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Unmanned level crossings death trap for railways

Last Updated: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 19:10

New Delhi: Despite the increased number of
accidents at unmanned level crossing, Railways is yet to put
its act together to eliminate these death traps numbering
about 15,000 across the country.

Three persons were killed and about 50 injured when a
passenger train derailed after hitting an earth-cutting
vehicle at an unmanned railway crossing in Assam`s Kamrup
(Rural) district on Friday.

After taking over as the new Railway Minister, Dinesh
Trivedi had in July unveiled an 11-point programme to
modernize the public-sector behemoth and announced that there
will be no unmanned crossings by 2016.

"Our efforts will be to ensure that by 2016 all level
crossings are either manned or have an overbridge," he had
said.

There are total 32,735 level crossings in the country
out of which 14,896 are unmanned level crossings.

According to the data, 229 people were killed at unmanned
level crossings in 2010-11 and 95 in 2011-12 due to rail
accidents.

While railways claim to have launched a massive
sensitisation and education drive for road users about the
safety rules to be adhered to at unmanned level crossings, it
has failed to yield desired results as reflected in accident
figures.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, a senior
Railway Ministry official said "these crossings are accident
spots and our constant endeavour is to eliminate these
unmanned level crossings".

He said during the last two years, 1,065 unmanned level
crossings have been manned and 1,389 level crossings have been
eliminated by way of closure, merger and construction of
over bridges and under passes.

PTI

First Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 19:10

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