The Railways today blamed the Bihar government for the train disaster at Dhamara Ghat in Khagaria district and said that actually 28 persons died in the accident,instead of 37 put by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,and nine others were injured.
“Probably he (Nitish Kumar) mixed up the figures of death and injured to say that 37 persons died in the mishap at Dhamara Ghat in between Saharsa and Mansi section of Samastipur division yesterday,” Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters at Patna airport.
Chaudhury had visited the accident site past midnight last night and also met the injured in the hospital at Khagaria this morning before returning to Delhi via Patna. Asked who is to blame for the Rajyarani Express mowing down the pilgrims,the minister put the blame on the state administration.
“The local administration did not alert the Railways about the large congregation of pilgrims for the mela (fair) at the Katayani temple so that we could have taken some measures,” Chaudhury said.
“There was no proper coordination by the local administration with the Railways for making the necessary arrangement in view of the fair at the temple on the last Monday of Shrawan,” he said.
The minister said that the state government gets so much of funds from the Centre under the Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) from which it could have constructed a road to this remote place,which is non-existent now.
The Bihar CM had yesterday dismissed any lapse on the part of the state administration. Kumar,who had talked to Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge immediately after the accident and was in regular touch with the General Manager of East Central Railway (ECR) zone,Madhuresh Kumar,had said it was a matter of probe whether speed restriction was ordered considering that the day was the last Monday of Shravan and a large crowd of pilgrims was expected.