What is train ‘Kavach’ and why is it trending after Odisha train accident? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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What is train ‘Kavach’ and why is it trending after Odisha train accident?

By | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar
Jun 03, 2023 06:57 PM IST

The railways confirmed that there was no ‘Kavach’ system installed on the trains involved the accident in Odisha's Balasore district.

After a triple train crash in Odisha's Balasore that claimed nearly 290 lives, and injured over 800 passengers, the railways on Saturday confirmed that there was no ‘Kavach’ system installed on the trains, that could have prevented them from colliding with each other.

Rescue workers gather around damaged carriages at the accident site of a three-train collision near Balasore, about 200 km (125 miles) from the state capital Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Saturday. (AFP)
Rescue workers gather around damaged carriages at the accident site of a three-train collision near Balasore, about 200 km (125 miles) from the state capital Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Saturday. (AFP)

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"The rescue operation has been completed. Now, we are starting the restoration work. Kavach was not available on this route," The Indian Railways spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said.

Opposition on ‘Kavach’ system

Many opposition leaders, including Maharashtra Congress's Balasaheb Thorat, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, and Trinamool's Saket Gokhale targeted the Centre and raised questions about the railways' ‘Kavach’ system on the route of the mishap. In a tweet, Gokhale asked why only 2% of the total railway routes were brought under Kavach which, he claimed, was a repackaging of an anti-collision device, proposed by Mamata Banerjee when she was the railway minister.

What is 'Kavach' system?

'Kavach' alerts when a loco pilot jumps a signal (Signal Passed at Danger -- SPAD), which is the leading cause of train collisions. The system can alert the loco pilot, take control of the brakes and bring the train to a halt automatically when it notices another train on the same line within a prescribed distance.

According to the railway ministry, the system has been developed indigenously by Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in association with three Indian vendors and has been adopted as the National Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System.

Made for enhancing the safety and efficiency of train operations, the system can also help the train in running during inclement weather such as dense fog.

What does initial investigation reveal?

A preliminary probe by senior railways officials suggested that a “mistaken” signal likely led to the Coromandel Express entering the line on which a goods train was parked a few metres ahead, eventually resulting in a three-train accident near Bahanaga Bazar railway station.

(With PTI inputs)

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