Amritsar track tragedy: Inquiry report says people's negligence caused deaths
Amritsar (Punjab) , Nov 22 : Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) S.K. Pathak has concluded in his inquiry that the reason for the train accident on October 19 was negligence of persons who were reportedly standing on and near the railway tracks while witnessing Dussehra Mela at Dhobi Ghat, sources told ANI.
According to sources CCRS has recommended that prior intimation to Railway administration should be given by the district administration or organisers before holding big events like mela or rally so that Railways can take proper precautions in consultation with stakeholders.
The accident has been classified under the heading of "Error in working by public near Railway line". Preliminary recommendations said that GRP or RPF should hold regular meetings with State Police and update all such events including Mela calendar where large gathering is expected near tracks and Railways should proactively impose caution and speed restriction at such locations or sections as advised by the GRP or State Administration. An effective and efficient mechanism for better coordination between State and Railway authorities should be jointly devised to avoid any communication gaps.
It added that State administration in coordination with Railway Administration should impart training and sensitise residents, particularly those living in the vicinity of the railway tracks, especially in urban areas, regarding the danger of straying on the tracks and penalty punishments that such illegal activities attract.
It also recommended that State Administration in coordination with Railway administration should also impart Railway safety training on the lines of road safety to school going children. Visits can be organised for school children to locomotive workshops or Railway traffic control centres. Interactions with locomotive drivers who have witnessed tragic accidents on the Railway track will go a long way in leaving a lasting impression on the minds of youngsters as these experiments have been very successful in some countries in driving the point home in target groups, the recommendations said.
The accident took place at the Dhobi Ghat ground in Choura Bazar near Jhoda Phatak area in Amritsar on October 19 after a speeding train ran over a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto the railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy.