Kolkata Metro Train Runs Full Stretch With Door Open

A packed metro train covered the entire north to south stretch of Kolkata with one of its doors open during rush hours on Wednesday with three railway staffers guarding it.

The incident occurred at 10.24 am when the metro train from Dum Dum metro station in north Kolkata to Kavi Subhash in the southern suburbs of the city crossed 22 stations with a door in one of its coaches open.

“There was a technical glitch in one of the doors of a coach. It was ensured that the door was guarded by an RPF constable, a loco inspector and another official. The train successfully completed its run.

“We could have immediately sent the metro rake to a car shed but doing so would have hampered the services during the peak office hours. So, we ran the train and ensured safety of the passengers. The door has been fixed now,” the spokesperson said.

Several incidents of technical problems have been reported in Kolkata Metro in past few months.

A man was killed in July when he was dragged by a metro train after his hand got stuck in one of its doors.

Reports On Foul Play In RRB JE Results Wrong And Unfounded: Ministry Of Railways


In a clarification regarding RRB JE result of Railway Recruitment Boards or RRBs, which invited much criticism and dismay from the job aspirants, Ministry of Railways said the apprehensions mentioned in the news reports are unfounded and wrong. Several candidates have gone to social media platforms and complained about the selection process of the Junior Engineer or RRB JE recruitment after the Boards announced the first stage Computer Based Test or CBT results recently.

The RRBs are currently engaged in a hiring process, which involves various stages of competitive exams, for recruitment of 13,538 posts of JEs, JE Information Technology, Depot Material Superintendent (DMS), and Chemical and Metallurgical Assistant (CMA).

The Boards had announced the recruitment on December 29, 2018.

“The apprehensions mentioned in the news reports are unfounded. The entire procedure has been carried out in fair and transparent manner and strictly in terms of instructions detailed in the Centralized Employment Notification (CEN) 03/2018,” the Railways Ministry said in a statement.

“The first Stage CBT had questions from the syllabus and candidates have been shortlisted for the 2nd Stage CBT as per the methodology described in the CEN. Hence all information about qualifying paper, cut off marks, technical or non-technical subjects, etc. raised in these media reports is all WRONG and UNFOUNDED,” the ministry said.

The ministry said it had received 32,05,098 registrations and out of these 24,74,394 candidates were scheduled for the 1st stage CBT which was conducted from May 22, 2019 to June 2, 2019 and from June 26, 2019 to June 28, 2019 (rescheduled candidates due to Fani Cyclone, etc.).

Responding to the allegations by candidates regarding nature of qualifying paper, the ministry said “The 1st Stage CBT syllabus comprised of questions from Mathematics (30 marks), General Intelligence & Reasoning (25 marks), General Awareness (15 marks) and General Science (30 marks). It is not correct say that the pattern of CBT was non-technical”.

“… it has been stated that the 1st stage CBT is of screening nature and the standard of questions for the CBT will be generally in conformity with the educational standards and/or minimum technical qualifications prescribed for the posts. The normalized score of 1st stage exam shall be used only for short listing of candidates for 2nd stage exam as per their merit”.

The ministry also said a total number of 2,02,616 candidates have been shortlisted which is almost 15 times the number of vacancies as per merit.

More Than 2 Lakh Qualify Railway Junior Engineer Exam Held In May-June

More than 2 lakh cleared the first stage of Railway Junior Engineer recruitment exam the result of which was announced on August 13. The exams were held in shifts in May-June for selecting candidates for the next stage which is scheduled to be held from August 28 to September 1.

The total number of qualifying candidates is 2,02,616 which is almost 15 times the number of vacancies that was advertised in December. A total of 13487 vacancies have been notified by the railway recruitment boards (RRB), the recruitment agency of Indian Railways.

The said recruitment is for selecting candidates for Junior Engineer, Depot Material Superintendent (DMS) and Chemical & Metallurgical Assistant (CMA) posts.

Railway Junior Engineer Exam: Candidates Complain Of Irregularity, Request RRBs To Revise Result

RRB Kolkata has registered the highest number of candidates qualifying the exam. 23770 candidates have qualified the first stage RRB JE exam in this zone. A total of 1519 vacancies are available in this zone, which is the second highest vacancy in this recruitment.

