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Railways to invite pvt players for passenger train operations

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, July 1 : In a major push for the private entities in the Indian Railways, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that the national transporter has invited request for qualifications for private participation for passenger train operations on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains.

In a tweet, Goyal said, “Railways invites request for qualifications for private participation for passenger train operations on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains. This initiative will boost job creation, reduce transit time, provide enhanced safety and world-class facilities to passengers.”

His remarks came soon after the railway ministry in a statement said that it plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains. The project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore, the ministry said.

According to the railway ministry, this is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over Indian Railways network. The move began last year with the introduction of Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

“The objective of this initiative is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers,” the ministry said.

The 109 (origin-destination) pairs of trains have been formed into 12 clusters across the Indian Railway network. Each train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches.

The Railways also said that the majority of these modern trains are to be manufactured in India under ”Make in India” and the private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains.

“Trains shall be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a substantial reduction in journey time. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route,” it said.

The concession period for the project shall be 35 years and the private entity shall pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in Gross Revenue determined through a transparent bidding process, the Railways said.

These trains shall be operated by drivers and guards of Indian Railways. The operation of the trains by the private entity shall conform to key performance indicators like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc.

“Operation and maintenance of the passenger trains would be governed by standards and specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways,” it said.

India

Doctor dies by suicide at AIIMS Delhi hostel, fifth such death at hospital in 2 months

In the last two months, AIIMS-Delhi has registered five deaths by suicide – three by patients and two by doctors.

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AIIMS

Asecond-year medical student has died by suicide at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The student, identified as Vikas, jumped off the roof of hostel number 19 at around 6 pm.

The police, in a statement, said that they received a call about a person jumping off the hostel roof at about 6 pm. “Upon reaching the spot, the injured person was promptly moved to the trauma centre and was given treatment. He was declared dead during treatment.”

The police identified the deceased as Vikas – a 22-year-old medical student from the 2018 batch. Vikas was a permanent resident of Bangalore.

According to the police, the doctor was earlier admitted to a psychiatry ward as a patient as he was experiencing some mental health issues.

The police also revealed that Vikas on duty on Monday and had taken a one-hour leave from the ward. During this break, he allegedly came to the hostel and jumped off the roof. Further inquiry is underway.

This is the fifth case of death by suicide at India’s premier medical institute since June 5.

On July 17, a 32-year-old man was found dead in the bathroom of the hospital’s emergency wing. A resident of Satna in Madhya Pradesh, he had come to the hospital for a follow up on his intestinal surgery conducted last year.

On July 10, a 25-year-old junior doctor had died by suicide at AIIMS-Delhi by jumping off the 10th floor of the hospital building. According to sources, the doctor was suffering from depression.

On July 6, a 37-year-old journalist, who was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS Delhi, had died after he jumped off the fourth floor of the hospital.

A month before that, on June 5, a 22-year-old man was found hanging from the railing of the second-floor staircase at AIIMS-Delhi. He was suspected to be suffering from depression.

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India

Yogi invokes NSA against Peace Party leader Dr Ayub

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper.

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Dr Ayub Khan Peace Party

LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Dr Ayub, president of the Peace Party.

Ayub will not get bail for at least 12 months.

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper. A complaint against him had been registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow.

Ayub, who is the founder of the Peace Party and was elected to the Vidhan Sabha in 2012, is now in Lucknow jail.

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Jitin Prasada urges Yogi to restore Parshuram Jayanti holiday

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

Former Union minister and senior UP Congress leader Jitin Prasada has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, urging him to declare a holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.
In April 2017, the chief minister had cancelled 15 public holidays, including Parshuram Jayanti. The government also cancelled the birth and death anniversaries of several eminent people.

In his letter, Jitin Prasada, who has been leading a campaign against atrocities on the Brahmin community, said that Parshuram is revered as the Lord of Justice and is also seen as the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

He said that Parshuram is held in high esteem by the Brahmin community. Prasada has urged the chief minister to restore the holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

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