By Yogesh Kabirdoss – CHENNAI
28th February 2013 08:27 AM
Do you know that tainted Italian defence major Finmeccanica, caught in the mire over alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, is silently executing a €30 million contract to develop a safety system for Indian Railways?
Though the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), developed by Union Switch and Signal (US&S) India, a subsidiary of Ansaldo Signal, which is a Finmeccanica firm, has been trashed by a high-level rail safety review committee headed by former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar in 2012, the project has not been dumped.
According to railway sources, while most officials are not keen on the system, which has been found to be unfit for railway conditions in India, the company is still having a free run in Southern Railway sectors. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had flagged introduction of TPWS on automatic signalling systems as a critical element “to strengthen safe operations of trains” in his budget speech.