Pakistan and South African Railways are waiting for Konkan Railway Corporation Limited’s (KRCL) invention of anti-collision device to be commissioned. Konkan Railway officials said they had received queries from foreign countries, including Pakistan, seeking assistance to cut down their railway accident rates using KRCL’s ACD. Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has already expressed satisfaction at the performance of anti-collision device at a demo organised at Goa last month.
“We received e-mail queries from Pakistan Railways and also from South Africa asking us more details of the device and its implementation. However, we can only allow them to have information once the device is officially commissioned,” AA Bhatt, KRCL’s chief signal & telecom engineer told Hindustan Times.
KRCL’s anti-collision device, also termed as Raksha Kavach, is a unique device, that transmits electronic signals and warn an incoming train in the vicinity about another train's presence by picking up signals emitted. If the trains are on a collision course within 3 km distance, both the trains apply brakes automatically.
Sources said while Pakistan authorities sent queries about the product to KR’s technology partner Kernex Microsystems,'' another official added, on the condition of anonymity. Hyderabad-based Kernex Microsystems Indian Ltd has an exclusive licence from Konkan Railway to manufacture the ACD under the trademark Raksha Kavach. The South Africans also e-mailed Konkan Railway authorities seeking more details about the product.
KR managing director KK Gokhale confirmed to HT that there had been queries from Pakistan and South Africa.
As of today more than 1,000 ACDs have been installed on the 1,800 km stretch of the North East Frontier Railways from Malda to Tinsukia at a cost of Rs 50 crore. ACD towers have been erected at 185 railway stations and 223 locomotives have already been fitted with ACD equipment. Around 140 level crossing gates in NF Railway also have ACD apparatus in place. Indian Railways plan to spend a whopping Rs 2,000 crores to install ACD system on 52,000 kilometers by 2013-14.
Asked about the status of ACD, Bhatt said, “ACD has not yet been publicly commissioned as it is awaiting final certification by the Railway Ministry's Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO) based at Lucknow. While the basic functionalities of the ACD have been cleared by the RDSO, only a few tests remain. They wanted us to add more safety features and we are working on it. It should be ready for commissioning in four to five months time.”