Odisha train accident: GM of South Eastern Railway transferred

New Delhi: Taking stringent action against a top official a month after the most tragic triple train accident in Odisha’s Balasore district, Railway authorities transferred General Manager of South Eastern Railway Archana Joshi.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Railway Board, approved the appointment of Anil Kumar Misra — an Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers officer — as the new General Manager of South Eastern Railway.

According to media reports, Archana Joshi was transferred as the General Manager to Rail Wheel Factory in Karnataka’s Yelahanka. The 1985-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, had assumed charge as the GM of South Eastern Railway on July 30, 2021.

Last week, the Railway Board had transferred five senior officials in the SER, including the assistant general manager and the divisional railway manager, those responsible for operations, safety and signalling that led to triple train crash claiming over 290 lives. The officials were Kharagpur Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Shujat Hashmi and the SER zone’s Principal Chief Signal and Telecommunication Engineer PM Sikdar, Principal Chief Safety Officer Chandan Adhikary, Principal Chief Security Commissioner DB Kasar, and Principal Chief Commercial Manager Md Owais.

Earlier, SER zone’s Additional General Manager, Atulya Sinha, was transferred nearly a fortnight after the train tragedy.

The death toll in the horrific train accident reached 293 so far with six more casualties while undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Odisha.

Hundreds of passengers were killed and over a thousand were injured in the tragic train accident near Bahanaga Bazar Railway Station in Balasore district on June 2 evening. The mishap involved three trains — Chennai-bound Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a goods train. The incident occurred after the speeding Coromandel Express hit a stationary goods train after entering the loop line and its derailed carriages then collided with the two rear carriages of the Howrah-bound express train, which was passing in the opposite direction on another track.

During the probe into the incident, interference with the interlocking system, which is an automated signalling system, is being seen as the major cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, Of 81 bodies preserved at Bhubaneswar AIIMS, 29 have been identified based on the DNA test reports. Six of them have been handed over to their families on Friday. The State Government has made arrangements to send all the identified bodies to their native places.

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