Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said it will soon come out with a vision document to make railways accident free and is looking at installing Anti—Collision Devices throughout the network.
“Whenever there is an accident we talk about anti— collision devices and other safety measures... But we do not have a long term policy... We have decided this time that we have to go ahead in terms of short—term vision and long—term vision,” she said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
The minister said the approach towards accidents will be “zero tolerance” in the next ten years and added, “If we plan for it now, we can do it certainly.”
She said about Rs 13,000 crore would be required to install Anti—Collision Devices through out the rail network and sought Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s help in allocation of funds.
To a member’s remark that thousands of people have died in accidents in last six months, the minister said the number of accidents have decreased, “but if there is even one death, then also it is unfortunate.
”...In case of big railway accidents the loss of lives is somewhere in the range of 700 to 800 people. But if there is even one death because of rail accidents, then we are sorry for it and we apologise for that,” she said.
Announcing that safety of passengers was her top most priority, Banerjee said a meeting of the railway department is held from time to time to review the measures.
“Every 15 days, we hold the meeting of Safety Review Committee. I hold meetings of the full Railway Board to look into safety measures. We have also decided to appoint a Special Officer for this purpose,” she said.
The Anti—Collision Devices have been installed so far only in the Konkan Railways and the same is likely to be extended to other places.
The department is in the process of installing ACDs in South Central, Southern and Western Railways and Rs 127 crore has been given for it.
The minister said the department would look at the prevailing “train protection mechanism” in other developed countries before coming out with a comprehensive policy.