New Delhi: Indian Railways registered the best ever safety record during April 2019 – March 2020. Including this year so far (from 01.04.2019 to 08.06.2020) there has been no fatality of any railway passenger in any train accident. The remarkable feat has been achieved for the first time in the year 2019-2020 since introduction of Railway System in India 166 years ago in the year 1853. The zero passenger fatalities in the last 15 months is a result of continuous efforts by Indian Railways to improve safety performance in all respects. Safety being the topmost priority always, the measuresundertaken for safety improvement include elimination of manned level crossings, construction of Road over Bridges (ROBs)/ Road under Bridges (RUBs), rehabilitation of bridges, highest ever renewal of rail tracks, highest ever supply of rails during the year from SAIL, effective track maintenance, stringent monitoring of safety aspects, improved training of railway staff, improvements in signaling system, use of modern technology for safety works, switching over to modern and safer LHB coaches in phases from the conventional ICF coaches etc.
Following are the some major measures taken by Indian Railways to enhance Safety:
• Record number of 1274 nos. of Manned Level Crossings have been eliminated in 2019-20 compared to 631 in 2018-19 (double of that done in last year). This is highest ever elimination of level crossings.
• Total 1309 nos. of ROBs/RUBs were constructed in 2019-20 to enhance safety on the railways network.
• 1367 nos. of bridges were rehabilitated during 2019-20 compared to 1013 (+37% of last year).
• Highest ever renewal of rails for 5,181 Track km (TKM) in 2019-20 against 4,265 TKM in 2018-19 (+20% of last year).
• Highest ever supply of rails (13.8 lakh ton) during the year from SAIL. With supply of 6.4 Lakh ton long rails, scope of field welding decreased drastically leading to better reliability of asset.
• 285 nos. Level Crossings (LC) have been interlocked by signals in 2019-20, cumulative interlocked LC nos. are 11,639.
• In order to improve safety 84 stations with mechanical signaling replaced with electrical/electronic signaling during 2019-20.
All the above could become possible with inputs in the system in the form of Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) introduced in the year 2017-18 with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore to be spent in next five years, having annual outlay of Rs 20,000 crore. With this fund, it has been possible to undertake very critical safety works of urgent nature and results are evident.