Indian Railways – Safety Performance

Indian Railways – Safety Performance
CONTENTS
Page No.
1
Introduction
1
2.
Train Accidents
1
3.
Causes of Train Accidents
3
4.
Casualties
5
5.
Collisions and Derailments
6
6.
Accidents at Level Crossings
8
7.
Damage to Railway Property
10
8.
Accident Compensation
11
9.
Safety Measures
15
10.
Commission of Railway Safety
19
11.
Corporate Safety Plan (2003-2013)
21
12.
Modernisation of Disaster Management
23
13.
Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF)
24
14.
Railway Security
25
15.
Railway Safety Review Committee
27
16.
High Level Railway Safety Review Committee
28
17.
12th Plan Perspective
29
18.
Conclusion
30
Indian Railways – Safety Performance
Introduction
Indian Railways is quite unique and distinctive in character, really a microcosm
of India.
To make it a safe and reliable system is an enormous challenge.
Railways has the most intricate and involved inter-dependencies.
The
Safety on the
Railways is the end product of the cohesive fusion of its myriad parts. A single flaw in
the 64,600 route kms of track that criss-cross the country, a defect in over 9,500 locos,
55,000 coaches and 2.39 lakh wagons that haul about 23 million passengers and nearly
2.7 million tonnes of freight every day, an incorrect indication on one of the thousands of
signals that dot the rail landscape, a mistake or an act of negligence by one of its staff
directly associated with train running, even a rash act by one of the millions of road
users who daily negotiate around odd level crossing gates spread across the system,
an irresponsible act of carrying inflammable goods – any one of these multiple
possibilities has the potential to cause a major tragedy. Added to these are the acts of
sabotage by misguided elements spanning the whole country. Thus utmost vigil is
safety in operations and also security of the traveling public is accorded by the
Railways1.
Train Accidents
The term „accident‟ envelopes a wide spectrum of occurrences with or without
significant impact on the system. Consequential train accidents include mishaps with
serious repercussion in terms of loss of human life or injury, damage to railway property
or interruption to rail traffic in excess of laid down threshold levels and values. These
consequential train accidents include collisions, derailments, fire in trains, road vehicles
colliding with trains at level crossings, and certain specified types of „miscellaneous‟
train mishaps2.
The number of consequential train accidents decreased from 141 during 2010-11
1
2
Ministry of Railways, Outcome and Performance Budget 2013-14, p. 46
Ministry of Railways, Safety Performance 2011-12, p. 38
3
to 131 during 2011-12. The number of train accidents per million train kilometers, which
is a universally accepted safety index, also dropped from 0.15 in 2010-11 to 0.13 in
2011-12.
The continuous reduction in the number of train accidents per
million train kilometers which has fallen from 5.5 in 1960-61 to 0.13 in 2011-12, in
indicative of sustained improvement in safety performance3. A Table showing the trend
of train accidents on Indian Railways since 1960-61 is as follows:
Table 1: Train Accidents on Indian Railways since 1960-61
Year
ColliSions
181
405
--
2131
Movement of
traffic
i.e.,
Train
Kms.
Run (in
Million)
388.1
1433
160
236
--
1953
396.2
4.9
98
1316
168
55
--
1637
408.3
4.0
1963-64
93
1300
161
81
--
1635
421.9
3.9
1964-65
81
1035
146
31
--
1293
433.2
3.0
1965-66
74
962
123
42
--
1201
450.8
2.7
1966-67
67
876
104
50
--
1097
451.7
2.4
1967-68
66
892
111
42
--
1111
455.3
2.4
1968-69
47
684
129
48
--
908
460.1
2.0
1969-70
54
751
111
47
--
963
473.0
2.0
1970-71
59
648
121
12
--
840
466.5
1.8
1971-72
57
667
118
22
--
864
474.4
1.8
1972-73
57
598
131
25
--
813
473.1
1.7
1973-74
59
578
125
13
--
782
432.8
1.8
1974-75
66
696
140
23
--
925
430.1
2.2
1975-76
64
768
105
27
--
964
487.4
2.0
1976-77
45
633
86
16
--
780
511.6
1.5
1977-78
54
705
93
14
--
866
526.1
1.6
1978-79
55
778
86
12
--
931
504.1
1.8
1979-80
72
692
115
21
--
900
503.4
1.8
1980-81
69
825
90
29
--
1013
504.5
2.0
1981-82
87
936
84
23
--
1130
516.6
2.2
1982-83
54
653
70
20
--
797
530.9
1.5
1960-61
130
1961-62
124
1962-63
3
Ibid
Derailments
1415
Level
crossing
accidents
Fire in
trains
Misc.
Total
Incidence
of train
accidents
per Million
train Kms.
5.5
4
Year
ColliSions
Derailments
Level
crossing
accidents
Fire in
trains
Misc.
Total
1983-84
48
621
82
17
--
768
Movement of
traffic
i.e.,
Train
Kms.
Run (in
Million)
541.7
Incidence
of train
accidents
per Million
train Kms.
1984-85
39
678
65
30
--
812
541.1
1.5
1985-86
46
588
62
21
--
717
570.4
1.3
1986-87
28
538
65
13
--
644
582.3
1.1
1987-88
40
490
62
12
--
604
590.2
1.02
1988-89
30
457
55
3
--
545
602.2
0.90
1989-90
34
456
42
8
--
540
618.0
0.87
1990-91
41
446
36
9
--
532
617.1
0.86
1991-92
30
444
47
9
--
530
629.2
0.84
1992-93
50
404
51
9
--
524
632.3
0.83
1993-94
50
401
66
3
--
520
634.2
0.82
1994-95
35
388
73
5
--
501
641.9
0.78
1995-96
29
296
68
5
--
398
655.9
0.61
1996-97
26
286
65
4
--
381
667.6
0.57
1997-98
35
289
66
6
--
396
675.8
0.58
1998-99
24
300
67
6
--
397
686.9
0.58
1999-2000
20
329
93
21
--
463
717.7
0.58
2000-01
20
350
84
17
2
473
723.8
0.65
2001-02
30
280
88
9
8
415
756.4
0.55
2002-03
16
218
96
14
7
351
786.2
0.44
2003-04
9
202
95
14
5
325
790.8
0.41
2004-05
13
138
70
10
3
234
810.14
0.29
2005-06
9
131
75
15
4
234
825.4
0.28
2006-07
8
96
79
4
8
195
847.8
0.23
2007-08
8
100
77
5
4
194
890.5
0.22
2008-09
13
85
69
3
7
177
905.2
0.20
2009-10
9
80
70
2
4
165
997.2
0.17
2010-11
5
80
53
2
1
141
1005.9
0.15
2011-12
9
55
61
4
2
131
1077.0
0.13
2012-13 (upto
6
40
448
8
0
100
*
January 2013 Prov.)
*Under compilation. Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
1.4
*
5
Out of 131 train accidents that took place during 2011-2012, 122 took place on the
Broad Gauge, 8 on the Metre Gauge and 1 on Narrow Gauge.
Freight trains were
involved in 36 accidents and passenger trains in 95 accidents4.
Causes of Train Accidents
Of the total of 131 train accidents that occurred on Indian Railways during 2011-
12, 115 (87.78 per cent) were due to human failure, including 52 (36.69 per cent) due to
the failure of railway staff and 63 (48.09 per cent) due to the failure of other than railway
staff, 5 (3.81 per cent) accidents due to failure of equipments, 6 (4.58 per cent)
accidents were caused due to Sabotage, 1 (0.76 per cent) accident was due to
combination of factors, 3 (2.29 per cent) accidents were due to incidental factors and 1
(0.76 per cent) accident for which causes could not be established.
The table below shows the broad causes of train accidents which occurred on
Indian Railways since 2000-2001:
Table 2: Broad Causes of Train Accidents
Number of Accidents during
20002001
20012002
20022003
20032004
20042005
2005- 20062006 2007
20072008
20082009
20092010
I. Failure of
Railway
Staff
293
(62)
248
(67)
186
(53)
161
(50)
119
(51)
120
(51)
85
(44)
85
(43.81)
II. Failure of
Persons
other than
Railway
Staff
109
103
118
107
78
86
84
71
75
75
(45.4
5)
57
(40.43)
75
63
(42.3 (38.18)
7)
2010-11
56
(39.72)
201112
2012-13
(upto
Jan.
2013)
52
(39.69)
37
(37.00)
63
(48.09)
48
(48.00)
III. Failure of
Equipments
a)
Rolling
Stock
16
11
6
6
5
1
4
4-
--
3
-
-
-
b)
Track
17
13
11
9
7
6
5
3
--
3
5
5
2
c)
Electrical/
S&T
--
--
1
3
2
1
--
2
--
--
-
-
-
IV. Sabotage
19
14
10
18
4
5
8
7
13
14
16
6
3 (3.00)
4
Ibid
6
(11.35)
(4.58)
V. Combination
of factors
4
--
2
2
1
--
1
--
4
1
3
(2.13)
1
(0.76)
VI. Incidental
11
20
15
17
16
11
7
8
4
4
4
(2.84)
3
(2.29)
VII. Causes
could not be
established
4
5
2
2
2
3
--
1
4
2
-
1
(0.76)
--
1
--
--
--
1
1
3
2
2
-
-
473
415
351
325
234
234
195
194
177
165
141
131
VIII. Under
investigation
Grand
Total
-
7 (7.00)
2 (2.00)
1 (1.00)
100
* Provisional Figures
Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
Casualties
The following table indicates the number of passengers killed and/or injured in
train accidents. The figures exclude casualties sustained as a result of passengers' own
