Expressing serious concern over the rising trend of train derailments, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today directed all zones to launch fortnight long safety drive across the country from tomorrow to prevent such incidents.
Twelve coaches of Thiruvananthapuram-Mangalore express was derailed in the wee hours on Sunday near Karukutty station, around 45 km from Kochi.
Though no one was injured in the incident, there were many such derailments in the recent past causing disruption in train service and posing serious question over safety parameters in train operation, said a senior Railway Minister official.
He said Minister has taken a serious view of recent derailments of passenger carrying trains and has directed railway administration to launch a massive safety drive across entire Indian Railways network focusing on the strong measures for preventing derailments.
Derailment of trains is one of the major causes of railway accidents constituting on an average 50 per cent of the total railway accidents.
After reviewing the safety measures with the Railway Board, Prabhu asked all Zonal Railways and Divisions to gear up their machinery to carry out this drive effectively.
Senior officers including Divisional Railway Managers have been asked to be actively associated with the safety drive. Safety drive will be constantly monitored in the railway board by the safety directorate.
According to the official, suitable follow up action will be taken on all deficiencies and irregularities noticed during the drive.
The corrective measures wherever required should immediately be taken to ensure safety in railway operations. The result and report of the drive will also be used for long term measures. It has been re-emphasized that safety in railway operations should continue to be the top most priority at all levels.
The fortnight long safety drive beginning from September 1 will lay emphasis on maintenance of track, prevention of rail fractures and weld failures.
According to the directive, there should be zero missing fittings particularly at locations like approaches to bridges, curves, cuttings and high banks.
The inspection of fraction prone location and vulnerable sections and strict compliance with the norms laid down for maintenance of all the running lines including loop lines in station limit.