Gowda calls senior officials for meet on passenger safety

  • Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 03, 2014 23:20 IST

Rattled by the recurring incidents of train accident, railways minister DV Sadananda Gowda has convened a high-level meeting next week to discuss concrete measures to ensure passenger safety.

Besides the chairman and members of the railway board, the meeting is expected to be attended by the director general and senior officers of the Lucknow-based Research and Standards Organization (RDSO) — the research arm of the Indian Railways.

Sources said that inputs received at the meeting will be forwarded to the Bibek Debroy-headed rail restructuring committee, which has scheduled its first meeting for October 17.

On the day Gowda took charge as railways minister on May 26, deaths of 22 passengers were reported in the Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, when the Gorakhdham Express rammed into a stationary freight train. Last Tuesday, another accident happened near Gorakhpur, accounting for 13 deaths and injuries to 47 passengers.

Official records show that 1,750 passengers lost their lives and 1,876 others were injured in train accidents from 1999 to 2009.

Records of the Chief Commissioner of Rail Safety (CCRS) show that Grade C or D category employees including loco pilots, signal or track inspectors have been penalised after accidents, but not one Grade A officer has either been held accountable so far.

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