CHANDIGARH:With another mishap on Wednesday in Benra village near Dhuri area of Sangrur district at unmanned railway crossing has brought to fore the question that how long the deaths would continue to occur at railway crossings.
Ironically, last month, the locals had submitted a document to the Union Ministry of Railways that the railway crossing should be manned. The villagers allege that despite number of representations to man the railway crossings nothing has been done to take steps for manning the railway crossing. One of the locals said that there is a school near the crossing and due to this, children remain vulnerable adding that out requests to a Railway employee have fallen on deaf years.
There are 1,672 railway level crossings in the state out of which almost half of them are unmanned. There are 818 railway crossings which are unmanned and remaining 854. One comes across several mishaps and accidents at unmanned railway crossings in the state throughout the year.
Generally in majority of the mishaps at unmanned railway crossings in the state, it has been found that drivers of the vehicles are lax and negligent while crossing though the points which are not manned. Not being vigilant ot approach the trains Besides this, some of the victims trying to cross the unmanned railway crossing in hurry while on foot do not pay attention to the trains approaching near the crossing had been crushed under the speeding trains.
The railway officials say that there is a proposal to man all the unmanned railway crossings in the state which would lead to putting an end to mishaps on the railway crossings not manned.
ADGP (Railways) Rohit Chaudhary said during the past few years, number of unmanned railway crossings had been converted into manned spots to cut down the frequency of mishaps. He said that since unmanned railway crossings in the state were in large number, it would take time to make or convert all the railway crossings manned.
However, the uppermost question is, the people living in various parts of the state in and around number of railway crossings spread across the state question that how much more time in precise terms will take to man the unmanned railway crossings. They aver that how many more lives will be lost till all the unmanned railway crossings are manned in the state.
One of the retired railway officials said that besides manning unmanned railway crossings, there is a need to create awareness among the people living in the areas near and surrounding the unmanned railway crossings in the entire country including Punjab.
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