Expressing grief over the train accident in Punjab, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has questioned the level of preparedness for the public event near railway tracks.
More than 58 people were mowed down by a train on rail tracks Friday evening at Joda Phatak area near Amritsar during Dusshera celebrations.
The revellers had spilled onto the tracks while witnessing the burning of Ravana effigy.
“The incident is tragic. We have learnt that some of the deceased belong to Bihar. Our condolences to all those who have lost their lives,” Kumar, who had served as railway minister under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, told reporters Saturday.
A high level of alertness is required while holding any public function in the vicinity of a railway line, the chief minister said.
“We do not know whether the Railways were informed in advance about the Dussehra programme. Whoever organizes events near tracks need to exercise great caution. The authorities, too, should take safety aspects into consideration before granting permission,” he said.
It is often not possible for a train to apply brakes abruptly, Kumar noted.
“The trains cannot make a sudden swerve. Moreover, it is often not possible to apply the brakes abruptly. Therefore, people must be careful while allowing any gathering close to railway tracks anywhere,” he added.