Most train accidents due to human error, not sabotage

Source: The post is based on the article “Most train accidents due to human error, not sabotage” published in the Livemint on 9th June 2023

What is the News?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways submitted a report about train accidents months before the Odisha train tragedy.

What are the key findings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on train accidents?

The vast majority of the accidents in the six years to 2022 period were found to be the result of either equipment failure or human error.

Derailment is the major cause: Of 244 “consequential rail accidents” tracked between 2017 and 2021, the main reason was derailment, accounting for as many as 184 accidents. One of the reasons for derailment is the slow pace of track renewal by the railways.

Low amount of Sabotage: Sabotage accounted for just 1% of rail accidents. For example, between 2017-18 and 2021-22, just three cases of rail accidents were the result of sabotage in a total of about 244 accidents. The report doesn’t say who were behind the three acts of sabotage.

Other reasons: Failure of railway staff resulted in 164 accidents and failure of equipment caused 15 of the accidents during the period.

What are the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on derailments?

The CAG report on derailments was tabled in Parliament last year. The key highlights of the report are, a) Allotments from the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) —a fund created for critical safety-related works by the railways to prevent accidents—have been declining, b) The funds allocated to track renewal works were not fully utilized, c) Out of 1,127 derailments, 289 derailments (26%) were linked to track renewals.

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