As the calls for #DisbandNTSA intensifies, India offers a glimpse of what taking responsibility is all about.
Calls for disbandment of NTSA in Kenya have intensified following a series of accidents towards the end of the year 2017. Kenyans on twitter have been expressing their dissatisfaction through a hashtag #DISBANDNTSA. NTSA stands for National Transport and Safety Authority charged with the responsibility of management of public and private transport as well as safety. The body has been accused of nepotism and laziness. Several bloggers including Lord Abraham Mutai and Cyprian Nyakundi have taken issue with the lack of ideas and increased laxity of the management of the agency.
In the light of these events, we look into what happened in India as afar as accidents are concerned. The situation might be different but circumstances are the same.
“In the history of Independent India, only two people have resigned as Railway Ministers taking moral responsibility for mishaps during their tenure. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. In the first instance, the 3rd Railway Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri (from 13 May 1952 to 7 December 1956) had resigned from his post taking moral responsibility for the Ariyalur train accident in Tamil Nadu in November 1956 in which 142 people were killed. Hailed by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a man of highest integrity, Shastri’s grew in stature before becoming India’s Prime Minister.
After 43 years, the 28th Railway Minister Nitish Kumar quit (from 19 March 1998 to 5 August 1999) on moral grounds for the Gaisal train disaster in Assam in August 1999 that had killed at least 290 people. Then, Nitish Kumar was in Samata Party. A year later, rail minister Mamata Banerjee had resigned from her post on moral grounds after two train disasters in 2000, however, Prime Minister Atal Bihari had Vajpayee rejected her resignation. Unfortunately, during the current railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s tenure, who is 43rd Raliway Minister, major train accidents have occurred.
In November 2016, around 150 people were killed 14 coaches of Patna-Indore express got derailed near Kanpur. This considered as one of the deadliest rail mishap since 1999. Secondly, the derailment of 14 coaches of Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar, left 22 dead and 156 wounded. In August 23rd 2017 morning the Kaifiyat Express derailed near Auraiya in Uttar Pradesh. Sixty people were injured after 10 coaches of the train derailed. Though Suresh Prabhu offered to resign from his post, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to ‘wait’.”