KAVACH system on Delhi-Mumbai corridor to be completed by 2025: Railway minister
The Union minister said that the Indian Railways aims to increase its KAVACH installation capacity from 1,500 to 2,500 every year
The Indian Railways’ busiest route– Mumbai- Delhi, will be fully equipped with the anti-collision system KAVACH by FY 2025, Union railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.
“1,659 km has already been covered by KAVACH and an additional 500 km will be covered by March next year,” Vaishnaw said at a press briefing in New Delhi, adding, that at least 5,000 km will be covered in the next three years.
Vaishnaw’s statement comes after a few reports on stagnation in installing KAVACH in new routes went viral early this week.
Officials close to the development said that the KAVACH system is in the process of getting the Safety Integrity Level 4 (SIL) certificate for the additional route targeted to be covered by March 2024.
SIL 4 is the highest level of safety standards in which the possibility of an error is less than one in more than 10,000 years.
The Union minister said that the Indian Railways aims to increase its KAVACH installation capacity from 1,500 to 2,500 every year. “By 2025-26, we aim to increase our yearly installation capacity (of KAVACH) to 5,000 km,” Vaishnaw said.
To protect and avoid the death of elephants on tracks, the Indian Railways have implemented a Made in India system – Gajraj, which has been implemented in the North Frontier Railways where 14 of the elephant corridors have been covered, Vaishnaw said.
“The elephant death protection system- ‘Gajraj’, is 99.5% error-free and works on pressure waves. It will help in detecting elephant movements near tracks, which will help the loco pilot control his speed at least 200 m before the animal. It is an Artificial Intelligence powered optical fibre communication (OFC) based intrusion system,” an official said.
Over a dozen of these endangered animal gets killed on tracks, he added.
“As per data, 200 Elephants died in the last ten years in India, the majority of them coming from West Bengal and Assam,” a second official said.
The Gajraj system is built to use the existing OFC cables as sensors to identify elephant movements near railway tracks and alert locations to station masters, loco pilots and control offices. A real-time alarm is generated when a movement is detected.
Vaishnaw said that the Indian Railways is seeing a continuous increase in the number of passengers. “After the pandemic hit the country, we resumed normalcy in July last year. A total of 6.40 crore passengers travelled in FY 2023, and a total of 7.5 billion are expected to travel by trains in FY 24.”
Pre-COVID, the national transporter saw around 7.20 billion passengers travel by train every year.
Vaishnaw said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Railways operated 10,186 trains every day, which has now increased to 10,754.
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