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Saturday, July 20th, 2024

Question on Kanchenjunga accident… Look at the statistics of these rail accidents in 10 years of UPA vs Modi government

New Delhi: After the horrific train accident in New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, the Congress and other opposition parties are attacking the Modi government. The opposition is continuously attacking PM Modi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav on this issue. Congress says that the Modi government has completely ruined the railways. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav. The Congress President asked, ‘Narendra Modi ji, tell us who should be held accountable, the Railway Minister or you?’ Overall, this issue has become political for the Congress and the Congress is openly batting on it. What do the figures say amid political allegations. From 2004 to 2014, there were 171 rail accidents every year during the UPA government, while from 2014-2024, there were 68 train accidents every year during the Modi government. India is the fourth largest railway system in the world, after America, Russia and China. In the last few years, Indian Railways has taken several steps to develop railway infrastructure, modernize the system and improve operational efficiency and safety. According to government data, the number of serious railway accidents was 473 in the year 2000-01, which decreased year after year. This number has come down to 40 in 2023-24. This means that the number of railway accidents has reduced significantly.

Railway accidents: UPA (2004-14) vs Modi government (2014-24)

  • The expenditure on security related works has increased more than two and a half times. It was Rs 70,273 crore in 2004-14, which has increased to Rs 1.78 lakh crore in 2014-24.
  • The expenditure on maintenance of railway tracks has also increased by 2.33 times. It was Rs 47,018 crore in 2004-14, which has increased to Rs 1,09,659 crore in 2014-24.
  • Welding defects in railway tracks have reduced by 87%. These were 3,699 in 2013-14, which has come down to 481 in 2023-24.
  • The number of rail breakdowns has also reduced by 85%. It was 2,548 in 2013-14, which has come down to 383 in 2023-24.
  • The number of road overbridges constructed has increased by 2.9 times. Their number was 4,148 during 2004-14, which has increased to 11,945 in 2014-24.
  • The expenditure on maintenance of bridges has doubled. It was Rs 3,919 crore during 2004-14, which has increased to Rs 8,008 crore in 2014-24.
  • The number of stations with electronic interlocking system has increased by 3.5 times. Their number was 837 during 2004-14, which has increased to 2,964 in 2014-24.
  • The production of LHB coaches has increased by 15.8 times. Their number was 2,337 during 2004-14, which has increased to 36,933 in 2014-24.

Major reforms in railways under Modi government

The National Rail Safety Fund (RRSK) was launched in 2017-18 with a budget of Rs 1 lakh crore. This fund is used to repair, innovate and improve things necessary for the safety of railways. This fund was for five years. From 2017-18 to 2021-22, a total of Rs 1.08 lakh crore was spent on the works of RRSK. In 2022-23, the government has extended RRSK for another five years. This extended term will get Rs 45,000 crore from the government budget. The Kavach system has been adopted as the national Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system for the safety of trains. This system helps the loco pilot. If he/she forgets to apply the brake, then this system can automatically apply the brake. This ensures safe operation of trains even in bad weather. So far, the Kavach system has been implemented on 1,465 km of railway track and 121 locomotives.

Special focus on security

By 31 May 2024, electronic interlocking (EI) systems have been installed at 6,586 stations. By 31 October 2023, automatic block signalling (ABS) has been implemented on 4,111 railway kilometres of track on high-density routes. By 31 October 2023, 11,137 level crossings have been safety-enhanced by linking them with signals. By January 2019, unmanned level crossings have been removed on all broad gauge routes. Vigilance control devices (VCDs) have now been installed on all locomotives to maintain the alertness of loco pilots. Also, drivers have been given GPS-based fog protection devices (FSDs) in foggy areas.

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