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Central Railway offers 50% tatkal tickets on dynamic pricing

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 22 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The railways ministry has decided that 50% of the existing tatkal quota tickets shall be sold under dynamic fare scheme, said CR chief spokesperson Narendra Patil.

"After booking of the first 50% of tatkal tickets under tatkal quota, the subsequent 50% tatkal tickets will be sold on dynamic pricing," he said. The fare shall increase by 20% after each slab of 10% berths are sold subject to the existing cap (maximum fare chargeable) on dynamic fare.

This scheme is further implemented in following trains of Central Railway with immediate effect. 11005 Dadar - Puducherry Tri-weekly Express; 11021 Dadar - Tirunelveli Tri-weekly Express; 11050 Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus (Kolahpur) - Ahmedabad Express; 11088 Pune - Veraval Express; 11090 Pune - Bhagat ki Kothi (Jodhpur) Express; 11092 Pune - Bhuj Express; 11096 Pune - Ahmedabad Ahimsa Express; 12051 Dadar - Karmali Jan Shatabdi Express; 12101 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Howrah Jnaneshwari Express; 12129 Pune - Howrah Azad Hind Express; 12809 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai - Howrah Mail Via - Nagpur; 16351 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai - Nagarcoil Express; 16381 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai - Kanyakumari Express; 18029 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Shalimar Express; 11061 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Muzaffarpur Express and 11065 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Darbhanga Express.

"This scheme is already in force on 15 Mail and Express running on CR," he added.
New Express train between Ahmedabad and Katra

MUMBAI: The railways ministry will introduce a new weekly Express train between Ahmedabad and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra via Palanpur- Jaipur -Rewari from Sunday, officials at WR headquarters here said.

The Ahmedabad -Katra weekly train will depart from Ahmedabad at 7 pm every Sunday and reach Katra at 6.50 am on third day, which is Tuesday.

Similarly, from January 27, the train No 19416 Katra - Ahmedabad weekly Express train will depart from Katra at 10.35 am every Tuesday and reach Ahmedabad at 11.55 pm the next day.

The train will halt at Sabarmati, Mahesana, Palanpur, Abu Road, Falna, Rani, Marwar, Beawar, Ajmer, Kishangarh, Phulera, Jaipur, Gandhinagar Jaipur, Dausa, Bandikui, Alwar, Khairthal, Rewari, Bhiwani, Hissar, Sirsa, Bhatinda, Firozpur, Jalandhar city, Beas, Amritsar, Pathankot, Jammutavi and Udhampur stations in both directions.

The train will have AC II Tier, AC III Tier, second class sleeper and second class general coaches. The bookings open today, officials stated.
Extension of bi-weekly train between Yeshwantpur and Miraj

MUMBAI: The Railways have decided to extend the run of Bi-weekly special train between Yesvantpur and Miraj to clear the extra rush of passengers, officials at CR headquarters in Mumbai said.

The officials stated that train No.06517 Yesvantpur- Miraj bi-weekly special will leave Yesvantpur at 8.40 pm every Monday and Thursday till February 19 and will reach Miraj at 10.15 am next day.

Similarly, train No.06518 Miraj-Yesvantpur bi-weekly special will leave Miraj at 4.45 pm every Tuesday and Friday till February 20 and will reach Yesvantpur at 6.20 am next day.

The halts will be provided at Tumkur, Arsikere, Davangere, Hubli, Dharwar, Belgaum, Ghataprabha and Kudachi. The train will have one 1st AC cum AC-2 tier, an AC-2 Tier, four AC-3 Tier, 10 sleeper class, 2 general second class and 2 general second class cum guard's break van, the officials added.
Western Railway adds extra coaches in seven pairs of trains

MUMBAI: The Western Railway will add extra coaches in seven pairs of trains to clear the rush of passengers this month.
It has decided to temporarily augment one AC 3-tier coach in 2 pairs of trains 12903/04 Mumbai Central - Amritsar Golden Temple Mail and 12955/56 Mumbai Central - Jaipur Superfast Express; add two AC 3-tier coaches in 12267/68 Mumbai Central - Ahmedabad Duranto Express and one second class sleeper coach each in 12961/62 Mumbai Central - Indore Avantika Express, 12927/28 Mumbai Central - Vadodara Express and 12971/72 Bandra(T) - Bhavnagar Express.
"An AC 3-tier coach has also been added permanently in 13426/25 Surat - Malda Town Express -- ex Surat from January 26 and ex Malda Town from January 24," an official added.

