Station relay rooms and compounds housing signalling equipment should have “double locking arrangements”, the railways has directed its zonal headquarters after initial probe showed “signalling interference” as a suspected reason behind the Odisha triple-train accident.
The crash on Friday in the state’s Balasore district killed 275 people and injured more than 1,000.
Railway officials had earlier indicated that possible “sabotage” and tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains, led to the accident involving the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train.
In a letter to general managers of all zones, the Railway Board has directed that a safety drive should be launched immediately with special focus on all ‘goomties’ (rooms along tracks) housing signalling equipment within station limits.
It said they should be checked and it should be ensured they have “double locking arrangements”.
The board said that “all relay rooms in stations should be checked and ensured for proper working of ‘double locking arrangement'”.
“It should also be checked and ensured that there is data logging and generation of SMS alert for opening/closing of door of these relay rooms,” it said.
The Railway Board also instructed that it should be checked that the system of disconnection and reconnection for signalling and telecommunication equipment is being followed strictly according to laid down norms and guidelines.
“During safety drive these items should be checked at 100 per cent of the above locations, further these items should be super-checked by officers for 10 per cent of the above locations,” it said.
The board has also said suitable follow-up action should be taken on all deficiencies and irregularities noticed during the drive. The results of the drive should be sent to board by June 14, it said.
Meanwhile, around 54 officials of the Kharagpur Division of the South Eastern Railway, who were on duty during the accident, have been asked to be present for a inquiry on June 5 and June 6.
The board has also summoned off-duty railway officials who were onboard either of the trains, and officials who were first on the accident site.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)