Kolkata: Extending her condolences to the kin of the deceased in the deadly derailment of the Hirakhand Express, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the Indian Railways is neglected and being given less priority, adding the safety and security of the people is, therefore, being compromised.
Banerjee said the Indian Railways, which is the lifeline of the nation, carries crores of people every day.
“We are proud of our Indian Railways employees. However, now Railways is neglected and being given less priority. The Budget is being curtailed. Safety and security are being compromised. Sadly, today also many people lost their lives. My condolences to their loved ones,” she said in a statement.
“We do not blame the Minister; he is earnest in his efforts. But the government needs to address issues urgently,” she added.
At least 36 people have lost their lives so far and over 100 others injured after nine coaches of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.
The incident took place at around 11 p.m. yesterday near Kuneru station when most of the passengers were sleeping. The station is 25 kilometre away from Rayagada station in Odisha.
The Ministry of Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. two lakh each for next of kin of those killed in the train accident. It has also announced Rs. 50,000 those seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for minor injuries.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has also announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh compensation under Chandranna Bima.
The Indian Railway has issued the following helpline numbers – Rayagada: 06856-223400, 06856-223500, 09439741181, 09439741071 and 07681878777. The helpline numbers at Vizianagaram are 08922-221202 and 08922-221206.