New Delhi, Jun 3 (IANS): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak alleged on Saturday that the Odisha train tragedy, which killed 261 people besides leaving hundreds of others injured, happened because the BJP government at Centre was focusing on PR, rather than working towards the safety and security of the citizens.
Pathak, who is also a member of the Standing Committee on Railways, claimed that the Centre has only installed 2 per cent of the required anti-collision devices, the railway tracks were not upgraded, while there was no advanced signal system which led to the tragic accident in Balasore on Friday evening.
"Is railway safety not a priority for the government? They seem to ignore technical solutions and only focus on running the railways through PR," tweeted Pathak.
Pathak also criticised the government for not prioritising safety and security in its agenda.
"As a member of the Standing Committee on Railways, I raised the issue of safety and security of the passengers in the last meeting. However, I found that the government's focus was only on PR and bragging, rather than on safety and security of the commuters," he said.
Pathak added that he also raised the issue of anti-collision devices.
"In India, we have a 65,000 km long railway network, out of which we have installed anti-collision devices only on 1,400 km. This amounts to less than 2 per cent of the entire network.
"The government has installed anti-collision devices on 65 out of 23,000 trains, which is less than 0.2 per cent. This shows that the government's priority is PR, not safety," alleged Pathak.
He also said that the government claimed to have installed anti-derailment detection devices since 2014, but they haven't provided any figures or specified the locations where these devices have been installed.
Apart from this, the government has only upgraded 37,000 km of the 65,000 km rail tracks, which is only 50 per cent, he claimed.
"The government claims to have installed an advanced signal system across railway tracks. But why didn't the advanced signal system work in Balasore? Where exactly has it been installed," Pathak asked.