Railways to shoot aerial Videos to observe illegal encroachers

NEW DELHI: Railways to shoot aerial videos of its land to keep a record of rising illegal encroachments on its property and take action against them

Smile, you are on camera! This is for the thousands who have illegally encroached on railway land. For the first time, Indian Railways will shoot video of their land, whether or not it has tracks on it, is encroached on by slums or is vacant.

Minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain, who was in the city, told yesterday, “I have asked officials here to take videos of the rail land (here) to have on record the precise encroachments.”

Sources said aerial videos will be shot of the entire stretch. “The land will be constantly monitored in this manner and reviewed every two months. If it is found that there is a rise in the number of illegal encroachments, action will be taken against railway officials,” added Gohain.

This is an important decision, as finally the railways will be putting the onus on its officers if seriousness is not shown in controlling illegal encroachment. During this period, railway authorities will get in touch with the state government and local corporations for help in clearing the encroachments and rehabilitating people.

Gohain said there are several hurdles in removing these encroachments for both the state government and railways. Also, the fact remains that almost 60 per cent of deaths on tracks are due to trespassing, with a majority of victims being those residing in the slums along the tracks.

Protests

On January 13, slum dwellers came out on the tracks to protest a demolition drive, blocking all six lines between Kalyan and Thane.

Similarly, on January 20, hundreds of people residing illegally next to the tracks at Titwala protested after the local corporation officials came to demolish their structures.

MoSR reviews KRCL performance

Minister of state for railways, Rajen Gohain, reviewed the performance of the Konkan Railway and the status of its several ongoing projects, during his visit to the corporate office of the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), at Belapur, Navi Mumbai, recently.

Gohain chaired the performance review meeting with KRCL chairman and managing director Sanjay Gupta, along with directors and heads of departments, a press note said.

Stressing on the vision of socio-economic development along the Konkan region, Gohain emphasized the need for enhanced safety in train operations, security of passengers, upgrading of passenger amenities, etc. He also reviewed the financial progress of the KRCL.

The minister of state also reviewed the progress of several ongoing projects by the KRCL: the UdhampurSrinagarBaramulla rail link, the Roha-Veer doubling, electrification of the Konkan Railway route, and port and hinterland connectivity along the route, among other projects.

“He also reviewed the financial arrangements for KRCL projects that are in the pipeline,” the note added.

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