<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Safe travel is a right of every passenger. Now safety of rail assets is finally being given some attention by the Indian Railways, which was in the backburner. For instance, on Sunday, the Central Railway replaced 6.2 km of tracks during the mega block between Thane-Vashi and Thane-Mulund sections. These tracks had become unsafe for trains to ply as it’s condition has deteriorated. In this year itself, there have been several derailments and accidents across Indian Railways; one of the primary reasons being the poor quality of tracks. The railway officials agree that underinvestment in rail infrastructure, poor maintenance and excessive traffic has deteriorated the condition of these tracks. AT A GLANCEMajor Derailments In 2017DescriptionUtkal Express derailment, Aug 18, 2017 Meerut-Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derailment, April 15, 2017 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailment, Jan 22, 2017 Kalindi Express derailment, Feb 20, 2017 The life of a rail track depends on the frequency of train movement and its tonnage capacity (load-bearing capacity that coaches carry). In Mumbai, the rail tracks are normally replaced after 1-2 years due to heavy usage while in the interiors where train movement is less, the replacement is done after 10 years too. “The railway ministry has specifically asked all the zones to address safety issues which also includes replacement of old and worn out tracks. Work on new rail lines has been kept on hold and the same tracks have been diverted to rail stretches that need immediate attention,” said a senior railway official.On November 19, near about 300 labourers were deployed for this work. “The rail replacement is done usually on those which have outlived its codal life and on condition basis of rail. However, this is record progress of rail renewal in a single block,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway. These rails came from Bhilai steel plant as 24 panels of 260 meters long each, ferried in a rake. These were inserted in place of old rails during the mega block. The CR officials expect that it would improve safety as the track related technical glitches will definitely reduce.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Member of Traffic Railway Board, Mohammad Jamshed on Sunday assured that strict action will be taken against those found guilty prima facie in the Utkal Express derailment, adding that investigation will be done to see if any guidelines were not followed.”It was an unfortunate incident, around 20 people died and 92 were injured. As per the directions of Railway Ministry, strict action will be taken against those found guilty prima facie. We have manuals for every work that is being carried out therefore we will go through those manuals and see if any rules and guidelines were broken,” Jamshed said while addressing a press conference. ALSO READ Utkal Express derailment: No room for laxity, fix responsibility by today, Rail Min Suresh Prabhu tells CRBHe added that traffic on the line will be restored around 10 pm on Sunday, adding that Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northern Circle will begin enquiry from Monday.”Each and every clue will be preserved for the investigation. The commissioner will see whose responsibility was it to handle the matter and why did this happen. In the enquiry it will also be ascertained that which kind of work was underway on the tracks that time. The audio clips which we received through media shows a conversation between a railway worker and media person where it has been told that there were some work going on the tracks which led to negligence. But first we will have to see that audio’s authenticity as well,” he asserted. ALSO READ Utkal Express derailment: At least 23 dead; trains on Meerut line cancelled or diverted till 6 pmJamshed further said that every day tracks are patrolled and if there are issues related to that then required measures are taken.”We are trying our best to provide medical treatments to all those who have been injured and ex gratia will also be given,” he added.Earlier in the day an FIR was lodged against unknown persons under various sections including 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (death due to negligence).Other charges include 287 -negligent conduct w.r.t machinery, 337- causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety, 338- causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal security and 427- mischief causing damage.Sections under the Railways Act include 151-damage to or destruction of certain railway properties and 154 – endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by rash or negligent act or omission.Meanwhile, all the trains on the Meerut line have been cancelled or diverted till 6 p.m.Affected rail route is expected to be cleared and traffic is likely to be restored by 7 pm on Sunday. ALSO READ Derailments: NIA probes role of terror groupsOver 100 passengers have been injured and 23 are dead in this unfortunate accident.Many injured person have discharged after providing first aid assistance. Injured passengers have been admitted in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar Hospitals.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trains passing through the Meerut line of the Northern Railway have been either cancelled or diverted till 6 pm on Sunday, in the wake of the tragic accident at Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, a senior railway official said.The sleepy town of Khatauli, about 100 kms from Delhi, became the epicentre of rescue operations on Saturday after 13 bogies of the Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed near its station, killing at least 23 people.”All services on Meerut line, on which the Khatauli falls, have been either cancelled or diverted through other routes till 6 PM, as the tracks are yet to be cleared of mangled train coaches,” DRM of the Delhi Division, R N Singh told PTI.
ALSO READ Derailments: NIA probes role of terror groupsDelhi Division falls under the Northern Railway Zone, which administers some of the busiest stations in the country.”The train had 23 coaches out of which 13 had derailed. It was running at a speed of about 100 kmph when the accident took place,” he said.
ALSO READ Utkal Express Derailment: Here are a list of emergency numbers to contactThe train was coming from Puri in Odisha and going to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, normally a journey of about 36 hours.The train suffered huge damage in the accident last evening at Khatauli, around 40 km from Muzaffarnagar, which Singh described as “very grave”.
ALSO READ Utkal Express Derailment: PM Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind express grief over tragedyThe derailment had such a massive impact that the train’s one of the sleeper coaches climbed onto another, while its other end rammed into a house, shattering its facade, and leaving its occupants terrified.Two of the sleeper coaches overturned, with one of them hitting the facade of a local college here.Bodies of two men and as many women were pulled out by the NDRF team, which worked from nearly 9 pm last night till 3 AM, to rescue survivors or extricate bodies with due dignity.Asked about the allegation made by several locals and some passengers that “maintenance work” was underway when the accident happened, the DRM said, “It was just some routine work. And, the railway minister has already ordered an inquiry. So, let the report come, I cannot say, anything more on that.”The injured have been taken to hospitals in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut and both the railway and the local administration has issued helplines.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways has lost Rs 800 crore due to accidents, sabotage attempts and other unnatural events in the last ten months, an official said on Wednesday, adding that it was doing its best to prevent train accidents and ensure passenger safety.Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed, admitted that the incidents of derailments have increased in the financial year of 2016-2017 as compared to last year. “Besides, disruptions due to derailments, agitations and other operational reasons like adverse weather conditions have cost railways about Rs 800 crore. We lost about Rs 700 cr in the freight sector alone due to disruptions. In the passenger segment, the loss is about Rs 100 cr as the punctuality of about 3,500 trains was affected,” he said. He also said that safety campaigns and extensive monitoring is being done to avoid any further tragedies and intensive inspections have also been launched. He also added that inputs from teams Japanese and Korean teams are being taken. When questioned on recent rail tragedies in the financial year 2016-2017, which has so far proved to be one of the worst year in the last decade in terms of casualties, the official termed the incidents “unfortunate” but said that train accidents in the country have reduced by about 15 per cent as compared to previous years.The senior official also highlighted concerted efforts being made by railways to make train operations more safe. “Gangmen and RPF personnel are now jointly carrying out night patrolling. Railway officials are asked to be present in each train to examine and ensure safety of passengers and train movement,” he said, adding that a month-long safety drive was also launched from January 15.