Ramesh G Jethwani is a prolific "Letters to Editor writer/columnist, who over the decades has written over a thousand "Letters to editor" and few columns, which have been widely published in leading newspapers in India and in GCC(Gulf countries),These letters to editor/ Columns are a testimony to the power of his ideas,his letters and columns short and precious --have served a very useful purpose in drawing the attention of authorities about important issues concerning society and the governmnet. His father always emphasized the importance of public service Read more

Accidents/Road safety Trauma Services Ambulances Disaster management

Train inferno (accident)

Arab News-2 August 2012-L.E. Train inferno

This refers to the train fire in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. An overnight train from New Delhi to Chennai caught fire near Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. The fire swept through the train with sleeping passengers killing at least 32 people. This accident can’t ... Read More

Train inferno (accident)
Arab News-2 August 2012-L.E.Train inferno

This refers to the train fire in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. An overnight train from New Delhi to Chennai caught fire near Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. The fire swept through the train with sleeping passengers killing at least 32 people. This accident can’t simply be dismissed as “yet another tragedy” on the tracks. The fact that so many precious lives were lost raises several serious questions that the Indian Railways needs to answer. It is also very shocking that despite recurring accidents the rail authorities are not doing enough to avert such disasters and ensure safety of the passengers.

Though Indian Railways claims to be one of largest railway networks globally but it seems its safety standard is declining day by day. Perhaps it is high time the government of India drew a comprehensive plan on technological up-gradation and safety prevention on this “accident prone network.”

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Upgrade Technology to reduce accidents

Deccan Herald.L.E

Sir, The head-on collision between the Awadhi-Assam Ex-press and the Brahmaputra Mail near Jalpaiguri railway station is post-Independence India's most gruesome railway accident.The Indian Railways are the largest... Read More

Upgrade Technology to reduce accidents
Deccan Herald.L.E

Sir, The head-on collision between the Awadhi-Assam Ex-press and the Brahmaputra Mail near Jalpaiguri railway station is post-Independence India's most gruesome railway accident.

The Indian Railways are the largest. railway network in the world, and have nearly doubled he number of trains in the past few decades. But not much investment has been made for upgrading technical infrastructure and creating additional track capacity. The introduction of modern signaling and braking technology have been neglected. This has resulted in a large number of fatal accidents.

In this connection, the following suggestions may be considered the Indian Railways should make a comprehensive plan for the next 25 years as the vast majority of people are dependent on them for means of transport. A comprehensive contingency plan should be made to deal with disasters by creating a management system with full coordination of other departments like defense, health and local administration. Modern accident relief equipment should be imported to carry out faster relief operations in such emergencies. Priority should be given to proper track maintenance and maintenance of equipment rather than starting new trains.

Modern and appropriate technology should be inducted to suit Indian conditions for signaling and braking. An automatic warning system must be introduced to warn drivers.

The Railways should also work towards developing better human resources by updating their training.

The important point is that Indian railway personnel Work under great stress and long hours. A work culture should be created to minimize human error. For generating additional revenues to meet extra costs Railway land and space can be commercially exploited.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

How safe is rail travel?-L.E.

The collapse of a 150-year-old ageing pedestrian bridge in esteem India over a running train, killing 37 people and injuring 100, once again underlines the grave hazards of a train journey in our country. While the common man has become accustomed to rail mishaps, each ... Read More

How safe is rail travel?-L.E.

The collapse of a 150-year-old ageing pedestrian bridge in esteem India over a running train, killing 37 people and injuring 100, once again underlines the grave hazards of a train journey in our country. While the common man has become accustomed to rail mishaps, each accident reveals lack of safety measures.

The Indian Railways being the most extensive network in the world, proper safety procedures should be enforced. The cause of each accident should be probed and evaluated to prevent its recurrence.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Implement safety reforms-L.E.

The Pioneer,13 July 2011,L.E.

