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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

Cities

Karnataka CM briefs President on Rescue operations in Kodagu, Modi assures help

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Kodagu (Karnataka), Aug 19 :Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Sunday briefed President Ram Nath Kovind on the rescue operations in flood-hit Kodagu district where more than 3,500 people have been rescued and e six people were killed even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday gave assurance of providing help to tackle the flood situation in various parts of the state.

 

“The Chief Minister spoke to the President and informed him that the Indian Army, Navy and other state and central agencies have rescued more than 3,500 people so far,” an official statement said as hundreds are marooned in villages and towns due to heavy rains.

The Chief Minister, for a second consecutive day, held an aerial survey and visited the towns and villages of the coffee-growing district, which has been the worst-hit in the state due to south-west monsoon rains.

Operations are on to rescue those stranded at various places, it added.

As many as 317 people were rescued and shifted to safer places in the district on Saturday and rescue operations were on around Makkandor and other areas of the district on Sunday, said officials, adding that the rescued included a two-month-old infant.

Modi, in a tweet, said he spoke to Kumaraswamy regarding the flood situation in parts of the state. “Extended all possible support in the rescue and relief operations. I pray for the safety and well-being of those in the flood affected areas,” he tweeted.

 

 

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UAE businessman donates Rs 12.5 crore for Kerala flood relief

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 Abu Dhabi, Aug 19 :A United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based businessman has announced a 2.6 million dirhams ($707,837) donation towards relief operations in the flood-hit Indian state of Kerala.

According to K.P. Hussain, chairman of Fathima Healthcare Group, about half of the amount will directly go to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, while the rest will be allocated for medical relief aid, reports Khaleej Times.

Hussain said that the group has coordinated with the state’s health secretary to send volunteers from its medical faculty, which includes doctors and paramedics, to relief camps.

Other UAE businessmen had also earlier pledged donation to help in flood relief operations.

As of Sunday, the toll from the torrential rains and the subsequent floods that has ravaged Kerala since August 9 stood at 370.

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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh objects to Sidhu’s controversial hug with Pakistan Army Chief

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August 19: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh raised objection  about the hugging episode of Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab minister with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Pakistan at the searing in ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan Prime Minister, saying, ” Everyday our jawans are getting martyred” .

“As far as hugging the Pakistan Army Chief is concerned I am not in its favour. It was wrong for him to have shown the affection towards the Pakistan Army Chief,” Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said.

“To say that ‘I don’t know General Bajwa’…it is written on their uniform. That’s wrong for him (Sidhu) to have shown the affections he did for the Pakistan Army Chief, Singh added.

“Everyday our jawans are getting martyred. To hug their Chief General Bajwa…I am against this. The fact is that the man should understand that our soldiers are being killed everyday,” Punjab Chief Minister said.

“My own regiment lost 1 Major & 2 jawans a few months ago & everyday somebody is being shot & whether the man who pulled the trigger is to blame or the man who gives the order which is the chief, and the chief is General Bajwa,” He said.

“Attending the swearing-in ceremony is concerned, he went there in his personal capacity so it has nothing to do with us, he added.

When asked about Sidhu sitting next to President of PoK Masood Khan, Amarinder Singh said, “About him being seated next to the PoK President, maybe he (Sidhu) didn’t know who he was.”

 

Clarifying on the  controversies surrounding his hug with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said  it was a gesture after Bajwa, who also belongs from the same culture, revealed that “Islamabad  will open  up Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv.”

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab minister who travelled to Pakistan to attend his ‘friend’ Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony  as Pakistan Prime Minister

“If someone (Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?, ” Navjot Singh Sidhu said  on hugging Bajwa at Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad.

Speaking about another controversy regarding sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “If you’re invited as a guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there.”

Sidhu was sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan in the front row at Pakistan  PM Imran Khan’s oath ceremony in Islamabad.

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