New Delhi, Jun 8 : Indian Railways has registered the best ever safety record during April 2019–March 2020 reporting no fatality of any rail passenger in any train accident.
The remarkable feat -- extending to this year so far from April 1, 2019 to June 8, 2020 -- has been achieved for the first time since introduction of the railway system in India 166 years ago in 1853, an official release here said. The zero passenger fatalities in the past 15 months is a result of continuous efforts by Indian Railways to improve safety performance in all respects.
Safety being the topmost priority always, the measures undertaken for safety improvement include elimination of manned level crossings, construction of Road over Bridges (ROBs)/Road under Bridges (RUBs), rehabilitation of bridges, and highest ever renewal of rail tracks.
Also, factors such as highest ever supply of rails during the year from SAIL, effective track maintenance, stringent monitoring of safety aspects, improved training of railway staff, improvements in signaling system, use of modern technology for safety works, and switching over to modern and safer LHB coaches in phases from the conventional ICF coaches have also played no small role in contributing to greater safety on the tracks. These measures could become possible after Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK), introduced in 2017-18 with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore to be spent in next five years, having annual outlay of Rs 20,000 crore, was set up. With this fund, it has been possible to undertake critical safety works of urgent nature and results are evident. To enhance safety, the Railways has eliminated record 1,274 manned level crossings in 2019-20 compared to 631 in 2018-19 (double of that done in last year).
This is highest ever elimination of level crossings. A total of 1,309 ROBs/RUBs was constructed, 1,367 bridges rehabilitated during 2019-20 compared to 1,013 (an increase of 37 per cent over last year), and highest ever renewal of rails for -- 5,181 Track km (TKM) in 2019-20 against 4,265 TKM in 2018-19 (up 20 per cent of last year).
Highest ever supply of rails (13.8 lakh ton) during the year from SAIL was also achieved. With supply of 6.4 Lakh ton long rails, scope of field welding decreased drastically leading to better reliability of assets. As many as 285 level crossings (LC) have been interlocked by signals in 2019-20, taking the cumulative interlocked LC to 11,639. Also, in order to improve safety, 84 stations with mechanical signalling were replaced with electrical/electronic signaling during 2019-20. (UNI)