NEW DELHI, Jan 26 (PTI): Sabotage attempts on tracks to derail trains continue to plague the Railways with detection of two more such cases today causing serious concern for safety of rail operation.
Cases of man-made obstructions were discovered at Malda and Dhanbad divisions by alert railway staff in time, thereby averting major derailments, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
According to the official, the loco pilot of a passenger train detected fish plates missing between Koderma and Maheshpur under Nawalshahi police station and stopped the train averting accident at Dhanbad division.
Rail traffic was stopped for three hours and an FIR has been lodged in the matter.
In the second incident, fittings were found missing on the track between Bariarpur and Ratanour in Malda division.
After the detection, train movement was stopped and it was resumed only after the replacement of fittings, he said adding an FIR has also been lodged in the matter.
Earlier, a major mishap was averted on January 24 after an alert Jan Shatabdi Express loco pilot stopped the train spotting a 15-feet rail piece on the track near Diwa in Mumbai.
On January 23, another possible train accident was averted at Hajipur in Bihar due to an alert patrolling team of the Railways. Two stone slabs that were placed on the track were detected in time and removed.
Alarmed by these incidents, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has already sought a NIA probe into the recent spate of derailments suspecting sabotage.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed has also cited 45 such cases involving outside interference on the track affecting train movement and causing loss of lives and revenue.
Taking note of the spurt in derailments Chairman Railway Board AK Mital had said on Monday "There is a substantial increase in the derailment case this year as compared against the same period last year and it is a serious concern for us."
Thirty-nine people were killed after nine coaches of the Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru station in Andhra Pradesh on January 21.
In November 20 last year, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express had derailed near Kanpur killing 151 people followed by the derailment of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express on December 28 near Rura station that left more than 50 passengers injured.