An associate professor of MANIT in Bhopal claimed his project for enhancing safety features of coaches could have saved many lives in train derailments like the one near Kanpur, if Railways had shown urgency to jointly work on well-being of passengers.
RK Mandloi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is involved in research to improve the safety of train passengers for last six years. “More people die because of faulty design of coaches and sitting arrangement,” he asserted.
In 2011, Mandloi had sent a proposal for a new coach design to railway minister Mamata Banerjee to enhance safety of passengers. The Railways approved the proposal and asked him to start working in coordination with Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
The associate professor claimed he contacted RDSO but there was no response even after sending letters for two years.
Mandloi had approached the Railway Board in 2014 by sending a letter to start a project with Rail Coach Factory in Bhopal but claimed he again faced disappointment. “Railways have started using Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches but it is not possible to replace all the coaches. So, MANIT has done a research on improving the qualities of existing coaches with some modification.”
“Even in the Patna-Indore Express derailment, many lives could have been saved,” he added. “In the past five years, I realised hardly any officer is concerned about safety of lakhs of people who travel daily by trains.”
“In my proposal, I talked about safety and security of people and minimum damage to coaches in case of derailments. More shocking was that despite approval, the project couldn’t take off due to slackness of some officer,” said Mandloi.
The associate professor said he would write a letter to the railway minister regarding his project so that ‘lives of passengers could be saved’.