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Another train derails near Kanpur: 62 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 60 passengers were injured in Wednesday’s Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailment accident near Kanpur, raising serious questions on the safety of train passengers in the country. While the cause of the accident could not be ascertained, sources said railway fracture was suspected to be the possible reason for derailment of 15 coaches Ajmer-Sealdeh Express.The incident comes just a month after 150 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train derailed in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh on November 20. While the investigation report of that incident is yet to come out, initial report had suggested rail fracture as possible reason for that accident too. Incidentally, both these accidents occured in the early hours of morning.Wednesday’s mishap took place when the train was crossing a bridge overhead a dry canal in the area and reportedly two coaches of the train also fell in the canal. Some railway officials, who did not wish to be named, said it was almost miraculous that there were no casualties. They added that had the train been running on a high speed, the impact of the accident would have been much more. “The train had just pulled out of a railway station and its speed was rather slow. The train was travelling at a speed of 108km per hour,” an official said.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced a thorough investigation into the accident and Commissioner Railway Safety of Northern Circle was put in charge of the inquiry. Sources in Railways said a possible fracture in the track appeared to be the prima facie cause of the mishap. Maintenance issues coupled with drop in temperature cause fracture in rails. A senior railway official, however, said that weather and fog had no role to play in Tuesday’s accident.There has been an increase in incidents of derailments this year. According to railways data, there have been 67 derailment cases this year since April while it was 52 in the corresponding period last year. Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed however, said that the total number of accident cases has come down in comparison to previous years though the railways’ plan of action is to achieve zero accident target. The total number of accidents was 137 three years back which has come down to 87 this year, Jamshed said. Prabhu announced ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 for seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for people with minor injuries. 62 people suffered injuries and 11 of them had grievous injuries, a railway official said.

Rail fracture suspected to be reason for Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rail fracture is suspected to be the possible reason for the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailment near Kanpur causing injuries to over 50 passengers. Though the real reasons behind the derailment would be ascertained after the completion of the inquiry, prime facie it seems a possible fracture on the track caused the mishap, sources in the railways said.Maintenance issues coupled with drop in temperature cause fracture in rails. The railways had witnessed a major train accident involving Indore-Patna Express which claimed 150 lives just 38 days back at Pokhrayan near Kanpur. While the final report about the mishap is yet to be submitted, initial report had suggested rail fracture as possible reason for it.Both train mishaps involving derailment of several coaches had occured in the early morning hours near Kanpur.However, while 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express got derailed claiming lives of about 150 passengers on November 20, the railways said there was no casualty in today’s derailment involving 15 coaches of Ajmer-Sealdah Express.”There were no casualties and 53 passengers were injured in the derailment of 15 coaches of Ajmer-Sealdah Express,” said railway spokesperson Anil Saxena.He said an inquiry has been ordered into the Ajmer-Sealdah Express accident. Commissioner Railway Safety of Northern Circle will hold the inquiry and submit the report at the earliest.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced ex-gratia for the injured passengers in the mishap. While those passengers with serious injury will get Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia, passengers with simple injury will get Rs 25,000.

Jet Airways Goa-Mumbai flight with 161 on-board veers off runway, passengers safe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 15 people were injured after a Jet Airways flight from Goa to Mumbai skidded off the runway at Goa’s Dabolim airport on Tuesday morning while aligning for takeoff.”All passengers are safely evacuated, while some suffered minor injuries during the process”, Jet Airways said in a statement.According to ANI, 15 out of 154 passengers have being taken to hospital.”We regret to inform that flight 9W 2374 from GOI – BOM, with 154 guests ​and 7 crew, veered off the runway while aligning for takeoff,” it added.”All guests and crew have been safely evacuated. Few guests have sustained injuries during the evacuation process. Medical assistance is being coordinated to those injured by the Jet Airways team and the airport authorities,” reads the statement.Meanwhile, airport operations have been closed till 12.30 pm.In May, Jet Airways 9W 2793 aircraft commencing from Delhi to Indore had also skid off the runway.(Developing story: More details awaited)

Mehbooba Mufti hopes to turn Kashmir into a world-class tourism destination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing tourism as the best mean to promote people-to-people engagement, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said her government was making efforts to create a world-class tourist infrastructure.”Tourism promotes people-to-people contact and tourists become goodwill ambassadors of a place. Like the maxim ‘seeing is believing’, a tourist can testify the veracity of the claim about a place only after visiting it,” she said.She dismissed the notion that the state was unsafe for tourists in the aftermath of months-long unrest in the Valley. “Jammu and Kashmir is as safe for tourists, particularly women, as any other place in the country,” she said here at an meeting with a delegation of tour operators from across India.Mehbooba said her government plans to create a world-class tourism infrastructure in the state.”Road connectivity to tourist destinations, bed capacity at tourist spots, wayside facilities etc are being improved and upgraded to address the requirements of every segment of tourists. Theme-based parks and places are being added to provide variety of attraction to tourists.”Similarly, heritage lovers and trekkers would be having more spots and treks to visit by adding new heritage sites and routes to their check list,” the chief minister said.Every region in the state has a unique attraction for tourists and they should be promoted, she said.The state’s tourism department has organised a three-day familiarisation tour to the Valley for travel agents from Bangalore, Mumbai, Gujarat and Indore.The agents, who arrived here yesterday, pitched for point- to-point rail services from Mumbai, Gujarat and Kolkata to the Valley to facilitate the travel of tourists to Kashmir, and sought subsidy in aviation fuel charges to bring down air fares.

More LHB coaches may up overhaul problem at workshops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accident of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur that killed over 150 passengers on board has brought the focus firmly back on the need to have safer Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB)coaches for Indian trains. However, the truth on the ground is that the LHB coaches can be overhauled only at a select few railway workshops which in turn creates delays due to long waiting lists at these workshops. As of now, these coaches can be overhauled only at Western Railway’s Lower Parel workshop in Mumbai, Liluah Workshop in Howrah, West Bengal and Jagadhri Workshop in Yamunanagar, Haryana. Plans are afoot to build facilities for LHB overhaul at Lalguda Workshop in Secunderabad in Telengana and Dibrugarh workshop in Assam.For example, the LHB coaches of Central Railway can be overhauled as per a railway rule at the Lower Parel workshop of Western Railway. The workshop has a capacity of overhauling 42 LHB coaches per month but there is a waiting list because WR has its own fleet of LHB coaches and also because it has to repair coaches of West Central Railway. Things came to a head two times last year due to a couple of derailments. On May 3, several LHB coaches of the CST-Ernakulam Duronto were damaged after a derailment at Madgaon. On September 12, another derailment, this time of the Mumbai-Secunderabad Duronto, left LHB coaches of the train damaged. In both cases it took over six months before the coaches could get a look-in at WR’s Parel workshop.CR’s request to the railway ministry to allow it to upgrade its own Parel Workshop to overhaul LHB coaches made way back in May is expected to come in only by February next year, said officials. Meanwhile, as preliminary work the Parel workshop has overhauled three coaches in the past two months. However, officials agreed that the crunch will only increase at CR because it plans to increase its LHB coaches from the 220-odd to 450 by the end of March 2017. It is a problem that is haunting most railway zones that have LHB coaches. The railways added 1,248 LHB coaches in the financial year that ended in March 2016. This year the numbers could exceed 1,600 coaches.THE LHB SAGAThe Railways makes about 450 LHB coaches against an annual requirement of 595. To meet the demand and speed up conversion, the Railways is augmenting facilities at its Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala. It has spent Rs252 crore to make a 300 coaches per year facility at Integral Coach Factory Chennai. The Modern Coach Factory has been commissioned at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh with a capacity of 1,000 coaches per annum. A new 400 coaches per year factory is on the anvil at Palakkad in Kerala and another 500 coach facility in Kolar Karnataka.

Indore-Patna Express derailment: Toll mounts to 151

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll in the Indore-Patna Express accident has risen to 151, Kanpur Chief Medical Officer Ramayan Prasad said on Thursday. When the body of one of the victims was going to be placed in deep freezer in Mati hospital in Kanpur Rural district, the authorities found on Wednesday that the torso belonged to a man while the legs, which had anklets, were of a woman, he said.The matter came to light during checking of six unidentified bodies at the mortuary of the hospital, Prasad said. The woman’s body was badly mutilated, he said, adding as the two parts were of different persons, the death toll in the train accident, which was kept at 150, is now being taken as 151, he added. The body has not been unidentified yet.The medical staff is inquiring into the matter, Prasad said. Now the health officials are looking for the legs of the man whose torso was found and the torso of the woman, the CMO said, adding parts like legs and arms of several victims of the train accident are missing.Indore-Patna Express had met with an accident on Sunday.

Toll mounts to 151 Indore-Patna Express tragedy

Kanpur: The death toll in the Indore-Patna Express accident has risen to 151, Kanpur Chief Medical Officer Ramayan Prasad said on Thursday.

The mangled bogies of the train. PTIThe mangled bogies of the train. PTI

The mangled bogies of the train. PTI

When the body of one of the victims was going to be placed in deep freezer in Mati hospital in Kanpur Rural district, the authorities on Wednesday found that the torso belonged to a man while the legs, which had anklets, were of a woman, he said.

The matter came to light during checking of six unidentified bodies at the mortuary of the hospital, Prasad said.

The woman’s body was badly mutilated, he said, adding as the two parts were of different persons, the death toll in the train accident, which was kept at 150, is now being taken as 151, he added.

The body has not been unidentified yet. The medical staff is inquiring into the matter, Prasad said. Now the health officials are looking for the legs of the man whose torso was found and the torso of the woman, the CMO
said, adding parts like legs and arms of several victims of the train accident are missing.

Indore-Patna Express had met with an accident on Sunday.

First Published On : Nov 24, 2016 22:56 IST

Indore-Patna Express derailment: Railways suspends 5 officials, transfers Jhansi DRM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways suspended five senior officials and transferred Jhansi Divisional Manager (DRM) on Tuesday as the probe into the Indore-Patna Express accident gained momentum, with blood samples of the two drivers sent for alcohol test. The death toll in Sunday’s mishap rose to 150, making it the deadliest train accident in the last 17 years with four more persons, including a 12-year-old boy, succumbing to their injuries.Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer (Carriage and wagon) Navaid Talib, Divisional Engineer MK Mishra, Senior Section Engineer Ambika Ojha, Section Engineer Iswar Das and Senior Section Engineer Sushil Kumar Gupta were suspended for dereliction of duty while DRM of Jhansi Division SK Aggarwal was transferred.While Jhansi DRM was transferred to Ranchi, the five officials were suspended pending inquiry. “It was very necessary to take action to fix responsibility. Suspension and transfer order was issued pending inquiry being conducted by the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS),” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
ALSO READ Indore-Patna Express tragedy: Deadliest rail mishap since 1999, toll climbs to 150Meanwhile, Railway Safety Commissioner PK Acharya said blood samples of the two drivers of the train have been sent to a lab to ascertain if they were in an inebriated condition that could have caused the deadly derailment. “Blood samples of both the drivers have been sent to a laboratory for tests. I can make further comments once the laboratory sends the reports,” he said replying to questions on whether the drivers were under the influence of alcohol.Acharya, who is probing the accident and had inspected the site on Monday, said it may take about two-three days to complete the inquiry and the report will be submitted to the government in a month’s time. The statements of the driver, the assistant driver, a police inspector and a few other people have been recorded, he said, adding that this is first round of questioning and there will be more rounds.
ALSO READ Indore-Patna Express derailment: 12-member GRP team formed for investigationHe said samples of the broken railway track have been brought to Kanpur and are being sent for examination to the Research Designs and Standards Organisation’s (RDSO) laboratory. A 12-member team of Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel has also been formed to investigate the derailment.On being told that the GRP had registered FIRs against unknown people and is also investigating the matter, Acharya said he had nothing to do with the GRP’s probe. The deaths reported from hospitals pushed the toll to 150even as railway services resumed on Jhansi-Kanpur section after damaged tracks were replaced between Pukhrayan and Malasa stations. “Ram Singh, 52, and Abhay Shrivastava, 12, passed away during treatment at Regency and Hallet hospital of Medical College here,” Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Ramayan Prasad said. The identity of two other deceased was not known.With these deaths, the derailment of the train 19321 has become the deadliest rail accident since August 2, 1999 when 290 persons were killed after two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided at Gaisal in Assam. Prasad said the condition of six persons is serious.145 bodies have been identified and handed over to the families after post-mortem. The autopsy of five other bodies will be conducted after they are identified, he added. Meanwhile, train services resumed on the affected section, where 14 coaches were derailed in the wee hours of November 20, disrupting traffic on the route. Four trains were cancelled and 14 diverted after the accident.Kanpur IGP Zaki Ahmed said that besides replacing rails, electrical works were completed to ensure train operation on the busy route. “The route became operational last night after the damaged tracks were removed from the site. A trial run was conducted on the tracks before the resumption of train services,” he said.According to prima facie investigation, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express were derailed at Pukhrayan in Jhansi division near Kanpur due to rail fracture. A high-level probe was ordered by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday, who promised “strictest possible action” against the guilty.

