New Delhi: The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), Lucknow will conduct an inquiry into the Amritsar train accident in which 60 Dussehra revellers were crushed to death by a speeding DMU train near Jora Phatak area of Amritsar city on October 19. Also Read - Another Record! Indian Railways Runs Its Longest Ever 2.8 km Long 'SheshNaag', Twitter is Impressed
Earlier, the railways had ruled out any investigation in the tragedy and had washed its hands off the matter, saying that it had not been intimated about the Dussehra event in advance and had pointed out that the spectators on the tracks were ‘trespassers’. It had neither ordered a probe nor paid any compensation in the case. Also Read - IRCTC Latest News: Private Train Services Likely by April 2023, All Coaches to be Procured Under ‘Make in India’ Policy
However, on Friday, the department issued a statement and said,”Since the CCRS can conduct an inquiry even in those cases where it is not mandatory as per law and rules, it will do the same in this case as well. The accident has “become a matter of great public discourse”, especially raising concerns about safety of people trespassing on railway tracks.” Also Read - Indian Railways Invites Bid For Pvt Players in Passenger Train Operation | Objective to Introduce Modern Technology, Reduce Travel Time
“Gurjeet Singh Aujla, MP from Amritsar, met Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and personally handed over his letter dated October 23 and requested for an inquiry by Commissioner of Railway Safety in this incident. Ministry of Railways has considered this request and other facts, circumstances and legal provisions,” it added.
Furthermore it said, according to law, it is not mandatory to conduct an inquiry by Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety in such cases, but it is not impermissible either.
Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, Lucknow, has ordered a statutory inquiry into the circumstances that led to the accident, the railways said but added that prima facie the transporter does not appear to be responsible for the accident. Working under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Commission of Railway Safety, , deals with matters pertaining to safety of rail travel and train operation.
About Amritsar Train Accident:
On the occasion of Dussehra on October 19, a large number of people were witnessing the burning of Ravana effigy while standing along the railway tracks when a Jalandhar to Amritsar DMU train crushed them near Joda Phatak area. Punjab CM had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families of deceased whereas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to families of those killed in the Amritsar train tragedy.