Monday, August 21, 2017
facebook

google plus
Utkal derailment: Action taken against Secy-level officer, 7 other officialsThe mangled remains of a coach of Utkal Express at Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. PTI

Utkal derailment: Action taken against Secy-level officer, 7 other officials

20 Aug 2017 | 10:43 PM

MUZAFFARNAGAR/NEW DELHI: Cracking the whip, the Railways on Sunday night sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four and transferred one in the wake of Utkal train derailment which appeared to have been caused by negligence.

[ + read story ]

Muzaffarnagar/New Delhi, August 20

Cracking the whip, the Railways on Sunday night sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four and transferred one in the wake of Utkal train derailment which appeared to have been caused by negligence.

The action against the eight officers came hours after Member (Traffic) of the Railway Board, Mohd Jamshed, indicated that negligence appeared to have caused the derailment in which 22 people were killed and 156 injured, 26 of them critically.

(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)

Member (Engineer) in the Railway Board, Aditya Kumar Mittal, Northern Railway General Manager R K Kulshrestha and Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) R N Singh were sent on leave, said a Railway Ministry statement.

Mittal, a secretary level officer, is the senior-most functionary to be sent on leave in the wake of the accident, said a Railway official, describing it as an "unprecedented move".

Officials are usually sent on leave till the time the probe is over and the responsibility fixed.

Kulshrestha and R N Singh had visited the accident site last night and were part of the first central team which inspected the damaged track.

R K Verma, Senior Divisional Engineer, Delhi division, Rohit Kumar, Assistant Engineer (Meerut), Inder Jeet Singh, Senior Section Engineer (Muzzafarnagar) and Pradeep Kumar, Junior Engineer (Khatauli) have all been suspended, the statement said.

Chief Track Engineer, Alok Ansal, has been transferred, it added.


Read: Utkal Express derailment: Prabhu asks Railway Board to fix responsibility

Utkal Express mishap: Trains on Meerut line cancelled; rescue operation ends

259 killed in 27 train accidents in 3-year BJP rule: Congress


"This is the strictest possible action that could have been taken and the intention was to send out a message that officers at each level have to take responsibility. It is a clear case of negligence," a senior Railway Ministry official said while refusing to be identified.

The action was taken on the basis of an internal report which is learnt have said the rail track was found cut by a hacksaw and as a result there was a gap in the tracks, according to officials in the know.

The report also said that the fish plate and the nut bolt on a section of the tracks were not fixed properly, they said.

The train, which was on its way from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, had 23 coaches, of which 13 derailed at Khatauli in UP, R N Singh said earlier in the day.

Six coaches of the train, which was running at a speed of over 100 kmph, were severely damaged, he added. One coach crashed into a house.

Survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night and rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force got over at around 3 am.

The death toll in the accident went up to 22 this evening, with one more person identified as Sushil Kumar succumbing to his injuries in a hospital in Ghaziabad, according to District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar G S Priydarshi. Of them, 15 bodies have been identified.

Principal Secretary (Information) to the UP government Awanish Kumar Awasthi said 156 people were injured in the derailment and many among them remain critical.

More than 50 injured passengers have been discharged after medical treatment while free medical treatment of another 102 injured passengers is in progress, UP Cabinet minister Satish Mahana told PTI in Lucknow.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu this morning had directed Railway Board Chairman to fix responsibility on "prima facie evidence by the end of day".

Jamshed, who had rushed to the accident spot, said he had seen maintenance tools on the tracks.

"Prime facie, it seems maintenance work was being carried out on the tracks.... Some maintenance work was going on, which might have caused the derailment of Utkal Express," Jamshed said.

He said a probe would reveal if any maintenance work was being done on the tracks without permission.

"Prima facie, the information is that there is divisional responsibility involved if work was being done without seeking permission. By this evening we will know if any of our staff was responsible for this," he said.

It was not "clear" what kind of work was going on at the site, the official said.

"However, any work on tracks has to follow a manual. We have maintenance manuals which lay down guidelines for work on any kind of railway infrastructure," Jamshed said, adding the probe will reveal if the procedures were followed.

The probe, which will begin tomorrow, will be conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Shailesh Kumar Pathak, who will look into "every angle, be it sabotage, technical lapse or manual fault".

"There is some audio clip of some conversation that we will probe. Also, when we did the site inspection, we saw some equipment the railways use for track repair present there," he said.

"Whenever this kind of a big accident happens, coaches get smashed, toppled, capsized and derailed. In this case, a 200-metre track has been damaged completely. It has to be investigated in detail. All measurements are being taken and every lapse is being taken into account," Jamshed said.

