The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) to provide information on delay in the implementation of the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS).
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) to provide information on delay in the implementation of the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS). Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu also issued a show cause notice to the Central Public Information Officer of DSIR, B N Sarkar, for not responding to an RTI application seeking information about the TPWS despite a senior DSIR official asking him to do so. Acharyulu directed Sarkar to provide information on reasons for delay, expected date of completion of the project, and additional expenditure. He asked Sarkar why he should not be penalised for not responding to the RTI application of Astitva, who had sought details of the TPWS project submitted by the Central Electronics Limited (CEL) to prevent rail accidents, under the Science and Technology plan in 2013.
Taking note of an audit report the applicant added with his appeal to the Commission, Acharyulu said the European design was not going to work well under the Indian Railways. “The audit observed that the CEL does not have expert officials for taking up the project. Thus, due to the non-clear vision of the management regarding development of TPWS and disregard to the Railway Committee report findings, Rs 4.50 crore of the Government of India was blocked without any benefits,” said Acharyulu, citing the audit report. He said the RTI application was of greater public interest as it deals with most important matter for passengers of the world’s biggest railways.
Hundreds of people get killed in ghastly railway accidents simply because they travel on Indian trains. We are struggling to evolve Train Protection Warning Systems, Acharyulu said. He said the TPWS under implementation has “several defects and lacks clear vision”. The audit made serious observations on the way the project is being implemented, Acharyulu said. The commissioner said it was not known whether the audit report or recommendations of the Kakodhkar Committee were being considered by the department. “The department has a duty to explain each and every adverse remark of the audit report,” he said.