NEW DELHI: Ministry of Railways is focusing on Safety in Rail Operations in a big way. It has been decided to give focus on the track maintenance with a view to ensuring accident free travel.
The track maintenance time in the November 2017 has been recorded as around 45,033 hrs as compared to around 37,165 hours within the month of November 2016. This represents an increase of 21% in the track maintenance time. It may be noted that track maintenance is essential for safe and smooth running of trains and hence it has been given high priority.
The Government is working to improve its safety infrastructure and the reduced number of accidents this year establishes that we are moving in the right direction- Piyush Goyal, minister of railways, tweeted. Number of Consequential Train Derailments during 1st April 2017 to 30th November 2017 has come down to 37 as compared to 67 in the corresponding period of the last financial year. The number of Consequential Train Derailments has come down to 05 in November 2017 as compared to 8 derailments in November 2016.
Similarly, the numbers of consequential train accidents at level crossing have also come down in this period from 14 to 8. The total number of consequential train accidents has reduced in the same period from 85 to 49 (-42.3%). The reductions in level crossing accidents have been because of railways’ renewed focus on increasing pace of elimination of unmanned level crossings.
Every financial year, according to railway officials, more than Rs 20 crore is spent across the country in 66 divisions of 16 railway zones, on awareness drives. Of this, more than Rs 1 crore is spent in North Central Railway (NCR). Gaurav Bansal, Chief Public Relations Officer of North Central Railway zone said, “This financial year, till November, we have spent over Rs 60 lakh for railway safety awareness drives among the public. Emphasis has been given about highlighting people standing or sitting near footrest of train coaches, rooftop traveling, carrying of inflammable material, crossing tracks at manned level crossing when the gates are shut, allowing cattle to stray near the tracks and so on.”
Data of NCR zone covering 26 districts of UP including Agra, Allahabad and Jhansi revealed, that in the last one year ten men were electrocuted when they came in contact with overhead high tension wire.
Bansal added, “Apart from using display boards, stickers, newspaper and TV advertisements, we also rope in school children and NGOs to conduct street plays for awareness and also use mobile vans loaded with pamphlets and loudspeakers to spread the message of railway safety in rural areas.”
“We spend over Rs 1 crore for such awareness drives every year, but no matter how much money is spent, it is people who have to respond. People have to respect their own lives and understand the importance of taking safety measures.”