The senior officer also said the Railway Police had lodged an FIR in the case at Khatauli under sections that included mischief causing destruction of railway property, causing death by negligence, causing grievous hurt, endangering life and personal safety.

Explaining the procedure for maintenance followed by the railways, Jamshed wondered if it was followed in this case.

"Fixed infrastructure on which the rail network runs like tracks, overhead equipment and signals are regularly maintained as per schedule. Maintenance of tracks is done during operations by blocking them as per requirement, according to fixed time and schedule. Written permission needs to be taken for this work," he said.

He also said sometimes repair needs to be done on an emergency basis, but even then, if the next station is informed, the consequent trains are stopped.

"Then we get our supervisors on the track which is inspected and repaired after which the trains are allowed to run with a speed restriction. Red flags are also shown to trains in case there is a problem on the tracks," he said.

He said it would be investigated if these protocols were followed this time.

Meanwhile, an FIR has been lodged against unknown persons under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 304a (causing death by negligence) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 151 (damage to or destruction of certain railway properties) and 153 (endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by wilful act or omission) of Railway Act. — PTI 

IIT entrance exam to go completely online from next year: Official

IIT entrance exam to go completely online from next year: Official

20 Aug 2017 | 10:27 PM

CHENNAI: The entrance examination for the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will go completely online from 2018, the Joint Admission Board (JAB) decided on Sunday.

Separatists, Maoists feel ‘fund-starved’ after demonetisation: Jaitley

Separatists, Maoists feel ‘fund-starved’ after demonetisation: Jaitley

20 Aug 2017 | 7:09 PM

MUMBAI: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said demonetisation left Maoists in many parts of India and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir "fund starved".

Flight ops hit briefly at Delhi airport after ‘drone-like object’ spotted

Flight ops hit briefly at Delhi airport after ‘drone-like object’ spotted

20 Aug 2017 | 10:17 PM

NEW DELHI: Flight operations were suspended for over half-an-hour at the international airport here on Sunday after a "drone-like object" was spotted on one of the runways.

Indian-origin Briton hailed as hero for comforting Spain attack victim

Indian-origin Briton hailed as hero for comforting Spain attack victim

20 Aug 2017 | 9:55 PM

LONDON: A 44-year-old Briton, believed to be of Indian-origin, is being hailed as a hero after he risked his life to comfort a young victim of the terror attack in Spain in which a van ploughed into pedestrians, media reports said.

First ODI: Dhawan, Kohli star as India rout Sri Lanka by 9 wickets

First ODI: Dhawan, Kohli star as India rout Sri Lanka by 9 wickets

20 Aug 2017 | 9:06 PM

DAMBULLA: Power-packed innings from Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli guided India to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their first One Day International (ODI) at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday.

Army to add more teeth to T-90 battle tanks

Army to add more teeth to T-90 battle tanks

20 Aug 2017 | 7:40 PM

NEW DELHI: As part of efforts to enhance its strike capability, the Army is now working on a project to add more teeth to its T-90 main battle tanks by arming them with a third-generation missile system.

City Centre scam: Khaira questions clean chit to Amarinder

City Centre scam: Khaira questions clean chit to Amarinder

20 Aug 2017 | 2:37 PM

LUDHIANA: Punjab’s Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira has appealed to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to take a suo moto notice of the clean chit given to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the City Centre scam case.

Slain gangster Rupinder Gandhi’s brother shot dead in Khanna

Slain gangster Rupinder Gandhi’s brother shot dead in Khanna

20 Aug 2017 | 6:16 PM

KHANNA: Manvinder Singh Mindi, brother of murdered gangster Rupinder Gandhi, was on Sunday shot dead allegedly by two unidentified assailants in Rasoolra village in Khanna, the police said.

298 Indians granted Pakistani citizenship in 5 years: Interior Ministry

298 Indians granted Pakistani citizenship in 5 years: Interior Ministry

20 Aug 2017 | 3:18 PM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has granted nationality to at least 298 Indian emigrants in the last five years, according to the Interior Ministry.

Wreckage of lost ship USS Indianapolis found after 7 decades

Wreckage of lost ship USS Indianapolis found after 7 decades

20 Aug 2017 | 10:00 AM

WASHINGTON: Researchers announced on Sunday they discovered wreckage of the lost warship the USS Indianapolis, 72 years after the World War II cruiser was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

‘Grateful to god’ that they are alive, survivors recount horror

‘Grateful to god’ that they are alive, survivors recount horror

20 Aug 2017 | 7:58 PM

MUZAFFARNAGAR: Mohammed Dilshad, 48, is nursing a broken spleen and a wounded leg at the district hospital here. On his lips are just these words- "Kudrat ka karishma hai (it's a miracle of God)".