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NGO handbook to help design city’s devpt plan

MUMBAI: In an attempt to throw light on sector-wise details of Mumbai's Development Plan (DP) 2014-34, NGO Praja along with Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) have jointly launched a booklet which they claim would be of great benefit to citizens as well as corporators. Inaugurated by mayor SnehalAmbekar on Wednesday, the book gives the current status of facilities, needs and suggestions.

The handbook looks at different aspects which are all significantly a part of the DP arena—housing, health, education, transportation, water and sanitation, livelihood, public space, environment, urban norm, governance and existing land use survey.

The book could act as a framework for corporators as well as citizens to raise issues, the NGOs said. Besides, workshops will also be held explaining different aspects of the booklet to corporators. It has information, which could be a tool to ensure that the DP is successfully applied all through the city.

At the programme, Ambekar said, "While planning anything for Mumbai, we always think of how the city will benefit. It's important that workshops are held with corporators. Also, there should be a follow-up on the suggestions made."

Milind Mhaske, project director at Praja Foundation, said the basic agenda is to see to it that the DP for 2014-34 is made better. "This document will be a great source of information, especially for municipal councillors, as it has ward-wise statistical information regarding the issues faced by citizens. There is also a list of questions that can be asked by councillors"

Pankaj Joshi, executive director of UDRI, said they have tried providing a lot of data. "Planning must be based on a detailed understanding of livelihood, housing, environment, transportation, health, education, energy, water, sanitation, and security. Therefore, there is a need to replace the planning tool of FSI with other planning tools, such as form-based, height-based, density-based building controls, etc. Plans should be better designed," said Joshi.

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BEST decides to scrap, curtail few AC bus routes

MUMBAI: The BEST is incurring huge losses running its fleet of air-conditioned buses. It has now decided to curtail at least three to four routes and cancel a few in coming weeks.

From February 1, the BEST plans to cancel the AC bus route -- number AS-503-- from Wadala bus depot to Kalamboli bus station. Officials said that the route was loss-making and there was no good response from commuters throughout the day.
"We are conducting an audit of all the AC buses. Several buses are lying idle at depots for repairs,'' said another official. The BEST has incurred losses to the tune of nearly Rs 100 crore annually maintaining these buses, a BEST committee member pointed out.

"The buses are a huge burden for the undertaking. We plan to scrap them as early as possible and buy good quality AC buses for Mumbai very soon,'' said Kedar Hombalkar, MNS member in the committee.

"The previous purchase of AC buses was faulty and these vehicles face breakdowns on arterial roads and flyovers,'' he added.
Citizens group demand good quality bus service in city

MUMBAI : Citizen groups and those in the opposition in the BEST committee say there is no justification for asking people to pay for two fare hikes when the BEST cannot run itself efficiently.

"We are strongly against the two hikes (February and April) as it will not solve the problems faced by the cash-strapped transport body," pointed out Congress member Shivji Singh. "To add to the citizens' woes, we are asking the civic corporation to impose a transport cess in property tax. Are we providing better bus services in return ? The answer is an emphatic No. Our buses are in pathetic condition, more than 100 buses need urgent repairs, the seats/handles are broken and the air-conditioned buses face breakdowns frequently," he said at the recently held committee meeting.

He pointed out that the fleet strength had dipped in the past three years (and it has been brought down to 4,200). Surprisingly, the losses have mounted from Rs 14 lakh per bus to Rs 22 lakh. "Had we kept the same fleet or increased it, the losses could have been more. We are now facing an annual loss to the tune of nearly Rs 900 crore and this is uncalled for," he said.

Samajwadi Party member Yakub Memon said that citizens did not mind paying more if the services were of good quality. "We were known to be one of the best bus services in the country, but our quality has deteriorated. We first need to set our own house in order -- repair the buses, introduce new services and revamp the timings of some of the buses so that it caters to the realistic demand of passengers," he said at the panel meeting.

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Nearly 80,000 homeless elders go hungry

MUMBAI: Maharashtra seems to be no country for old people. Not if they are destitute, over 65 and hungry. Not a speck of the 225 metric tonnes of grain the aged in the state are due to get every month under a food scheme for the poor can be found in Maharashtra. With the Centre not releasing the quota since April 2014, the scheme has come to a complete standstill in the state for the last 10 months.

The Annapurna Yojana, which has been operating nationwide since 2001, has roughly 78,400 beneficiaries in Maharashtra. Under the scheme, the destitute population—aged 65 and above—is eligible for 10 kg of free wheat and rice each month. The grains are provided by the Centre.