Sir — This refers to the several reports on the derailment of Kalka Mail (July 11 and 12). It is extremely tragic that nearly a hundred people lost their lives and another 200 were injured. Even more unfortunate, however, is the routine announcement of enquiries by the ... Read More

Implement safety reforms-L.E.
The Pioneer,13 July 2011,L.E.

Sir — This refers to the several reports on the derailment of Kalka Mail (July 11 and 12). It is extremely tragic that nearly a hundred people lost their lives and another 200 were injured. Even more unfortunate, however, is the routine announcement of enquiries by the Government, whose reports inevitably go into cold-storage. One wonders how many more tragedies it would take to shake the stunningly inept Government and bureaucracy of its inertia.

The need of the hour is to improve the safety of the common man’s transport by overhauling the decades old and obsolete coaches and signaling systems. Instead, the thrust of the Railways has been on revenue generation schemes like the development of Malls or water bottling plants on railway land. A task force comprising of dedicated group of retired and serving railway officers must immediately be constituted to suggest and implement long awaited safety reforms.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Crumbling infrastructure of Railways

The Statesman-July 2010- LE.

SIR ~ The train accident in Sainthia is the second rail disaster in Bengal in less than two months. It shows up the crumbling and overused infrastructure of the Railways. The consequences have been disastrous in terms of the loss of lives and the dislocation of ... Read More

Crumbling infrastructure of Railways
The Statesman-July 2010- LE.

SIR ~ The train accident in Sainthia is the second rail disaster in Bengal in less than two months. It shows up the crumbling and overused infrastructure of the Railways. The consequences have been disastrous in terms of the loss of lives and the dislocation of the country's lifeline. Standards of safety have been given short shrift over the years.

The British had introduced a trans-national mode of transport for the common man. Services have deteriorated particularly over the past three decades. The network is finding it difficult to cope with the phenomenal increase in the number of trains. Successive Railway ministers have only taken care of their respective states. Operations have been expanded with scant regard for the infrastructure, the capacity of the platforms, the condition of the tracks, the effectiveness of signalling and other equipment. There can be no compromise on safety as thousands of passengers are involved.

Modernisation is imperative as the network is obsolete on certain sections. The anti-collision device must be installed on all trains. Collisions, whether head-on or from the rear, cannot occur if this system is in place.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Railroad safety

Arab News 21st July 2010

The head-on collision between the Vananchal Express and the Uttarbanga Express is the second major rail accident in two months and is a grim reminder of the fact that the crumbling and overworked infrastructure of Indian Railways is being overlooked.Today the safety standard... Read More

Railroad safety
Arab News 21st July 2010

The head-on collision between the Vananchal Express and the Uttarbanga Express is the second major rail accident in two months and is a grim reminder of the fact that the crumbling and overworked infrastructure of Indian Railways is being overlooked.

Today the safety standard of Indian Railways leaves much to be desired; it was inherited from the British as a safe, affordable and convenient mode of transport for the common man as at that time India had a limited number of highways.

But unfortunately over the years, especially in last two-three decades, the performance of the railways has deteriorated due to large numbers of trains started by railways minister's going to their home states without thinking of existing infrastructure such as platforms, track capacity, signaling equipment etc.

There can’t be compromise on railway safety as it is being used by millions in the country and hence immediate steps must be taken to make railway journeys safe by modernizing and properly maintaining railway networks, especially tracks and signaling equipment.

Also railways should immediately install anti-collision devices which detect when two trains are approaching in opposite direction in case of signal failure and brings them to an immediate halt before collision.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Railway safety

Khaleej times-23 July 2010.

This is with reference to the railway accident which happened in India recently. The head on collision between the Vanachal Express and Uttarbanga Express is the second major railways accident and is a grim reminder of the crumbling and overused infrastructure... Read More

Railway safety
Khaleej times-23 July 2010.

This is with reference to the railway accident which happened in India recently. The head on collision between the Vanachal Express and Uttarbanga Express is the second major railways accident and is a grim reminder of the crumbling and overused infrastructure.

The safety standards of the Indian Railways leave much to be desired. The system was inherited from the British as a safe, affordable and convenient mode of trans-national transport for the common man.