The highest number of vacancies are in RRB Mumbai. 23113 candidates have qualified in this zone.

In the second stage exam, which will also be a computer based test, the technical knowledge of the shortlisted candidates will be assessed. In the first exam the questions asked were in conformity with the educational standards of the candidate without any specific technical paper.

“The normalized score of first stage exam shall be used only for short listing of candidates for 2nd stage exam as per their merit,” reads the exam notice released in December last year.

Railway Junior Engineer (RRB JE) Recruitment: Candidates Complain Of Irregularity, Request RRBs To Revise Result

RRBs are gearing up for the 2nd Computer Based Test (CBT), discontent among candidates who were not selected for the 2nd CBT is rising. After the result for RRB JE 1st CBT was released, several candidates who were not shortlisted for the 2nd CBT complained about the unfair criteria for selection.

One of the points of contention for candidates is that the recruitment notification said that 1st CBT was only qualifying in nature then why did the RRBs set a cut off for shortlisting.

Several candidates have shared their grievance on Twitter and with NDTV on mail.

The main questions raised by candidates include, why individual cut off for different posts, and how can RRBs test a candidate’s suitability for a technical post without testing any technical knowledge in the 1st CBT.

New Technology To Combat Train-Elephant Collisions In Uttarakhand Reserve

To prevent elephants from being hit by trains passing through Uttarakhand’s Rajaji Tiger Reserve, authorities will install seismic sensors and thermal cameras to warn them of animal movement near railway tracks.

This advance detection system will be installed along tracks passing through the reserve’s 18-km Kansro range, where over two dozens animals, mostly elephants, have been killed by trains in the last three decades.

The advance detection system, the first-of-its-kind in the country, will be installed within six months, Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) Director PK Patra told news ageny PTI.

Ten seismic sensors and thermal cameras will be installed along the tracks at six points in the range, he said.

The system will detect the slightest movement of elephants and intimate officials at the central server facility, Patra said.

The director said data from the system will be analysed at the facility and after confirming the presence of an elephant in the range, it will generate alerts for patrolling staff, the RTR administration, the train”s loco pilot and the nearest railway station.

Besides the six points identified for the detection system, which will be 50 metres apart from each other, the 18-km stretch will have elephant proof barricading, he said.

The identification of these points was done on the basis of observation of frequency of elephant crossings, Patra said.

The installation of the system has become all the more necessary after electrification of the tracks passing through the range, the RTR director said.

Developed by Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instrumentation Research Organisation, the pilot project of the system at RTR is being launched in collaboration with the Union Forest Ministry, Wildlife Institute of India and the

The system is economical and will help unburden patrolling staff and make monitoring of wildlife conservation at the reserve far more effective, officials said.

India’s First Underwater Metro To Start Soon, Piyush Goyal Shares Video

The first underwater train in India will be operational under Kolkata’s Hooghly River, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Thursday. He also posted an Indian Railways video on the upcoming metro line that will feature this underwater train.

The underwater train is an “example of excellent engineering. This train is a symbol of the progress of the railway in the country. With this, Kolkata residents will feel comfortable, and the country will feel proud,” Mr Goyal tweeted in Hindi.

The video, which also features Prime Minister Narendra Modi, talks about the engineering excellence that went into the construction of the metro tunnels. The video, released by the Indian Railways, also mentions the “four protective covers” to prevent water leakage in the two tunnels.

The train will be part of the Kolkata Metro Line 2, also known as the East-West Metro. The 16km-line will be made operational in two phases. The first phase, connecting Salt Lake Sector 5 station to Salt Lake Stadium station, will span across 5 km and is scheduled to start running later this month. The new metro line is expected to cut travel time for commuters significantly.

The underwater sector on this line will connect Salt Lake Sector 5 station to Howrah Maidan station. Once completed, the under-the-river Metro ride will be all of 60 seconds long.

Construction of the metro tunnels under the river began at the Howrah end in April 2017. The tunnels are 520 metres long and about 30 metres deep. Two top-order tunnel boring machines, nicknamed Rachna and Prerna, were brought from Germany in parts and assembled underground for the construction of the tunnels.

