Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday directed the Railway Board to undertake immediate measures to address train derailments and eliminate all the Unmanned Level Crossings in a year’s time, after three trains jumped tracks during the day.
He issued these directions in a high-level meeting on safety in train operations with the members of the Railway Board and officials of its Safety Directorate.
The meeting was convened after two trains derailed on Thursday in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh, and in New Delhi. The third derailment of the day occurred near Khandala in Maharashtra soon after the meeting ended.
In the meeting, a comprehensive review of safety was undertaken and the Minister emphasised on setting the safety in train operation as top priority.
Unmanned Level Crossings and derailments due to defects in tracks were identified as two major causes leading to accidents.
According to an official statement, Goyal directed the officials to “ensure safety in train operations” and “eliminate all unmanned level crossings expeditiously on the entire Indian Railway network in a year’s time from now”.
“Track replacement or renewal should be accorded priority and the procurement of new rails should be expedited on a large scale with a view to completing construction of new lines in time,” the statement said.
“The Minister emphasised that the safety is paramount and there cannot and should not be any compromise on this front,” it added.
Directing to stop the manufacturing of conventional Integral Coach Factory-design coaches, Goyal said that only new Linke Hofmann Busch coaches should be manufactured.
He also asked for installation of anti-fog LED lights in Locomotives so that unhindered safe train operations can be ensured during winter season through fog.