As the inquiry both internal and external reveals, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today said the "root cause" of the horrific triple train collision in Odisha's Balasore, which claimed 300 lives and injured over 1,000 people, has been identified and will be revealed soon in a report, critics have pointed to an audit report of the railways tabled in the Parliament in September last year, which flagged several serious lapses in rail safety.
The accident happened due to a change in "electronic interlocking", Ashwani Vaishnaw has said. The Railway Board has also detailed the sequence of events leading to the crash. In fact, Railways is likely to seek a CBI investigation to rule out sabotage of any sort in the election year.
India's top auditing body (CAG ), the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in a 2022 report on derailments in Indian Railways sought to find out whether measures to prevent derailments and collisions were clearly laid down and implemented by the rail ministry. It flagged severe shortfalls in inspections, failure to submit or accept inquiry reports after accidents, not utilising a dedicated railway fund on priority tasks, the declining trend in funding track renewal, and inadequate staffing in safety operations as serious concerns.