New London Railway Line Named ‘Elizabeth’ In Queen’s Honour

New London Railway Line Named 'Elizabeth' In Queen's Honour

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth unveils the new roundel for the Crossrail line that will be known as the Elizabeth line. (AFP Photo)

LONDON:  A new commuter railway spanning London will be renamed the “Elizabeth Line” in honour of Queen Elizabeth II when it becomes fully operational in 2018, the London mayor said today.

The queen visited works for the “Crossrail” project in central London today with mayor Boris Johnson, who announced plans to rename the east-west line when it opens through central London.

“As well as radically improving travel right across our city, the Elizabeth line will provide a lasting tribute to our longest-serving monarch,” Johnson said.

The line, costing 14.8 billion pounds ($20.1 billion, 18.9 billion euros), will link Heathrow Airport in the west to the financial city in the capital’s east.

The queen plunged 28 metres on a lift to inspect works deep under the Bond Street station in the heart of London’s shopping district.

She met workers on the mammoth project, which began in October 2009, and unveiled its purple logo — the same colour she was dressed in.

Crossrail, a new train link connecting counties to west of London to the county of Essex in the east, will be known as the Elizabeth line once it opens in December 2018. (AFP Photo)

The London Underground, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013, is the world’s oldest rapid transit system and Elizabeth was the first British monarch to visit it, in 1969, to open the Victoria Line.

Her son Prince Charles inaugurated the Jubilee Line — named in recognition of the queen’s Silver Jubilee — in 1977.

When completed, the Elizabeth line will be 136 kilometres (84.5 miles) long and will have 40 stations, linking Reading to the west of the capital with Shenfield in the eastern county of Essex via the city centre.

Around 200 million passengers per year are expected to use the service, which it is hoped will relieve pressure on London’s creaking transport network.


1 Dead, Six Hurt In Dutch Train Derailment

1 Dead, Six Hurt In Dutch Train Derailment

A Dutch policeman stands by a derailed passengers train near Dalfsen, eastern Netherlands. (AFP Photo)

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS:  A passenger train derailed in the Netherlands on Tuesday after colliding with a hydraulic crane, leaving the train driver dead and six people injured, local police and officials said.

The accident happened around 8:50 am (0750 GMT) close to the northeastern town of Dalfsen, about 40 kilometres (24 miles) from the German border.

Television images showed several carriages lying on their side next to fields as emergency staff worked nearby.

“One person was killed… and I can confirm it was the driver,” mayor Han Noten told a press conference. Police later said he was a 49-year-old man from the town of Kampen.

A criminal investigation has been opened into why the crane was on the track, and the 21-year-old crane driver has been arrested and is being questioned by police.

Two people were taken to hospital, while four others were treated on the spot. Seven or eight other passengers escaped unscathed.

A passenger train collided with a mobile hydraulic platform, causing several coaches to overturn. (AFP Photo)

“The crash was violent,” the mayor added, saying the commuter train was “travelling at speed” when it hit the crane which was moving across the tracks over a “secure crossing”.

He said there were not many people on the train, adding that the service is often full in the evening, but relatively empty in the morning.

The Dutch safety board (OVV) has now opened an investigation into how the crash happened.

A witness told Dutch broadcaster NOS the crane was on caterpillar tracks and was moving very slowly as it crossed the railway line when the train arrived.

The driver of the crane had managed to jump out before the collision.

“The front of the train is completely destroyed,” one witness told NOS, adding the crane was in pieces.

Train services along the line have been cut and the disruption could last several days.

Dutch train operator NS said there had been “major damage and it’s impossible to say when repairs can begin”.

Infrastructure Minister Sharon Dijksma said she was “shocked” by the accident, the Dutch news agency ANP said.

The Netherlands’ worst train disaster happened on January 8, 1962, when two passenger trains crashed at Harmelen, near the central city of Utrecht, killing 93 people and injuring 52 others.

That accident happened in thick fog when a train driver missed a warning signal and the two trains hit head-on.

One person died and 117 others were injured in a collision near Amsterdam in April 2012 with reports later saying a driver failed to respect a stop sign.

