COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May, 2020, initially with 15 pairs of trains (30 return journeys). These trains will be run as special trains from New Delhi Station connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.

Thereafter, Indian Railways shall start more special services on new routes, based on the available coaches after reserving 20,000 coaches for COVID-19 care centres and adequate number of coaches being reserved to enable operation of up to 300 trains everyday as “Shramik Special” for stranded migrants.

Booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11th May and will be available only on the IRCTC website (https://www.irctc.co.in/). Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter  tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations.  It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Further details including train schedule will be issued separately in due course.


Ministry of Railways

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Railways has converted its 5231 coaches as Covid Care Centers. The Coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the Covid Care centers as per guidelines issued by MoHFW. These coaches can be used in areas where State has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspect and confirmed Covid cases.

The guidelines issued by MoHWF are enclosed (in the link given below).

Sustaining the fight against Covid-19, Indian Railways is making an all out effort to supplement the health care efforts of Government of India. Indian Railways has geared up to provide its 5231 Covid Care Centers to the State. Zonal Railways has converted these coaches for quarantine facility.

Out of 215 stations, Railways to provide healthcare facilities in 85 stations, in 130 stations, States to request COVID care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and essential medicines. Indian Railways has kept 158 stations ready with watering and charging facility and 58 stations with watering facility for these COVID Care centers. (list is enclosed in the link given below as Annexure A).

Apart from Covid care centers, Indian Railways to deploy more than 2500 Doctors and 35000 paramedic staff to meet the COVID 19 challenge. Doctors and paramedics being recruited on a temporary basis by various zones. Around 5,000 beds in 17 dedicated hospitals and 33 hospital blocks in Railway Hospitals identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients getting ready any contingency.

As per guidelines of MoHFW, State Governments would send the requisition to Railways. Railways will make allocation of these coaches to the State/UTs. After allocation by Railways, the train shall be placed, at required station with necessary infrastructure, and handed over to District Collector/Magistrate or one of their authorised persons. Wherever the train is placed, watering, electricity, repairs required, catering arrangements, security shall be taken care by Railways.

Link of Guidelines by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: 

Link of stations as Annexure A: 


Ministry of Railways

[Press Release dt. 07-05-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Image Credits: Economic Times

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20000 coaches into quarantine/ isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country.

In this connection consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health, Government of India.

Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches.

These modified 20000 coaches can accommodate upto 3.2 lac possible beds for isolation needs.

Work on modification of 5000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine/ isolation coaches has already started. These 5000 coaches would be having capacity to accommodate upto 80000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation.

Only Non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being planned to be utilized for conversion into Quarantine/ isolation coaches. One Indian style toilet is to be converted into a bathing room. It is to be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins. Similar tap to be provided at proper height so that bucket can be filled.

The  first  cabin  near  the  bathing  room  shall  be  provided  with  two hospital/ plastic curtains transversely in the aisle so that the entry and exit to the entire eight berth cabins can be screened off. This cabin will be used as store/paramedics area. Two Oxygen cylinders will also be provided by the Medical department for which suitable clamping arrangement on the side berth side of this cabin is to be provided.

Both middle berths are to be removed in each cabin. Extra bottle holders shall be provided in each cabin for holding medical equipment, two for each berth. Extra 3 peg coat hooks, 2 per cabin to be provided. Mosquito net to be provided on windows to avoid mosquito entry inside and have proper ventilation too. Each cabin will be provided with 3 dustbins with foot operated lids of Red, Blue and Yellow Colour suitably lined with garbage bags.

For insulation of the coaches, Bamboo/Khus mats may be affixed/ pasted on roof and each side of coach above and below windows to shield effect of heat inside coach. All charging points for laptop and mobile to be functional. It must be ensured that all amenity fittings are in place when ever the coaches are requisitioned.

*Read the detailed press release here: Press Release


Ministry of Railways

[Press Release dt. 31-03-2020]

[Source: PIB]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

1. In continuation of the measures taken in the wake of COVID-19, it has been decided that all passenger train services on Indian Railways including Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, Passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway etc shall be cancelled till the 2400hrs of 31.03.2020. However, bare minimum level of services of suburban trains and Kolkata Metro Rail shall continue upto 2400 hrs of 22.03.2020.