negligence (e.g. footboard travelling, etc.) and casualties involved in case of sabotage.
Table 3: Casualties
Year
1965-66
1970-71
1975-76
1980-81
1985-86
1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
Number of Passengers
Killed
Injured
41
27
36
117
77
220
98
96
179
84
406
83
171
280
341
55
144
157
135
458
309
249
494
297
595
451
467
446
434
681
237
747
615
733
286
595
658
302
Total Casualties per million
passengers carried
0.24
0.14
0.10
0.17
0.11
0.22
0.13
0.15
0.17
0.13
0.18
0.08
0.21
0.06
0.07
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.03
7
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
(upto January 2013
(Prov.)
50
315
208
191
209
238
381
319
185
191
627
402
412
444
397
461
716
317
0.04
0.165
0.098
0.092
0.094
0.088
0.110
0.126
*
*Under compilation.
Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
Collisions and Derailments:
The position regarding total number of collisions and derailments and those
caused by the failure of railway staff is given below:
Table 4: Collisions and Derailments
Year
1965-66
Number of
collisions and
derailments
1036
No. of collisions and
derailments attributed to
failure of railway staff
688
Percentage
66
1970-71
707
464
66
1975-76
832
571
69
1980-81
894
573
64
1985-86
634
466
74
1990-91
487
358
74
1991-92
474
371
78
1992-93
454
363
80
1993-94
451
358
79
1994-95
423
351
83
1995-96
325
237
73
1996-97
312
252
81
1997-98
324
247
76
1998-99
324
252
78
1999-2000
349
269
77
8
Year
Number of
collisions and
derailments
370
2000-01
No. of collisions and
derailments attributed to
failure of railway staff
280
Percentage
76
2001-02
310
--
--
2002-03
232
182
78
2003-04
211
143
68
2004-05
151
110
73
2005-06
140
106
78
2006-07
104
75
72
2007-08
108
75
69.44
2008-09
98
64
65.30
2009-10
89
57
64.04
2010-11
85 (5,80)
51 (4,47)
60.00
2011-12
64 (9,55)
45 (8,37)
70.31
2012-13 (upto January 2013
46 (6,40)
32 (6,26)
(Prov.)
Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
69.57
There is considerable fall in derailments as revealed by the trends shown in the
table below:
Table 5: Derailments
Year
Total Accidents
Derailments
Percentage
1965-66
1201
962
80
1970-71
840
648
77
1975-76
964
768
80
1980-81
1013
825
81
1985-86
717
588
82
1990-91
532
446
84
1991-92
530
444
84
1992-93
524
404
77
1993-94
520
401
77
1994-95
501
388
77
1995-96
398
296
74
1996-97
381
286
75
9
Year
Total Accidents
Derailments
Percentage
1997-98
396
289
73
1998-99
397
300
76
1999-2000
463
329
71
2000-01
473
350
75
2001-02
414
280
68
2002-03
351
216
62
2003-04
325
202
62
2004-05
234
138
59
2005-06
234
131
56
2006-07
195
96
49
2007-08
194
100
51.55
2008-09
177
85
48.02
2009-10
165
80
48.48
2010-11
141
80
56.74
2011-12
131
55
41.98
2012-13 (upto January
2013 (Prov.)
100
40
40.00
Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
Accidents at Level Crossings
Unmanned level crossings are another problem area for the Indian Railways, and
one of the major causes of accidents. In spite of various measures taken by the Indian
Railways, level crossing accidents have continued to occur, that too frequently.
Accidents at Unmanned Level Crossings are caused mainly due to trespassing
by road vehicles across these on Railway tracks. Railways have the “Right of Way”
across unmanned level crossings. The road vehicle drivers are duty bound under
Section 131 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, to “get down from the Vehicle, walk up to
the crossing to ensure that no train is approaching from either side before crossing the
unmanned level crossing” Thus, the primary cause of the accidents at unmanned
level crossings is
10
negligence by road vehicle users5.
There are 14896 unmanned and 17839 manned level crossings on IR as on
1.4.2011. These level crossings contribute to 30 per cent of fatalities in Railway mishap
and statistically contribute to about 40 per cent of accidents on IR. Accordingly, Indian
Railways Vision – 2020 and Railway Budget Speech documents envisage elimination of
all unmanned level crossings6.
Presently, the unmanned level crossings are provided with speed breakers and
road sign boards on either side of the level crossings to warn road users of any
approaching trains. Warning sign-boards are also provided alongside of railway track, at
the approach of such unmanned level crossings so that the train driver starts whistling
to warn the road users of the approaching trains.
Indian Railways have decided to eliminate all unmanned level crossings (LCs) in
next five years as part of Indian Railway Vision 2020. Multi-pronged strategies have
been adopted to achieve this end. While some of the LCs would be closed by merging
them with the nearby LC by constructing connecting roads, other LCs would be
provided with Road under bridge (RUB) or Limited Height Subway (LHS) and also by
manning of qualifying unmanned LCs.
The position, as it obtains over Indian Railways with respect to various steps
being undertaken for eliminating the unmanned level crossings, has been indicated in
the ensuing table7.
Action Plan for elimination of unmanned level Crossing gates
in five years (2010-15)
Construction of Normal Height Subway
Nos. of level
crossings
to be eliminated
35
Construction of Limited Height Subway
1526
Construction of Road Over Bridge
210
Construction of diversion road to another level crossings, ROB, RUB etc
986
5
th
Lok Sabha Secretariat, Standing Committee on Railways 10 Report, 2011, pp. 49-50
th
Executive Summary, Working Group Report for 12 Plan – Railways Sector, pp.17, 51
(www.planningcommission.nic.in)
7
th
op.cit., Standing Committee on Railways 10 Report, 2011, p. 50
6
11
Closure of one unmanned LC by manning nearby unmanned level crossings
412
Closure of unmanned level crossings having low Train Vehicle Units
1860
Closure by manning of unmanned level crossing
6792
Total nos. of LCs planned for elimination in five years above by scheme.
11821
Note: Unmanned level crossing of narrow gauge, rail bus routes, meter gauge, cattle and canal
crossings have not been planned due to low train vehicle units and low speed of trains.
Elimination of all these Level Crossings is a gigantic task and involves lot of
manpower, resources and budgetary support. It is a continuous process and is done as
per need, inter-se priority of works, availability of funds and co-operation of State
Government, particularly, in getting consent of closure of level crossing and undertaking
to maintain road and drainage in future for subways. The details of railway accidents
occurred at Unmanned Level Crossings (ULCs) from the year 2002-03 and onwards are
given below8,9:
Table 6: Accidents at Unmanned Level Crossings
Year
Number of railway accidents
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13 (upto Nov 2012)
82
86
65
65
72
65
62
65
48
54
36
Indian Railways carry out intensive social awareness campaigns, on a regular
basis, to educate road users. This includes publicity campaigns through various media
like newspapers, TV, Radio etc., distribution of posters, leaflets, various short duration
films/advertisements etc. Even in local languages have been prepared by the Zonal
Railways for educating the road users about the precautions to be taken while
negotiating the unmanned level crossings. There is a need to educate people at Village
8
9
Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 1667 dated 7.12.2012
th
op.cit., Standing Committee on Railways, 10 Report, 2011, p. 50
12
Panchayats, schools, weekly markets in rural areas and also carry out ambush checks
at unmanned level crossings10.
Damage to Railway Property
Details of the damage to railway property and interruption to communications
caused by train accidents are given below:
Table 7: Damage to Railway Property
Year
Cost of Damage (Rs. in lakhs)
Rolling Stock
Permanent Way
61.0
39.3
134.7
79.7
255.0
198.6
705.0
657.4
835.9
291.3
3818.2
710.5
1896.2
462.8
4227.5
1365.7
2547.6
1427.4
3110.0
1005.0
4219.5
2067.7
2983.5
1896.9
3235.0
