The derailment of a goods train near Kanpur last evening, the third rail mishap in three months in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, has prompted Suresh Prabhu to instruct senior officials to carry out a safety review meeting immediately. Top officials of the Railway Ministry were on their way to Kanpur to hold a two-day review from tomorrow. The officials include the Chairman of Railway Board, Member (Rolling Stock), Member (Engineering), Advisor of Safety, DG (Signal and Telecom), and the IG (Crime and Investigation). “The team will look into the safety preparedness of the area, examine shortcomings and see if safety protocols are being violated,” Railway spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena said today.
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Last evening, 10 coaches of a goods train derailed near Magarwara station, affecting rail traffic on Lucknow-Kanpur route. The mishap took place days after Railway Minister Prabhu had issued instructions for carrying out rigorous inspection to identify loopholes. In a letter to all Zonal Railways, the Railway Ministry has issued instructions for carrying a month-long safety awareness campaign from January 5 to February 5. The Zonal Railways have been asked to conduct safety inspections on the field and “ambush checks” to monitor alertness of the staff.
Fifteen coaches of Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed in Kanpur Rural district on December 28, injuring at least 62 passengers, while on November 20 over 150 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in the same district. Uttar Pradesh goes to Assembly polls in seven phases starting February 11.