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Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat flag-off event cancelled following Odisha train tragedy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to flag off Goa's first Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat Express virtually today.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Mumbai Published on: June 03, 2023 7:44 IST
Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat flag-off event cancelled
Image Source : PTI Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat flag-off event cancelled

Mumbai: Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat flag-off ceremony has been cancelled following Odisha train accident. The flag-off event was supposed to take place today (June 3). The Mumbai-Goa Vande Bharat Express was to be virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday morning. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant were among those expected to be present for the function at Madgaon railway station. However, Vaishnaw was now heading for the accident site in Odisha and the ceremony was cancelled.

The regular run of the train was scheduled from June 5 but there is no clarity yet on whether this stands cancelled too. The train will run between Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Goa’s Madgaon station. It will cover the journey in approximately seven and a half hours which will help save about one hour of journey time when compared with the current fastest train connecting the two places.

The indigenously made train, equipped with world-class amenities and advanced safety features including KAVACH technology, will also boost tourism in both states.

As per the time table issued, the Vande Bharat wad going to run six days a week, except Friday. The train will leave from CSMT at 5:25 am and arrive in Madgaon at 1:10 pm. From Madgaon, the train will depart at 2:40 pm and arrive at Madgaon at 10:25 pm. The train will halt at Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Khed, Ratnagiri, Kankavlli, Thivim.

Odisha train accident

Over 200 people have died and around 900 were injured in the horrific train crash in Odisha, involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train. Two passenger trains and one good train collided with each other near Bahanaga railway station in Odisha's Balasore district around 7 pm on Friday.

Railway tracks were almost destroyed at the spot as mangled coaches lay strewn all over, with some having mounted on another, while a few bogies turned turtle due to the impact. The railways announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for those grievously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who got minor injuries.

Prime Minister Modi expressed his distress over the accident, and announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF). 

“Distressed by the train accident in Odisha. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to Railway Minister @AshwiniVaishnaw and took stock of the situation. Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected," he tweeted.

(With PTI inputs)

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