Odisha train tragedy: NCP accuses Centre of ignoring CAG report, ‘Kavach’ funds

Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has questioned the Centre for allegedly ignoring the CAG-2022 audit report and for not spending funds allocated for the safety system ‘Kavach’, which could have prevented the tragic triple-train accident in Odisha’s Balasore on Friday evening.

NCP national spokesperson Clyde Crasto and chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase raised various issues pertaining to these while reiterating the party’s stance seeking the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Crasto said that although an amount of Rs 468 crore was ostensibly allocated to the South Eastern Railway zone for fitting the anti-collision system ‘Kavach’, “not a single rupee was spent for this safety aspect in the past three years”.

“This is a serious issue, especially after the CAG-2022 report on ‘Derailments in Indian Railways’ had shown and explained the possibility of imminent accidents to the government. The Railway Minister must explain why the funds remained unutilised so far,” said Crasto.

Tapase added that a record number of railway derailments, accidents, collisions, damage to public property plus injuries and deaths have taken place in the last nine years of the BJP regime all over the country.

“Whereas Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent millions on his personal publicity, he completely ignored rail safety leading to nearly 300 deaths and another 900 injured in the Balasore rail mishap,” Tapase alleged in a statement.

Both Crasto and Tapase referred to the CAG-2022 report observations which brought forth multiple shortfalls ranging up to 100 per cent in various aspects of rail safety, audit and inspection and implementing the ‘Kavach’ system with the funds already made available by the government.

If all these had been heeded, “a colossal tragedy with so many casualties like the Odisha accident could have been prevented”, said the NCP leaders.


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