Railways: Safety, maintenance of tracks, dealing with COVID-19, increasing speed in sections and improving amenities at stations discussed
By Rajendra Yadav
New Delhi. Mr Rajiv Chaudhry, General Manager Northern & North Central Railways held a performance review meeting with the departmental heads of Northern Railway through video conferencing from Baroda House, NR headquarter office in New Delhi. He discussed the on-going efforts of the various departments in maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure and assets of the zone. As normal train operations have not been resumed yet, Northern Railway is focusing to work on improving the safety issues, maintenance and monitoring of rail tracks especially as the monsoon season is on, efforts to increase speed in sections, improving amenities on stations and steps to prevent spread of coronavirus in the Railway fraternity.
Safety has been prime focus over Indian Railways bringing down accidents to a minimum level over the years. Efforts put in by the 5 Divisions of Northern Railway to further improve safety were discussed in detail in the meeting. The GM advised that all laid down procedures of train operations, maintenance of assets both permanent way and rolling stock should be immaculate. He also reiterated on regularly sensitizing and training the staff involved to prevent mishaps due to human errors. He also advised the track maintainers to be extra vigilant and responsive to inundation of tracks due to heavy rains. The covering of rail lines with water and sludge during the monsoon poses difficulty in train operations. He also emphasized on timely de-stressing of tracks i.e. before the start of winter and summer seasons to prevent rail fractures and distortions.
Northern Railways is putting in efforts to increase speed of trains over the zone to save on time. In this regard sections have been identified where the speed can be improved. Full load speed trials are on. The target is to increase the speed in between 100-130 kmph of passenger trains in these sections.
To improve amenities at Railway stations the zonal railway is concentrating on providing renewed infrastructure. Many permanent structures like foot-over-bridges needed replacement. The works could not be undertaken earlier due heavy train traffic or presence of other important structures in the vicinity on the busy routes. During the lockdown and beyond, 13 worn out structures which mainly constitute foot over bridges have been replaced in Delhi Division.
The spread of the Coronavirus disease is still a major threat to humanity. Northern Railway has been earnestly following all procedures laid by the Ministry of Health while at work in its premises. The tertiary care Hospital NRCH had been converted to a Covid Hospital and 503 Isolation coaches had been placed at 9 stations in Delhi area for use as Covid care centre by the Delhi Government. Patients continue to arrive at Shakurbasti Covid care centre. All the Northern Railway employees were tested by the Rapid Antigen testing for novel coronavirus disease in their offices by railway medical teams. A very small fraction has been found to be positive.
The General Manager also advised that the disease will continue to disturb us till a suitable vaccine is found. Our vigilance and Covid conducive behavior will keep all of us safe and away from the disease.