New Delhi, April 4: Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain on Tuesday said that over 37,000 railway bridges are 100 years old with almost 32 per cent of them in the northern zone. He was answering a question in the Lok Sabha.

He further said that these century old bridges are well good in condition as their age does not have any direct relevance on the physical condition of the bridge. There is a well established system of inspection of bridges of the Indian Railways.

All the bridges are inspected twice in the year and some are even inspected more frequently as per their conditions, the minister informed the House. As quoted by PTI, the Northern Railway Zone has 8,691 such bridges, followed by the Central Zone with 4,710 bridges, Eastern Zone with 3,119, South Central Zone with 3,040 and Western Zone with 2,858 bridges.

Repair, strengthening, rehabilitation and rebuilding of railway bridges is undertaken whenever so warranted by their physical condition and if these measures take long, then safety measures like speed restrictions are imposed, the minister added.

This figures puts question on security issues of the passengers. There is a desperate need for better railway technology, such as signalling and an expansion of the network itself through more advanced tracks and trains. Indian Railways is the world’s third-largest train system and it carries about 23 million passengers and 2.65 million tonnes of freight on 19,000 daily trains. It is a popular and much-needed means of transportation for the millions of Indians travelling to the country’s urban hubs.

(With agency inputs)