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Indian train smash averted, railwayman rewarded

  : Sunday, November 28, 1999
An alert Indian Railways worker is to recieve a reward for his prompt actions which prevented a potentially disastrous train crash.
The railwayman, who has not been named is employed as a gangman. On Thursday (25 November) he discovered a broken rail on the mainline near Byappanahalli, Karnataka. Railway staff were able to halt traffic on the line, including the Udyan Express which was approaching the spot. The train was stopped near the station at Doddaballapur.

The incident was the more significant as the Udyan Express was carrying 10 government ministers who had been attending an official function at Gulbarga. The ministers included the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna. Among the others were Mr. Mallikarjuna Kharge, State Home Minister, Mr. Baburao Chinchansoor, Minister of State for Social Welfare, and Mr. S. S. Mallikarjuna, Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports.

The Bangalore bound train was delayed while the track was repaired and arrived about ninety minutes late. The governemnt has ordered an inquiry into the incident. The area is reported to have a history of such problems.

In announcing the reward of 50,000 Rupees, the Railway Minister, Ms. Banerjee said it was "in recognition of the alertness and sense of duty shown by a gangman". She said that this first-ever award would help in creating an awareness about safety of train operations and security of passengers.

She also announced that two further awards would be instituted for promoting security and safety in train operations. The first of these was aimed at tackling the problem of the black-market trade in railway tickets. The award would go to any member of the public who could provide evidence of such illegal sale of tickets. The second award would be given to any person, outside the Railways, who informed the administration about conspiracy to sabotage Railway property. In this case, the informant would be offered employment on the railways.

The announcement came as the Cabinet was being re-shuffled and a new Minister of State for Railways was appointed.
Web sources:
Train mishap averted: Krishna, Ministers escape
The Hindu 25 Nov 1999
Mamata denies expressing views on Cabinet reshuffle
The Hindu 27 Nov 1999

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This file last updated: Sunday, 28-Nov-1999 07:32:35 EST
Copyright © David Fry 1999

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