Current Events September 2016 – Railway

• Railway Launches Travel Insurance Scheme
Railway has launched an insurance scheme for passengers travelling on
e- ticket.The insurance cover will be upto ` 10 lakh.The insurance cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age. The facility will be available only for confirmed and RAC ticket passengers.The scheme offers travellers or nominees a compensation of ` 10 lakh in the event of death or total disabilty,
• Railways Surge Pricing on Premium Trains
The fares for Rajdhani, Shatabdi & Duronto are set to go up as the government has decided to introduce surge pricing from September 9.Under the new ‘flexi fare system’ the base fare of tickets will increase with the rising demand. The fares will increase by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold.That could mean rising train fares during peak holiday and festive seasons.
• With mega runway Kannur airport in top 4
Kannur airport will be in the same class as Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi (4,430 m), Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad (4,260 m) & Bengaluru International Airport (4,120 m). Based on travel demand, infrastructure and tourism in the Malabar region the runway will be extend from 3,050 m to 4,000 m. Board approved acquisition of another 162 acres for the runway extension.
• China has longest bullet train network
China’s high-speed railway has completed over 20,000 kms of track network in the country, becoming the world’s longest bullet train network. A high-speed railway linking Zhengzhou in China’s central Henan Province with Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province opened on Saturday. With this new line, China’s high-speed railway lines have exceeded 20,000 kms in total length, the world’s longest.
• Surge fares net ` 1.6 crore in two days
Officials said there had been a positive response to the surge pricing initiative, with around 50,000 tickets being booked at higher fares. The Railways has introduced surge pricing beginning Friday under which fares will increase up to 40 per cent with every 10 per cent tickets sold in the premium trains. The railways had earned additional revenue of Rs. 80 lakh per day on September 9 and 10.
• Aadhaar cards mandatory for rail tickets
Soon, Aadhaar cards will be mandatory to book rail tickets, according to a new IRCTC directive. The move, which is probably one of the biggest of its kind, to push for an Aadhaar card-based ecosystem in India, would eventually force more and more rail commuters to apply for one. As per recent data, over 96 per cent of Indians already have an Aadhaar Card.
• Single budget saves 10000 crore for rail
Railways will save about ` 10,000 crore annually as it will no longer have to pay dividend if the separate Rail Budget is scrapped. A joint committee recommended waiving off of payment of dividend by railways though the practice of getting gross budgetary support (GBS) from the exchequer. Railways pays about ` 10,000 crore as dividend a year after getting about ` 40,000 crore.
• India may help Nepal build railway line
India is likely to offer Nepal’s new PM help in building an east-west railway line & better access to its ports. Pusp Kumar Dahal, a former Maoist rebel commander, has chosen New Delhi as his first foreign stop, seeking to rebalance ties that chilled under his pro-China predecessor. “Relations with India have become frosty for some time. I want to remove the bitterness,” Mr. Dahal told.
• Railways hockey team wins tournament
Indian Railways Men Hockey Team has won MCC Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey Tournament 2016 for the first time held at Chennai from 1st September – 11th September 2016. In the finals Indian Railways Hockey Team beat Indian Oil Corporation Team by 2 – 1. Before finals Indian Railways Hockey Team defeated the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited Team by 3 – 2 in the semi finals.
• Inefficiency in railway cost structure
Fare hike is not the only way to deal with losses of Indian Railways in passenger services business, Niti Aayog said. He revealed that the “inefficiencies” in the cost structure also contribute to it. The government’s apex policy-making body suggested that the national transporter will have to work on cost optimisation measures and enhancing its non-fare revenue.
• Yatri Mitra to the aid of rail passenger
To improve the railway travel experience of elderly, differently-abled & ailing passengers, the Ministry of Railways has announced the launch of ‘Yatri Mitra Seva’. This will simplify access to wheelchairs, battery operated cars and porter services. Yatri Mitra/Passenger Friend can be an assistant or any other person nominated for the purpose. Service can be availed by calling or messaging ‘139’.
• Railways Launches ‘Cleanliness Week’
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched the ‘Swachhta Saptah’ as part of the Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission from New Delhi Railway Station. The objective behind the initiative is to spread wider awareness on sanitation. It also aims to make hygiene a habit amongst the travelling public. Prabhu announced to join hands with Sulabh International to clean some important railway stations.
• Paytm to Power IRCTC’s Payment Gateway
Mobile payment platform Paytm has tied up with the IRCTC to enable digital payments for travellers. The tie-up is a major step towards Paytm aim to bring the convenience of digital payments to travelers. The safety & ease of Paytm’s technology has made it a favorite among travelers. It’s a boon for over 30 million passengers who prefer to travel with the Indian Railways on a daily basis.
• Railways Launches Yatri Mitra Sewa
Railways has launched ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ to facilitate access to wheelchairs, battery operated cars and porter services. It aims to make rail travel comfortable for elderly, differently abled and ailing travellers. Yatri Mitra’ or ‘Passenger Friend’ can be an assistant or any other person nominated for the purpose. The service will be available at major railway stations across the country.
• Cabinet Approves Merging of Rail Budget
The Cabinet has decided to bring the curtains down on the 92-year-old tradition of presenting a separate Rail Budget. It has been decided to merge the Rail Budget & the General Budget. Railway Minister will not present it for the year 2017-18. It was also decided to advanced presentation of the annual Budget to get all the legislative approvals for the spending & tax proposals before April 1.
• Suresh Prabhu Inaugurates 6 Railway Projects
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated six major Railway projects in Kerala. He dedicated newly-built 9.6-km long Tiruvalla-Chengannur double line which would ease the heavy rail traffic congestion. He also inaugurated high-speed public WiFi service was made available at Thrissur station. Now the number of free wi-Fi enabled railway stations in the state has increased to five.
• Qatar Airways in Incredible India Summit
Qatar Airways participated in the Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016 to reaffirm its commitment towards India’s tourism market.They discussed ways to create and enable an environment for investment in the tourism sector and to overcome any obstacles to growth.H.E. Mr. Al Baker said, “India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, having tremendous business opportunities.”
• IGI Airport Becomes ‘Carbon-Neutral’
Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) New Delhi, has become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to be recognised as carbon-neutral.The Airports Council International (ACI) made this announcement in Montreal.Carbon neutrality status is granted if the net carbon emissions over an entire year is zero.This means the airport absorbs or offsets the same amount of emission that is generated.
• China to Build Deepest Rail Station
China will build the world’s deepest & largest high-speed railway station at a popular section of the country’s Great Wall. The station will be at Badaling, the most visited section of the Great Wall. The Badaling station will be located 102m (335ft) below the surface, with an underground construction area of 36,000 sq m. The Badaling station will run through mountains under the Great Wall.
• 1st US-Cuba Commercial Flight
The first commercial flight between the United States & Cuba in more than a half century landed in the central city of Santa Clara. A JetBlue Airways Corp passenger jet arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. It was the first direct commercial flight between the US & Cuba in over a half-century. It’s the first such trip since the height of the Cold War.
• Air India Express Turns Profitable
Air India Express, the low-cost international subsidiary of Air India, has turned profitable for the first time since it started operations in 2005.The airline has made net profit of ` 361.68 crore in the fiscal year 2015-16 against the loss of ` 61 crore registered in the year 2014-15.The airline has achieved total revenue of ` 2,917.96 crore in the last fiscal.

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