At least 22 people were killed and 39 others were injured in a stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone railway station on Friday. The stampede took place on foot overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations.
Source: The Indian Express
There’s no denying the fact that there has been a horrific tragedy in Mumbai. Many people lost their lives and hundreds other were injured and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. The government, especially the railway ministry, needs to take people’s safety at utmost priority and take steps to ensure that such incidents can be avoided in the future.
Having said that, I don’t understand the sudden outrage against the bullet train. Some tragedy happened in Mumbai today and everybody started lashing against the bullet train and why we need it.
Elphinstone stampede is a grim reminder of failing rail infrastructure which causes weekly derailments. But PM busy with 1L Cr bullet train https://t.co/r9LgGgsMFj
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) September 29, 2017
Post Mumbai stampede tragedy here is something to ponder: Rs.1 lac crore total 5 year budget for Rlys saftey. Bullet train Rs.1 lac crore!
— M K Venu (@mkvenu1) September 29, 2017
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) September 30, 2017
— Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) September 29, 2017
Dear Govt. what steps will you do to ensure such accident doesn't repeat at #Elphinstone Rd Stn?
Answer – We will rename it to Prabhadevi
— Atul Khatri (@one_by_two) September 29, 2017
Bullet train will be like demonetisation. It will kill everything else including safety.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) September 30, 2017
Indian Railway's old & overburdened infrastructure urgently needs renovation & replacement. It must be the priority rather then bullet train
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) September 29, 2017
And we are making Bullet Trains.
FUCK YOU GUYS!!! FUCK YOU ALL!!!
— Anubhav Sinha (@anubhavsinha) September 29, 2017
I was agitated at this unnecessary and misleading commentating and felt compelled to make a few things clear about the bullet train.
1. The cost of the bullet train is NOT under the ministry of railways, rather a separate department will handle it. The railways has its own budget and it has increased over the years to provide better services to the people. People can question the railway department and demand better security and services, but it’s absurd to relate it to the bullet train. It’s like asking the government to stop constructing roads and infrastructure and instead put all the money in say Education or healthcare. These things work in parallel and should always do. It is incorrect to connect the two.
2. Even if extra money is put into the railways, that wouldn’t guarantee faster results. Remember, 9 women can’t deliver a baby in one month. There are projects that follow a series of steps and clearances and after a point no matter how much money you put, the pace cannot necessarily increase.
The bullet train has become a punching bag of sorts for everyone these days. Anything that goes wrong, the bullet train project is responsible. Roads are bad, bullet train is responsible, economy is slowing down, why do we need a bullet train, train travel is unsafe because of bullet train.
Do you know why we need a bullet train? Because of all the problems mentioned above. We need faster, safer transport, hence we need the bullet trains, we need to improve the business by faster transportation of goods, guess what will help- Bullet Trains.
Outrage is good, and indispensable in a democracy, but it is useful only when directed in the right direction. Otherwise, it is just a useless rant. You’re angry, hold the ministry responsible, find the person and protest against him, not some third party or a new project in this case.