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‘Railways to spend Rs 10,000 cr on modernisation, new tech to reduce accidents’

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said the national transporter’s tech modernisation plan included train protection warning system, ultrasonic detection system and train collision avoidance system, among others.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2017 07:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Railways,modernisation,reduce accident
Although the rate of train accidents in India has come down, as per the “global index”, Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he was not happy with it, and would like to work towards zero accident levels. (PTI File Photo)

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that the government will spend Rs 10,000 crore to modernise railway infrastructure, including technology to reduce accident rate to zero level.

Prabhu who was replying to a debate on Appropriation (Railways) Bill in the Upper House claimed the rate of train accidents in India has come down, as per the “global index”.

“It does not mean I am happy with this. We would like to work towards zero accidents,” he said.

The railway minister’s statement came on a day 52 passengers were injured when eight bogies of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed in the wee hours of Thursday in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh.

On railway’s tech modernisation plan, Prabhu said the Railways will install train protection warning system and eliminate all unmanned level crossings across the country by using Rs 1 lakh crore from railway safety fund.

Besides this, ultrasonic detection system and train collision avoidance system would also be introduced, he said. “Without using these technologies, we will not be able to avoid accidents.”

The Appropriation Bill was later adopted by the Rajya Sabha.

Citing the paucity of space at stations for accommodating the increasing number of trains, the minister wondered whether rail tracks could be constructed beneath and above the existing ones to decongest platforms. “We have to think differently for decongesting the existing platform,” Prabhu said.

The government has set a target of renewing 3,500 km length of tracks at a cost of Rs 10,153 crore in 2017-18. To improve the profits of railways, the government is trying to maximize revenues from fares as well as non-fare methods besides reducing the cost of operation.

“It was a difficult year for railways as the cost increased due to Pay Commission, and revenue did not increase,” Prabhu said.

First Published: Mar 31, 2017 08:50 IST