Balasore Train Crash: Coal Loadings Scale Down Due To Speed Restrictions

Arun Kumar Das

Jun 17, 2023, 10:48 AM | Updated 10:50 AM IST

Screengrab showing the coal laden train on its way to Rourkela, after line restoration in Balasore.
Screengrab showing the coal laden train on its way to Rourkela, after line restoration in Balasore.

The Balasore incident has affected the loadings specially coal movement as less number of trains are moving through Bahanaga Bazar station since 2 June.

On 15 June, the Railways carried 2.061 million tonne of coal as against 2.02 MT coal loading last year on the same day.

Since the worst train accident on 2 June, coal loading has badly affected as there are several restrictions on the route due to CBI seizure of relay room.

There is a speed restriction on that particular route and trains are allowed to move at 30 kmph resulting in movement of a very few trains.

"This is a coal belt and the accident on the route has slowed down the train movement due to the speed restrictions. Now trains are crawling at 30 km speed affecting train movement adversely," South Eastern Railway maintains.

The Railways has transported 30.766 MT of coal this month till 15 June as compared to 31.301 MT transportation in the corresponding period last year.

The total freight earnings on June 15 is Rs 424.527 crore as against Rs 438.265 crore last year for the same period

The Railways has earned Rs 6652.895 crore in goods loadings till 15 June this year as compared to Rs 6589.315 crore for the same period last year.

The relay room and interlocking system at the ill-fated station is currently under CBI watch and the entire section is undergoing safety strengthening work, the SER maintains.

While CBI is probing the cause of the accident, the Commissioner Railway Safety has completed the initial probe questioning about 70 persons till date.

The preliminary report stating the reason and highlighting the culpability of the railway staff is expected to be submitted by the CRS this month.

While, the Railways has already transferred the Additional General Manager of the zone, three more officers at senior level are likely to face the action.

AGM is supposed to conduct regular safety meeting in the zone to minmise the chances of the accident.

Besides, the Railway Board Member (Infrastructure) had pointed out the grey areas of all zones for possible train mishaps and no follow-up action was undertaken to strengthen signalling system.

According to sources, the Railways has identified total eight persons in the zone to be booted out for the grave incident on June 2.

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, is slated to visit the ill-fated station next week to felicitate the local people who had come forward to help the Railways in relief and rescue operation.

Since Bahanaga Bazar ststion is a small station with limited support system, it was local people from nearby areas who were on the spot for more than two days providing food, water medicines and rescue work.

There are total 63 persons who did exemplary work in helping the victims and their family members during that hour of grief.

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