2027.0
4519.0
2005.0
7255.0
1909.0
3693.0
1831.0
3234.6
1647.0
3158.4
617.3
4348.6
826.0
2225.0
497.1
2443.4
941.5
2321.7
871.3
2970
1085.4
5011.9
1052.9
4216.48
1244.99
4584.52
1311.37
8210.49
771.99
*
*
Interruption to through
communication (in hours)
6,640
6,741
10,275
14,035
5,075
6,156
5,291
5,117
4,546
4,218
4,404
4,048
3,939
3,492
4,100
4,045
3,224
2,388
2,806
1,691
1,904
1,148
4380.52
1420.08
1105.01
1455.05
1041.16
*
1965-66
1970-71
1975-76
1980-81
1985-86
1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13 (upto Jan.2013
(Prov.)
* under compilation Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per
availability.
Accident Compensation
10
Press Information Bureau (PIB) Press Release dated 6.6.2012
13
Liability: The liability of the railway administration in the event of consequential train
accident attended with casualties has been defined in Section 124 of the Railways Act,
1989 as under:“When in the course of working a railway, an accident occurs, being either a
collision between trains of which one is a train carrying passengers or the
derailment of or other accident to a train or any part of a train carrying
passengers, then whether or not there has been any wrongful act, neglect or
default on the part of the railway administration such as would entitle a
passenger who has been injured or has suffered a loss to maintain an action and
recover
damages
in
respect
thereof
the
railway
administration
shall,
notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, be liable to pay
compensation to such extent as may be prescribed and to that extent only for
loss occasioned by the death of a passenger dying as a result of such accident,
and for personal injury and loss, destruction, damage or deterioration of goods
owned by the passenger and accompanying him in his compartment or on the
train, sustained as a result of such accident”11.
With effect from 01.08.1994 under Section 124-A of the Railways Act, 1989, the
railway administration has also become liable to pay compensation for loss of life or
injury to bonafide rail passengers who become victims of untoward incidents such as
terrorist acts, violent attack, robbery, dacoity, rioting, shoot-out or arson by any person
in or on any train carrying passengers, waiting hall, cloak room, reservation or booking
office, platform, any place within the precincts of a railway station or the accidental
falling of any passenger from a train carrying passengers. Section 124-A of the
Railways Act, 1989 reads as under:-
"When in the course of working a railway an untoward incident occurs, then
whether or not there has been any wrongful act, neglect or default on the part of
the railway administration such as would entitle a passenger who has been
11
op.cit., Safety Performance, p. 41
14
injured or the dependent of a passenger who has been killed to maintain an
action and recover damages in respect thereof, the railway administration shall,
notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, be liable to pay
compensation to such extent as may be prescribed, and to that extent only for
loss occasioned by the death of, or injury to, a passenger as a result of such
untoward incident:
Provided that no compensation shall be payable under this section by the
railway administration if the passenger dies or suffers injury due to:(a)
suicide or attempted suicide by him;
(b)
self-inflicted injury;
(c)
his own criminal act;
(d)
any act committed by him in state of intoxication or insanity;
(e)
any natural cause or disease or medical or surgical treatment unless such
treatment becomes necessary due to injury caused by the said untoward
incident”12.
Explanation: For the purpose of this section, "passenger" includes
(i)
a railway servant on duty ; and
(ii) a person who has purchased a valid ticket for travelling by a train carrying
passengers on any date or a valid platform ticket and becomes a victim of
an untoward incident.
Quantum of Compensation: Payment of compensation is governed by the Railway
Accidents and Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Amendment Rules, 1997. Under
these Rules, the amount of compensation payable in case of death is Rs.4 lakhs. For
injuries, the amount varies from Rs. 32,000/- to Rs.4,00,000/- depending on the nature of
injury sustained.
12
Ibid, pp. 41-42
15
Ex-gratia: Ex-gratia relief is given by the Railway Administration soon after an accident
to meet the immediate expenses of the victims. Upto 01.08.2012, the rate of ex-gratia in
case of death was Rs.15,000/- payable to the next of kin of the deceased. In case of
grievous injury, the ex-gratia was paid at the rate of Rs. 5,000/- for upto 30 days of
hospitalization. If the injured victim required indoor treatment for more than 30 days,
additional ex-gratia was paid at the rate of Rs.1000/- per week or part thereof for further
six months and if further indoor treatment was required, additional payment of Rs.500/per week or part thereof was made for another period of six months. Ex-gratia relief in
case of simple injury was Rs. 500/-. With effect from 1 August, 2012, the rate of ex-gratia
has since been revised. In case of train accident as defined under Section 124 of the
Railways Act, 1989, rate of ex-gratia in case of death is Rs. 50,000/- payable to the next
of kin of the deceased passenger,
Rs 25,000/- to the passengers who sustained
grievous injury and Rs.5,000/- to the passengers who suffered simple injuries. The rate
of ex-gratia for death/injury in untoward incident, as defined under Section 124-A of the
Railways Act, 1989, remains the same as earlier. i.e., Rs. 15,000/- in case of death,
Rs. 5,000/- in case of grievous injury and Rs. 500/- in case of simple injury. The relief of
ex-gratia is not taken into at the time of final settlement of compensation claims. In case
of serious or exceptional circumstances, enhanced ex-gratia is also announced by the
Ministry of Railways13.
As regards accidents occurring at manned level crossings, prima facie due to the
negligence of railway staff, ex-gratia payment is made to the victims by the Railway if
actions is tenable against the Railways under the Law of Torts and an award is actually
granted by a Court of Law. Upto 1.8.2012, the rate of ex-gratia in such cases Was Rs.
6000/- in case of death, Rs. 2500/- in case of grievous injury and „Nil‟ in case of simple
injury. with effect form 1.8.2012, the revised rates are as under:
(i)
13
In case of death
Rs. 50,000/-
(ii) In case of grievous injury
Rs. 25,000/-
(iii) In case of simple injury
Rs. 5000/-
Ibid, pp. 41-42
16
The above ex-gratia amount is counted towards the amount of compensation
payable14.
Compensation paid by the Railways since 1985-86 is shown in the following
table:
Table 8: Compensation paid by [email protected]
Year
1985-86
Compensation
Paid (Rs. in lakhs)
220.88
1986-87
168.6
1987-88
149.9
1988-89
191.33
1989-90
53.88
1990-91
228.95
1991-92
275.94
1992-93
237.16
1993-94
178.01
1994-95
176.69
1995-96
535.95
1996-97
709.31
1997-98
240.89
1998-99
489.65
1999-2000
14
Ibid , p. 44
1095.64
2000-01
886.12
2001-02
482.46
2002-03
489.19
2003-04
757.07
2004-05
513.16
2005-06
221.63
2006-07
500.89
17
2007-08
121.37
2008-09
218.94
2009-10
265.81
2010-11
585.79
2011-12
49772
2012-13 (upto January
2013 (Prov.)
made
*
@ The amount of compensation paid during the year relates to the number of cases settled and payment
during that year and not the accidents that occurred during the year
* under compilation Source: Compiled on information provided by M/o Railways as per availability.
Safety Measures
Keeping in view the fact that the Railways will have to lift more originating traffic
during the coming years, there is a growing emphasis on strengthening of infrastructure
in the Railways. This is a continuous process and the investments made and strategies
adopted in the past have vindicated this by way or reduction in the number of
consequential train accidents over the years15.
General:

