Recently many people have died due to derailment of train in North Bengal. It is noteworthy that there has been a great reduction in rail accidents since 2014-15, but still, a massive effort should be made to prevent such incidents.
- There were 135 rail accidents in the year 2014-15. In the year 2019-20, this number was 55. In the year 2014-15, 292 people died in these accidents. Only 5 people were killed in the year 2019-20.
- The reason responsible for accidents in Indian Railways is bad rolling stock. In addition, not all trains in the country have Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) coaches.
- LHB coaches are manufactured from stainless steel. They have a great ability to bear trauma. These can reduce the accidents caused by derailments.
- There is no mechanism in place that can identify the risk of fire and prevent a possible collision.
- Railway tracks are not maintained properly. Extreme weather events (like fog, heavy rainfall etc.) also increase the chances of such accidents.
Recommendations made by Railway related committees
- Sam Pitroda Committee on Modernization of Railways: Centralization of train monitoring system, modernization of existing 19,000 km long tracks, introduction of automatic signaling system on major routes etc.
- Anil Kakodkar Committee on Railway Safety Review: Constitution of a statutory Railway Safety Authority, adoption of an improved signaling system, etc.
- Bibek Debroy Committee on Restructuring of Railways: Participation of private sector, need for an independent regulator etc.
Steps taken by the Government:
- Mission Zero Accidents through the removal of Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLC) and Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).
- A special fund ‘Rashtriya Rail Safety Kosh’ (RRSK) has been constituted. One lakh crore rupees will be deposited in this fund within five years. This fund will give impetus to the works related to security.
- The traditional Integral Coach Factory (ICF) design coaches will be replaced by LHB design coaches.
- Loco pilots will be provided with GPS based fog pass devices in fog affected areas.
Source – The Hindu