Will the inquiry into the recent train collision near Andheri station be of any use?
Despite detailed inquiries by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) into each incident, accidents continue to mar the Mumbai suburban railway with a head-on collision of local trains happening every three years.
Train collisions happen in Mumbai almost every three years and the CRS has conducted an inquiry into each of them, but nothing seems to come out of it. The CRS technically falls under the Ministry of Civil Aviation to maintain independence, but it remains a toothless body without any powers.
“The inquiries are just a cover-up to manage the situation in the immediate aftermath of the accident. The reports of these commissions come up so late that the relevance of the accident is over by that time and people have forgotten about it,” said Subhash Gupta, member of the National Railway Users’ Consultative Committee.
“The CRS inquiry is just academic work of taking measurements and noting down theoretical details of what has happened with some abstract conclusion, which is never taken seriously. They just make a big drama under the name of safety commissioner,” he added.
To cover up their inefficiency, Western Railway officials, led by general manager Mahesh Kumar, immediately tried to hide the recent accident at Andheri by calling it a “rumour”, and then tried to play it down by saying that it was just a “brush up”, whereas commuters were bleeding at the station.
“The only statement for the media that we have is commuters who are eyewitnesses to the accident can report their findings to us,’’ commissioner of railway safety, PK Bajpai told DNA.
Chief commissioner of railway safety, Prashant Kumar, was not available for comment despite repeated efforts through mail and text messages. A senior official defended CRS by saying that the reports had led to important changes in many cases in the system.