Invaded with allegations after the Utkal Express derailment, the Railway Ministry furnished a report that highlighted that the safety measures have not been skimped on and also claimed that the number of train accidents have declined during the NDA regime. Following are the facts that have been shared by the ministry that will bust your misconceptions in regard to the Indian Railways.
Under Suresh Prabhu, number of accidents and fatalities have increased.
Declining from 135 in 2014-15 to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17, train accidents have only seen a downfall. Under UPA I (United Progressive Alliance), total fatalities in the first 3 years were 759 which increased to 938 during UPA II. While the first three years of this government has seen a decline in numbers to 652
Railways has lost focus on safety.
After this government took over, the analysis proved that major percentage of accidents and fatalities were caused due to unmanned level crossings. Consequently, Mission Zero Accident was launched to eliminate unmanned level crossings.
Further, investment in safety has increased from INR 33972 cr to INR 54031 cr every year under this government. This government will also be spending about INR 4 lakh crore by the end of year on infrastructure creation.
The shoot in the number of accidents is due to the increased number of vacancies in safety positions recently.
During the period 2009-10 to 2013-14, the average vacancy in safety positions was 18.65 per cent of the total sanctioned strength which has dropped down to 16.86 percent in 2017. The current government has recruited almost 37,510 people in safety categories which has increased the strength of the staff to 6,35,940.
Railways is diverting funds towards the development of fancy projects like Bullet Trains.
With an unfaltering commitment towards the poor and underprivileged, the Indian Railways has always taken number of steps for their comfort. For example, Indian Railways has ensured availability of Janta meals at all major station. Also, the passenger fares are still amongst the lowest in the entire world. In addition to this, Antyodaya express was launched as a fully unreserved, super-fast trains with enhanced amenities to serve the unreserved segment.