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."