Tuesday, 24 January 2017

After rail mishaps across nation, Pune Division to boost security


25 January 2017

PUNE: In the light of as many as three train derailments in little over two months, the Pune Division of Indian Railways has stepped up the vigil and increased the patrolling to prevent any such mishaps in the future. The officials said the patrolling officers, inspectors have been asked to check everything more rigorously. Other staffers manning the level crossings and gates have also been asked to remain extra cautious.

On November 20, 2016, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed at Pukhrayan, 60 km from Kanpur, resulting in at least 150 deaths. Since the three such accidents have occurred. A month later, 15 coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express flew off the tracks, again near Kanpur, injuring at least 50 passengers. Both accidents were suspected to have been caused by fractures in the tracks.

On Saturday evening, about 40 people were killed and over 65 injured after the 18448 Hirakhand Express went off the rails in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district.

A week after the Pukhrayan incident, three persons, arrested in Bihar, claimed responsibility for the derailment, saying that it was carried out on behalf of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Following this, security across the Indian Railways has been strengthened. “Since it’s a security and safety issue, we can’t disclose much. But we have stepped up our vigilance and people involved in the safety and security have been asked to be extra cautious. Instructions for heightened patrolling of tracks as well as increased awareness among the personnel at the gate, along with the guards, has been solicited,” a senior official with the Pune Division said.

Prima facie, the cause of most of these derailments was “fractured tracks”, apparently due to low mercury levels, the technical department has also been asked to make sure that such fractures are detected at early stages to avoid mishaps.

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