Indian Railways
Call For Paper Advertisement

The Indian Railways is one of the biggest public sector undertakings in the country. Since its advent in April 1853, when the first train ran between Mumbai and Thane, it has come a long way/covered a great distance indeed. It is the fourth largest in terms of length and second largest when it comes to carrying passengers. Crores/millions of Indians commute through it daily, both for jobs as well as long distances/long distance journeys across the length and breadth of the nation. With manpower of about/around 12 lakh employees, Indian Railways is a force to reckon with. While these numbers might sound daunting, there is another dimension of Indian Railways that poses a glaring problem for the government. Railways in India have the highest number of casualties in the world and it also suffers from a chronic problem of delays. This year’s budget was remarkable since it was the first time ever that the Rail Budget has been/was subsumed with the General Budget. Which laid stress on/urged the need to focus on railway safety with just a sum of Rs.1,00,000 crores in its pocket. Rashtriya Rail Suraksha Kosh (RRSK) to be created for a term of 5 years. But the entire rhetoric about rail safety just did not prove to 3suffice. Last one year has seen a large number of rail accidents with an average of around 200 people losing their lives and 1000 people getting injured in the mishaps. The twin accidents in/that took place recently in August within the span of four days have reinvigorated the debate concerning Railway Security. It has bluntly exposed the ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude of the railways, particularly when it comes to the passenger’s safety. While the problems of regular delays, overcrowded trains, poor sanitation, corruption in railways and unprofessional staff might be forsaken /taken for granted by the people, the spree of train accidents has highlighted to change this dilapidated/paralytic organizational setup for the safety of the common man.

Accidents in Railways- Harsh Reality  

The Indian Railways is the lifeline of a nation which provides or has a potential to provide mass-transit to the large segment of the working people at exceptionally affordable rates. The trains also serve as the only long-distance transportation medium for scores of skilled and semi-skilled workers who migrate from their native places in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to the peninsular states namely Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala with a hope for a brighter future. This movement of workers is vital for economic development of the hinterland as well as the peninsular states and also the metropolitan cities which need working population/workforce to sustain high/optimum growth rates. The railways also carry thousands of tonnes of coal, raw iron and other freight items across the nation. The bane of accidents has been a curse of the colonial past for the organization. Those were the times of British colonialism, the railways for the first time were laid across the length of the nation with an objective of plundering the natural resources and subjugating the native population. In addition to this, it also served as a medium of rapid movement of the army, natural resources, and raw materials to be sourced out of the country through the ports. However, No attention was paid towards the development of the trains, the only lifeline for the native people. Eventually, the entire responsibility of the same rested on the Indian Government when the nation attained independence in 1947. The government with all of its resources extended the railway network throughout the nation, but the focus still was nowhere in the vicinity of rail safety.

Call For Paper Advertisement

Indian has been witnessing a large number of the train accidents every year in spite of hollow promises by the ministers regarding the improvement of the situation. Last one year has seen to record the highest number of accidents throughout the decade. The growing number of accidents has seriously dented/caused a grievous wound to the reputation of the Modi government which always used to boast about good governance. The casual attitude of the railways is primarily responsible for the growing number of accidents. The entire focus has been on announcing newer trains in poll-bound states to woo voters/appeal voters and to the contrary, the safety aspect is a neglected one. It is pertinent to note that about 75% of the rail accidents that took place this year have occurred in the form of/due to the derailment of either a locomotive or some bogies. The old infrastructure is highly stressed/retard and therefore, needs a herculean effort for the improvement.

Reasons for Accidents  

The increasing number of the rail accidents is mainly due to out-dated/obsolete machinery and indifferent attitude/ ‘Chalta Hai’ Attitude towards the safety of the people. The main issues with Indian Railways have been quite clearly illustrated by the Rakesh Mohan Committee Report of 2002. It states that the “railways have fallen into a vicious cycle of underinvestment, misallocation of scarce resources, increasing indebtedness, poor customer service and rapidly deteriorating economics”.[ Gist of Rakesh Mohan Committee Report on Transport Development Policy, Press Information Bureau, Government of India] The statement brings out the grim situation of the railways which needs a clear emphasis upon the safety of the passengers. The recent Utkal express mishap has refreshed the memories of the Indore-Patna Express disaster that took place in November 2016. Around 150 innocent lives were lost. The fact that the fares have not been hiked since the last decade in spite the fact that the railways have been registering millions and millions of losses every year, this pity situation points out towards the prevalence of the vote banks politics which always supersedes over the need for safety measures. The poor tracks and absence of Link-Hoffman –Bosch coaches which are considered as standard locomotives in most of the developed nations for last five years, have collectively added to the death toll. The casual attitude of the staff and the lack of accountability have also been the prime contributors to a dramatic rise in rail disasters.