Many Millennials Likely to Quit Current Jobs in 2 Years: Survey

Many Millennials Likely to Quit Current Jobs in 2 Years: SurveyNew Delhi: A significant number of millennials expect to quit their current jobs in the next two years on dissatisfaction over the way their leadership skills are being developed, a survey has found.

Individuals born between 1980s and late 1990s are referred to as millennials.

Apart from salary, millennials in the country ranked “opportunities to progress and take on leadership roles” as their strongest reason to work for an organization, the survey by consultancy Deloitte found.

“52 per cent of millennials surveyed in India say, if given the choice, they expect to leave their current employers in the next two years. That figure increases to 76 per cent when the time frame is extended to 2020,” the Millennial Survey 2016 said.

When it comes to choosing an organisation, the millennial also seeks a good work-life balance and flexible working hours including the option to work from home, as per the findings.

Deloitte India senior director and chief talent officer S V Nathan said the remarkable absence of allegiance represents a serious challenge to any business employing a large number of millennials, especially those in markets like India where they represent the largest segment of the workforce.

According to Mr Nathan, since most young professionals choose organisations that share their personal values, it is not too late for employers to overcome the loyalty challenge.

The findings are based on a study conducted by Deloitte Global of nearly 7,700 millennials representing 29 countries.

In India, the firm reached out to 300 millennials.

India is among five countries – South Korea, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Belgium – where a majority of the respondents could work from home, if they wished, the survey said.

In India, 94 per cent of those surveyed said that business success should be measured not just in terms of financial performance.

“Factors such as being a great place to work, having a satisfied and loyal customer base, innovation and work to protect and improve the environment were considered important to judge whether the business is successful,” it noted.

Besides, the country’s millennials also seem to be particularly sensitive to economic conditions.

“While on balance they are still positive about India’s economic outlook, their level of optimism had dropped close to 10 points to what was recorded last year,” the survey said.

Globally, the survey also found that inclusive work culture and culture of mutual support and tolerance are among the factors that promote a sense of positivity among millennials.


Taxman Asked to Redress Complaints in 2 Months

Taxman Asked to Redress Complaints in 2 MonthsNew Delhi: Terming as “unsatisfactory” the current pace of taxpayers’ grievance redressal process, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the Income Tax Department to resolve these complaints within a maximum period of two months.

In a urgent missive to all regional heads of department, CBDT Chairperson Atulesh Jindal has sought a quick resolution of these complaints as it is a key area being monitored by the government, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulling up the department on this front during a meeting last year.

Recently, similar directives were issued to the customs and central excise departments working under the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

The CBDT chief has asked tax department officials to take up this job “on priority” and report back on its compliance.

The total number of complaints pending in the I-T department is about 7,800. Of these, 81 are pending for more than one year and 1,696 are pending for more than six months.

“Considering the fact that our Citizens’ Charter clearly lays down that all grievances should be disposed of within a period of two months, it is obvious that the overall progress on disposal of grievances is unsatisfactory…”

“In spite of repeated instructions from the Board from time to time, a large number of grievances have not been disposed of within the prescribed timeline of 60 days from the date of their receipt,” Mr Jindal wrote in a recent communication to the Principal Chief Commissioners of the department across the country.

He said that in view of this situation, it was necessary for the regional heads to “personally” monitor these cases and direct their officers to attend to these grievances “on priority”.

“The grievances are required to be redressed within a maximum period of two months of their receipt. Further, if the finalisation of a decision on a particular grievance is expected to take longer than two months, an interim reply is required to be given for delay in redressal of the grievance,” the newly appointed CBDT chief told his officers.

In order to ensure compliance, Mr Jindal has asked that a report in this regard should be sent to his office by the end of the first fortnight of this month by each of the regional I-T heads.

The CBDT, which is the administrative body of the Income Tax Department, gets about 1,600 complaints every month in its grievance database maintained centrally and taxpayers complaints largely pertain to issues related to non-issuance of refunds, dispute in tax demands and PAN-related hassles.