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Rail Budget 2017 to focus on safety after two fatal derailments

Railway Budget 2017: With a corpus rail safety fund of Rs 1 trillion, Railways would focus on passenger safety, ‘swachch’ railways, accounting reforms and finances said FM Arun Jaitley. 

Image Source: Indian Express

As the railway budget has been announced on Wednesday, one cannot undo the two major derailments that the 163-year-old Indian railway industry bore witness to this year. As many as 190 passengers were killed in past 2 months. To accelerate the pace of upgradation and safety, Finance minister Arun Jaitley has set up a Railway safety fund of Rs one lakh crore for annual budget 2017-18. 

A safety report submitted to the Ministry of railways asserts, “Failure of railway staff is the biggest cause in 50 to 60 per cent accident cases and derailments that have led to maximum deaths and injuries to passengers.”

 After the derailment on 6th December near Kanpur, Railway Board had established a task force committee comprising senior railway officials involved in safety mechanism to investigate a “factual views of potential solutions”. This report state “lack of maintenance remains the biggest cause of accidents.” 

Image Source: Softcopy

Modernization of Indian railway (IR) is one of the flagship proposals of the Modi-led government. The major focus is safety, infra- development and speed.

In the Railway budget for the finical year 2017-2018, total capital expenditure for railways has been fixed at Rs 1,31,000 crore.

Rupees one lakh crore is allocated for a rail safety which will be created over a span of five years. However, the shares rail-related companies such as Kalindee Rail Nirman, Kernex Microsystems and Texmaco Rail have observed a declining trend of three to four per cent.
This downfall in shares is linked to the recent Indore-Patna express derailment in Kanpur, where nearly 150 passengers were killed.  The Patna-bound train was moving at the speed of 100 kmph and the coaches toppled over the old bridge at midnight.

The last horror of the Indian railways was witnessed by Gyaneshwari Express on 28 May 2010 in West Bengal that killed 141 passengers.

Manoj Sinha, Minister for state of railway said,“Indian railway is working towards mission zero accident”, in an interview with Aaj Tak. But here are a few issues which haunts Indian railway.

Century old infrastructure 

Indian railway records the third largest rail network in the world after USA and China with 115,000 km of network where 42% of the route-kilometer is electrified.

 The basic signaling system and rail infrastructure is colonial gift which British left for us,. Ssafety measures like Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Train Management System (TMS) and y Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) systems are developed by Indian in the span of 7 years.

Image Source:PTI/Softcopy

The highest numbers of accidents are due to derailments and accidents at level crossings, as rail infrastructure is not able to keep pace with passenger said a source from the railway department.

“In a few incidents, people have to work overtime due to understaffed technicians and it may lead to human errors.” the source whose identity is hidden on request said, Indian railway tops in corruption complains with over 12,000 cases, blaming everything on hardworking railway employee isn’t right fair, he added

Mumbai suburban railway, commonly known as lifeline of the Mumbai city has shouldered the responsibility of more than 25,722 passengers last decade, a RTI revealed.

Central Railway train services in Mumbai were recently hit in Kalyan and services were affected during peak hours in the morning. Jignesh kale, a commerce student from Mumbai said “mega-block are operated every Sunday for 8 to 10 hours, most of the trains are suspended for maintenance purposes, yet frequent derailment stalls the Mumbai local.”We are aiming for super-fast trains but what about maintaining and upgrading the current railway network, he added.

With the Railway Budget 2017, the government is working hard to provide amenities but yet passengers are concern about their safety. “The government should also focus on the safety and security of the passengers but they need to address the right issue at right time so the commuters finish their journeys harmlessly” says a source from the railway department.









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