The height of the callousness is revealed by fact that the August mishap of train derailment occurred when the track was under certain repair procedures, but the rail staff apparently didn’t care/bothered to stop the incoming train even when the tracks were loosely connected. The railway authorities sacked a number of high-ranking officials including a member of the railway board, but the fact that it is rather a temporary satisfaction and not a permanent solution. Another dimension to the problem is that a majority of the accidents have occurred in U.P.-Bihar-Jharkhand-M.P. belt which is considered to be very busy when it comes to train traffic and involves large transit of the people. Therefore, due to lack of time and heavy traffic, it becomes very difficult to maintain these tracks.

Reforms to Reduce Accidents  

There have been a number of Committees set up by the Union government over the years to study the problem of rail accidents and poor infrastructure. The recommendations by most of the committees pertain to/have emphasized upon the privatization of the railways. This suggestion was first mulled by the Rakesh Mohan Committee Report of 2002 which advocated the corporatization of the Indian Railways. But the reforms have not been received by the government in good light. The Modi Government called for the Anil Kakodkar Committee which is considered to be a high-level Safety Committee, so as to increase the safety of the passengers. It quiet efficiently pointed out certain issues, the lack of empowerment and neglect of maintenance as the main reasons for the accidents. It mooted the idea of the reformation of the role of Railway Board and revamping the infrastructure. It also proposed the idea of Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of railways to be deputed, with the objective of improving the safety by utilization of emerging technologies. The most of the recommendations of the committee were accepted by the government with General Budget 2017-18 proposing the replacement of ICF coaches with LHB ones in coming five years. New Metro Rail Policy and accrual-based financial accounting system are also said to have been included in the list of reforms. While cleanliness and sanitation received the required impetus in the form of ‘Clean My Coach’ App, ‘Coach Mitra’ and bio-toilets from 2019, albeit, the safety features are still a far cry from.

The government is pondering over the option of opening up the railways for private participation, but the said move needs a cautious approach. Another Committee headed by NITI Ayog member Bibek Debroy, which was formed with an intention to look into the matter of ‘Mobilisation of Resources for Major Railway projects and Reinstructing of Railway Board’. The committee suggested/urged the need of an independent regulator in the Indian Railways and also focusing on core activities while outsourcing the non-core functions like education, catering, etc. It has pointed out that the delay in the railway projects has led to the escalation of several costs and loss of millions of rupees of the public money. The government is also increasing the /reach/proximity of the Indian Railways at a robust rate along with the electrification of the large portion of the tracks. The need of this hour is that all the proposed reforms must be accompanied by safety measures in order to instill the confidence of the public in this system.

Bullet Trains- Case of Misplaced Priorities

The Indian government is trying to bring into India the phenomenon of the bullet train with cutting-edge technology and breathtaking speeds. The inauguration of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor which is due to take place in the coming month of  September this year is known to be built at the whopping cost of about ₹ 1lakh crores with the assistance of Japan. The train will cover a distance of 508 kilometers in about 2 hours and 8 minutes, with the top speed being 350 km/hr. While it might be a cherry on the cake for the ‘New India’ and be a boastful achievement for the Modi Government, it sounds quite ironic that we are mulling for bullet trains for the ultra-rich class of people while a majority of the population still travels in trains with poor safety features. Another dimension to the problem the problem is the clash of the conflicting ‘ideas of development’. The replacement of all the coaches of the Indian Railways from ICF to LHB will take years and years to come and also millions and millions of rupees as well. The railways till now has been able to replace the coaches of only Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, but the sleeper coaches of large distances trains which are highly/more prone to accidents are yet to be replaced. It is heartening to see that on one hand the death of about 30 people in the USA due to Hurricane Harvey receives global attention, on the other hand in India where more than 400 people have died in Bihar floods this year, but the Indian government is still unmoved. Is the death of the poor and common man a mere statistics for the government to distribute compensation and an opportunity for the officers to appropriate public money? We must have the sensitivity towards the value of human lives and must try to look into the directions of railway safety so as to reduce the number of rail accidents. The prospects of bullet train are fascinating, but the government must tread sincerely as well as carefully on the ‘Mission Zero’ to reduce the accidents in the railways.

