 25Nov as per chalked plan

Mobile Number Portability Service to be Launched tomorrow
Shri Kapil Sibal to Inaugurate the Service in Rohtak, Haryana

The much awaited Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service will be launched tomorrow in Rohtak, Haryana. The Union Minister of Communications & IT Shri Kapil Sibal with Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana as the Chief Guest will inaugurate the service at a function in Rohtak at 3 p.m. on 25.11.2010.
A plan for phased migration of networks in all the remaining 22 (excluding Haryana) Licensed Service Areas in the country for working in MNP scenario is being chalked out in consultation with service providers. The detailed program for the entire country will be announced separately.
From tomorrow, mobile phone customers in Haryana Licensed Service Area (LSA) will have the choice of selecting their telecom service provider (operator) with out changing their number, provided a minimum period of 90 days has elapsed after subscription to the mobile service of the current service provider. For change of service provider i.e. porting, a subscriber has to send an SMS (PORTMobile Number) from the number he wishes to be ported, to number 1900 whereby a Unique Porting Code (UPC) will be received on SMS from his current service provider. The subscriber will need to apply in the prescribed application form to the chosen new service provider quoting the UPC which will act as a reference while filling up the application form with new service provider.
The new service provider will then take action to get the required processes completed to enable the subscriber to get connected to his network. Porting has to be completed within 7 working days. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put a ceiling of Rs. 19/- on porting charges which the new service provider may collect from the subscriber. Post-paid subscribers before making the porting request, have to make sure that their last bill has been paid failing which the request for change to new service provider shall be rejected. In the case of pre-paid subscriber any balance amount left will not be carried forward when the number is transferred to the new service provider.

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Due to Efforts By AIRF, Running Staff Tax Free Mileage Limit increased to Rs.10000/- retrospective effect from 01-09-2008

Hot smile Due to Efforts By AIRF, Running Staff Tax Free Mileage Limit increased to Rs.10000/- w.e.f. 01-09-2008
Personal expenditure Allowance to transport system employee’s exemption Increased
As per Income tax Act section 10(14) exemption limit of various allowances has been prescribed under rule 2BB of income tax rules. One of them is allowance to transport system employee to meet personal expenditure during his duty performance.
Present rule is given as under Allowance description: Any allowance granted to an employee working in any transport system to meet his personal expenditure during his duty performed in the course of running of such transport from one place to another place, provided that such employee is not in receipt of daily allowance
Exempted Amount :70 % of the allowance subject to `.6000/- Maximum

Now as per Income-tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2010 – Amendment in Rule 2BB vide NOTIFICATION  NO. 85/2010 [F. NO. 149/45/2010-SO (TPL)], DATED 22-11-2010 the maximum amount has been increased to ` 10000/- with effect from 01.09.2008 (retrospectively effected)
complete Notification is given below:
Income-tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2010 – Amendment in Rule 2BB
[F. NO. 149/45/2010-SO (TPL)], DATED 22-11-2010
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 295 read with clause (14) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Board of Direct Taxes hereby makes the following rule further to amend Income-tax Rules, 1962, namely :—
1. (1) These Rule may be called the Income-tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2010.
(2) They shall be deemed to have come into force retrospectively with effect from 1st day of September, 2008. 2. In the Income-tax Rules, 1962, in rule 2BB, in sub-rule (2), in the Table, against serial number 4, in column 4, for letters, figures and words “`. 6,000 per month” the letters, figures and words, `. 10,000 per month” shall be substituted.

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Performance Related Incentive Scheme(PRIS) is not acceptable to AIRF

No.AIRF/405(VI CPC)(PRIS)              Dated: November 22, 2010

The Secretary(E),

Railway Board,

New Delhi

Dear Sir,

Sub: Performance Related Incentive Scheme – Recommendations of Sixth CPC

Ref: Railway Board’s letter No.E(P&A)II-2010/PLB-6 dated 13.8.2010

                   We have received a copy of the note, contained in the above cited letter of the Railway Board, wherein the Railway Board have sought views/ comments of the Federation.         

                   After submission of the report of the VI CPC, there had been a discussion between the Secretary(Staff Side), National Council(JCM) and the VI CPC, wherein it was made clear to the Pay Commission that the Productivity Linked Bonus is a bilateral settlement arrived between the Railway Board and the Federations.

                  Therefore, suggestion of the Pay Commission to implement Performance Related Incentive Scheme(PRIS) in the Railways cannot be accepted as a recommendation of the VI CPC.

                   In view of the above, Performance Related Incentive Scheme(PRIS) is not acceptable to us.

Yours faithfully,

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)
General Secretary

Copy to: General Secretaries, all affiliated unions – for information.

