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Trinamool demands white paper on anti-collision devices, says railways minister should resign

Banerjee termed the accident as the biggest one of the century
Last Updated : 03 June 2023, 16:51 IST

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Adding further impetus to the Opposition’s concerns, the Trinamool leadership in West Bengal, on Saturday, upped the ante, asking the railways minister to resign, and demanded a white paper on anti-collision devices (ACD) installed in trains.

Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee, who visited the spot, stated that had anti-collision device been installed on the train (Coromandel Express), the accident could have been averted. She cited negligence on the part of the railways.

Banerjee said that Coromandel Express is one of the best express trains. She termed the accident as the biggest one of the century. “As far as I have gathered, there was no anti-collision device on the train,” she said.

The Trinamool chief’s concern found further strength in Abhishek Banerjee, the party’s national general secretary, who called off the day’s campaign – a part of the party’s two-month-long outreach programme. Banerjee said that somebody has to take responsibility for the people who died for no reason of their own.

He added that when Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister, she had provided funds for the installation of ACDs in trains. This was to see that ACDs are installed, and this could have curbed such accidents.

“The central government should publish a white paper on the funds utilised for installing ACDs in trains, which are used by crores of Indians,” he said. “If the rail minister has any conscience or humanity in him, he should resign over the failure to install anti-collision devices,” he added.

Figures compiled by the state government till Saturday evening (4.30 pm) showed the number of casualties from West Bengal to be 31. The number of injured persons stood at 544. Twenty-five persons from Bengal are admitted to Odisha’s hospitals and 11 in the state.

A 17-coach train, reached Howrah station at 1.30 pm. “Out of 635 passengers onboard, 33 passengers required medical assistance and were provided immediate first aid at Howrah Railway Station. One person was referred to BR Singh Hospital, Kolkata,” an official note stated.

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Published 03 June 2023, 16:37 IST

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