15 May, 2021

Boulderised Tracks

The Konkan rail accident raises the safety issue again

Boulderised Tracks
Is rail travel safe? And is enough being done to ensure accident-free travel? Safety has become a growing concern among passengers, what with the spate of accidents in the last few months. Last week, the risk was further reinforced with yet another derailment. This time it was the Karwar-Mumbai holiday special that went off the tracks leaving 51 passengers dead and dozens seriously injured. The accident, attributed by rail authorities to "natural causes", happened when a boulder rolled on to the track in Maharashtra's Sindhudurg district.

While accidents like these are usually glossed over or passed off as human error, the latest tragedy on the Konkan Railway, one of the country's most modern rail networks, has caused more than a flutter. The reaction of the semi-autonomous Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), which until now has had an accident-free record since coming into existence in 1990, was contrary to what Railways HQ in Delhi was putting out. "The derailment took place in an area regarded as non-vulnerable...so we had not done boulder netting. This accident was...

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