In response to the Balasore rail tragedy, the Railway Board has taken decisive action to enhance safety measures and prevent unauthorised access to critical areas. As part of this initiative, a directive has been issued to all zonal railways' general managers, emphasising the installation of a double locking system in structures housing signalling equipment within station limits.
Ensuring Proper Functioning of Double Locking Arrangements
The Executive Director of Safety at the Railway Board, TP Agarwal, has highlighted the urgent need for the proper functioning of double locking arrangements in all relay rooms. A letter, dated June 5, obtained by FPJ (Free Press Journal) states the importance of implementing a system for data logging and generating SMS alerts whenever the doors of these relay rooms are opened or closed.
The directive from the Railway Board emphasises strict adherence to established norms and guidelines regarding the disconnection and reconnection of signaling and telecommunications (S&T) equipment. By following these protocols, railway authorities aim to maintain the integrity and security of critical infrastructure.
Thorough Inspections and Enhanced Safety Standards
"Railway officials across all zones have been directed to conduct thorough inspections of relay rooms, verifying the efficacy of the double locking arrangements. These measures are expected to enhance overall safety standards within railway premises, minimising the likelihood of untoward incidents and ensuring the protection of personnel and infrastructure," an official said.
"The tragic incident at Balasore serves as a reminder of the significance of robust safety measures in preventing accidents and unauthorized access to sensitive areas. The introduction of a double locking system in structures housing signalling equipment provides an additional layer of security, mitigating potential risks and ensuring the safety of railway operations," said a workers union leader who didn't wish to be quoted.
Commitment to Passenger Well-being and Secure Functioning
"As the Railway Board takes proactive steps to improve safety protocols, it remains committed to prioritizing passenger well-being and the secure functioning of the railway network. The double locking system, coupled with rigorous adherence to disconnection and reconnection norms, reinforces safety standards across all zonal railways and creates a more secure environment for the operation and maintenance of signalling equipment," he further added.