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June 10, 2021

Safety system

 
June 10, 2021

More than 50 people died in the Ghotki train accident on Monday (June 7). This is more than the total number of deaths in all the railway accidents that occurred in the UK in the last 20 years. What makes Pakistan Railways so inefficient and unsafe? The answer is simple: It still uses century-old equipment and tracks. Its management, too, is stuck in the colonial-era bureaucratic processes. It is time the railways implemented an occupational health and safety management system to avert such tragic incidents.

In the UK, if a company has five or more employees, it is legally required to implement a health and safety system which allows the organisation to define the arrangements it has done to ensure the safety of people and equipment. It is a unique document that defines how an organization will manage its risks. The first thing that our politicians do after an accident is to blame each other. Then, they blame linemen, signalmen, train drivers, electricians, passengers or even tracks and pressure-cookers. No one is willing to acknowledge that we have a flawed system. We need to develop a railway safety system of our own to avert such accidents in the future.

Naeem Sadiq

Karachi