Thursday, September 14, 2017

Outdated Railways Plague India's Infrastructure

four train derailment accidents
India has had four train derailment accidents in the last few weeks. One of the accidents, in Uttar Pradesh on August 19, killed 23 people and injured more than 150 people. This series of serious accidents led to the resignations of Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu and Chairman of the Railway Board A.K. Mittal.

India was one of the first countries in the world to build a large railway system. Its 21-mile railway from Mumbai to Tana was built in 1853, under British colonial rule.

At the time of independence in 1947, the Indian railway network covered more than 5,000 kilometers, behind only the US, the former Soviet Union and Canada.

The surge in India's population and its rapid urbanization meant that the trains, which were relatively affordable, became the most important means of transport for most Indian people.

But the explosion in passenger numbers severely burdened the aging railway system, which had been constructed to a fairly low standard.

As a result, accidents have not been uncommon.
 [ Times]

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