CAG audit reveals lapses in rly track maintenance

New Delhi: Railways needs to strengthen track safety measures as an audit has revealed several lapses in maintenance plans, inspection schedules and usage of high-end machines procured to detect track defects, according to a CAG report tabled in Parliament Tuesday.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report said that during 2014-2015 to 2016-2017, 16 accidents or derailments took place due to deficient track maintenance in five zonal railways (South Western Railway, North Central Railway zone (NCR), East Central Railway zone (ECR), South Eastern Railway zone (SER) and Southern Railway) it audited.
It said that 294 permanent speed restrictions (PSR) were imposed on select sections because of track vulnerability.
The audit covered the period from April 1, 2016 to 31 March 2017, focusing on maintenance of tracks on selected 29 sections of high density network routes (HDN) and eight sections of non-HDN routes.
“Audit of 37 selected sections of the Indian Railways showed that track maintenance activities needed to be strengthened and undertaken following the laid down instructions and guidelines…. Inspections were not being done as per laid down frequency by railway officials,” the report said.
The report said that while in North Central Railway zone (NCR) and East Central Railway zone (ECR), maintenance plans were not prepared, South Eastern Railway zone (SER) was rectifying deficiencies on inspection and not as a preventive measure as is the norm.
It also said that patrol men were not equipped with any communication equipment to report any failure, fracture or damage immediately from the sections where they have been observed.
“Audit noticed shortfalls and deficiencies in inspections carried put at different levels.


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