Railway track sabotaged in Gujarat, claim officials

VADODARA: A possible train mishap was averted in Narmada district of Gujarat when officials found over hundred elastic rail clips, across three kms of tracks, removed allegedly by unknown persons. The matter came to light during track inspection last afternoon by the gangmen near Amletha village railway station in Narmada district on the Vadodara Railway Division of Western Railway.

106 elastic rail clips – used with concrete sleepers to fix rail tracks tightly on both sides — were removed within a distance of around three kms between Amletha and Taropa railway stations in Narmada district under Western Railway zone, a railway official said. Corrective measures were taken immediately and the track made safe before the passing of a train in the evening, they said. He added that Ankleshwar-Rajpipla passenger train is the only train that passes through this route, one going from Rajpipla to Ankleshwar in the morning and another coming from the other side in the evening.

Coincidentally, on Mondays the train passes through the track only once in the evening, the official said. “The miscreants might have removed the clips during the night of Sunday or early Monday morning,” said the official. “We came to know about it on Monday afternoon and fixed the problem in time. No train passes through this sector on Monday morning,” the official added. An FIR was registered today against unknown persons at Amletha police station.

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While the sabotages on the Railway areas is growing manifold day by day and Railways struggling hard to improve and safeguard safety of trains, ironically, the President of the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union C.A. Raja Sridhar said the Union Government tried to take shield for its failure to ensure safety by claiming the reason for two recent major train accidents was sabotage and said that the Central Government is compromising on safety of rail passengers with over 1.20 lakh posts in the safety department of Indian Railway lying vacant. He said that the police denied sabotage angle and charged that the Railway Ministry was taking “cosmetic” measures like providing wi-fi services to the passengers while safety was ignored. Indian Railway should concentrate more on system failures which were equally responsible for accidents like human errors. Mr. Sridhar also accused the Centre of attempting to dilute labour laws in the guise of effecting ease of business. The Centre had promised to look into several demands of Central Government employees when they served a strike notice in July 2016. Though committees were formed to look into their demands, no recommendations had so far been made, he said. Union divisional secretary J.M. Rafi and Additional divisional secretary V. Ram Kumar were present.