15 Jan :Under the special safety drive conducted by the Indian Railways, most of the works of replacement of over-aged assets, viz., tracks, bridges, rolling stock, signaling gears have been completed from the non-lapsable Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF) of Rs. 17,000 crore constituted to wipe out the arrears of replacement of overaged assets.
Against the target of renewal of 16,538 kilometres of track under SRSF, renewal of 15,624 kilometres of track (94 per cent) was completed upto March 2008 and Bridge works were completed in case of 2191 bridges (96 per cent) against the target of 2286 Bridges. Further, against the target of complete renewal of signaling gears at 1448 stations, renewal was carried out at 1282 stations (89 per cent) till March 2008. Adequate contribution is also being made to Depreciation Reserve Fund (DRF) so that asset renewals in future are taken care of from internal resource generation of Indian Railways.
Anti Collision Device (ACD) has since been installed on 1918 route kilometers of Northeast Frontier Railway and its further installation beyond Northeast Frontier Railway to cover additional route kilometers is being considered. Production of crash-worthy coaches has already started and their production will further be increased in the coming years.
As a result of various safety measures and sustained efforts over the years, the number of consequential train accidents remained below 200 during the two previous successive years (195 in 2006-07 and 194 in 2007-08) despite substantial increase in traffic volume carried by the Indian Railways. In the current year also during April to November 2008, the number of consequential train accidents decreased from 138 to 117 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.