‘Rail unsafe as govt busy with room of minister’
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 15:13
New Delhi: The opposition on Thursday trained its guns on Railways for recent spurt in train accidents taunting that Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi has "secured" his room in Parliament House while passenger safety remains neglected.

Calling attention of the government on frequent rail accidents, BJP, CPI-M and AIADMK blamed the Railways for lack of safety measures which result in fatal accidents.

The reasons listed for accidents include over 1 lakh vacancies in posts related to safety, large number of unmanned level crossings and indiscriminate announcement of new trains without investing in infrastructure like locomotives, rolling stocks and fire-proof coaches.

Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said there was a tussle between two ministers for a room in Parliament.

"What is the government's priority. It is about safety of a room (for Railway Minister's office)," asked Javadekar, adding that if the Railways cannot secure passengers' safety, "room or no room does not make a difference."

Similarly Prasant Chatterjee (CPI-M) had a dig at the Minister. "His chamber has been secured as Prime Minister got involved. But how the safety of passengers will be secured."

'Room No. 6' in Parliament House which has so far been occupied by a Railway Minister was denied to Trivedi as it was allotted to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.

The row was finally resolved after intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In his statement, Trivedi said the number of consequential train accidents has declined from 335 in 2001-02 to 93 in 2010-11, the lowest ever in a year. However, he said, "Even if one person loses life, the entire Railway family condoles it."


First Published: Thursday, August 04, 2011, 15:13

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