Public hearing on Kasara train collision today

Inquiry after inquiry, but no corrective action or holding any person accountable for the recent train accidents seems to be the order of the day, according to rail passenger associations. And now, even as the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) is yet to submit its final report on the Andheri train collision, it will conduct yet another public hearing to determine the facts that led to the mishap involving a Kasara-CST local train and Vidarbha Express on July 19.

CRS, Chetan Bakshi (Central circle), will be holding a public hearing at the Divisional Railway Manager’s office at CST today, wherein passengers on board the local train and Vidarbha Express, railway employees and villagers who witnessed the incident will be called upon for inquiry. “These people will be asked about what they witnessed at the accident site at the time of the mishap,” said a railway official, on condition of anonymity. This, the railway authorities claim, is a routine procedure after rail accidents.

The CRS, working under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation functions as an inspectorial, investigatory and advisory external agency. But, railway passenger associations claim that the recommendations made by the agency are hardly implemented by the railway authorities.

Passenger associations feel that the railway authorities fail to comprehend that such inquiries have become a common feature now, yielding no effective results. “CR officials are already washing their hands off by terming the Kasara accident as a natural disaster. So these inquiries would hardly yield any result and nothing would come out of them,” said Madhu Kotian, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh.

In the Kasara mishap, one woman died and 15 people were injured after 11 coaches of a CST-bound local train derailed after a loose boulder collapsed onto the tracks and hit the train. Within minutes the Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express collided with the local train.

Andheri train collision report
CRS PK Bajpai (North East circle) is still finalising the report on the Andheri train collision, which occurred on the night of June 16.

Sources said that an initial report has been recently submitted to WR authorities for scrutinisation.

“We will simply check the technical jargon mentioned in the initial report,” said a WR official.

Once it is stamped and sent, CRS will then send the final report to railway authorities revealing its findings.  

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