The whole nation looks ashen-faced as the accident involving the Delhi-bound Kalka Mail in Uttar Pradesh claiming around 80 lives and many more injured and the same day, the Guwahati-Puri Express derailed in Assam, injuring nearly 100. The two mishaps in a day vividly expose many chinks in the functioning of Railway Ministry. Despite its tall claims, the Rail Ministry strikes dismal note so long as giving protections to the rail passengers and delivering good services. Whenever a train accident takes place, officials concerned and ministers start passing buck, but no one feels it necessary to get to the bottom of accident and tries to plug the loopholes. They just feel that it suffices to announce the ex-gratia to the family of victims. This time too the same course of action will follow and hackneyed expression from the Railway Ministry would surface up that human error and technical glitch drove the Kalka Mail to the heap of mangled remains, killing scores of innocent lives. It is height of situation that this time there is no one to shed even crocodile tears on crying of the teenagers who have lost their parents in the accident, as it is difficult to know who is handling the Rail Ministry after Mamata Banerjee leapfrogged to the Writers’ Building.

However, the Prime Minister is now looking after the Railway Ministry, but the Trinamool Congress seems to be reining in the functioning of the portfolio. The chaos is obvious and no one knows what is happing in the Ministry otherwise the Minister of State for Railways would not have said, if the Prime Minster tells him, he would visit the accident site. Undoubtedly, it is the sublime of slipshodness and insensitiveness. One can sense the gravity of situation that how the Congress-led government is playing with the passengers’ protection that one lakh posts related with security in Railways are lying vacant. Despite being important portfolio, the railways have become an entity to settle ones political scores. Though Indian Railways has been a safe platform for playing political one-upmanship for long, the stint of Mamata Banerjee in her capacity of Railways Minister has crossed all the limits. World’s fourth largest railway network though, India is on the top in rail accidents. The government’s claims for track upkeep, modernization of Railways and protection for the passengers are totally groundless. If the Prime Minister does not assign this important ministry to other in the rejig of his pack of ministers, the Congress-led government will face another jolt.