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This article is more than 1 year old.

After Niti Aayog's questions, Railways says 29K-30K died due to 'trespassing, untoward incidents' in 3 yrs

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The Railways Thursday said around 29,000-30,000 deaths occurred due to "trespassing and other untoward incidents" on its premises in the past three years, after the Niti Aayog raised questions over its zero fatality claim in the last fiscal.

After Niti Aayog's questions, Railways says 29K-30K died due to 'trespassing, untoward incidents' in 3 yrs
The Railways Thursday said around 29,000-30,000 deaths occurred due to "trespassing and other untoward incidents" on its premises in the past three years, after the Niti Aayog raised questions over its zero fatality claim in the last fiscal.
Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav's clarification came days after Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant took note of the Railways' claim and questioned the reliability of the data, pointing out that over thousands deaths occur in Mumbai suburban section every year.
"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that many of these deaths are caused by people falling overboard or from the platform on to the tracks. Hence, this should not be excluded from the purview of RRSK (Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshan Kosh). It should be ideally recorded officially," the government think tank CEO said in a letter to Yadav.
In a press briefing Thursday, Yadav said the Railways keeps a record of all the deaths that occur on its premises under three separate heads -- consequential accidents, trespassing and untoward incidents.
"It is true that consequential accidents were indeed zero in 2019-2020 and so far this year as well," he said.
"We keep records of deaths due to trespassing like when people come on the tracks and are run over or people standing on the footboard of trains or hanging out of trains. In the last three years, around 29,000 to 30,000 people have lost their lives due to either trespassing or untoward incidents."
This data will be given to Niti Aayog, he said.  In fact, after the 2018 tragedy in Amritsar wherein 59 people were killed and over 100 injured after being run over by two passenger trains while they were watching Dussehra celebrations, the Railways said that it was a case of trespassing.
Yadav also said that efforts are on to ensure that deaths due to such incidents too reduce, and "over the years they have".
After Yadav's briefing, the Railways issued a statement saying that while more than 8 billion passengers travelled by trains last year, there were zero passenger fatalities due to accidents.
This has been achieved with a lot of efforts on the part of the Railways. While the deaths of passengers due to railway accidents has become Zero, unfortunate Casualties do occur due to trespassing and untoward incidents like falling from trains and that due to negligence or carelessness on the part of passengers/public.
"These are incidents on which the Railways have little or no control. Efforts are on to sensitise the public on avoiding such situations," it said.
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