Safety low priority for railways: CAG
New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General has observed safety related works are being accorded low priority by Railways.
Though sufficient funds were available, large number of road overbridge (ROB) and road underbridge (RUB) works were pending as on March 2011 and the actual budget allocations reflected low priority due to inadequate commitment by the Railways, the CAG report tabled in Parliament today said.
Construction of these are essential for eliminating unmanned level crossings which are the major reason for train accidents, it said.
The CAG also found that funds meant for ROB and RUB are grossly underutilised.
"Funds were not constraint for execution of ROB/RUB allocated under Road Safety Fund as the funds were grossly underutilised," the report said.
The CAG has suggested better coordination with state governments for the speedy execution of the works already sanctioned and funds effectively utilised.
Taking note of the slow progress in measures to prevent accidents, the CAG pointed out despite field trials carried out since 2001, a robust and reliable anti-collision device (ACD) has not been developed by railways yet.
The ACD`s field trials and modifications are being carried out since 2000-2001 and site acceptance tests and modifications carried out since November 2006 in 1,736 km of Katihar?Guwahati-Ledo/Dibrugarh section of Northeast Frontier Railway at a cost of Rs 158.67 crore. But despite the long trial a reliable ACD is yet to be developed so far.
Similarly, the CAG found despite commissioning of the train protection warning system (TPWS) in Southern Railway in May 2009 at a cost of Rs 49.49 crore, the trial reports indicated various failures of the equipment requiring modifications in the software.
"The performance efficiency recorded during trials was between 77 and 90 per cent as against the acceptable level of 99.9 per cent...The TPWS work commenced in 2005 in North Central Railway had not yet been completed despite incurrence of expenditure of Rs 41.54 crore," the report said.
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