The state was receiving roughly 225 metric tonnes of wheat and rice from the Centre each month. However, since April 2014, the Centre's allocation abruptly halted and has still not resumed, figures with the state food and civil supplies department show.

State government officials say the initial delay was caused by attempts to streamline the scheme. "The Centre used to release grains based on our demand over a six-month period. But since March 2014, states were asked to submit a utilization certificate on the basis of which the quota would be released," said an official who did not want to be named.

The state government sent across its "utilization certificate" with its demand for grains in March 2014. However, no supply arrived and no explanation seems to be forthcoming. Since then, the state has sent three reminders: in November and December 2014 as well as January this year. But it is still waiting for the grains to arrive.

Groups agitating for food rights feel the state government should fill in for the delay. "This is a very vulnerable population. If the Centre's quota has not come, what is the state government doing?" asks Kiran Moghe of the Janwadi Mahila Sanghatna.

State food and civil supplies secretary Deepak Kapoor did not comment on the delay. Food and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat, who has recently assumed charge, said he would make enquiries about the scheme's status.

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Need a licence? Sign a 'helmet' bond first: Mumbai RTO

MUMBAI: If you are going to the RTO for a two-wheeler licence on Thursday, then it will be mandatory for you to sign an indemnity bond.

You will need to make a declaration to the transport department and traffic police that you will compulsarily purchase and wear a helmet and also ensure that the pillion rider wears a helmet after you get the two-wheeler licence from the RTO. The move comes close on the heels of the Bombay high court directing the transport department to ensure that riders wear helmets, which can protect them in case of an accident.

According to additional transport commissioner Satish Sahasrabudhe, helmets are a must for every bike and scooter rider.

"When we catch these riders plying without helmets, we send them for counselling sessions at the RTO. Now, the onus of wearing the helmet will be on them. They will have to sign the indemnity bond and give us an assurance that they will never forget wearing a helmet during the journey," he said.

He issued the new circular on Wednesday evening to all RTOs across Maharashtra and the rule comes into effect from this morning.

In case of any accident, the blame will now be on the rider and not on the transport and traffic authorities.

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More trouble for sales tax official

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday seized huge asset of cash of 93,500, bank accounts, fixed deposit receipts, bank locker receipts, life insurance policies, shares, and other investment documents from sales tax officer Kamlesh Chaukar's residence.

Kamlesh Chaukar a senior officer of suburban sales tax office at BKC was arrested by the ACB accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a liquor bar owner. Complainant who runs a country liquor bar in suburb had received a notice from the sales tax office after he allegedly defaulted. When he approached the Sales tax office, he was directed to meet Chaukar who told him that if he want to reduce the fine amount he should cough up Rs 40,000.

The complainant who did not wished to pay the bribe approached ACB and lodged a complaint. Based on his complaint the ACB laid a trap and arrested Chaukar when he came to accept the first installment of Rs 20,000. ACB officials are carrying a search of Chaukar's residence.

After arresting Chaukar, the ACB sleuths simultaneously carried a search of his residence at Koldongri in Andheri and recovered documents pertaining to his investment. ACB said that Chaukar had invested money in his wife's name in shares, properties, fixed deposits, cash of Rs 93,500 and various policies. "We have seized these documents are now calculating the assets which we believe amassed with illegal means," said an officer.

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Senior citizen threatened for card details

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 20 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A senior citizen from Andheri was conned into parting with his debit card details by a man pretending to be an employee of his card-issuing bank. Satyen Mehta (name changed), 70, realised he was duped when he received five SMSes about his card being used to shop online up to Rs 25,000. Versova police told him they had only one officer who handled cyber crime cases and he had been sent for training.

"The caller's number was active for a few days and we got through to him once. But on learning of our identity, he cut the line," Mehta's son said.

On December 12, Mehta, a resident of Andheri's Lokhandwala complex, got a call from one Pawan Bansal, claiming to be the bank's employee. He asked Mehta for his card details saying his card was being upgraded. Mehta hesitated, at which Bansal threatened to fine him Rs 5,000 and block his account. "My father relented. He received an OTP, which Bansal made him read out. After Bansal hung up, my father started receiving alerts about his card being used for online shopping. He called up the bank but couldn't get through. He then went to a branch and blocked the card," his son said. "I was away at the time of the incident and am concerned about his health as he has high BP. Banks should have a different approach for senior citizens, as many are not adept at handling cards," he said.

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Bandra school students rally for road safety awareness

MUMBAI: Several schools in the city are doing their bit to mark the traffic department's road safety fortnight.

