Allahabad stampede: Bansal announces compensation

P K Bansal

A day after the stampede at the overcrowded Allahabad Railway Station claimed 36 lives, Railway Minister P K Bansal on Monday said it was not possible for railways to run trains every 10 minutes to clear the heavy rush of Kumbh passengers.

Announcing Rs 1 lakh as compensation for the families of those killed in the stampede, the minister said he was going to Allahabad to assess the situation.

"There are a total of 12,000 trains on Indian Railway's 65,000 km long route system which carries 2.3 crore passengers in a day. So all the trains cannot reach at one spot in a day as there are limitations on the part of railways to carry crores of passengers in a given day," he said.

He was asked whether railways was prepared to handle the rush of 3 crore passengers in a day at Kumbh fair.

"Even if we want to run trains after every 10 minutes we cannot do that because there has to be a minimum gap between two stations and safety of passengers who have boarded the trains is also equally important for us. Trains cannot run like vehicles run on roads," Bansal said.

"We have announced Rs 1 lakh announced for the next kin of the deceased in the incident and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured persons and Rs 25,000 for those who have suffered simple injury in the stampede," he said.

The stampede has claimed lives of 36 people till now. "There were 36 dead and 39 injured out of which three are in serious condition," he said.

"I am going to Allahabad along with Chairman Railway Board to see the arrangement there. Because there will be three more important holy baths where large number of people are expected to come to the Kumbh Mela," minister said.

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