Railways yet to put safety measures on fast track
Despite the recurring train accidents, railways are yet to put the much-needed safety measures, including installation of TPWS and replacement of coaches on fast track to prevent mishaps in future.
New Delhi: Despite the recurring train accidents, railways are yet to put the much-needed safety measures, including installation of TPWS and replacement of coaches on fast track to prevent mishaps in future.
The TPWS, an advanced European technology ensures automatic application of emergency brakes in case the loco driver jumps the red signal.
Besides lagging in safety measures, there are large number of safety category posts lying vacant in railways for years.
At least 30 passengers were killed and about 100 were injured in two accidents within the span of 10 days recently.
While 25 passengers were killed, 16 of them charred to death, and 43 injured when the Hampi Express rammed into a stationary goods train on May 22 at Penukonda, five were killed and more than 50 hurt when 11 coaches of Howrah-Dehradun Express were derailed near Jaunpur on May 31.
The Kakodkar committee on safety has strongly recommended installation of TPWS in major routes and replacement of all conventional coaches with LHB coaches in express and mail trains as a safety measure.
On September 13 last year, the Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment train had rammed into the stationary Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train after the driver jumped the red signal near Chennai.
"The accidents at Penukonda and Arakkonam could have been averted had there been TPWS in the route," said a senior Railway Ministry official in safety directorate.
According to the 12th Five-Year Plan, railways will install TPWS on a 3,200 km route at an estimated cost of Rs 3,200 crore across the country. While the target for 2012-13 and 2013-14 are 800 km and 1200 respectively, it seems unlikely that the target will be achieved.
As far as the train derailment near Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh is concerned which claimed five lives, it has brought the focus back on the need for replacing outdated bogies. While four coaches were capsized, seven coaches were derailed due to the impact of the accident.
"Had there been LHB coaches the severity of the accident would have been less," Railway Board Member (Engineering) AP Mishra has said after the Jaunpur accident.