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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

Disaster

NDRF teams sent to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh after warning by China

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Yarlung zangbo

Guwahati, Oct 20 : The Centre has sent eight companies of National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) to Arunahal Pradesh followed by six others to Assam after intimation from the Chinese government that landslide has blocked the Milin section of the main stream of Yarlung Zangbo or Brahmaputra river recently and that it might impact the lower reaches of the river.

The Arunahal Pradesh government as well as the Assam government has instructed and alerted all the districts located near Siang and Brahmaputra river which might be affected due to the water flow of the river in near future.

It is believed that the sudden blockade caused by the landslides might burst anytime and cause flash floods in downstream areas in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

While the Arunachal Pradesh government has alerted the people living in periphery of Siang river not to venture out in the river for collection of firewood or for fishing.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said that six NDRF companies are on the way to Assam from Kolkata, which will be stationed in Sensitive districts.

Sonowal has also asked the disaster management authorities in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia districts to remain alert for any probable flash flood-like situation and any kind of eventuality.

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Disaster

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief

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Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks state govt, party workers to provide immediate relief at Amritsar train accident site.

The disaster happened when a large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy in flames while standing on the railway tracks near Jora Phatak when the train crushed them.

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Cities

Khasi woman accuses two Catholics priests of sexually abusing her

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Rape Victim

Shillong, Oct 19 : A tribal Khasi woman in Meghalaya on Friday took to social media #MeToo campaign accusing two Catholic brothers of sexually abusing her since she was five years old.

Mary Therese Kurkalang, who said she attempted suicide thrice in the past, in her Facebook post named two Catholic brothers “Br Francis Gale of the Christian Brothers and Br Muscat of Don Bosco” for sexually abusing her since she was 5.

Kurkalang told IANS over phone that she had consulted her lawyers to understand the repercussion before she put her statement on Facebook against the two Catholic brothers.

“I don’t know yet my next steps… I have taken the first steps for now and these were not easy,” she said.

Detailing her ordeal in her Facebook post, Kurkalang said, “It’s a long journey and an ongoing one to stay whole, balanced, and sane as someone who was sexually abused through my childhood, age 5 till age 12. I have attempted suicide 3 times as a teenager and young adult, twice I landed in hospital in a serious condition.”

Alleging that Gale of the Christian Brothers congregation had “sexually abused her for eight years”, the 40-year-old woman said, “He (Gale) was a trusted friend of my family and was held in great esteem as a religious man. I was sent to him for tuitions — I was 5 when he first showed me his XXXX and asked me to touch it.”

Kurkalang said that she never got the support of her family members, one of whom instead “slapped” her when she informed them about the sexual abuse committed by Gale.

“I never spoke about it again, the abuse continued all the years till, when I turned 12 and started menstruating, I mustered the courage to refuse to meet this man (Gale) or talk to him,” she said.

In her Facebook post, Kurkalang said Muscat of Don Bosco abused his victims by giving them sweets and toffees kept in a huge desk.

“He would call children to his side of the table and ask us (children) to choose toffees from his drawers and while we did, he would slide his hands up,” she said.

Kurkalang said that she never told anyone about the sexual abuse committed by Muscat because of the larger abuse she faced from Gale.

“The #MeToo movement has triggered a lot of distress, but it also brings me hope and belief that justice will come, that we, each of us who have suffered silently will finally be heard, we might not be believed by everybody but we will be believed by many, and that matters,” she said.

“Some might ask why now? Why did I wait? I did not wait, I did act then, in the ways I knew how and the little agency I had as a child. But everywhere and every one I reached out to then, did not help. I lost hope in the very idea of justice. All I knew after my failed attempts of suicide was that I had to survive and win, to live a life that I choose as an adult, or I would have let my abusers destroy my present and my future too,” she said.

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