Expedite completion of Signalling Tech Upgrades: CAG to Indian Railways

Raising concern over passenger safety, the CAG today rapped Railways on the issue of monitoring of signal failure saying the present system was not “reliable” in presenting a fair view of the actual progress achieved in signalling incidences.

Though it said the average number of collision has come down because of various safety works executed under the ‘special railway safety fund’, the government auditor stressed on revisiting the basis of measuring the signalling failures.

“Indian Railways need to revisit the basis of measurement of signalling failures in view of the ongoing modernisation of the ongoing signalling system for ensuring effective performance monitoring, targeted implementation of the upgrading of the signalling assets,” it said in its report tabled in Parliament.

The corporate safety plan of Railways for 2003-13 had envisaged to make the railway network free of any collision with completion of all safety related works.

According to the CAG report, the move led to “average number of collision per annum coming down from 22.5 during 1998-99 to 2001-02 to 8.25 during 2008-09 to 2011-12.

However, during 2008-09 to 2011-12, out of 587 consequential accidents, 33 were due to collision.

“Analysis of the inquiry report in 27 cases revealed that human error of judgement and non-observance of rules were cited as major cause,” it said.

Therefore, it is evident that Railways would have to expedite completion of upgrading of signalling technology that would significantly reduce human intervention, upgrade preventive maintenance and human skills, it said.