Over the years, especially in last two to three decades, the performance of the railways has deteriorated. This could be due to the increase in the number of trains by the respective railway ministers without considering the capacity of existing infrastructure like platforms, track capacity and signaling equipments.

There cannot be a compromise on railway safety as it is being used by millions in the country. Hence, immediate steps need to be taken to make railways safe.

Anti-collision devices should also be installed.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Grave danger - Railways Accidents

Letters to Editor-Telegraph-26 July 2010-L.E.

Sir — The head-on collision between the Vananchal Express and the Uttar Banga Express is the second major railway accident to take place in recent times (“Sliced bogie atop bridge”, July 20). It is a grim reminder of the fact that the railway system is crumbling ... Read More

Grave danger - Railways Accidents
Letters to Editor-Telegraph-26 July 2010-L.E.

Sir — The head-on collision between the Vananchal Express and the Uttar Banga Express is the second major railway accident to take place in recent times (“Sliced bogie atop bridge”, July 20). It is a grim reminder of the fact that the railway system is crumbling under the pressure of an overloaded infrastructure. The consequences of this can be seen in the numerous accidents resulting in massive losses of human life, and in the frequent disruptions in the common man’s most convenient means of travel. The security measures and safety standards of the Indian Railways leave much to be desired.

What started off in the days of the raj as a safe and affordable mode of transport has deteriorated consistently over the years. In the last few decades, successive railways ministers have introduced a large number of trains for their respective states. But they have not cared to upgrade the existing tracks or the signalling equipment, some of which are in poor shape.

Modernization and proper maintenance of the railway network are imperative. The need of the hour is the introduction of anti-collision devices that will detect the approach of trains from opposite directions, thus averting accidents.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Train tragedies in India

Filed on May 31, 2014-L.E

The Delhi-Gorakhpur express train accident in which at least 40 people lost their lives and many more were injured cannot be dismissed as “yet another tragedy” on the track.The fact that so many precious lives were lost raises... Read More

Train tragedies in India
Filed on May 31, 2014-L.E

The Delhi-Gorakhpur express train accident in which at least 40 people lost their lives and many more were injured cannot be dismissed as “yet another tragedy” on the track.

The fact that so many precious lives were lost raises several serious questions that the Indian Railways needs to answer. In recent times there have been alarming rise in deadly accidents, especially over the last two years.

Unfortunately, every time an accident takes place, the railway announces a court of inquiry and offers some compensation. Let us stop the blame game and focus on safety measures so that these accidents can be avoided in future and precious lives saved.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Towards a rational rail tariff

The statesman-14th Feb 2014-L.E.

SIR, The Railway ministry’s decision to set up an independent rail tariff authority is welcome. It can act as an ombudsman and fix passenger fares and freight accordingly. Successive Railway ministers have accorded priority to populist measures rather than ... Read More

Towards a rational rail tariff
The statesman-14th Feb 2014-L.E.

SIR, The Railway ministry’s decision to set up an independent rail tariff authority is welcome. It can act as an ombudsman and fix passenger fares and freight accordingly. Successive Railway ministers have accorded priority to populist measures rather than safety and modernization. New trains are invariably introduced for their respective states. The infrastructure is over-stretched.

Modernisation has suffered in the absence of an increase in railway fares. The net result has been accidents on account of poor track maintenance and fires. The independent Rail Tariff Authority will hopefully improve the fiscal condition of the Railways and rationalise the fare and freight ratio. The dynamics of the Railways will have to be examined before a new pricing regime is put in place.

There is no denying that the Railways provide subsidized transport, one that is cheaper than other modes of travel. It is the lifeline of the nation and deserves to be treated accordingly.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

The fare had to be hiked

DNA India 16 March 2012-L.E.

Sir,Indian Railways increasing fare after nine years is of paramount importance as its earnings have been dipping, worldwide coal prices are increasing, government has to give increased salaries to railways employees and railway needs additional funds to improve ... Read More

The fare had to be hiked
DNA India 16 March 2012-L.E.

