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New technology on track to prevent train accidents

In the wake rising incidents of train accidents, the National Democratic Alliance government has decided to do away with old systems of Indian Railways. Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Monday told Lok Sabha that the Railways is adopting new technologies, updating signaling systems and educating staff to increase safety and prevent accidents.

Sinha further said that Railways is taking all possible steps to prevent accidents and enhance safety. He said timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies, regular monitoring and educating staff about the issue of safety are some of the various measures adopted. 

In response to a supplementary question, he said the gross expenditure on specific safety related activities has increased over the years.

In 2013-14, Rs 39,090 crore were spent on safety related activities. The budgetary estimates for 2014-15 for safety are Rs 43,443 crore. As on April 1, there were 2,25,863 vacancies in the 16 railway zones relating to posts under various categories, including safety.

Notably, there major train accidents have taken place since the Narendra Modi-led NDA government took oath of office on May 26.

The first incident took place on the same day when government was formed at the Centre as
Gorakhpur-bound Gorakhdham Express rammed into a stationary goods train near Khalilabad station in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh killing at least 25 and injuring over 50. The second incident was reported just a month after the government formation on June 25. In this accident Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express derailed near Chapra town in Bihar killing four and injuring eight.

The third incident took place on December 14 when 11 sleeper coaches and a pantry car (AC hot buffer car) of the New Delhi-bound Poorva Express derailed at Liluah shortly after leaving Howrah station. According to railway officials there was no casualty or injury to any passenger.

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