Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 06:44 PM IST

Suresh Prabhu reviews safety performance of Indian Railways

Updated: Dec 29, 2016 20:31 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 29 (ANI): Concerned with the recent spate of train accidents, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday held a number of meetings to review the safety performance of Indian Railways.

During the meetings, Prabhu requested experts from Japan and Korea to visit India and to recommend suitable technological solutions.

A cooperation agreement was signed between the RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation), RTRI (Railway Technological Research Institute of Japan) with Korean Rail Research Institute on the behest of the Railway Minister for cooperation in the field of railway safety. It is expected that these teams would arrive soon.

After the unfortunate railway accident of Train No. 19321 in November 2016, under the direction of the Railway Minister it was decided that Indian Railways would completely switch over to the production of LHB coaches which are designed with better safety features like anti-climbing and anti-telescoping.

An action plan has also been chalked out for retro-fitting of the existing 45,000 ICF designed coaches with better safety features over the next three to four years. The Railway Minister reviewed the production plan and gave directions for expeditious implementation.

A task force of railway officers was constituted on December 6, 2016 to recommend short-term, medium-term and long-term measures for improving the safety performance. This task force submitted its report today and the Railway Board today itself reviewed the report.

The Railway Minister held detailed meetings with railway experts throughout the day on the subject and interacted with them. Some useful suggestions were received and he directed for their immediate implementation.

Prabhu also interacted with Dr. Anil Kakodkar, a noted Nuclear Scientist and a safety expert on the matter.

He also held detailed discussion with all the Members of the Railway Board who are involved in safe running of trains.

He directed that safety was paramount and cannot be compromised.

Later, the Minister addressed all the General Managers of the zonal railways, through video conference, and said that the General Managers need to live up to the expectations required from them and candidly warned the officials to be ready for consequences for any lapse.

He mentioned that delegation cannot work without responsibility.

The Railway Minister requested Vinod Rai, retired CAG to help in revamping the safety organization structure and also systemic improvements which are needed to improve the safety performance.

He directed that all railway installations should be inspected over the next one week to identify and rectify the shortcomings.

Prabhu also directed that the report of this exercise with actionable points should be sent to the Railway Board within the prescribed time.

It has been directed that all mail/express trains would have at least one officer or senior subordinate travelling during night hours on locomotives for comprehensive inspection over next 10 days. This will be in addition to the existing schedule and inspection at various levels.

The Railway Minister also directed that there was an urgent need to go back to the basics and insisted that training programmes should be launched immediately to enhance the skill sets of the employees who are dealing with train operations.

He ordered the board to relook at the codes and manuals for updating safety protocols.

He also directed for independent audit of the safety installations and asked the Railway Board to fast track the procurement of safety equipments and machines. (ANI)

New Delhi [India] Feb. 20 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday sent a Red Corner Notice (RCN) to Interpol on the request of Delhi Police in defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari's case.

Full Story >>

Phoolpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb 20 (ANI): Coming down heavily on rival political parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that post three phases of assembly polls, it has become evident that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form government in Uttar Pradesh, adding that the Samajwadi Party, Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party are now toiling hard to woo voters in order to save their respect.

Full Story >>

Banda (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb.20 (ANI): Instituting a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narenrda Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi claimed that the former 'lost his smile' after the Samajwadi Party sewed an alliance with the grand old party for the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The 2005 Delhi serial blasts mastermind Tariq Ahmed Dar was granted bail in a money laundering case on Monday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium's plea against defunct airline Kingfisher's owner Vijay Mallya till February 27.

Full Story >>

Kohima (Nagaland) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The ruling Naga People's Front's Shurhozelie Liezietsu will be the next Nagaland Chief Minister.

Full Story >>

By Shambhavi Ravishankar

Full Story >>

Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as 'Behenji Sampatti Party', party supremo Mayawati launched a blistering counter-attack and said that the real meaning of Narendra Damodardas Modi was 'Negative Dalit Man'.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on reffering the case challenging the ban on entry of women at the Sabarimala temple to a larger constitution bench.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.20 (ANI): Nordic Ambassadors to India, representing Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden begin their one-week tour to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry this week.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The Delhi Police on Monday told the High Court it has no objection to get a polygraph test done on Najeeb Ahmed's friends, along with nine students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): In the wake of the uproar created over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Diwali, Ramzan bhed-bhav' remark, the meeting between the delegation from the Congress with the Election Commission of India (ECI), scheduled for today at 5.30 p.m., has been postponed till further notice.

Full Story >>

Kaptanganj (Uttar Pradesh) [India] Feb. 20 (ANI): Ridiculing the alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for the ongoing assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday sardonically remarked that the 'shehzaadey' of the alliance - Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and incumbent Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav - have disappointed their respective parents and hence, cannot do anything good for the state.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Senior Samajwadi Party leader Gayatri Prajapati on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the apex court's earlier order of registering an FIR against him in connection with a gangrape and sexual harassment case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): In the wake of the uproar created over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Diwali, Ramzan bhed-bhav' remark, a delegation from the Congress, consisting of Kapil Sibal, Deputy Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP Satyawrat Chaturvedi and Secretary of the Legal and Human Rights Department of the Congress party K.C. Mittal, will meet the Election Commission of India (ECI) today at 5.30 p.m.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] Feb. 20 (ANI): Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of rendering shelter to criminals, the Samajwadi Party (SP) ion Monday said that BJP should stop focusing on petty issues and concentrate on real ones.

Full Story >>

Orai (Allahabad) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Hitting back at Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati's opposition to the Centre's demonetisation drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the nature of the party has changed to 'Behenji Sampatti Party' and accused her for amassing ill-gotten wealth after demonetisation.

Full Story >>

Alwar (Rajasthan) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): A minor girl from Rajasthan's Alwar district was rescued by local villagers after her father had sold her off for Rs. 7 lakh to unknown persons in Haryana.

Full Story >>

Srinagar [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): In view of the Shivratri or Herath festival celebrations in the state, the Hurriyat leadership in Jammu and Kashmir has called off its strike on Friday.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra), Feb.20 (ANI): Former IPL player Harmeet Singh was detained by the Mumbai police on Monday when he barged into a crowded platform of the Andheri Railway station.

Full Story >>