Safety Action Plans were continually executed to reduce accidents caused by
human errors. A multi-pronged approach with focus on introduction of newer
technologies, mechanization of maintenance, early detection of flaws, etc. to
reduce human dependence in the first place, alongwith upgrading the skills of the
human resources were the prime drivers for accident prevention.

Periodical safety audits of different Divisions by multidisciplinary teams of Zonal
Railways as well as inter-railway safety audits were conducted on regular basis.
During 2011-12, 80 internal safety audits and 30 inter-railway safety audits were
carried out.

Training facilities for drivers, guards and staff connected with train operation have
been upgraded. Disaster Management Modules have also been upgraded.
During 2011-12, 98,891 safety category employees attended refresher training16.
Measures to avoid collisions:
15
16
Ibid, p. 47
Ministry of Railways, Annual Report 2011-12, p. 41
18
17

Anti Collision Device (ACD) developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited
(KRCL) has been provided as a pilot project on 1,736 route kilometres of
Northeast Frontier Railway. This was a single/double line non electrified Broad
Gauge section. Trials with modified ACD, with improved efficacy, reliability and
availability, were carried out on electrified multiple-line and automatic signalling
section of Southern Railway. Complex operational and technical
issues
observed during both the trials are being attended to by KRCL in an improved
version of ACD. Further, proliferation of ACD shall be possible only after these
problems are resolved comprehensively by KRCL. Action has also been taken to
develop Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) through multiple vendors, in
order to prevent signal passing at danger as well as collisions.

Fouling Mark to Fouling Mark track circuiting on the entire „A‟, „B‟, „C‟, „D‟, „D
Special‟ and „E Special‟ routes, where permissible speed is more than 75
kilometres per hour, was completed. Further, Fouling Mark to Block Section Limit
(straight) track circuiting was completed on „A‟ and „C‟ routes. Track circuiting has
been completed upto 99.3% on „A‟, „B‟ and „C‟ routes.

Pilot projects on Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) to prevent over
speeding/Signal Passing at Danger (SPAD) is in use since May 2008 on 50 route
kilometres of Southern Railway. Service trials are in progress for the second pilot
project on 200 route kilometres of Delhi-Agra Section. TPWS has also been
approved on Dum Dum – New Garia section of Kolkata Metro (25 route
kilometres) where the track side and on-board installation work is presently in
progress. TPWS have been approved for 3,330 route kilometres covering
Automatic Block Signalling/High Density routes of IR.

