Monthly Archives: September 2017

New Delhi: Even as the DMRC defended another fare hike by saying its input costs had gone up, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Centre to direct Delhi Metro to withhold the "unjustified" proposed increase from October 10.

In a letter to Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal urged him to direct the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to withhold the fare hike till the decision was jointly reviewed by the central and Delhi governments.

 

He also demanded that a DMRC board meeting be convened to put a stay on the fare hike as the corporation is jointly owned by the central and the Delhi government.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader said Delhi residents were "still reeling" under the impact of the previous "steep fare hike" in May and said the proposed hike from October 10 "will be simply unacceptable in this time of economic distress".

Kejriwal said while the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes, the DMRC was going ahead with it in less than six months.

He said that put together, the two hikes accounted for over 80 per cent increase in one year alone even as the FFC recommended that from 2019 onwards, the annual hike should not exceed seven per cent.

"There is no reason why the principles to be followed from 2019 onwards should be completely violated in 2017," Kejriwal wrote in his letter.

However, the DMRC justified its decision by citing increased input costs and that the increase was at par with those in other city Metro rails.

"A comparison of Metro fares in other cities in India shows DMRC's maximum fare is either less or comparable to others despite higher per capita income in Delhi," the statement said.

"Since 2009, there has been no fare increase whereas input cost for the DMRC has increased by over 105 per cent in energy, 139 per cent in staff cost and 213 per cent in repair and maintenance," a DMRC statement said.

"In addition, the DMRC has taken a huge loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and a payment of Rs 26,760 crore is still to be paid back," it said.

It also said that once Metro's third phase gets operational, commuters will have to travel shorter distances and hence pay lesser.

The DMRC said a long gap of over eight years in FFC formation led to fare hike in steps, which if seen on yearly basis "is in the reasonable range of seven to eight per cent per annum", taking into account both the phases of the hike.

The statement said despite efficient operations, the DMRC was suffering a net loss of Rs 378 crore.

"In order to continue providing world-class service, it is essential to operate as a healthy organisation," the corporation said.

Delhi Metro has been operating in the national capital since 2002, and carries around 27 lakh passengers every day.

While Kejriwal said in his letter that no DMRC initiatives were visible to improve efficiency so as to reduce costs, the Delhi Metro said it was constantly making efforts to reduce its operating cost by going for solar power projects and increasing energy efficiency at its stations, besides introducing new initiatives on property development and property business fronts.

"The DMRC is consistently increasing the number of trains, AFC gates, lifts, escalators, and other passenger services, leading to increased input cost but are nevertheless essential for providing world-class service," the Metro statement said.

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW DELHI:  Badgered by the opposition for yesterday's Mumbai stampede that cost 23 lives, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal today turned the railways' approach towards foot overbridges - as he called it - on its head, opened the purse strings gave senior officials a free hand to spend on safety-related aspects and vowed to get escalators installed at crowded Mumbai suburban stations and beyond. But after spending over eight hours at meetings with top railway and state officials, the railway minister promised things would improve but attempted to keep expectations at a realistic level. "It is not an excuse but problems in Indian Railways aren't one or two years old. They accumulated over the years and were given to us in 2014 as inheritance," Mr Goyal said.

 

 

Following are the top 10 developments in this story:
  1. "We are turning a 150-year-old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity," Mr Goyal tweeted.

 

 

  1. He added that to eliminate bureaucracy and delays, he has "empowered GMs to spend whatever is necessary on safety."

 

 

  1. The minister also said that additional escalators have been sanctioned at crowded Mumbai suburban stations and after that for all high traffic stations.

 

 

  1. 200 officers will be relocated from the Railway Head Quarters as field staff to strengthen ground operations and project implementation, the minister said.

 

 

  1. Mr Goyal, who is live-tweeting the decisions taken at the meeting, also posted "To enhance safety and efficiency, 40 yards across India will be upgraded with an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore including 8 yards in Mumbai region."

 

 

  1. Yesterday, after the stampede, Mr Goyal had asked officials to identify critical locations prone to similar tragedies. This also means that the safety audit shouldn't just look at structural stability of the bridges but also assess if it was enough for the number of passengers that it catered to.

