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Railways to focus on safety, says Bansal

Posted on Feb 26, 08:15PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 26 : Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal Tuesday said that safety was a necessary mandate for running trains and listed a string of measures for moving towards a zero accident situation.

"Safety is a necessary mandate for running trains," said Bansal, while presenting his maiden rail budget in the Lok Sabha.

Among the steps announced by the minister to ensure safety were: elimination of 10,797 level crossings during the 12th Five Year Plan, improved signalling systems, anti-train collision systems, crash worthy coaches and strengthened bridges.

Besides continued thrust on improved signalling for safe train operations, the minister said a train protection warning system would be introduced.

Following successful completion of initial testing, the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System was proposed to be put to rigorous trials, he said.

Self-propelled accident relief trains with speed potential of 160-200 kmph would be introduced on trial basis, he said.

Bansal said that as many as 17 distressed bridges would be rehabilitated over the next one year.

The minister said even though the volume of passenger and freight traffic increased manifold, the number of train accidents per million train kilometres had decreased from 0.41 in 2003-04 to 0.13 at the end of 2011-12.