Anti-collision System ‘Kavach’ Not Installed in Kanchanjunga Express

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New Delhi, June 17, 2024 – In the aftermath of the tragic collision involving the Kanchanjunga Express and a goods train in West Bengal, which claimed nine lives and injured over 46 people, the Chairman & CEO of the Railway Board, Jaya Varma Sinha, addressed key safety concerns.

Key Points from the Incident:

  1. Lack of ‘Kavach’ System:
    • The Kanchanjunga Express was not equipped with the anti-collision system ‘Kavach’. Sinha noted that the absence of this system likely contributed to the severity of the accident.
  2. Cause of the Accident:
    • Preliminary indications suggest that the collision was due to “signal disregard” by the train’s operator, implying human error. Sinha emphasized that while this is the initial assessment, a detailed inquiry is necessary to confirm the exact cause.
  3. Importance of ‘Kavach’:
    • Sinha highlighted the critical role of ‘Kavach’ in preventing such accidents by mitigating human errors. This system is designed to automatically control the speed of the train and apply brakes if necessary, ensuring compliance with signals and speed limits.
  4. Current and Future Implementation of ‘Kavach’:
    • Currently, ‘Kavach’ is installed on 1,500 km of railway routes. Plans are in place to extend this to an additional 3,000 km this year and another 3,000 km next year, including the Delhi-Howrah route, which covers parts of West Bengal.

What is ‘Kavach’?

‘Kavach’ is an Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system developed indigenously by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in collaboration with the Indian industry. It features:

  • Automatic Speed Regulation: It can automatically apply brakes if the train driver fails to do so.
  • Collision Prevention: Alerts and halts the train if another train is detected on the same track.
  • Weather Resilience: Supports operations in adverse weather conditions, like dense fog.
  • Safety Certification: Holds a Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL-4) certification, indicating a very low probability of failure.

Potential to Prevent Accidents

With its advanced features, ‘Kavach’ can significantly reduce the risk of accidents caused by human error. Its automatic braking system and collision prevention capabilities can ensure safer train operations, potentially saving lives and preventing injuries.

Statements from Officials:

  • Railway Board Chairperson: Jaya Varma Sinha emphasized the urgent need for installing ‘Kavach’ across more routes to prevent such tragedies.
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw: He is overseeing the rescue operations and has announced compensation for the victims. Vaishnaw reiterated the importance of swift implementation of advanced safety systems like ‘Kavach’.

For further updates on this incident and information on railway safety measures, stay tuned to Paperdabba.

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