Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rly mishap raises many queries

Express News Service

30 Nov 2010

Last Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: THE derailment of Kharagpur Khurda Road fast passenger continues to raise questions about the coordination (or lack of it) among the different wings of the railways.

While junior engineer Dhiren Kumar who was carrying out the repair work has come under fire for his negligence, the role of the assistant station master at the Sarakantara block halt is under scanner too.

It is now clear that the repair work was being carried out without the knowledge of the operating wing but what is baffling is the site of the work was barely a few metres from the Sarakantra block halt cabin where the ASM is posted. Besides, there is a manned level crossing with a gate keeper.

How the repair escaped their notice and a green signal was given to the train is the main question. In fact, the gate keeper was given instruction to close the gate since a train was approaching. This was done despite the fact that the work was on.

Sources said, the JE may have taken verbal permission for the work and went ahead with the repair with the knowledge of the ASM. "Both agreed to the repair under the impression that the work would be wound up very soon without any requirement for blocking but it did not go their way," said a source.

Interestingly, the train driver Babaji Bandha, whose account led to lodging of an FIR with Government Railway Police, may not actually have applied emergency brakes as he claimed. For a speed control sign was put up at about 800 metre from the affected site since track maintenance work had been carried out on the Retang Sarakantara stretch a few days back. The graph reading will show if the driver applied normal brake or an emergency one, sources said.

Meanwhile, the East Coast Railways was yet to name the members of the panel which would inquire into the November 25 incident.


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