New Delhi: Indian Railways sets new safety record! The national transporter that has for years now faced criticism over safety, has set a new record of fewer than 100 accidents in the financial year 2017-2018. According to an IE report, Indian Railways has for the first time in 35 years seen fewer than 100 accidents in a financial year. According to the report 73 railway accidents were recorded till March 30 of the financial year that has just ended. That’s a 29 percent reduction from the 104 accidents that were reported in 2016-2017.
It was only in the year 1968-1969 that the number of accidents in Indian Railways fell to triple digit figures of 908. Before, it was a norm for Indian Railways to report over 1000 accidents per year. According to Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, there is a strong emphasis on safety. Lohani also points to a voluntary reporting system which gives every railway employee the power to anonymously report any lapse in safety on Indian Railways.
Fewer accidents notwithstanding, the Railways did go through a crisis in the financial year ended Saturday because of the derailment of the Utkal Express in August 2017, which killed over 20 people and set in motion a chain of events that led to the departure of then Railway Board chairman AK Mital and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the Railway Board led by Lohani have stressed on safety upgrade works, even at the cost of temporarily affecting operations in many areas, like speed restrictions in a number of areas.
Safety First: Indian Railways has ended this financial year with the best safety record in decades: for the first time in 35 years, the number of accidents are in two digits.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) April 1, 2018