Consequential train accidents register 10 percent decline in past 23 years

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The recent train mishap of Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express near New Jalpaiguri, in West Bengal claiming nine people besides leaving over 50 injured has once again revived the horror on track.

While the official machinery swung into action to facilitate relief operations besides implementing damage control measures, the opposition lapped on the opportunity to criticize the government for its failure to check such mishaps.

However, official records revealed, implementation of measures to check such mishaps had showed positive outcome resulting in decline in count of train accidents over the years.

10 percent decline in accident count in past 23 years

In past 23 years between 2000 and 2023, the number of train accidents in country had witnessed a decline of 10 percent from 473 accidents recorded in 2000-01 to 48 accidents in 2022-23.

Records revealed, average number of consequential train accidents during the period, 2004-14 was 171 per annum, while the average number of consequential train accidents during the period, 2014-23 had declined to 71 per annum.

During the period 2021-22 and 2022-23, a total of 35 and 48 consequential train accidents respectively took place in country. In the year 2021-22 to 2022-23 a total of 9 passengers had lost their lives and 116 sustained injuries in mishaps.

Compensation paid to victims

The amount of compensation disbursed to aggrieved persons in the years 2021-22 and 2022-23 was Rs. 76,30,317 and Rs 46,66,477 respectively. The amount of compensation paid in a year is not related to the accidents/casualties in that year. The amount of compensation paid depends upon the number of cases which are finalized and payment made in a particular year irrespective of the year in which the accident took place.

What is Consequential Train Accidents ?

Train accidents having serious repercussion in terms of loss of human life, human injury, loss to Railway property or interruption to Rail traffic are classified under ‘consequential train accidets’ category. Train accident in cases of Collision, Fire, Level crossing, Derailment, etc are marked as consequential train accidents.

Measures to enhance safety and prevent train accidents

  • Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) was introduced in 2017-18 for
    Replacement, renewal and upgradation of critical safety assets, with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for five years. Between 2017-18 and 2021-22, gross expenditure of Rs 1.08 lakh crore was incurred on RRSK works. In 2022-23, the government extended the currency of RRSK for another period of five years with Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs. 45,000 crores.
  • Electrical and Electronic Interlocking Systems with centralized operation of points and signals were provided at 6521 stations till December 31, 2023 to eliminate accident due to human failure.
  • Interlocking of Level Crossing (LC) Gates provided at 11,143 level Crossing
    Gates till December 31, 2023 for enhancing safety at LC gates.
  • Complete Track Circuiting of stations to enhance safety for verification of track
    occupancy by electrical means provided at 6558 stations till December 31, 2023.
  • All locomotives equipped with Vigilance Control Devices (VCD) to ensure
    alertness of Loco Pilots.

Story of KAVACH

Kavach, as the name signifies, is an automatic train protection (ATP) system indigenously developed by Indian Railways through Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO). Initial development of Kavach started in 2012 under the name Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and was finally put on work in 2022.

Presently, Kavach has so far been deployed on 1465 Route Km and 139 Locomotives including (Electric Multiple Unit rakes) on South Central Railway. The tenders for it have also been awarded for Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors (approximately 3000 Route Km) while work was in progress on these routes. The progress of main items related to Kavach include Laying of 3040 Km of Optical Fibre Cable, installation of 269 telecom towers, provision of equipment at 186 stations, provision of equipment in 170 Loco, installation of 827 route km of track side equipments, etc.

Tragedy on tracks in 23 years

Year Train Accidents
2000-01 473
2001-02 415
2002-03 351
2003-04 325
2004-05 234
2005-06 234
2006-07 195
2007-08 194
2008-09 177
2009-10 165
2010-11 141
2011-12 131
2012-13 122
2013-14 118
2014-15 135
2015-16 107
2016-17 104
2017-18 73
2018-19 59
2019-20 55
2020-21 22 Covid Year
2021-22 35 Covid Year
2022-23 48

 

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