The seamy side of Lalu Prasad Yadav's turnaround story of the railways has emerged in a report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which has rapped the organisation for "recklessly increasing axle load" on tracks and jeopardising safety of passengers.
The railways continues to pursue the "dangerously risky venture" of carrying enhanced loading on railway wagons despite having implemented the safety measures," says the report.
The railways were committed to install Wheel Impact Load Detectors (WILD) and electronic motion weighbridges as a pre-requisite before permitting enhanced loading of wagons.
However, no WILD has been installed after 2008, says the report that was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.
The process of increasing the axle-load was initiated with gusto during Yadav's tenure as the railways minister from 2004 to 2009.
"The enhanced loading of wagons causes premature damages to tracks, bridges and rolling stock-especially because weak spots are widespread in the railway network marked by aged bridges and worn-out tracks," the report states.