Mr Suresh Prabhu, Mumbai has already started working on 'Mission Zero Accident'

A day before Suresh Prabhu announced the Mission Zero Accident, Mumbai reported zero deaths on its railway tracks

While announcing the annual Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha yesterday, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu proposed a Mission Zero Accident, to ensure no deaths happen on railway tracks. Surprisingly, on February 24, a day before this announcement, Mumbai actually saw ‘zero’ deaths on its suburban tracks.

Illustration/ Uday Mohite
Illustration/ Uday Mohite

As per the figures of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on February 24, there were no deaths on Mumbai’s tracks. However, seven people were reported injured. Railway police officers said that on Wednesday, none of their 17 rail police stations in Mumbai – including Western and Central Railway – reported any deaths. “We haven’t seen zero deaths for a long time now. It feels good to know that no one lost their lives on the tracks,” said a GRP official.

According to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, 68 per cent deaths happen while trespassing tracks. File picAccording to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, 68 per cent deaths happen while trespassing tracks. File pic

The job of Mission Zero Accident would be to eliminate the number of deaths on tracks. According to Prabhu, 68 per cent deaths on tracks happen while trespassing tracks. Prabhu is also appointing a Mission Director, whose job would also entail reducing deaths on tracks.

Previous deaths
Recently in Mumbai, there were two major incidents at level crossings; one was the death of Gaurav Vora (13), who died while crossing tracks at Sandhurst Road station. The other was the death of four railway labourers, who died while crossing tracks near Kurla, during the 72-hour mega block.

To counter the death of its labourers, the Indian Railways has also proposed a device for them. Officials said that although there is little clarity on its functions, it would mainly a device provided to the labourers, which would emit or give a sound in case a train is approaching. They would also be lessening the contents inside the tool box and bags carried by these labourers used for checking the condition of tracks, even as trains are constantly on the move.

Did you know?
Everyday, the railway officials collate data on the deaths and injuries occurring on tracks. This includes bifurcation through sex and whether or not the body could be identified, has it been traced or is it untraced. On an average, almost 10 people lose their lives on Mumbai’s tracks everyday.

Major highlights
>> No changes in passenger fares and freight rates. 
>> Railways to monetise land on tracks by leasing it for horticulture and tea plantation.
>> Two elevated suburban railway corridors — Churchgate–Virar and CST–Panvel to be constructed in Mumbai. 
>> Ring railway covering 21 stations to be revived with state participation.
>> India’s first railway auto hub in Chennai to be inaugurated soon.
>> Railways to shift to a completely paperless contract system in 2016-17.
>> North-South, East-West dedicated freight corridor proposed.

Amenities for passengers
>> Travel Insurance facility for passengers
>> Bar-coded tickets, scanners and access control at select stations
>> All new stations to be redeveloped would be made accessible by all

Provisions for projects

MUTP2: Rs 631 cr

MUTP3: Rs 5 cr

Harbour line: Rs 80 cr

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In Numbers

Rs 18,580 cr
The amount Railways will borrow in the 2016-17 fiscal

50%
The percentage of lower berth quota the Railways will increase for senior citizens

33%
The percentage of reservation the Railways will introduce for women in reserved quota

400
The number of railway stations to be equipped with WiFi. 100 will be equipped this year

17
Number of states that have agreed to form joint ventures for construction of rail-over-bridges

50%
The increase in outlay for railway electrification; 2,000 km route to be electrified next fiscal

Rs 30,000 cr
The loss on subsidising passenger fares

Rs 40,000 cr
The amount of budgetary support Railways will get from the government

820
The number of road over bridges and rail under bridges that have been completed in the current year

1,350
The number of road over bridges and rail over bridges the Railways is working on

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