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Withdrawal of Board’s letter No.E(NG)II/2010/RC-4/6 dated 16.11.2010 regarding re-engagement of retired staff on daily remuneration basis for the post of Loco Pilots and guards

No.AIRF/55                                          Dated: November 22, 2010

The Secretary(E),
Railway Board,
New Delhi

Dear Sir,

Sub: Withdrawal of Board’s letter No.E(NG)II/2010/RC-4/6 dated 16.11.2010 regarding re-engagement of retired staff on daily remuneration basis for the post of Loco Pilots and guards

         The Railway Board vide above letter have authorized the Zonal Railways to engage retired Running Staff(Loco Pilots and Guards) on daily remuneration basis citing acute shortage of the staff and engage such retired staff to manage the non-running duties such as Lobby Supervisors/ Power Controllers etc. These unilateral orders have been issued by the Railway Board without any consultation with the Federation.
       The posts of Lobby Supervisors(Crew Controllers) and Power Controllers(PCRs) and Traction Loco Controllers) are of supervisory in nature and in the GP of Rs.4600(Rs.6500-10500) were earlier filled on promotion as a cadre post and now on promotion as a tenure post.
          In Southern Railway alone, there are about more than 120 Crew Controllers/Power Controller posts and this action of the Railway Board, directing Zonal Railways to engage retired Running Staff, not only deprives avenue of promotions to Loco Running Staff but also creates a precarious situation of regular cadre Running Staff placed under supervisory control of a casual labour by way of engaging retired Running Staff. This will result in serious discontentment among the Running Staff, and especially in Southern Railway, where there is not acute shortage, needs such a haphazard arrangement just because of a uniform orders of the Railway Board.
         AIRF demands withdrawal of the above cited letter of the Railway Board immediately.

Yours faithfully,

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)
General Secretary

Copy to: General Secretaries, all affiliated unions – for information.

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Central Railway is likely to spend more than Rs 2 crore to keep birds away from overhead wires and pests out of railway coaches

CR to spend lakhs to shoo away birds

This summer, the Central Railway is likely to spend more than Rs 2 crore to keep birds away from overhead wires and pests out of railway coaches. Railway authorities are scouting for repellents and gels that will keep birds, especially crows, away from overhead equipment (OHE) and pantograph of
trains, which are preferred nesting places.

On Friday, the Central Railway invited tenders for supplying insulating non-toxic bird repellent gel and paint on OHE structures beyond Kalyan towards north (up to Karjat and Kasara). The cost of applying the repellent gel and painting the overhead equipment will be at least Rs 39 lakh.

Tenders for similar work on the 60-km stretch between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kalyan will be called for soon. The approximate cost will be Rs 60 lakh.

“The problem of birds becomes acute during summer when it’s nesting season, especially along creeks. Birds build nests on portals that hold overhead wires. This causes a short circuit and power failure that delays services,” a senior Central Railway official said on condition of anonymity.

When overhead wires or a train’s pantograph come in contact with twigs used to build nests, it could disrupt power supply and affect the running of trains.

Crows often get caught between the train’s pantograph and overhead wires causing serious damage to the pantograph that supplies power for the train to run on.

“Even small scraps of wire and strings found in nests can cause a short circuit. So we will apply non-toxic repellents, which will prevent birds from sitting on wires or building nests,” said S Mudgerikar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway.

The Central Railway has carried out research on what chemicals it could use so that the birds are not harmed.

The railways will also treat coaching depots at CST, Kurla Terminus and Wadi Bunder, where trains are kept for maintenance and other works, with pesticides. The railways will be spending Rs 1.76 crore to get rid of rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs and mosquitoes.

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Five digit numbering scheme for trains from Dec 20

Five digit numbering scheme for trains from Dec 20

Indian Railways are going to implement five digit numbers in place of the existing four digit numbers for all trains from December 20, the Lok Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa in a written reply said the details of the scheme are that the existing express trains numbers shall largely continue unchanged but shall now be prefixed with first digit of 1. The passenger trains shall be first numbered as per the present four digit train numbering scheme. To this four digit number, a fifth digit shall be prefixed as digit 0 for special trains, digit 5, 6 and 7 for conventional passenger trains, MEMU and DEMU trains respectively. Suburban services in Kolkata shall begin with digit 3, in Mumbai with digit 9 and in other parts with digit 4.

It is now proposed to capture all passenger trains running over Indian Railways for various software applications by giving them a unique number. Thus, there is need to shift to 5-digit train numbering scheme from a 4-digit train numbering scheme as Indian Railways presently runs over 11,000 passenger carrying trains on an average per day while 4-digit scheme can have train numbers only upto 9,999, he said. 

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Night Duty Allowance (NDA) Rate wef 1-7-2010

NDA 1-7-2010

NDA RATE 1-7-2010

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Latest updates(18.11.10) on Entitlement of First Class Privilege Pass Issue

No.AIRF/82                                        Dated: November 18, 2010


The General Secretaries,

All Affiliated Unions,

Dear Coms.,

Sub: Entitlement of Privilege Pass

           I know that all of you are very much anxious about the issue of entitlement of Privilege Pass to the Railway employees and there is much anxiety amongst the Railwaymen on the same.

           As all of you know that we are persistently pursuing this issue with the Railway Board.

           You also know that our stand always had been that all the staff working in GP Rs.4200 should be provided with 2AC Pass and those in in GP Rs.2800 with 3AC Pass.

           On our demand, there had always been persistent opposition from one quarter in the Railway Board.

           Now you should be happy to know that the Railway Board have started thinking on the lines of AIRF and we hope that the issue will be resolved very soon and that too according to our demand.

Let’s wait for a few days more – The fruit of patience is sweet.

With greetings!

Comradely yours,

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

General Secretary

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