New Delhi, Aug 20: Blaming criminal negligence for the derailment of Kalinga Utkal Express in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Sunday said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu must accept responsibility adding as he has failed to perform his primary duty to ensure passenger’s safety.
The party also sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the train accident in which 24 people lost their lives and over 150 injured.
“The tragic and scary derailment has once again brought back focus on the dismal track record of the BJP-led government and the Railway Ministry on rail safety,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.
“The Minister and railway authorities appear to be setting new records in laxity and unpreparedness with regard to safety and security of passengers. The minister must own responsibility,” he added.
“The Railway Minister, who continuously unveils grand schemes of privatisation and spends much time on Twitter, has utterly failed to secure rail passengers. People are demanding basic facilities and a safe rail network.” Surjewala further said.
Flagging concern over the train derailment, Congress leader asserted “Reports suggested a major miscommunication caused derailment of at least 14 coaches. It is a sad commentary on the absence of safeguards and vulnerability in which train system operates, not to mention the criminal negligence involved.”
Hitting out at the Modi government, he stated “Forget bullet trains, 27 train accidents have occurred since this government came into the power, adding out of which six major tragedies have taken place in Uttar Pradesh alone in 15 months.
“Every time, railway authorities invent a fresh conspiracy to wash hands of culpability but the facts speak otherwise. Even in the present accident, miscommunication, misconduct and total disregard for passenger safety are prima facie apparent,” the Congress leader added.
He also questioned why a train suppposed to run at 15-20 km per hour speed on “loose coupling track” at 105 km per hour.