Railways: No mishaps during current fiscal


NEW DELHI: The Modi government’s Safety First policy in the Railways sector – implemented since 2014 – is paying off. The current financial year from April to December went without a single passenger death. This satisfactory scenario emerged, as the Railways stated,  for the first time in the 1660-year history of the Indian Railways.  It’s rarely ever that the Indian Railways, which is suffering due to failure of successive governments to inject energy into its functioning, comes up with a good news.

“Safety First: First time in 166 years, Indian Railways had zero passenger deaths in the current financial year,” tweeted Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. On December 6, the Delhi High Court had sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking to maintain the highest standards of safety and security measures at all railways stations across the country.

Last month, the Railway Ministry claimed that in order to improve safety, modern track structure consisting of Pre-stressed Concrete Sleeper (PSC), 60kg, 90 or higher Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails, fan-shaped layout turnout on PSC sleepers, steel channel sleepers on girder bridges are used while carrying out primary track renewals. It also said that ultrasonic flaw detection (USFD) testing of rails to detect flaws and timely removal of defective rails are carried out to avoid incidents of derailments and to improve the safety of the railway tracks.
This aside, drives and inspections at regular intervals are carried out to monitor and educate staff for the observance of safe practices, the ministry said.
The Union Cabinet recently approved restructuring of the Railway Board. Instead of the existing eight-member board, the new Railway Board will have one chairperson, four functional members and a few independent members. The Union Cabinet also approved the merger of different railway cadres into a single railway management service. A couple of years ago, the Modi government did away with the separate budget system for railways, and merged the exercise with the Union Budget.
Indian Railways runs at speeds of around 80 km for its express trains, a shame considering the high speeds, modernization and sophistication achieved by the railway networks around the world. China’s high-speed trains, for instance, runs at speeds up to 600km per hour, and so does Japan’s Bullet Trains. ==Agencies,  IHN-NN

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