Rattled by a series of train accidents, the Railways plan to install a device to prevent collisions, Railway Minister Nitish Kumar said on Wednesday.
"The anti-collision device (ACD), an intelligent micro-processor based equipment, has been developed indigenously to prevent collisions", he said presenting the Railway Budget for 2003-04 in the Lok Sabha.
The Railway Minister said concerned over the vital issue of safety, a White Paper covering the entire spectrum of the issues involved in safety in train operations would be presented during the course of the current session of Parliament.
He said the device, when installed on locomotives, brake vans and at stations and level crossings gates, would prevent collision of trains.
Kumar said that extended field trials of this device has been successfully completed and deployment of the equipment has already been started on the Indian Railways.
To accelerate the pace of this work, it is proposed to carry out ACD survey of 10,000 route kms and provide ACD over additional 1750 route kms, he said.
"It has been decided to fill up more than 20,000 such vacancies through Railway Recruitment Boards within the next one year," he said.
Asserting that training played an important role in increasing the efficiency of the employees, he said the Railways was determined to effect continuous improvement in safety related training.
To enable this, training facilities at all Zonal Training Centres, seven Supervisory Training Centres and eight Central Engineering Training Centres were being suitably upgraded.
Modules on Disaster Management are also being prepared, he said and added that new works at a cost of Rs. 41 crore were proposed to be taken up.
This helped in taking timely precautionary measures and prevented possible accidents besides improving the line capacity and safety at level crossing gates, he said.
He also said that for upgrading and modernising the bridge inspection and management systems, action had been taken to initiate underwater inspection, computerised non-destructive testing with state of the art equipment and introduce a modern bridge management system.
The minister said that to minimise injuries during rail travel, coaches were being re-designed without any sharp corners in the interior and duly padding up vulnerable areas.
In order to prevent coaches from climbing over each other in the event of a collision, tight lock couplers were being introduced progressively, he said.
Concurrently, redesigning coach ends to take the full impact of the collision has been undertaken so that passenger areas remain free from damage due to collision or heavy impact.