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Balasore Train Tragedy: Railway Minister Vaishnaw Pledges Rs 2 Crore for Development of Bahanaga

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday announced an assistance of Rs 2 crore for the development of Bahanaga village in Odisha’s Balasore district, where around 290 people were killed on June 2 in an accident involving three trains.

The minister, during his visit to Bahanaga, also thanked the locals for rescuing the victims of the train accident.

Vaishnaw announced Rs 1 crore from his MP Local Area Development (LAD) fund and another Rs 1 crore from the Railways funds for the development of Bahanaga village and a hospital there.

He appreciated the people of Bahanaga for the way they came out and worked in unison with the administration and the railways on the day of the accident.

“I also had discussions with the people of the village about the development work that can be done here. Accordingly, Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the development of the village and the hospital,” the minister told reporters.

Speaking about the restoration work at the station, he said, “Almost work is finished, only signalling work is going on and it will be completed within the next four days.”

When asked about progress made in the ongoing probe into the massive accident, he said, “An independent investigation is going on.”

He said that the CBI and the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) are investigating the incident.

He also announced that an advanced life saving ambulance will be given to the Balasore district hospital for the service of critical patients.

The minister became emotional while remembering his earlier days in Balasore when he was serving as Collector of the district. “The local people use to call me Ashwini Bhai, not collector sir. During the 1999 super cyclone, Balasore showed the way on saving human lives. Now, on June 2 also, the Balsore people again set a model for the entire nation. People across India are praising the local people for the humanitarian approach they have shown on that evening,” he said.

Stating that he will always remain indebted to the Balasore people for their selfless services rendered during the train tragedy, the minister said, “I will never forget the help of the people and I will be available for any kind of support for the people of Balasore.”

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