Railways to provide exclusive cargo wagons to Coal India
The Indian Railways signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Coal India for providing cargo wagons for the exclusive use of the state-run firm. According to the Ministry of Railways, the MoU will lead to the procurement of 2,000 wagons or 33 rakes in the first outgo, which will facilitate in increased evacuation of coal from CIL.
Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Railway Minister, said, “This is a path breaking agreement which will result in speedy supply of wagons for coal loading in dedicated circuits. The initial investment of 500 crore will lead to anticipated investment of 5,000 crore.” Stating coal as mainstay of the railways, the minister informed that the two-thirds of its revenue comes from the coal. The agreement was signed in the presence of Prabhu; Piyush Goyal, Union Coal and Power Minister; Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State for Railways, among others.
The fire and explosion in the Tianjin Port area in China underlines the potential risk from the storage and transportation of dangerous goods. More than a 100 people were killed in the explosion and fire and thousands of crores worth rth of property was damaged. A similar but smaller incident happened ened in Madhya Pradesh also.
The earlier r Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984, in which ch a large volumee (30MT) of f highly toxic gas (MIC) leaked from UCIL plant in Bhopal within one hour leaving thousands of f people dead the following morning, is still fresh in the mind. There is no doubt that error rror in the storage of dangerous goods can be a serious potential threat to public safety and property.
The risk from the storage of dangerous goods can still be manageable but it is the transportation of dangerous goods that has the higher risk potential and consequences. The risk from the carriage of such goods by air is even more serious as it involves a potential threat to humans flying as passengers.
The transportation of dangerous goods has to be dealt with from the perspective of risk management and compliance rather than that of just following the regulation for the transport of dangerous goods. In terms of dangerous goods transportation,risk can be defined as follows: Risk = hazard incident likelihood x release probability x consequence. Lett us look at each element of f this equation and understand how regulation helps in minimising the risk.
An incident iss any unintentional releasere elease dangerous goods are defined as substances or articles that can be or are capable of causing risk to human health, safety, property and environment.
They can be classified into nine hazard classes as defined by UN
Committee likelihood of some accidents over a period of time.
In terms of probabilities, accidents are quite low for any given trip but opportunities for incidents that could release dangerous goods into the property and civil aviation.
The risk from dangerous goods is across the entire global supply chain because any such incidentinciden can cause massive disruptiondisrupt to it as can be seen from the Tianjin port incident. The port was shut for
more than twot months.
The whole purposep of the dangerous goods regulation is to minimise the risk fromfro the storage and transportation of dangerousdangerou goods, if not completely eliminate it, by establishing uniformun and common standards of regulationsr across the globe.
The premise on which the regulation is based is that risk can be minimised drastically by understanding the hazards clearly and processing dangerous goods according to set of guidelines which includes the classification of dangerous goods, identification, packing, marking and labeling, and documentation, which are all specific responsibilities assigned to the shipper.
Thus the objectives of the regulation are to enhance the safe transport of dangerous goods, protect civil aviation, protect human life, protect damage to property and marine environment and facilitate the free and unrestricted movement of dangerous goods.
The regulation is an evolutionary meaning that each incident or accident adds to the learning process to make the requirements of the regulation more practical and useful rather than a burden for compliance. Therefore, the regulation is published in a revised and amended version every two years.