The recent derailment of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar and Kaifiyat Express near Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh has raised doubts over the Government’s concern regarding the safety of millions of people who travel by train every day.
The Kaifiyat Express derailment on Wednesday was the last straw that prompted the opposition parties to question the Government’s take.
The Congress Party on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused the Centre of being careless regarding the safety of the passengers travelling with the Indian Railways which has claimed so many lives in past three years.
Since the Modi Government came into power in 2014, 347 train accidents took place.
Looking back at the 3-year tenure of Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu reveals a heart breaking story. Here’s a look at the major accidents that shook the entire nation in the last few years.
Hirakhand Express Tragedy
At least 34 passengers were killed and over 60 injured as the engine as the Hirakhand Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh on 22 January 2017. Railways suspected that the tampering of the track near Kuneru station led to the derailment of the train.
Indore Patna Express derailment
14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur Dehat district killing over 100 passengers and injured 226, 76 of them seriously. The derailment was suspected to be a terrorist attack as an attack revealed a possible connection to Pakistani spy agency.
Janata Express derailment
The engine and two coaches of the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derailed near Bachrawan railway station in UP’s Rae Bareli on 20 March 2015, killing 38 and injuring more than 150.
According to reports, the locomotive driver apparently overshot the signal and as a result, the engine and two adjoining coaches derailed.
Following the recent railway accidents wherein 193 people got killed in 2016-17 itself, Suresh Prabhu offered to resign taking the ‘moral responsibility’ for all the railway accidents. However, Modi asked him to wait thereby keeping his resignation on hold.
This is not the first time when a railway minister has offered to resign. In the year 1956, Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned after the rail disaster at Ariyalur claimed the lives of 152 passengers. In 1999, Nitish Kumar resigned after the Gaisal train disaster killed at least 290 people. In 2000, Mamata Banerjee resigned from her post after two train disasters in 2000, however, her resignation was rejected by PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.