The Commissioner of Railway Safety probing the derailment of the Utkal Express that killed 20 people on August 19 has put on record evidence that was allegedly tampered with, records investigated by The Indian Express reveal — evidence he was officially cautioned about. This “evidence” makes it appear that a Railway official called the tracks “unsafe” before the train arrived when instead, according to records, he apparently wrote this after the accident.
At around 5 pm, according to the CRS report, more than 45 minutes before the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed near Khatauli, local Railway official Mohanlal Meena — designated the Permanent Way Inspector (in Khatauli, there are two PWIs and a PWI In charge) — wrote a memo to Khatauli Station Master Prakash Chand.
In it, he asked for a “traffic block,” a 15-minute window during which no trains are allowed so that repair work can be done. Meena’s last line in the memo reads: Unsafe hai, block dene ki kripa karein, (the tracks are unsafe, please let us block traffic). This should have alerted the system since asking for blocks is routine and such requests are routinely rejected but using the word “unsafe” is not. Read More…
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