On Monday, around 800 students from 13 schools in Bandra held a programme to spread awareness about road safety. "After a brief rally down Hill Road, the students reassembled at St Stanislaus's School hall and watched videos that explained the need to follow safety rules," said Peter De Souza, convenor of the BIRD (Bandra Interschool Republic Day) group.

Also attending the programme was joint commissioner of police (traffic) B K Upadhaya. "I visited the schools and had an extensive one-to-one interaction with the children and made them aware about road safety," said Upadhyay.

Schools are also conducting various competitions to promote the cause of road safety. "Basics about road safety should not be taught only during such weeks but must be an integral part of the school curriculum," said Veena Donwalkar, principal, Chhatrapati Shivaji Vidyalaya, Dharavi. The school recently held a drawing and elocution competition and also celebrated Makar Sankranti, with road safety as a theme.

The road safety fortnight will conclude on January 25.

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Fraudster jams ATM keys, steals cash from account

MUMBAI: A software engineer, who recently withdrew Rs 8,000 from a Kandivli East ATM, received an SMS regarding withdrawal of another Rs 20,000 from the ATM soon after he reached home. CCTV footage from the ATM captured a man fiddling with the machine and using a chip to copy card details.

Ramashankar Sahu, 37, has been running between Samta Nagar police station and his bank, hoping to get a refund. The Kandivli East resident tried to withdraw cash from the ATM in Saraf Chaudhary Nagar on January 10, around 8pm. "I waited in the queue. When my turn came, I inserted my debit card into one of the two machines. But after the language option, the machine seemed to be stuck. I tried to cancel the transaction but it wouldn't happen either. I then moved to another machine and used my card to withdraw Rs 8,000 around 8.01pm. Again, I tried to cancel my transaction on the previous machine, but in vain. The customer standing behind me asked me not to worry," Sahu told TOI.

On reaching home, Sahu received an SMS for Rs 8,000 and a second alert for a withdrawal of Rs 20,000. "I rushed back to the ATM, but there was nobody. I called up the bank and got the card blocked. The Samta Nagar police asked me to first confirm with the bank if it was an error on their part," Sahu said. Since the next day was a Sunday, the software engineer spent an anxious 24 hours at home. On Monday, he visited his branch and submitted a complaint. The bank accessed CCTV footage of the kiosk which showed the same customer, who told Sahu not to worry, fiddling with the machine for nearly 10 minutes. The man was using a chip in the card slot and managed to siphon some cash from the machine. The bank later sent an investigator to examine the ATM and discovered that the 'cancel' and 'reject' keys had been jammed using gum.

"Sahu needs to fill a dispute form and submit it to his bank if he wants a refund. The bank will conduct a probe and may refund his money. On our part, we will send them a letter about the details of the case," said an official with the Samta Nagar police station.

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Success rate in CA final exams increases steadily

MUMBAI: The pass rate in the chartered accountancy final exams has steadily risen in the last two editions. In the November 2014 exams, 8.23% candidates passed nationally, up from 7.29% in the March 2014 exams. In November 2013, the pass rate was just 3.11%. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) announced the November 2014 results on Monday.

Over 36,000 students appeared in the last exam. The highest scorer from Maharashtra is Santosh Nankani (22) of Nandurbar with 69.13%; his national rank is three. The rank is shared by Nikita Goel from Howrah. Vijender Aggarwal from Gurgaon topped with 69.75% and Pooja Pareek from Ahmedabad stood second with 69.50%.

JK Shah, from a CA coaching institute, said the results cannot get better. "This should be the ideal success rate of students who are clearing professional exams like CA. The quality of evaluation seems to have been be restored."

Nankani, from a business family, said, "I was very focused in my pursuit of chartered accountancy. So I did not seek admission in undergraduate programmes post HSC (he was a topper from his district in Class XII)."

He said, "Graduation is not compulsory for CA and therefore I never thought of enrolling for BCom or any other traditional course." His father and brother are distributors of food items. He enrolled in a coaching institute in Pune to prepare for his common proficiency test (CPT) and completed his articleship from a CA firm in Nandurbar. He relied on the institute's study material for his preparation for the final exams and cleared it in the first attempt.

Prafulla Chhajed, vice chairman, board of studies, ICAI, said, "Though we do not have a record on the numbers of students who do not have a formal degree, the possibility cannot be ruled out. Some students who are focused may choose to pursue CA after their class XII." Students usually complete the entrance test (CPT) and the intermediate exam (IPCC) and then the articleship before the finals.

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