CITY FOCUS

Dera followers converge in P’kula

Dera followers converge in P’kula

20 Aug 2017 | 2:26 AM

PANCHKULA:The presence of as many as 3,000 Dera followers outside the Panchkula district courts complex took the administration by surprise today.

NoCapt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister

Clean chit to Capt in City Centre scam

20 Aug 2017 | 1:10 PM

LUDHIANA:The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today filed a closure report on the alleged multi-crore City Centre scam, giving a clean chit to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, his son Raninder Singh and 30 other accused.

Writer Sangat Singh of 'Sikhs in History' fame dead

20 Aug 2017 | 9:36 PM

NEW DELHI: Writer Sangat Singh who acquired fame for his books on the history of the Sikh community passed award here. He was cremated on Sunday.

No

IMA cadet from Bathinda dies

20 Aug 2017 | 4:07 PM

DEHRADUN/BATHINDA:A Gentleman Cadet of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, Deepak Sharma (22) of Bathinda, reportedly died of exhaustion during a 10-km cross-country race, a regular feature of the IMA training, on Friday.

collapse stories
7 mining workers trapped in rising Yamuna, rescued

7 mining workers trapped in rising Yamuna, rescued

20 Aug 2017 | 1:10 AM

SOLAN: As many as seven persons, including a woman and a child, travelling on a tractor-trailer, were trapped as the water level in the Yamuna at the Rampurghat area of Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district increased around 5:30 pm today.

Repair of unsafe Bhandarkote bridge in Kishtwar begins

Repair of unsafe Bhandarkote bridge in Kishtwar begins

20 Aug 2017 | 1:04 AM

DODA: After a long wait of nearly a year, the work on the replacement of damaged wooden planks has begun on the Bhandarkote bridge in the mountainous Kishtwar district.

Upgraded hospital lacks space for beds

21 Aug 2017 | 12:47 AM

NURPUR:The local Civil Hospital, which was upgraded and notified for 135 beds, lacks crucial infrastructure, including space for beds.

Bad loans at 9.6% not acceptable: RBI Guv

Bad loans at 9.6% not acceptable: RBI Guv

19 Aug 2017 | 3:24 PM

MUMBAI: Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel on Saturday called for recapitalisation of state-run banks to help them resolve the NPAs issue in a time-bond manner as bad loans at 9.6 per cent of the system is not acceptable.

NoVirat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul warm up before the training session in Dambulla. REUTERS

India hitting on trial method

20 Aug 2017 | 2:10 AM

DAMBULLA:India will begin the journey to identify the core of their 2019 World Cup squad when they square off against Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series starting here tomorrow.

No

Ready to lose a few games while trying new things: Kohli

20 Aug 2017 | 2:10 AM

DAMBULLA:India captain Virat Kohli wants specific roles for certain players keeping a two-year time frame leading up to the 2019 World Cup in mind.

No

Anderson, Roland-Jones make WI follow on

20 Aug 2017 | 2:10 AM

BIRMINGHAM:England were inspired by James Anderson and Toby Roland-Jones as they forced West Indies to follow on before closing in on the easiest of victories in the landmark Day-Night Test match at Edgbaston on Saturday.

collapse stories
Elections then & now

Elections then & now

21 Aug 2017 | 12:35 AM
Gone too soon...

Gone too soon...

21 Aug 2017 | 12:35 AM
Monalisa, smile!

Monalisa, smile!

21 Aug 2017 | 12:35 AM
  • SpectrumGreen is their kind

    Green is their kind

    There are two types of people in the world — the doers and the rest. Times when Mother Earth is witnessing abnormal climatic conditions and concrete jungles are fast replacing the green cover; some doers are working relentlessly to make things better for themselves, the rest and the rest of the rest.

  • “A play has repeat value if the subject is relevant”

    At a time when cinema has a turnover of millions, television shows have been running for years, actors and producers are raking in the moolah, including new entrants on social media, yet in all this theatre, the world’s first form of entertainment, has been chugging along.

  • Blue plaque for first black actor

    Britain’s first black Shakespearean actor has been honoured with the unveiling of a blue plaque in Coventry. Ira Aldridge became manager of the Coventry Theatre in 1828, after impressing the city’s residents with his acting talent on a tour.

more Spectrum...