Indian Railways on Wednesday “removed” as many as 13 of its employees from service in connection with the Kalinga Utkal Express derailment which took place near Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh earlier this month, reported ANI. “The railways has terminated the services of 13 employees under Section 14 of the discipline and appeal rule”, said Northern Railway spokesperson Neeraj Sharma. Under this section, the services of any rail staff found guilty of gross negligence can be terminated without an enquiry.
Besides, the Railway Board had also sent three officials on leave, including Northern Railway General Manager RK Kulshreshtra, Railway Board Member Engineering Aditya Mittal and Divisional Railway Manager Delhi RN Singh and transferred Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway.
In the derailment of 18477 Kalinga Utkal Express at Khatauli, 25 km from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on August 19, at least 23 passengers had died. The local track men and railway engineers allowed fix work without taking the prior permission of senior officials.
The Dehradun-bound train from Howrah (Kolkata) proceeded after an hour with the help of another engine.
The development comes days after the Government Railway Police (GRP) started its investigation into the derailment of the train with its personnel visiting the accident site and recording statements of locals in Khatauli.
According to the draft report, DRMs should be fully empowered to grant blocks – stopping or diverting trains till work on the tracks is over – for up to three hours.