The responsibility of the dire mishap that took place as a result of the fateful collision between the train and the bus carrying Sikh pilgrims lies with the Pakistan railways. If we search the track record of Pakistan railways we will come to the conclusion that it is not the first nor it is going to the last tragic incident unless and until the authorities involve realize the gravity of their faltering infrastructure and start taking action to avoid such happenings in future.
Accidents that involve train on railways crossing are no new story. Trains ramming on passenger bus on an unmanned crossing in Rohri leading to a loss of 19 lives followed by a similar incident last May near Pattoki resulting in the death of two newly married couples. Moreover the infamous Shalimar express collision with a cargo train on an en route to Lahore from Karachi bodes testimony to the sheer negligence of the railways department.
The long history of Pakistan’s railway accidents are accredited to the years of lack of investment in the concerned sector and a blithe disregard for passenger safety operations and standards. Pakistan Railways is already has a bad reputation for passenger service and facilitation and the appalling accidents make the sector even more under-performed. In the coming years, owing to depleting infrastructure, engine failure and derailment the accidents are increasing in frequency and number. The year 2019 was considered the most fateful year in the history of Pakistan Railways because of the spike in railway accidents. Media too has stopped reporting the frequently occurring mishaps because either the people have become too desensitized or the accidents are viewed as routine.
Thus, the government instead of launching new train routes, should invest in its faltering infrastructure and updating its operational safety guidelines. This will lead to securing unmanned crossing to prevent fatal mishaps in the future.