Rail budget could roll out more trains despite Kakodkar alert
The Kakodkar committee, set up in the aftermath of the derailment of the Kalka Mail near Fatehpur in July 2011, had in its report submitted last February proposed far-reaching measures to improve the national transporter’s safety record. It had suggested R1 lakh crore of investment, half of it coming as gross budgetary support (GBS) and the rest by charging a safety cess on tickets, over five years to improve the safety of rail passengers.
In his debut rail budget speech on Tuesday, Bansal is expected to announce 100 new passenger trains; his predecessor announced 175 in the last budget, without keeping in mind that the already overloaded rail lines cannot handle the load and running new trains is a major safety hazard, as pointed by the Kakodkar committee.
“Introduction of new trains has strained the infrastructure way beyond its limit and all the safety margins have been eaten up, pushing railways to a regime of ad hocism in infrastructure maintenance. The committee strongly recommends not introducing any new trains on the existing infrastructure,” the report said.
The rail budget is also expected to announce the manufacturing