Vigilance Control Device (VCD) is a system where if the driver does not perform
a certain set of actions over a period of time, sound alarms, flashing light and
brake systems start operating automatically. On-board VCD has been provided
on all 6000-Horse Power electric locomotives, 265 conventional tap changer
electric locomotives and 2,342 diesel locomotives. It has been decided to install
this device on the remaining electric and diesel locomotives in a phased manner.

Auxiliary Warning System (AWS) : IR‟s experience of Train Protection Systems
has been so far largely limited to the AWS provided on Suburban sections of
Mumbai on Western and Central Railways in 1980s. This system is working
satisfactorily.

Block Proving Axle Counters (BPAC) : In order to enhance safety by automatic
verification of complete arrival of train, BPAC is being provided at stations having
centralized operation of points and signals. BPAC has been commissioned in
3,580 Block Sections up to 31.08.201217.
Ibid, pp. 42-43
19
Measures to reduce derailments:

Upgradation of Track Structure consisting of Pre-stressed concrete (PSC)
sleepers, 52 Kg/60 Kg high strength (90 kg/square mm ultimate tensile strength)
rails on concrete sleepers, fanshaped layout on PSC sleepers, Steel Channel
Sleepers on girder bridges has been adopted on most of the routes.

Track structure is being standardized with 60 kg rails and PSC sleepers on all the
Broad Gauge routes, especially on high density routes to reduce fatigue of rails
under higher axle-load traffic. New track construction and replacement of overaged tracks is being done by PSC sleepers only.

To improve maintenance and reliability of assets, efforts to eliminate fish-plated
joints by welding single rails into long welded rails were continued. During
relaying/construction of new lines/gauge conversion, long welded rails are laid on
concrete sleepers. Long rail panels of 260 M/130 M length are being
manufactured at the steel plants to minimize number of welded joints. Turnouts
are also being improved systematically.

There is progressive shifting to flash butt welding which is superior in quality as
compared to Alumino Thermic (AT) welding.

All rails and welds are ultrasonically tested as per laid down periodicity. Self
Propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing (SPURT) Cars are being used for Rail flaw
detection.

There has been progressive use of Tie Tamping and ballast cleaning machines
for track maintenance. Also, sophisticated Track Recording Cars, Oscillograph
Cars and Portable Accelerometers are being used progressively.

Two Rail Grinding Machines are being procured. Rail Grinding and rail lubrication
for enhanced rail life and reliability has been recently introduced.

Electronic monitoring of track geometry is carried out to detect defects and plan
maintenance.

Modern bridge inspection and management system has been adopted, which
includes non-destructive testing techniques, under water inspections, fiber
composite wrapping, mapping unknown foundations and integrity testing, etc.

Based on threat perceptions due to adverse weather conditions or external
interference, patrolling of railway tracks including night patrolling as well as
intensified patrolling during foggy weather is carried out at vulnerable locations
regularly.
20

Progressive fitment of tight lock Central Buffer Coupler (CBC) in lieu of screw
coupling in new design coaches by ICF has been carried out to prevent the
coaches from climbing over each other in unfortunate event of an accident.

Design of passenger coaches with features of crashworthiness to absorb most of
the impact energy, leaving the passenger area unaffected has been developed
and coaches are being manufactured accordingly.

For enhancing safety and reliability of passenger coaches, the suspension
systems are being re-designed with air springs at secondary stage capable to
maintain constant height at variable loads. Air springs have been developed and
are being fitted on all the newly built EMU and DMU coaches for suburban trains.
Air springs have now been developed for mainline coaches as well and
manufacture of such coaches has already been commenced.

Wheel Impact Load Detector (WILD) are being deployed in a phased manner18.
Measures to curb Unmanned Level Crossing Accidents:
18
19

Since most of the Unmanned Level Crossing Accidents are caused due to
negligence of road vehicle users, publicity campaigns are periodically launched
through different media like quickies on television, cinema slides, SMSs, posters,
radio, newspapers, street plays, etc.

Joint ambush checks with civil authorities are conducted to nab erring road
vehicle drivers under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the
Indian Railways Act, 1989.

As a special measure, powers have been delegated to the Zonal Railways to
sanction new works of Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges and
Subways costing upto Rs. 2.50 crore in each case.

Construction of 226 ROBs and 653 RUBs was completed during 2011-12.

481 unmanned level crossings were closed by elimination, merger/diversion to
the nearby level crossing and construction of Subways.

Criteria for manning has also been revised to make more number of unmanned
level crossings eligible for manning. During 2011-12, 777 unmanned level
crossings were manned19.
Ibid, pp. 43-44
Ibid, pp. 44-45
21
Measures to reduce incidents of fire in trains:
20

IR have always endeavoured to enhance fire worthiness of coaches by using
more fire retardant furnishing materials such as Compreg Board/PVC for coach
flooring, laminated sheets for roof, ceiling wall & partition panelling, rexene and
cushioning material for seats and berths, FRP windows and UIC vestibules etc.
Specifications for such furnishing materials have been periodically upgraded to
incorporate the fire retardant parameters in line with UIC/other international
norms. All new manufacture of coaches/periodical overhauling of existing
coaches is being carried out with fire retardant specifications of the furnishing
materials.

With a view to improve fire safety in running trains, a pilot project for provision of
Comprehensive Fire and Smoke Detection System has been taken up in one
rake of Rajdhani Express on East Coast Railway. Similar automatic fire alarm
system in 20 more rakes for extended field trials has also been decided.

Guard-cum-Brake Van, AC coaches and Pantry Cars in all trains are provided
with portable fire extinguishers to cater for emergencies due to fire accidents.

Improved materials for electrical fittings and fixtures such as MCB, light fittings,
terminal boards, connectors, etc., are being used progressively.

Detailed instructions have been issued to Zonal Railways for observance of safe
practices in handling of pantry cars and for ensuring periodical inspection of
electrical and LPG fittings in the pantry cars.

Intensive publicity campaigns to prevent the travelling public from carrying
inflammable goods are regularly undertaken.

Measures have also been taken to prevent fire due to electrical short circuits in
coaches, which include three levels of protection in non AC coaches in case of
short circuits. Failure of 1st level fuse protection will cause fuse at 2nd level and
3rd level to protect the coach from short circuit.

To enhance electrical safety of coaches, only halogen free, fire retardant, low
smoke e-beam irradiated cable is being provided in new coaches.

