NEW DELHI: Despite its tall claims on safety of passengers, the Indian Railways saw an increase in consequential accidents across its entire network in 2021-22, compared to 2020-21, resulting in damages worth crores of rupees to its rolling stocks.
Consequential train accidents include accidents with serious repercussion in terms of loss of human life, human injury, loss of Railway property or interruption to rail traffic. According to official data, there had been a total of 35 consequential train accidents 2021-22, against 21 in 2020-21.
Under the consequential accident category, there had been 26 incidents of derailments in 2021-22, against 16 derailments in the year 2020-21. While one collision was reported 2020-21, there had been two in the year 2021-22. While three incidents of fire in trains was reported in 2020-21, the number was four in 2021-22.
“Among the causes, failure from the side of railway staff leading to accidents and derailments rose to 20 in 2021-22 against 16 such instances in 2020-21,” said the report, adding that four cases of equipment failure were reported in 2021-22, while there was none in 2020-21. “Apart from this, one incident of sabotage was also reported in 2021-22 and two accidents in which either the cause has still not been established or none was held responsible,” added the report.
About nine people lost their lives in train accidents and 45 people injured in 2021-22, while there was no loss of life or injuries reported in 2020-21. Interestingly, the railways paid a sum of Rs 85.88 crore as compensation under Section 124 of the Indian Railway Act, 1990 for death or injury of passengers to the victims or next of kin in 2021-22, which is less than the total amount of Rs 104.38 crore paid in 2020-21.
On the disparity in compensation amounts between these two financial years, the report said, “The amount of compensation paid during the year relates to the number of cases settled and payment made during the year and not necessarily to the accidents that occurred during the year.” The rise in consequential accidents in 2021-22 incurred damages of rolling stocks worth Rs 3,915.15 lakh in 2021-22, against Rs 1,765.85 lakh in 2020-21.