Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jan 2019 10:10:16




THE Parliamentary  standing committee on Railways was right in expressing its indignation over the Railway Ministry’s “grave lapse” in not filling up nearly 60 pc vacancies of inspection staff for bridges. The members’ indignation and concern becomes even more clear when it asks the Ministry to “shake off its inertia and fill up these vacancies in the shortest possible time.”

With so much shortage of inspection staff it is an enigma how the Railways were ensuring the safety of bridges. There are several bridges that are more than 100 years old, built during the British era. And hence are in need of either replacement or carrying out urgent repairs. Besides, with the load of traffic increasing and speed of several trains being raised, these old bridges may not be compatible to modern rail traffic requirements.

Neglect of old bridges means compromising on safety of rail users. Hence as rightly said by the committee, it is indeed a grave lapse on the part of the Railway Ministry not to  arm the inspection wing with adequate and qualified inspection staff.



THE protection of one-horned Rhinos in Assam has become a great challenge for the conservationists and forest department of the State, thanks to the presence of poachers. The arrest of three well-armed poachers near the famed Kaziranga  National Park shows how important it has become to keep an eternal vigil on the activities of poachers and save the endangered species.

Assam is home to one-horned Rhinos. And hence it is important the State machinery is geared to the challenge of the poachers. Of late there have been quite a number of instances of Rhinos being killed by poachers and their body parts whisked away for commerce purposes.

While animal activists, conservationists and Government authorities are doing their best to save endangered wildlife species and secure their natural habitat from encroachment and destruction, the evil eye of poachers becomes a  nightmare for the wild animals and also the conservationists. The phenomenon is all-pervasive. Tiger sanctuaries are fine example of this menace.