As Bullet Train Project Kicks Off, 9 Derailments In 27 Days Suggest Crisis

As Bullet Train Project Kicks Off, 9 Derailments In 27 Days Suggest Crisis

On the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for a Rs-1,10,000-crore ($17 billion) bullet train, the Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express jumped the tracks at New Delhi station, the ninth derailment in 27 days, a consequence of growing traffic, falling safety standards and underinvestment.

The largest passenger system in the world with 23 million passengers every day, the Indian Railways was hit by 78 derailments in 2016-17 with 193 people dead, the most in 10 years, IndiaSpend reported on August 22, 2017.

Although accidents in general have fallen over 10 years, from 194 in 2007-08 to 104 in 2016-17, derailments have risen over this period, an indication that trains are increasingly at peril.

The first six months of 2017 reported 29 train accidents, of which 20 were due to derailments, killing 39 people and injuring 54, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha, parliament’s lower house, on July 19, 2017. Read More…

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