Tahlka News Desk
New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu informs Rajya Sabha that government will spend Rs 10,000 crore to modernise railway infrastructure, including technology to reduce accident rate to zero level.
Prabhu who was replying to a debate on Appropriation (Railways) Bill in the Upper House claimed the rate of train accidents in India has come down, as per the "global index".
"It does not mean I am happy with this. We would like to work towards zero accidents," he said.
The railway minister's statement came on a day 52 passengers were injured when eight bogies of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed in the wee hours of Thursday in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh.
On railway's tech modernisation plan, Prabhu said the Railways will install train protection warning system and eliminate all unmanned level crossings across the country by using Rs 1 lakh crore from railway safety fund.
Besides this, ultrasonic detection system and train collision avoidance system would also be introduced, he said. "Without using these technologies, we will not be able to avoid accidents."
The Appropriation Bill was later adopted by the Rajya Sabha.
Citing the paucity of space at stations for accommodating the increasing number of trains, the minister wondered whether rail tracks could be constructed beneath and above the existing ones to decongest platforms. "We have to think differently for decongesting the existing platform," Prabhu said.
The government has set a target of renewing 3,500 km length of tracks at a cost of Rs 10,153 crore in 2017-18. To improve the profits of railways, the government is trying to maximize revenues from fares as well as non-fare methods besides reducing the cost of operation.
"It was a difficult year for railways as the cost increased due to Pay Commission, and revenue did not increase," Prabhu said.