Indore-Patna Express tragedy: Deadliest rail mishap since 1999, toll climbs to 150

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll climbed to 150 in the Indore-Patna Express derailment on Tuesday, making it the deadliest train accident in the last 17 years with four more persons, including a 12-year-old boy, succumbing to their injuries. The deaths reported from hospitals pushed the toll to 150 even as railway services resumed on Jhansi-Kanpur section after damaged tracks were replaced between Pukhrayan and Malasa stations. “Ram Singh, 52, and Abhay Shrivastava, 12, passed away during treatment at Regency and Hallet hospital of Medical College here,” Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Ramayan Prasad said. The identity of two other deceased was not known.With these deaths, the Sunday derailment of the train 19321 has become the deadliest rail accident since August 2, 1999 when 290 persons were killed after two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided at Gaisal in Assam. Prasad said the condition of six persons is serious.145 bodies have been identified and handed over to the families after post-mortem. The autopsy of five other bodies will be conducted after they are identified, he added. Medical College Principal Dr. Navneet Kumar said 65 injured persons are admitted in the Hallet Hospital and six of them are in the ICU.Meanwhile, train services resumed on the affected section, where 14 coaches were derailed in the wee hours of November 20, disrupting traffic on the route. Four trains were cancelled and 14 diverted after the accident. Kanpur IGP Zaki Ahmed said that besides replacing rails, electrical works were completed to ensure train operation on the busy route. “The route became operational last night after the damaged tracks were removed from the site. A trial run was conducted on the tracks before the resumption of train services,” he said.Officials had said that prima facie, the cause of the accident could be track fracture. A high-level probe was ordered on Monday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who promised “strictest possible action” against the guilty.

Indore-Patna Express derailment: Railways suspends five officials, transfers Jhansi DRM

Kanpur: Railways today suspended five senior officials and transferred Jhansi Divisional Manager (DRM) as the probe into the Indore-Patna Express accident gained momentum, with blood samples of the two drivers sent for alcohol test.

The death toll in Sunday’s mishap rose to 150, making it the deadliest train accident in the last 17 years with four more persons, including a 12-year-old boy, succumbing to their injuries.

Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer (Carriage and wagon) Navaid Talib, Divisional Engineer MK Mishra, Senior Section Engineer Ambika Ojha, Section Engineer Iswar Das and Senior Section Engineer Sushil Kumar Gupta were suspended for dereliction of duty while DRM of Jhansi Division SK Aggarwal was transferred.

Over 140 people were killed in the Patna-Indore Express tragedy. PTIOver 140 people were killed in the Patna-Indore Express tragedy. PTI

150 people were killed in the Patna-Indore Express tragedy, the deadliest in past 17 years. PTI

While Jhansi DRM was transferred to Ranchi, the five officials were suspended pending inquiry.

“It was very necessary to take action to fix responsibility. Suspension and transfer order was issued pending inquiry being conducted by the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS),” said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Meanwhile, Railway Safety Commissioner PK Acharya said blood samples of the two drivers of the train have been sent to a lab to ascertain if they were in an inebriated condition that could have caused the deadly derailment.

“Blood samples of both the drivers have been sent to a laboratory for tests. I can make further comments once the laboratory sends the reports,” he said replying to questions on whether the drivers were under the influence of alcohol.

Acharya, who is probing the accident and had inspected the site yesterday, said it may take about two-three days to complete the inquiry and the report will be submitted to the government in a month’s time.

The statements of the driver, the assistant driver, a police inspector and a few other people have been recorded, he said, adding that this is first round of questioning and there will be more rounds.

He said samples of the broken railway track have been brought to Kanpur and are being sent for examination to the Research Designs and Standards Organisation’s (RDSO) laboratory.

A 12-member team of Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel has also been formed to investigate the derailment.

On being told that the GRP had registered FIRs against unknown people and is also investigating the matter, Acharya said he had nothing to do with the GRP’s probe.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 21:07 IST

India train crash: Survivors tell stories of ‘miraculous escape’

Survivors of Sunday’s train accident tell the BBC how they escaped the crash that killed 140 people.

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Doesn’t rail safety merit same zeal as demonetisation?

Some subjects — like railway safety for example — do not lend themselves easily to political stunts; jolts that are meant to create dramatic and transformative policy changes.

Consider this Sunday’s Indore–Patna Express accident that killed over 140 people and injured 200 more. Most of the dead and the injured belonged to India’s underclasses, which continue to remain dependent on the vagaries of the neglected Indian railway system. Even on the register of rhetoric, railway safety does not figure on the agenda of politicians and governments. And things are no different for the present dispensation.

Over 140 people were killed in the Patna-Indore Express tragedy. PTI

Over 140 people were killed in the Patna-Indore Express tragedy. PTI

The terrible accident occurred at a time when the Narendra Modi government has — in one fell swoop — overturned the country’s entire monetary system. One cannot help but wonder why the government did not invest the same missionary fervour and energy it has put into demonetisation, in ensuring safety for millions of passengers who travel by train, especially when train travel continues to be very risky for millions of ordinary passengers. With the expansion of the civil aviation sector and proliferation of airlines, the well–heeled hardly ever travel by train any longer. Not only has the government neglected the plight of millions, a few months ago, it even initiated a mechanism that would inflate ticket prices based on the number of seats being filled in certain classes of the train.

As an article in The Washington Post on Monday pointed out, despite having the world’s third largest railway system, the Indian railway system “lacks modern signaling and communication systems. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance, outdated equipment and human error.” Moreover, the massive territorial reach of the railways notwithstanding, train accidents continue to occur with alarming regularity, killing large numbers of poor people. A 2012 government report put the annual death toll in train accidents at 15,000.

Faced with such a grim situation, several questions come to mind. Why did the central government not prioritise railway safety over the recovery of black money? Why is there so little discussion in the corridors of power about protecting lives of people at risk for doing something as ordinary as travelling by train? Why did the Modi government (although all previous governments are equally culpable) not push through measures as drastic as the monetary measures we are now witnessing, to put the railways squarely at the top of government’s agenda?

The possible answers draw attention to the cynical ways in which contemporary politics is conducted and policies are implemented. Every move is turned into a theatrical spectacle or a policy stunt that aims to create racy, eye–grabbing headlines, or capture votes by the dozen. The government headed by Modi that loses no opportunity to assume the role of a preacher preaching from the pulpit, is no different in this matter than the many governments before it. In fact, it can be argued — especially after demonetisation — that the present regime has shown itself to be more driven by political stunts than it predecessor, the Congress–led United Progressive Alliance. After all, Manmohan Singh, with his sombre demeanour, could hardly hold a candle to the theatrical personality of Narendra Modi.

The fact of the matter is, of course, that the issue of railway safety does not cater to the politics of the spectacle in the same way as, say, the recovery of black money or the introduction of a uniform civil code. This government is all about the spectacle. The slogan of “Swachch Bharat”, for example, though focused on a ‘dry’ subject, was nevertheless easy to turn into a media event. Remember those images of Modi wielding a broom stick — and how they dominated the news cycle? We could also think, in this context, of the sudden and massive government initiative to popularise yoga. Once again, images of the prime minister performing yoga in Janpath, with senior ministers clumsily following in his footstep, were good material for social media campaigns and publicity.

The recent demonetisation drive falls into this same genre of politics that looks to produce ‘shock and awe.’ Railway safety, is, by comparison, boring and mundane.

It is the matter of stock–in–trade, conventional policy reform. The government remains unmoved by the sheer urgency of the situation. Never mind that safety measures would directly impact the lives of ordinary citizens.

Following the loss of lives in the latest accident, the Prime Minister tweeted that he was “anguished beyond words,” and promised to modernise Indian railways. One would be entirely justified in asking Modi why the railways are so low on the list of priorities for his government. But one also has the sneaky suspicion that until the issue can be turned into a photogenic event, not much will happen.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 08:43 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Probe into derailment begins, rescue operations over

Pukhrayan: The probe into the Indore-Patna Express derailment, that has claimed at least 146 lives, began
on Monday with Commissioner of Railway Safety PK Acharya visiting the accident site and inspecting the broken track and the mangled bogies.

“The commissioner of railway safety (eastern circle) reached the accident site and closely inspected the broken railway track and the damaged coaches,” Deputy General Manager North Central Railway (NCR) Amit Mishra told PTI.

Rescue work in progress at the accident spot. PTI

Rescue work in progress at the accident spot. PTI

The entire inspection as well as the accident site was videographed. Railway engineers and technical staff were questioned in connection with the derailment by the railway safety commissioner, he said.

Mishra said people who were travelling in the train and have any information with regard to the accident, can share it with Acharya. He will be available at the Kanpur railway station from morning till evening on 22 and 23 November and will use the inputs while preparing the investigation report.

Acharya’s visit to the site comes a day after deputy chief safety officer, Allahabad, Ram Surat Singh, wrote to the NCR about a “statutory enquiry” by the railway safety commissioner regarding the accident that took place between Pukhrayan-Malsa stations.

The letter, while seeking necessary logistics arrangement for the probe, said the inquiry will be held at the office of the deputy chief traffic manager (CTM), Kanpur Central Railway station on 22 and 23 November.

Earlier in the day, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told Lok Sabha that a statutory inquiry by the commissioner of railway safety has been ordered to find the cause of the accident as he promised “strictest possible action” against the guilty. He also said latest technical and forensic analysis will be used for a thorough investigation.

Fourteen coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur Dehat in the wee hours of Sunday due to suspected rail fracture. The commissioner of railway safety comes under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

At least 146 people have been killed and around 200 others injured, several of them grievously, in the Patna-bound train 19321.

Javed Ahmed, UP Director General of Police (DGP) said the bodies have been kept in the mortuary. “We are hoping that we will be able to shift the bodies very soon,” he said.

A case is being registered and the investigation will follow, he said, adding that “obviously, many things have to be seen”.

“Our focus was on rescue and is now on relief. Now, we will get into investigation and in the next one-two days, things will be clear. Rescue work has been completed and we are looking at other things,” Ahmed said.

State Home Secretary Debasish Panda said, “We have been monitoring relief and rescue operations since yesterday. Our priority is to provide relief and hand over the bodies to the families after the due legal process including post-mortem.” He said that 123 of the deceased have been identified and the process to hand over the bodies to the families has been started.

“Our RTO (Regional Transport Office) officers are also present to arrange vehicles for the families to take the bodies. A team from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh is here and we are coordinating with them,” Panda said.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 20:05 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Death toll rises to 146, rescue operations called off

Kanpur/New Delhi: The death toll in Sunday’s train derailment tragedy rose to 146 on Monday as 25 more bodies were pulled out of the mangled coaches, officials said.

“The death toll of the Indore-Patna Express has gone up to 146,” North Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar told IANS.

“While 25 more bodies were taken out the mangled coaches, another person died at Regency hospital in Kanpur,” Kumar added.

Rescue work in progress at the accident spot. PTI

Rescue work in progress at the accident spot. PTI

The Railways official said that of the 179 injured many were discharged after first aid, while those seriously injured were still admitted in hospital.

The tragedy occurred when 14 coaches of the train went off the rails near Pukhrayan station, about 60 km from Kanpur city.

Rescue operations conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as well as the local police and the Army was called off by the Railways.

