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Private trains’ fares to be competitive with airlines: Chairman

Yadav said the train sets would have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them.

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Tejas Express Indian Railways

New Delhi, July 2 : A day after inviting the request for qualifications from private entities for running 151 trains on 109 pairs of routes, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav on Thursday said the private train operations would begin by April 2023 and the fares in these trains would be competitive with air fares on similar routes.

Addressing a virtual press conference, Yadav said private players in passenger train operations would mean a quantum jump in introduction of modern technology and high-speed coaches.

The improvement in technology would also mean the coaches that required maintenance after 4,000 km, would need maintenance after every 40,000 km, that’s either once or twice a month, he added.

Yadav said the train sets would have to be brought by private operators and maintained by them.

“Private train operations are likely to begin by April 2023. All coaches will be procured under the ‘Make in India’ policy. Fares in private trains will be competitive and rates on other modes of transport, like airlines and buses, will have to be kept in mind,” he said.

Yadav said the private operators would pay fixed haulage charges for path, stations, access to railway infrastructure and charges for electricity consumed to the Indian Railways for 35 years. It will also share revenue with the Indian Railways through competitive bidding.

The private entity would have to ensure 95 per cent punctuality and not more than one failure per lakh kilometre of travel. “If any performance indicators are not met by private players, they will be penalised,” Yadav said.

He also said there would be a power metre in every locomotive and private operators would pay for the actual amount of energy consumed.

“Through this the common man will get better trains, better technology and at low cost. The Indian Railways will continue to run 95 per cent of the trains,” he said.

The Chairman said of the 2,800 mail express train operated by the railways, only 151 trains, just 5 per cent, was being given to the private players.

Cities

Uttar Pradesh: Man, son shot dead by village head’s husband

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Azamgarh (UP), Aug 13 : A man and his son were shot dead on Thursday evening allegedly by the husband of the head of Rashulpur Dudhar village, police said.

Superintendent of Police Triveni Singh said the incident took place at a party in the house of the village head to which Hirlalal Yadav and his son Tej Yadav were invited.

During the party, the village head’s husband, Lalbahadur Yadav, had a quarrel with Hiralal and he opened fire. While Hiralal died on the spot, his son was seriously injured and rushed to a hospital where he died during treatment, the SP said.

He said both Lalbahadur and Hiralal had a criminal background and probe is on in the matter.

After the incident, heavy police force was deployed in the village, the official said,adding an FIR was lodged in the matter.

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Foundation laid for Rs 1,000 cr private rail coach factory near Hyderabad

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said Medha was making Telangana proud by not only emerging as India’s largest private rail coach maker but also a global player.

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indian railway

Hyderabad, Aug 13 : Telangana’s Industries Minister K. T. Rama Rao on Thursday laid the foundation stone for Medha Rail Coach Factory at Kondakal near Hyderabad.

Coming up over 100 acres, it will be India’s largest private rail coach factory and will be capable of manufacturing coaches, locomotives, metro trains and monorail.

Being set up by Medha Group with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, the coach factory will have a production capacity of 500 coaches and 50 locomotives per year.

Rama Rao said the plant with employment potential of 2,200 would give a big push for the manufacturing sector.

He hoped that the first assembly unit of the plant would be ready in 15 months to cater to the future requirements of Telangana of not just metro and mono rails but also high-speed trains.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said Medha was making Telangana proud by not only emerging as India’s largest private rail coach maker but also a global player.

He recalled that at the time of formation of Telangana state, the Centre had promised a rail coach factory in public sector at Kazipet but even after six years, no step was taken.

He said the Centre should fulfil the promise made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act by setting up the rail coach factory in the public sector and handhold the new state which was marching on the path of development with progressive policies.

Medha Group had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) in 2017 while the land was allotted last year.

Medha Servo Drives’ Managing Director Khashyap Reddy said with proximity to Hyderabad and access to railway tracks, the company had an ideal location for the plant.