Two separate Fire Safety Audit Teams have been constituted recently to plan fire
safety audits20.
Ibid, pp. 45-46
22
The Commission of Railway Safety
Section 113 of the Railways Act, 1989 required intimation of serious accidents to
be sent to the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Under the Statutory Investigation into
Railway Accidents Rules, 1998 issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, a statutory
inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety is obligatory in every serious accident to
a train carrying passengers which is attended with loss of human life, or with grievous
hurt, as defined in the Indian Penal Code, to a passenger or passengers in the train or
with serious damage to railway property of the value exceeding Rs. 2 crore in each
case.
While holding statutory inquiry, the Commission not only examines affected
passengers but also invites members of the public to give evidence in person during the
inquiry or to write to the Commission. Some of the serious accidents at manned or
unmanned level crossings attended with loss of life or with grievous injury to persons
travelling in road vehicles are also inquired into by the Commissioner of Railway
Safety21.
While, the Railway Board in the Ministry of Railway are the safety controlling
authority and are responsible for laying down and enforcing safety standards for the
Indian Railways, the main task of the Commission is to direct, advise and caution the
railway executives through its inspectional, investigatory and advisory functions and
thereby assist them in ensuring that all stipulated measures are taken in regard to the
soundness of rail construction and safety in train operation22.
The Commissioners carry out the duties/functions assigned to them under the
Railways Act, 1989, rules framed thereunder and instructions issued from time to time.
A gist of main-functions are as follows:
(i)
21
22
To inspect new lines with a view to determining whether they are fit to be opened
for the public carriage of passengers, and to sanction their opening after
inspection on behalf of the Central Government.
op.cit., Safety Performance, p. 44-45
Ministry of Civil Aviation, Annual Report 2011-12, pp. 93-94
23
(ii) To sanction the execution of all new works and installations on the running track
affecting the safety of the travelling public such as rebuilding of bridges,
remodeling of station yards, line capacity works, re-signalling works, etc.
(iii) To conduct statutory inquiries into serious railway accidents and suggest
safeguards.
(iv) To make periodical inspections of railways and report to the Central Government
on any condition which may endanger the safety of the travelling public and
make recommendations.
(v) To examine the technical aspects of new rolling stock, advise on their
introduction on open lines and to sanction their running on other section(s) and
increase in speeds.
(vi) To authorize the carriage of oversized consignments stipulating the conditions for
their movements.
(vii) To recommend and sanction infringements to the schedule of dimensions
prescribed by the Government of India.
(viii) To grant dispensation from general rules under approved special instructions
subject to stipulated safeguards.
(ix) To oversee the accidents prevention efficacy of the zonal railway administrations
by reviewing the reports of departmental enquiries into less serious accidents.
The Chief Commissioner submits an annual report on the activities of the
Commission in the preceding financial year as required under Section 10 of the
Railways Act, 1989 which is laid on the table of both the Houses of Parliament23.
Number of train accidents including untoward incidents which the Commission of
Railway Safety inquired into during the last three years and the current year (April to
August, 2012) are as under24:
Year
23
24
2009-10
No. of Inquiries
Conducted by CRS
23
2010-11
15
Ibid
Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 4364 dated 6.9.2012
24
2011-12
35
2012-13
(April to Aug.‟ 12)
12
Corporate Safety Plan (2003-2013)
In pursuance of recommendations of Railway Safety Review Committee (RSRC),
1998 under the Chairmanship of Justice H.R. Khanna, Corporate Safety Plan (2003-13)
was formulated.
The Corporate Safety Plan envisages the following areas to be
covered to enhance safety on Indian Railways:
(a)
Passenger Safety
(b)
Road users safety
(c)
Quantitative reduction in accidents
(d)
Improving asset reliability
(e)
Prompt rescue and relief operations.
The broad objectives of the Corporate Safety Plan include reduction in rate of
accidents and passenger fatality, development of manpower, safety on all fronts of train
operations and maintenance and adoption of fail-proof environment, etc25.
The Corporate Safety Plan of the Indian railways (2003-2013) also envisages a
safety action plan directed towards continuous reduction in risk level to its customers,
implementation of suggested system reforms, imbibing better safety culture,
enhancement of asset reliability etc.
This covers continuous rehabilitation and
modernization of assets, qualitative changes in men and machines, induction of
appropriate technologies in support of human efforts etc26.
The plan, aimed at achieving higher level of safety in train operations, involves a
total outlay of Rs. 31,385 crore which will come from the Special Railway Safety Fund
(Rs. 13,103 crore), the Railway Safety Fund (Rs. 8,911 crore), the Capital Fund (Rs.
25
26
op.cit., Safety Performance, p. 48
www.indianrailways.gov.in (Corporate Safety Plan 2003-2013)
25
4,205 crore), the Development Fund (Rs. 4,661 crore) and the Depreciation Reserve
Fund (Rs. 955 crore)27.
The implementation of recommendations is reviewed periodically to further
improve safety and the present status is as following:
(i)
Accidents per million train kms has already reduced to 0.15 in the year
11 from 0.44 in 2002-03.
2010-
(ii) As a result of various measures initiated in upgrading rolling stock, track and
signalling systems, the chances of passenger fatality have come down.
(iii) There is an overall reduction in consequential number of accidents from 161
(2003-04) to 56 (2010-11) attributable to human failure. However, human failure
still continues to be one of the major causes of accidents. Development of
manpower, regular training and improvement in working conditions is a
continuous process and it is being pursued by Indian Railways with all
seriousness.
(iv) By conducting Safety workshops, seminars, counseling, regular training of staff,
etc. there is substantial improvement in safety culture at all places.
(v) There is a reduction in number of consequential train accidents attributable to
equipment failures from 18 (2003-04) to 5 (2010-2011) due to adoption of „failproof‟ systems philosophy.
(vi) Priority to safety related projects is always given in planning and implementation.
(vii) 217 RSRC recommendations have been implemented out of the total 236
number of recommendations accepted.
Targets of Corporate Safety Plan are given utmost importance in all the planning
and implementation processes. Its progress is monitored on continuous basis and
corrective steps are taken wherever required. Railways will concentrate to strive to
achieve all the targets of Corporate Safety Plan before the end of the plan in 2013 28.
27
Business Standard, New Delhi, dated 20 August 2003
Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 1967, dated 30.3.2012
28
26
Modernisation of Disaster Management
A high level committee was constituted in September, 2002 to review Disaster
Management system over Indian Railways and to give recommendations for its
strengthening and streamlining. The committee had given 111 recommendations, all of
which have been accepted for implementation. 99 recommendations have since been
implemented as on 31.03.2012 and the balance recommendations are at the various
stages of implementation. Disaster Management Review Committee was constituted on
27.02.2007 under the chairmanship of Shri Gajendra Narayan, former Director General
(Police), and the committee submitted its report in December, 2008. Out of a total of
108 recommendations of the Committee, 41 recommendations have been accepted, out
of which 36 have already been implemented and the balance 5 recommendations are
under implementation, 67 recommendations of the Committee were not accepted due to
various reasons29.
Corporate Safety Plan (2003-2013), Ministry of Railways, inter alia, suggested for
modernization of Disaster Management (DM) on Indian Railways. The main focus area
are - faster response, better facilities and equipment, expanding resources to meet
requirements in major accidents, better customer focus and training and preparedness,
etc. For modernization of DM, 18 (eighteen) strategies have been suggested in the
Corporate Safety Plan, out of these, 13 (thirteen) have so far been implemented as on
31.10.2011 on Indian Railways. For implementing the strategies for modernization of
Disaster Management, following measures have already been taken:-
29

Disaster Management (DM) Plans have been made at Corporate Level, Zonal
and Divisional Level and dovetailed with State/District DM Plans.

