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Restructuring way to run trains

A devastating crash occurred in the Indian state of Odisha where 3 trains collided with each other. An accident like this has never happened before in Indian history. The “Coromandal Express” train departed from Shalimar in West Bengal and was bound to reach Chennai in Tamil Nadu. After its departure from Shalimar and completing a journey of almost 250 kilometers, this accident occurred at the Bahanaga. It lies in theBaleshwar district of Odisha. The death toll is estimated to be 290 and those injured are more than 1,100.
|| Tanishq Mohan

What led to the accident?

At the spot of the accident, there are 3 tracks- mainline, loop line, and down line.

The Coromandel Express runs at the speed of 100-120 km per hour and it was allotted “main line track”. Later this order was retracted and the train was instructed to shift to the loop line. At 18:55, the train shifted on to the loop line. It continued to run at a similar pace. On the loop-line, there was already an iron ore goods carrier train parked. The coromandel express rammed into the goods carrier train at a speed of 128 kilometers per hour. The locomotive engine of the Express got crushed into a goods carrier train and successive passenger boogies of express got derailed.

This mishap disturbed the third track- downline as well. On the downline,a train was running toward Howrah consequently. The accident affected this line. The last few coaches of this train were hit by the derailed boogies with lesser force.

The death toll is 289 so far. Survivor victims of the accident were rushed to hospitals in the surrounding region.

Prime Minister-“Narendra Modi” led a meeting with some fellow ministers. Modi and railway minister -“Ashwini Vaishnaw” visited the accident siteto analyze the accident. They met the victims of the accident in hospitals.Rescue operation teams have been working at the site. People stuck under the debris and boogies are being rescued. The villagers are also contributing to help by offering shelter, food, and water to the victims of the accident. A large number of people have shown up to donate blood for the needy victims. PM Modi had said that strict punishments will be given to those who are at fault. Later, he met survivors at the hospital in Cuttack.

According to the preliminary finding, there has been a problem with signaling. The investigation still continues and a final statement will be given when the investigation will be completed. Tweet^

Ministry of Railways has announced a relief of 10 lakh rupees for those who lost their lives and 2 lakhs for those injured. Politicians have started giving reasons for the accident.

Chief Minister of Bengal “Mamta Banerjee” has demanded resignation from the railway minister. Congress President “Mallikarjun Kharge” in his Tweet^ has requested all party members to work together and contribute as much as they can.

Baleshwar train accident incident drew attention of the world. Many countries including Japan, Russia, Turkiye, Pakistan, UK, Canada, Italy, Australia and EU have expressed their griefs upon the situation.

Unfortunately, India has had witnessed some accidents like these before. On June 6, 1981seven of the nine bogies of an overcrowded train were derailed from a bridge during a cyclone in Bihar. An accident at Gaisaloccured on August 2, 1999. Gaisal is a remote station in West Bengal. The crash occurred due to signalling error. Velugondain Andhra Pradesh, where a passanger train got derailed when it was attempting to cross tracks from a region that had recently covered up from flood. Nearly 100 people were killed and 92 injured. The accident occurred about 4:15 AM when 7 coaches of 15 coach train remained in the water. The train was crossing a bridge over a reservoir when it derailed, as a flood of water had washed the tracks away.

There are continuousattempts to improve the railway sector in India. The expansion of railways is going on a rapid scale. New kinds of railways infrastructure are being provided. Although, there lies a dire need for improvement of the existing daily route railway system in India. This must be carried out along with the expansion of modern railway technology.

Earlier this year, a similar case of Thessalytrain collision was witnessed in Greece. In Greece,two trains were running on same track at a time and this resulted in collision with 57 dead. It was followed with demonstrations against Greek government and against privatization of railways.

A way to avoid such incidents can be bringing in automation; Human error resulted in catastrophe in both the cases. It is important we resolve this issue. Information Technology (IT) has become a key player in contemporary times. Enforcing IT will lead in the fall of blame games. The railway ministry needs to make mass investments in technology upgradation. A proper portion of the budget should be allocated for tech enhancement.

There are limitations to it. A vast number of people are skeptical towards AI. A sense of distrust and irresponsibility prevails towards automation and technology. In such situations, Japan stands as an epitome for use of automation and technology in railways. Japanese trains run on electronic, magnetic powers. Japan uses automation from running the trains till shifting of the tracks. Installations of technology can fairly reduce the risks of accidents in India as well.

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