20 January 2019
Bhubaneswar: Acting strictly on Saturday’s incident of level crossing gate being wide open while crossing of Tapaswini Express in Puri, East Cost Railways (ECoR) has ordered for a large-scale safety audit for all level crossings.
Touted to be one of the largest safety drives carried out by any zone, General Manager of ECoR P.S. Mishra has called for complete check in the system to avoid any such case in the future.
While immediate action of suspension was initiated against the loco pilot and the assistant loco pilot on the basis of preliminary enquiry, the detailed report is awaited. However, ECoR has initiated immediate step for large scale audit of all level crossings in its jurisdiction.
General Manger Mishra has called upon all staff and officers to identify weaknesses in the system and bring it to the fore. He has also asked senior officials to interact with junior colleagues to know more about the problems in the field.
There are 828 level crossings (559 in Odisha, 45 in Chhattisgarh and 224 in Andhra Pradesh) in the ECoR system and each will be audited, starting form boom barriers to the approach road, siren, warning board, all aspects will be audited.
He has further stated that there is no room for negligence in the railway system and callousness will not be tolerated. It is expected that this audit system will bring to the fore all issues pertaining to level crossings and will be solved once and for all.
Public participation in the drive has also been planned. Public complaints and petitions on specific problems at level crossings would be screened and highlighted.
The level crossing gatemen will be subjected to tests on his working knowledge. The level crossing drawings will also be matched with actual ground position to rule out any inconsistencies. Loco pilots will also be tested for awareness of rules related to level crossings.
ECoR has also stated that the incident at Puri is attributable to human failure, for which this audit needs to be done at earliest.