Railways

Railways to spend Rs 15,000 crore on safety next year

DELHI: The Indian Railways will spend Rs 15,000 crore over the next 12 months to make travelling safer for passengers.

The money will be spent on improving safety features on trains, tracks and stations on a “war footing”, a top railway ministry official said, reports The Economic Times.

This will include installing elevators and constructing more foot-overbridges (FOBs) at all high density stations to help clear passenger traffic during rush hours. “Rail Board chairman Ashwani Lohani has already instructed general managers to go for an immediate audit and sanction works at the earliest,” the official said.

The announcement follows Friday’s stampede at the Elphinstone-Parel foot-over-bridge in Mumbai that killed at least 23 people. The Rail Board has empowered all general managers to spend on safety works on their own without waiting for any budgetary allocation or clearance. Besides, station directors have been empowered to take quick decisions in case there is a pile up of passengers at stations.

The Mumbai suburban network, which includes both the central and western railways, will get 10 new FOBs along with elevators to avoid a repeat of any such incident. The rail board has also decided to equip all major stations with CCTV cameras for better management of crowds during the peak hours.

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