“The rescue operations were called off around 2 pm (Monday),” Railways spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena told IANS in Delhi.

He also said that the rail tracks were also cleared. “The damaged coaches have been removed from the railway tracks,” Saxena added.

Earlier in the day, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said in the Lok Sabha that the Railways has ordered a forensic probe to find the exact reasons of the rail accident.

“There shall be separate comprehensive investigation aided by latest technical and forensic analysis by an appropriate agency to look into all possible angles,” Prabhu said.

On Sunday, Prabhu ordered a high-level probe. He also said that the Railway Ministry has collaborated with the Uttar Pradesh government to provide all necessary help.

Prabhu and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Sunday visited the hospitals where the injured were being treated, as well as the accident site.

While the cause of the derailment is yet to be ascertained, Sinha had earlier said the accident could have been caused due to “fracture” of the tracks.

The worst hit were the sleeper coaches S1, S2, S3 and S4.

This was the worst train accident in the country after the May 2010 disaster in West Bengal involving Gyaneshwari Express in which some 170 people were killed.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 19:26 IST

Indore-Patna Express derailment: Rescuers wrap operations, toll mounts to 143

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll mounted to 143 on Monday in the Indore-Patna Express derailment in Pukhrayan in Kanpur rural area as rescuers wrapped up their operation with little hope of finding any survivors after overnight efforts to pull out trapped passengers from the mangled bogies. All the 14 derailed coaches of the Patna-bound train 19321 have been removed from the tracks. Many distraught people were sifting through the luggage and other belongings piled up at the site to look for any clue about their missing loved ones. “I am looking for my brother. Who knows what has happened to him? He may have changed his seat… we have searched everywhere,” said Ramanand Tiwari.After seeing bodies of three of his family members, Nirmal Verma was inconsolable. “Whoever I tried to look for is dead. My brother, my elder sister-in-law, daughter…. I haven’t found my mother yet. I fear I will find her in the same condition,” said Verma who was to travel with his family to a wedding but couldn’t get leave from work and was supposed to join them later. “143 bodies have been found so far, out of which 110 have been identified,” according to IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad.While 120 bodies were pulled out till last night, some others were found as rescuers later cleared the wreckage. Chief Medical Officer Kanpur Ramayan Prasad said 105 bodies have been handed over to family members after postmortem and free ambulances were provided.
ALSO READ Indore-Patna express derailment: Survivors recount horror, say they ‘saw death whisk past us’24 bodies have been sent to Bihar, 25 to Madhya Pradesh and 56 in several districts of UP. 83 of the 202 injured passengers were admitted in hospitals of Kanpur and neighbouring Kanpur-Rural districts while rest of them have been released, Prasad said, adding 73 of them were seriously injured.Amid scenes of tragedy, a number of good Samaritans took it upon themselves to provide succour to the traumatised passengers and help out the rescuers and others on site and in hospitals by providing food and water. Volunteers from several NGOs, RSS, Sikh organisations and even from many political outfits remained at the accident site till late in the night as rescuers struggled to pull out passengers trapped in the mangled bogies.
ALSO READ Indore-Patna express derailment: Businessman rescued after 10 hours, son missingThe volunteers visited injured victims and the distraught families in the hospitals and distributed drinking water, tea, snacks and fruits among them. Coaches S1 and S2 had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments. S3 and S4 coaches also suffered severe damage while an AC III tier coach was also affected but casualties in it were not heavy.Railway personnel assisted by army, NDRF and state police carried out the search and rescue operation overnight under floodlights. Officials had said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture. A high-level probe had been ordered by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who promised on Monday “strictest possible action” against the guilty. Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, he said a separate investigation will be held aided by latest technical and forensic analysis.

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Suresh Prabhu needs to reform, resignation no solution

The tragic Patna-Indore Express accident near Kanpur, killing over 140 people and injuring another 200, has been blamed on a “rail fracture” – a structural malfunctioning of the track due to repeated expansion and contraction because of change in season.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu didn’t mention ‘rail fracture’ in his statement following the accident, but by the time he spoke in Parliament on Monday, the term had already been picked up and repeated several times and was almost taken as the officially stated reason behind the accident.

Though nature does play a hand in weakening the structural integrity of railway tracks, it cannot rupture a gap in the track of the magnitude that caused the accident on Sunday. If that were the case then we would have heard of a multitude of rail accidents all over the world in every winter and summer season change, and high speed bullet trains would not run in China, Japan and other developed countries.

The apparent cause of the accident, as of now, is a routine mechanical fault; the gravity of which was compounded by the lackadaisical “chalta hai” approach of railway officers and staff. The accident was not caused due to human failure, nor was it a result of sabotage, at least there is no such indication so far.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's resignation after the Patna-Indore Express tragedy is not a worthwhile solution. PTIRailway Minister Suresh Prabhu's resignation after the Patna-Indore Express tragedy is not a worthwhile solution. PTI

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s resignation after the Patna-Indore Express tragedy is not a worthwhile solution. PTI

That firmly rests the blame solely on the mechanical or maintenance division of the Indian Railways. The railways’ brass and lesser mortals thus can’t shift the blame on the paucity of funds and policy issues on safety, even though augmentation and policy implementation of safety remains a major concern. But blaming the accident on a broader safety issue defeats the purpose with respect to the present tragedy.

“There shall be a separate comprehensive investigation aided by latest technical and forensic analysis by an appropriate agency to look into all possible angles. Strictest possible action would be taken against the guilty,” Prabhu said.

One would have to see what kind of action the railway minister is willing to take in the days to come. Will the heads of those who matter roll or will class II and III employees bear the brunt? Demands are being made for Prabhu’s resignation on moral grounds; as had happened in 1999, when the then Railway Minister Nitish Kumar had resigned after the Gaisal train tragedy that killed 290 people and when Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned in 1956, following the Ariyalur train accident that had killed 142 persons.

As history would suggest, both Kumar and Shastri – who had resigned taking moral responsibility over a train accident – only rose higher in the ranks. Shastri went to become the home and external affairs minister and then eventually the prime minister, whereas Kumar became the rail minister again, and then held other Union ministries as well before becoming the Bihar chief minister.

The rail minister’s resignation after such tragedy, thus, is not a worthwhile solution. In fact, apart from proving a rhetorical point, a minister’s resignation means nothing, unless one wants to secure Prabhu’s future for greater glory. The railway board chairman, its members, general managers, divisional railway managers, the chief engineers and so on, are never made to stand in the firing line.

For them, the business continues as usual. It is high time that they, and not the ordinary mortals in the ministry, must be held accountable for their shortcomings and should lose their high paying job and its perks in the event of a mishap.

Prabhu may have run a successful ‘PR campaign’ through his twitter feed – by providing milk to babies and other such comforts to some passengers – but the present tragedy is a far serious and more pertinent issue. The stories emerging from the accident spot near Kanpur, describing tales of the victims’ suffering, are both touching and highly disturbing. It’s time that the railway minister stands up and takes responsibility, even if it does not translate into his resignation but sets into motion a plan to fix the safety problems for now and forever – be it human, mechanical or technical.

Then there is the other aspect of the mismanagement problems in the railways: Blaming everything on fund and logistical shortages. Now that reports have emerged suggesting how the demonetisation move will help fill the government’s coffers in the long run, this time worn excuse should finally be put to rest. Prabhu and his men have to perform with substance, and not get carried away through sponsored or social media accolades.

Just see what the Railway Ministry had say to the Parliament two days before the horrific accident. An official statement issued by PIB on the basis of a written reply given by Minister of State in Railway Rajen Gohain to the Rajya Sabha on 18 November said: “Track renewal is an ongoing process which is undertaken as and when a stretch of track becomes due for renewal on age-cum-condition basis. Track renewal works are planned in advance every year and their execution is prioritised according to the condition of track and overall availability of funds ensuring all the time that the track is in a sound condition for the safe running of trains,”

“In case, if any stretch of track is not renewed in time due to various reasons including scarcity of funds, material etc, suitable speed restrictions are imposed to ensure the safe running of trains. As on 31 March, 2016, track renewal covering 5,900 km have been sanctioned, out of which 2,668 km is targeted for the year 2016-17. As per norms, track renewal works are to be completed within two to three years of sanction. This, however, also depends on budget availability,” the statement said.

In response to another query on safety, the minister goes on to say that: “The Ministry of Railways has requested the Ministry of Finance to sanction a non-lapsable Rastriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) totalling Rs 1,19,183 crore, out of which Rs 1,11,683 crore is to be funded by the Ministry of Finance for safety improvement of the Indian Railways. The safety related works identified are related to track works, bridge rehabilitation, safety works at level crossing, replacement and improvement of signalling system, improvement and upgradation of rolling stock, replacement of electrical assets and human resource development with approximate fund requirement.”

The rider about “budget/fund availability” is cleverly placed in every sentence of the statement. Now that the Finance and Rail Budget is to be unified, and presented by the finance minister, hopefully no such excuses can be expected again.

Prabhu was handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from outside of the existing talent pool in the ruling BJP to head the railways, with the aim to modernise it. Railways has always held a prime slot in Modi’s plan of modernising and developing India. But the Patna-Indore Express train tragedy is a grim reminder that words are no horses and mere dreams are no reality.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 18:53 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Survivors reach destination amid tears and prayers

Patna: Unlike many other journeys they had undertaken in the past, it was an altogether different kind of experience for the survivors of the Indore-Patna Express derailment at Pukhrayan in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday morning.Having seen close to 145 of their co-passengers dying in the deadly derailment, most of them burst into tears, some crying aloud and hugging their family members, relatives and friends as they reached Patna in a special train on Monday morning.

Unable to forget the trauma they underwent post derailment of their train, it took them quite some time to believe that they had actually reached their destination alive and were being hugged by their loved ones. Although dozens of them had minor injuries, the pain was overcome by the joy of reaching alive and reuniting with their families.

“They burst into tears and cried holding the window panes of the coaches of the crawling special train, as they saw their family members and friends standing on the platform for them. It was an emotional meeting of survivors with their kin,” R.K.Jha, DRM of Danapur Railway Division, said. Jha, along with other senior railway officials and Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Agrawal, was present on the platform when survivors arrived in the special train.

Patna-Indore Express tragedy_PTI380

Patna-Indore Express tragedy. PTI

Anita Singh, one of the survivors, said: “We cannot forget the memories of death and destruction and how we survived inside the ill-fated Indore-Patna Express train.” She was escorted home by her family members. Saba Bano, another survivor, said: “Don’t know how to react. I am simply out of words… God is great!” That was all she could say.

Another passenger Puja Singh and her husband Virender Singh said it was like a “killer earthquake”. “It is still difficult for us to believe that we survived and are safe,” they said. “I am thankful to God for keeping us alive,” a visibly shocked and shaken Puja said touching the head of her children.

Singh said initially he did not realise what had happened, but after a few minutes he understood the gravity of the situation. “It was pitch dark all around…people were screaming and shouting.” “I wriggled to safety through the windows, as there was no other way to escape. We saw dead bodies lying all over the place and people screaming, wailing and falling unconscious to see their kin dead. O God, it’s going to haunt me for a long, long time,” Saba told IANS.

Sanjay Agrawal had instructed the officials to provide all possible help to the survivors on their arrival here. “We have provided drinking water, food packets and essential medicines, and ensured that they reach their home safely,” he said.

According to Agrawal, nearly two dozen ambulances and other vehicles were used to ferry survivors to their homes. At least 142 people were killed, including 15 from Bihar, and more than 150 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train derailed near Kanpur.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 18:40 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy reveals Suresh Prabhu has been all talk no action

On 27 November, 1956, an Indian Railways train met with an accident at Arilayur in Tamil Nadu, killing 144 passengers. Exactly 60 years after that incident, Indians woke up to the news of the Indore-Patna train disaster killing 142 passengers.

This is where the tragic coincidences end.

Back then, when 142 passengers died, Railways minister Lal Bahadur Shastri decided to perform penance and resign. “I am responsible,” Shastri said and quit in Parliament. Accepting the resignation, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru told the House: “All of us are very unhappy over the tragedy but I am sure — in fact I know it — that probably the unhappiest among all of us is the Railway Minister.” And now we have Suresh Prabhu, a railways minister who offers nothing except self-congratulatory propaganda on Twitter.

