The Indian Railways has had a very productive last 12 months, a period in which it not only enjoyed a surge in profits, but also ensured better safety standards and enhanced passenger and freight numbers. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal held a comprehensive review in Mumbai on Wednesday, whereby he revealed a drastic reduction in the number of accidents, and consequently, fatalities and injuries as well.
“In 2018-19, the number of accidents went from 73 to 59, while the number of deaths reduced to 37 from 57 a year ago, and injuries went from 197 to 108. There were 0.06 accidents per million train kilometres in 2018-19, while the corresponding figure for 2017-18 was 0.09. All of these prove 2018-19 has been the safest year for the railways,” a Railways official told DNA.
Credit for these statistics must go to a renewed focus on improvement of safety standards. “The Railways is poised towards a zero accident mode,” the officer said, adding that Goyal reviewed performance on various parameters, including punctuality, safety, freight and passenger figures, earnings and expenditure, infra and capacity augmentation, production of locomotives and coaches, track maintenance,” etc.
And the enhanced focus on safety and punctuality has also helped augment the Railways’ earnings. In 2018-19, the Railways’ total earnings surged to Rs 1,89,610.6 crore, as against Rs 1,78,701.15 crore in 2017-18. A large proportion of this was down to increased revenue from goods (Rs 1,27,207.3 crore as against Rs 1,17,055.40 crore), while passenger revenue rose to Rs 51,000.2 crore as against Rs 48,643.14 crore over 12 months.