 

 

  1. Mr Goyal also gave officials one week to resolve any pending issues with other government agencies that have stalled projects and escalate problems that they aren't able to resolve, telling them that projects could not be kept perpetually hanging due to differences between government departments.

 

 

  1. The stampede broke out around 10.30 am on Friday on the British-era narrow bridge which connects the busy Elphinstone Road and Parel train stations. There were more than the usual people on the bridge at the time, waiting for the rain to end. Then, four trains came at the same time.

 

 

  1. Due to the rain, a few commuters slipped, which led to the stampede. There were also rumours that the bridge - that commuters said shakes every time a train passes - is falling.

 

 

  1. 22 people had died and over 30 were injured in the stampede yesterday. Today, another person died in hospital due to the injuries sustained during the stampede, taking the death toll to 23.

 

 

 

 

 

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With 23 people dead in the stampede at the Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray today warned that "not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for the bullet train in Mumbai" until the infrastructure of local railways was made better.

"I shall not allow even a brick for the bullet train projectto be laid. First resolve all the basic problems of Mumbai commuters. If (Narendra) Modi wants, let him construct it in Gujarat. If they use force, we shall also retaliate," an agitated Mr Thackeray said. 

Attacking the ruling BJP, he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "liar" who changed all his statements before and after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. "We have never seen a PM who is such a big liar. He made big promises and then dismissed them as 'election jumlas'. How much can a person lie in this fashion?" asked Mr Thackeray, according to news agency IANS.

 

The MNS chief claimed that Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu was replaced by Piyush Goyal only to push through the Bullet Train project. "This Goyal is useless, Prabhu was good," he said.

"Why do we need terrorists or enemies like Pakistan? It seems our own Railway is enough to kill people," 49-year-old Mr Thackeray added.

He also claimed that stampedes will continue to occur in Mumbai till hordes of migrants keep pouring into the city. "There has been a collapse of infrastructure facilities due to the migrant influx from other regions," he said.

 

Mr Thackeray claimed that his party had written to authorities for building a new bridge at the stampede spot but no action was taken on his suggestion. The Kakodkar committee had proposed an expenditure of Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve the railway infrastructure but nobody acted on it, he claimed.

The MNS chief also announced that he would personally lead a morcha to Churchgate on October 5 to oppose the bullet train plans and urged all Mumbaikars to participate in large numbers.

The stampede took place around 10.30 am yesterday on the tiny bridge between the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations, which are among Mumbai's busiest. Witnesses say four trains rolled in at the same time and a large crowd poured into the bridge that was already bursting with people taking shelter from a sudden, heavy downpour. A few commuters slipped, and people fell on them. 

Thousands of commuters use the two stations and the bridge everyday as many officers are in the area.

 

With inputs from PTI and IANS

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai: Actress Taapsee Pannu says she has failed every audition in her life.

The actress talked about her professional life during an episode of "Yaar Mera Superstar Season 2". The episode will go on air on Saturday on Zoom channel, read a statement.

 

"I suck at auditions. I failed every audition in my life. Seriously, I am a very 'ghatiyaaa' (bad) actor if you put a camera and a torchlight and tell me to act... I can't act like that... I have failed all auditions," Taapsee said.

Taapsee has featured in films like "Baby", "Pink", "Naam Shabana", and is looking forward to "Judwaa 2".

She says she wasn't good at her work initially, but got better with time.

"I sucked at what I was doing that time, but the reaction that I got, in spite of being so bad, was so good and people loved me so much, so I said I think I need to do this much for all the love that I am getting in spite of not putting my 100 per cent at that time, not realising the gravity of this work. Then I started acting," she added.