“Enhanced amount of ex-gratia compensation to the victims of this unfortunate accident: Rs 3.5 lakh in case of death,” Prabhu informs the applauding nation.

Hope the relief would be in new currency notes, sent to banks that have ATMs that work.

Then he fires a Twitter warning: Guilty won’t be spared. Ah, that’s another way of passing the buck.

Who is guilty, Mr Prabhu?

File image of Suresh Prabhu. AFPFile image of Suresh Prabhu. AFP

File image of Suresh Prabhu. AFP

Since your government came to power, fares and fees have gone up dramatically. Your ministry now charges exorbitant amounts for cancellations, doesn’t give a full berth to kids if full fare is not paid and has increased fares and freight rates under various pretexts. On top of that, we have the harebrained scheme of dynamic pricing that sometimes lead to the hilarious situation of train fares being more expensive than air travel?

According to a white paper put out by Prabhu last year, Indian Railway’s network has 1,14,907 kilometres of total track length. Of this, 4500 kilometres of track should be renewed annually. However, due to financial constraints, the progress in track renewals is constantly coming down over the last six years. As on 1 July, 2014, 5300 kilometres track length is due for renewal. The target for the current year is only 2100 kilometres. Arrears of track renewal are accumulating which will result in disproportionately high maintenance effort. This will also result in reduced reliability of assets.

Please tweet, Mr Prabhu, how much of the earnings were spent on passenger safety? On replacing old tracks, installing automatic train protection system to minimise manual errors?

Please tweet, what is the status of your Rs 1,20,000 crore safety fund called the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh?

Please tweet, whether this fund was cleared by the ministry of finance or it remained just what your government is famous for — a mere jumla?

Please tweet, how have your new ideas like dynamic pricing helped the railways? Last heard, the national carrier was suffering a loss of Rs 30,000 crore because of your ministry’s decision to hike prices and fares without providing additional safety and services.

Please tweet, what is the status of the recommendations of the Anil Kakodkar panel on Railways? What happened to its suggestion that there be an independent safety regulator? Last heard, your junior minister was telling the Parliament that the regulator was under consideration. How many more deaths and accidents will help you make up your mind?

The truth is, the entire railways is guilty of murder of passengers who boarded the ill-fated train. It is the result of lack of urgency for making train travel safe, carrying on with the historical legacies of previous governments that used it just for addressing its political constituency.

Two years ago, when Prabhu had presented his first budget, Firstpost had hailed his decision to eschew populism and work on making Railways a top-class service provider. But, since then, most of his early promise has been belied and reforms halted. Falling revenues, inadequate safety measures reveal that he has been all talk and very little action.

Prabhu is right when he says the guilty should be punished.

Ever heard of moral responsibility? Ever heard of a gentleman called Lal Bahadur Shastri, Mr Minister?

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 15:13 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Death toll mounts to 142, 110 bodies identified

Pukhrayan: The death toll mounted to 142 in Indore-Patna Express derailment in Pukhrayan in Kanpur rural area, as rescue workers wrapped up their operation on Monday morning after efforts continued overnight to pull out the trapped passengers from the mangled bogies.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

All the 14 derailed coaches of the Patna-bound train 19321 have been removed from the tracks.

“133 bodies have been found so far, out of which 110 have been identified,” according to IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad had said earlier.

97 bodies have been handed over to relatives, he said.

Nearly 200 were injured in the worst train accident in recent years which took place just a little after 0300 hrs on Sunday.

Coaches S1 and S2 had telescoped into each other and most of the casualties were feared to have been in these two compartments. S3 and S4 coaches also suffered severe damage while an AC III tier coach was also affected but casualties in it were not heavy.

Railway personnel assisted by army, NDRF and state police carried out the search and rescue operation overnight under floodlights. Most of the bodies were taken to Mati mortuary in Kanpur rural.

The victims were mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

76 passengers were seriously injured in the derailment, Ahmad said. 150 others received minor injuries in the mishap.

Officials had said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture.

A high-level probe had been ordered by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

With several passengers feared trapped, rescue personnel had employed cold cutters to break open the compartments.

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of each of the dead in the accident, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned Rs 2 lakh. On his part, the Railway Minister enhanced the ex-gratia grant from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh to the families of the dead.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced Rs 2 lakh for kin of each of the deceased.

Railways have made available the following helpline numbers: Indore-07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai-051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.

North Central Railway General Manager Arun Srivastava had said on Sunday that traffic on Kanpur-Jhansi section will be opened in 36 hours. Four trains were cancelled and fourteen diverted after the derailment disrupted traffic on the route.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 11:40 IST

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Death toll rises to 133, rescue operations over

The death toll in one of the worst rail disasters in the country that took place when the Patna-Indore Express derailed near Kanpur, rose to 133 on Monday, officials said, as rescue operations were declared over.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

However, the toll could still rise as some passengers were in critical condition. So far, 58 victims have been identified.

Over 150 people were injured in the tragedy that occurred on Sunday when 14 coaches of the train ran off the rails near Pukhrayan station, about 60 km from Kanpur city.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday night visited the hospitals where the injured were being treated.

“High-level orders are being given to probe the accident,” Prabhu said, adding the Railway Ministry has collaborated with the Uttar Pradesh government to provide all necessary help.

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha was also there at the accident site.

He had ordered officials to increase the pace of relief operations and better treatment to the injured.

“Strict actions will be taken against those responsible for the disaster,” Sinha added.

While the cause of the derailment is yet to be ascertained, Sinha had earlier said that the accident could have been caused due to rail fracture.

The worst hit were the sleeper coaches S1, S2, S3 and S4.

This was the worst train accident in the country after the May 2010 disaster in West Bengal involving Gyaneshwari Express in which some 170 people were killed.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 10:38 IST

Indore-Patna express derailment: Death toll mounts to 142; frantic search for survivors continue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll mounted to 142 in Indore-Patna Express derailment here in Kanpur rural area, as rescue workers wrapped up their operation this morning after efforts continued overnight to pull out the trapped passengers from the mangled bogies.All the 14 derailed coaches of the Patna-bound train 19321 have been removed from the tracks.”133 bodies have been found so far, out of which 110 have been identified,” according to IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad. 97 bodies have been handed over to relatives, he said.Nearly 200 were injured in the worst train accident in recent years which took place just a little after 0300 hrs yesterday.NDRF, police force and civil administration were engaged in relief work on war footing. Army is also assisting in rescue and other relief work.Terming the loss of lives post the Patna-Indore Express derailment as a very sad incident, the Congress party has demanded a high level probe and called for strict action against the culprits responsible.”It is very surprising the way BJP leaders have started doing politics on this incident. The statement that has come from Murli Manohar Joshiji is a clear indication that it might be a conspiracy. I completely agree with his statement that it could be a conspiracy,” Congress leader Surinder Rajput told ANI.He further said that Murli Manohar Joshi should investigate and reveal if there is a conspiracy.”He must also tell the people that if this conspiracy is aimed at diverting the attention of the people from the issue of demonetization, as the whole country are in state of anarchy,” Rajput said.Meanwhile, the Indian Railways has announced compensation of Rs. 3.5 lakh each for families of those killed, Rs. 50,000 for seriously injured and 25 thousand rupees for minor injury.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also exgratia of Rs.2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs. 50,000 for those seriously injured.Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced compensation of Rupees 2 lakh while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also announced ex-gratia of 5 lakh rupees in case of death.

Patna-Indore Express tragedy: Populism and British Raj tracks hold safety to ransom

A day after the Patna-Indore Express derailed near Kanpur, killing 120 passengers (and counting), condolences have been paid by the top political class of the country, compensation has been announced to the kin of the dead, a postmortem of the accident is being conducted with officials assigned to look into the matter, and life has moved on.

The date 20 November, 2016 is already part of unfortunate statistical data on the worst train accidents in the country. It’s no relief that the last accident of such a magnitude — killing 170 passengers — was nearly seven years ago.

However, if the key recommendations of the Kakodkar Committee report — especially related to passenger safety — had been implemented, the Patna-Indore Express tragedy could have been averted, or at least minimised in terms of loss of life.

After the Maoists had derailed the Gyaneshwari Express in West Bengal’s Midnapore district on 28 May, 2010, killing 170 passengers, the railway ministry had constituted a High-Level Safety Review Committee in September 2011 the under the chairmanship of nuclear scientist and former chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Anil Kakodkar. The committee had submitted its report in February 2012, painting a grim picture of the Indian Railways plagued by inadequate performance largely due to poor infrastructure and resources, and the lack of empowerment at the functional level.

Rescue and relief work in progress after the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur Dehat on Sunday morning. PTI

Rescue and relief work in progress after the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur Dehat on Sunday morning. PTI

Some key observations of Kakodkar Committee

– Inadequate performance due to poor infrastructure and resources.
– Financial state of Indian Railways is ‘at the brink of collapse’ unless some concrete measures are taken. Passenger fares have not been increased in the last decade and the infrastructure is severely strained.
– All safety margins have been squeezed. This has led to a neglect of infrastructure maintenance.
– Need for an independent mechanism for safety regulation and creation of a statutory Railway Safety Authority with enough powers to have a safety oversight on the operational mode of Railways.
– The need for adoption of advanced signalling systems.
– The need to restructure the RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organization), the apex technical wing of the Railways, which is highly constrained.
– A much-needed switch over from the conventional ICF design coaches to the much safer LHB (Linke Holfmann Bush) design coaches. This is likely to cost Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years.
– Although the minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha had said in the Lok Sabha in December 2015 that out of 106 recommendations made by the Kakodkar Committee, 68 have been fully accepted and been taken up for implementation, the recent tragedy proves otherwise.

According to Northern Railway sources, besides cracks on rail tracks, another reason for higher number of casualties in the Patna-Indore Express accident was the absence of stainless steel LHB coaches. “LHB coaches have better and higher in-built safety features, which can absorb shock and high impact of derailment or collision. So many deaths could have been averted, had there been LHB coaches,” the source added.

“Although the NDA government has initiated transformation in railways, aiming at increasing capacity and re-designing the business model, the urgent need is to take bold and uncompromising decisions on passenger safety,” said a senior official in the Ministry of Railways.

“Every time a major train accident occurs, we get down to postmortem on the reasons that caused the accident. And every time, the  same old factors evolve after rounds of discussions — lack of maintenance, lack of high-level passenger safety, need for modernisation of tracks and coaches etc. The government announces populist measures in every Budget to please the masses, but who’ll be responsible for these accidents, which otherwise in many cases could have been averted?” the official asked.

Populist measures by any government of the day are a big curse plaguing Indian polity. In every annual Rail Budget, the government introduces new trains without considering the fact that the burden on railway tracks — most of them laid during the British Raj — has increased manifold.

Successive governments have ignored warnings given by expert committees and engineers of the Indian Railways on track safety and maintenance. However, new trains and subsidized fares are a big tool to please the voters for any incumbent government that prevents it from taking any bold steps.

On the other hand, the thrust of the Kakodkar Committee’s 106 recommendations was on various safety aspects like filling up of vacancies in critical safety categories and manpower planning issues; plugging the shortage of critical safety spares; removal of encroachment and sabotage; upgrade of signalling, telecommunication and the Train Protection System, rolling stock, track, bridges; elimination of level crossings; eco-system and safety architectures on Indian Railways, among others.

Rescue and relief work underway after the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur Dehat on Sunday morning. PTI

Rescue and relief work underway after the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur Dehat on Sunday morning. PTI

What’s wrong?

Senior officials and former members of Railway Board have admitted that poor network infrastructure and increasing burden on tracks have posed a big threat to passenger safety. The following factors are of particular concern:

– Creaky railway infrastructure is already stretched beyond its capacity, leaving little time for maintenance. With more trains set to run through the same network, the situation can only get worse.
– Capacity at maintenance yards is also limited and with a large number of trains being added each year, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep pace with hectic maintenance schedules.
– Indian Railways is using most of the corridors beyond 100 percent usage capacity.
– Difficult to carry out planned and systematic maintenance on trunk routes (20,000 kilometeres of high-density network) due to excess traffic and lack of time.
– Large number of passenger trains also affects the movement of freight, which is the main revenue earner for the railways. Goods trains are made to wait to let passenger trains pass as there aren’t enough tracks to accommodate. The backlog includes oil tankers as well.
– Railway unions have been blaming reduction in manpower as a major bottleneck in its development.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 09:53 IST

India train crash: Rescuers work overnight to find survivors

Rescuers work overnight to pull survivors out of a train crash in India that killed 120 people.

