Train coaches vulnerable to fire accidents: CAG

Published Dec 16, 2015, 8:55 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 5:37 pm IST
The railway is being used by thousands of passengers every day.
Representational image
 Representational image
BENGALURU: Fire in train coaches is one of the most common accidents reported in the Indian railways. South Western Railway (SWR) witnessed several such incidents including the famous Nanded-Bangalore Express fire tragedy which claimed the lives of 28 passengers on December 28, 2013.
But a report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) under the title Distribution and Utilisation of Safety Items in the Indian Railways has shed light on the manner in which the train coaches were being maintained by the SWR. The railway is being used by thousands of passengers every day. This makes the commuters vulnerable to fire accidents due to the unsafe environment.
According to the report, the CAG had pointed out how fire and safety rules were being neglected by the Railways and that the issues were not addressed on a priority basis. Major safety issues raised by the CAG concerning the train coaches included lack of emergency windows which is must in every coach, inadequate number emergency windows compared to the number of windows specified by the RDSO, non-provision of indicator plates on the ceiling in aisles/corridors, indicating the location of emergency windows.
The CAG also pointed out how issues like passenger entry and railway kitchens could cause fire accidents if the SWR failed to follow the safety guidelines issued by the Railway Board. According to the report findings, the SWR is yet to address issues like unauthorized entry points, non-provision of baggage scanners, etc.
 Other findings included cooking with open-flame gas burners, cooking in the pantry cars of the express trains, gas leakage test certificates for gas companies not being obtained, suitable space for stocking and servicing meals not earmarked, too few fire extinguishers, etc.
Fire and Safety measures at stations
Existence of unauthorized entry points:  4 areas
Non-provision of baggage scanners: 7 areas
Cooking with open-flame gas burners: 2 areas
Cooking in pantry cars of express trains: 1area
Gas leakage test certificates for gas companies not being obtained: 2 areas
Suitable space for stocking and servicing meals not earmarked: 1 area
Only four fire extinguishers in power cars instead of six: 4 areas
Fire extinguishers not placed at appropriate locations: 11 areas
Instructions for use of fire extinguishers not available: 68 areas
Fire extinguishers overdue for refilling: 4 locations




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Location: Karnataka