RS MPs express concern as one more train derails in UP

Krishnanand Tripathi
Suresh Prabhu, Union Railway Minister in the Rajya Sabha on 30 March 2017.

Suresh Prabhu, Union Railway Minister in the Rajya Sabha on 30 March 2017.

Rajya Sabha members today expressed serious concerns over the safety of Railway passengers as one more train derailed in the UP a night before the house was to take up the discussion on working of the ministry. Indian Railways have suffered multiple derailments in Uttar Pradesh in recent past due to poor railway tracks and some of them are probed for terror sabotage angle as well.

More than 50 people were injured in the derailment of Delhi-bound Mahakaushal Express due to rail fracture near Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday night.

Vandana Chavan of the NCP said India has had one of the worst years as far as railway safety is concerned as over 180 people have died in accidents, the highest since 2010.

India also saw derailment of 62 trains in 2016 as compared to 37 in 2015, she said, adding this showed a 70 per cent rise in a single year.

Chavan said a lot of people say that most of these incidents could perhaps have been prevented if the railways had taken adequate precautions.

Chavan sought to know about the plan to set up 35,000 CCTVs at 1,000 stations across the country.

Chauhan said that in 2016-17 revenue from passenger traffic decreased by 6 per cent of the budget estimate whereas revenue from freight traffic has also been decreasing over the years.

The NCP MP said the railways was facing a challenge from the Indian aviation sector as air prices are achieving real parity in terms of AC passenger fares.

Shiv Pratap Shukla (BJP) asked the Railways ministry to focus more on safety provisions in order to make the network better in terms of accidents.

Husain Dalwai (Congress), while giving example of bullet trains in China, asked the government to seek ways to increase speed of trains in India.

Alok Tiwari (SP) said the government was not focussing on safety initiatives.

Mukul Roy (AITC) attacked the government on safety provisions, saying that the current dispensation was not serious about the upgrading the safety infrastruture in the railways network.

Ripun Bora (Congress) asked the government to focus on safety measures. He said that all other steps were futile if there were chances of accidents due to fragile infrastructure.

K K Ragesh (CPI-M) said the government is trying to privatise the railways and by doing so, it was abdicating its responsibility of providing affordable mode of transport to the people of the country.