Monday, July 22, 2024

Centre ‘compromised’ basic issues of railway safety: Cong on Balasore train accident report

The Congress on Tuesday attacked the BJP-led Centre and said there was craze for inaugurating Vande Bharat trains, fixation on bullet trains and tinkering with specialised cadres, and that the government has thoroughly “compromised” basic issues of railway safety which don’t make for photo-ops.

The Congress remarks came after the Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS) report blamed lapses at multiple levels in the signalling and telecom department of Indian Railways for the June 2 triple train accident in Odisha’s Balasore which left 292 dead and over 1,000 injured.

Hitting out at the government, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “This is what we have been saying all along. In the craze for inaugurating Vande Bharat trains, fixating on bullet trains and tinkering with specialised cadres, the Modi government has thoroughly compromised on basic issues of railway safety that don’t make for photo-ops and headlines.”

“Clearly, the Balasore tragedy was human error at the root of which is management failure, which includes the political leadership. What will it take to bring the overall approach to the railways back on track?” Ramesh, who is party’s communication in-charge, said.

The report also highlighted the “lapses in the signalling-circuit-alteration” carried out at the north signal ‘goomty’ in the past and during the execution of the signalling work related to the replacement of electric lifting barrier for level crossing gate 94 at the station.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing into the Odisha train accident and the CRS too carried out a probe. The CRS, which comes under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is the central government entity that looks into railway safety and investigates railway incidents.

Sources said that A.M. Chowdhary, CRS, South Eastern Circle, who carried out the probe into the Balasore train accident, in its report has found lapses at multiple levels in the S&T Department responsible for the same.

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