Expressing concern over repeated fire incidents in trains, a parliamentary panel has asked the Railways to find a solution to the problem with the help of technology and experts to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The Standing Committee on Railways has also asked the national transporter to install automatic fire alarm system in all trains urgently.
The panel headed by DMK MP TR Baalu held a meeting on August 3 to discuss the recent fire incident in the Tamil Nadu Express and recommended several measures to prevent fires in trains.
A sleeper coach of Tamil Nadu Express had caught fire on July 30 last claiming 32 lives.
Recommending that help of latest technology be taken, the committee has asked the Railways to explore the possibilities of adopting best practices in fire fighting exercise available in other countries.
“Experts from India and outside could be asked to give their views on measures that can be taken in this regard. Best practices in fire-fighting available with the railways in other countries could be studied,” the committee suggested.
It also advised setting up of Fire Safety Audit teams comprising experts from different segments of the Railway system to keep regular and periodic check on fire hazards in the Railways. “Railways may urgently consider installing automatic fire alarm system in all its trains. Sprinklers and other dousing systems could be provided in coaches. Fire-fighting equipment should be provided in more coaches in a train so that small incidents can be attended to in an effective manner,” the panel noted.
Advocating for the use of more fire retardant materials in the coaches, the committee has suggested the replacement of aluminium with copper in electrical fuses. The RPF staff could also be given basic training in fire-fighting so that they can be of assistance in emergencies, it suggested.
The committee has also sought basic fire-fighting training for all railway personnel who work aboard running trains in different capacities.