Railway utilises over 40% of funds allocated in 2023-24 for ‘Kavach’ installation

Source : PTI | The Indian Railways has so far utilised INR 321.85 crore out of total INR 798.98 crore of budgetary allocation for the implementation of ‘Kavach’, an anti-collision device Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. It suggests that more than 40% of the fund has been utilised so far in the current financial year.

Responding to questions raised by Javed Ali Khan, Samajwadi Party MP in the Rajya Sabha, Vaishnaw said that ‘Kavach’ is an indigenously developed automatic train protection (ATP) system which is highly technology intensive and it requires safety certification of the highest order.

Khan wanted to know the details of the railway routes and trains which have been equipped and are targeted to be equipped with the anti-collision device in 2023-24 and 2024-25.

He also asked for the details of private companies with whom MoUs have been signed and the “fund allocated, released and utilised for the same during 2023-24 till date, zone wise.”

Vaishnaw said that ‘Kavach’ was adopted as a national ATP system in July 2020 and has so far been deployed on 1,465 km and 139 locomotives (including electric multiple unit rakes) on the South Central Railway.

Highlighting the ongoing work, Vaishnaw said that at present ‘Kavach’ tenders have been awarded for Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridors (approximately 3,000 km).

He added that as per the progress of the ongoing work, optical fibre cable has been laid on 3040 km, 269 telecom towers and 186 station equipment have been installed. Besides, according to him, 170 locomotives have also been equipped with Kavach provisions.

Explaining the ‘Kavach’ system, the railway minister said that it involves installation of station ‘Kavach’ at each station, RFID tags throughout the track length, Loco ‘Kavach’ on every locomotive, Kavach towers throughout the section and laying of optical fibre throughout the train route.

“Approval of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) is a continuous process. At present, there are three OEMs approved for Kavach,” Vaishnaw said, adding, “The budgetary allocation for Kavach during the year 2023-24 is INR 798.98 crore and utilisation so far is INR 321.85 crore.”