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1-min read

Rail Accidents Have Decreased in Last Three Years: Govt Sources

Sources in the railway ministry told CNN News18 said that the consequential train accidents have continuously declined from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17.

News18.com

Updated:August 23, 2017, 5:57 PM IST
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Rail Accidents Have Decreased in Last Three Years: Govt Sources
People looking at the mangled coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express train after it derailed in Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar. Representative photo. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Just hours after the railway minister Suresh Prabhu offered his resignation over the spate of railway accidents, the government is of the firm belief that the number of accidents had, in fact, come down.

Sources in the railway ministry told CNN News18 said that the consequential train accidents have continuously declined from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17.

“While all lives are valuable, total fatalities in first 3 years of UPA I were 759, they increased to 938 during UPA II, while the first three years of this government has seen the number decline to 652,” sources told CNN News18.

On the Railways losing focus on safety, CNN News18 was told that safety remained one of the prime concerns and priorities for the ministries. The launch of Mission Zero Accident was launched with the same motive.

“When this government took over, analysis revealed that 40% of the accidents and 60% of fatalities were due to accidents on unmanned level crossings. Hence, Mission Zero Accident was launched to ensure all unmanned level crossings were eliminated by 2019. It has seen unprecedented success, where we eliminated 4258 UMLCs in last 3 years, leading to drop in fatalities from UMLC accidents from 64% of total fatalities in 2013-14 to 16.81% in 2016-17,” sources said.

Commenting on infrastructure, the sources said that it had been deteriorating due to neglect. However, investment in safety has increased from Rs 33972 crore per year during UPA II to Rs 54031 crore every year under this government at a jump of 60%.

“We are also spending Rs 4 lakh crore for creation of infrastructure by the end of this year. Existing stock of 40,000 ICF coaches (90% of total coaches) cannot be discarded and hence is being retrofitted with CBC couplers to make them safer,” CNN News18 was told.

Quashing all accusations of Railways dragging its feet in implementing Kakodkar committee, sources told CNN News18 said that out of the 106 recommendations, 68 have been fully accepted out of which 52 have been fully implemented. The source also said that the railways has not diverted any money from funds for passenger trains to the development of bullet trains.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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