VIZIANAGARAM/VISAKHAPATNAM: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to conduct a probe into the Vizianagaram train tragedy that claimed at least 13 lives. The Chief Minister met the accident survivors undergoing treatment at Vizianagaram Government Hospital on Monday. Later, he conducted an aerial survey at the train accident site.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), he requested the Centre to constitute a high-level audit committee to thoroughly examine the reasons behind the train accidents on all rail lines across the country. In the same post, the Chief Minister raised a few questions and asked why the braking system and alert system did not function, why the signalling failed and how there were lapses in a communications system.
The CM urged the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister to ensure that such devastating accidents do not recur, not just in the State, but anywhere else in the country. Expressing that his thoughts and prayers would be with the families who lost their lives in the collision, Jagan announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each for the kin of the deceased as well as those who suffered permanent disability. A financial aid of Rs 5 lakh was announced for the injured who would need treatment for more than a month and Rs 2 lakh for those who will be discharged from the hospital within a month.
Meanwhile, East Coastal Railway authorities swung into action to restore the damaged track within 15 hours of the accident. As many as 1,000 personnel from NDRF, SDRF, fire department and railway relief teams carried out the restoration works on war footing on the Hwrah-Chennai line.
All the affected coaches were searched and the locomotive was lifted to check if anybody was still trapped. Four OHE masts, railway electrical infrastructure, were damaged at the accident site, spanning over all three lines. Traffic resumed on the route after security clearance on Monday afternoon. A goods train passed in the down line at 2:23 pm and 18463 Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Prashanti Express passed through the up line at 2:36 pm.
This horrifying accident gives rise to certain obvious questions:
Why did the braking system and the alert system not function?
Why did the signalling fail?
How did the communications system fail?
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy @ysjagan