On Friday, the Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said that there had been no passenger death due to train accidents in the past 22 months as the last passenger death took place on March 22, 2019.
Goyal mentioned this in the Rajya Sabha while replying to Trinamul MP Dinesh Trivedi's question on railways safety.
The railway minister mentioned in his statement that earlier safety had become a casualty of inadequate budget and misdirection of budget allocation.
He further added that in the past six years, the railway department had focused more on safety.
The Rajya Sabha members created an uproar claiming that since the pandemic, the train services have been decreased in frequency.
Replying to such claims, Goyal said, "Some member don't remember that the trains were running before March in 2020 and then services were resumed from April and are now 70% of their pre-pandemic services. But some members in the House have a short memory."
Further, the railway minister was questioned about the ministry's plan to deploy modern equipment to increase overall safety, especially the bridges.
Goyal said, "There are 34,665 bridged in India which are over 100 years old. But the ministry has a robust inspection system — before the monsoon season and after."
Goyal was also questioned whether drones were used to monitor the bridges, on which the minister welcomed the suggestions regarding monitoring the safety of bridges.
The minister said, "Drones will not be the right approach to monitor bridge condition. It should rather involve sensors, checking the tensile pressure etc. But I welcome the member's suggestion."
Goyal added that now the Railway Board holds a post of director-general for safety, for the first time.