Derailments rose this year, admits Railways
By Richa Sharma | Express News Service | Published: 29th December 2016 02:27 AM |
NEW DELHI: The Railways has a seen rise in derailments in 2016 with 67 cases reported, compared to 52 during the same period last year. What is worrying is the backlog regarding over 5,000 km track slated for renewal in the last six years.
The Railways on Wednesday acknowledged the rise in derailments this year and said steps are being taken to strengthen infrastructure to achieve zero accident target.
According to the Railways, derailments may be due to defects in tracks or in the rolling stock and it is essential to carry out not only track maintenance, but also the renewal of tracks as and when it becomes due.
But the data with the ministry shows a poor picture as the Railways has a total track length of 1,14,907 km of which, on average 4,500 km of the track should be ideally renewed annually.
“Due to financial constraints, the progress of track renewal is constantly coming down since the last six years. Currently, 5,000 km track length is due for renewal,” said a ‘White Paper on Indian Railways’, published in February 2015.
“We are doing track renewal of around 2,700 km annually. 2,700 km I will do this year and the balance will be 2,300 km,” said A K Mital, chairman, Railway Board.
Member (traffic) Mohd Jamshed said Rs 7,500 crore has been allocated in the Rail Budget for track renewal and strengthening of bridges, but there is a need for a separate rail safety fund.