Kanchanjunga Express Accident is a Result of Continued Criminal Neglect of Railway Safety!

In the early morning of June 17, a collision between the Kanchanjungha Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station in North Bengal claimed 15 lives and left 60 people injured. Among those dead are three railway employees, including the loco pilot and co-pilot of the goods train. The Kanchanjungha Express incident has once again exposed the tragic state of affairs of railway safety in India.

The Modi government owes an answer to the families who lost their near and dear ones in the mishap. The Union government must immediately ensure proper compensation to each deceased family and injured ones and all injured must be provided with free and proper medical treatment and rehabilitation.

The horrific accident comes almost a year after the train accident in Odisha's Balasore which had claimed 296 lives and left 1,100 people injured. In Kanpur (2016), a train derailed in the town of Pukhrayan, killing 150 people and injuring 150 others.

These incidents expose the Modi regime's lax attitude towards India's railway system that caters millions of people. While crores are being spent on flagging off expensive trains by PM Modi, the rail safety has been left in shambles. The anti-collision technology 'kavach,' which could have prevented several of these rail tragedies, only covers a miniscule part of India's vast railway network!

Even when such a nightmare keeps repeating itself, the Modi Government’s neglect of railway safety, proper maintenance and modernisation has assumed fatal proportions. The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) had flagged multiple loopholes in railway safety in India, but its reports and recommendations were ignored by the government. The Modi regime, in the name of 'ease of doing business,' has put the lives of millions of passengers at risk, by slashing the powers of CRS, privatising the railway networks, and contractualisation or stopping recruitment in various railway departments vital to ensure safety.

Considering the increasing number of rail accidents and safety issues, CPIML demands a high-level review of railway safety be carried out, and immediate corrective measures be taken. The anti-collision system must be mandatorily implemented in all trains on an urgent basis. The government must carry out modernisation of the railway network and increase the recruitment in railways in all posts to ensure safety.

Kanchanjunga Express