More than 260 lives have been lost in odisha train accidents. More than 900 people were injured. The odisha train accident ranks as one of the 3 worst train accidents in the last 30 years. This train accident shocked the entire nation. In this case, the railway spokesperson had informed that the technology called 'Kavach', which prevents trains from colliding with each other, was not available in the accident area. This is now the subject of debate.

The scheme called Kavach was announced in the last Budget 2022 as a part of Atmanirbar Bharat scheme. A total of 2,000 km of rail network in indian Railways was planned to be brought under the Gavach scheme. However, the project did not take off.

Opposition Criticism: Madma Banerjee (2011-2012) introduced a technology called train Collision Avoidance System when she was the minister of Railways. However, the trinamool congress has come forward with severe criticism saying that when it came to power, the bjp changed the name of the project to 'Kavach' and took credit for it. This accident could certainly have been avoided if the Gavach system had been implemented, he said.

What is gouache technology? - On march 23, 2022, the Ministry of Railways announced 'Gavach', an automated train safety system developed entirely in india for the safety of trains. For this, three indian companies developed it for the Central Government's Research Designs and Standards Organization, and the indian Railways brought it into use. The word Kavach means shield - protection.

How does Kavach work? Gavach technology will alert train drivers called loco pilots of accidents. Called SPAT, Signal Passing at Danger, this signal warns of two trains approaching on the same track. When there is very dense fog, it will alert if the train is coming in front. Apart from warning, it can automatically apply brakes and limit the speed of the train to reduce the chance of an accident.

For the first time in South Central Railway, Gavach technology was implemented on Lingambally - Vikarabad - Wadi and Vikarabad - Bidar sections of 250 km on a trial basis. Based on its proven performance, three companies were awarded the contract to develop Gavach technology to expand it to the entire indian railway network.

Based on this, Rs.16.88 crore has been earmarked for the initial phase of developing the Gavach technology. Between New delhi - Howrah and New delhi - Mumbai, Gavach is planned to be operational by march 2024 and work is in progress. Based on its performance, subsequent extension has been decided. Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnave had once stated this in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Could the odisha train accident have been avoided if Gavach had been there? - In this case, many opposition parties are accusing that odisha train accident happened due to lack of Gavach technology. Controversy has arisen because none of the three trains that crashed were said to have Gavach technology.

In this case, the technical experts themselves say that whether such a huge accident could have been avoided if Gavach had been there. The reason is that the odisha accident is one of the most complicated in indian train accident history. A train takes a wrong turn and collides with a stationary freight train. The carriages of the freight train derails and collides with another express train coming on another track. The coaches of that train also derailed. Three such trains have met with an accident.

However, experts say the extent to which Gavach has helped can only be confirmed if there is previous evidence that it has prevented such accidents. However, such technologies are recommended to be implemented without restrictions. As it helps to ensure future safety and learn lessons from accidents.

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