NEW DELHI: The highest number of 333 people were killed in 206 train accident in last three years, even as railways says that there is a drop in number of train accidents by 51 percent so far this year.
According to Indian railways data, in the last 3 years -- 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, there were 206 train derailments in which 333 persons lost their lives and the reason for the loss of lives is primarily on account of six major passenger train derailments.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said Indian railways gives highest priority to the safety of its passengers and in order to reduce accidents and also to minimise the unfortunate loss of lives in train accidents, modern technologies are being adopted.
“Continuous efforts are being made because of which, number of consequential train accidents have continuously declined from 135 in the year 2014-15, to 107 in the year 2015-16 and further down to 104 in the year 2016-17. In the current financial year up to August 2, 2017 the number of consequential train accidents have further reduced by 51.2 percent from 21 in 2017-18 versus 43 in 2016-17,” Prabhu informed Rajya Sabha.
The railway minister further said Accidents Per Million Train Kilometres, which is an internationally accepted yard stick of safety, has declined from 0.23 in 2006-07 to 0.11 in 2014-15, 0.10 in 2015-16 and further declined to 0.09 in 2016-17.
On concerns that coaches of the old design of 1950 are prone to derailing, Prabhu gave data saying no such conclusion has been drawn in inquiry reports.
“In the current year from April 1 to June 30, 2017, there have been 12 consequential train derailment accidents over Indian Railways, out of which there has been only one case purely on account of coach defect. In the previous year 2016-17, there have been 78 consequential train derailment accidents over Indian Railways, out of which cause of only two derailments are attributable to purely on account of coach defect,” he added.
Giving details of measures taken to replace old coaches with those with superior designs, the minister said in an effort to improve the safety performance over railways, Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) design coaches, which are of a superior design than Integral Coach Factory (ICF) design coaches and have better safety features like anti-climbing are being proliferated in mainline trains.