Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the derailment of the Patna-Indore Express in Kanpur and said the priority of his government was to save maximum lives. “If the incident has taken place, first responsibility lies on the state government as hospitals, ambulances and the entire administration is of the state. We have fulfilled our responsibilities and our priority at present is to save maximum lives,” he said.
“We will provide Rs 5 lakh to the family members of those who have died. I have asked the ministers to rush to the spot but I think the local administration must respond first. The leadership must also stay there so that they can also help,” the chief minister said.
When asked whether he would demand resignation of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Akhilesh said, “This is not the time to comment on why and how this incident happened … it is a matter of probe. First priority is of saving lives.”
“I spoke to Railway Minister and have assured that our government will provide whatever help is needed in the rescue operations. Politics can wait. When I was informed about the incident, I directed the concerned officials to rush to the spot and conduct primary rescue operations,” he said.
Akhilesh said that he has also rushed his ministers and leaders to the spot to keep an eye on the rescue operations. “There are political questions that will also come as Parliament is in session but our priority at present is only to save lives,” he added.
Over 100 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours on Sunday.
Meanwhile, BSP supremo Mayawati while expressing her condolences demanded a “high-level and time-bound” probe into the entire incident. “The Centre should institute a high-level and time-bound probe into the incident,” she said in a statement issued in Lucknow.