Sir,Indian Railways increasing fare after nine years is of paramount importance as its earnings have been dipping, worldwide coal prices are increasing, government has to give increased salaries to railways employees and railway needs additional funds to improve passenger amenities. The increase in fares is an inevitable move. The price of some of the essential commodities has increased by more than 200% over the last decade. It is only justified that the rail fares too are hiked.

The railways must ensure that earnings from increase in fares are properly utilized and funds are infused to provide better passenger amenities.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Rail fare hike-LE

Arab News-/16/17-L.E.

This refers to the proposed fare hike by Indian railways. Worldwide any fare hike of public transport is never a welcome move, but in this instance, Indian railways increasing fare after nine years is of paramount importance as earnings of the railways are dipping, ... Read More

Rail fare hike-LE
Arab News-/16/17-L.E.

This refers to the proposed fare hike by Indian railways. Worldwide any fare hike of public transport is never a welcome move, but in this instance, Indian railways increasing fare after nine years is of paramount importance as earnings of the railways are dipping, inflation are high, oil/coal prices are increasing globally, government has to give increased salaries to railways employees, earmark additional funds to improve passengers’ amenities.

For a common man of the country, railways is the only reasonable mode of transport available which connects Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Even though this increase will undoubtedly add to the woes of a common man who is already bearing the brunt of price rise of all essential commodities. Prices of some of these essential commodities for daily use have increased more than 200 percent over the last decade. The price of milk and even the bus fare has more than doubled during the last 10 years. A 10 percent increase in rail fare will be like an aftershock for a common man who has already faced a major earthquake.

Indian Railways is the third railways largest rail network in the world spread over 64,000 km, 12,000 trains daily and 7000 freight trains and ferries 23 million passengers and 2.65 million tons of goods daily. Hence, for the health of the railways, the proposed rail hike is fully warranted otherwise its services would further deteriorate, safety, modernization, upkeep of the rolling stocks and other systems like passengers amenities will be in jeopardy. And in the final course, the loser will be the ordinary railway user. For the health of the railways, the proposed rail hike is fully warranted.

If fare hike proposal is rolled back railways will meet the same fate like that of Air India.

Finally, railways must ensure that earnings from increased in fares are properly utilized and funds are used to provide proper passengers’ amenities and safety to so that passengers get maximum possible value for their money.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Dilapidated Railways pedestrian bridge

FOR SAFETY MEASURES-L.E.

The collapse of a 150-year-old dilapidated pedestrian bridge in Bihar over a ruining train once again underlines how carious a train ride can be in this entry (Bridge falls on train, 33 died December 3).The common man has become accustomed to rail accidents as being ... Read More

Dilapidated Railways pedestrian bridge
FOR SAFETY MEASURES-L.E.

The collapse of a 150-year-old dilapidated pedestrian bridge in Bihar over a ruining train once again underlines how carious a train ride can be in this entry (Bridge falls on train, 33 died December 3).

The common man has become accustomed to rail accidents as being an integral part of life. Each accident that takes place reveals the lack of safety measures and the poor quality of infrastructure.

The government Must ensure that safety procedures are followed rigidly, and old bridges dismantled. We need to identify other century old dilapidated bridges instead of calling for global tenders for refurbishing New Delhi railway station.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Safety audit

Deccan Herald-16th Aug 2016--L.E

Sir, Apropos editorial "Replace old, weak vintage bridges" (DH, Aug 15). The collapse of a British era bridge in Mahad, Maharashtra, exposes how unsafe driving can be on these old bridges. These road-bridges, which are the lifeline of a nation, are hardly paid any ... Read More

Safety audit
Deccan Herald-16th Aug 2016--L.E

Sir, Apropos editorial "Replace old, weak vintage bridges" (DH, Aug 15). The collapse of a British era bridge in Mahad, Maharashtra, exposes how unsafe driving can be on these old bridges. These road-bridges, which are the lifeline of a nation, are hardly paid any attention to resulting in their dilapidated condition. Every time heavy rains lash, an old bridge collapses, taking a few lives with it.

