Bhopal, Sept. 22: A commission of railway safety has held the Bhopal railway division responsible for the twin train accidents that killed 30 people at Harda, Madhya Pradesh, on August 4.
In a report submitted to the railway board, CRS commissioner from the South Central Circle, D.K. Singh, has blamed lack of "monsoon patrolling" for the derailment of Kamayani Express and Janta Express within minutes of each other while crossing a small bridge near Harda town.
According to the railway manual, tracks or sections normally to be patrolled during the monsoon are identified and notified by the divisional engineer. But this was neglected on the Harda section.
Point No. 1003 in Chapter 10 of the railway permanent manual says: "For every such section, the divisional engineer shall prescribe the period of the year when normal monsoon patrolling is to be done; patrolling should be started on these notified sections on the dates specified. If the local conditions warrant, the Permanent Way Inspector of the section concerned may introduce or continue night patrolling outside the stipulated dates, duly advising all concerned."
The inquiry committee has blamed the Bhopal division officials on three counts - not ensuring monsoon patrols, ignoring the weather warning and withdrawing the caution mode on the route hours before the accident.
Anupam Kashyapi of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhopal, had said a warning of "heavy to very heavy rainfall" was sent on August 4 to the divisional railways manager.
Kashyapi said the Met department had called up the manager's office and also sent an email informing Central Railway.
The D.K. Singh report said that had the railway officials acted on the weather warning and regularly conducted monsoon patrolling of the tracks, the accidents could have been averted.