Questions raised on security, plans for expansion after more than 280 people were killed in Odisha crash, know facts


A fierce collision between trains in Odisha on Friday evening created panic in the hearts of people. So far more than 280 people have died in this accident. The Odisha train accident has raised many questions on the preparedness of the Railways as it is undergoing a Rs 2.4 trillion makeover with brand new trains and advanced stations.

What do the experts say

Experts say Friday’s accident, the country’s deadliest rail accident in more than 20 years, has come as a blow to plans to rejuvenate the railways. According to the news agency Reuters, Prakash Kumar Sen, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kirodimal Institute of Technology, Chhattisgarh, says – The safety record has improved in the last few years, but more work is yet to be done.

Introduction of more and more trains to meet the growing demand

Railway experts say that the Railways is introducing more and more trains to meet the growing demand, but the staff is not trained enough to maintain them or their workload is too high.

One of the oldest and busiest routes in the country

Prakash Kumar Sen said that the east coast route on which the three trains collided is one of the oldest and busiest routes in the country, as it also carries India’s coal and oil. These tracks are too old… the load on them is too much, if the maintenance is not good, there will be failures. Sen is also the lead author of a 2020 study on the causes and corrective measures for rail derailments in India.

Slow to install safety mechanisms like emergency alert system

Srinand Jha, an independent transportation specialist and author of the International Railway Journal, says the railways has been slow in installing safety mechanisms such as anti-collision devices and emergency alert systems across the network. They will always tell you that the accidents are at a very manageable level as they talk about them in percentage terms. They say- Anti-collision system armor was not available on the route involved in Friday’s accident.

This question is arising on security because

Indian Railways says that safety has always been a major focus. Pointing to its low accident rate in the last few years, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Railways says – This question is being raised on safety because, now an incident has happened. But, if you look at the statistics for the years, you will see that there have been no major accidents. Elaborating further, the spokesperson says- The number of accidents per million train kilometres, a measure of safety, fell from 0.10 in 2013-14 to 0.03 in FY 2021-22.

450 billion additional funds given

Long considered a lifeline for Indians, the 170-year-old system has seen rapid expansion and modernization under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to boost infrastructure and connectivity in the booming economy. The Rs 1 trillion five-year safety fund created in 2017-18 has been extended by five years from 2022-23, according to the Railways, giving an additional Rs 450 billion after the overall improvement in safety indicators since the first plan Has been.

Fourth largest train network in the world

Indian Railways runs the fourth largest train network in the world. It transports 13 million people from one place to another every day. It also carries about 1.5 billion tonnes of goods in the year 2022. This year, the government recorded a capital outlay of 2.4 trillion rupees for the railways, a 50 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, to upgrade track, decongest and add new trains .

India’s third worst accident

Friday’s train accident in Odisha’s Balasore is India’s third worst and deadliest since 1995, when two express trains collided at Firozabad near Agra, killing over 300 people.


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