The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Rail horrors rock Bihar tracks

Patna, June 8: Passengers aboard Nagpur-Gaya Dikhsabhumi Express escaped unhurt this morning after three bogies derailed near Gaya station.

Santosh Upadhya, travelling from Nagpur to Gaya to offer prayers for his father’s soul, was relieved that passengers had escaped disaster because the train was moving slowly at the time.

Elsewhere, passengers on Sapta Kranti Express had a harrowing time when three bogies derailed at Bagaha in West Champaran this morning. The accident occurred when a tractor moved onto the track, ignoring the signal of the attendant. The train driver had to apply the emergency brake to avert an accident.

Last night, passengers of Purshottam Express panicked after a fire broke out in the train near Gaya.

Yesterday morning, Rajdhani Express had a miraculous escape when goons hurled a bomb on the track minutes after the train had passed Phulwari station near Patna.

Last week’s Magadh Express mishap in which one person was killed and 25 injured and irregular services on the Danapur section complete the picture of railway chaos.

Mishaps, irregularities and lawbreakers holding train functioning to ransom have caused passengers nightmares on this part of the East Central Railway.

On Friday, train services went haywire allegedly due to grid failure. Thousands of passengers had to spend the night at Patna station waiting for service to resume. Protesting commuters heckled I.I.M.S. Rana, railway board chairman, at the station.

Senior railway employees admit that frequent visits by VIPs to Bihar to attend functions organised by railway minister Nitish Kumar are taking their toll on the smooth functioning of trains.

A.K. Chandra, chief public relations officer of the railway, said today’s two minor accidents had nothing to do with the ongoing problems. “We are looking into the causes of the accidents”, he said.

During his recent visit to Patna, Nitish admitted that the safety situation was not satisfactory. He told the media that 1,200 stations in the country were fitted with obsolete signalling equipment. Repair work on 14,000 km of dangerous railway track was yet to be completed due to paucity of funds.

Nitish also complained about lawlessness along some sections caused by the non-cooperation of some state governments.

There appears to be little chance of services in the Danapur section normalising as Nitish has launched a series of new trains in the section. Sources said the station was unable to cope with the increase in trains since the infrastructure remained unchanged.

Email This Page