Bansal to meet victims' families in Allahabad, announces extra relief

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 07:30 hrs

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who has ruled out the breaking of foot over bridge as the cause for stampede at the Allahabad railway station, will visit the place today to take stock of the situation and meet the families of the victims.

"I am going to Allahabad to see the situation...I have made it abundantly clear and this is not really an issue. The fact is foot over bridge did not collapse," he told media here

Bansal, who will be accompanied by Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, said more trains have been pressed into service for rescue operations.

Bansal further said that even if the Ministry of Railways run trains every 10 minutes, it would not be possible to manage three crore people.

"The entire railway system of India ferries 2.3 crore people each day. Even if we have trains at 10-minute intervals at Allahabad, managing 3 crore people may not be possible," he said.

Bansal further informed that over 36 people have lost their lives so far, 39 others have been injured and three have grievous injuries.

"The Ministry of Railways will be compensation of Rs. one lakh to the families of the dead, 50,000 to those having grievous injuries and 25,000 to those injured," he added.

The Railways Minister also said AC second class passes each to the relatives of the victims who want to go to Allahabad are being offered, and added that proper arrangements will also be made for their return.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has expressed shock at the loss of life in the stampede at the Allahabad railway station, and issued instructions to Ministry of Railways to provide all necessary assistance to the affected persons.

"My government assures an ex gratia payment to the families of those who have lost their dear ones and to those who are injured from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. The Central government will extend all possible help to the state government in relief operations," Dr. Singh said.

The Ministry of Railways has also set up helplines. The helpline numbers are: Delhi - 011-23342954, 23341074, 24357660, Allahabad - 0532-1072, 0532-2408149, 2408128, 2407353 and Kanpur - 0512-1072, 0512-2323015, 2323016, 2323018. (ANI)

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