Stepping up efforts to upgrade tracks and signalling system for ensuring safe train journey, railways has sent safety fund proposal to Finance Ministry
again for reconsideration. Earlier Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking Rs 1,19,183 crore to create a separate safety fund for undertaking various safety works, including track works and elimination of level crossings by construction of rail overbridge and rail underbridge among others.
However, the separate safety fund proposal did not find much favour with Finance Ministry and it was sent back to railways with some suggestions.
The proposal for creation of Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) of total Rs 1,19,183 crore for safety related works to be operated over next five years has been sent to Finance Ministry for reconsideration, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The basic thrust in the RRSK proposal is to go for modern signalling system and elimination of all vulnerable unmanned level crossings to prevent accidents. Since majority of accidents happen at unmanned level crossings it is essential to eliminate those level crossings through construction of ROB and RUB, said the official. Besides, the renewal of track and bridge is also a priority area for which the fund can be utilised.
Since railways has decided to increase the average speed of trains, it is important that rail track and rail bridges are also strengthened alongwith signalling upgradation. Apart from increasing speed of passenger service, railways has also decided to run freight trains with 25 tonne axle load for which strengthening of track and rail bridge is essential.