 

 

 

 

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MUMBAI:  Actor Tom Alter, who was fighting cancer, has died in Mumbai. He was 67. A statement released on behalf of his family said, "It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father." Mr Alter was taken to Saifee Hospital earlier this month with stage four skin cancer, for which he had been treated earlier and which had relapsed. He was taken home on Thursday and died on Friday night, news agency IANS reports. Tom Alter worked in film, television and theatre

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, Tom Alter's son Jamie told news agency IANS that the cancer he was treated for last year had returned. "It is what is called a squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). It is a relapse of the same thing which had happened last year and unfortunately, for various reasons, it was not detected at that time and has come back," he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday appointed five Governor for the states of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. 

"The President has been pleased to appoint Admiral (Retd.) Devendra Kumar Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM, as the LG of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in place of Jagdish Mukhi with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office," the President's office said in an official statement.

 

The statement also said that the President has approved the appointment of Brigadier (Retd.) B.D. Mishra as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar, Banwarilal Purohit as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Jagdish Mukhi as the Governor of Assam and Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  The first song of Golmaal Again is your ticket to time-travel to 1997. Maine Tujhko Dekha, which is picturized on the Golmaal gang and Parineeti Chopra is a revamped version of Ajay Devgn's Ishq song Neend Churayi Meri. It's recreated nicely by Amaal Mallik and Anu Malik (composer of the Ishq song). Amaal and Anu Malik have kept the chorus lyrics and signature music of Neend Churayi Meri and have added additional lyrics, which are written by Kumaar. The song also reiterates the age gap between the characters of Ajay Devgn and Parineeti Chopra, courtesy Arshad Warsi's funny dialogue delivery and also by Parineeti's tweet: "Never thought I'd be dancing with Ajay Devgn on his own hit song. Grew up watching this on TV."

Watch Maine Tujhko Dekha:

 

 

 

And here's the original song, which featured Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla:

Golmaal Again is the fourth film in the Golmaal franchise. Ajay Devgn, Arashad Warsi, Kunal Khemu, Shreyas Talpade and Tusshar Kapoor will reprise their roles in the Rohit Shetty-directed film while Parineeti Chopra, Tabu and Neil Nitin Mukesh are the new additions to the film's cast.

The trailer of Golmaal Again released on September 22 and it has been viewed more than 35 million times since then on YouTube and Facebook. The trailer hints that this time Golmaal Again will include supernatural elements and Gopu (Gopal, played by Ajay Devgn) is not okay with it. The funniest part of the trailer is when Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor) gets his voice for the second time in the franchise - the first was in Golmaal Returns in a dream sequence. In Golmaal Again, it will be courtesy an evil spirit, who has possessed Lucky.

Watch the trailer of Golmaal Again:

Mumbai:  A city that will soon have a bullet train doesn't even have a safe railway bridge, commented angry residents in Mumbai after a stampede left 22 dead and over 30 wounded this morning.

The British-era bridge connecting the busy Elphinstone Road and Parel train stations is always overcrowded, and over the years, there have been multiple warnings of a disaster waiting to happen.

Many had tweeted their concern. This tweet tagging former Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a year ago was almost prophetic.

In the last four years, there had been over 100 tweets talking about a risk of a stampede or accident due to the overcrowded bridge.

 

This morning, many events collided to produce the tragedy that they had feared.

Four trains arrived around the same time, and a huge crowd tried to get out. The bridge was already crowded after sudden, heavy rain that had people scurrying for cover. Some say a loud bang after a short circuit led to panic. A witness said there were rumours of the old bridge collapsing. Within moments, many were crushed and injured.

 

Hours later, the Railways Minister tweeted that bids had been called today for a new, wider bridge that had been sanctioned last year.

"People do not need an expensive bullet train...first repair these bridges that we use every day," said a survivor.

Among the most cutting political reactions to the tragedy came from the ruling BJP's ally Shiv Sena.

 

"You have money for bullet trains, but not for repairing the bridge...You let the poor passengers die...and for moneyed passengers, you talk about bullet trains," said the Sena's Sanjay Raut, calling the stampede a public massacre.

Arvind Sawant, a Sena parliamentarian, had written to Suresh Prabhu last year requesting repair work on the bridge.

In his reply in February 2016, Mr Prabhu had assured that the bridge would be extended and widened. He had also cited "paucity of finances, operational constraints or other compelling circumstances" for the inability to respond to such requests.

