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New budget aims to improve safety

  : Thursday May 18, 2000
India's railway minister, Mamata Banerjee has announced a crop of measures to improve safety on the country's railways.
She has proposed a new budget for Indian Railways for 2000 - 2001 which sees an increase in total investment of 23% to Rs1.1bn. Included in the proposals is additional expenditure for increasing the number of staffed level crossings and the replacement of others with bridges. Increases in expenditure on signalling track renewals are also proposed.

A review of railway safety headed by Justice H.R.Khanna pointed to the need for "for rehabilitation of overaged assets and to provide adequate technology back-up to operational staff connected with train running".

The budget announcement states that the biggest challenge to the railways is "to restore the intrinsic health of the network; provide safe transit to passengers and freight traffic; also ensure safe working conditions to employees." It proposes the following measures

  • Special steps taken to strengthen safety include track circuiting to prevent accidents due to human failure, improved communication between driver, guard and nearest station through mobile train radio system and walkie-talkie sets, block-proving by axle counters, replacing existing mechanical signalling systems with modern signalling systems such as Colour Light Signalling, Panel Interlocking, Solid State Interlocking and Route Relay Interlocking.
  • An intensive training and human resource development programme specifically targeted towards enhancing safety consciousness amongst front-line operational staff launched.
  • A new anti-collision safety device developed by Konkan Railway Corporation. A pilot project being undertaken on Northeast Frontier Railway.
  • For manning large number of unmanned level crossings and constructing road over-bridges/under-bridges, requiring enormous resources, Railways proposes setting up separate Safety Fund to be financed through contribution from Central Road Fund.
  • Railways to spend Rs 300 cr, its share from Central Road Fund for manning of unmanned level crossings and construction of Road Overbridges and Underbridges.
  • Safety-related track renewal and signal ∓ telecom planheads get 38% and 26% higher outlays.

Improved capacity and better passenger facilities are other features of the new budget. This involves seven new lines and 15 track-doubling schemes as well as 3 gauge-conversion schemes. In addition, surveys for 25 new lines are to be undertaken.

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Web sources:
Railway Budget 2000 - 2001
IR budget to redress problems
RGI May 2000


Indian Railways

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This file last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2000 21:20:29 EDT
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