Unmanned level crossings, derailments identified as major concerns at meeting chaired by minister.
Pune: Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal chaired a high level meeting on safety with railway board officials in New Delhi, where he directed undertaking of five immediate measures to address the problem of unmanned level crossings and derailments.
Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Central Railway (CR), said Goyal held a marathon meeting with members of the Railway Board and Safety Directorate of Railway Board to comprehensively review safety measures for train operations on Thursday.
A detailed presentation on safety was made at the meeting. There was threadbare discussion on the subject and the root cause of repeated cases of train accidents in the recent past was analysed.
In the meeting, Goyal emphasised that safety is of paramount concern and there cannot be compromise on this front.
“The elimination of all unmanned level crossings is to be speeded up in a big way and they are to be eliminated within a year, as against the earlier target of three years,” Goyal said.
The minister further directed the Railway Board to monitor implementations of this action plan on a regular basis.
During the meeting, two major causes leading to accidents were identified and unmanned level crossings accounted for 34 per cent of accidents in 2016-17, while derailments due to defects in tracks was the next leading cause.
The immediate measures Goyal has ordered
- All unmanned level crossings should be eliminated expeditiously on the Indian railway network in a year. The earlier target was three years.
- Track replacement/renewal should be accorded priority and and rails earmarked for use for constructing new lines should be diverted to stretches prone to accidents.
- Procurement of new rails should be expedited with a view to complete construction of new lines in time.
- Manufacturing of conventional ICF design coaches should be stopped forthwith and new design LHB coaches only should be manufactured.
- Anti-fog LED lights should be installed in locomotives so that unhindered safe train operations can be ensured during fog.