ECoR orders safety audit of all level crossings in Odisha, Andhra and Chhattisgarh

Bhubaneswar: After the incident of an Express Train passing a level crossing near Puri in open condition, the East Coast Railways (ECoR) has decided to put its safety mechanism in the right place.

While the action of the suspension was initiated against the two pilot and assistant loco-pilots on the basis of a preliminary enquiry, the detailed enquiry report is awaited.

However, the ECoR has initiated immediate steps for a large-scale audit of all level crossings in its jurisdictions.

General Manager of ECoR PK Mishra has called for a large-scale audit of the entire level crossings network in the ECoR system. There are 828 level crossings in East Coast Railway including Odisha 559, Chhattisgarh 45, Andhra Pradesh 224 and each level crossing has to be audited. The audit has to 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 an 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 counselling and in interactive mode.

“We have called upon all staff and officers to identify weaknesses in the system and is 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,” Mishra said.

The purpose of the Safety Drive, according to the General Manager, is to instil 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.

Mishra further stated, “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.”

According to the release issued by the ECoR, 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 for ECoR.