Bansal blames huge rush of people for Allahabad stampede
New Delhi, Feb 11 : Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday blamed huge rush of people for stampede at the foot-over-bridge at platform no. 6 of the Allahabad station.
At least 36 people were killed and scores of others injured on Sunday night in a stampede at Allahabad railway station as thousands of pilgrims were returning after a holy dip at the 'Maha Kumbh Mela'.
Bansal said: "Till now death toll has reached 36. There has been no collapse of foot-over-bridge or any railing on the station. I want to clear that stampede occurred due to people reaching in large numbers. We had made arrangements before start of the Kumbh. We have come to know that people turned in large numbers resulting in stampede," he said.
Admitting that there was lack of arrangements due to huge turn up of people, he said: "It was not possible to accommodate a large numbers of devotees, who had reached railway station.
"During the stampede, thousands reached a foot over-bridge even as thousands were on the platform. There were too many people on the platforms at the Allahabad station."
Bansal further said even right now there is too much rush at the Allahabad Station.
He also said that efforts are being made to decongest the station, which is overcrowded as thousands of pilgrims were there in the city to take holy dip on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya'.
The Railways Minister also informed about all arrangements being made at Allahabad. He said there are total 112 trains that pass through the Allahabad Railway station and railways started 49 special trains for the Mahakumbh.
The UP government has ordered an inquiry into the stampede and asked the Railways to make proper arrangements to clear rush of devotees.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock at the tragedy and promised financial assistance to the families of the dead.
Over 30 million pilgrims took a dip on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya', considered the most auspicious day during the 12-yearly congregation, at Sangam - the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.