“I lost my father a week before and currently going through the feeling that any family member must be experiencing who lost their loved ones in the Balasore Train Accident. It hurts when overnight few ‘Modi Haters’ turned ‘Tech Experts’ stoop low in greed of opportunism and crush sensitivity and empathy by airing various narratives that primarily suit their politics but fail to recognise action we need to take to stop such painful accidents forever in India.”
Kavach is an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection System for which the trials started after 2014. Kavach has been deployed in ongoing projects of South Central Railway. Kavach prevents head-on collisions when they are on the same track in the same or opposite direction. But in the #Balasore accident, derailed coaches fell on the track which were then dashed by the train from the other direction.
“Kavach didn’t fail here, it wasn’t even deployed yet on that route or trains. Kavach works only when both locomotives & track have that technology. KAVACH confirms to SIL-4 which is the highest level of safety certificate.”
It’s amusing that these experts calling KAVACH a failure don’t even know that SIL-4 endures a PFD (Probability of Failure on Demand) minimum of 0.0001. SIL-4 means when the system is intended to function for its safety in case of 10,000 times dangerous situation occurred, it’ll fail once. Most nuclear power plants have SIL Level-3 which is half of SIL-4.
When Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw risked his life in the process to ensure the safety of passengers during the trial of Kavach, then why did such a massive accident happen? The reason for this accident is derailment and derailments in hot summers are usually related to physical and local caution on deformities or bending of rail tracks in high temperatures.
Now hypothetically, even if KAVACH would have already been deployed on the Balasore route’s locomotives and tracks, still this derailment accident couldn’t have been prevented without physical checks. However, the so-called anti-Modi experts who claim this incident is beyond those 10,000 critical cases of SIL-Level 4, are missing the point that KAVACH needs to be deployed first to fail its SIL-4 level security.
India has seen ZERO consequential train accidents by Collisions in the last 5 years (till May 2021) where KAVACH are deployed and replacing currently used European technology. However, in Europe 7 accidents were observed by collision in 2021. Deployment of Kavach initially faced low installation speed of ACD (Anti Collision Device) due to local thefts of solar panels made its maintenance and uptime difficult. Recently 3 new companies are given work-order for rapid deployment of KAVACH.
Another group of experts who are unaware of the actual cause and not risking their reputation by calling KAVACH a failure are accusing the government of not filling 3.2 Lacs vacancies in railways where 50% of them are in the safety dept. They wouldn’t be able to comprehend the long awaiting railway recruitment issues that PM Modi managed to resolve, and neither would risk comparing the volume of previous govt with the recruitment process completed in Ashwini Vaishnaw’s tenure for filling up 35,281 direct recruitment vacancies in Non-Technical Popular Categories. These level 6 recruitment including safety staff were conducted under CBT at 156 centres in 111 cities across 25 states. The overall attendance for this level was about 74 per cent. The Level 4 CBT was conducted at 89 centres in 56 cities across 17 states.
But they wouldn’t risk even asking the question that why a country like India is deprived of employment according to these experts: that only for a total vacancy of 3.2 Lac posts where at least 50% are in safety – Why only 2Lac were found qualified to be tested and Out of 1,80,882 candidates scheduled to be tested and why only 1,28,708 appeared for the CBT?
These profiles are not lucrative for the current generation, and today’s youth is not interested in joining as a key man on track after graduation who has to work as a gang man in the railway. They are more interested to go for a coding/ IT jobs in an overcrowded sector and take the risk of failure and rejection and also being called educated unemployed since they wouldn’t consider key man/gang man even as an opportunity after their fancy degree.
Railway Minister definitely has this critical challenge on his priority list to decide whether such local safety or cautious physical check and corrections can be performed mechanically or make these profiles lucrative on the pay scale.
Time will tell us about his efficiency not calling him a failed Railway Minister because Kavach failed. The railway has inadequate safety staff and spending much on infra & stations’ modernisation and advanced hi-speed luxury trains is the bankruptcy of such experts.