Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said with more focus on safety, no death has been reported due to train accidents in nearly 22 months.
Goyal made the remarks while replying to the questions raised by members on ‘New bridge maintenance protocols’ in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
The Minister said: “Over the period of time, safety has become the casualty of inadequate budgets. And very often misdirection of allocation of budget. In the last six years, we have focused more on safety.”
He said: “I am happy to share with the August House that the last passenger death due to accident happened on March 22, 2019. In last nearly 22 months no passenger deaths due to train accidents.”
Talking about bridges, Goyal said: “We have focused our attention on bridge repairs and maintenance.”
He said that there are 34,665 bridges which are more than 100 years old, adding “we have a very robust system of inspection, once before monsoon, once after the monsoon and a rating system”.
He said: “I welcome the suggestion of the member to introduce more and more modern devices. Drones would not be the right approach… approach should be more like sensors, checking the tensile strength of the bridges.
“We will look at introducing more and more modern devices to augment these efforts.”