ANI Photo | Consequential train accidents show remarkable decline, Ashwini Vaishnav gives credit to safety measures

In a significant development, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that there has been a substantial decrease in consequential train accidents over the years. The average number of such accidents has dropped from 171 per annum during 2004-14 to 71 per annum between 2014-23.
The minister shared these details in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, underscoring the government’s dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of railway passengers.
Vaishnaw has attributed this decline to a series of proactive safety measures and investments in railway infrastructure. One of the key initiatives is the introduction of Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) in 2017-18, with a substantial corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for five years. The government extended its currency for another five years in 2022-23, allocating Rs 45,000 crore in Gross Budgetary Support (GBS).
Several technological advancements have also played a crucial role in enhancing safety. Electrical/Electronic Interlocking Systems have been installed at 6521 stations till December 31, 2023, minimising accidents caused by human errors. Interlocking of Level Crossing Gates and complete track circuiting at stations have further bolstered safety measures, he added.
Vaishnaw said that interlocking of Level Crossing (LC) gates has been provided at 11143 level Crossing Gates up to December 31, 2023, for enhancing safety at LC gates. Complete Track Circuiting of stations to enhance safety for verification of track occupancy by electrical means has been provided at 6558 stations upto to December 31, 2023.
The Minister highlighted the use of modern track structures, mechanisation of track laying activities, and the adoption of advanced welding technologies to minimise human errors during track renewals. Vigilance Control Devices (VCD) in locomotives, Fog Safety Devices (FSD) in fog-affected areas, and other safety equipment have been instrumental in ensuring the alertness of personnel.
Additionally, the Minister emphasised preventive maintenance of railway assets, the replacement of conventional coaches with LHB design coaches, and the elimination of all unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) by January 2019.
Regular inspections of railway bridges, coupled with the implementation of a statutory “Fire Notices” system and fire detection and suppression systems in coaches, are indicative of the government’s commitment to passenger safety

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