Railways incur loss worth crores due to cattle run over incidents
New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The incidents of cattle being run over by trains not just affects the rail operations but also leads to a whopping financial loss for the Railways.
A fresh case came to light on Sunday night in Rupnagar, Punjab wherein 116 coaches of a goods train derailed as the driver applied emergency brakes after a herd of cattle came in the middle of the track.
According to an information received through RTI, if a passenger train running on diesel stops for a minute, then it results into a loss of Rs 20,401. On the other hand, it is Rs 20,459 in case of an electric train.
Similarly, for a diesel-run goods train's one minute stoppage, railways incur a loss of Rs 13,334 and it is Rs 13,392 for an electric goods train.
According to experts, these are direct losses. Apart from this if a train stops without any reason, it also affects the movement of many other trains due to safety and traffic reasons, which multiplies the losses incurred by the railways.
Furthermore, in such a situation when a train gets delayed, the railways have to refund Rs 100 or 200 on an average as part of its TDR policy. This further increases the burden on the railways.
According to RTI, incidents of cattle being run over by trains are very common in many parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal. In the North-East, even elephants are dying after being hit by trains.
In Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad division alone from 2016 to 2019, as many as 3,090 trains were delayed by 15 minutes due incidents of cattle run over.
According to the 20th Livestock Census by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying over 50.21 lakh cattles are roaming on the roads. Out of this, Rajasthan with 12.72 lakh cattles on roads is at number one and Uttar Pradesh with 11.84 lakh is on number two. Thus, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh jointly account for almost 50 per cent of these cattles.
According to the railways, more than 26,000 cases of stray cattle affected train operations in the last one year. As per the latest internal data prepared by the railways, due to the increasing number of stray cattle, more number of cows, buffaloes and bulls are wandering on railway tracks and are being run over by high speed trains.
There were a total of 26,142 cattle run over (CRO) cases on rail tracks during 2021-22 as against 10,919 human run over (HRO) cases for the same period.
The Northern Zone and the North Central Zone, which covers most of the parts of North India, have reported maximum such incidents in the year 2021-22 with 6,816 CRO cases and 6,130 HRO cases respectively. Whereas the railways saw a total of 19,949 CRO cases and 7,185 HRO cases in the period 2020-21.
The number of CRO cases has increased from about 2,000-3,000 in 2014-15 to over 14,000 in 2017-18, and to 27,046 in 2019-20.