The chief engineer of the project, Parshuram Singh has said in 2017: “Kolkata had the honour of getting India’s first Metro. Now, it will get yet another honour of getting India’s first metro under the river.”

Trains Canceled, Diverted In Southeast Ghat Due To Rains: Central Railway

Two trains have been diverted and one cancelled following heavy downpour in Maharashtra, the Central Railways said this morning.

Several train services have been short terminated, short originated and diverted due to incessant rains and waterlogging and a boulder having fallen in the Southeast Ghat, Chief Public Relations Officer, Central Railway said.

“14805 Yesvantpur-Barmer Express JCO diverted on August 5, via Daund-Manmad-Jalgaon-Surat and 22660 Dehradun-Kochuveli Express JCO will now run on the proper route. 17031 Mumba-Hyderabad Express JCO scheduled for August 6 has been cancelled,” said Central Railway on Tuesday.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), moderate rains have been predicted in Mumbai today. Satellite and radar images have indicated active rainfall over South Konkan and further down.

“Light to moderate rain very likely in Mumbai, heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places in Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Nasik, and Pune,” said IMD.

“Strong winds, with a speed that may touch 40-50 kmph, are likely to prevail over the north, central and southwest Arabian Sea. Central, southeast and adjoining the southwest Bay of Bengal and Andaman sea and along and off Gujarat-Maharashtra-Goa-Kerala-Karnataka coasts and West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coast and Lakshadweep area,” the weather department said.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea in these areas.

Rain or thunderstorms are also likely to occur at most places over Konkan, madhya Maharashtra, at many places over Vidarbha and at a few places over Marathwada.

The maximum and minimum temperatures in Mumbai are likely to hover at 29.1 degree Celsius and 24.0 degree Celsius.

Rains were relentless in several parts across Maharashtra and it has resulted in massive water logging and flood-like situation in some regions.

Hundreds Stranded At Mumbai’s Lokmanya Tilak Station Due To Water-Logging

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) railway station on Sunday after the Central Railway announced the cancellation and diversion of trains due to the heavy rainfall and water-logging in Mumbai.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Ward officer distributed food packages and tea to the stranded passengers at the LTT railway station.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the intensity of rainfall will continue for the next 24 hours. BMC announced that schools and colleges in Mumbai will remain closed today to ensure that students are not put at risk due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

The Mumbai University has postponed the exam for students of open learning that was scheduled for today.

“University has postponed its exams for students of open learning, scheduled for 5th August, in view of forecast of heavy rains,” said Vinod Malale, Mumbai University Public Relations Officer (PRO).

Schools and colleges will be also be closed in Palghar, Thane, Raigad, and Mumbai suburbs today.

“Due to the IMD warning for tomorrow, holiday declared for schools and colleges in Mumbai & MMR, Palghar, Thane, Raigad districts,” chief minister’s office tweeted.

About 150 students of MIT College Pune, who were stranded due to water-logging inside the college building, were shifted to a safe place by a team of fire brigade on Sunday.

Mumbai Rains Highlights: Heavy Rains Continue To Pound Mumbai, Suburb Areas

Heavy rains continued to hit Mumbai and adjoining suburbs today, leading to water-logging in several areas. Water-logging on railway tracks disrupted the suburban train services to some extent, as locals were running behind schedule by around 15 minutes, news agency Press Trust of India said, as suburban trains are running with “cautious speed”. Flight operations at the Mumbai airport, however, were not impacted due to rains, an airport official said. The India Meteorological Department issued a warning of heavy rainfall in Mumbai on Saturday along with a high tide. It also said that the weather conditions along the west coast would remain cold and wet. The weather department had on Friday predicted intense heavy rainfall in Mumbai on Saturday and Sunday due to a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued a “beach safety appeal” to the residents of the Mumbai due to the weather conditions. “We appeal citizens to avoid venturing near sea or walking in water logged areas. In any emergency call us on 1916,” the official said.

Railway Junior Engineer (RRB JE) Result Update

Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) are expected to announce the result of the exam held for junior engineer, depot superintendent and chemical and metallurgical assistant soon. This is a two-stage recruitment and candidates who qualify the exam will appear for document verification, details of which will be announced by the RRBs in due course of time. Anticipations are high for the RRB JE result as the Boards have released the final answer key of the exam after considering the objections raised by the candidates against the provisional one.

