Congress again slams Centre over Balasore train tragedy

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh highlighted lapses pointed out by Commissioner of Rail Safety

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday once again trageted the Centre over the Balasore train tragedy, saying that a “sabotage theory had been floated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to escape accountability”.

Taking to Twitter, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “It is clear that the sabotage theory floated by the Prime Minister and Railway Minister is to escape accountability and manage the headlines. The Commissioner of Rail Safety has concluded that severe shortcomings in procedures and systems relating to rail safety resulted in the Balasore train disaster.

“But who is listening? Inaugurations of Vande Bharat trains continue… a horrific tragedy caused by misplaced priorities of the Modi government.”

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Highlighting the lapses pointed out by Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS) in its report, Ramesh said: “As summarised, the main findings of the enquiry on the reasons behind the triple train collision that led to the loss of almost 300 lives and leaving more than 100 injured are: An undetected fault in the wiring in the location box that had not been noticed by Signal and Telecom (S&T) staff in the past five years. The first level of failure was in the wrong labelling of circuits. The second level was in failing to check if the circuits worked.”

His remarks came a day after the CRS report on the train accident claimed several lapses of the signalling and telecom department for the accident.

On June 2, in one of the biggest rail accidents in India in last 25 years, Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, Howrah bound SMVT Superfast Express and a goods train met an accident near Bahanaga Bazar Railway station in Odisha’s Balasore resulting in death of 292 people and leaving over 800 injured.

The Railways initially ordered a CRS enquiry and then also ordered for a CBI probe.

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