All not well with railway system, Odisha accident wake up call: CPI-M

The crash involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train killed 288 people and injured over 1,000

Odisha train crash

Odisha train crash

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The government has gone overboard in creating a "hype" that the Railways has become a smart and speedy mode of transport but all is not well with the system and the Odisha accident is a wake up call, the CPI-M has said.
The Left party also said a "legitimate" question is being raised on why Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has not resigned following the June 2 train crash in Odisha's Balasore. Several opposition parties have asked for Vaishnaw's resignation since the accident.
The crash involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train killed 288 people and injured over 1,000.
"At the political level, a legitimate question raised is why the Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has not resigned owning moral responsibility for this worst railway accident in the last two decades," the latest editorial of the party's mouthpiece 'People's Democracy' said.
"In 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned as railway minister from the (Jawaharlal) Nehru cabinet after a train accident in Tamil Nadu. Later in 1999, Nitish Kumar had quit as railway minister from the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government after a terrible rail accident in West Bengal. Neither Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, nor his railway minister, feel the need to be accountable for this disaster," it said.
The CPI-M also accused the Modi government of creating an impression that the Indian Railways had been converted into a smart and speedy transport system, with latest technology being used for safety and comfort, while the accident has claimed so many lives.

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"The Modi government has gone overboard in creating this hype, with the prime minister himself inaugurating Vande Bharat trains all over the country. Over Rs 2.4 lakh crore were allocated in this year's budget for capital outlay in railways, mostly for these semi-high speed Vande Bharat trains and also 'upgradation' of 1,275 stations, etc," it said.
"So, the Balasore crash has come as a heart-rending wake up call for the people all is not well with the gigantic railway system," the editorial said.
The CPI-M also called the CBI inquiry into the accident a "diversionary move".
"This seems a diversionary move. Why not wait for the Commissioner of Railway Safety's enquiry before concluding there is need for investigating any criminality in the accident that occurred," it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 8 2023 | 7:42 PM IST

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