Lessons From a Disaster - Learn Vocabulary

A railway network that caters to about seven billion passenger trips a year poses extraordinary management challenges, the most important of which is to ensure that all journeys end safely. The derailment of the Indore-Patna Express in Kanpur Dehat, with the death toll at least 146, is a stark reminder that India’s strained railway system can be unpredictably risky. The distress of the families of passengers who died and those left injured can never be fully compensated by the announcement of ex-gratia compensation by the Railway Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and State governments; at the same time, confidence in the system has suffered a severe blow. The Ministry, which has recorded an average of 50 derailments a year over the past four years and a peak of 63, needs to engage in a sustained effort to win back public confidence. There are several elements to safety, of which the integrity of the tracks, signalling, engines and coaches need to be rigorously audited. Internal investigations by the Commissioners of Railway Safety have found human error to be responsible for 70 per cent of serious rail accidents, which underscores the importance of training and adherence to strict operational discipline. In the Patna Express accident, the focus is on whether there were flaws in the track, the speed at which the late-running train was being driven, and the role played by coach design in leading to high fatalities.

Millions of people board a train in India every day. They need an assurance from the Ministry that it is learning from its mistakes. Specialist committees headed by Anil Kakodkar on safety and Bibek Debroy on restructuring have recommended major reforms, such as the creation of a statutory safety authority, speedy replacement of ageing coaches with modern LHB design, and revamped management that keeps its focus on core train operations. In his budget this year, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu promised that all zonal railways would have ultrasound flaw detection machines by March 2017 to test track quality. It is important to know whether such a test was done on the Indore-Kanpur-Patna route. After an accident it is the quality of medical facilities that determines a victim’s chances of survival. Many terrible mishaps occur in rural areas that have no hospital facilities worth the name, no trauma specialists or intensive care. Upgrading district hospitals should be a priority. More immediately, the Railway Ministry should ensure that bureaucratic procedures do not come in the way of victims getting the best treatment and aid.

Source : THE HINDU


1. Strained (adjective) (तनावपूर्ण) – showing signs of nervous tension or tiredness
  • Synonyms – choked, wired
  • Antonyms – calm, relaxed
  • Ex: His weight strained the rope.

2. Distress (noun) (संकट)– extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain
  • Synonyms – discomfort, misery
  • Antonyms – advantage, health
  • Ex: The ship flashed a distress signal.

3. Sustained (adjective) (निरंतर)– continuing for an extended period or without interruption
  • Synonyms – constant, continuous
  • Antonyms – ending, stopping
  • Ex: In order to sustain food supplies throughout the harsh winter, the settlers had to reduce the size of food portions.

4. Integrity (noun) (अखंडता)– the state of being whole and undivided
  • Synonyms – rectitude, virtue
  • Antonyms – corruption, disgrace
  • Ex: My personal integrity will not let me lie to anyone.

5. Rigorously (adjective) (सख्ती से) – marked by extremes of temperature or climate
  • Synonyms – gingerly, exactly
  • Antonyms – carelessly, partially
  • Ex: A good rigorous scrubbing will help to clean up most stains.

6. Adherence (noun) (अनुपालन)– sticking to or being faithful to
  • Synonyms – loyalty, constancy
  • Antonyms – disloyalty, inconstancy
  • Ex: Restaurants that don’t adhere to strict health codes can be shutdown.

7. Fatalities (noun) (मौत) – an occurrence of death by accident, in war, or from disease
  • Synonyms – accident, disaster
  • Antonyms – birth
  • Ex: 80 per cent of pedestrian fatalities occur in built-up areas.

8. Revamped (verb) (पुर्नोत्थान) – give new and improved form, structure, or appearance to
  • Synonyms – remake, remodel
  • Antonyms – destroy, damage
  • Ex: Our education system needs to be seriously revamped.

9. Detection (noun) (खोज) – the action or process of identifying the presence of something concealed
  • Synonyms – revelation, strike
  • Antonyms – failure, mistake
  • Ex: As expected, detection of any electrical charge is zero.

10. Bureaucratic (adjective) (नौकरशाही) – relating to a system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives
  • Synonyms – deciding, central
  • Ex: Because of bureaucratic red tape, it will be months before I receive my passport.

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