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Particulars of Organization,Functions and Duties

Chapter  (I)

Introduction

The Commission of Railway Safety, working under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India, deals with matters pertaining to safety of rail travel and train operation and is charged with certain statutory functions as laid down in the Railways Act (1989), which are of an inspectorial, investigatory and advisory nature. The Commission functions according to certain rules framed under the Railways Act and executive instructions issued from time to time. The most important duty of the Commission is to ensure that any new Railway line to be opened for passenger traffic should conform to the standards and specifications prescribed by the Ministry of Railways and the new line is safe in all respects for carrying of passenger traffic. This is also applicable to other works such as gauge conversion, doubling of lines and electrification of existing lines. The Commission also conducts statutory inquiries into serious train accidents occurring on the Indian Railways and makes recommendations for improving safety on the Railways in India. Delhi Metro is governed by Delhi Metro Railway (O&M) Act, 2002.

Organisational Structure

The Commission is headed by a Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), at Lucknow, who also acts as the Principal Technical Advisor to the Central Government in all matters pertaining to railway safety. Working under the administrative control of CCRS are nine Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS), exercising jurisdiction over the Zonal Railways. In addition, some of them have jurisdiction over railway establishments other than Zonal Railways viz (i) Metro Railway, Kolkata, (ii) DMRc, Delhi, (iii) MRTP, Chennai and (iv) Konkan Railway. There are 5 Dy. Commissioners of Railway Safety posted in the Headquarters at Lucknow for assisting the CCRS, as and when required. In addition, there are 2 field Dy. Commissioners, one each in Mumbai and Kolkata, to assist the Commissioners of Railway Safety in matters concerning the Signaling and Telecommunication disciplines
 
A brief narrative on the history and functions of the organization, which dates back to the 19th century, is contained in Appendix I attached below
 
Total staff strength of the Commission of Railway Safety excluding RS-Section, Lucknow ( it is on the staff strength of Ministry of Civil Aviation) is 145. A statement showing staff strength in the Circle Offices and Headquarter offices is enclosed at Appendix II attached below.

Organisational Structure

The Headquarters and the jurisdiction of each circle over the Railway Administration is as below: -
Name of Circle Headquarters Principal Railways
CENTRAL CIRCLE Mumbai CENTRAL RLY., WEST CENTRAL RLY.& KONKAN RLY
EASTERN CIRCLE Kolkata EASTERN RLY. & EAST CENTRAL RLY.
NORTHERN CIRCLE New Delhi NORTHERN RLY. & DELHI METRO RAIL CORPORATION
NORTH EASTERN CIRCLE Lucknow NORTH EASTERN RLY. & NORTH CENTRAL RLY
NORTHEAST FRONTIER CIRCLE Kolkata NORTHEAST FRONTIER RLY. & METRO KOLKATA
SOUTHERN CIRCLE Bangalore SOUTHERN RLY. & SOUTH WESTERN RLY.
SOUTH CENTRAL CIRCLE Secunderabad SOUTH CENTRAL RLY.
SOUTH EASTERN CIRCLE Kolkata SOUTH EASTERN RLY., EAST COAST RLY.& SOUTH EAST CENTRAL RLY.
WESTERN CIRCLE Mumbai WESTERN RLY & NORTH WESTERN RLY.

Appendix-I

1.  Brief History

1.1  To exercise effective control over the construction and operation of the first railways in India, which were entrusted to private companies, Consulting Engineers were appointed under the Government of India. Later when the Government undertook the construction of railways, the Consulting Engineers were designated as Government Inspectors. In 1883, their position was statutorily recognised. Later, the Railway Inspectorate was placed under the Railway Board which was established in 1905.
 
1.2   Under the Indian Railway Board Act, 1905 and Notification No.801 dated 24th March, 1905 of the Department of Commerce and Industry, the Railway Board was vested with powers and functions of the Central Government under various sections of the Railway Act and was authorised to make General Rules for the operation of Railways. The Railway Board is thus the Safety Controlling Authority for the working and operation of Government and Company managed railways.
 
1.3  Section 181(3) of the Government of India Act of 1935 provided that functions for securing the safety, both of the traveling public and of persons operating the railways, including the holding of inquiries into the causes of accidents, should be performed by an authority independent of the Federal Railway Authority. Due to the outbreak of the war, the constitution of the Federal Railway Authority did not materialize and the Inspectorate continued to function under the Railway Board.
 
1.4   To avoid direct subordination of the Railway Inspectorate to the Railway Board, the Pacific Locomotive Committee, headed by Lt. Col. A.H.L. Mount, then Chief Inspecting Officer of the British Railways, suggested in para 210 of their report, submitted in 1939, as under:-
 
We understand that, under the Govt. of India Act, 1935, it is contemplated that the Inspectorate will be separated from the control of the Railway Board. This is very desirable in so far as it will eradicate the present anomaly of the Board being the Inspecting as well as the executive Authority. We were informed that the Board fully appreciate the position, and would welcome the change, although it appears that, in practice, Government Inspectors have generally retained their freedom of judgement
 
1.5  The principle of separation of the Railway Inspectorate from the Railway Board was endorsed in 1940 by the Central Legislature who recommended that Senior Government Inspectors of Railways should be placed under the Administrative control of some authority of the Govt. of India other than the Railway Board. Accordingly, the Railway Inspectorate was placed under the administrative control of the Department of Posts and Air in May 1941 and continuously thereafter under whichever Ministry that held the portfolio of Civil Aviation.
 
1.6   The erstwhile Railway Inspectorate was re-designated as the Commission of Railway Safety on 1.11.1961.
 

Appendix-II

Statement showing staff strength in the Circle Offices and Headquarter offices

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