Anti-collision devices to cover 8 rail zones: Mamata

February 25th, 2011 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Anti-collision devices (ACD) will be implemented in eight of the country’s 17 zonal railways to improve the safety of rail passengers, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said Friday.”In my first tenure, I had approved the introduction of Anti Collision Device (ACD). After ten years I find that it has been implemented only on North East Frontier Railway (NFR). The recent trials with an improved version of ACD have met with success and it will be commissioned on more three zonal railways - Southern Railway, South Central Railway and South Western Railway,” said Mamata Banerjee in parliament.

“Again considering the successful trials, I have decided to extend the device to Eastern Railway, East Coast Railway, East Central Railway and South Eastern Railways. With this we will have covered 8 of the 17 zonal railways,” said Banerjee.

She said a Global Positioning System (GPS) based ‘Fog Safe’ device has been deployed and this year, railways have handled the foggy weather without any untoward incident.

Referring to accidents at unmanned level crossings, the railway minister said the number of incidents have come down by 36 percent with the elimination of 1,500 unmanned crossings, construction of 172 Railway Over Bridges (ROBs) and 240 Railway Under Bridges (RUBs)/subways.

“For manning the level crossing, the railway has lowered the eligibility criteria from 6,000 Train Vehicle Units (TVU) per day to 3,000 TVU per day. Efforts will be intensified in the coming year by eliminating the remaining eligible 2,500 unmanned level crossings as well as construction of 200 ROBs and 325 RUBs/subways,” she said.

Implementing ACD was a long standing demand of the passengers across the country after several major train accidents in last one year.

The experts have claimed that if the device is implemented then train accidents like the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express and July 19 Sainthia accident in West Bengal’s West Midnapore and Birbhum districts respectively could have been averted.

The Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express ran off the tracks between Sardiha and Khemasuli railway stations near Jhargram as the pandrol clips (which fix the rails to the sleepers) were removed by saboteurs. The toll went up to 148 as a freight train coming from the opposite direction rammed into the derailed coaches.

In Sainthia sation, the Sealdah-bound Uttar Banga Express rammed into the stationary Vananchal Express July 19 resulting in the death of 67 people and leaving over 150 injured.

“The proposal of commissioning the ACD is good. But we have been hearing the proposal for long. We want immediate implementation of the device,” said former Railway Board member Subhas Thakur.

“The minister has not mentioned the amount to be spent for commissioning the ACD and the time limit. I would be happy if she had mentioned it,” said Thakur.

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