The government must carry out a comprehensive safety audit of these older bridges on a priority basis. If the structure is found weak, it has to be closed for public and dismantled, and a new bridge must be constructed.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Derailing Indian railway

17 March 2012-Khaleej times LE

Worldwide any increase or fare hike of public transport is never welcomed but in this instance there was a pressing need to raise the fares, which have stayed unchanged for nearly a decade. Whereas earnings are dipping, inflation is rising and the global oil/coal ... Read More

Derailing Indian railway
17 March 2012-Khaleej times LE

Worldwide any increase or fare hike of public transport is never welcomed but in this instance there was a pressing need to raise the fares, which have stayed unchanged for nearly a decade. Whereas earnings are dipping, inflation is rising and the global oil/coal prices are increasing. Therefore the government has to give increased salaries to railways employees.

The railway needs additional funds to improve passengers’ amenities and for a common man, railways are the only reasonable mode of transport available. This increase in fares is an inevitable move. The common man is already facing the brunt of price hike of all essential commodities, so a 10 per cent increase in fare hike is something that is not unaffordable.

Indian Railways has the third largest rail network in the world, spread over 64,000 km with 12,000 trains daily and 7,000 freight trains that ferry 23 million passengers and 2.65 million tonnes of goods daily. Hence for the sake of the Railways, the proposed rail hike is fully warranted otherwise its services would deteriorate. The Railways must ensure that earnings from increase in fares are properly utilised for safety means and funds are infused to provide proper amenities so that passengers get maximum possible value for money.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

TOWARDS SAFETY

07 August 2015

Sir — This refers to the news report, “Inundated tracks give in, kill 29 in twin derailment” (August 6). Indian Railways has one of the largest rail networks. Sadly, it is also prone to the largest number of accidents.The twin train derailment incident in Madhya Pradesh ... Read More

TOWARDS SAFETY
07 August 2015

Sir — This refers to the news report, “Inundated tracks give in, kill 29 in twin derailment” (August 6). Indian Railways has one of the largest rail networks. Sadly, it is also prone to the largest number of accidents.

The twin train derailment incident in Madhya Pradesh brings to fore the fact that a lot needs to be done to improve railways safety. Improving safety of the present network, by carrying out extensive safety audit, is the need of the hour.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Indian Railways should focus on modernization and safety

Sir,This case of fire New delhi Tamil Nadu Express on Monday morning which 28 passengers were charred to death in sleep certainly can't be dismissed simply as “yet another tragedy”on the tracks.The fact that so many precious lives were lost raises .... Read More

Indian Railways should focus on modernization and safety

Sir,This case of fire New delhi Tamil Nadu Express on Monday morning which 28 passengers were charred to death in sleep certainly can't be dismissed simply as “yet another tragedy”on the tracks.The fact that so many precious lives were lost raises several serious questions that the Indian Railways needs to answer.

It is also very shocking that railways seems to be hit by series of frequent accidents and nothing is being done to either avert such events or ensure passenger safety,The matter does not end by customary condolences and announcing compensation.

This has brought to light the inept management of rail safety. One find it difficult to understand why so many of these accidents are taking place.Though Indian railways claims to be one of Largest railways network globally but it seems its safety standard is declining day by day.

Perhaps It is high time for the government to put its entire focus on comprehensive plan on technological up gradation and safety prevention on this "accident prone network".

If nation can spend thousands of crores towards CWG,can't we spend money on making train travel safer by drawing a comprehensive railways safety plan, for large country like India Railways is the only long distance mass transport network for the common man and they have a right to ask for a safe railways.One wonders their safety concern will ever be addressed.

This clearly points a failing of the system,Unfortunately it looks for government and for Opposition parties "Railways safety" is not on their priority.

I feel it is just a lack of political will and clearly insensitivity of political class at large as safety has become casuality of populous measures, As a society we lack a sense of priorities.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.
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