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Indian Railways suffers as private players fail to meet wagon delivery targets

Wagon manufacturers are the mainstay of the railways as 90 per cent of its requirement is met by the private sector. Till October 1, Indian Railways has received only 2,717 of the 12,311 wagons that had been ordered from 10 major players in April.

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New Delhi, Oct 21 : A working capital crunch, coupled with lack of critical components, has slowed down the delivery schedule of railway wagons, affecting their availability with the transporter, a senior official said.

“Wagon manufacturers are the mainstay of the railways as 90 per cent of its requirement is met by the private sector. Till October 1, Indian Railways has received only 2,717 of the 12,311 wagons that had been ordered from 10 major players in April,” the Railways official told IANS.

Thus, the manufacturers are expected to produce 9,594 wagons, each of which costs Rs 25 lakhs, in the next five months, by March 2019, which seems to be a tall order, industry stakeholders said.

Expressing serious concern over the slow pace of delivery, the Railways has asked wagon manufacturers to improve the supply or face a penalty of two per cent of the value of the order as laid down in the contract, the official said.

According to industry sources, there are issues like lack of working capital and non-availability of critical components like bogeys, couplers, dropgear and airbrake systems from Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO)-approved vendors.

While the price of steel has gone up around 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the recent past, there are also Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues.

Five per cent GST is applicable on wagons, while the GST on raw materials required for wagon productions is 18 per cent.

There are plans to approach the Finance Ministry to resolve the GST issue, industry sources said.

Meanwhile, the Railways has decided to opt for the reverse auction method to decide on its future tender for procurement of 21,758 wagons at an estimated cost of Rs 5,600 crore — the largest such order for the national transporter.

The order includes nine types of wagons, including covered, flat, open and brake vans to be supplied by the successful bidders in the next two years.

(Arun Kumar Das can be contacted at [email protected] )

India

Delhi University expels Ankiv Baisoya

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New Delhi, Nov 17: Delhi University top officials are tight-lipped, but Delhi Police have confirmed receiving communication from the university saying that it has expelled Ankiv Baisoya after he was found guilty of faking his educational certificates.

“We got the information from Delhi University that his (Baisoya) admission has been cancelled. We wrote to the university asking them to send us a verification report that they got from the Thiruvalluvar University and told them to lodge a proper complaint so that we can proceed further,” a senior police officer said.

“We sent the letter to the Registrar the same day. We got the letter in the evening on November 15, the day Baisoya’s admission was cancelled,” the officer told IANS.

He said he was forwarded the letter sent to the Registrar by the head of the Buddist Department where Baisoya was admitted.

Sources said the police was informed of the cancellation after the university got a letter from the Thiruvalluvar University Registrar confirming that Baisoya was never a student of that university.

Delhi University Registrar Tarun Das and Proctor Neeta Sehgal could not be contacted for confirmation.

Baisoya, who was elected as the DU students union President two months back, said on Facebook on November 15, the day he was expelled, that he was resigning his post.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student group to which he belonged, too, suspended Baisoya on November 15, asking him to step down from the DUSU post.

Baisoya has been expelled for submitting fake documents from Thiruvalluvar University at Vellore in Tamil Nadu to secure admission in Delhi University where he was a student of Buddhist Studies.

IANS

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Disaster

Cyclone Gaja: Death toll in Tamil Nadu reaches to 33

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Chennai, Nov 17: The death toll due to cyclonic storm Gaja, which hit coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, has reached to 33, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.

Addressing media at Salem, Palaniswami stated that 20 men, 11 women, and 2 children died due to the cyclone that crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam districts between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. on Friday.

The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts.

Due to the cyclone, 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died.

Some 127,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph, the Chief Minister added.

The state government is distributing water, milk and food to the people affected by the calamity.

About 177,500 people are staying in 351 relief camps in the cyclone-affected areas.

According to the Chief Minister, about 30,000 electricity poles were broken, and 105 power sub-stations affected.

About 10,000 personnel have deployed in the cyclone-affected coastal districts to repair the installations.

WeForNews 

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India

PM Modi in Maldives to attend President-elect Solih oath ceremony

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New Delhi, Nov 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Maldives to attend President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih swearing-in ceremony. 

This is Modi’s first official visit to the Maldives.

The president-elect had extended the ceremony invitation during a phone call by the Indian Prime Minister.

Solih, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s candidate, defeated incumbent Abdulla Yameen. His term is expected to continue until 2023.

The island nation’s relations with India became strained during Yameen’s rule, with tensions peaking after New Delhi slammed Male’s refusal to enforce a Supreme Court ruling quashing the convictions of nine opposition leaders, among them former President Mohamed Nasheed.

WeForNews 

 

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