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Train 18 breaches 180 kmph speed during trials

The ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.

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Train 18

Chennai, Dec 2 (IANS) India’s first locomotive-less train or Train 18 on Sunday breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run, a top official said here.

In the process, the Rs 100 crore indigenously designed train has become the country’s fastest train.

“Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over with just some more remaining. Based on the reports fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now no major technical problem has cropped up,” S. Mani, General Manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that has manufactured the train, told IANS on Sunday.

“We expect Train 18 to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected,” Mani added.

If all things go well, Train 18 will replace the current Shatabdi Express – a day train.

Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided that the rest of Indian Railways’ system such as tracks and signals permit, Mani had earlier told IANS.

Queried about rolling out a sleeper version of Train 18, he said: “We can roll out sleeper coaches as well. No major modifications to the train would be needed for that.”

The ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.

On the export potential, he said, first the domestic demand will be met and then the overseas market would be look at.

“The overseas demand depends on the kind of rail tracks they have. Medium income countries can certainly buy this train,” Mani said.

On October 29, the high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled or engine-less train was flagged off here by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani.

With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express. It is about 15-20 per cent energy efficient and leaves less carbon footprint.

Officials said the train was conceived, designed and developed in about 18 months’ time as against the industry norm of about four years.

It has an aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations.

According to the ICF, every alternative coach is motorised, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration or deceleration.

The train sports an advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.

Mani also said the fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage/coach, so that more space is available on board.

Among the features that enhance passenger comfort are inter-connected fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly toilets.

There are also emergency talk-back units, through which passengers can talk to crew in case of emergency, while CCTVs are provided in all coaches for safe and secure travel.

Entertainment

Politicians and Bollywood Celebs attend Isha Ambani, Anand Piramal’s Wedding

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Isha Ambani wedding

Mumbai, Dec 13: After the extravagant pre-wedding bash in Udaipur, “Isha Ambani” – daughter of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani tied the knot with Anand Piramal at the Ambani residence Antilia in Mumbai on December 12.

The venue was lavishly decorated as Isha’s brothers Anant and Akash, father Mukesh and uncle Anil welcomed the baaraat.

Shloka Mehta, fiance of Akash Ambani, and Anant Ambani’s girlfriend Radhika Merchant were also part of the welcoming party.

Top Indian and international personalities, film and sports icons, business tycoons, political heavyweights, celebrities and a host of others attended the “royal wedding” for the scions of two top business conglomerates – Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal -on Wednesday.

The celebrations started in the afternoon with the traditionally attired groom, Anand, arriving on a mare at the head of a wedding procession (baraat) at the Ambani’s towering Antilia residence.

The 27-storied Antilia, said to be one of the most expensive private residences in the world, itself has been decked up like a bride, and the entire stretch from the main road to the building has been decorated since the past few days with multi-hued fresh flowers, colourful lights and festoons to commemorate one of the most anticipated weddings in the country’s commercial capital in recent times.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee was warmly received by business magnate Anil Ambani, the bride’s uncle, while other top celebs like former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Praful Patel also made their presence felt.

P Chidambaram also arrived at the Ambani residence for the wedding.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu were also seen at Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal’s wedding.

Prominent invitees included Bollywood actors like Rajinikanth, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Kiran, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas, Shahid Kapoor with wife Mira Rajput, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty , Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sonam Kapoor with father Anil Kapoor and many more.

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Besides, Sachin Tendulkar and other sports personalities, top business honchos included K.V. Kamath, Sanjiv Goenka, Deepak Parekh, Sashi and Anshuman Ruia, Adi Godej, Rahul Bajaj and Harsh Mariwala were also seen at the wedding.

The grand wedding festivities had started several days earlier in Udaipur, Rajasthan which witnessed a performance by Grammy award-winning singer Beyonce Knowles, a four-day special ‘Anna Seva’ and an expo on traditional Indian handicrafts, besides other events for the guests that included many of the biggest names from politics, business and Bollywood.

Isha Ambani, Anand Piramal Wedding

Anna Seva

Isha-ambani sangeet ceremony

Isha Ambani Sangeet Ceremony

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Railways start work under MGNREGA scheme

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Indian Railways

Agartala, Dec 13 : The Railways, for the first time, have started utilising the government’s rural job flagship scheme – MGNREGA – to undertake railway work, a senior official said on Thursday.

“The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has started works of widening railway embankment in Kishanganj area of Katihar division in Bihar and Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal under the MGNREGA,” NFR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma told IANS.

He said that if the state governments of the northeastern states and concerned District Magistrates agree, similar works can be undertaken in the region where NFR has railway lines.

The NFR serves seven districts in West Bengal and five districts in north Bihar, besides the northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household in the state.

Sharma said that in Kishanganj, the proposal of railway line embankment repair was sanctioned for 5.7 km of track at an approximate cost of Rs 13.4 lakh.

“Around 30 labourers are turning up on a regular basis and all are being provided with job card against MGNREGA. Similarly, the District Magistrate of Uttar Dinajpur had also sanctioned supplementary estimate of embankment repair for 8.3 km of railway track at an approximate cost of Rs 21.5 lakh under the rural job scheme,” he said.

He said that the joint initiative of NFR and the Bihar and West Bengal governments will be helpful in providing rural jobs and also the repair and maintenance of railway assets without any additional cost to the Railways.

The works proposed under the MGNREGA include construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, developing and cleaning silted waterways, trenches and drains along the tracks, construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations, repairs to earthwork to the existing railway embankments, cuttings, clearing vegetation growth and plantations at extreme boundary of railway land.

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Jammu and Kashmir: India, Pakistan trade fire on LoC

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Jammu, Dec 13: Indian and Pakistani soldiers traded fire on the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, Defence Ministry sources said.

The Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing at Indian positions in Kerni sector, an official said.

“Our troops retaliated effectively and strongly. Firing exchanges continued for over 20 minutes. No casualty or damage has been reported on our side,” the official said.

IANS

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