Tie-up with reputed private/civil hospitals.

Provision of rescue ambulances and Collapsible coffins in each Divisional
hospital.

Taking assistance of armed forces including Air-Force for assistance whenever
required during disasters.
op.cit., Safety Performance 2011-12, pp.48-49
27

Provision of emergency escape route and emergency automatic lights in all
coaches.

Delegation of adequate financial powers to concerned officers for quick rescue
operations.

Minimum one 140 Tonne breakdown crane have been provided in each Broad
Gauge division and all Accident Relief Trains (ARTs) have been provided with
Air-brake stock.
The financial implication for modernization of DM on Indian Railways as per the
Corporate Safety Plan is approximately Rs 400 crore. Figures of expenditure are
available on all India basis and an amount of Rs 100.79 crore has been spent to the end
of financial year 2010-11.
Pending recommendations like manufacturing of Self Propelled Accident Relief
Trains (SPARTs) amounting to Rs 235 crores, Emergency Rail cum Road Vehicle,
Setting up of Railway Disaster Management Institutes, etc., are long lead
recommendations requiring R&D and policy related work before they are implemented
at the field level. The Railways have periodically been reviewing the implementation
and the targets stipulated in the Corporate Safety Plan. Out of pending 5(five)
strategies, one each is targeted for implementation in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and the
remaining three by 2015-1630.
Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF)
Since the early nineties, the Railways have not been able to provide fully for the
depreciation needs due to severe financial constraints.
The steep increase in the
working expenses of the Railways resulted, in an erosion of the Railways‟ capacity to
generate investible surpluses. The railways had to even resort to drawing down from
the balances of the Depreciation Reserve Fund (DRF) to enable minimal plan outlays.
Consequently, there was an accumulation of over-aged assets awaiting renewals. In
the wake of this, the Railway Safety Review Committee recommended the grant of Rs.
30
Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 53 dated 24.11.2011
28
15000 crores to the Railways for wiping out the accumulated arrears of the replacement
and renewals of the safety related assets.
Railway Safety Review Committee (RSRC) – 1998, in Part - I, of their report,
identified the following arrears of asset of renewal as on1.4.1999:
Arrears of Track Renewals (BG)
-
12,260 Kms.
Distressed Bridges
-
262 Nos.
Overaged Signalling Gears
-
1,560 Stations
Overaged Coaches (BG)
-
1,322 Vehicle Units
Overaged Wagons (BG)
-
34,000 (in terms of
4-wheeler units)
On the basis of RSRC‟s recommendation, a one time grant for renewal of these
overaged assets was sought by the Ministry of Railways, on account of its inability to
provide such a large quantum of funds from within its own resources. A non-lapsable
Special Railway Safety Fund of Rs. 17,000 crore was created to expedite the works of
renewal/replacement of overaged safety related assets within a time frame of six fiscal
years. It was decided that this fund would be financed through two sources viz. (i)
Railways‟ contribution through the levy of „safety surcharge‟ on passenger traffic and (ii)
through additional financial assistance to be given by the Ministry of Finance. The
amounts so provided would be Rs. 5000 crore and Rs. 12,000 crore, respectively. The
surcharge has been in place since 1.10.200131.
The currency of the Special Railway Safety Fund had already come to an end on
31.3.2008.
An amount of Rs. 16,318 crores has been spent out of total projected
amount of Rs. 17,000 crores under SRSF upto 31.3.2008. To complete the ongoing
works spilled over in year 2008-09, Rs. 590.36 crores has been credited to Depreciation
Reserve Fund32.
31
32
th
th
op.cit., Standing Committee on Railways (14 Lok Sabha), 5 Report, 2004, pp.29-30
Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 2129 dated 19.8.2011
29
Railway Security
Security has been identified as one of the priority areas for upgradation and
strengthening over Indian Railways. Railway Protection Force (RPF), which functions
under the Ministry of Railways, has been entrusted with the responsibility of protection
and security of passengers, passenger area and matters connected therewith. After
studying the problems of railway security, Integrated Security System was proposed for
202 important railway stations in the entire railway network.
The philosophy was to have different layers of checking/surveillance so that any
nefarious activity is immediately noticed and the required action is taken within the
„golden hour‟ – the first hour after the accident. Ministry of Railways has accordingly
approved the installation of the „Integrated Security System‟ at important stations after
detailed deliberations33. The system will comprise of the following components:
(i)
Internet Protocol based Close Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system with
video analytics and recording facility.
(ii) Access control
(iii) Personal and baggage screening system
(iv) Bomb Detection and Disposal System
Implementation of the Integrated Security System is under process over zonal
railways. The System has been envisaged to have a multiple checking, starting from
entry to the station premises and continuing till the boarding of the train by passengers.
Area to be covered under the above System include entry/exit points, circulating area,
concourse, platforms, parcel area, foot over bridge, washing line, vehicle entry point etc.
Automatic vehicle scanners are being provided at entry gates from where
vehicles enter into the station premises. For baggage screening, X-ray baggage
scanner is being provided. For explosive detection, provision of explosive vapour
detector and sniffer dogs is being made at nominated railway stations. The System is
33
Press Information Bureau (PIB) Press Release dated 10.4.2012
30
being implemented at an approved cost of 353 crores for which budgetary allocation
has been provided in Works Programme.
At present, a three tier security system is prevailing over Indian Railways 34 :
(i)
District Police: Security of tracks, bridges and tunnels.
(ii) Government Railway Police (GRP): GRPs are a wing of the State Police
exclusively for prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and
order in station premises/circulating areas and trains. 50% of the cost of
Government Railway Police is borne by the Railways and the balance is paid by
the State Governments concerned.
(iii) Railway Protection Force (RPF): Railway Protection Force functions under the
Ministry of Railways. The Force has been entrusted with the responsibility of
protection and security of Railway Property, passenger area and passengers and
for matters connected therewith.
Security of passengers has been identified as one of the priority areas by
Railways for strengthening and upgradation. Efforts made to strengthen railway security
in recent past include escorting of important Mail/Express trains, regular coordination
with GRP/ Civil Police, nomination of 202 stations for installation of Integrated Security
System, procurement of modern security related equipment, setting up on an All India
Security Help Line, networking of RPF Posts and Security Control Rooms, setting up of
a commando training center, establishment of new RPSF Battalions etc35.
Railway Safety Review Committee
Ministry of Railways has earlier constituted the Khanna Committee 1998, the
Sikri Committee 1978, Wanchoo Committee 1968 and Kunzru Committee 196236.
Railway Safety Review Committee (Khanna Committee) was set up in 1998
under the Chairmanship of Justice H.R. Khanna, a retired Supreme Court Judge. The
Committee, inter alia, reviewed the recommendations of earlier Committees and
34
Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 372 dated 6.9.2012
Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 3630 dated 26.4.2012
36
Ministry of Railways, Report of High Level Safety Review Committee 2012, p. 2
35
31
suggested measures for further improvement in the safe running of trains. The
Committee submitted its report in two parts. Part-I was submitted in August, 1999, while
its part II was submitted in February, 2001. Both the parts of the report have been
placed on the Table of Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha. The Committee made a total
of 278 recommendations in its Report (150 in Part-I and 128 in Part-II)37.
In its report it had inter alia recommended that in the interest of safety of the
travelling public, the Central Government should provide a one time grant to the
Railways so that arrears in the renewal of vital safety equipment are wiped out within a
fixed time frame of 5 to 7 years-The Committee had also recommended that one time
grant of Rs. 15000 cr be given by the Central Government to the Railways to wipe out
arrears of replacement of over aged assets38.
High Level Safety Review Committee
In view of the extreme demand on the Indian Railways‟ system, both in respect of
infrastructure as also skilled manpower directly connected with safety on the railways
arising out of the aspirations of the general public and public representatives and with a
view to ensure that safety is given overriding priority and no aspect connected with
safety escapes attention, the need was felt for an objective assessment and validation
of time tested systems and protocols in vogue on Railway system. In pursuance of
these objectives, a High Level Safety Review Committee has been constituted by the
Ministry of Railways39 on 16.09.2011 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar,
former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission. It dealt with all technical and technology
related aspects in connection with safe running of train services in the country.
The Committee has submitted its Report to Ministry of Railways on 17.02.2012. It
has made 106 recommendations in their Report covering the following aspects: General
Safety Matters, Organizational structure, Empowerment at Working Level, Safety
related works and issues, Vacancies in critical safety categories and Manpower
37
www.indianrailways.gov.in (Railway Safety Review Committee)
Press Information Bureau (PIB) Press Release dated 29.8.2001
39
Ibid, dated 16.9.2011
38
32
Planning issues, Shortage of Critical Safety Spares, External Interferences –
Encroachment and Sabotage, Signaling, Telecommunication and Train Protection,
Rolling Stock, Track, Bridges, Level Crossings, Human Resource Development with
emphasis on Education and Training, Training Institutes on Indian Railways (IR) and
Eco-System on Indian Railways and Safety Architectures on IR. The recommendations
of the Committee are under examination40.
The High Level Safety Review Committee has proposed for an investment of
Rs. 1,00,000 Crore over a five year period41.
12th Plan Perspective
Following key areas related to safety need to be addressed and funded during
12th Plan period42.
40