Tracks take a pounding as Railways runs more trains

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Ministry officials believe that prima facie cause of the accident of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur on Sunday could be ‘track fracture’ or in simple words breaking of a track. The grim part is that with Railways running more trains every year, the chances of more tracks developing such fractures cannot be ruled out. The need for track renewal is now imperative, these officials pointed out.This frenzy to run more trains is also taking a toll on the tracks. “The life of a track is evaluated by something called the Gross Million Tons which is the total weight- of train, passenger, freight- that has gone over the tracks. The maximum weight a track can manage in its entire lifetime is between 550 GMT—if it is 52kg standard rails- or 800 GMT if it is 60kg standard rails. Using a track beyond this limit is an open invitation to disaster,” said a senior Railway official.Statistics available with the Railway Ministry show that over the last two years, it ran a whopping 70,000 special trains. Moreover, during this period it introduced 308 new trains, extended 99 trains, increased the frequency per week (fpw) of 188 trains and permanently added 1,610 coaches to various trains. The Railways ran a little over 2.5 lakh extra coach trips in the past two years, ministry data shows.“All this adds berths to our system but also takes a heavy toll on tracks. The result could be track fractures and disasters like the one we are seeing in Kanpur. However, it is too early to say what caused the accident and only a full-level inquiry will tell us the truth,” said an official.A White Paper on the Railways health released by the government in February 2015 had a worrying fact on the status of track renewals. The report stated that out of the Railway’s total track length of 1,14,907 kms, about 4,500 km of track need to be renewed annually. However, due to financial constraints, the progress in track renewals is constantly coming down over the last six years, the white paper said. Arrears of track renewal are accumulating which will result in disproportionately high maintenance effort. This will also result in reduced reliability of assets, the White Paper noted.In a statement issued recently, the Railways said that 5,900 km of track renewal had been sanctioned, out of which 2,668 km is targeted for the year 2016-17 itself. Budget outlay in year 2016-17 has been enhanced from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 7,500 crore to speed up the track renewal works in the country. Accordingly, physical targets have also been increased from 1,500 km to 2,668 km, the statement added.“As per norms, track renewal works are to be completed within two to three years of sanction,” said an official.It was in 2001-02 that a Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF), with a corpus of Rs 17,000 crore was formed on the recommendation of the Railway Safety Review Committee. About 45 per cent of this fund was earmarked for track renewal.In March this year, while answering a query on track renewal, Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha told Parliament that works of Track Renewal and Upgradation and a host of other activities like bridge rehabilitation and improvement in trains would cost Rs 1,19,183 crore at current price level.

Indore-Patna express derailment will be probed, let’s work to achieve zero accidents: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when over 100 people were killed in the worst rail accident in recent years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked railways to work towards achieving the zero accident target to make train journeys safe. The derailment of the Indore-Patna Express at Kanpur dehat will be probed, said the Prime Minister at the Rail Vikas Shivir (rail development camp) at Surajkund on the outskirts of Delhi where he along with railway men observed two-minute silence to condole the loss of lives.Describing the accident as “unfortunate”, Modi asked railway officials to ensure fool-proof system in train operation to achieve zero-accident target, according to sources present at the Shivir. Later addressing a rally at Agra, Modi expressed his concern and sympathy for those killed and injured in the tragedy, which is the worst rail accident in recent years.He said the accident will be probed. The Prime Minister, who spent more than two hours at the Rail Vikas Shivir, was given thematic presentations on various aspects of the railways, and later addressed the railway officers. He also visited the gallery created for showcasing railways’ new initiatives.
ALSO READ Major train accidents in India since 1988Night vision camera developed by the railways to help loco pilots, a new faster and lighter mode of transportation called Caterpillar train, water vending machines, food box to keep food hot at rail premises, green initiatives like harnessing solar and wind energy were among those exhibited at the gallery.The three-day Shivir, organised to generate innovative yet practical ideas in the most crucial areas of rail operations and chart out a roadmap for substantial progress of the sector, concluded on Sunday.
ALSO READ Indore-Patna express derailment: Businessman rescued after 10 hours, son missingOn the opening day, Modi had addressed railway employees via video conferencing and said the Indian Railways should transform with the change of the century and focus on “new speeds, progress and new capacity” along with gaining financial strength.The venue at Surajkund was divided into various areas named after iconic trains services like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Humsafar, Tejas, Gatimaan, Uday, Antyodaya and Jan Shatabdi. Making Indian Railways the preferred freight carrier in India, reducing the operational cost, improving non-tariff revenue and increasing the investment in rail infrastructure substantially were among the other issues were taken up during the event though the accident cast a spell on the participants, according to sources.

Major train accidents in India since 1988

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The following is the chronology of major train accidents in India since 1988:# Nov 20, 2016: Over 100 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur dehat district of Uttar Pradesh.# May 28, 2010: At least 148 people were killed after the Gyaneshwari Express was derailed by Naxals in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.# September 9, 2002: 100 passengers were killed and 150 hurt after a bogie of Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express plunged into the Dhave river in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.# August 2, 1999: At least 290 passengers were killed after two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collided at Gaisal in Assam# November 26, 1998: At least 212 people were killed as the Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express collided with derailed coaches of the Frontier Mail near Khanna in Punjab.# September 14, 1997: 81 people were killed when five bogies of Ahmedabad-Howrah express fell into a river in Bilaspur district of Madhya Pradesh.# August 20, 1995: 400 people were killed after the Puroshottam Express rammed into Kalindi Express near Firozabad railway station in Uttar Pradesh.# April 18, 1988: At least 75 people were killed when the Karnataka Express derailed near Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh.# July 8, 1988: 107 were killed, when the Island Express plunged into Ashtamudi lake in Kerala.

LIVE: Patna-Indore Express derails; PM Modi addresses Agra rally, says rescue ops on

Nov 20, 2016

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    #UPCM @yadavakhilesh announces an ex-gratia of Rs5Lakh each to the deceased in train accident; 50K for serious injury; 25K for normal injury

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Kanpur: At least 96 passengers were killed and 226 injured, 76 of them seriously, when 14
coaches of the Indore-Patna express train derailed near Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district on Sunday, with railways officials saying the number of casualties could rise.

The incident took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from here.

Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances are pressed into service, the IG said, adding that over 250 police officials are helping carrying out rescue and relief operations.

Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries, and the casualties may go up.

Accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.

The mangled bogies of the train. PTI

The mangled bogies of the train. PTI

Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot. Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by district administration and railway officials.

Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

Buses are pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.

“All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.

Railways has also released helpline numbers — Indore 07411072, Ujjain 07342560906, Ratlam 074121072, Orai 051621072, Jhansi 05101072, Pokhraya 05113270239.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told NDTV that an enquiry is being ordered while the situation is being monitored closely.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 16:06 IST

Indore-Patna Express derails: Over 100 dead; Centre announces Rs 3.5 lakh ex-gratia

Over 100 passengers were killed and 226 injured, 76 of them seriously, when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours on Sunday.

Rescue officials on the spot where 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express derailed, killing around 96 people and injuring 200, in Kanpur Dehat on Sunday. PTI

Rescue officials on the spot where 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express derailed, killing around 96 people and injuring 200, in Kanpur Dehat on Sunday. PTI

Four coaches of the train – S1, S2, S3, S4- were badly damaged in the mishap that took place at around 3am near Pukhraya. Most of the passengers were jolted out of their sleep to find themselves among mangled remains of the bogies.

“More than 100 people have died, rescue operation is still underway,” Daljeet Singh Chaudhary (ADG, Law & order ,UP) told ANI.

He said 150 other passengers received minor injuries in the mishap. “90 bodies have been pulled out so far. There can be more bodies trapped,” Superintendent of Police, Kanpur Dehat Prabhakar Chowdhury told PTI over the phone.

Ahmad said, “Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances have been pressed into service.”

A team of Army doctors and rescue officials have arrived at the spot. 250 police officials are also involved in carrying out the rescue and relief operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the train tragedy. “Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” he said in a tweet.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy and announced ex-gratia for the families of the victims.

Rs 3.5 lakh exgratia will be given for the families of those killed in the derailment and Rs 50,000 for those grievously injured, he said.

Prabhu said the Commissioner of Railway Safety will probe the reasons behind the derailment.

“All rescue and relief work is on to deal with the unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed.

Inquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha along with four senior railway officials have rushed to the accident spot.

MOS Railway Rajen Gohain said a fault in the tracks may have led to the derailment.

“We haven’t seen an incident like this in Indian Railways for a long time because we have taken a lot of safety measures.

“Earlier these kind of accidents used to happen because of the negligence of the driver but despite taking all safety measures this tragic incident took place.This is a cause of concern and we are investigating the reasons behind it.

“There must be a fault in the track as 14 bogeys have derailed and this happened despite regular checking of the tracks,” he said.

Taking stock of the situation, Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked the Director General of National Disaster Response Force to rush to the spot.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced ex-gratia for the families of those killed in the mishap.

While Rs 5 lakh each will be given for families of those killed in the derailment, Rs 50,000 will be given for seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for those with simple injuries.

The Chief Minister has instructed the DGP to personally monitor the relief operations and deploy traffic police along the route of the mishap site to ensure green corridor for ambulances to reach hospitals quickly.

Kanpur district officials have been instructed to take support of Indian Medical Association to avail the services of more doctors for extending medical support to train accident patients, the CM said.

More ambulances/roadways buses have been rushed to the spot for speedy relief operations, the CM said.

DG Health & ADG (Law and Order) have also been rushed to the accident spot to monitor the relief operations. Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries, and the casualties may go up.

Accident relief train has been rushed to the spot, he said. Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot.

Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by district administration and railway officials.

Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture.

However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

Buses have been pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.

Railways have made available the following helpline numbers — Indore-07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai-051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.

Talking to reporters here, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said the government will bear the cost of treatment of the injured, and they will be provided with the best facilities.

Sinha also said that two trains, one to Indore and one to Patna respectively will take passengers to their destination.

According to the information he received, the passengers felt a big jolt right before the train derailed.

The accident took place before the glitch in the track could be spotted, Sinha said, adding strict action will be taken against anyone implicated as a result of the investigation.

Meanwhile, NDRF Director General RK Pachnanda told PTI that a total of five teams of the special rescue force, comprising 45 personnel each, have been pressed into action at
the accident site.

“The rescue teams are deploying cutters and hydraulic equipment to ensure that all the trapped passengers are evacuated safely from the rail bogies,” the DG, who has reached the accident site, said.

“As the victims are trapped inside the bogies, due care and diligence is being taken into consideration.

NDRF responders are making all possible efforts to rescue the trapped victims with the help of multi-types of latest disaster management gadgets and tools.

So far, NDRF has rescued 53 passengers including 16 badly trapped from the bogies.

The operation is still in progress.

Some additional teams are also put on stand by and shall be mobilised as per demand,” the Force said in a statement.

Railway authorities ignored a passenger’s warning, night before the mishap

Even as the main cause of the train mishap which has now claimed 96 lives and injured over 200 is not known, a man from Mandsaur district who was travelling in the same train claims that the railway authorities ignored his warnings few hours before the incident took place.

According to this report by Pradesh 18, a regular traveller of the train Prakash Sharma, who was travelling in one of the now derailed coaches S-2, had informed the railway authorities that the wheels of the train are making more noise than usual. Sharma told the authorities that he sensed something was odd because he was a regular commuter of the train.

However, the TC and authorities ignored his concern saying that it’s a regular thing.

Later, Sharma got down at Ujjain station on Saturday night. His fears were later confirmed when he heard the news of the mishap.

