BENGALURU: A massive investment and upgrade of railway tracks in the just concluded financial year ensured that the Bengaluru Railway Division bagged the crown for the safest zone among 17 railway zones in the country recently. A total of `297.15 crore has been invested on an upgrade of its railway tracks in the financial year 2017-2018, marking a 116% increase over the previous year.
A railway official told The New Indian Express that the division did not have a single accident during the financial year. “The massive investment in renewal and upgrade of railway tracks are responsible for it,” he said. Stating that passenger safety was the thrust, the official added, “Punctuality was affected to some extent due to the temporary halt of services that had to be effected to carry out infrastructure work.”
“The average extent of railway track maintenance work carried out during the last nine years was 34.76 km. “In comparison, in 2016-2017, the average track maintenance work was 62.97 kms while it 131.5 km of tracks — nearly four times — during 2017-2018,” the official said. Funds were not an issue as the dedicated railway safety fund set up by the Centre — the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh — provided the required funding, the official added. The upgrade was effected using latest machinery too.