In an unexpected incident near Vaitarna Railway Station of Western Railways, an unidentified person hurled a stone at an assistant locomotive pilot, causing him injuries. The injured pilot, Shambhu Dayal Mina, has been admitted to a hospital in Vasai for treatment and is currently in stable condition.
On Sunday, October 15th, the UNGU-KTIG Express train was on its journey from Balasore, Gujarat to Vasai Railway Station. Supriya Arvind Paroha, along with assistant locomotive pilot Shambhu Dayal Mina, was on duty. As the train approached a section of the track a few kilometers from Vaitarna Railway Station, an unusual object, later identified as a stone, was found lying on the track. As the train drew closer, Mina applied the brakes and attempted to divert the stone away from the tracks. Unfortunately, the stone struck the locomotive’s windshield, injuring Shambhu Mina in the process. Fragments of glass from the windshield also hit his face and lips, causing additional injuries. Both Paroha and Mina immediately rushed the injured pilot to Vasai hospital, where he is receiving medical care.
In response to a complaint filed by locomotive pilot Supriya Paroha, the Vasai Railway Police Station has initiated an investigation into the incident. The unidentified person responsible for throwing the stone, in violation of Indian Railways Act 1989, Section 152, is currently being sought. Railway police are actively working to uncover more details regarding this incident.
Railway Safety Concerns
Incidents involving stone throwing at locomotives have become a growing concern, particularly along sections of railway tracks in Bihar and West Bengal, where such events have become increasingly common. These occurrences have resulted in significant financial losses for the Indian Railways. Since 2019, stone throwing incidents have caused over 5.5 million rupees in damages, and 151 people have been injured in these incidents. Fortunately, there have been no reported fatalities or losses of passenger property. The magnitude of these events indicates the seriousness of the issue. In the years 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and up to June 2023, Indian Railways has incurred losses totaling 55.60 lakh rupees.
The incident involving the assault on assistant locomotive pilot Shambhu Dayal Mina highlights the increasing risk of stone-throwing incidents along railway tracks in certain regions of India. The railways, a lifeline for millions of passengers, are grappling with security challenges that need to be addressed urgently. The investigation into this incident is ongoing, and railway authorities are taking measures to enhance the safety and security of both passengers and railway personnel.
Incidents like this remind us of the importance of safety on our railways. It is crucial that authorities work together to identify and address the underlying causes of such incidents, ensuring the safety of both passengers and railway employees. We can only hope that swift action will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future and to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of India’s railways.