Piyush Goyal reviews rail safety, emphasizes on according it top most priority
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday chaired a high-level meeting on Safety with Railway Board officials. The meet was aimed at a comprehensive review of safety with the minister emphasized on according top most priority to it.
The Railway Minister directed to undertake five immediate measures to address the problem of unmanned level crossings and derailments. The elimination of all unmanned level crossings to be speeded-up in a big way, it was decided in the meeting. They are now targeted to be eliminated within a year compared with the earlier target of three years.
Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal on Friday held meetings with members of full Railway Board and Safety, Directorate of Railway Board to comprehensively review safety measures for train operations. A detailed presentation on safety was made at the meeting. There was a threadbare discussion on the subject and the root cause of repeated cases of train accidents in recent past was thoroughly analysed. In the meeting, the Minister emphasised that the safety is paramount and there cannot & should not be any compromise on this front.
The meeting highlighted two major causes leading to accidents:
a) Unmanned Level Crossings accounted for 34 per cent of accidents in 2016-17
b) Derailments due to defects in tracks
The special focus of the meeting was to identify measures to reduce accidents due to derailments which have emerged as one of the major causes of Train accidents.
Minister of Railways gave following directions to the Railway Board to ensure Safety:
- All unmanned level crossings should be eliminated expeditiously on the entire Indian Railway network in a year's time from now. The earlier target was to eliminate these in three years but by using the Transformative mantra of "Speed, Skill and Scale" this target has been expedited to less than 1 year now.
- Track Replacement or renewal should be accorded priority and the tracks earmarked for use for constructing new lines should be diverted to places or stretches which are prone to accidents and where replacement is due.
- The procurement of new rails should be expedited on a large scale with a view to complete construction of new lines in time.
- The 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 season.
The Minister directed the Railway Board to monitor implementations of this action plan on a regular basis.