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200 Officers to be Relocated to Strengthen Ground Operations: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

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A man cries after seeing dead body of his family, who died in the Mumbai stampede
A man cries after seeing dead body of his family, who died in the Mumbai stampede accident. ians

Mumbai, Sep 30: A day after 22 people died in a stampede on a railway foot overbridge in Mumbai, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that 200 officers will be relocated from headquarters as field staff to enhance ground operations and that additional escalators are being sanctioned at crowded Mumbai stations.

“200 officers to be relocated from Head Quarters as field staff to strengthen ground operations and project implementation,” Goyal said in a series of tweets after holding a meeting with Railway Board officials here, in the aftermath of the accident at Elphinstone foot overbridge that killed 22 people.

He also said that to eliminate bureaucracy and delays, “I have empowered GMs to spend whatever is necessary on safety.”

Taking a lesson from the Friday stampede at Elphinstone station, Goyal said, “We are turning a 150 year old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity.”

“Additional escalators sanctioned at crowded Mumbai suburban stations and thereafter for all high traffic stations,” added Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

At least 22 commuters were killed and 39 others injured on Friday when a horrific stampede broke out on a narrow railway foot overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel stations when hundreds took shelter there to escape pounding rain.(IANS)

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Indian High Commission in London Lits up in Energy Efficient Tricolour

The building will be turned energy efficient by retrofitting LED lights inside the building as well as the facade lighting, leading to a notable 66 per cent reduction in energy consumption

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The Indian High Commission in London
London: The Indian High Commission in London is decorated with energy efficient tricolour lights as part of a pact with India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). PTI
  • The Indian High Commission in London has signed up an energy efficiency contract with India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)
  • Under the contract, 1,700 LED lights in High Commission of India will be installed that will lead to annual energy saving of 147,000 units and cost savings of 23,000 pounds over seven years
  • So far, over 240 million LED bulbs and two million smart LED streetlights have been retrofitted by the firm across India through “self-sustaining” commercial models

London, June 30, 2017: As a step leading towards annual energy and cost savings, the Indian High Commission building in central London has been lit up in energy efficient tricolour. The High Commission, the largest Indian diplomatic mission, is situated in the iconic ‘India House’ building. Now it has become the first to sign up an energy efficiency contract with India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).

According to the statement by EESL, “Under the contract, EESL will install 1,700 LED lights in High Commission of India. The installation of these LED lights will lead to annual energy saving of 147,000 units and cost savings of 23,000 pounds over seven years.”

The statement also mentioned that the building will be turned energy efficient by retrofitting LED lights inside the building as well as the facade lighting. This will lead to a notable 66 per cent reduction in energy consumption.

Last month, during the UK visit of Piyush Goyal, India’s minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, the agreement between EESL and the Indian High Commission in London was signed.

According to PTI reports, Under the ESCO model created by EESL, a joint venture of NTPC, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and Powergrid, energy savings and/or demand reductions are purchased by a utility using a predetermined rate.

The result of the implementation of the LED programme is energy savings, which are then monetised. Upon completion of the LED project, EESL is paid fixed amounts per kWh. Then an authorised measurement and verification (M&V) organisation assesses and analyses the savings achieved. The duration of this project is seven years, within which EESL provides operational maintenance of the installed lights as well.

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EESL stated, “EESL, under the administration of the Indian government’s Ministry of Power, is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency and is implementing the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio (worth 5.6bn pounds over a period of three years) establishing 20-fold growth.”

So far, over 240 million LED bulbs and two million smart LED streetlights have been retrofitted by the firm across India through “self-sustaining” commercial models. EESL is looking forward to leverage this implementation experience and explore new opportunities in the global market for the diversification of its portfolio. The company has already set up overseas operations in the UK, South Asia and South East Asia.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Green initiative? Indian Railways to produce 1,000 MW Solar energy

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Indian Railway. Pixabay

New Delhi, March 9, 2017: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday that the Railways had taken several green initiatives and would produce 1,000 MW solar energy.

Addressing a function to mark signing of Letters of Intent by Railway Ministry with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to formalise joint cooperation in environmental conservation, he said the priority of Railways was to reduce carbon footprints.

“Railway is already taking several green initiatives and is going to produce 1,000 MW solar energy. This joint co-operation will help Indian Railways in its green objectives,” he said.

Representatives of Indian Railways and UNEP signed and exchanged Letters of Intent.

UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim said that the focus of the partnership was on three main areas – waste management, reduction in water consumption and sustainable public procurement.

Officials said that Indian Railways, which carries 23 million passengers every day, has taken a number of steps towards water management, energy conservation, solid waste management and green buildings. (IANS)

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Ex-gratia Amount given to the Kin of Train Accident Victims remains Unchanged for 19 Years

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People gather as rescuers work after 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Nov. 20, 2016. VOA

Bhopal, Nov 20, 2016: Even though the cost of living and medical treatment have shot up manifold in the last two decades, the ex-gratia amount given to the kin of those killed in rail accidents has remained unchanged for the last 19 years.

The Rs 4-lakh ex-gratia was fixed way back in 1997, and it continues to be the norm even today. This is in sharp contrast to the previous practice of upward revision of the amount every 10 years or so.

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In response to an RTI application filed by Chandrashekhar Gaur of Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh, the Railways Ministry informed that the ex-gratia amount was raised to Rs 50,000 in 1973, Rs 1 lakh in 1983, Rs 2 lakh in 1990 and made Rs 4 lakh in 1997.
[bctt tweet=”The Rs 4-lakh ex-gratia was fixed way back in 1997, and it continues to be the norm even today.” username=””]

Gaur made the information public as Rs 3.5 lakh ex-gratia was announced by the railway authorities on Sunday for the kin of those killed in the Indore-Patna Rajendra Nagar Express derailment at Pukhrayan near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. At least 120 passengers were killed in the accident.

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“If the previous practice of revision of ex-gratia money every 9-10 years had been followed, by now the amount would have become Rs 8 lakh,” he told IANS.

On his second RTI application earlier this year, the Ministry informed him that a proposal to raise the ex-gratia amount was pending consideration of the Railway Minister.

Gaur has sought an increase in the amount to Rs 25 lakh, suggesting that if Re 1 cess is imposed on every ticket, paying this much money would not be a problem for the government. (IANS)