पटना Patna (PNBE): Concerned over frequent mishaps at unmanned gates under the East Central Railway (ECR), railways has decided to further improve safety measures at both manned and unmanned railway crossing gates under the five divisions of the zone. According to ECR GM Madhuresh Kumar, railways would tap solar energy for adequate lights at both manned and unmanned railway crossing gates in the zone.
“Railways has identified the most ‘critical unmanned gates’ in ECR. Proper lights could avert mishaps on tracks at unmanned gates during night,” GM Kumar said. Under the new plan, the ECR is likely to engage people for intensive counselling to semi-literate or illiterate people in remote areas about the need to follow safety measures while crossing unmanned railway gates, he said, adding safety awareness is a must for every person for crossing both manned and unmanned gates.
ECR GM has urged vehicle owners, drivers, motorists and pedestrians to cross unmanned gates looking at both ends of the tracks. This practice could avert major mishaps on tracks at the crossings, Kumar said.
According to sources, the number of railway crossing gates in ECR is about 2,113 of which 1,127 are manned and 986 are unmanned. Railways has already launched a drive to create mass awareness among the common people to follow safety rules at unmanned and manned gates through SMSs and ‘nukkad nataks’ (street plays). Besides, 32,000 handbills have been distributed by railways in its five divisions stressing on the need to follow safety rules while crossing railway gates, sources said.
A recent survey in railways has revealed that 40% mishaps are taking place at unmanned gates across the country accounting for 66% deaths in mishaps. Railways has so far closed 64 unmanned gates in ECR by building road overbridges or road underbridges. Similarly, 82 unmanned gates would be converted into manned gates in the current fiscal year in ECR, sources said, adding Indian Railways has about 31,254 gates of which 12,582 are unmanned and 18,672 are manned.
According to the ECR GM, railways intends to build a ‘heritage park’ at the ECR headquarters in Hajipur so that visitors could have a glimpse of the rich heritage of Indian Railways since pre-independence era. This park would be developed soon, he said.