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Steep decline in number of consequential train accidents, says ministry

'From 2004 to 2014, the average number of consequential train accidents was 171 annually, which significantly declined to 68 during the period from 2014 to 2024,' an official in the Railway Ministry said.
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 01:05 IST

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New Delhi: Even as the Congress on Tuesday demanded Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's resignation in the wake of the Kanchanjunga Express accident, the minister said safety measures taken by it have brought down the number of consequential train accidents from 473 in 2000-01 to 40 in 2022-23.

"From 2004 to 2014, the average number of consequential train accidents was 171 annually, which significantly declined to 68 during the period from 2014 to 2024," an official in the Railway Ministry said.

"Safety of train operations is the topmost priority for Indian Railways. In the 10 years, between 2014 and 2024, Indian Railways has made significant investments in safety. It has also taken up many structural and systemic improvements that have a positive impact on safe operations, the railways said.

"Investment in safety-related projects in the 2014-24 period was Rs 1.78 lakh crore which was 2.5 times the corresponding investment of Rs 70,273 crore in the 2004-14 period," an official said.

The official insisted that the national transporter continues to focus on further enhanced safety measures, including track-related improvements, signalling improvements, and locomotive and train-related improvements.

The official also said the implementation of the Automatic Train Protection System, also known as Kavach, is going on rapidly on 3,000 km of tracks, and once completed it will help prevent such accidents.

Reacting to criticism of the delay in installation of Kavach, the railway official said so far, Kavach has already been implemented on 1,465 route km and 121 locomotives, mostly in the South Central Railway zone.

Besides, the Agra division has developed a complete Kavach network on the 80-km stretch between Mathura (excluding the station) and Palwal to conduct trials on various types of engines and trains.

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Published 19 June 2024, 01:05 IST

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