“The decision of the RRB on the keys and questions is final and no further correspondence will be entertained,” the notification regarding RRB JE final answer key said.

The RRB JE result for the first stage CBT will be prepared on the basis of the final RRB JE answer key published today. The raw score of each candidate — as the exams were held in various shifts — will be normalized as per the formula given on the official website of RRBs.

RRB JE exam was held in May-June.

The JE recruitment process was notified in January. The scale of the posts is Rs. 35,400-Rs.1,12,400 (Level 6) as per 7th Central Pay Commission, a statement from the ministry said.

No Plan To Raise Rail Fares For Now: Piyush Goyal

There is no proposal to hike rail fare even as price of diesel has gone up as a result of increase in excise duty and cess, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“At present, there is no proposal to change fares because of diesel price increase,” he said.

Mr Goyal also said that consumption of diesel by the Railways has been coming down over the years as it was moving to electric traction and there is a plan for 100 per cent electrification by 2022.

During the Question Hour, Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad wanted a reply from the Railway Minister on whether fluctuation in petroleum products would have its impact on passenger and freight fares.

While presenting the Budget earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to increase excise duty and cess each on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre.

The Railways is the third largest consumer of diesel in the country but it has been fast moving to green energy in a big way to reduce carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Mr Goyal had earlier said that the public transporter consumes about 1.27 per cent of the total electricity consumption of the country and three per cent of diesel for its energy needs.

In 2018-19, the Railways consumed about 20.44 billion units of electricity and 3.1 billion litres of diesel.

Along with electrification, the Railways is also using bio-diesel to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel.

Several Express Trains, Locals To Remain Cancelled On July 28 In Kolkata

Several express trains and 30 EMU locals of South Eastern Railway will remain cancelled on July 28 for erecting a foot overbridge at Santragachi station, an official said here on Thursday.

Two persons died and 17 others were injured in a stampede in October 2018 on a foot overbridge at Santragachi station, prompting the railways to order installation of a new one.

There will be no train movement in the up and middle lines through Santragachi for 10 hours from 11.15 am to 9.15 pm on July 28, the official said.

Among the trains that will be cancelled are 12842 Chennai-Howrah Coromandal Express which will leave the southern city on July 27 and the 12841 Howrah-Chennai Coromandal Express on July 28.

The 12664 Tiruchchirapalli-Howrah Express will remain cancelled on July 26, while the 12663 Howrah-Tiruchchirapalli Express will not run on July 28, the official said.

The 18646 Hyderabad-Howrah East Coast Express of July 27 and 18645 Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express of July 28 will also remain cancelled.

The 12814/12813 Tatanagar-Howrah-Tatanagar Steel Express, 12278/12277 Puri-Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express, 18627/18628 Howrah-Ranchi-Howrah Express and 58015/58016 Howrah-Adra-Howrah Passenger will remain cancelled on July 28.

Several other express trains will be short-terminated or have been rescheduled, the official said.


SER also cancelled 30 EMU locals to and from Howrah station, while 11 local trains will run from Andul to Midnapur, Kharagpur, Panskura and Haldia stations, he said.

RRB JE Final Answer Key Released, Results Expected Anytime Soon

RRB JE answer key 2019: Railway Recruitment Board or RRB has released the RRB JE final answer keys for the first state Computer Based Test (CBT) held recently. The RRB JE final answer keys can be accessed from the official websites of the Boards. Candidates who attended the first stage CBT were allowed to view their question paper, responses and RRB JE answer keys and raise the objections from July 11, 2019 to July 14, 2019. The RRB JE result for the first stage CBT will be prepared on the basis of the final RRB JE answer key published today. The raw score of each candidate — as the exams were held in various shifts — will be normalized as per the formula given on the official website of RRBs.

According to the Board, the objections regarding RRB JE answer keys raised by the candidates were analysed and the keys for some questions were changed and questions with multiple answers were ignored as per the extant procedure followed by RRBs.

Now, candidates may view the modified keys for their question papers wherever Key change is effected and also know the final decision on the objections raised by them if any, by logging on to a link provided in RRB websites from July 25, 2019 to July 27, 2019.

