Kanchanjunga train accident: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee visited the Kanchanjunga train accident site on Monday. A goods train rear-ended the tourist-favourite Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express on Monday, killing 15 people and injuring over 60.

At the site, CM Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Indian Railway Ministry is a ‘parentless’ organisation. “Today, the entire Railway Department is facing negligence. I feel proper care must be taken of the Railway Ministry…Right after the incident took place, the state government provided a medical team, disaster teams, Ambulances, and everything possible to normalise the situation…” CM Banerjee said.

Mamata Banerjee also invoked the time she was the Union Railways minister in the UPA government. “I started so many things, but they are only doing publicity for Vande Bharat trains. Where is Duronto Express? After the Rajdhani Express, Duronto was the fastest train,” CM Mamata Banerjee said. Banerjee served twice as Minister of Railways, the first woman to do so.

Mamata Banerjee addressed the press at Kolkata airport before heading to Siliguri to assess the aftermath of the train accident near Rangapani, where multiple casualties occurred.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Vaishnaw was handed the Indian Railways portfolio for the second time in the Modi 3.0 government.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for prioritizing fare increases over enhancing passenger amenities, stating her position on Monday.

“The railways have become totally parentless. Though the ministry is there, the old glory is missing. Only beautification is being done, but they do not care about passenger amenities. They are only keen on hiking fares,” she claimed.

“You will only see them talk big. They also do not care for the railway officers, technical, safety, and security personnel. I am with the railway employees and officers,” she added.

Mamata Banerjee criticized the Ashwini Vaishnaw-led Railway Ministry, claiming inadequate implementation of the anti-collision system, aimed at mitigating the impact of such accidents.

“The number of train accidents has gone up. Accidents are not in anyone’s control, this is a fact. But, the railways is not implementing the anti-collision system properly,” she said.

“This accident could have been worse. Seventy-eighty people are injured, and around 20 are critical. When one train hits another, it becomes difficult to estimate how many people are injured,” she added.

The Kanchanjunga train accident occurred near New Jalpaiguri station at Rangapani, where a goods train collided with the Agartala-Sealdah Kanchanjunga Express from behind.

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Published: 17 Jun 2024, 07:31 PM IST

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