Conclusion  

The problem of increasing numbers of accidents in railways has rightfully received the media attention with the former railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu offering his resignation in the moral responsibility. The recent cabinet reshuffle has resulted in the command of the department in the hands of Piyush Goyal. While the change of the minister is a welcome step, but it would in addition also take a herculean effort to improve the ailing system. The attitude of the officials must be changed and accountability of the accidents must be fixed with stringent penalties. India must first learn the art of rail safety from Japan which has the impeccable record of zero casualties in rail accidents since 1964 and still counting. If the government is able to realize the gravity of the situation and is able to invest seriously in safety on the war footing, it could certainly help in reducing the number of accidents and make the Indian Railways safer and passenger friendly than ever.

Call For Paper Advertisement

118 COMMENTS

  1. cheap barbour jackets

    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness for your publish is just nice and i can suppose youre an expert in this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to stay updated with impending post. Thanks 1,000,0…

  2. Pierre Hardy store online

    OK, this here post appears to be one where internet marketers have spotted a place to drop their respective web sites trying to entice the leading search engines, most notably Google, to rate their sites highly. Impossible to truly critizise this tacti…

  3. buy merrell shoes cheap

    My sister saved this blog for me and I have been reading through it for the past several hrs. This is really going to help me and my friends for our class project. By the way, I like the way you write.

  4. cheap parajumpers

    I had this page saved some time previously but my laptop crashed. I have since gotten a new one and it took me a while to find this! I also really like the template though.

  5. cheap balmain jeans

    Took me time to read all the feedback, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be very useful to me and I am certain to all the commenters here! It is all the time nice when you cannot solely be told, but in addition engaged! I am positive you h…

  6. discount mammut

    The way you write make it truly simple to read. And the template you use, wow. This is a really good combination. And I am wondering what is the name of the theme you use?

  7. cheap Roberto Cavalli

    This is really interesting, Youre a very skilled blogger. Ive joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  8. buy mammut jackets

    I love your website.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself or did you hire somebody to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own website and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

  9. cheap Rene Caovilla

    Great Share! Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

  10. prada bags store

    I would like to thank you for the endeavors you have made in writing this piece of writing. I am trusting the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Actually the…

  11. mcm online

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and Im impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  12. adidas employee discount

    I was not sure about which website to confirm and then I saw your blog and it really proved to be helpful to me. The content is great and easy to apply. Please post some more topics related to it.

  13. adidas outlet near me

    How is it that just anybody can publish a weblog and get as popular as this? Its not like youve said something extremely impressive more like youve painted a quite picture through an issue that you know nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, here. B…

  14. mulberry lily bag

    Thank you for an additional great write-up. Where else could anybody get that type of data in this kind of a ideal way of writing? Ive a presentation subsequent week, and I am to the look for these information.

  15. ecco shoes nearest store

    Its pretty interesting that the mainstream media has changed the way it looks at this recently dont you think? Now it seems that it is discussed thoroughly and more in depth. Overall though Im looking for a change.

  16. discount barbour online

    good quality evening, I’m a college English major and I’m learning a lot about writing by reading internet. I in actuality enjoy your style of writing. It’s very easy to understand but with excellent details. Your choice of words makes it easy to re…

  17. moncler jackets outlet

    I think youve produced some genuinely interesting points. Not too many people would in fact think about this the way you just did. Im truly impressed that theres so substantially about this subject thats been uncovered and you did it so properly, with…

  18. nike shox outlet

    Virtually the exact same image is shown from a fairly wide variety of different angles and distances, indicating the vastness of the plains and the power that these characters hold (or will soon hold) over them.

  19. canada goose parka mens

    Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since Im more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well…

  20. stuart weitzman shoes sale

    Presently it is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and its the moment to enjoy. Ive learn this submit and if I may I wish to counsel you some interesting issues or advice. Maybe you can publish next articles referring to this artic…

  21. nike store soho

    Great Share! Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

  22. Sergio Rossi outlet online

    I wonder how you got so good. HaHa! This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your design is so perfect! You certainly know how to get a girls attention! Im glad that youre here. I feel l…

  23. Sergio Rossi store locator

    *There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is an excellent point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly you will find questions like the one you bring up where the most critical…

  24. ecco store nyc

    Hi there,I enjoy reading through your article post, I wanted to write a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuationAll the best for all your blogging efforts.

