Four days ago the newly appointed Chairman of the Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani said that the safety of the passengers is on the top priority of the railways. He said that the reasons are being studied why derailments occurred. Lohani who was on inspection of Kanpur Central Railway Station for the first time after being appointed as the Chairman of Railway Board was answering the questions of media persons on the increase in the number of train derailments in the country particularly in the Allahabad Division. And on Thursday a coach of Jammu-bound Rajdhani Express derailed nowhere else but at New Delhi station itself. The railways look to have been jinxed by the frequency of derailment and accidents. Even the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tendered resigration on the face of rising accidents and derailments. Probe into most of the accidents are still going on like Pukhrayan train derailment incident which occurred last year on November 8 and had claimed over 150 lives. The Uttar Pradesh belt has seen the maximum number of rail accidents especially after the coming of BJP government headed by Yogi Adityanath. Most of the track area is old and worn out which faces the extremes of hot and cold climate. So the wearing out is much more than any other area. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures for 2015, 859 railway accidents occurred due to mechanical defects such as poor design and track faults. Over-worked tracks and lack of maintenance are one of the main reasons for rail accidents. Many of the rail tracks have been used beyond their capacity, and some of the most fatal accidents in recent years, including the Indore-Patna Express derailment, took place on such railway sections. The Standing Committee of Railways on Safety and Security in December last year observed that the modern Linke-Hoffman Busch (LHB) coaches do not witness higher casualties in case of derailment as the coaches do not pile on each other, and recommended that the Indian Railways completely switch to LHB coaches. All these recommendations are confined to the files and are caught in the web of bureaucratic exercise with no conclusive action pursued allowing the
accidents and mishaps to continue.
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