“The decision of the RRB on the keys and questions is final and no further correspondence will be entertained,” the notification regarding RRB JE final answer key said.

RRB JE final answer key: How to check

Follow the steps given here to check your RRB JE final answer key:

Step one: Go to respective RRB website.

Step two: Click on the link “CEN-03/2018 – Click to view modified key and decisions taken on the objection raised on keys of 1st Stage CBT (JE, JE/IT, DMS & CMA Posts)”

Step three: Click on the modified answer keys link provided on the next page open

Step four: Login with your registration details

Step five: Check your RRB JE final answer key from next page open.


Motorman In Maharashtra Stops Train Midway To Urinate On Track

The video of a local motorman in Maharashtra, stopping a train to urinate on the tracks has gone viral on social media, prompting demands to install toilets in cabins of motormen and guards.

The incident happened on Wednesday, between Ulhasnagar and Vithalwadi railway stations, while the train was on its way to Mumbai, sources said.

An eyewitness who made the viral video, said he saw the train stopping and the motorman stepping down to urinate in front of the train.

A Twitter user Prasad PV tweeted: “It’s not his fault! The Indian Railways are at fault for not providing toilets onboard the locomotive/engine. Don’t understand why Swatch Bharat can’t be implemented by a government organisation in such an important place and be human.”

Another Twitter user Amit Rajendra Varade tweeted: “IR should install Toilets in cabins of Motorman an Guard. The motorman has to drive with total concentration.”

Mumbai-Gorakhpur Antodaya Express Coach Derails, No Injuries Reported

A coach of the Antyodaya Express heading from Mumbai to Gorakhpur derailed in a Western Ghat section near Mumbai in the early hours of Thursday, disrupting rail traffic on the route, officials said.

No casualty was reported in the incident, they said.

The second last coach of the train, on its way to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, derailed around 3.50 am between Kasara (which falls in Thane district) and Igatpuri (Nashik), located about 130 km from Mumbai, a Central Railway official said.

Due to the derailment, the train halted on a bridge in the hilly section with a deep gorge below it, causing panic among passengers who were later evacuated, he said.

“All the passengers of coaches halted on the bridge were evacuated through vestibules, which connect the coaches, and shifted to a relief train,” he said.

“The stranded passengers were served breakfast, tea and water in the relief train which later left for its onward journey and reached Igatpuri at 9.43 am,” Central Railway’s chief spokesperson Sunil Udasi told PTI.

From Igatpuri, the Central Railway has arranged a special train which would carry all the passengers to their destination, he said.

The divisional railway manager along with a team of engineers and safety experts rushed to the site to supervise the restoration work on the affected route.

Central Railway’s General Manager A K Gupta was also monitoring the situation from the control room in Mumbai.

“Efforts are on to restore movement of trains on the affected line,” Mr Udsai said.

The Central Railway has set up helpline number 022-22694040 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) for the passengers.

Possiblity Of “Little Delay” In Bullet Train Project: Piyush Goyal

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Friday rejected opposition’s allegation that the government is working to privatise the national transporter, but said the ministry will invite investments for new technology, lines and projects in national interest.

Replying to a discussion on Demands for Grants of the railways in the Lok Sabha, Mr Goyal talked about figures to claim that the Modi government has performed better than the UPA dispensation as far as boosting infrastructure and safety parameters of the national transporter are concerned.

During his hour-long speech there were frequent protests by Congress members, with their leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accusing Mr Goyal of misleading the House. The minister was backed by his party colleagues.

Mr Goyal also defended the decision to discontinue the practice a presenting a separate railway budget in parliament, calling them “political budgets” which were used to sell dreams of new trains and railway lines to people for winning elections.

With several opposition leaders accusing the government of heading towards privatisation of the railways, Mr Goyal asserted he had time and again rejected the claim and would reiterate that there was no question of privatisation.

“There is no question of privatisation of the railways. The railways cannot be privatised. However, if we have to increase the facilities in railways, we obviously need investments for it. We have taken a decision to encourage public private partnerships and we will also corporatise some units.

“We should invite investment in national interest if someone is ready to get new technology, new stations, projects and lines,” the minister told the House.

