Days after a triple–train–collision in Odisha’s Balasore left 278 dead and 1,000-odd injured, and was dubbed as one of the worst rail accidents in India’s history, the Railway Board has reportedly directed all the General Managers (GMs) to ensure regular maintenance of infrastructure and safety of assets.

In a letter, issued on Thursday, the Board has again laid out a set of guidelines that needs to be followed for day-to-day working, inspection and carrying out of renewal or any maintenance works.

One of the specific instruction to senior officials were to increase field visits, attend maintenance sites regularly.

Officials have reportedly been advised to focus and spend maximum time on maintenance and work sites.

According to a Railway official, one of suggestions have asked officials – including engineers – to “ensure that all the worksites are protected with necessary caution board, safety boards, banner flag and hand signals”.

“Furthermore, the Board advised the zonals to have division-wise list with principal chief engineers (called PCEs in Railway parlance) for monitoring compliance. A report on the action taken should also be forwarded to the Railway Board, on weekly basis,” it was reportedly advised.

The same was also discussed in a recent review held meeting post the triple train collision, sources said.

In Railways’ scheme of things, the PCE is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of tracks, bridges, station buildings, and other fixed assets.

Various departmental have been asked to visit maintenance sites and guide the joint engineers in their work, apart from overseeing it, said an official.

According to Railway officials, some of these are standard operating procedures that are generally laid down. However, the letter and instructions assume significance in the backdrop of the Odisha incident.

On June 5, the Railway Board called for carrying out a week-long safety drive; and the results are to be shared with the Railway Board officials by June 14.

Meanwhile, the Principal Chief Operations Manager of Railways has been asked for “periodic counselling” of train managers and section controllers about their duties and responsibilities “to ensure smooth and safe movement of trains”.

“some suitable senior knowledgable train managers and section controllers may be nominated as supervisors....for enhancing alertness and proper compliance during normal and abnormal situations,” a letter from the Railway Board said.

“A regular programme for counselling of all train running staff on specific safety and movement is required to be prepared and executed,” it noted.