The last passenger death due to a railway accident happened on March 22, 2019. For nearly 22 months, India has not had a single passenger killed due to train accidents, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal told Rajya.
Goyal further said that in the new restructured Railway Board, a designated director general of safety has been appointed to the first time.
Train accidents have been a cause of great concern in India with around 30,000 people losing their lives on account of trespassing and 'untoward incidents' on railway tracks in the last three years, official data has revealed.
Consequential accident deaths, however, remain zero since last and the ongoing financial years, a Times of India report stated last year. "Death statistics are maintained in three forms-- Consequential accidents, trespassing and untoward incidents," Chairman, Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav had said in September 2020.
"There are deaths categorised under untoward incidents and trespassing, (where) around 29,000-30,000 deaths were reported in the last three years. We are trying to reduce this as well," he added. There has been significant reduction in the consequential accidents segment, and the national transporter is also trying to reduce the deaths in the other two segments, Yadav said.
Government think-tank Niti Aayog had questioned the railway ministry's claims of zero deaths on railway tracks in FY 20. In a recent letter written to Yadav, Niti CEO Amitabh Kant questioned if the railway record of zero deaths was 'realistic'. Kant cited around 2,000 people losing their lives every year in the Mumbai sub-urban network.
Some media reports recently stated that 558 people died in January-March 2020 on tracks, 115 in April-July and 314 in August-November, even as the locals were not operational from March 22 till mid-June. Track-crossing contributed to 64% of all 987 deaths this year and remained the leading cause of rail accidents.