Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of the Railway Board was quoted saying that Indian Railways is looking to step up electrification and track-related work to improve passenger safety and seeks to implement other cultural reforms for the network.
In a bid to strengthen passenger safety and punctuality, Indian Railways is planning to double its efforts for electrification and track related work for next financial year. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of the Railway Board was quoted in an HT report saying that Indian Railways is looking to step up track-related work to 12,000 km in the next financial year compared to 5,300 km carried out in 2016-17. The number of consequential train accidents during 2017-18 (73) is 30% less than the figure recorded in 2016-17 (104). Fatalities due to accidents came down to 57 from 238 (-76%). The declining trend is evident in 2018-19 (from April to September) also, which witnessed 34 accidents and 21 deaths.
According to Lohani, almost 50% of the electrification work has been done and now the objective is to complete 6,000 km more in 2018-19, an added 7,000 km in 2019-20 and 10,500 km each in the next two years. By the end of this year, the issue of vibration in coaches will be resolved, he said. The unmanned level crossings will be removed by December 2018. Indian Railways is also working on installing bio-toilets in all coaches, a project that is scheduled to be completed by March 2019.
Lohani added that with the Union Cabinet’s approval for redevelopment of railway stations, Indian Railways is all set to issue tender for renovation of 500 stations where, besides improvements in facilities, commercial advancement will also be planned. These progressive efforts towards development will prove to be a big boon to the Railway network economy.
Through cultural reforms, the Railway Board is seeking to change the image of Indian Railways altogether, Lohani said. The VIP culture in the network has been cut down and no frills are being entertained anywhere, the Railway Board Chairman was quoted as saying. Streamlining the process of registering vigilance cases and issuing vigilance clearance has helped in gaining the employee confidence, he added.