New Delhi, Jan 22 – Indian Railways, which transports about 25 million passengers daily will ensure safety of its passenger remain the top most priority, Railway Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge said.
He called upon General Managers to take all possible efforts to prevent accidents and to improve overall safety environment on railways amid the two recent fire mishaps on trains.
He directed them to ensure full and proper attention to the maintenance of Railway assets including the fixed assets and rolling stocks.
There should be enough meaningful surprise inspections and night inspections and that strict actions should be taken against those found responsible for lapses during the course of inspections, he said during a two-days general managers’ conference.
The Railway Minister asked to ensure that there is no laxity of any type on safety and General Managers should personally monitor it regularly.
Referring to recent two cases of fire on trains, the Minister said that there should be a comprehensive action plan to prevent such unfortunate incidences, which may include an audit of each passenger rake, ensuring of best quality of fire retardant material.
The Railway Minister also emphasised that there is an urgent need to increase the earnings and for austerity and economy in expenditure.
He called upon production units to continuously strive for better technology and improved quality for better customers’ satisfaction.
Referring to the railways’ responsibility towards the differently-abled and aged passengers, Kharge said that the steps in this regard as announced in the budget like, provision of escalators and lifts at major stations and affixing Braille Stickers indicating the layout of coaches including toilets need to be taken on priority.
India has one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,000 km and 7,500 stations. As of December 2012, it transported over 25 million passengers daily and over nine billion on an annual basis.