Vande Bharat vs Cows; The New Challenge for Indian Railways | So Good News
Will the cows and buffaloes stand in the way of modernization of technology in India? No, this is not the title of an academic conference. The subsequent events of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project Vande Bharat’s collisions with the cattle have perhaps made it a point of reflection.
Just a day after it got its nose repaired, the newly launched Mumbai Central-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat Express hit a cow again yesterday near Anand in Gujarat while on its way to Mumbai. The incident took place at 3.49 pm between Kanjari and Anand stations, about 433 km from Mumbai. According to Chief Public Relation Officer of Eastern Railway Sumit Thakur, no passenger was injured. The train resumed its journey after a ten-minute stop.
According to the reports, the front part of the train has received a small dent.
Cattle V/s Vande Bharat: FIR launched against unidentified owner
This is not the first incident of such beef against Vande Bharat. On Thursday, it had hit a herd of buffaloes on its way to Gandhinagar. The train suffered damage to the nose which was repaired immediately.
Western Railway spokesperson Jitnedra Kumar Jaynat said, “The Vande Bharat Express running between Mumbai Central and Gandhinagar Capital stations had left Mumbai this morning. The front part of the train engine was damaged after it hit some buffaloes that came on the track around 11.15 am. The incident took place between Vatva and Maninagar areas of Ahmedabad.”
In this case too, there was no injury and within 8 minutes of removing the carcasses of the buffalo, the train resumed its journey. On the likely actions to be taken by the railways, Thakur said they will make fencing in the Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad area to avoid such circumstances. By March 2024, the fencing works will be completed to ensure a speed of 160 km/h.
Interestingly, an FIR has also been launched by the Western Railway against the unidentified owner of the buffaloes. “The RPF has filed a first information report (FIR) against the unidentified owners of the buffaloes that came in the way of the Vande Bharat train between Vatva and Maninagar railway stations in Ahmedabad,” Jitendra Jayant said.
The FIR was registered under Section 147 of the Railways Act, 1987 which prohibits unauthorized entry into any part of the railway premises and misuse thereof. The police have not yet identified the owner of the buffaloes.
Since the collision with the cattle in the track is apparently inevitable, the design of semi-high speed Vande Bharat train took all the possibilities into consideration. The nose cone is designed to avoid damage to the engine’s internal organs. Railway keeps several replaceable nose cones ready for emergencies.
In the context of such successive accidents, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, “The train is designed in such a way and it is so strong that if an accident happens, nothing will happen to the train. The nose at the front is completely replaceable. As soon as the train reached Mumbai (after Thursday’s incident), it was completely cleaned up and the nose replaced.”
Referring to inevitable calamity, the minister added: “In India the tracks are laid on the ground. Wherever you go, cattle will cross them, you cannot stop them. Unless we raise the tracks in another 5-6 years, they (cattle ) get in front of the trains.”
He also promised that the next version of Vande Bharat will have a speed of 200 kmph. The latest version runs at 160 km/h.
What is Vande Bharat Express?
To keep pace with the rest of the developed world, the Vande Bharat Express was envisioned as a semi-high-speed carrier that will cover large distances in a short time. The Vande Bharat series shuttle train was launched in 2019 on the New Delhi-Varanasi route. The other is in the Delhi-Katra route.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent visit to Gujarat flagged off the third in the series on the Gandhinagar-Mumbai route on 30 September. Modi himself traveled 40 km by train.
The train is designed to contribute to Indian Railways’ green footprint by removing the locomotives and saving approximately 30% of electricity with an advanced regenerative braking system. The air conditions of the train are also energy efficient and save 15% energy consumption.
The indigenously designed train set (Train-18) has undergone many upgrades in its latest Vande Bharat 2.0 version. In the new version, rotating seats in buses with executive chairs, automatic sliding doors, improved communication between guards and loco pilots, aircraft-like vacuum toilets, improved interiors and reclining seats are some of the major upgrades
(With agency inputs)