He said track kilometre grew by 39,000 km in 64 years, while in the past five years it grew by 7,000 km. Similarly, he said the railways increased its running kilometre by 12,000 km between 1950-2014, while from 2014-2019, it grew by 5,000 running kilometre.

“The work for Dedicated Freight Corridor started in 2007. From 2007 to 2014, they had not even managed one kilometre of track linking. We took on this work and in just five years, we have completed 1900 km of track linking,” said Mr Goyal.

He further claimed that during the Congress rule, not one coach was manufactured in Rae Bareli’s Modern Coach Factory since 2007-2008 till 2014. The first coach was made in August 2014 shortly after the BJP came to power, he said.

“We want the MCF to increase its manufacturing capacity to 5000 and the trains coming out of there to go the entire world. We want it to be the largest factory in the world,” he said.

Mr Goyal said that between 2004 and 2009, around 206 accidents took place every year, while the number was 153 between 2009 and 2011. He said that during the BJP’s tenure, it reduced to around 100 every year.

The minister also highlighted how the government had installed around 2,10,000 bio-toilet units in trains so far.

Hitting out at successive state governments in West Bengal, Mr Goyal said that several railway projects had been held up because the state was unable to provide land to railways.

“The oldest project in West Bengal is running from 1974-75. The projects don’t get completed because the government doesn’t give us land. If they give us land, work will immediately start,” he said, adding that similar problems were also faced in Kerala.

Mr Goyal’s reference to the alleged inaction of the UPA government in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, which had taken place on July 11, drew loud protests from the Congress, with its members shouting “shame on you”.

He asserted that the terrorists would have been given a befitting reply had Prime Minister Narendra Modi been in power. Mr Goyal also credited the prime minister for his focus on the railways and said the growth the sector had seen was largely because of his vision.

“A tea vendor selling tea in front of trains during his childhood saw this country and understood the significance of the railways,” said Mr Goyal, referring to PM Modi’s early days when he used to sell tea at a train station in Gujarat.

Responding to a question on problem in acquiring land in Maharashtra for the bullet train project, Mr Goyal said there could be “little delay” in completion of bullet train project due to delay in land acquisition in Palghar.

“This government is a sensitive government and is in discussion with tribals for acquisition of land. The government wants to acquire land without offending those who own it. And is trying its best to complete it in time,” he said.

Talking about safety of rail bridges in the country, Mr Goyal said before going to sleeping, every railway minister used to pray about safety of bridges as some of them are very old. The government on regular intervals audit the safety of rail bridges across the country and do the needful, he said.

Speaking about the budget announcement that Rs. 50 lakh crore will be needed as investment in the railways till 2030, Mr Goyal said that from 2009-2010 Rs. 2,107 crore were allocated for the protection and safety of purposes that has been increased to Rs. 5,690 crore this year.

He said that investments will be needed in high density networks, dedicated freight corridors, modern signalling, 100 per cent electrification and that funds will be brought in through the PPP mode.

The minister also said that 99 members had taken part in the discussion and he has tried to answer their questions and demands in around 140 pages.

“I will reply to all the members through personal letters and address their queries,” he said.

“Plan Bee” Gets Elephants To Buzz Off Railway Tracks

Indian Railways have come up with a novel way of getting elephants to buzz off from train tracks: speakers that play the sound of bees to scare the jumbos away.

Almost 70 elephants were killed by trains between 2013 and June this year, mostly in Assam and West Bengal.

But nearly 50 buzzing amplifiers have been deployed as part of “Plan Bee” at a dozen “elephant corridors” in the vast forests of Assam, home to nearly 6,000 elephants, 20 percent of the country’s total.

“We were looking for means to stop the elephants from coming on to the tracks and our officers came up with this device,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, an Indian Railways spokesperson, told AFP.

The buzzing is played as trains approach vulnerable points and can be heard up to 600 metres away, the spokesman said.

The devices were tested for efficiency in 2017 on domesticated elephants, and then wild ones, before they were deployed for real last year.

The novel approach has won the team accolades from animal conservationists and on Tuesday an award for “best innovative idea” from Indian Railways for Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

Elephants have long been known to be frightened by the buzzing of bees and stings.

Villagers in Kerala have been using “beehive fences” to scare away marauding elephants.

