Was it possible to prevent the Balasore railway accident? Yes, it appears that the indian Railways had taken the gaps noted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of india (CAG) into consideration well before 2021 ever arrived. The CAG had already alerted the Union government to significant flaws in the risk control measures implemented by various indian Railways units last year.

It appears that the Union government failed to take action to address and close the safety gaps despite the CAG's conclusions in many areas, including maintenance, which led to the tragic accident in Balasore, Odisha. The CAG notably noted that there was a lack of a systematic method for monitoring the application of rules, protocols, and procedures to prevent repetition of such accidents at other places in its report on "Derailment in indian Railways" from march 2021.

More significantly, track inspections showed egregious incompetence. Only 181 of the 350 incidents that were discovered had track inspections. The study notes that the lack of Track Recording car (TRC) inspections had negative effects on the quality of the assets and had issues for the safe running of trains on certain lines.

The research also states that derailment was to blame for 75 percent of the 217 incidents that occurred overall in the previous four years. Additionally, 211 accidents involving signal failure occurred. The CAG cited an investigation report when it stated that the Seemanchal Express derailed in the ECR in february 2019. The TRC run over the section was four months late, according to the study, and might have provided crucial information on track flaws.

It's interesting to note that Research Design and Standards Organisation, Lucknow's failure to receive the programming for administering the TRCs was cited as the primary cause of inspection shortfalls.

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