Guwahati-Bikaner Express was going from Bikaner to Guwahati when it met the fatal accident at Maynaguri in West Bengal. Till now, the accident claimed the lives of 9 people. 36 passengers are injured of which 6 are in critical condition. The passengers with critical injuries have been shifted to Jalpaiguri and Siliguri. The railway line is yet to be cleared, and most trains are now running through an alternate route.
At 5 pm on 13th January 2022, 8 coaches of Guwahati-Bikaner Express derailed from the tracks. Initial reports suggest technical failure of the locomotive was behind the cause of the derailment. Experts have found out that one of the traction motors of the locomotive failed and gave way which caused the WAP-4 locomotive to derail along with 8 other coaches immediately behind it. According to the loco pilot, he immediately applied emergency brakes which caused the speedy rakes behind to smash against one another. The ICF coaches have a tendency to climb over one another during an accident and it happened with one of the coaches. The obsolete nature of the WAP-4 locomotive, which is no longer produced by Indian Railways is also questioned. The rusty nature of old tracks and sleepers in that area have also come under discussion.
The villagers came to the rescue operations after hearing loud noise during the accident. Till now, all passengers have been rescued and all bodies have been recovered. The injured are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The Railway Minister of India visited the site on the morning of 14th January 2022 and announced a compensation of 5 lakhs for the deceased, 1 lakh for the critically injured and 25000 for the ones with minor injuries. An investigation by the Indian Railways is now underway, though people doubt if it would result in any positive outcome.
The number of accidents in recent years has greatly decreased. Technical failures and mistakes by the men in operation have been reduced to 0 in recent 2-3 years. Also, no major accidents have taken place due to trespassing after the Amritsar incident. It is after a long time a railway accident occurred, and it is a big accident. The latest derailment proved that we still have a long way to go to ensure our railways reach the accident-free level as in developed countries.
Written by – Himadri Paul
General Bipin Rawat, a name in golden letters in Indian military history, is unforgettable to Indians. Even those who hardly had some knowledge of the Indian military and Indian army had come across this name in the past few years. General Bipin Rawat, who was a four-star general of the Indian army, was widely known for being the first Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian armed forces since January 2020. Prior to that, he was the 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. His other contributions are also of immense importance to the country. Sadly, this wonderful person is no more among us.
General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, a scenic hill station in Uttarakhand. His schooling was from Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School in Shimla. He was a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, along with an MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from the University of Madras.
General Bipin Rawat’s military journey started when he was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978. He commanded his battalion as a major in the Uri sector near the Line of Control (Pakistan border) and as a colonel in the Kibithu sector near the Line of Actual Control. As a brigadier, he commanded 5 Sector of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore, while as a lieutenant general, he commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur. General Bipin Rawat is widely known across the world for his military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he headed the MONUSCO. He is also remembered for cross-border strikes in Myanmar in 2015.
In 1985, General Bipin Rawat married Madhulika Rawat, a descendant of an erstwhile princely family. The couple had two daughters, Kritika and Tarini. Both General Bipin Rawat and his wife were aboard the Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, which crashed in Coonoor. They, along with 11 others, were on their way from the Sulur Airforce base to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, when the accident occurred. The accident is currently under investigation. General Bipin Rawat’s liaison officer is currently the sole survivor of the accident. His death has cast a gloom across all over India. Nevertheless, Bipin Rawat will remain at the heart of every Indian in years to come for his memorable contributions in safeguarding the security of the country.
Written by – Himadri Paul