Kavach was not available on Coromandel route, says railways; 'Why,' asks TMC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kavach was not available on Coromandel route, says railways; 'Why,' asks TMC

Jun 03, 2023 12:26 PM IST

Kavach technology could have averted the Coromandel tradegy in Odisha. The railways confirmed Kavach was no available on the route of the ill-fated trains.

Hours after 238 passengers were killed in a massive triple train collision in Odisha's Balasore district, the railways confirmed that there was no 'Kavach' system on the route, which might have stopped the express trains from colliding with each other. A high-level probe panel has been set up to look into what happened exactly before the two passenger trains on different lines derailed and collided. As a political blame game takes over the tragedy, opposition leaders blamed failure in signalling, while railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the reason would only be ascertained after the investigation report. Another theory is that the Coromandel Express took a wrong track possibly in a case of human error.

Wreckage at the accident site of a three-train collision near Balasore in Odisha.
Wreckage at the accident site of a three-train collision near Balasore in Odisha.

What is Kavach?

The Kavach system, however, could have saved the catastrophe as it alerts when a loco pilot jumps a signal and then takes control of the brakes bringing the train to a halt automatically when it notices another train on the same line.

Railways spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said Kavach was not available on the route.

Kavach was announced in 2022 Budger as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. A total of 2,000 km of rail network was planned to be brought under this technology.

As videos of rail minister Ashwini Vaishnaw explaining the Kavach system are doing the rounds, Trinamool's Saket Gokhale asked why only 2% of the total railway routes were brought under Kavach which, Gokhale claimed, was a repackaging of anti-collision device, proposed by Mamata Banerjee when she was the railway minister.

"In 2011-12, Indian Railways under then Railways Minister @MamataOfficial developed the "Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)" system. Modi Govt, after coming to power, typically renamed this to #Kavach purely to take credit. There was ZERO PROGRESS on deploying this crucial rail safety technology until 2019 when 3 companies were approved for manufacturing & installing KAVACH on railways," Trinamool's Saket Gokhale tweeted.

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