When elephants touch the fences, bees inside boxes attached to the fences storm out angrily to defend their colonies.

Besides the dangers posed to elephants and trains alike on railways, there has been an increase in man-animal conflict across the country that conservationists blame on the shrinking of habitat for the wild animals.

Nearly 2,300 people have been killed by elephants in the last five years, according to official figures released in June.

The elephants too are paying a heavy price with around 700 fatalities in the last eight years.

Most were killed by electric fences, poisoned or shot by locals angry at family members being killed or crops being destroyed, and accidents on railway lines cutting through migratory routes.

Indian Railways Recruiting For Over 2.94 Lakh Vacancies: Government

More than 2.98 lakh positions were vacant at Railways as on June 1 this year and recruitment process is going on for over 2.94 lakh employees, according to the government. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that more than 4.61 lakh people were recruited in Railways over the last decade. Noting that filling up of vacancies is an ongoing process, Mr Goyal said cadre strength is decided after taking into consideration various factors, including leave reserves and trainee reserves.

“The number of employees were 16,54,985 in 1991 and 12,48,101 in 2019. However, this has not affected the service of Railways,” Mr Goyal said in a written reply.

Read: RRB Paramedical Exam Date, City Details Soon

Vacancies are filled through Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and Railway Recruitment Cells (RRCs).

As per data provided in the written reply, there were 2,98,574 vacancies across A, B, C and erstwhile D categories at the Railways as on June 1, 2019.

Read: NTPC Admit Card 2019: RRB Exams (Tentatively) Scheduled From June, No Updates Yet

The process for recruitment of 2,94,420 employees is going on.

In 2018-19, action was initiated to fill up 2,94,420 vacancies.

“Examinations have been held for 1,51,843 posts and will be held for 1,42,577 posts in 2019-20, for which employment notification were issued in 2019, duly taking the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota into account,” Mr Goyal said.

Read: RRBs Announce New Dates For Re-scheduled JE Exam; Details Here

According to him, output and quality of service depends not only on workforce but also on the extent of use of technology and automation of systems.

“Therefore, it is not correct to correlate the quality of service with employee strength,” Mr Goyal said.

Railway Paramedical Recruitment Exam Details Tomorrow

Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) will release the details of the exam to be held for recruitment to paramedical category posts. The test will be computer based (CBT) and will be held on July 19, July 20 and July 21. Tomorrow (July 9) RRBs will release the exam city and exam date for individual candidates. The “Link will be published on all RRBs’ official websites shortly and candidates will be informed through their registered mobile and e-mail ID given in their online application,” reads the official update.

For the RRB paramedical CBT, mock test link will be generated on July 9, as well. This will help candidates get familiar with the computer based test.

RRBs will also release the travel pass for SC/ ST candidates tomorrow. Such candidates who have opted for the travel pass can download the same online from the official website.

“Candidates may login with their credentials on the above mentioned dates through the link to be provided on the official websites of RRBs for knowing their Exam City, Date, Session, downloading Travel Pass (for SC/ST candidates only) and E-Call letter,” reads the update given by the RRBs.

E-call letter or the exam admit card will be released 4 days before the exam which is from July 15.

Candidates were intimated about their candidature on June 7. RRBs had released the eligibility/ ineligibility status of individual candidates online.

The CBT will be of 90 minutes duration and will have 100 questions in total. For every incorrect answer, one-third of the total marks will be deducted as penalty.

Suburban Train Services Hit After Tree Branches Fall On Mumbai Local

The suburban services of the Central Railway were affected briefly this morning after some branches of a tree fell on a platform cover and a local train standing at Mulund station, a senior official said.

The train services were restored within half an hour, the official added.

“Due to strong winds, a few branches of a tree located outside the Mulund station, fell on the cover over platform (CoP) and got entangled with the pantograph of a stationary local. The incident took place before 7 am,” chief spokesperson of Central Railway Sunil Udasi said.

“Our team of engineers and other staff removed the branches and restored the wires. The suburban services resumed within a half an hour and there was no major impact on the operations,” he added.

The tree was trimmed following the incident, Mr Udasi said, adding that before the onset of monsoon, the Central Railway had trimmed several trees standing along the railway tracks.