Passenger groups have slammed the railway authorities for not giving them adequate representation in the accident review panels formed by both Central (CR) and Western Railway (WR). Terming the panels as eyewash, they have also objected to the appointment of celebrities to the panel.
Acting on railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s directives, both CR and WR have set up their accident review committees. The mammoth committee of WR, with 19-MPs, is scheduled to meet on Saturday, while the CR committee is set to meet on Sunday.
“The committee for recommending safety measures has quite a few celebrities but few representatives of commuters,” said Shailendra Kamble of Pravas Adhikar Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
Kamble said railway authorities have been indifferent to commuters’ misery and the government has given priority to commercialisation drives.
Commuter activist Subhash Gupta said the government has made mockery of Mumbaiites by not appointing passenger activists on the panels, besides giving representation to the people close to BJP.
Prakash Reddy of Communist Party of India demanded the appointment of railway experts to the panel. He also sought resignation of Prabhu over the issue.
Activist DC Godbole of Mumbai Upanagariy Pravasi Ekata Mandal questioned the appointment of two separate panels for CR and WR even though the issues were common on both.
Meanwhile, an internal probe report revealed that none of the passengers on-board the CST-bound Ambernath train had pulled the alarm chain when 21-year-old Bhavesh Nakate fell off the moving train on November 27. The CR had launched an internal probe into the reasons behind Nakate’s death.
A video of the incident, which went viral, showed Nakate falling off the crowded train between Kopar and Diva stations.
“Not a single fellow-passenger pulled the alarm chain even as Nakate fell down in front them,” said an official, requesting anonymity.