Development of proven and reliable on-board train protection system by
monitoring and executing works of Train protection & Warning System (TPWS)
and Anti Collision Device (ACD)/Train Collision Avoidance systems (TCAS). This
would minimize human dependence in train operations and enhance the level of
safety.

Provision of improved safety systems with audio visual warning to road users in
advance of approaching trains. The system is expected to significantly reduce
accidents at level crossing gates.

For moving towards a fault tolerant zero defect regime, computerized real time
monitoring of assets and use of condition based in predictive maintenance
systems shall be necessary. This will improve reliability of signalling system and
reduce lifecycle cost of maintenance. There will be greater use of these concept
to achieve overall corporate objective.

A complete switchover to system and equipment of higher reliability and level of
safety with built-in design redundancy using electronic interlocking, multi section
digital axle counters.

Development of “crashworthy” structural design capable of absorbing high impact
loads in unfortunate case of collision/accidents.
Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 173 dated 22.11.2012
Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 3074 dated 30.8.2012
42
th
op.cit., Working Group Report for 12 Plan – Railways Sector, pp. 24-25
41
33

All the furnishing materials in the coaches to have superior fire retardant
properties in line with international norms.

Mobile Communication footprint to be extended substantially as secure mobile
communication has significant operational, safety and maintenance benefits. As
per the recommendation of RSRC, Board has accepted provision of on Board
and mid section communication facilities with a commitment to complete this
work on A,B & C routes of IR. Train Radio Communication (MTRC) is proposed
for A,B & C routes in the 12th Plan on 15000RKms. An outlay of 1100 Cr. is
required for providing MTRCV on identified sections of A, B & C routes in 12th
Plan (Plan head 33).

There are 2000 Kms of overhead alignment which is an outdated technology for
block and control working. The communication media provided on overhead
alignment is noisy and prone to failures. This needs to be replaced at the earliest.
It is planned to replace the entire overhead alignment in 12th five year plan at a
cost of Rs. 125 Cr.

Provision of Biometric VCD (Driver‟s Vigilance Telemetry Control System).

Provision of Intelligent fire surveillance & Extinguishing system of locos.

Provision of GPS based Fog safe device
Conclusion
Most accidents happen because of procedural failures. The most important
systems in the Railways that demand urgent attention are signalling and route-relay
interlocking (RRI), both of which have become outdated and are malfunctioning. The
RRI systems have a life of 16 lakh operations or 20 years, whichever comes earlier. In
most places in India, the RRI system has passed this age43.
At present, the total permanent personnel number is 13.62 lakh. This, despite the
fact that the number of trains has increased nearly fourfold since 1991. The speed of
the trains has also doubled in the past two decades.At present, at least 17,000 positions
of loco pilots and one lakh positions of safety employees are lying vacant.
Machine failures at level crossings (manned and unmanned) have also resulted
in many accidents. With the rise in the number of trains, tracks are overburdened at
43
Mahaprashasta, A.A., Ailing Behemoth, Frontline, Vol. 29 – Issue18, September 8-21, 2012
34
least one train passes each track every four minutes on an average. This hardly leaves
any time for track personnel to conduct a thorough check.
Safety has come to be recognized as the key issue for the railways and one of its
special attributes. No railway system can survive by ignoring this vital aspect as safe
and timely transit is not only significant for passenger traffic but also for transportation of
materials, in today‟s highly competitive environment44.
In recent years, safety of railways is becoming over arching concern in major
countries like USA, England, Australia and those governed by the European
Commission.
In the working of railways system in these countries, the trend is to
statutorily ensure that safety is accorded highest priority.
Thus, the above scenario presents a strong case for immediate steps to bolster
safety orientation of Indian Railways along with inculcating a culture of zero tolerance of
accidents45. The constant endeavour of the Indian Railways is to become the leader in
the nation‟s transportation sector by providing modern, reliable, safe, customer-led and
customer-focused services to the nation. Safety is an ethos that should pervade all
activities of railway operations and maintenance. This ethos has to be instilled and
nurtured. The concern for safety has to be all pervasive in the functioning of the Indian
Railways46.
44
www.interrailsafety.com/perth/press/sharma-paper.pdf
op.cit., High Level Safety Review Committee 2012, p. 93
46
www.indianrailways.gov.in (Corporate Safety Plan)
45
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