Railways: Modi claims half truths and erroneous math in accomplishments

Upon completing 4 years in power, the Modi led BJP government shared several infographics about their achievements. One of them was about the decline in accidents from 2013-14 to 2017-18. There were many issues with this one infographic in particular – first, the math was wrong, second, they did not consider the number of casualties of the accidents – casualties can be seen as an indication of severity.

In 2013-2014 there were 118 train accidents reported in India and in 2017-2018 that number went down to 73. The decline from 118 to 73 is 38%, though in the infographic the BJP and PM Modi have claimed that the decline is 62%.

The other issue with this infographic is that it overlooks the casualties of these accidents. From 2009-10 to 2013-14 the total number of deaths from train derailments was 102. While from 2014-15 to 2017-18 412 people died from train derailments. 2016-17, a year when the BJP was very much in power, was the worst in terms of people killed with 238 casualties reported caused by railway accidents.

Railway accidents are caused by a lack of investment in rail infrastructure and excessive traffic on the tracks. In 2017 it was reported that up to 40% of the infrastructure in India was utilised overcapacity – that is 1,219 sections of the Indian railways.

Claims about a hard-working Prime Minister and all the excellent work they have done seem to be the one thing this government actually excels in. It is irrelevant to them that most of these claims are either untrue or half true. But then with a government that is more interested in how they look to others rather than the work they do, this should not be surprising.

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