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Friday, July 3, 2009

Mamata presents Indian Railway Budget for 2009-10
No hikes in passenger fares, freight charges
New Delhi, 3 July : Amid expectations of improvement in railway amenities, Indian railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday presented the 15th Railway Budget. Presenting a promised 'pro-people' budget, the railways minister said that economic viability is not the only index of development, according top priority to social commitment.
Highlights of "Railway Budget" for 2009-10
Rs 1,102 crore allocated towards improving passenger amenities Kolkata metro to be extended Rs 50 billion increase in budgetary support in 2009-10 Freight target for 2009-10 set at 882 million tonnes Target set in interim budget unrealistic Freight cargo increased 5% in 2008-09 One doctor to be posted on each long distance train Rs.25 monthly pass for unorganised sector employees with income below Rs 1,500 for travel up to 100 km New "Yuva" fully air-conditioned train for youth Yuva fares Rs.299 up to a distance of 1,500 km and Rs 399 up to 2,500 km Student concession to be extended to madarssa students Student concession of 60 percent on Kolkata Metro Introduction of trains for women during peak seasons 12 non-stop trains New train information system to be started in Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi 50 mobile rail ticket vans to be introduced ATMs on 200 mid and small-sized stations Integrated security scheme for 140 vulnerable stations Setting up of a 1,000 MW power plant at Adra Special recruitment drive for the physically challenged, minorities Committee under Sam Pitroda to commercialise railways' optic fibre network Private operation of freight terminals to be encouraged New factory in WB' Kanchrapara for making 500 state-of-the-art coaches annually "Janta khana" (peoples' food) to be provided at railway stations Seven nursing colleges to provide employment to railway spouses, 1 in Barasat Medical colleges proposed to be opened through public-private partnership model Cold storages and cargo facilities to eliminate wastage of perishables 50 world class stations to be developed on public-private partnership model 309 out of 375 stations will be developed with modern facilities 50 stations at tourist, religious places to have integrated facilities Infotainment facilities on Rajdhani Express for long distance passengers Unreserved ticketing systems to be expanded from 5,000 to 8,000 terminals Passengers can buy unreserved tickets at 5,000 post offices Air-conditioned double-decker trains for inter-city travel SMS updates for wait-listed passengers 200 automatic vending machines at key stations for selling tickets Discount for press correspondents increased from 30 to 50% Discount of 60% on fare if press correspondents travel with spouse
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'Duronto' trains will be faster than 'Rajdhani Express'
PTI, New Delhi, 3 July : The 12 new non-stop fast trains announced by Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today in her budget speech between select cities will take less time than even the Rajdhani express to complete their journey.
"This has been made possible as these trains, unlike the Rajdhani Express, will have no intermediate stoppages and run in much the same speed clocked by Rajdhani," Railway Board member, Shri Prakash told PTI. For example, he said, the new bi-weekly non-stop train between New Delhi and Howrah will take 16 hours to cover the journey, as against 17 hours taken by Rajdhani Express.
BDR jawans to get back arms soon
Chapainawabganj, 3 July : Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Director General Brig Gen Moinul Islam today said BDR members would get their arms back very soon. “The situation is normal now and the jawans are doing their job perfectly on bordering fronts,” the BDR DG told reporters.
He was speaking at a programme of 39 Rifles Battalion in Chapainawabganj. The trial of BDR mutineers would be completed as soon as possible, he said, adding that innocent border guards need not to be afraid, as only the jawans committed crimes would be punished upon evidence.

Lalgarh to be on rail map courtsey Rly Minst Mamata
PTI, New Delhi, 3 July : Impoverished Lalgarh, in the news for Maoist violence and security forces' operations, will be on railway map, courtsey Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. Railways have finalised plans to put Lalgarh, a tribal-dominated area in West Bengal, on the railway map.
Salboni will be linked to Jhargram via Lalgarh, Mamata Banerjee told PTI. "It is a small project and small is beautiful," she said.
Lalgarh is surrounded by nearest rail stations in Salboni, Jhargram, Midnapore and Bankura.

3 tigers enter villages near Sundarbans in 48 hours
Canning, 3 July : Barely 48 hours after two big cats entered two villages near the Sundarbans, another tigress showed up in a village in South 24-Parganas district before being trapped by wildlife officials on Friday.
The tigress, pug marks of which were found by local people on Thursday near Lahiripara village was trapped in the wee hours as she walked into a cage with a bait laid by the Tiger Reserve personnel. The animal was tranquilised and a microchip implanted on its tail to keep track of its movements after its release. "The tigress is now asleep and a tag is also being fixed in one of its ears," a senior wildlife officer said. Panic had spread in two other villages on the fringes of the Sunderbans last Tuesday when a tigress entered Kumirmari village and attacked a cow and a goat. The villagers raised a hue and cry after which it disappeared into the nearby bushes. But it was subsequently trapped by the wildlife officials.
The tigress was also tranquilised and a microchip and a tag were fixed on it. She would be released in the Sunderbans after regaining consciousness, the officer said. Photo : AP
AP govt proposes sea cruise from Vizag to Andaman
Chennai, Hyderabad, 3 July : The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is exploring the possibility of introducing a cruise from Visakhapatnam to Andaman and Nicobar islands to attract more tourists, according to AP tourism minister J Geeta Reddy. APTDC would buy a cruise ship that could accommodate about 100 tourists. Though the project was proposed last year, it made no progress.
Geeta Reddy said the newly approved Cruise Tourism Policy had opened up huge potential for cruise tourism. APTDC would be the first tourism body to introduce a luxury sea cruise liner.
B'desh nabs militants who set up terror units in India
IANS, Dhaka, 3 July : Abdur Rahim alias Shahadat who played a key role in strengthening the banned Islamist militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in bordering districts of India's West Bengal state has been arrested, the police said.
He operated for two-and-a-half-years in Murshidabad, Nadia and Malda districts of West Bengal on the instructions of JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his deputy, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai. Rahman and Bangla Bhai, who operated in Bangladesh's Rajshahi district, were executed in 2007 following their conviction for killing two judges.
Police nabbed Shahadat Wednesday who on return from India had emerged as the chief organiser of "Islam and Muslim", a new offshoot of the JMB that is banned in Bangladesh. The intelligence officials along with the police also arrested Sajedur Rahman alias Hanif, a regional commander of the new organisation that has plans to 'dominate' a large area on Bangladesh'w western flank bordering India, covering Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi and Naogaon.
The intelligence officials also seized arms and ammunition and some books on Jihad during their drive. Photos : Dhaka Mirror

Tripura sets up RRT as precaution of swine flu spread
Agartala, 3 July : The Tripura state government has set up district level Rapid Response Teams (RRT) and preparing clinical protocol even though any swine flu (H1N1) case has not been reported so far in Tripura.
Talking to media here today, principal secretary, Health Department Y P Singh said National Institute of Communicable Diseases(NICD) had affirmed that swine flu spread only from human to human. Earlier, the state Health Department had advised not to consume pork for a possibility of the H1N1 in it.
”However, we have already issued instructions to watch the mortality rate of pigs and it should be reported to the authority if there is any change”, Mr Singh said. Photo : Outlook

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