Railways Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda said on Tuesday that the safety of passengers is of paramount importance for the Indian Railways.
Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, it is estimated that over Rs. 40,000 crore would be needed to be invested in track renewals, elimination of unmanned level crossing and construction of Road-under-bridges and Road-over-bridges.
Gowda said he is making provision of Rs. 1,785 crore for Road-under-bridges and Road-over-bridges in the Budget and requested concerned State Governments to expedite their proposals and pass on their share of the cost.
The Minister said, Indian Railways have 30348 level crossings, out of which 11563 are unmanned. Each unmanned level crossing is being examined in detail and depending on the site condition, action will be taken to eliminate it by suitable modality.
He said, Indian Railways proposes to use modern Vehicle Borne Ultrasonic Flaw Detection System to detect rail and weld fractures. In addition Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System (UBRD) will also be tried at two locations as a Pilot Project.
The Minister said, in order to improve the safety of travelling passengers, he proposes to bring in technology for automatic closing of doors before start of train, both in main line and in sub-urban coaches. A pilot project for limited number of trains will be taken up.
He said, in order to strengthen security in trains and at Stations, 17000 RPF constables have been recruited and shall be shortly available for deployment. He said, the Indian Railways also proposes to recruit 4000 women RPF constables.
He said, in order to ensure security of ladies travelling alone, special instructions are being issued for their safety in each class of travel. With the induction of women RPF constables, coaches for ladies will be escorted. Additional care will be taken for ladies travelling alone in all classes.
The Minister said, RPF escorting teams in trains will be provided mobile phones so that passengers can contact them when in distress. Security helpline will be augmented.
He also said that the Railways will explore the possibility of building of boundary walls around stations through PPP route.