New Delhi: Sabotage attempts on tracks to derail trains continue to plague the Indian Railways with two more cases being detected on Thursday.
Man-made obstructions were discovered at Malda and Dhanbad divisions by alert railway staff in time, thereby averting major derailments, said a senior railway ministry official.
According to the official, the locomotive pilot of a passenger train detected fish-plates missing between Koderma and Maheshpur under Nawalshahi police station and stopped the train averting an accident at Dhanbad division. Rail traffic was stopped for three hours and an FIR has been lodged in the matter.
In the second incident, fittings went missing on the track between Bariarpur and Ratanour in Malda division. After it was detection, rail traffic was stopped and it was resumed only after the fittings were replaced, he said adding an FIR has also been lodged in the matter.
Earlier, a major mishap was averted on 24 January after an alert Jan Shatabdi Express loco pilot stopped the train after spotting a 15-feet rail piece on the track near Diwa in Mumbai.
On 23 January, another possible train accident was averted at Hajipur in Bihar due to an alert patrolling team of the Railways. Two stone slabs that were placed on the track were detected in time and removed.
Alarmed by these incidents, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has already sought a NIA probe into the recent spate of derailments, suspecting sabotage. Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed has also cited 45 such cases involving outside interference on the track affecting train movement and causing loss of lives and revenue.
Railway Board chairman AK Mital on Monday “There is a substantial increase in the derailment case this year as compared against the same period last year and it is a serious concern for us.”
Thirty-nine people were killed after nine coaches of the Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru station in Andhra Pradesh on 21 January. In 20 November last year, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express had derailed near Kanpur killing 151 people followed by the derailment of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express on 28 December near Rura station that left more than 50 passengers injured.