Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dislodged bogey incident points at the apathy of railways: HC

By Express News Service - KOCHI   15th January 2013 
Coming down heavily on the railways, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that submissions regarding the dislodged bogey incident have made clear the apathy of the railways towards Kerala. The railways had blamed ‘preserved fish’ and ‘cattle’ as the reasons for the dislodgement of the bogies.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon adjourned the hearing of the petition to February 11. The petition filed by the All-India Lawyers Union State Committee sought an inquiry into an incident in which the coaches of the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam passenger train got dislodged.
The railways submitted that considering the gravity of the issue, the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) would appear on behalf of the railways and sought to adjourn the hearing to facilitate the presence of the ASG. In an affidavit, the railways stated that the underframes of coaches are welded to withstand vibrations and forces, but heavy damages may occur due to cattle run over (CRO). The Alappuzha incident occurred as a result of a breakage of the welded joints of the underframe, probably due to CRO.
The coaches also carry fish preserved in salt and ice and high density salt water seepage weakens welded joints.
The particular coaches, which were in operation between Ernakualm and Kayamkulam railway Stations, were being used to transport fish. The railways added that its officials are conducting a special, in-depth study regarding the issue and actions have been taken against nine employees who failed to take note of the corrosion of the coaches in question.
Besides, pit line inspection is being conducted every four days, instead of once a week. The railways have been following the guidelines and manuals on periodic overhauling, pit line maintenance, repairs and condemnation of  rolling stocks and have deployed employees for ensuring safety and keeping coaches sturdy. The affidavit pointed out that a rail coach has a codal life of 25 years. Of the 1,618 coaches under the Thiruvananthapuram division, only 121 coaches have completed 20 years of codal life and out of the 475 under the Palakkad division, only 54 have completed 20 years.


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