New Delhi: There is no denying the fact that the Indian Railway’s ‘Mission Zero Accident’ has pretty much gone off the tracks completely.
While there is argument on the part of Centre that claims to have brought down accidents at unmanned railway crossings, one can clearly see that derailments have increase because of varying reasons.
A senior railway board official on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the ministry has so far failed to come up with an effective train protection and warning system in order to avoid collisions and derailments because of disruption on tracks.
To make matter worse, plenty of anti-collision devices were tested, but up till now none have proved to be effective. However, railway engineers are working overtime with regard to introducing condition based monitoring system for rolling stock and a ‘Track and Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System’, though a deadline has not been fixed for the same.
“Even if the monitoring device is experimented successfully, it will take many years to equip all locomotives with the device to make rail travel accident free,” the official said.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Indian railway has more than 11,000 diesel and electric locomotives.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu had launched ‘Mission Zero Accident’ in the 2016-17 Rail Budget for conducting a special drive to curb accidents. Furthermore, there is a Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a special safety fund, was created with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of five years for financing critical safety-related works.
“The train-protection warning system (TPWS) and train-collision avoidance system (TCAS) are also being used to prevent accidents. While the TPWS has been installed on a 342-km route, the TCAS is being tried on a 350-km route,” the official said.
A huge fleet of ICF-made coaches is another roadblock that needs to be sorted out quickly.