Diva-Sawantwadi train derailment: Report puts onus on 3 Railway Divisions

Mumbai:  The preliminary report submitted to the railway board on the Diva-Sawantwadi train derailment on May 4, 2014 has concluded that a complete system failure of track, coach maintenance and engine led to the accident.

The report, though preliminary, lays onus on three rail divisions, including the Central Railway (CR), Konkan Railway (KR) and South Central Railway (SC).

CRS Chetan Bakshi said, “A system failure basically means a failure of the tracks which come under the purview of the CR, the locomotive engine that belongs to the SC, and maintenance of the coach which comes under the KR.”

“The report has been submitted to the railway board in the first week of July and now, the three divisions have to answer with their action plan,” Mr Bakshi said.

The track failure, a weld (point where two tracks are fused) fracture, was found to be the primary cause of the derailment. The inquiry also revealed that there had been 165 fractures on the section between Panvel and Roha in the past four years, as reported earlier.

According to Mr Bakshi, coach maintenance, which comes under KR, is under the scanner and so is the locomotive/engine that ran on diesel and belonged to the SC.

“These three aspects and the lack of follow through by all three divisions led to the situation that caused the derailment that day,” Mr Bakshi said.

CR general manager Sunil Kumar Sood said, “We have received the report and the biggest challenge that has been suggested to us is the renewal of our tracks. There are many aspects such as from where we get these tracks as well as maintenance issues.”

“But we are trying to complete all the pre-requisites that the CRS has set for us,” Mr Sood added.

KR chief public relations officer Vaishali Patange said, “The report is with the railway board for acceptance otherwise, we will take necessary action based on the railway board’s decision.” Unfortunately, none of the three divisions have been given a deadline to complete the requirements.