Rail­ways to pro­vide ex­clu­sive cargo wag­ons to Coal In­dia

Cargo Talk - - Dangerous Goods - Rad­hara­manan Pan­icker

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.

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Dan­ger­ous Goods Man­age­ment In­dia

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