Even one person shouldn’t die in a rail accident: Trivedi (Lead)

July 12th, 2011 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi, who took over as railway minister Tuesday, within a week of two train accidents over a hundred people, said his top priority was safety of passengers. No person should get killed in a train accident, he declared.

He also defended his party leader Mamata Banerjee, who was often criticised as an “absentee minister” for her preoccupation with West Bengal, as having done “fantastic work” during her tenure.

“In democracy everyone is alike to express their opinion but its not necessary that the opinions are right. Mamata Banerjee has done fantastic work all over India and she continues to do that,” Trivedi said before he was elevated to cabinet rank to succeed Mamata Banerjee.

“Look at the vision of 2020 document, right from the finance of railways to the safety, PPP (public private partnership), health, how railways can get new initiative in terms of usage of land, giving new factories from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” he said.

“If I am not wrong 19 trains were flagged off from Uttar Pradesh in one day when (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi was also present,” he said.

The new minister said safety was one of the major concerns of the railways.

“I cannot forget one of Banerjee’s speeches at the time of first budget. She said safety never sleeps. But you also must appreciate the professional set up. If a minister tries to run on a day to day basis we will create more of hindrance,” he said.

“My job will be to ensure that the vision 2020 document is implemented. Safety is zero tolerance, why should even one person get killed in an accident,” he added.

The country has witnessed seven rail accidents this year, with three train tragedies in a week that left over a hundred dead and several hundred injured.

Trivedi was also seen defending colleague Mukul Roy who was removed from his post of minister of state for railways.

Roy had come under the line of fire for apparently refusing to go to a rail accident site in Assam in defiance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s directive Monday.

“In the scenario of accident, the first thing is relief,” Trivedi said.

Trivedi said he heard Roy on TV and what he said was that at that moment he was sitting far from the scene of the accident and it would be far more meaningful for anyone of the three MOS who were closer to the site to go there.

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