Railways minister Suresh Prabhu is pitching for information technology (IT) solutions to prevent freak train accidents such as the twin train mishap in August at Harda in Madhya Pradesh on account of the “sinking of rails” underneath a running passenger train.
With assistance of the Centre for Rail Information Systems (CRIS) – a railways PSU – a computerised track maintenance module has been developed and will shortly be installed across the 64,500-kilometre network of the Indian Railways, Railway Board member (engineering) VK Gupta said.
These modules will provide alerts on rail fractures and water level indications at bridges where flooding is common in monsoon months, while also indicating a measurement of rail temperatures.
On account of its “business compulsions” of keeping up the volumes of train movement on the same track, the Railways have been accused of compromising on routine safety drills such as seeking clearance of way inspectors before the movement of trains.
The public transporter has also been unable to fill up vacancies in the safety category including track inspectors and gang men, who are tasked to manually maintain the tracks.
The Railways, meanwhile, have sought cabinet clearance for four doubling/tripling projects costing about Rs 1,000 crore each. These include the 3rd and 4th line on the Budhapank-Salegaon-Rajatgarh line in the East Coast Railway zone.
Of the 24 routes identified as “super congested”, the Railways have sanctioned doubling/tripling works on 77 routes to build 9,000 kilometres of tracks at an estimated cost of Rs 90,000 crore.