New Delhi, June 4 (). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday demanded the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, holding him responsible for the June 2 Odisha train accident. More than 270 people have died in this accident.
AAP spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar has criticized the central government, saying several complaints were made from various quarters about malfunctioning of the signal maintenance system, but no concrete action was taken to rectify the issues.
This, he said, exposes the government’s apathy and lack of accountability in addressing security concerns.
Priyanka said AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sandeep Pathak, who is also a member of the parliamentary standing committee on railways, had proposed installation of derailment prevention devices and upgradation of tracks for high-speed train operations. However, the focus of the Narendra Modi-led government remained only on the Vande Bharat project.
Priyanka Kakkar said, in an advisory issued by the Principal Chief Operation Manager of the Railways on February 8, the government was urged to take preventive measures to avoid accidents on the Bengaluru-Delhi line. This warning highlights the failure of the government to protect the lives of railway passengers.
He said, there is a shortage of manpower in the Railways. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav himself said last year that there are around 3,30,000 vacancies in the Railways, of which around 50 per cent vacancies are related to safety and security. In 2022, he had said that there were around 18,000 vacancies. Filling these vacancies is extremely important, especially in the context of ensuring security. Despite repeated requests from Railway Employees Unions, the Government has failed to address this vital issue compromising the safety of passengers.
He said that the CAG report of 2022 has also highlighted several lapses in railway safety, about which citizens should be aware.