The Railway Board suspended Divisional Railway Manager of the Allahabad Division S.K. Agarwal and three others, in the wake of the accident involving the Shram Shakti Express and Kalindi Express, which left three persons dead on Saturday.
The Railway Board took stock of the situation under chairman S.S. Khurana and decided to suspend Mr. Agarwal for his failure to prevent the recurrence of collisions in his jurisdiction.
Saturday’s was the third such accident within a fortnight, clearly indicating that they were not just caused by dense fog but also the result of system failure.
On January 2, two collisions of a similar nature, involving four trains under the Allahabad division, left 11 persons dead.
Under directives from the Railway Board’s Northern Railway General Manager Vivek Sahai, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer of the Delhi Division Vineet Singh was suspended as he was the senior-most controlling officer of the driver and assistant driver of the Kalindi Express. The train rammed the stationary Shram Shakti Express at the Tundla home signal.
Ram Prakash, driver of the Kalindi Express, and assistant driver Satpal Singh Yadav have also been placed under suspension till completion of enquiry.
The statutory inquiry will be conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety P.K. Bajpai, who is also probing the two collisions of January 2. Mr. Khurana held a separate meeting with Mr. Sahai and Member, Electrical, Sudesh Kumar, besides reviewing the safety aspect separately with the Safety Directorate and issuing fresh guidelines and instructions.
The board has advised observance of caution and adherence to speed limits in its circular to all zonal railways. According to the revised rules, train drivers on the automatic block system and absolute block system routes will have to stop for at least five minutes at any red signal before proceeding at the restricted speed of eight km per hour. Earlier they were required to stop for only two minutes.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of the bereaved, Rs. 1 lakh to those seriously injured, and Rs. 10,000 to those with minor injuries.