Priority accorded to Railway Safety
The government has initiated a major programme to strengthen railway infrastructure and has accorded high priority to safety to prevent rail accidents as well as to improve comforts for railway passengers.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 assured that adequate funds would be made available under the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh.
Over 3,600 km of track renewal is targeted during 2018-19. There will be increased use of technology like ‘Fog Safe’ and ‘Train Protection and Warning System’. The government has decided to eliminate 4,267 unmanned level crossings in the broad gauge network in the next two years. This is to prevent accidents.
It has also decided to upgrade infrastructure at the goods sheds, and fast track commissioning of private sidings.
The Indian Railway Station Development Company Limited has decided undertake redevelopment of 600 major railway stations. Surplus land at railway stations will be made available for real estate development. All stations with more than 25,000 footfalls will have escalators. All railway stations and trains will be progressively provided with Wi-Fi.
CCTVs will be provided at all stations, and on trains, to enhance security for passengers.
Analysts said the approach of the government is to create a safer railway system.
“The rail transportation sector in India is on the right path and momentum is built to significantly reform Railways in the years to come,” an analyst said.
Enhanced allocation for safety will create business opportunities for companies working in the areas of signalling systems and advanced rail control systems.
Dibyanshu Sinha, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said, “The government has given importance to Railways in the Budget and has made an all-time high allocation. The major portion has been rightly allocated to capacity creation, modernisation and safety.”