The Pradesh 18 report quoted him as saying that the railway authorities should have taken his concern seriously.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 15:21 IST

Indore-Patna Express derailment: President Pranab Mukerjee condoles loss of lives in train accident

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday condoled the loss of lives due to derailment of Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

“I am sad to learn about the accident in which many have lost their lives and a number of persons are injured when Indore-Patna Express ran off the tracks near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

File photo of President Pranab Mukherjee. Reuters

File photo of President Pranab Mukherjee. Reuters

“I am sure that the state government is providing all possible assistance to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical aid to the injured,” Mukherjee said in a message to Ram Naik, Governor of Uttar Pradesh.

The President conveyed his condolences to the family members of the deceased.

“I pray to the Almighty to give them the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons,” he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu expressed anguish at the loss of lives.

“It is extremely unfortunate. I am pained at the death of citizens in the accident. I pray for the bereaved families and the injured passengers,” Naidu said.

Over 100 passengers were killed and many seriously injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours on Sunday.

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 14:53 IST

Indore-Patna express derailment: Probe ordered; rail fracture suspected to be cause of mishap

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The train tragedy near Kanpur that left close to 100 dead could have been caused due to rail fracture, according to sources in the railways.While the exact cause of the Kanpur accident will be ascertained after the inquiry report, prima facie it indicates towards rail fracture, the sources said.Casualties also increased due to absence of modern Linke Holfmann Bush (LHB) coaches in the train, the sources added.Had there been stainless steel LHB coaches, then the damage could have been less as these coaches have more in-built safety features which can absorb shock and impact of derailment more effectively and as a result do not topple, they said.The accident comes at a time when railways are undertaking a massive brainstorming exercise to generate new innovative ideas to improve rail functioning and making the train journey a pleasant experience.Fourteen coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur claiming 96 lives so far.This is the second derailment in two days as the four coaches of the Bhatinda-Jodhpur passenger train derailed yesterday at about 2 AM leaving a dozen passengers injured in Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who has rushed to the site to monitor the situation at ground zero, ordered an inquiry into the accident which will be undertaken by Commissioner Railway Safety (Northern region).”Inquiry team will start investigation into cause of accident immediately. All necessary assistance provided to the affected, we are taking care,” Prabhu has tweeted.Poor track maintenance including lack of proper fittings and ballast on the railway lines causes fracture on the tracks.While a simple crack on track may not be of much concern, a severe fracture causing separation of the track could lead to derailment of trains.According to railway engineering department responsible for track maintenance, extreme weather condition is the primary reason for rail fractures. While the track breaks due to coefficient of linear expansion in summer, the same happens in winter due to contraction.However, a senior railway official in Railway Safety wing said lack of proper maintenance is the major reason for rail fracture and weather condition could only aggravate the situation.TMS (track maintenance service) a new software, has been launched by Prabhu recently to monitor track maintenance round-the-clock.Despite the Minister’s directive, the access to TMS is denied to safety wing and as a result, the monitoring mechanism becomes a closely guarded secret defeating the very purpose of the launching of the software application, the official said.Though railways have decided to replace all conventional coaches with modern LHB coaches gradually, the process will take time.

Indore-Patna express derailment: Two children pulled out alive from mangled bogie

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two childrenTwo children were pulled out alive from an overturned bogie of the Indore-Patna Express here, offering a glimmer of hope to rescuers looking for survivors among the heaps of metal and scattered baggage.The two boys aged six and seven were pulled out from the S3 bogie of the train, police officials said. A woman, probably the mother of the boys, was found dead near them, they said.Two girls are also trapped in another smashed coach, AK Singh, NDRF Commandant said. “There is another coach which is smashed and two girls are still trapped inside it. We can’t use cranes to pull them out. But I want to assure you that they will be rescued. After that, we will execute a search operation to find the bodies before closing the operation,” he said.Singh said crowd management was posing as a big problem. A huge crowd has gathered at the spot and is posing as an obstruction, he said.

20-year-old bride-to-be searches for father after Indore-Patna express derailment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The whole world came crashing down around 20-year-old bride-to-be Ruby Gupta after the Indore-Patna Express derailed on Sunday as she is yet to trace her father.Ruby, who was left with a fractured arm, was on her way to Mau in Azamagarh from Indore for her wedding scheduled on December 1 when the train derailed.The eldest of her siblings, Ruby was travelling with sisters Archna (18), Khushi (16), brothers Abhishek and Vishal, and father Ram Prasad Gupta, who is missing. Also travelling with them was a family friend Ram Parmesh Singh. “I cannot find my father and I have been looking everywhere for him. Some people told me to look in hospitals and in morgues but I am clueless as to what to do. I have a fractured arm and my sisters have also sustained injuries,” she said.”I do not know if my marriage, which was to be held on December 1, will go as planned or not. I want to find my father now. I have tried calling everywhere, but I do not know what to do now,” she said. Ruby also cannot trace the wedding clothes and jewellery she was carrying along. She has not filed a complaint yet.Though the cause of the derailment that has left 98 dead was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

Indore-Patna Express derails: Bride-to-be searches for father after train mishap

Pukhraya (Kanpur Dehat): The whole world came crashing down around 20-year-old bride-to-be Ruby Gupta after the Indore-Patna Express derailed on Sunday as she is yet to trace her father.

Ruby, who was left with a fractured arm, was on her way to Mau in Azamagarh from Indore for her wedding scheduled on 1 December when the train derailed.

The eldest of her siblings, Ruby was travelling with sisters Archna (18), Khushi (16), brothers Abhishek and Vishal, and father Ram Prasad Gupta, who is missing.

Kanpur: A bride-to-be who was travelling on the ill-fated Indore-Patna express that derailed in Kanpur Dehat and lost her father in the mishap, looks on inconsolably. PTIKanpur: A bride-to-be who was travelling on the ill-fated Indore-Patna express that derailed in Kanpur Dehat and lost her father in the mishap, looks on inconsolably. PTI

Kanpur: A bride-to-be who was travelling on the ill-fated Indore-Patna express that derailed in Kanpur Dehat and lost her father in the mishap, looks on inconsolably. PTI

Also travelling with them was a family friend Ram Parmesh Singh.

“I cannot find my father and I have been looking everywhere for him. Some people told me to look in hospitals and in morgues but I am clueless as to what to do. I have a fractured arm and my sisters have also sustained injuries,”
she said.

“I do not know if my marriage, which was to be held on 1 December, will go as planned or not. I want to find my father now. I have tried calling everywhere, but I do not know what to do now,” she said.

Ruby also cannot trace the wedding clothes and jewellery she was carrying along.

She has not filed a complaint yet.

Though the cause of the derailment that has left 98 dead was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture.

However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 12:35 IST

LIVE: Indore-Patna Express toll rises to 96; Centre announces ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh

Nov 20, 2016

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    #UPCM @yadavakhilesh announces an ex-gratia of Rs5Lakh each to the deceased in train accident; 50K for serious injury; 25K for normal injury

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Kanpur: At least 96 people were killed and over 150 others injured on Sunday when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express train derailed near Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district, with railways officials saying the number of casualties could rise.

The incident took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from here.

Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances are pressed into service, the IG said, adding that over 250 police officials are helping carrying out rescue and relief operations.

Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries, and the casualties may go up.

Indore_Kanpur_train_Indore_Kanpur_train_

Accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.

Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot. Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by district administration and railway officials.

Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

Buses are pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.

“All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.

Railways has also released helpline numbers — Indore 07411072, Ujjain 07342560906, Ratlam 074121072, Orai 051621072, Jhansi 05101072, Pokhraya 05113270239.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told NDTV that an enquiry is being ordered while the situation is being monitored closely.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 10:30 IST

Indore-Patna express derailment: Here are helpline nos and list of trains cancelled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 60 people were killed and over 150 others injured after 14 coaches of the Indore- Patna express train derailed near Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district, with railways officials saying the number of casualties could rise.Here is list of helpline nosIndore: 0731 2521045Nagda: 073661072Ujjain: 07342560906Ratlam: 074121072—————————————————————————————-Trains CancelledTrain numbers 12107, 11124, 19167, 11015, 11016, 12104, 12511 diverted; Train no 11123 cancelled(This copy will be updates as we get more details)

DNA Morning Must Reads: Updates from Indore-Patna express derailment, demonetization; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Live Updates: At least 45 killed, several injured after Indore-Patna express derails in KanpurAt least 45 people killed in Indore-Patna express train derailment in Kanpur Dehat district. Read more.2. ITBP’s Mt Kangto expedition in Arunachal may annoy ChinaThe strategic significance of this is immense as the ITBP team has opened the route from Bameng village in the East Kameng district, located 50 km from the Mount Kangto base. Read more.3. NIA sleuths raid 12 premises of Zakir Naik’s IRF; laptops, computers and documents seizedThe National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday morning searched the offices of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and residences of his associates. Read more.4. Demonetization: Note ban hits farm produce, rates fallen by almost 20-30 %Farmers are hoping that the current situation will improve otherwise they will face the major financial crisis. Read more.5. As long as I inspire younger kids to take up golf, I have done my best: Aditi Ashok​As long as I inspire younger kids to take up golf, I have done my best: Aditi Ashok. Read more.

Indore-Patna express train derails in Kanpur, 45 killed and over 150 people injured

Kanpur: At least 45 people were killed and over 150 others injured on Sunday when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express train derailed near Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district, with railways officials saying the number of casualties could rise.

The incident took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from here.

Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances are pressed into service, the IG said, adding that over 250 police officials are helping carrying out rescue and relief operations.

Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries, and the casualties may go up.

Indore_Kanpur_train_Indore_Kanpur_train_

Accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.

Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot. Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by district administration and railway officials.

Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.

Buses are pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.

“All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.

Railways has also released helpline numbers — Indore 07411072, Ujjain 07342560906, Ratlam 074121072, Orai 051621072, Jhansi 05101072, Pokhraya 05113270239.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told NDTV that an enquiry is being ordered while the situation is being monitored closely.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 08:40 IST

Indore-Patna express derailment: Probe orderd, situation monitored closely, says Suresh Prabhu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday ordered a probe into the Indore-Patna express train derailment in which at least 45 people were killed. Indore-Patna express derailed at around 3:00 am near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from Kanpur.”All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Suresh Prabhu said in a series of tweets.”Senior officers ordered to go to spot immediately. They are on way to accident site. Local MP, MLAs other functionaries rushed. Medical assistance of all kinds is offered. Rail mobile medical units rushed to site. All injured rushed to hospitals, immediate medical help and ex-gratia to unfortunate passengers who died and to injured will be given,” he added.The Railways Minister also said that the enquiry team will start investigation for cause of accident immediately and all necessary assistance provided to the affected. “Strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for accident,” he said.Railways has also released helpline numbers — Indore- 07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai- 051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.

Demonetised notes worth Rs 4.5 crore seized in Gujarat

Demonetised notes worth Rs 4.5 crore seized in Gujarat

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The demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes worth Rs 4.45 crore have been seized from three separate places in the state of Gujarat, the state police said on Monday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Acting on a tip-off on Monday, the police intercepted a mini truck in Rajkot district and seized 10 bags full of demonetised high-value currency notes with a face value of Rs 2.5 crore from four persons.

The truck belonged to a local pump manufacturing company, which was allegedly taking the cash to its owner’s residence at Menderna. The cash was handed over to the Income Tax Department for further investigation, the police said.

A team from Jetpur police station in the same district nabbed two persons from a car with cash worth Rs 50 lakh in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

Such notes worth around Rs 1.45 crore were also seized by the police from two different places in Narmada and Vadodara districts on Sunday. Two persons were also arrested.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 12:21 IST

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 note ban: Black money hoarders in Indore use railways help to bypass demonetisation

While the NDA government is patting its back on the “demonetisation” move to curb black money and corruption, its “masterstroke” seems to have inspired new forms of corruption in the country. And it’s not jewellery shop owners or traders who the Income Tax department was tracking in New Delhi and Mumbai all through Thursday evening, but according to reports, black money hoarders may be making use of railways ticket reservation services to convert black money it into white money.

According to a report published in Pradesh18, Indian Railway has put the Vijaynagar ticket booking counter in Indore under surveillance for booking tickets worth Rs 5.25 lakh on Wednesday.

