Derailments rise but safety reports gather dust
- Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) is yet to submit the preliminary finding report of Patna-bound Indore-Rajendranagar Express derailment that took place 2 months back in November in which at least 146 people lost their lives.
- The sabotage angle is being probed by the National Investigation Agency.
- Delay in submitting the report assumes significance as yet another derailment of the Hirakhand Express in Andhra Pradesh has claimed the lives of 39 persons with over 50 injured.
- According to a Railway Board official, there were 68 derailments till December 2016, compared to 65 in the previous year — a six-year high.
- Derailments happen due to fault in either railway tracks or the rolling stock.
- Ideally 4,500 kilometres of the rail tracks should have been renewed annually out of the total track length of 1,14,907 kms. However, out of 5,000 km track length due for renewal at present, only 2,700 km track was targeted to be renewed by the Railways.
- The Standing Committee criticised the Railways for failing to address the human error involved in rail accidents.
- Around 70 % of the rail accidents in 2015-16 occurred due to the fault of railway staff such as poor maintenance, non-adherence to safety rules and adopting short-cuts.