Following the tragic incident in Balasore district of Odisha, Indian Railways has released data showcasing its continuous efforts and substantial investments in infrastructure upgradation. An official of Indian Railways emphasised the unprecedented allocation of funds for safety measures and track renewal, reflecting the government's commitment to a secure and efficient rail network.
The establishment of the Rashtriya Rail Suraksha Kosh (RRSK) fund in 2017 with a corpus of ₹1 lakh crore has played a crucial role in strengthening safety initiatives across the railway network, including the Balasore Railway Division. The non-lapsable expenditure from the RRSK fund has been directed towards implementing advanced technologies, upgrading signaling systems, and improving maintenance practices. With an expenditure of over ₹1 lakh crores from the RRSK fund since its inception, Indian Railways has reaffirmed its dedication to passenger safety.
The data released by Indian Railways highlights the significant investments made in track renewal. Over the years, the expenditure on track renewal has consistently risen, indicating the railway's commitment to smooth and secure operations. In the fiscal year 2017-18, the expenditure on track renewal amounted to ₹8884 crores, while in the fiscal year 2021-22, it witnessed a substantial increase to ₹16558 crores, showcasing a significant boost in infrastructure improvements.
Indian Railways has allocated a staggering 58045 crores towards track renewal in the past five years, marking a substantial surge compared to the ₹47039 crores spent from 2004-05 to 2013-14. This significant increase in expenditure demonstrates the railway's unwavering focus on upgrading track infrastructure, reducing accidents, and ensuring a smoother and safer journey for passengers.
These continuous efforts to enhance safety measures and track renewal align with the government's vision of transforming Indian Railways into a world-class network. By investing in state-of-the-art technology, ensuring timely maintenance, and implementing rigorous safety protocols, Indian Railways is taking significant strides towards achieving this goal. These measures not only enhance passenger safety but also contribute to the overall efficiency and reliability of the railway network, according to officials.
However, transport experts emphasize the need for a more vigilant approach from Indian Railways. While acknowledging the commendable investments, they highlight the recent incident as a reminder for continued vigilance and a comprehensive approach to ensure the highest level of safety across the railway network.