The NCP on Sunday sought to know why the measures suggested in the 2022 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report to prevent train disasters were not implemented by the Centre, and asked if this non-adherence was not enough for Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to resign in the wake of the Odisha train tragedy.
The party also alleged that as per the CAG report, train accidents were waiting to happen due to several shortcomings, but the railway ministry and the minister failed to take this warning seriously.
The Odisha train crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred around 7 pm on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. At least 288 people died and over 1,100 injured in the accident, the worst rail accident in India in nearly three decades.
The tragedy has triggered a debate over the Kavach anti-collision system with the opposition parties, including the Congress, demanding the resignation of the railway minister.
The 2022 report on 'Derailments in Indian Railways' highlighted multiple shortcomings. It revealed 24 factors responsible for derailments. There are many points of serious nature in that report that point out the fact that train accidents were waiting to happen, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Clyde Crasto said in a statement.
The main focus of the CAG audit was to ascertain whether measures to prevent derailments and collisions were clearly laid down and implemented by the Ministry of Railways, he said.
After the Odisha train accident, it clearly appears that the audit report was not adhered to, Crasto alleged.
The NCP spokesperson asked if minister Vishnaw had read the CAG report.
''If he did, then why was it not taken seriously and why were the suggestions of the CAG not put into implementation immediately?" he sought to know.
The CAG audit report had alarmed the Ministry of Railways of possible disasters and it appears that the ministry and the minister did not take this fair warning seriously. Is this not enough reason forAshwini Vaishnaw to tender his resignation, Crasto asked.
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