“Over the next 4-6 years, we will invest about Rs 1,000 crore to create state of the art infrastructure which will employ 1,000 plus people to deliver high quality trains from this factory,” he said.

He said the large suppliers’ base to be developed by the factory was expected to generate 1,200 indirect jobs.

“The factory will build the highest quality train and locomotives to make the country proud. It will develop all types of railway rolling stock including coaches, train sets, locomotives, metro trains and monorails,” he said.

Reddy also revealed that the company was in talks with a reputed European train builder to be part of the project.

He said Medha, which made a modest beginning in 1984, had now grown into a group of 12 companies. It has two subsidiaries each in Europe and the US, one in South America and four joint ventures in India.

The group, which had a turnover of Rs 25 crore in 2005, saw tremendous growth over the last 15 years. It now has consolidated revenues of Rs 2,100 crore and 3,500 employees.

It is the largest propulsion equipment supplier to Indian Railways and also the largest traction motor manufacturer and largest supplier of signalling equipment to the national transporter.

He pointed out that most of the equipment including propulsion systems of the Vande Bharat express train launched last year between New Delhi and Varanasi had come from Medha.

Developed at par with European standards, this was the first Indian train which can run at a speed of 160 km per hour.

Reddy said with 600 engineers at its R&D centre at Cherlapally near Hyderabad, Medha had the capability to design the best world-class products for India and also bid for the private investment opportunities in Indian Railways.

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Maharashtra scales new high with 400-plus Covid deaths, cases above 11K

The state registered 413 Covid deaths – surpassing the 390 fatalities reported on August 9, along with 11,813 new cases.

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Coronavirus Isolation ward

Maharashtra’s daily Covid-19 death toll crossed the 400 mark on Thursday while new cases again shot above the 11,000 mark, health officials said.

The state registered 413 Covid deaths – surpassing the 390 fatalities reported on August 9, along with 11,813 new cases.

The state death toll has now shot up to 19,063, while the total number of cases went up to 560,126 – both highest in the country.

According to Thursday’s figures, there was one death roughly every 3 minutes and 492 new cases every hour.

The state recovery rate dropped from 69.64 per cent to 69.08 per cent on Thursday, while the mortality rate stood stable at 3.04 per cent.

Meanwhile, a total of 9,115 recovered patients returned home, taking the total number of discharged patients to 390,958 – considerably higher than the 149,798 active cases currently.

Of the fresh fatalities, Pune again topped with 92 deaths, followed by 65 fatalities in Thane and 48 in Mumbai.

There were also 36 deaths in Kolhapur, 20 in Satara, 15 each in Raigad, Nashik, Jalgaon, and Nagpur, 12 in Palghar, 11 in Latur, 10 in Sangli, nine in Osmanabad, eight in Ahmednagar, six in Solapur, five in Dhule, four in Nanded, threee each in Parbhani and Beed, 2 each in Ratnagiri, Jalna, Hingoli, Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldhana, and Gondiya, and one each in Nandurbar, Sindhudurg, Aurangabad, Washim and Chandrapur.

Mumbai’s toll has now increased to 6,991 and the number of cases increased by 1,200 to 127,556.

The MMR (Thane division) has seen the toll shooting up by the highest – 140 – to reach 11,201 deaths, while fresh 3,395 new cases took its total to 278,969.

Pune district cases have reached 122,020 with the death toll increasing to 2,957, while Thane district has 109,703 cases with 3,190 fatalities.

With 118 more fatalities, the Pune division’s death toll reached 3,774 and the case tally zoomed up with 3,034 new cases to 141,727.

Nashik division has recorded 1,597 fatalities and 56,891 cases, followed by Aurangabad division with 730 deaths and 22,569 cases, Kolhapur division with 583 fatalities and 20,419 cases, Latur division with 435 fatalities and 13,591 cases, Akola division with 351 fatalities and 11,327 cases, and Nagpur division with 334 deaths and 14,047 cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine increased to 10,25,660, while those in institutional quarantine increased to 36,450.

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