Rail derailment in Raebareli: Creaky infrastructure leaves seven dead

There were 181 derailments between 2014 and 2016

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Vishwas Dass | October 10, 2018 | Railways, accidents, infrastructure


#infrastructure   #Railways   #accidents  
(Photo courtesy: Rajendra B. Aklekar/Mid-Day)
(Photo courtesy: Rajendra B. Aklekar/Mid-Day)

The derailment of nine coaches of the New Farakka Express near Raebareli, in which seven people have been killed and dozens sustained grievous injuries, has once again exposed the hollow claims of the Indian Railways of reducing fatal accidents.

The excessive traffic and tardy pace of infrastructure upgradation has once again resulted into a deadly accident. Like before, the railways showed promptness in declaring compensation for the deceased and injured but the Railway Board still struggles to put an end to derailments and offer a safe journey to people.

While the rescue operation was being carried out by the railways and Raebareli district administration, reports of the death of seven passengers was confirmed by the railways. The accident took place near Harichandpur station in Uttar Pradesh.

Scores of railway officials reached at the site and took stock of the rescue operations. Railway board chairman Ashwani Lohani left for Raebareli at around 7 am for preliminary assessment of the cause of the accident. Railways minister Piyush Goyal expressed grief over the accident and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for the injured and Rs 50,000 for those sustained minor injuries.

A total of 181 derailments happened between 2014 and 2016 and over 300 passengers died in 200 derailments in three years. At least 146 people were killed in one of the biggest derailments in the railways’ recent history in derailment at Pukhrayan in Uttar Pradesh on November 20, 2016.

Though the railways have claimed that the unmanned level crossings have been either converted to manned or eliminated on major routes, the national transport seems to have no control over derailment accidents.

After assuming the office Goyal in 2017 had asserted that he would focus on reducing accidents rather than just improving punctuality. However, the railways have not only miserably failed in bringing down accidents but also fair poor in improving punctuality.

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