Disaster management plans of Railways 'not comprehensive' -CAG

    Railway stations lack sanitation, not disabled-friendly

    CAG further indicts Railways over amenities at Railway Stations

    The Railway Board also needs to regularly monitor improvement of cleanliness at stations

    Central and Divisional Hospitals in Railways did not prepare their Disaster Management Plans

    Report indicated that it would take several years for Railways to complete all sanctioned works

    Rlys couldn’t achieve the target of elimination of level crossings as envisaged in the Vision-2020

    New Delhi : The Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Wednesday, 27th July, 2016 said the disaster management plans of Railways are 'not comprehensive' and there are shortcomings in its safety plan. Disaster management plans, though broadly framed in Zonal Railways and in Divisions, are not comprehensive, lacked uniformity and also did not adhere to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the CAG said in its latest report.

    The CAG said safety inspections were not conducted on regular basis. 'There were no definite schedules of inspection with all divisions not being equally covered.' Many of the shortcomings noticed during the previous safety audit (conducted by Railways) remained unattended,' said the report tabled in the Parliament.

    The CAG observed deficiencies in all zones in provision of Self-Propelled Accident Relief Trains (SPARTs), Accident Relief Trains (ARTs), Accident Relief Medical Vans (ARMVs) and equipment provided therein. The national auditor said the ARTs and ARMVs were located in the yard which was not easily accessible.

    It has also found that the Integrated Security System was not fully implemented over 202 vulnerable stations identified by the Railways even after more than four years. Surveillance mechanism was also inadequate at vulnerable and crowded stations, it said. Provision for recovery and relief during golden hour was not adequate as Accident Relief Trains never reached the accident site within that time, the report said.

    The CAG said most of the Central and Divisional Hospitals in Railways did not prepare their Disaster Management Plans to address a situation like fire, explosion, flood and earthquake.

    The status of progress of training imparted to frontline staff indicated that Indian Railways is not serious in developing their skills to deal with emergency, it noted.

    The CAG further said Research, Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) did not identify vulnerable buildings, locations, rail infrastructure including bridges, sensitive locations etc. required under Indian Railway Disaster Management Plan 2009.

    The auditor said that Railways couldn’t achieve the target of elimination of level crossings as envisaged in the Vision 2020 documents.

    Attributing the large number of deaths on rail tracks to unlawful trespassing, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Tuesday blamed Indian Railways for lack of preventive measures like fencing and foot overbridges.

    CAG in its latest report said during the five-year period from January 2010 to December 2014, out of 33,445 deaths in suburban sections, 19,868 deaths (59 per cent) occurred due to line crossing or trespassing.

    The report also observed that Railways could not achieve the target of elimination of level crossings as envisaged in the Vision 2020 documents.

    It said unmanned crossings are vulnerable to accidents with resultant loss of human lives. As many as 625 casualties took place at unmanned crossings during the period from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

    Out of 16,125 unmanned crossings, 11,630 that existed in 2010 were planned for elimination by April 1, 2015.

    However, CAG found only 5,737 such crossings were eliminated during the Five-Year Master Plan and 10,358 remained to be eliminated as on April 2015.

    'Tardy progress of the bridge works for elimination of level crossings indicated lack of concern of Railways in minimising accidents at level crossings,' the report tabled in Parliament said.

    Observing slow progress in construction of subways, CAG said it indicated that it would take several years for Railways to complete all sanctioned works.

    It further said out of 33,445 deaths, 17,638 (52.74 per cent) death cases occurred in Mumbai suburban section alone.

    CAG also said that Railways’ suburban services were not commensurate with the volume of passengers.

    A total of 4,885 death cases (15 per cent) occurred due to falling from running trains of which 4,002 deaths occurred in Mumbai suburban section alone.

    On an average 445 crore passengers are being served every year by 578 suburban stations.

    The auditor observed that adequate and effective measures in respect of the deficiencies were not taken by Railways.

    It said that the number of passengers travelled during 2010-15 was much higher than the carrying capacity of the coaches. Besides, cancellation of services due to shortfalls in maintenance of track, signal failures, unit defects, had also added to capacity constraints.

    Overcrowding of coaches resulting in passenger fatalities (4,885) due to falling from running trains were very high in Central, Eastern and Western Railway.

    Though, the punctuality of suburban train services was maintained as per railway board’s target, it was showing a declining trend in Central Railway and Southern Railway during the 2010-15.

    The CAG has also observed that speed restrictions has also increased from 384 in 2010 to 402 in 2015.

    The main reasons for imposing speed restriction were poor track conditions, existence of level crossings, weak bridges and encroachments along the track.

    Railways failed to initiate effective remedial measures to withdraw speed restrictions, the report said.

    The auditor said working expenses was more than their traffic earnings during 2010-15.

    CAG observed that absence of basic amenities such as first-aid kits, wheel chairs, adequate number of clean toilets, platform shelters, disable-friendly escalators, indicated effective monitoring mechanism was not in place to enforce implementation of guidelines of Railway Board.

    While integrated security system remained partially implemented even eight years after it was conceptualised in 2006, metal detectors installed at various stations were not monitored by the security personnel.

    Zonal Railways concerned could not achieve the targets for track related works on suburban sections, adversely impacting punctuality and safe operations of suburban train services, the report added.

    CAG further indicts Railways over amenities at Railway Stations

    The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has indicted railways of 'improper and inadequate maintenance of passenger amenities' at stations.

    It has also criticised progress in modernising stations through public-private-partnership. In its latest report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the apex audit body pointed out that the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation could not even complete feasibility study at six selected stations. The CAG also commented on the dissatisfactory state of cleanliness at stations.

    The audit body noticed inadequacies in provision of water taps, platforms in appropriate level, foot over-bridges, platform shelters, train indicator system, provisions of urinals at the selected stations.

    Inadequacies in provision of desirable amenities such as pay and use toilets, separate entry and exit gates, stall for essential and medicines have also been noticed.

    The CAG also found inadequacies in facilities for physically challenged passengers.

    Railway stations lack sanitation, not disabled-friendly : CAG

    Railway stations in India are unclean, lack basic amenities such as water taps, urinals, shelters, and stalls of essential goods and medicines, and are not disabled-friendly, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said in its latest report.

    The CAG found that the Railway Ministry’s initiative for modernisation of stations through public-private-partnership (PPP) was still 'at an initial stage' even though a dedicated agency(IRSDC) has been overseeing it for four years.

    The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) was formed in 2012 to oversee development/upgrade of railway stations across the country.

    'The Railway Ministry’s initiative for modernisation of stations through PPP was at an initial stage even after four years' the IRSDC could not even complete the feasibility study at selected six stations till January 2016,' the CAG noted in its 13th report.

    'This defeated the purpose of formation of a new entity (IRSDC),' it said.

    The auditor noted that 'cleanliness at stations was another area which continued to be a reason for passenger dissatisfaction.'

    'Though this issue was highlighted in an earlier audit report, visible improvement was not noticed in this regard. During joint inspection, cleanliness issues were noticed at platforms, waiting halls, foot-over bridges, station walls etc,' the report said.

    The CAG, in its recommendations, said that cleanliness at stations 'needs to be addressed on priority basis by railway administration to bring visible difference.'

    'The Railway Board also needs to regularly monitor improvement of cleanliness at stations,' it said.

    The CAG has also recommended that station modernisation projects should be given due priority for early completion so that 'objective of rendering utmost satisfaction to the travelling public and change in public perception is achieved.'

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