Rajdhani probe to look into overspeeding

Rajdhani probe to look into overspeeding

The probe into the derailment of New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express near Chapra is now trying to ascertain whether the train driver ignored the speed limit and whether the office of the divisional railway manager (DRM) received any alert from the SP regarding bandh call by Maoists.

The train derailed in the early hours of June 25 in which four people died and 22 others sustained serious injuries.

The Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) P K Vajpayee, who has been entrusted with the task to probe the accident, arrived at the accident site for the second time in the last one week. Vajpayee was hear to record the statement of railway employees, victims and local people to find out the cause of derailment.

Though the CRS declined to share any information citing “confidentiality”, sources in the East Central Railway (ECR) dropped enough hints that the train had crossed the “speed caution” imposed by the engineering department on the Chapra-Hajipur section.

Notably, the driver, Sukhdev Mahto, had earlier said that the train was running at a speed of 65 kmph, but the examination of the electronic speedometer showed the train was running at 81.03 kmph when it derailed at 2:10 am.

This was much higher than the “speed caution” issued by the railways near the level-crossing gate, a few yards from where the Rajdhani derailed.

Secondly, the CRS is also probing if any alert was issued by the SP in view of the bandh call by Maoists and why the divisional railway manager office did not run a pilot engine ahead of the train, as stipulated for all Rajdhanis.

Cost cutting on Rly budget agenda

This Budget Session, the biggest topic of discussion for the Railways Ministry is expected to be the replacement of fuel with a more cost-efficient source of energy, reports DHNS from New Delhi. Officials claimed that proposals to expedite the shift towards non-diesel fuel options, such as electricity, solar and wind power, will be debated at the budget meeting.

“This will not only enable us to reduce fuel bills, which accounts for 22 per cent of our expenses, but also carbon emissions. Our expenses on diesel are around Rs 16,000 crore a year. We spend Rs 9,000 crore on electricity and consume 240 crore litres of fuel a year,” a railway official said.

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