Seven people died due to railway accidents in the 2019-20 (till January 31), even as overall figures of fatal railway accidents declined since 2016 according to data provided by the ministry of railways in Parliament on Wednesday.
The national transporter has paid Rs 2.80 crore as compensation thus far in 2019-20, union minister for railways Piyush Goyal said in Lok Sabha in response to a question on railway accidents.
Compensation is given to the families of the deceased and also to those who suffer injuries, both major and minor in accidents. At least based on the numbers given out by the ministry — the compensation paid in 2018-19, for instance, was Rs 4.96 crore — there doesn’t seem to be a correlation betwen compensation and the number of deaths.
Goyal said the number of deaths in financial year 2015-16 was 148 which rose to 192 in 2016 and declined thereafter to 97 in 2017-18 and 18 in 2018-19.
In December 2019 the railway minister said there had been no fatalities of railway passengers since April.
“It’s a casualty free railway; we have had the occasional accident, but in the past nine months nobody has died. From April 01 till now, we have had no fatality of any railway passenger,” Goyal said.
On January 16 two major railway accidents occurred with the derailment of Mumbai-Bhubaneswar Lokmanya Tilak Terminus train near Cuttack in Odisha. The other incident had occurred in Samastipur-Khagaria section of Samastipur Division with the collision of Samastipur Saharsa MEMU train with a bullock cart.