11:50 GMT14 May 2021
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    At least 23 persons were killed and over 200 seriously injured in two major train accidents in less than a week. Slow progress in modernization have been the major reason behind frequent train mishaps, most of which are caused due to derailment.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered to quit following two major train mishaps during the week. Ashok Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board has already relinquished his post. Mittal is the senior most bureaucrat of the Indian Railway.

    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu wrote on Twitter that he takes full moral responsibility for the derailments and has met the prime minister in this regard.

    I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish (4/5)

    ​I met the Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon'ble PM has asked me to wait. (5/5)

    ​Seventy people were seriously injured when nine coaches of the Kaifiyat Express derailed near Auriaya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday morning when it collided with a dumper plying on the road adjacent to the tracks. Earlier on Saturday, twenty three people were killed and over 150 were seriously injured when the Kalinga-Utkal express train derailed at Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Investigations are on to probe the actual causes of both the accidents.

    According to official statistics, in last three years India has witnessed 369 train accidents in which more than 350 people have lost their lives. Most of the accidents were caused by derailments and human lapses. Revival and maintenance of decades old railway tracks has been on top of the agenda of subsequent governments but lack of adequate funds often hamper the modernization process.

    Indian Railway says it needs more than $140 billion in next five years for modernizing rail networks.

    The Narendra Modi-led government opened the doors to foreign investment in railroads in 2015, but with little success so far. Indian Railways carries more than 23 million people daily on aging tracks with an average speed of 54 Kilometer per hour.


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