Representational image. Firstpost

Representational image. Firstpost

The booking counter was used to book First Class AC tickets from Delhi to Trivandrum and Delhi to Guwahati worth Rs 5.25 lakh which alerted the railway officials, the Hindi news website reported. The railway officials believe that the said tickets will be cancelled at a later stage, it said.

For the time being, the confirmation of the tickets booked at the reservation counter has been blocked and the incident has been referred to the railway ministry for further probe, Pradesh18 added.

After announcing the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on Tuesday that railway ticket reservation counters will continue to accept old notes of the said denominations to prevent any discomfort to travellers. The sudden move to demonetise the notes was announced to curb black money, corruption and remove fake currency notes circulating in the country.

According to the report, the ticket counter had booked 116 tickets between 8 am to 2 pm. The railway, however, has not revealed the names of the people who booked the tickets at the counter, it said.

Provide physical & visually disabled easier access, make buses differently-abled friendly: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the convenience of the differently-abled, the government has asked states to ensure that buses are adequately equipped with user-friendly features. “Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has directed all states to have 10% of the total fleet of buses to be equipped with disabled friendly features to provide people with physical and visual disabilities easier access,” industry body Assocham said in a statement today quoting Joint Secretary, MoRTH Abhay Damle.Addressing a conference on ‘Safe road-safe Life’, Damle said majority of people with disabilities are mostly apprehensive of using public transport as presently state owned and private buses are not equipped and do not meet the requirement of people with special needs. “State transport authorities have been asked to acquire and equip buses designed to enable people with disabilities to board and disembark without having to be assisted,” the statement said quoting him.It said that Ministry has also issued advisory to State transport departments to issue driving licenses to the differently abled clearing all normal driving tests and formalities. “A person without both the hands has been issued a driving license in Indore recently. Moreover, the state transport and Motor Vehicle registration authorities in the country have been asked to immediately register vehicles modified by the disabled without and certificate from the vehicle manufacturer,” said Damle.Regarding motor vehicle safety, Indian cars presently being manufactured are quite safe, the official said and that more stress should be given on two wheeler safety by vehicle manufacturers as 80% of the vehicles in the country are two wheelers. India is signatory to UN Decade of Action for reducing fatal road accidents by 50% by the year 2020 , but road accident deaths are on the rise with about 1.5 lakh deaths in crashes every year.

Supreme Kohli, composed Rahane punish New Zealand | Reuters

Supreme Kohli, composed Rahane punish New Zealand | Reuters

Updated: Oct 9, 2016 18:00 IST

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INDORE, India Virat Kohli smashed his second test double century and Ajinkya Rahane made 188 as India flogged a jaded New Zealand attack before declaring their first innings on 557 for five on day two of the third and final test on Sunday.The duo featured in a marathon 365-run stand, India’s highest fourth wicket partnership against any team, applying themselves on a pitch where the occasional ball kept low.Martin Guptill (17) and Tom Latham (six) managed to see through the final nine overs to push New Zealand to 28 for no loss at stumps, still 529 runs behind on a fast-deteriorating track.Rahane had not looked comfortable against the rising delivery on Saturday and the right-hander was predictably subjected to a barrage of short-pitched balls by Matt Henry after India resumed on 267-3.One such delivery had the batsman in two minds whether to duck under a bouncer which smacked him in the helmet.

Rahane took a single off Trent Boult to bring up his century and looked more confident against the spinners, stepping out to hit three sixes, including two off Jeetan Patel’s bowling.Kohli took a single off Henry to bring up his second test double hundred before being hugged by partner Rahane, while rival skipper Kane Williamson came forward to shake his hand.After enduring three sessions without success, New Zealand finally got a breakthrough when Patel struck in the first over after tea, trapping a tired Kohli lbw.

Kohli’s career-best 211 included 20 boundaries, of which there were a couple of crisp down-the-ground drives.Rahane had already bettered his previous high score of 147 and was looking good for his maiden double century when he edged Boult and BJ Watling took a diving catch behind the stumps to end his 381-ball stand.

Rahane’s stellar knock included 18 boundaries and four sixes in the first test match to be staged at Indore’s Holkar Stadium.Rohit Sharma (51 not out) helped himself to his third fifty of the series before Kohli declared. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien and Toby Davis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Indus Waters treaty must not be violated, says activist Medha Patkar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar on Friday said she was not in favour of India unilaterally scrapping the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan. In the wake of terror attack on Army base at Uri, some strategic thinkers have demanded that India scrap the water-sharing treaty to pressurise Pakistan.”We are not in favour of breaking the Indus Water Treaty with the neighbouring country and launching a water war with it. We don’t want to turn rivers into a battle-field,” Patkar said.”Whether the issues related to sharing of water are international or inter-state, they should be solved through dialogue. These problems cannot be solved through politics,” she said. Patkar was in Indore to take part in a seminar on utility of large dams in India.”Government constructs large dams saying that they would produce hydro-power for supplying electricity to villages and provide water to the rural areas and agriculture. But in reality benefits go to the capitalists,” she said. She demanded a review of the policy which favours big dams and immediate stoppage of ongoing construction of such projects.”We are not saying that big dams are not useful for the country. But alternatives to them should be considered so that there is minimal displacement of people and least damage to the nature.” She also opposed centralised system of water management and said the decision-making should be left to the common people.

Indore to get two new Express trains connecting Kochuveli, Pune tomorrow

Union Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha will flag off two new Express trains from Indore to Kochuveli and Pune on Tuesday.Sinha is going to flag off Indore Kochuveli weekly Express and Indore-Pune bi-weekly Express in Indore. Besides, he will lay the foundation stone of electrification of Indore- Mhow section and launch Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) service at nearby Mhow station in the district on Tuesday, a Western Railway official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan is going to grace the two functions at Indore and Mhow stations, he added. Indore-Kochuveli Express will chug off on Tuesdays while Indore-Pune Express is going to depart from here on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Railway Board’s Passenger Amenities Committee member Nagesh Namjoshi said.

AAP to contest 2018 Madhya Pradesh elections: Ashutosh

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday announced it will contest the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections in 2018, alleging that the BJP government in the state has “failed on all fronts”.”We are going to contest 2018 MP Assembly elections. For this, our organisational structure with 10 youth for one booth will be in place by December 2016,” AAP leader Ashutosh told reporters.”The party has already decided to fight (the) Assembly elections in Gujarat and Goa,” he said, adding the party stands to gain abundantly in different parts of the state as Congress has now become a spent force.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ashutosh alleged that “rampant corruption is prevailing in MP and the ‘Vyapam scam’ stands witness to it”.”Lawlessness was prevailing in the state and the crime against women was highest in the state,” the AAP leader claimed.”The price of electricity was highest in MP, which was producing surplus energy. Delhi doesn’t generate power, but its price was too low in that state,” he said.”Health services are so bad that ants are eating dead bodies in Madhya Pradesh,” he said referring to three-day-old baby girl who died after allegedly being administered a vaccine in Indore District Hospital, and her body, kept in a morgue, was eaten by ants on June 6.

No cash? Donate your stock portfolio instead at Madhya Pradesh’s temples

Indore: People may soon be able to donate shares and bonds through D-MAT accounts to Madhya Pradesh’s six temples, including Ujjain’s famous Mahakaleshwar temple, on the lines of the Tirupati-Balaji temple in Andhra Pradesh, a senior official said on Thursday.

“We are thinking of opening D-MAT accounts in the name of Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple, Omkareshwar temple in Khandwa district, Bijasan devi temple at Salkanpur in Sehore district, Maihar devi temple in Satna district, the Khajrana
Ganesh temple of Indore and Ram Raja temple at Orchha in Tikamgarh district,” MP’s Religious Trusts and Endowments
Department’s Additional Secretary Rajendra Singh told PTI.

“With this, devotees can donate shares and bonds to these temples,” he said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The move is aimed at enhancing the income of these temples.

Singh said the department has written a letter to the concerned district collectors where these temples are situated
to examine the scheme and send their opinions. On the basis of their report, rules and regulations would be framed for the
scheme.

After opening of the D-MAT accounts and receiving shares and bonds in donations, the temple’s administrative committee will decide on when to encash them. The income generated through this mode will be deposited in the temple’s account.

The Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, is among those popular temples which receive maximum offerings in the form of cash and jewellery.

Mahakaleshwar temple committee’s administrator and Ujjain’s Additional Collector RP Tiwari said after getting guidelines from the state government on the issue, the process to open D-MAT account of the temple would be initiated.

CBI files two more charge sheets in Vyapam scam

Two persons, who had allegedly impersonated as candidates in the 2013 written examination of police constable recruitment test and were not traced by the Madhya Pradhesh Police, were charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of investigation on Monday. The duo along with one more accused person and with the help of some middlemen had posed as candidates in the entrance exam held held on September 30, 2013 in Bhopal, agency officials said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”During the CBI investigation, it was found that three accused, all residents of Bihar had impersonated as candidates in the written examination of Police Constable Recruitment Test, 2012 which was held on September 30, 2013 at Bhopal in place of the three candidates with the help of three middlemen. Two accused who were not traced during the investigation carried out by MP Police, were located by the CBI and produced before the court during the filling of the charge sheet. They were sent to judicial custody,” said a CBI official. The agency on Monday said it had filed two charge sheets in separate cases related to the infamous Vyapam scam against ten accused persons in the Designated Court at Indore and Bhopal. “In first case, charge sheet was filed against one Purshottam Khoiya under section 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3-D(1)(2)/4 of MP Recognised Examinations Act in the Court of Special Magistrate at Indore relating to alleged irregularities in the PMT 2009 examination. The said accused was arrested and also produced before the court,” said a CBI official.”In the second case, a charge sheet was filed against nine accused persons under section 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of IPC Section 3-D(1)(2)/4 of MP Recognized Examinations Act in the court of Special Judge, Vyapam Cases, Bhopal,” the official added.So far six charge sheets have been registered by the probe agency in a total of 155 FIRs that were taken over by CBI after a string of mysterious deaths raised questions over the investigation of the case. The opposition as well as vyapam whistleblowers had in 2015 pressurised the BJP led MP government to handover the case to CBI soon after the mysterious death of a journalist who was in turn investigating the alleged suicide of Namrata Damor, suspected to be first a beneficiary and then a victim in the infamous scam. More than 50 people connected to the case as witness’s or as accused have died mysteriously even after an SIT was constituted by the state government to probe the scam as well as the deaths.

Vyapam scam: CBI files chargesheet against 10 people

New Delhi/Bhopal : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed two separate chargesheets in Indore and Bhopal courts against 10 people in two cases related to Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, officials said.

Vyapam-scam_PTI_2Vyapam-scam_PTI_2The chargesheet in the first case named only one person while the other chargesheet in the second case mentioned names of nine accused persons for their alleged involvement in the Pre-Medical Test (PMT) 2009 and the Police Constable Recruitment Test 2012, respectively.

Both the examinations were conducted by Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).

In both cases, the accused persons were booked on charges of impersonation, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Madhya Pradesh Recognized Examinations Act 1937.

The chargesheet in the first case, that was earlier registered in 2014 in Indore, was filed against Purushottam Khoiya in the court of a special magistrate. Khoiya was remanded in judicial custody by the court.

In the second case, registered by Bhopal Police in 2015, the chargesheet was filed against Kamlesh Kushwaha, Naveen Kumar, Jyotish Kumar, Vishal Solanki, Kavendra Singh Rajawat, Nemichand, Dinesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Kumar and Rajesh Dhakad at a Bhopal court.

“The findings are based on the investigation done by the CBI on the basis of evidence,” a CBI official said.

The Supreme Court on 9 July, 2015, handed over the Vyapam cases to the central agency. At least 48 people linked to the Vyapam scam have died, some mysteriously.

The CBI has till now registered 155 First Information Reports and six chargesheets in the Vyapam scam.

The agency registered its first Vyapam case on 16 July, 2015.

