ECoR orders safety audit for all level crossings

Bhubaneswar: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has ordered a large scale safety audit for all level crossings in its jurisdiction in Odisha following the Puri level crossing incident.

After the incident of an Express Train passing a level crossing near Puri in open condition, ECoR has reacted very fast to put its safety mechanism in the right place.

General Manager Purnendu Sekhar Mishra has called upon all staff and officers to identify weaknesses in the system and bring it to the fore.

“Unless we admit that there are mistakes or deficiencies, we cannot expect the system to grow and change for the better. Unless we admit that there are deficiencies, we cannot expect the deficiencies to be removed,” he said.

He has asked senior officials to interact with junior colleagues to know more about problems on the field, the ECoR said in a release here today.

The GM asked senior officials to interact with junior colleagues to know more about problems on the field.

He called for a large-scale audit of the entire level crossings network in the ECoR system.

Notably, there are 828 level crossings in East Coast Railway, out of which Odisha has 559. While there are 224 level crossings in Andhra, only 45 are in Chhattisgarh in the ECoR jurisdiction.

The audit will cover all safety aspects of the level crossing. Starting from the boom barriers to the approach road, the siren to the warning boards, all aspects will be checked in detail.

The Level Crossing Gatemen will be subjected to tests on their 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 crossing level crossings. These tests will be in the form of counseling and in interactive mode.

This safety drive will be one of the largest safety drives to be carried out by any Zonal Railway. Covering each Level Crossing in the zone will be a big task. But, it has been ordered to be done at the earliest, the ECoR said.

According to the ECoR GM, the purpose of the Safety Drive is to instill confidence in stakeholders, including Railway Staff, on the robustness of the system. Though the incident at Puri was attributable to human failure, there could be some systemic flaw also which needs to be identified rooted out.

There is no room for negligence in the Railway system. Callousness cannot be tolerated. It is expected that this system audit will bring to the fore all issues pertaining to level crossings and these would be solved once and for all, said a ECoR statement.

The ECoR is also planning public participation in the safety audit drive of the level crossings.

The public complaints and petitions on specific problems at level crossings would be screened and highlighted, the statement added.