New Delhi: A strong demand was made in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday for making all rail crossings manned and relaxation of rules to ensure that railway bridge construction was not hit by red tape and lack of funds.
Participating in the discussion on Demands for Grants for Railways for 2012-13, members from various parties said unmanned railway crossings were a major cause of accidents and demanded that they be manned.
They demanded construction of railway under bridges and over bridges to avoid traffic problems for people using road.
Arjun Ram Meghwal (BJP) suggested that laws should be amended so that MNREGA funds can be used for such construction so that disputes between the states and the Railway Ministry over allocation of funds do not delay projects. He said Rajasthan has successfully used MNREGA funds for this purpose.
His demand for construction of more toilets for women passengers at stations received support from women members.
Pratap Singh Bajwa (Cong) said unmanned railway crossings should be converted into manned ones by this year end and sought an end to the practice of defecating near tracks.
When he said people could be seen defecating near tracks at a time when the government was selling `Incredible India` campaign to attract tourists, Inder Singh Namdhari - who was in the Chair - remarked that perhaps it was a "feature" of the campaign.
Shailendra Kumar (SP) pitched for railway bridges and said though railway officials were now involving MPs in discussing pending projects, nothing concrete has come out so far.
Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) suggested use of MPLAD funds for construction of railway bridges.