Indian Railways dismissed as “baseless” the data used in the Times of India article on railway infrastructure in India. The Times of India claims in its report that 98% of railways in India were laid before independence between 1870 and 1930.
Taking to Twitter to issue a clarification on the matter, an Indian Railway spokesperson said, “We reject this @timesofindia The article is baseless and devoid of information. Irresponsible journalism at such a sensitive time is not what is expected from your high profile media house.”
Comparing the length of railway tracks, he added that the length of track running in 1950-51 was 59,315 km while it stood at 1,07,832 km in 2022-23.
Indian Railways infrastructure has come under a lot of scrutiny after the tragic accident at Balasore in Odisha, but data actually shows that Indian Railways has seen significant improvement in safety standards since the Modi government took power in 2014. The information shared by the Railways also highlights that the track length in India has almost doubled since independence and claims by The Times of India in their report have no factual basis.
Balasore train accident
On 2 June, over 275 people lost their lives and over 900 were injured in a massive train accident involving a freight train and two passenger trains in Balasore, Odisha.
Notably, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnab yesterday said that the cause of the Balasore accident and those responsible for it have been identified. While he said the matter was being investigated by the Railway Safety Commissioner and it would not be appropriate for him to comment, he added that the accident was caused by a change in electronic interlocking.
Vaishnav also said that the accident had nothing to do with the absence of the Kavach anti-collision system, adding that electronic interlocking, point machines etc. were involved.