Newly appointed Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said safety will be
the focus area of railways, which is at a critical juncture and faces an
"image perception" problem.
In a letter to employees, Lohani said railways had suffered a "serious
dent" in the recent past due to "certain unfortunate incidents".
Lohani's letter was dated August 28 - a day before railways witnessed the
fourth derailment in 10 days when Nagpur bound Duranto express derailed near
Mumbai on August 29.
Former Air India CMD and a railway mechanical engineer by profession was
brought in by the government last week to head railways after recent increase
in train accidents due to derailments.
In the letter, Lohani said, "At this critical juncture when we are
facing a serious issue with the image perception of the railways, I expect all my
fellow railwaymen to pitch in wholeheartedly to set this perception
right." He added, "We have to always be on our guard to ensure the
highest level of safety in train operations and instil a renewed sense of
confidence in our esteemed passengers."
"The great Indian Railways has suffered a serious dent in the recent
past due to certain unfortunate incidents. Such incidents often overshadow the
great work that this organisation performs day in and day out," Lohani
He also identified quality of catering, linen and cleanliness, which he
said was crying for attention, as other areas of concern and stressed on the
need to adopt a mission mode to bring improvements in a very short time.
"Our operating ratio needs to be brought down considerably, not only
by reducing expenditure but by increasing freight loading and also finding
other means of non-conventional revenue generation to achieve a spurt in
revenues," the chairman railway board said.
In the fourth train derailment in 10 days, the engine and nine coaches of
the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derailed in Maharashtra on Tuesday.
On August 19, 14 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed near
Khatauli in UP's Muzaffarnagar district, claiming 23 lives and injuring over 60
people. On August 23, about 100 passengers were injured when 10 coaches of the
Kaifiyat Express train derailed in UP's Auraiya district.