New Delhi, Jun 4 (IANS): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, holding him responsible for the June 2 Odisha train tragedy in which over 270 people were killed.
AAP spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar has criticised the Central government, stating that numerous complaints regarding faults in the signal maintenance system had been raised by various zones but no substantial action was taken to rectify the issues.
"This negligence highlights the government's lack of responsiveness and accountability in addressing critical safety concerns," she said.
She said that AAP's Rajya Sabha member Sandeep Pathak, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, proposed the installation of anti-derailment devices and the upgrading of tracks for high-speed train operations.
"However, the Narendra Modi-led government's primary focus remained on the Vande Bharat project.
"An advisory issued by the Railway Principal Chief Operation Manager on February 8 urged the government to take preventive measures to avoid accidents on the Bengaluru-Delhi line. This warning underscores the government's failure to act proactively in safeguarding the lives of railway passengers," Kakkar said.
"Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw himself said last year that there are approximately 3,30,000 vacancies in the Railways, with around 50 per cent of these vacancies pertaining to safety and security. In 2022, he stated that Balasore, the site of the recent triple train collision, had around 18,000 vacant posts. Filling these vacancies is of the utmost significance, particularly in terms of ensuring security. Despite repeated pleas from railway workers' unions, the government has failed to address this critical issue, compromising passenger safety," she said.
She added that the 2022 CAG report also exposed numerous faults in railway safety that citizens should be aware of.