Safety Push After Balasore Tragedy: Railway Officials Told To Follow Proper Procedures And Not Resort To Shortcuts


Chairman Railway Board (CRB) A K Lahoti has cracked the whip in the wake of Balasore train tragedy.

All zonal general managers and divisional managers of the Indian Railways were told to go on field visits to acquaint themselves with the ground realities, and if necessary do the course correction immediately.

Those who are taking salary from the railways should perform their duties particularly on safety related works, Lahoti warned.

While emphasising on daily monitoring of the safety requirements, he asked all zones and divisions not to indulge in shortcut methods and advised them to follow proper procedures.

“Every single person being paid by the Railways is responsible for safety. Maintenance is very important for safety. Employees must not resort to shortcut as a matter of routine. Complete change in mindset is required. If maintenance is to be done then getting block or disconnection should never be a constraint for that,” CRB said in the meeting held after the worst rail accident in the last three decades.

Block or disconnection is meant for repair or maintenance work related to signalling or tracks in a particular section.

Emphasising on field visits, CRB said senior officials from headquarters should move to the field and spend time with the field staff to understand the systems they are following; counselling and correction to be done on the spot.

Taking note of some delay in organising the relief and rescue operation immediately after the accident, the CRB also noted that “it must be ensured that each official acts appropriately at an accident site and ensure they are carrying out their duties properly.”

The maintenance of wagons, coaches, operations, crew and all aspects related to safety on board, including fire, obstructions etc, have to be reviewed properly and thoroughly to ensure safety of the system.

Member Infrastructure R N Sunkar said safety at worksite needs to be ensured.

Keeping the ensuing rainy season in mind, he said “monsoon precautions have to be taken at all vulnerable locations. Drive will be launched for monsoon preparedness. All senior officials must visit all such vulnerable locations, work sites etc, to guide and supplement the team at site. They should not be a burden to the team.”

Member Finance Anjali Goyal said funds for safety related work will not be an issue.

The Railway Board unanimously agreed that the culture of safety needs to be brought back and any unsafe practice should be eliminated.