Panel calls meet of Railway board on January 16
New delhi: The Railway Standing committee headed by Sudip Bandopadhay has expressed serious concern about the physical conditions of the major railway bridges of the country and decided to call a meeting with the all the members of the Railway board including its newly appointed Chairman Ashwani Lohani on January 16.
The committee presented their report in the Parliament on Thursday expressed their concern that the bridges which are more than 100 years old or older may not be compliant with modern rail paraphernalia or may be unable to withstand higher load and speed resulting in accidents or compromise with the punctuality and advise the ministry to devise a protocol of inspection and maintenance to include a greater degree of safety for bridges.
The railway ministry had appointed a high-level safety review committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar in 2012 to review the safety of the Indian Railways and recommended improvements.
The committee now wants to know the implementation of those recommendations which also includes old bridge repair. The committee found that every year the money allotted in the budget estimate is not spent. In the last year, 2017-18 the total money allocated was Rs 746 crore for bridge repair. But the revised estimate downgraded the allocation to Rs 705 crore. The actual money was spent was only Rs 405 crore.
The committee also found that people engaged in safety-related works are not adequate. The committee had found that there exists a high rate of vacancy in this category. As against a sanctioned strength of 7669, the actual strength of the staff is only 4517. Almost there is 40 percent vacancy. Admittedly, the lack of manpower has negatively affected their inspection routine and most acutely in the northeast frontier railways.
Kolkata Metro rail accident
Commissioner of Railway safety of Eastern Kolkata Mohaamaded Tarif Khan has sent a copy of statutory inquiry into the fire accident on last 27th December between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan to the Chairman of the Railway standing committee. Based on the preliminary inquiry and facts during the inquiry by the witness he has recommended certain measures for the prevention of such incidents. He has recommended three measures for taking up.
First is, all the rakes should be provided with the video monitoring and surveillance system in all the coaches and live feed should be available in audio-visual display in the front and rear driver cabin within the cone of visibility so that conditions of the passengers in the coaches can be monitored.
The second most important recommendation is that Metro railway should provide fire and smoke alarm in all the structure which was not there. The announcements made by the crew using the PA System and the passenger conversation through emergency talkback system and should be reviewed after every trip. This will help the authority to understand any lacunae if there is any in the system.
Railway decides to revive old Shyama Prasad Institute of Chitpur.
Railway ministry has decided to rebuild Shyma Prasad Institute of Chitpur colony for an auditorium. In a letter to MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the General manager mentioned that the present institute is not in use and it's in a dilapidated condition. Now, the Railways has allotted 84 lakhs to renovate the Institute for public use.
Similarly, in Narkeldanga railway colony a new auditorium will be built by filling up a local died pond.