Particulars of Organization,Functions and Duties
During British Era, the construction & operation of railways were entrusted to private companies. Consulting engineers were appointed by the British Govt. of India to exercise effective control over them. But later on, the government undertook the construction of Railways themselves, then the consulting engineers were designated as Government Inspectors. In 1883, their position was statutorily recognized. The power of safety controlling authority remained with Railway Board & Inspectorate office was placed under them.
In 1939, the Pacific Locomotive Committee, set up in connection with the Bihta disaster, recommended that Railway Inspectorate should be separated from the Railway Board, on the principle that those responsible for the inspection of Railways should be independent of the Authority administering the Railways, as contemplated in Section 181(3) of the Government of India Act, 1935. These recommendations were approved by the, Legislative Assembly in 1939, Council of State in 1940 and accepted by the British Government of India. Accordingly in May 1941, Railway Inspectorate was separated from the Railway Board. Post of Chief Government Inspector of Railways (CGIR), through whom Government Inspectors of Railways (GIR) would report to Government, was created. Later on Inspectorate office was placed under the Department of Communication and now it is under Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).
On 01.11.1961, CGIR was re-designated as Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) and GIR, as Additional Commissioners of Railway Safety (ACRS).
From June, 1979 designation of CRS was changed to Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) and ACRS, to CRS.
CRS are recruited from amongst officers of Indian Railways (IR) but they do not revert back to Railways and are absorbed in the Commission of Railway Safety under Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Functions of The Commission Of Railway Safety:
As detailed in Section 6, Chapter-III of The Railways Act 1989, the duties of Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) are as under:-,
(a)To inspect new railways with a view to determine whether they are fit to be opened for the public carriage of passengers and to report thereon, to the Central Government as required by or under this Act;
(b)To make such periodical or other inspections of any railway or of any rolling stock used thereon as the Central Government may direct;
(c)To make inquiry under this Act into the cause of any accident on a Railway; and
(d)To discharge such other duties as are conferred on him by or under this Act.