Over a year later, no work has been done on the bridge. Mr Sawant said today: "This is not just negligence. It's too soft a term to use. This is delinquency."

Piyush Goyal, who took over the Railway Ministry earlier this month after a series of train accidents, said:  "I have issued directions for safety and capacity audit of foot over bridges in Mumbai where there is congestion. Wherever there is a need for foot over bridges to be widened, we will do it immediately on high priority."

Overcrowding has caused many deaths on Mumbai's local train network, according to an Observer Research Foundation report. In the past six months, close to 1,600 people have been killed; most of them fell off trains and a few died while crossing railway tracks.

Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, said the incident does not raise any questions about the structural safety or design of the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  Fifteen people have been killed and over 30 seriously injured in a stampede that broke out this morning during peak office hours on a foot over-bridge in Mumbai near a local train station. The incident took place at around 10:30 am on the over-bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations. Visuals showed people on the ground and passers-by dragging the injured down the bridge. Thousands of commuters use the two stations and the bridge everyday as many officers are in the area.

 

 

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:
 
  1. The injured have been taken to KEM Hospital and other nearby hospitals. Senior police officers are at the railway station. 
  2.  
  3. "Two people fell down first. There was heavy rain at that time. Soon, there was a stampede. We took the injured to the hospitals," an eyewitness told dailyaddaa.

 

 

  1. Dr Pravin Bangar, a senior Medical Officer at Mumbai's KEM Hospital told dailyaddaa that 15 people were brought dead.

 

 

  1. "We are still inquiring into the exact reasons. It happened on the narrow staircase. All the injured were rushed to the nearest hospitals," said police officer Niket Kaushik.

 

 

  1. A railways official said the stampede was triggered after four trains approached the station from different lines.

 

 

  1. "Many were waiting in the rain. There were too many people in a cramped space. When people were trying to rush to their trains, the stampede happened," said railway spokesperson Anil Saxena.

 

 

  1. Elphinstone station is a busy hub for local train commuters as a large number of offices are located in the area.Crowd management at busy suburban stations like Parel and Elphinstone has been a longstanding demand. 

 

 

  1. "It was a disaster waiting to happen," a resident said.

 

 

  1. Union Railways Minister, who is on his way to Mumbai, is likely to visit the spot.

 

 

  1. On August 29, heavy rains left the financial capital flooded and brought the city to a standstill. Mumbai received the heaviest rainfall that day since 2005 and was completely paralysed as services stopped and most parts of the city were submerged.

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi:  The Delhi Government on Thursday told the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) to hold an impending fare hike till it completes an enquiry on the proposed increase.

"Delhi Metro is directed to put on hold any further hike till Delhi government completes its enquiry and forms an opinion on this subject," Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

Delhi Metro fares are set to increase by a minimum of Rs 10 from next month. 

"The proposed fare hike by Delhi Metro is likely to adversely affect the interests of a large number of commuters in Delhi," the Aam Aadmi Party leader said. "Delhi Government is completely against any hike in Metro fares."

The minister said it was not clear whether the Delhi government's stand was considered by the fare fixation committee of Delhi Metro.

He said a meeting took place between the Delhi government and DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh.

The minister's directive came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked Gahlot to find a way to stop the "anti-people" Metro fare hike within a week.

"Metro fare hike is anti-people move. Have ordered ... Gahlot to find a solution to stop fare hike," Kejriwal tweeted.

The minister then sought "all relevant records of (the) uncalled fare hike".

Delhi Metro fares are set to increase for a second time this year from October 1. 

The last increase was in May when the minimum fare went up from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and the maximum from Rs 30 to Rs 50.

 

Read more: Arvind Kejriwal Terms Delhi Metro Fare Hike Proposal ‘Anti-People’

Delhi Metro fares rose following the recommendations of the fourth Fare Fixation Committee.

DMRC was formed in 1995 with equal equity participation of the central government and the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. After beginning its operations in 2002, Delhi Metro now covers 218 km with 164 stations. The network is set to expand further.

 

 

(with inputs from IANS)

 

 

 

 

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