Year after year hundreds of new trains are introduced but the number of employees handling safety services in Railways has been declining. As on date with 1.5 lakh unfilled vacancies related to safety alone, how the Railways can ensure a safe and secure journey? The improvement of safety systems has not matched the railways incessant expansion.
Too many decisions are being made on political considerations in Railways. Modernization is being neglected for want of funds. In the present government's regime, funds allocated for track renewal alone has gone down from 17 % to about 14%. Is there any logic behind adding trains without keeping the infrastructure in place?
Now it's high time the railways drop everything and concentrate on developing safety. The much-talked about automatic signal system should be implemented as fast as possible. There should be more emphasis on special safety drives with intensive inspections, frequent surprise checks and drilling the staff for adopting correct functioning.
The kind of accident that happened with the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur on Saturday night always serves as an eye-opener. The Indian Railways always goes for a fresh exercise of verifying its safety measures once a mishap of such magnitude takes place.
Soon after an accident took place, the Railway Board set up an Inquiry Committee to find out the reasons behind the accident. Is setting up an Inquiry Committee the only solution?
Senior Journalist & Analyst