2. Trains which had already commenced their journey, prior to 0400 hrs of 22.03.2020, will run up to their destinations. Adequate arrangements shall be made for the passengers, who have commenced their journey during the travel and at their destinations.

3. To ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country, movement of goods trains will continue.

4. To make it more convenient for passengers, full refund for all cancelled trains may be taken till 21.06.2020. Adequate arrangements shall be made to facilitate hassle-free refund to passengers affected by train cancellations.


Ministry of Railways

[Source: PIB]

[Press Release dt. 22-03-2020]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

Union Cabinet has given its approval forsigning a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department for International Development (Government of United Kingdom) on 02.12.2019 for Enabling Energy Self-Sufficiency for Indian Railways.

Implementation Strategy and targets

The   MoU   signed   by   Ministry   of   Railways   with   Department for   International Development (Government of United Kingdom) for Enabling Energy Self-Sufficiency for Indian Railways with the following understanding: –

a.  The Parties agree on the scope of activities to be undertaken as a part of the endeavor for enabling energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency for the Indian Railways.

b.   Each Participant will, subject to the laws, rules, regulations and national policies fromtime to time in force  governing  the  subject  matter  in  their  respective  countries, endeavour to take  necessary steps to enable energy efficiency and  energy  self-sufficiency for Indian Railways.

c.   The parties agree for Energy planning for Indian Railways i.e. Solar & Wind Energysector, Adopting energy efficiency practices, Enabling Fuel efficiency, Electric Vehiclecharging infrastructure deployment, Battery operated Shunting Locomotives. Capacitydevelopment like training programmes, industrial visits, field visits etc. or any other form co-operation may be approved in writing by the Participants.

d.  The Participants will coordinate the activities, as appropriate, under this MoU. Nothing in this MoU will be construed to prejudice existing or future arrangements for co­operation between the participants.

e.   Blither participant may request in writing a revision, modification or amendment to all or any part of this MoU. Any revision, modification or amendment approved by the Participants will form part of the revised MoU. Such revision, modification or amendment will come into effect on such date as may be determined by the Participants.

f.   This Memorandum of Understanding shall come into force on its signing by the duly authorized representatives of the Parties and any of the Party may terminate this MoU by written communication addressed to the other, in which case, termination of MoU shall take effect six months after receipt of such written communication.

g.  The termination of this MoU will not affect the implementation of ongoing projects and / or programmes which have been agreed before the date of the termination of this MoU. Necessarily, areas of cooperation and forms of cooperation will continue to be enforced for ongoing projects and programmes which have been agreed before the date of the termination of this MoU.

h.  Any dispute or difference between the Parties shall be settled through mutual consultations and negotiations between the participants.

Background:

Ministry of Railways have signed MoUs/ MoCs for co-operation covering technical, policy, research & commercial aspects in field of development of energy sector. The objective of the programme is to support structural reforms and the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid. To be more specific, it aims to achieve more sustainable and inclusive economic growth, better energy security and reduced carbon emissions.

The MoUs/ MoCs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoUs/ MoCs facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/workshops focusing on specific technology areas like Renewable Energy and other interactions for knowledge sharing.


Cabinet

[Press Release dt. 08-01-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

Railway Board has approved works for provision of Video Surveillance System covering 983 stations under Nirbhaya funds

In order to enhance security at Railway stations which are major hubs of transportation, Indian Railways is in the process of installing Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations, that is, waiting halls, reservation counters, parking areas, main entrance/ exit, platforms, foot overbridges, booking offices, etc. Railway Board has approved works for the provision of Video Surveillance System covering 983 stations over Indian Railways under Nirbhaya funds. This year a budget of Rs. 250 crore was allotted to Indian Railways from the Nirbhaya fund for installation of the video surveillance system.

RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways, has been entrusted with the work of providing IP based VSS with video analytics and facial recognition system. To have better coverage and clearer image, four types of Full HD Cameras – Dome type (for indoor areas), Bullet type (for platforms), Pan Tilt Zoom type (for parking areas) and Ultra HD- 4k cameras (for crucial locations) are being provided. CCTV camera lives feeds are displayed on multiple screens at the Railway Protection Force (RPF) control room for monitoring. Each HD camera at the station consumes approximately 1TB of data and 4k camera consumes 4 TB data per month. The recording of the video feeds from CCTV cameras will be stored for 30 days for playback, post-event analysis and for investigation purposes. Important videos can be stored for a longer duration.

