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Indian Railways’ punctuality leaves much to be desired; Howrah worst performer

Howrah Division in Bengal is the worst performer as far as trains running on time is concerned, with a punctuality performance of only 34 per cent for the week ended June 3.

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New Delhi, June 13: Howrah Division in Bengal is the worst performer as far as trains running on time is concerned, with a punctuality performance of only 34 per cent for the week ended June 3. It is closely followed by Lucknow Division with 39 per cent.

Curiously, an above 80 per cent punctuality rate is considered “reasonable” for Indian Railways, one of the largest railway systems in the world. Currently, Indian Railways’ overall punctuality rate is about 65 per cent — not an ideal situation for authorities or passengers.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has said: “At the moment, punctuality rate is 65 per cent and I am not satisfied.”

Zonewise, South East Central’s punctuality performance has remained at the bottom at 44 per cent followed by North Central’s 47.5 per cent, according to Railways data.

However, Bhavnagar has fared extremely well with 99.27 per cent while Sealdah Division has clocked 98.19 per cent in the week from May 28 to June 3 this year.

Delhi Division’s performance is below the 65 per cent mark at 64.64 per cent, while Mumbai Division is even worse at 55.5 per cent for the same period.

Though Railways has made an all-out effort to prevent delays by improving the punctuality rate, Mail/Express trains are sometimes running more than five to 10 hours behind the schedule, causing much inconvenience to passengers.

Even premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto are running late in some sectors due to various reasons, including ongoing track renewal and maintenance, bridge repair and speed restrictions.

“In order to ensure safety, Railways has undertaken a massive track renewal job, replacing old and aged lines in a concerted manner,” a senior official involved with safety operations told IANS. He added that track renewal is under way in almost every section.

Since track renewal is a priority now, lines are blocked for the work, which causes the trains to run slow.

The tracks fit for 110 km to 130 km per hour speed are also witnessing the slowdown effect, with even the Rajdhani service being hit.

Besides Lucknow, other divisions of the Northern Zone are also performing badly on the punctuality front with Moradabad’s being a low 40.14 per cent.

In the Southern Zone, Thiruvananthapuram has touched 45.68 per cent while Chennai and Palakkad are at 66.4 per cent and 69.08 per cent, respectively.

While East Central’s Sonepur has clocked 44.19 per cent, Danapur Division recorded 67.6 per cent punctuality rate last week.

Mughalsarai, the busiest section of the rail network, has not been able to touch even the 55 per cent mark as it registered 54.72 per cent punctuality rate.

IANS

India

BJP leader shot dead in Mandsaur

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BJP leader and Mandsaur Municipal Corporation President, Prahlad Bandhwar, was shot dead in Nai Abaadi, Mandsaur on Thursday. Police has launched a search operation for the miscreants.

SL Borsi, SHO Kotwali police station, said, “We have got a name, police is searching for him. A police team has gone for the same. They had a land dispute.”

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Army commander visits forward positions in Poonch

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Jammu, Jan 17 : Amid heightened tension on the Line of Control (LoC), the Northern Army Commander on Thursday visited forward positions in Poonch district.

Defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said, “Lt General Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command, accompanied by the White Knight Corps Commander, Lt general Paramjit Singh visited forward posts of Poonch Sector to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation.

“During the visit to the sector, the Army Commander was briefed by the commanders on the ground about the current operational situation, prevailing security dynamics and the preparedness of the formations in dealing with the same.

“The Army Commander was also briefed on the actions being taken to ensure a robust counter-infiltration and counter-terrorist grid to enable continued peace and stability in the region.

“The Army Commander interacted with the soldiers and complimented them for their unwavering dedication to duty.

Tension has been prevailing along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts due to frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

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JNU sedition row BJP creation, says ex-ABVP member

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New Delhi, Jan 17 : A former ABVP member has said the chargesheet filed against the 10 JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, is the brainchild of BJP and claimed that some ABVP members had themselves raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan on the JNU campus in 2016 which led to the slapping of sedition charges.

Pradeep Narwal, who left the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition row in 2016, told IANS that the entire issue is politically-motivated and has been raised to benefit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming general election.

The entire controversy was fomented by the ABVP in 2016 to divert the attention from the University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

“This was a media trial, then, and this is a media trial, now. The controversy was created by the BJP to dilute the suicide of Rohith Vemula, who was forced to end his life by Bandaru Dattatreya (then Labour Minister from Telangana), who escalated the matter to the HRD Ministry, while the matter should have been dealt with at the Vice Chancellor level,” Narwal said.

He also suggested that certain members of the ABVP and its sympathisers were also seen among the students in the video grab which captured “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan — the slogan purported to be the heart of the sedition charge in the chargesheet — being raised.

“Hence, either the video is doctored, as I have been saying all along, or the chargesheet should also be filed against those ABVP members,” he said, adding that he was frequently threatened and abused by the ABVP members for days after his leaving the group.

Vemula committed suicide three years back on this day in his room on the University of Hyderabad campus.

In his suicide note, he had narrated how he was being victimised for coming from a low caste and how casteism was rife in the university. His death sent thousands of university students across India into agitation, who waged several protests against the “institutional discrimination” at places of higher education.

Narwal, who joined the Congress six months back, said the chargesheet has been filed to create a “narrative” before the general election on the basis of “doctored videos”.

“If due process is not followed in this case, it would be the biggest fraud on democracy,” he said.

The Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet naming Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students, mentioning that anti-national slogans were raised by them at an event held at Sabarmati Dhaba on the JNU campus in February 2016.

The police have cited video footage made by ABVP members, among others, as evidence.

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