Panel pulls up Railways over delay in anti-collision devices

Panel pulls up Railways over delay in anti-collision devices

Panel pulls up Railways over delay in anti-collision devices

The Standing Committee on Railways has felt that the pace of installing the anti-collision device (ACD) is "not satisfactory". The committee has directed the Railway Board to come out with a concrete strategy within six months in this regard after examining all issues involved.

Considering the number of accidents and consequent loss of life and property, the installation of ACD acquires paramount importance, the panel headed by DMK MP TR Baalu has said in its recently-tabled report in Parliament.

The Railways should come out with a comprehensive plan in this regard and complete the process in a time-bound manner, the report said. The Railway Ministry has maintained that ACD has been in service trial as a pilot project on Northeast Frontier Railway since July 2006. Based on experience on NFR, specifications of ACD have had to be revised to improve efficacy, reliability and availability of ACD.

The improved version of ACD is to put service trials on Southern, South Central and South Western Railways covering 1600 km route that include electrified multiple line and automatic signalling sections.

The committee has noted with distress that there were several incidents of collisions of trains in the recent past. Since most of the accidents are attributed to failure of railways staff, the committee has recommended training and refresher courses for the staff.

On September 13, the Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) train rammed into the Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger from behind as it was waiting for a signal at Sitheri Station, about 90 kms from Chennai, killing ten people.

Though Commissioner Railway Safety, Southern Zone is inquiring into the cause of the accident, prima facie the reason seems to be overlooking of the signal by the loco driver.

This is the third major accident in two months. On July 10 this year, 70 people were killed when the Howrah-Kalka Mail derailed near Kanpur and three weeks later some coaches of Guwahati-Bangalore Express derailed in West Bengal's Malda district and were hit by another train leaving three dead.

The parliamentary committee has recommended that the training of the staff should be a continuous process and the same may be imparted to staff manning sensitive areas. The committee has also recommended filling up safety category post expeditiously.

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