Anandiben Patel rubbishes reports of her exit as Gujarat Chief Minister

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday refuted media reports which suggested that BJP is mulling to remove her and bring in another party leader at the helm of affairs in the state, saying “nothing like that is on.””Nothing like that is on,” Anandiben told reporters at Indore in Madhya Pradesh where she had gone to participate in the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain and meet spiritual guru Bhaiyu Maharaj. She blamed media for linking her and state Health Minister Nitin Patel’s visit to Delhi, suggesting that a change of leadership in Gujarat was imminent.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat CM arrived at Indore to meet spiritual guru Bhaiyu Maharaj at his Vijay Nagar residence. When mediapersons asked her about reports of change of leadership, she quipped “At present, I am here in Indore.”
ALSO READ Will Anandiben Patel be removed as the CM of Gujarat?”You (media) had linked two different visits to Delhi to come to this conclusion. I had gone to Delhi for the meeting related to water crisis and Nitinbhai (Nitin Patel, health minister) had gone to Delhi on the NEET issue,” she said.Asked whether the BJP’s political base has suffered because of Patel quota agitation, she said, “At present there is no Patel agitation going on in the state. This protest is completely over now.”Speculations are rife in a section of media about a possible change of leadership in Gujarat ahead of the 2017 elections. The reports had said that BJP might ask Anandiben Patel to step down as chief minister and projected Nitin Patel as a front-runner for the post, after both of them were in Delhi yesterday. They also said the change of leadership in Gujarat was necessitated by to poor handling of the quota agitation by Anandiben, and strains caused by infighting in the party’s state unit.Anandiben was made Chief Minister in May 2014, after Narendra Modi was elected as Prime Minister.Asked about the purpose of her over one-and-a-half hour meeting with the spiritual guru, with whom recently RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat also had a meeting, Anandiben said she took his guidance for agriculture and education and would try to implement his suggestions in Gujarat.In Ahmedabad, BJP’s Gujarat unit spokesperson also denied that a leadership change was on the card.”We are preparing an elaborate programmes for celebration of two years rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in Gujarat. In the midst of this there are such baseless reports of change in leadership, which we totally deny,” state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said.

AAP wants ‘Delhi model’ of governance in BJP-ruled MP

Aam Aadmi Party on Monday demanded cheap power, free medicines and water for the people of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh on the lines of facilities provided by the party government in Delhi. “We demand cheap power, free medicines and water for the people of Madhya Pradesh the way it is being done for residents of Delhi,” AAP’s MP Unit Joint In-charge Ratnesh Gupta told reporters.Besides providing cheap power, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government is supplying 20,000 litres of free water per month and making available free treatment, medicines and diagnostic facilities at mohalla clinics (colony health centres) to the people in the national capital.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the AAP will launch a programme to make people aware of their rights and take up issues related to farmers. “On the lines of Delhi, we are creating our organisation in Madhya Pradesh also. We already have a network up to the Vidhan Sabha level and whatever shortcomings are there will be addressed soon.”The AAP leader termed the ‘odd-even scheme’ in Delhi a success and said it is being praised by the people. If needed, the car rationing plan should be implemented in Bhopal and Indore too, he said.

Maharashtra: Family donates 16-year-old girl’s organs; saves three lives

16-year-old girl’s family took the tough decision of donating her organs after the doctors at Jupiter hospital declared her brain dead on Sunday.According to the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee( ZTCC), the emotional but brave decision taken by the father, has given a new lease of life to a 14-year-old boy suffering from end-stage liver disease and two end-stage kidney disease patients.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”On April 7, the girl, who lives in Thane, was learning scooty when a car hit her. She was rushed to Jupiter hospital with severe head injuries,” said Anirudh Kulkarni, transplant coordinator at the hospital.
ALSO READ Mumbai: 7-year-old becomes youngest cadaver donor in stateWhile the doctors did their best to revive her, she was declared brain dead on April 9. “When the family was approached with the news, they decided to donate her organs and give a new lease of life to others,” said Kulkarni.He said that the family, who is originally from Indore, had heard about green corridors and organ donation. “The relatives and parents were forthcoming and gave their consent for heart, liver and both kidneys. Unfortunately, the heart could not be used as there was injury to the ribs and it was fractured,” said Kulkarni.This is the 16th cadaver donation of the year in Mumbai. The trend of cadaver donations has always been uneven in the city. In 2012, there were 27 donations, while in 2013, the number was 24. In 2014, the city saw 41 donations that benefited 107 people. In 2015, there were 44 donations that helped 114 people.

Academicians criticise HRD rankings of universities

The first ever domestic rankings by the HRD ministry for educational institutions have invited criticism from some academicians who say that the list was full of “surprises” even as the ministry maintained that the rankings were based on the data submitted by varsities.The critics noted that placing of IIM Udaipur above IIM Kozhikode and IIM Indore was surprising as was Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) being ranked at 83 while Jamia Hamdard University has been ranked at 18.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is surprising that Jamia which is counted among the prominent universities in Delhi after DU and JNU has been ranked poorest at 83. We get record applications for limited seats. How have they judged us?,” a JMI professor asked.According to former JNU Vice Chancellor S K Sopory, certain criteria were “absurd” and HRD should do a review for further rankings.”The criteria was developed by the ministry after wider consultation but there were certain absurd columns in the performa which we could not fill in. For instance, in the details of the visiting scholars there was a column asking for the PAN of the scholar, which we had to leave blank,” he told PTI.”There is a scope for improvement and HRD should do a review of the criteria for further rankings. Also I believe record keeping is an issue with universities. Not all of them maintain their records as extensively and hence could have lost out in the rankings,” he added.HRD ministry officials said some top institutions could not have figured in the ranking because they did not participate in the process and submit the data for judging them over various parameters. They also said that the criteria as well as the data on basis of which the decision has been reached are also available in public domain.”The rankings have been awarded as per a well defined criteria which is available on web. The decisions have been made on basis of the data which has been furnished by the institutions themselves and that is also in the public domain,” the ministry officials said.Premchand Palety, the CEO of the organization C Fore, which has for years collated university rankings for major publications like Businessworld, Outlook and has also been consulted by the government to measure business schools said, “IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode both have 100-acre campuses, so how can they be placed below Udaipur which has just five rooms?”However, the Director of IIM Udaipur Jannat Shah, said “it is our focus on research which helped us score more despite a smaller campus”.The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) covering 3,500 different institutes in four different categories was released by HRD minister Smriti Irani earlier this week. JNU and Hyderabad university, which have been at the centre of massive rows recently, topped the list of central varsities while IIT-Madras and IIM-Bangalore lead among technological and management institutions.In the technological institutions category, IIT Mumbai is placed second, followed by IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur. Manipal College of Pharmacy is ahead of others in the category of Pharmacy education.The institutions were assessed on parameters, including teaching-learning, research, collaborative practice and professional performance, graduate outcomes, placements outreach and inclusive action, and peer group perception. The ranking, which will be an annual exercise, was done by an independent and autonomous body National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

Bengaluru gym chain backed by Virat Kohli to set up 100 branches across India by 2018

Bengaluru-based Chisel Fitness has announced major plans. On Sunday, the company, in which Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has a 30% stake, said it is planning to set up 100 branches across India by 2018.A report in The New Indian Express states that each centre will see an expenditure of nearly Rs 2 crore for set up. Currently, they have two gyms owned by the company. Most of its new branches will be franchises.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Satya Sinha, co-founder, Chisel Fitness, told the daily that their fitness centres are currently set up in Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh. He added, “We will be opening centres at Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore and Chennai over the next few months.”The company is looking to expand into the UAE and Sri Lanka. Chisel has also tied up with a California-based firm. The daily adds that the slimming and fitness sector is just 8% of the total market of the Indian wellness industry. Given this scenario, the company which started nine months ago sees a high possibility of growth. Sinha stated that they also plan to sell diet food and clothing.

Attracting youths not primary motive behind new uniform: RSS

The RSS on Tuesday sought to dispel suggestion that it has replaced its conventional uniform of khaki knickers with brown trousers in a bid to attract youths to its fold.The decision to change its ‘ganvesh’ (uniform), in vogue for 91 years, was taken at annual meeting of RSS’ Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, its highest decision-making body, at Nagaur in Rajasthan recently. “This is not correct to say that the Sangh went for the change in its dress primarily to attract youths who shy away from wearing shorts,” said Prakash Shastri, chief of RSS’ Malwa Prant, which comprises Indore and Ujjain divisions. He reasoned that youths would not go along with RSS for long if they failed to imbibe its ideology and merely a changed uniform could not do much.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Sangh works with devotion. If young people don’t embrace Sangh’s ideology, they won’t get along with RSS for long,” Shastri said responding to a query whether the move aimed at attracting youths. The RSS leader said khaki shorts made way for trousers following a long pondering on suggestions made to this effect by its cadre and the change is in sync with time.To another query, he said RSS is not in favour of whole privatisation of health and education sectors. “Rather, the government and society should join hands to make health and education affordable and easily accessible,” he added.Shastri said as many as 247 shakhas of RSS have come up in Indore and Ujjain divisions in the past one year, taking their total number to 2,607. Of them, 80 per cent are located in rural areas, he added.

Deceased youth turns saviour; vital organs given for transplant

A 22-year-old man, who was declared brain dead after an accident, on Monday turned saviour for several patients, after his several organs and skin were donated for transplant, for which a green corridor was created in the city.”The victim, Pappu Davar, a resident of nearby Dhar district, got seriously injured in a road accident on March 3 and he was declared brain dead on March 6,” Shantanu Bhagdikar, Executive Director of Shri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (SAIMS) said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A local organisation working for organ donation convinced Davar’s family members for donating his organs, he said. Upon receiving their consent, the district administration swung into action and made preparations for transporting the organs by creating green corridor.The deceased’s heart and liver were transported within nine minutes to the city’s Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Bhagdikar said, adding they were sent to hospitals in Delhi for transplant. “One of his kidneys was given to a patient in SAIMS hospital. The other kidney was transported to a private hospital through another Green Corridor, where it was implanted into a patient,” he said.The skin and eyes extracted from Davar have been preserved safely by two different organisations, Bhagdikar said. The city has of late been conducting Green Corridors with an increasing level of co-ordination and swiftness by the police and administration officials.According to district officials, seven such green corridors have been created in Indore in the past six months. A Green Corridor is a special route created for effectively transporting organs for transplantation, sans any red lights or with the traffic signals being operated on manual mode.

Heart ‘flies’ from Indore to Mumbai in 116 minutes to save Odisha youth

Mumbai: Precise and meticulous planning by various private and government agencies enabled a donated heart “fly” from Indore to Mumbai within just 116 minutes to save the life of a 22-year-old cardiac patient from Odisha at a Mumbai hospital on Saturday, officials said.

An ambulance awaited the heart and passed through a special Green Corridor route laid from the airport to the hospital in Mulund - covering the total 546 kms in just 116 minutes

An ambulance awaited the heart and passed through a special Green Corridor route laid from the airport to the hospital in Mulund – covering the total 546 kms in just 116 minutes

The heart was harvested from a 20-year-old Indore boy who was brain-dead after he suffered severe trauma (head injuries) in a road accident and transplanted in the youth from Odisha who was awaiting a donor heart at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, in northeast Mumbai.

The live heart was retrieved by Anvay Mulay, head of cardiac transplant team of the hospital from the brain-dead donor at Choitaram Hospital in Indore this afternoon.

The heart commenced its journey from the Choitaram Hospital at 12.20 pm to reach Indore Airport at 12.43 pm, moved to a waiting Jet Airways flight which departed after 12 minutes, and landed in Mumbai at 1.53 pm.

An ambulance awaited the heart and passed through a special Green Corridor route laid from the airport to the hospital in Mulund – covering the total 546 kms in just 116 minutes (one hour 56 minutes) flat, a hospital spokesperson said.

It was moved straight to the Fortis Hospital operation theatre where Mulay and his team completed the transplant successfully later on Saturday evening.

This was the 12th successful heart transplant at the hospital since the first one in August 2015, and the patient is stable and will be under observation in the ICU for the next 2-3 days, he said.

“These success stories stand as a strong testimony that patients with end stage heart failure now have hope. I appreciate the courage the donor’s kin have showed today, they helped save another young life,” Mulay said.

He also thanked the ZTCC Mumbai’s Sujata Patwardhan, Indore District Commissioner Sanjay Dubey, medical teams at Indore’s Choitaram Hospital and MCM Hospital, Muskaan Trust Mumbai and Jet Airways and other staffers for their help and collaboration which gave a successful new lease of life to a young patient.

IANS

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