  25. Sergio Rossi outlet online

    But yeah Many thank you for taking the time to discuss this, I believe strongly about it and really like learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your web publication with more information? It is extremel…

  26. cheap barbour

    Ive been meaning to read this and just never received a chance. Its an issue that Im really interested in, I just started reading and Im glad I did. Youre a great blogger, 1 of the finest that Ive seen. This blog absolutely has some information and fac…

  27. nike official logo

    Thank you for your website post. Manley and I happen to be saving to buy a new book on this matter and your article has made people like us to save money. Your thinking really responded all our questions. In fact, more than what we had recognized prior…

  28. cheap Pierre Hardy online

    I don’t usually post on blogs but had to on yours. You have a very easy to read writing style. I really enjoy posts about this topic, they give me a lot to reflect on. I don’t have time to read everything right now, I found this site when looking for…

  29. asics 80% Off

    huge piece of writing. I just came across your web site and wanted to let you know that I have certainly enjoyed browsing your blogs. At any rate I’m going to be following your feed and I hope you’re posting again soon.

  30. keen outlet store locations

    This fantatic post was very nicely written, and it also contains many good facts. I appreciated your professional way of writing the post. You have made it easy for me to understand. Good and precise info.

  31. parajumpers norge

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  32. hunter horses for sale

    A semen volume analysis examines some characteristics of a males semen fluid volume and the amount of sperm found in the semen fluid. It may be done while investigating a couples infertility or after a vasectomy to make sure that the procedure was succ…

  33. pierre hardy flats

    I’m often to blogging and i in actual fact respect your content. The piece has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your content and preserve checking for brand new information.

  34. fjallraven backpack sale

    Good job here. I genuinely enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you absolutely bring a new voice to this topic. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Properly, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see much…

  35. mammut jackets on sale

    I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And im glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  36. cheap oakleys online

    Howdy, a splendid read man. Good share. However I am experiencing problem with ur rss feed. Fail to subscribe to it. Does anyone else getting same RSS issue? Anyone who can assist kindly reply. Thnx

  37. birkenstock shoes store

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We got a first-class book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information. I am very glad to see…

  38. marmot variant jacket sale

    great content. I just came across your web site and wanted to let you know that I have certainly enjoyed browsing your information sites. At any rate I’m going to be following your feed and I hope you’re posting again soon.

  39. cheap patagonia outlet

    Recently, I didnt give lots of consideration to leaving comments on site page articles and have placed comments even much less. Reading via your nice posting, will assist me to do so sometimes.

  40. louis vuitton online

    Good luck getting people behind this one. Though you make some VERY fascinating points, youre going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what weve already heard. What are trying to say here? What do you want us to th…

  41. michael kors coupon 2016

    Youre so right. Im there with you. Your blog is definitely worth a read if anybody comes throughout it. Im lucky I did because now Ive received a whole new view of this. I didnt realise that this issue was so important and so universal. You surely put…

  42. barbour outlet online

    This post enabled me to wrap my head around this specific topic. I can’t wait to read a follow up and succeeding posts. I have bookmarked it so I will know as soon as it appears..lol!

  43. buy ecco online

    Just a fast hello and also to thank you for discussing your ideas on this page. I wound up in your weblog right after researching physical fitness connected issues on Yahoo guess I lost track of what I had been performing! Anyway I’ll be back as soon…

  44. cheap cole haan sale

    You really make it appear so easy with your presentation however I find this topic to be really one thing that I think I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very broad for me. Im taking a look ahead for your subsequent pu…

  45. north face store

    Its Pleasure to understand your blog.The above articles is fairly extraordinary, and I extremely enjoyed reading your blog and things that you simply expressed. I really like to appear back on the normal basis,post additional during the topic.Thanks fo…

  46. hermes bags store

    I have wanted to post about something like this on a single of my blogs and this has given me an idea. Ive really found out a good deal studying this page. Plainly especially excellent content here.

  47. patagonia store

    That is some pretty fascinating ideas, but Ive got a question for you. I have a WordPress site, however my design is rather boring. Yours looks genuinely great though and I am wondering if it is a premium theme? Im just contemplating acquiring one, but…

  48. cheap north face

    I am impressed, I must say. Really seldom do I discovered a blog thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. Your post is outstanding; the matter is something that not many people are talking intelligen…

Leave a Reply