Talking about the project of providing Video Surveillance System, Puneet Chawla, Chairman and Managing Director, RailTel said that in the first phase, VSS is being installed at 200 stations Pan India and as on date work has been completed at 81 stations across India. The Video Surveillance System will be extended to other stations and coaches soon. The work is being done utilizing the Nirbhaya fund for ensuring better safety for women.

In phase-I that is targeted for this year, South Western Railway (SWR) has recently commissioned Video Surveillance system (CCTV) at 6 major stations – Ballari by providing 33 Cameras, Belagavi with 36 Cameras, Vasco-Da Gama with 36 Cameras, Bengaluru Cantt with 21 Cameras, Bangarpet with 36 Cameras, Hassan with 36 Camera and at 3 Stations at Hassan, Shivamogga Town & Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam, work is under progress and will be commissioned shortly. Integrated security systems comprising CCTV have already been installed at 11 stations including Bengaluru with 71 Cameras, Yesvantpur with 35 Cameras, and Mysuru with 34 Cameras. This SWR has functional CCTV at 17 locations and will complete the work in Phase-I by having CCTV functional at total 20 railway stations by end of January 2020. Security personnel can monitor these cameras not only from station control rooms but also from Central Security Control Rooms located at Divisional HQ, i.e, Hubballi, Mysuru and Bengaluru.

Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) has also been installed at 10 Railway stations of Western Railway namely  Bhavnagar Terminus, Udhna, Valsad, Veraval, Nagda, Navsari, Vapi, Viragam, Rajkot, Gandhidham. This Video Surveillance System is expected to ensure better security of passengers at railway stations and railway property.


Ministry of Railways

[Press Release dt. 08-01-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

Union Cabinet has approved a transformational organisational restructuring of the Indian Railways. This historic reform will go a long way in achieving the Government’s vision of making Indian Railways the growth engine of India’s Vikas Yatra.

The reforms include:

  1. Unification of the existing eight Group A services of the Railways into a Central Service called Indian Railway Management Service (/RMS)
  2. Re-organisation of Railway Board on functional lines headed by CRB with four Members and some Independent Members
  3. The existing service of Indian Railway Medical Service (IRMS) to be consequently renamed as Indian Railway Health Service (IRHS).

Cabinet

[Source: PIB]

[Press Release dt. 24-12-2019]

NewsTreaties/Conventions/International Agreements

Indian Railways have undertaken some major Green initiatives as part of India’s contribution towards mitigation of global warming and combating climate change. To carry forward this green initiative, an MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for facilitation of green initiatives in Indian Railways at New Delhi today in the presence of the  Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Director General of CII Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Member, Rolling Stock, Shri Rajesh Agarwal and other Railway Board Officials.

The objectives of the MoU:

  1. Energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities and railway workshops.
  2. Greening of Railway properties.
  3. Demonstrative pilots of ‘net-zero energy buildings/ railway stations’.
  4. Capacity and skill development by continuous sharing of best practices on energy and environment through training programmes.
  5. Development of Green procurement policy, waste management policy, solid waste disposal, carbon neutrality, phytoremediation.

Three Coffee Table Publications –one each on Energy Efficiency, GreenCo Rating and Green Buildings(including railway stations) were also released for wide circulation as part of efforts taken by the Indian Railways team as envisaged in MoU.

Indian Railways & CII have been working together since the signing of MOU in 2016 on Green Rating & Energy Efficiency Studies of IR’s Production Units & major workshops and after assessment in last three years, 50 Railway Units including workshops and production units have achieved GreenCo certification. In addition, 12 Railway stations and 16 more buildings and other facilities have also achieved Green certification.

GreenCo rating system developed by CII evaluates the green initiative and the rate of performance of industrial units who are pursuing environmentally sustainable practice and also certifies green building, green campus and green schools, etc.


Ministry of Railways

[Press Release dt. 13-09-2019]