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The Indian Railways has been in the spotlight the last few weeks after a series of accidents that injured several and injured many more.
The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) under the administrative control of the civil aviation ministry probed the accidents and the Indian Railways’ safety standards.
In order to improve safety, former Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had in April consulted various international agencies for suggestions on safety improvements considering the increase in load of railway infrastructure and deteriorating safety standards.
The World Bank found that the current system of accident investigations by the CRS was inadequate and strongly recommended that an independent rail safety regulatory authority and investigator be set up in the country to prevent accidents.
The report, titled ‘Strengthening Safety on Indian Railways’ and accessed by PTI, also made several other suggestions:
The immediate goal, as suggested by the World Bank, is the installation of ‘ditch lights’ as a safety feature in front of a train to make them more visible so that they are visible from a distance, especially during twilight hours when the visibility is low.
“Choose high-visibility clothing for employees that can be worn all year round and ensure that it is worn at all times. Ensure that footwear and helmets chosen by employees with their allowance are appropriate for their activities,” the report said, as per The Economic Times.
Take fire prevention measures and add fire extinguishers in every train, said the report.
The report suggested that level crossings and paths be painted in a cross-hatched pattern to highlight the dangers of being in the area.
“Train the current investigators in root-cause analysis of accidents, review timetables such that a maintenance block of four hours is provided weekly on all main lines, review safety performance in terminal operations with the intent to identify prevailing risks,” the report suggested.
The report also suggested that the Indian Railways establishes an emergency response plan to address derailments, fires, or any other mishaps.
The World Bank advised three broad parameters to improve the safety of passengers by following international standards.
The Logical Indian community hopes that the Railway Ministry takes into account the suggestions of the World Bank and implements safety measures at the earliest.
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